Once your hearing is damaged, it does not come back. That is not to say there are no treatments for hearing loss, as hearing aids are very successful. The best way to protect your hearing is to prevent it from getting damaged in the first place.
Below are five surprising ways you are putting your hearing at risk.
Your home is full of necessary appliances that you use every day. But some of them may be putting your hearing at risk.
Any noise over 85 decibels can damage your hearing. The sound from your hair dryer measures right around that number. This means you’re unlikely to see damage right away from your occasional usage, but with repeated exposure you may. Experts recommend opting to air-dry your hair as often as possible.
Kitchen appliances such as blenders, food processors and coffee grinders are all dangerously loud. Typically, more expensive and higher-quality devices are more powerful and quieter. If you find yourself constantly working in the kitchen, you should consider wearing hearing protection.
Most of us listen to music, podcasts and even the radio through headphones. But this puts your ears at risk, especially if you are using earbud-style headphones. This style of headphone sits deeper in your ear, putting the speaker too close to your eardrum. In addition, they are not able to block out any background environmental noises like the over-ear models, so you often find yourself turning up your music to an unsafe volume in order to actually hear it.
Experts recommend sticking with the 60:60 rule. Listen to your music for 60 minutes at a time at 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume.
Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can affect the tiny hair cells within your ears. These hair cells pass sound information from your ears to your brain. But they need proper blood flow in order to do their job.
When there is a problem with blood flow, the hair cells don’t work as well. In fact, a recent study found that hearing loss is twice as common in those with diabetes than in those without the disease.
Hearing loss is a side effect to a number of medications, including diuretics, antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs. These drugs cause ototoxicity, which means they are toxic to the cochlea or auditory nerve.
If you begin to notice you are having trouble hearing, talk to your doctor. They can review your medication options and either suggest an alternative or help you weigh the pros and cons of continuing to use the drug.
Skipping Your Physical
Hearing loss is a gradual condition that worsens over time. Because of this, many don’t notice they are experiencing hearing loss for some time.
At your annual physical, your doctor completes a full medical exam, including looking in your ears and asking you questions about your hearing. If they notice a change since last year, they will refer you to an audiologist for further testing.
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment, contact the professionals at the Hearing Zone today.