We enjoy going to concerts, listening to music at maximum volume through our headphones, and socializing at athletic events or loud pubs and cafés. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware that these activities, no matter how enjoyable they are, have a significant impact on our hearing health.
We’ll look at the unhealthy behaviors that might cause hearing loss and how you can take better care of yourself to help reduce your chance of suffering from hearing impairment.
Everyone should prioritize good hearing hygiene. Healthy habits guarantee that you continue to hear at your best for an extended period, keeping you from losing out on important sounds. Avoiding these five key unhealthy habits can be a significant step toward preventing hearing loss or tinnitus.
1. Lack of Exercise
We’re not just talking about going to the gym here, although that is part of it. A sedentary lifestyle can damage your hearing in several ways. First, people who don’t exercise are more likely to be overweight. Obesity puts you at greater risk for developing diabetes, and diabetes has been linked to an increased chance of suffering from hearing loss.
Another way that a lack of exercise can damage your hearing is by causing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to a condition called hypertension, which damages the tiny blood vessels in your ears and leads to hearing loss.
Smoking cigarettes is terrible for your health; there’s no two ways about it. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and cause damage to your body in a variety of ways. One of the ways smoking damages your hearing is by making you more susceptible to ear infections. Ear infections are often accompanied by fluid buildup in the middle ear, leading to hearing loss.
Smoking also damages the blood vessels in your body, including the ones in your ears. This damage makes it difficult for your ears to get the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly, leading to hearing loss.
3. Using Cotton Swabs
We’ve all been there – you have a little bit of wax buildup in your ear, so you grab a cotton swab to take care of it. But did you know that using cotton swabs is one of the leading causes of earwax impaction? When you use a cotton swab to clean your ears, you’re actually pushing the wax further into your ear canal, where it can become impacted. Earwax impaction is a condition where the earwax becomes compacted against the walls of the ear canal and can cause hearing loss.
4. Not Wearing Hearing Protection
There are a lot of everyday activities that can cause hearing loss, but one of the most common is exposure to loud noise. When you’re exposed to loud noise, it damages the tiny hair cells in your ears responsible for sending sound signals to your brain. This damage can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.
You can protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or earmuffs when you’re participating in activities that expose you to loud noise, such as mowing the lawn, using power tools, or going to a concert.
5. Excessive Drinking
We all like to enjoy a drink or two on occasion, but did you know that drinking alcohol excessively can damage your hearing? Alcohol consumption can cause a condition called ototoxicity, which damages the hair cells in your ears and leads to hearing loss. So if you want to protect your hearing, it’s best to limit your alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether.
If you’re concerned about your hearing health, the best thing you can do is see a doctor or audiologist for a hearing test. A hearing test will help determine if you have any hearing loss and can also give you a baseline for your future hearing health.
Prevention, as they say, is much better than a cure, which is why you might want to consider scheduling a hearing test at Hear More Associates. Our hearing consultant in Massachusetts is committed to determining whether you have hearing loss, its causes, and choosing a suitable treatment. Schedule an appointment today!