Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
ORDER our 200th Year
2018 Edition!

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Add to Google+ Share on Pinterest Subscribe by Email Print This Post
Do You Hear What I Hear?

History tells us Voltaire called the ear “the road to the heart.” Consider how deeply we’re affected by the sound of someone laughing, crying out for help or whispering softly and sweetly.

The human ear not only detects sound but aids in body balance and position. Divided into the outer, middle, and inner ear, each component has a job to do. Bombarded as we are with noise like loud music, lawn mowers, and concerts and movie theaters that amp up the sound, there are steps we can take in our daily lives to help ensure we don’t compromise or lose this precious sense.

Ear protection
An explosion can cause immediate hearing loss, often total deafness. And while that scenario is rare, statistics tell us about 60 percent of college freshmen already display some degree of hearing loss – generally from repeated exposure to loud music. Loud noise causes hearing loss by damaging the inner ear’s miniscule, sensitive hair cells. Damage is attributed to two factors: decibels and duration. If you work in an environment where you cannot hear someone who is talking to you from two feet away, sources say your hearing is being damaged and it is best to use protective gear such as acoustic earplugs, phones or muffs. Tinnitus, incessant ringing in the ears, can result from acoustical trauma (the aforementioned loud noise), as well as infection, certain medications, high blood pressure or earwax buildup (to name a few possible causes). It’s best to see your doctor if ringing in your ears persists.

And interestingly, according to sources, during cardio exercise, blood diverts from the ears to the legs, arms, and heart, rendering the ears’ hair cells more susceptible to damage. If you’re wearing headphones or ear buds at this time, your potential for hearing loss is doubled because you cannot gauge how loud the music really is.

(Continued Below)

Ear conditions
With summer upon us, otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear, is a not-so-uncommon but usually preventable affliction. Bacteria or a fungus nestles into an outer ear canal, which is appropriately moist and warm. Water babies (and adults) who spend little time on land (we know who we are!) more often experience swimmer’s ear, as all that water washes away the oily, waxy substance that typically lines and protects the canal from intruders. But experts tell us water left in from a shower, or scratching the ear canal’s delicate skin with a bobby pin or cotton swab, can also open the door to bacteria. Defend yourself by shaking water out after a swim or shower, taking care not to swim in water that appears dirty, and using antiseptic ear drops if you swim a lot.

When the Eustachian tube, which connects the inside back portion of the nose with the inner ear, is blocked, during illness or on a flight, it is unable to resupply air during swallowing. Pressure cannot be equalized and pain results. In fact the eardrum is sucked inward and stretched taut. If the condition persists, the eardrum can become inflamed and if it goes unchecked, can lead to hearing loss.

Severe dizziness or vertigo can result from an inner ear infection. The Labyrinth (a group of fluid-filled inner chambers) controls balance, and people often report the room feels as though it’s spinning if they have this condition. It can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Best not to allow the condition to persist and see your doctor.

Ear cleaning
Contrary to popular thought, many medical professionals recommend leaving earwax in to trap foreign particles that may enter the ear. Cotton swabs can push wax deeper into the ear canal and up against the eardrum, where it will mitigate hearing. They can also poke a hole in the eardrum. Moving the jaw through everyday tasks such as eating and talking can push wax to the outer ear, where it can be wiped away by a damp (not saturated, so that water runs into the canal) tissue or cotton ball. Should wax become impacted, contact your health care professional. S/he may recommend over-the-counter ear wax softening drops to begin with.

Articles you might also like...


1 Jude { 08.07.14 at 1:09 am }

Avoid caffeine!! My mother suffered greatly with tinnitus until a doctor told her about caffeine, she has done very we’ll since eliminating it. You may want to avoid msg and other preservativea too.

2 Alison { 08.06.14 at 1:25 pm }

I suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus. I wear hearing aids which are tuned to block out some of the tinnitus as well as help with my hearing.

3 Susan Higgins { 08.06.14 at 2:26 pm }

Because the article is meant merely as general information, you may want to check with your doctor on further causes or treatments. Thank you for your interest!

4 portia stewart { 08.06.14 at 9:48 am }

I’m having my hearing checked today as a matter of fact and the same question on tinnitus affects me as well. The Doctors may say there is no hope for those affected but I wonder if this is true. Thought maybe you all may have some info for us.

5 Dean B { 08.06.14 at 9:21 am }

A hearing specialist told me that there is no cure for tinnitus. Is this true? Is there anything that can be done to minimize the ringing? I tried Lipo Flavinoids Plus for 6 months and it did not help. Any Thoughts?

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Spring Is Here – Sign Up Today!

The Farmers' Almanac is a gardener's best friend. Get 365 days of access to our online weather and gardening calendars + a copy of the 2017 Almanac
for only $13.99 $11.99!

Subscribe Today »