Hearing loss is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. Find out the different ways in which you can protect your ears in this week’s Audicus blog!
Hearing loss is a condition affecting people of all ages. Causes for hearing loss include aging, sound trauma, bacterial infection, drug usage, and genetic background. Steps to promote hearing loss prevention include:
Avoiding Noisy Environments
Quantifying the level of noise an environment has in terms of decibels can give you a better understanding of what is and what isn’t too loud. For environments that measure 100+ decibels, hearing loss can be experienced after only 15 minutes of exposure! To put that into perspective, rock concerts can measure 115 decibels.
For settings that can be potentially damaging to your hearing, be sure to take incremental short breaks in quiet areas. Apps like Decibel 10th and Too Loud? are also good at measuring the decibel level of your surroundings.
Using Alternative Forms of Sound Technology
Avoid using ear buds when choosing different types of sound technology. Because different types of ear buds actually go inside the ear, these forms of technology transmit sound in a more direct manner that can be harmful to the hair cells in the inner ear.
Use headphones sparingly, and always be sure to use non-invasive headphones that don’t go inside the ear.
Screening Your Medication
One crucial step in hearing loss prevention is learning which kinds of drugs can affect your hearing. Certain drugs can be ototoxic, or poisonous to the ears. Viagra, Advil and Aspirin are potentially ototoxic drugs that can cause temporary hearing loss. Normally the hearing loss can be reversed when the patient stops intake.
Speak with your doctor about the different kinds of medication you can take to avoid serious side effects while maximizing your health.
Having a Healthy Lifestyle
Having a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be a great method for hearing loss prevention. Tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon are just a few of many foods that contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Having just two or more servings of fish every week can lower your chances of sustaining hearing loss!
Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI) can also help to prevent hearing loss. Individuals with a BMI in between 25 and 39 have a relatively high risk of hearing loss compared to individuals with a BMI that is less than 25, and people with a BMI that is greater than or equal to 40 have the highest risk of hearing loss.
This phenomenon can be due to a number of medical conditions, including oxidative stress, ischemic damage, hypoxia and atherosclerosis.
One of the best ways to promote a healthy body weight and BMI is to exercise regularly throughout the week. Cardio activities such as running are great ways to maintain a strong heart and promote hearing loss prevention.
Wearing Hearing Aids
Wearing hearing aids can be a good method for hearing loss prevention in individuals that already possess some form of hearing loss. To prevent the conditioning from worsening it is important to use hearing aids wherever necessary.
Depending on the type of hearing loss and the age of the individual, surgery can also be used to treat hearing loss. Speak with your audiologist about the different ways in which you can promote hearing loss prevention.
Sources: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders