Have you ever woken up in the morning to the sound of the birds chirping or the trash truck coming down the road? As we go through our day, we tend to block out some noises so that we can focus on other sounds.
But what if you lost the ability to choose what sounds you could block out? What if one night you’re having dinner with friends and you realize that you’re struggling to follow along with the conversation more than actually contributing.
Did you know that approximately 15% of American adults 18 years and up report that they have difficulty hearing in some degree?
Or did you know that 13% of children who have standard hearing examinations experience some degree of hearing loss in one or both ears? Those stats are pretty alarming, but some of those cases could be prevented and that is exactly what we are going to discuss today: how to prevent hearing loss.
Hearing loss affects people of all ages and there some things that you can do to protect your hearing.
It can be hard to decide if an environment is excessively noisy, especially in terms of decibels. Environments that are above 100 decibels, you can expect some degree of hearing loss only after being exposed to that amount of noise for 15 minutes.
This means if you like to go to a rock concert, which registers at 115 decibels, you could only sit through two songs before your hearing begins to be affected.
No matter where you go, you can almost always be that you’re going to find some people who have their earbuds in their ears and listening to audio at a high volume.
This is problematic because the earbuds go directly in the ear. This means the sounds are transmitted more directly to the eardrum.
An important factor to consider in hearing loss prevention is learning and understanding what kind of side effects your medication may have. There are some medications that are ototoxic (poisonous to the user’s ears).
An example of ototoxic drug is Viagra, but it over the counter medication like Advil and Aspirin can be ototoxic and result in temporary hearing loss. Fortunately, this is one of the hearing loss causes that can be reversed when you stop taking the medication.
We are well aware that a healthy diet has numerous health benefits, but did you know that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are great for hearing loss prevention. Foods like tuna and salmon are great options.
Food that are rich in Vitamin C and E like citrus fruit, almonds and peanut butter can also help prevent hearing loss.
Along with eating healthy foods, you should also strive to live as healthily as possible. This means maintaining a healthy BMI and weight. Those who have a BMI 25 and above have a higher risk of hearing loss than those with a BMI under 25.
The higher your BMI is, the higher your risk can be. Exercise and a healthy diet will go a long way toward hearing loss prevention, but you’ll also feel much healthier in general. It’s a win-win situation!
If you have a career that exposes you to loud noises, construction for example, you’re putting your hearing at risk – especially if you’re hands on with loud machinery.
You can prevent work-related hearing loss by talking to your employer about ear protection. Your employer should have a program that meets federal and/or state safety regulations.
Children are often more susceptible to experiencing middle ear infections (also called otitis media), but adults can also experience this.
If you or your child experiences frequent ear infections, you don’t want to ignore them because those infections can lead to permanent hearing loss. It’s recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to nip that infection in the bud.
If you suspect that your hearing is starting to get bad, you should consult a healthcare professional to be properly diagnosed.
If your hearing is bad enough, you can be fitted with hearing aids. For those who want to prevent their hearing loss from getting worse, it’s recommended that you wear the hearing aids that were prescribed to you.
Your hearing is one of these senses that you should never take for granted because many times the things you do have a direct impact on your hearing. Something like listening to music at a high volume with earbuds can have a big impact on your ability to hear especially if you do this for hours at a time each day.
Not only can listening to loud music through your earbuds affect your hearing, but so can a poor diet, your medication, and even an ear infection that hasn’t been treated.
If you ever feel like you’re saying “huh” or “what” more than usual, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to be properly diagnosed. With proper medical attention, you can prevent further hearing loss by using hearing aids.
In the comment section below, tell us if you suffer (or suspect that you’re experiencing) from some form of hearing loss. Feel free to share your stories and experiences with other community members because the more people realize that there are many hearing loss causes that can and should be avoided.