While some forms of hearing loss, like age-related hearing loss and episodes triggered by Meniere’s disease, are unavoidable, there are many causes that can be prevented. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do for your hearing health. Follow our tips below to help preserve your hearing.
Manage Heart Conditions
Congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and high blood pressure all fall under the category of heart disease. Each affects your body’s ability to pump blood. Poor blood flow can lead to a number of health concerns, including hearing loss.
Inside your inner ear are tiny, delicate hair cells. They are responsible for translating soundwaves into electrical signals, which are sent via the auditory nerve to the brain to be interpreted as sound. The hair cells require good blood flow in order to work properly. If deprived for long enough, the hair cells can die, resulting in permanent hearing loss
If you have any of the conditions listed above, talk to your doctor to make sure you are managing them well. Be sure to also exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet to prevent developing or worsening of these conditions.
Smoking cigarettes is bad for almost every part of your body. Nicotine can restrict your blood flow, leading to the death of the hair cells responsible for hearing. A 2018 report found that smokers are 60 percent more likely to develop high-frequency hearing loss than those who do not smoke.
What was originally marketed as the safe alternative to cigarettes, vaping is now thought to be even more dangerous. Since e-cigarettes also contain nicotine, they have a similar impact on your cells as traditional cigarettes. In addition, the fluid required by e-cigarettes, known as “vape juice” contains hundreds of chemicals. Many of the health impacts are unknown, but at least one ingredient, propylene glycol, has been linked to sudden hearing loss.
Studies show that alcohol can interfere with the with the brain’s ability to interpret sound, particularly low-frequency sounds. Alcohol creates a toxic environment in the inner ear and damages the stereocilia. Studies have also shown that the central auditory cortex in the brain may even shrink within people who drink excessively.
Use Hearing Protection
Any sound over 85 decibels – about the volume of highway traffic – can cause damage to hearing over time. Be sure to wear hearing protection for all noisy activities, including attending concerts, shooting firearms and using power tools. Your audiologist’s office can fit you for custom hearing protection for maximum comfort and protection.
For more information about preventing hearing loss or to schedule an appointment, call CENTA Medical Group today.