Habits That Endanger Your Hearing
More than 3.5 million people in Australia live with hearing loss, and over one million of those cases were preventable.
Living a healthy lifestyle is not only crucial for your general health but also your hearing health.
You may not be aware of some bad habits that can damage your hearing and cause hearing loss. This damage can be permanent, so it’s important to be mindful of these habits so you can remove them from your life and protect your hearing.
Wondering what those habits are? The audiologists at Ear Deals have listed the top five bad habits that are detrimental to your hearing. Read on to discover what they are!
Loud Noise Exposure
How many times have you gone to a concert and left with your ears ringing? While it may have been an enjoyable experience, exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing, causing hearing loss.
Loud noise exposure is one of the leading causes of hearing loss globally and is entirely preventable. It is thought that nearly 40% of people in Australia living with hearing loss is due to loud noise exposure.
Hearing loss due to loud noise exposure may occur in the workplace on a construction site or manufacturing plant. However, it could also be from recreational activities such as frequenting concerts, clubs and bars.
Damage to your hearing may be sudden or occur gradually over time. For example, loud noise can cause hearing loss by damaging the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Loud noises cause the hair cells to bend dramatically and sometimes break, affecting the signal being sent to the brain and causing hearing loss and tinnitus.
Hearing loss due to loud noise exposure is called sensorineural hearing loss and is permanent.
While regulations exist in Australia to protect workers’ hearing, there is no legislation to protect patrons of loud venues.
Listening to Loud Music
Have you ever been on the train or in the gym and heard someone’s music coming out of their headphones? If so, they were likely listening to their music at dangerously loud levels.
Like loud noise, listening to loud music can cause hearing loss. With improvements in technology, many people have started using earbuds with their personal listening devices, which can become dangerous when listening to music at loud levels.
Loud music can cause hearing loss in the same way that loud noise exposure can by damaging the hair cells. Since earphones sit in the ear canal, there is potential to cause some real damage if music is played too loud.
Among other health issues, smoking can cause hearing loss. Not only are the hair cells in your ears susceptible to loud noise, but they can also be damaged by smoke.
Many chemicals in cigarettes can cause hearing loss by constricting the blood vessels in the inner ear and limiting the oxygen they receive. The health of the hair cells relies on a good oxygen supply, so it’s no surprise that when supply is limited, hearing loss can occur.
These chemicals can also affect the neurotransmitters that are important for sending information from the hearing nerve to the brain. As a result, even second-hand smoking can cause hearing loss.
Nowadays, many people have jobs where they are seated for most of the day. Not only is it harmful to your overall health, but it can also impact your hearing health.
So, how can a lack of exercise indirectly cause hearing loss? People who do not exercise regularly are at an increased risk of being overweight and having diabetes. This can affect blood circulation to the brain and inner ear where the oxygen-reliant hair cells live, damaging and even causing hearing loss.
Ignoring Warning Signs
Many people visit their optometrist for their annual eye check every year but often push their hearing to the side. This is a bad habit as initially, minor hearing issues and changes can go undiagnosed and lead to more significant problems in the future.
These issues may not only cause hearing problems. Untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia as the brain is not receiving adequate stimulation.
Regular hearing assessments are important to monitor ear and hearing health as they can pick up on any issues or changes early on to ensure the best outcomes.
We recommend getting your hearing checked once a year or whenever you experience a change in your hearing.
Good Hearing Health Habits
While there are many ways to cause damage to your hearing, a lot of those can be prevented.
Practice these healthy hearing habits to protect your hearing:
- Protect your ears. Make sure you wear hearing protection when engaging in anything that has loud noise, such as mowing the lawn, working in a noisy environment or going to concerts.
- Reduce earbud use. Try not to use your earbuds often. When you use them, give your ears a rest every hour and do not exceed 60% of the device’s maximum volume.
- Quit smoking. This will not only protect your hearing but the hearing of those around you.
- Exercise. Start exercising daily with something as simple as walking or yoga.
- Get your hearing tested. Book a hearing test once a year or as soon as you notice a change in your hearing.
In A Nutshell
Hearing damage is often permanent, so it’s important to do everything you can to protect your hearing.
As mentioned above, the top bad habits that endanger your hearing include loud noise exposure, listening to loud music, smoking, not exercising and ignoring the warning signs.
If you notice that you are doing any of these things, cut the habit to prevent you from developing hearing loss.
If you have already had a hearing test and are looking for the best hearing aids for your situation, look no further than EarDeals. We have some of the best prices of hearing aids on the market, and our brokers will help you find the right ones for you.