In this post, we will talk about the 6 Things That Can Harm Your Hearing. Preserving good hearing should be everyone’s top priority and should not be underestimated, as it is projected that by 2050, 2.5 billion people will experience varying levels of hearing loss. So crazy to think about!
While most people believe that hearing loss solely occurs due to aging, note that ear infections, deafening noises, or unhealthy habits can also jeopardize your hearing and cause hearing loss.
6 Things That Can Harm Your Hearing
Here are 6 Things That Can Harm Your Hearing that you should stop immediately to safeguard and maintain optimal hearing:
1. Not Taking Annual Hearing Tests
Like any other health examination, hearing tests should be a part of your health regimen, even if you do not believe you have the signs. Hearing loss can develop slowly, and audiologists like HearCanada can detect early signs of hearing impairment and recommend the necessary treatment to prevent long-term hearing loss.
If you have recently healed from a bacterial infection that affects the ears, some of the pathogens may still be present in your inner ear, which can induce long-term damage to your internal and middle ear over time. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the better it is, as you will have time to take preventative measurements.
2. Excessive Headphone Use
Wearing headphones can be harmful as they expose your ears to loud noises, affecting your hearing. Constant exposure to loud noises in headphones for a long time can also damage the inner ear’s hair cells, which convert sound waves to nerve impulses to send to your brain as sound.
To protect your hearing, doctors recommend reducing headphone usage and following the 60-60 rule, which means setting your headphone’s volume below 60% and using it for a total of 60 minutes a day to prevent severe damage to your hearing.
Smokers are 1.69 times more susceptible to hearing loss than non-smokers because cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine can harm the neurotransmitters in your ear that allow your hearing stimulus to reach the brain.
The carcinogens present in cigarette smoke also release free radicals that can damage the DNA in your ears, affecting your hearing.
4. Using Cotton Swabs
Cotton swabs are commonly used to clean ear wax, but they tend to push the ear wax deeper toward the eardrum instead of getting it completely out. Doctors do not recommend cotton swabs as there is a chance of an accident in which you can damage your eardrum, which can be very damaging to your hearing.
Ear wax isn’t bad for your ears and prevents the entrance of ants, bugs, and other species of small insects from entering your ears. However, if you have a problem with excess wax buildup in your ear, visit your ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist who can prescribe you medicine to clean it.
5. Not Taking Care of Your Dental Hygiene and Oral Health
Bad teeth and unhealthy gums can affect your hearing too. The bacteria that builds in your gums and over teeth, which is a part of dental plaque, or the bacteria in your teeth cavities can cause inflammation and constriction of arteries and blood vessels around your brain and ears, affecting your hearing.
If you have a cavity in your teeth, visit your dentist immediately to treat it, and brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
6. Excessive Drinking
Excessive consumption of alcohol can shrink the auditory cortex, which is responsible for processing the sounds you hear. Note that this size reduction is directly proportional to the decrease in your ear’s processing power and ability to hear low-frequency sounds, leading to hearing loss.
Get a hearing test annually to find any symptoms of hearing loss early on so you have time to take preventative measurements.
Refrain from smoking and only consume small amounts of alcohol. Don’t use cotton swabs to clean your ears; visit an ENT specialist instead to clean your ears if you have excessive wax buildup. Avoid wearing headphones excessively to protect the hair cells in your inner ear.
Visit a dentist immediately to treat dental infections and care for your dental health to prevent the oral bacteria in your mouth from affecting the arteries in your brain and ears. And in case you detect signs of hearing loss, consult an audiologist immediately.
I hope my article about the 6 Things That Can Harm Your Hearing has helped you in some way. Have you or someone you love experienced hearing loss? Please let me know in the comments below!