Most people often prioritize the wellness of their skin, eyes, and other organs, while overlooking one of the most vital parts of the body; the ears. Meanwhile, paying attention to the health of your ear is crucial for our overall well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, about 360 million people suffer from some degree of hearing impairment ( 328 million adults and 32 million children). With prevalence to sub Saharan Africa and 8.5 million Nigerians.
However, taking the right steps henceforth can help reduce your risk of hearing loss.
Without further ado, here are the essential dos and don’ts of maintaining good ear health.
- Practice safe listening habits
In this age, most people now use headphones or earbuds to distract themselves from reality.
However, while using these buds, make sure to keep the volume at a moderate level to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Listening to loud music or volume can damage your hearing, especially when using earbuds that sit directly next to your eardrum.
So reducing the volume and limiting prolonged usage can improve your ear health.
- Avoid inserting objects into the ear canal
Never insert cotton buds, hairpins, or any other objects into your ear canal.
When you want to clean your ears be extra conscious, careful, and avoid using sharp or pointed objects. As these objects may injure the ear canal or eardrum and can even push wax deeper, irritate the ear canal, or cause injury.
Also using cotton buds is a common but inadvisable way to remove earwax. Earwax is normal and self-cleans the ear, preventing dust and particles from getting in.
So inserting buds or tissues in the ear could cause serious harm to the ear drum and canal with the potential for temporary or even permanent damage.
- Keep the ear dry
It is also important to always keep the ear dry to prevent ear infections called otitis media.
Otitis media is an outer ear infection that is caused when there is water residue inside the ear canal, so it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
To avoid this, always dry your ears thoroughly after bathing or swimming, as excess moisture can cause bacterial build-up, compromising the ear canal.
If you sense water residue, drain your ear by tilting your head to one side.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises
Loud noises that emanate from power tools, concerts, construction sites, and firearms can all gradually lead to hearing loss, especially when you’re exposed to them on a regular basis.
Be sure to always use ear protection such as earplugs and earmuffs if you are constantly going to be in a noisy environment. As exposure to these noises can lead to noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus.
Also, be mindful of the noise levels in your environment and take necessary precautions.
- Avoid ignoring any ear pain or discomfort
Whenever you experience ear pain, fullness of the ear, drainage, or signs of infection; don’t hesitate to seek medical attention promptly.
Treatment for ear problems should not be delayed as the pain won’t improve without the right treatment.
The longer you leave an ear problem, the longer it may take to treat it. So seek professional help and avoid self-medication.
- Give your ears a break
You read right, just like the other part of the body, the ears also need breaks to function well.
This is mostly related to people who are constantly exposed to loud noise from environmental sources, concerts, and so on.
The noises from these sources have the potential to cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
So when in a very loud environment, take frequent breaks by stepping outside to separate yourself from the noise, even if it is just for five minutes.
After the event, try to spend time in a quiet environment for at least one day to allow your ears to rest and recover.
Research has found that you need about 16-48 hours of quiet rest to recover from the previous noise.
- Visit the doctors for regular ear check-ups
Just like every other part of your body, your ears also need a periodic check-ups by professionals.
Hearing screening and exams are important as they help quickly detect hearing loss and promote instant treatment.
You should get recommendations and advice from your medical professional as hearing tests are done according to the person’s risk and environment.
Take care of your ears. Always take preventative measures to stay ahead of hearing loss.
Turmeric may be as effective as medicine in treating indigestion, study says
A study says turmeric, a natural compound found in spice, may be as good for treating indigestion as medicine.
According to the study published in the medical journal, curcumin, a natural compound found in turmeric, may be as effective as omeprazole, a drug used to treat dyspepsia (indigestion).
Turmeric is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has long been used as a medicinal remedy, including for the treatment of indigestion.
The study involved 206 patients aged 18 to 70 with recurrent upset stomach who were recruited from hospitals in Thailand between 2019 and 2020.
The participants were randomly assigned to three treatment groups for 28 days.
One group received two large 250 mg capsules of curcumin (turmeric) four times a day and one small dummy capsule; another received one small 20 mg capsule omeprazole daily and two large dummy capsules 4 times a day; and the last group received turmeric plus omeprazole.
Patients in all three groups were evaluated for their symptoms after 28 days and then again after 56.
The researchers found that oral curcumin was safe and well tolerated, and that patients in all three groups experienced a similar improvement in symptoms.
“Curcumin and omeprazole had comparable efficacy for functional dyspepsia with no obvious synergistic effect,” the researchers concluded.
“This multi-centre randomised controlled trial provides highly reliable evidence for the treatment of functional dyspepsia.
“The new findings from our study may justify considering curcumin in clinical practice.”
5 foods and drinks to avoid while on drugs
Some drinks and foods don’t mix with prescription drugs.
When the doctor prescribes certain drugs, there are drinks and foods you should stay away from so your drugs can work effectively.
Here they are:
1. Chocolate and sleeping, depression, and anxiety pills
Dark chocolate, in particular, might reduce the effectiveness of medications used to relax or induce sleep, such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) for those with hyperactivity. If you take a MAO inhibitor, which is used to treat depression with chocolate, it can cause dangerously high blood pressure.
2. Dairy products and antibiotics
Calcium in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, can inhibit drug absorption in antibiotics like tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. This compromises the medication’s effectiveness in treating infections. Avoid calcium-containing meals an hour before or two hours after taking these antibiotics.
3. Grapefruit and cholesterol-lowering drugs
Grapefruit, a citrus fruit, can affect over 50 drugs in the gut, making some less effective and others too strong, especially cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin.
Eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice can inhibit an enzyme necessary for statin metabolism, increasing the risk of side effects like muscle pain. The most problematic statins are atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin, which are commonly used in cholesterol-lowering drugs.
To be safer, patients are advised to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice entirely while on statins.
4. Fruit juice and most drugs
Apple or orange juice can decrease levels of beta-blockers like Tenormin and Tekturna which prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
New-generation antihistamines for allergies can also interact with acidic juices like apple, orange, and grapefruit, affecting absorption and neutralizing the effect of these medications.
For those taking calcium channel blockers, avoid grapefruit juice, as it can render the drug ineffective. Also avoid orange fruit juice if you are on malaria drugs.
- Alcohol and most drugs
Alcohol can impair the efficacy of drugs, weaken blood pressure and cardiac medications, or enhance their effect and produce dangerous adverse effects.
7 effects of prolonged headphone usage
In our modern world, headphones have become an indispensable accessory which has become more like a necessity.
Whether we’re grooving to our favourite tunes, immersing ourselves in a thrilling podcast, or trying to find some peace in a noisy environment, headphones offer a convenient escape. However, the convenience they provide comes at a cost.
Prolonged headphone usage can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental well-being.
1. Hearing damage
One of the most apparent consequences of excessive headphone usage is hearing damage.
The World Health Organization estimates that over a billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, including the prolonged use of headphones at high volumes.
When the volume is cranked up to dangerous levels, it can cause permanent damage to the delicate hair cells in our inner ears, leading to hearing impairment.
2. Ear Infections
Wearing headphones for extended periods can also increase the risk of ear infections. The enclosed environment inside the ear cups can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
Over time, this can lead to painful ear infections and discomfort, potentially requiring medical attention.
Tinnitus, often described as a persistent ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears, can be a consequence of excessive headphone use. Listening to music or other audio at high volumes can overstimulate the auditory nerves, leading to the perception of these phantom sounds. Tinnitus can be not only distressing but also challenging to treat.
4. Social isolation
While headphones offer a refuge from external noise, prolonged use can result in social isolation.
When we constantly plug into our own private auditory world, we may unintentionally distance ourselves from friends, family, and the surrounding environment.
This isolation can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships and a disconnect from the real world.
5. Increased stress and anxiety
Listening to calming music can be a great stress reliever, but when used excessively or in noisy environments, headphones can contribute to stress and anxiety.
The need to block out external sounds can indicate a desire to escape from stressors, and this can become a maladaptive coping mechanism, potentially exacerbating mental health issues.
6. Ear pain and discomfort
Wearing headphones for long hours can cause physical discomfort, such as ear pain and soreness.
The pressure applied to the ears and the heat generated within the ear cups can lead to irritation and discomfort. This discomfort can be particularly pronounced when using over-ear headphones.
7. Impaired cognitive function
Prolonged headphone usage can also impact cognitive function. Constant exposure to loud music or audio can reduce concentration and productivity levels, making it harder to focus on tasks.
This is especially concerning for students and professionals who rely on their ability to concentrate.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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