Hearing loss is a lot more common than you think, and it’s not just limited to elderly people. According to the conducted survey of hearing experts at NH Hearing Institute, about 42 million Americans have hearing loss—and that number is growing every year. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent hearing loss in the first place, as well as other medical conditions that can be linked. To help you understand the issue better and take steps towards solving it sooner rather than later, we’ll be going over some common causes of hearing loss, as well as how to prevent them from happening in the first place. Keep reading for more information.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is simply defined as a decrease in hearing ability, which may be permanent or temporary. In most cases, hearing loss occurs as we get older. But, it’s also caused by genetic factors, certain diseases and injuries, and even certain medications. Hearing loss can affect both your ability to hear sounds and understand what others are saying. It can cause problems with communication and even lead to isolation. So, how do you know if you’re at risk of hearing loss? There are a few clues you can look out for.
First off, you should know that hearing loss is common, even among younger people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30% of people aged 65 years and older have hearing loss, and about 25% of people aged between 65 and 74 years have hearing loss. Hearing loss is also more common in certain ethnic groups, including those of African descent and Hispanics.
Causes of Hearing Loss
While hearing loss is something that can be prevented, there are also certain factors that can contribute to it. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is age. This is because your ears become more susceptible to damage as you get older. Genetics and certain medications can also cause hearing loss. In addition to age and genetics, there are also other causes of hearing loss that you should be aware of. They include:
- Autoimmune diseases: Certain autoimmune diseases can lead to hearing loss. This is because the immune system attacks the tissue in your ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. So, if you’re prone to autoimmune diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis, you may want to stay away from loud noises and anything that might trigger an inflammatory response.
- Exposure to loud sounds: It’s important to be careful when it comes to loud noises and music. If you frequently listen to loud music, attend concerts, or play with earbuds, you may be increasing your risk of hearing loss.
- Hormonal changes: Certain hormonal changes can also lead to hearing loss. This is because hormones affect the ear canal, which is where sound travels. For example, during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptives, your ears are more susceptible to damage.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
There are certain factors you can do in order to prevent hearing loss. One of the most important things you can do is protect your hearing. After all, if you don’t notice any problems, you’re likely to stay in one piece. Keep in mind that the risk of hearing loss is increased when you work with loud noise or play music at a high volume. This is because the louder the sound is, the more it damages your ears. To protect your hearing, you can take steps such as:
- Wear earplugs when you’re working in noisy environments, playing sports, or attending concerts.
- Wear noise-isolating headphones when you’re working in a noisy environment and watching TV.
Test Your Hearing
Did you know that having a hearing test is one of the best things you can do to protect your hearing? A hearing test will help you identify any damage you may have brought on and give you a chance to take preventative steps. Undergoing a hearing test for young adults can be helpful in the early stages of hearing loss when you have no idea that you’re at risk. This can help you get treatment earlier, which can help prevent hearing loss from getting worse. If you don’t have a hearing test, consider booking one as soon as you start to notice that something isn’t right. When you don’t have a hearing test, you can’t identify any damage, which means you have no idea how much you’ve lost. But, by getting tested, you’ll be able to get treatment sooner, which can help prevent hearing loss from progressing.
Avoid Noise Exposure
One of the best ways to protect your hearing is to avoid excessive noise exposure, especially when you’re young. This is because the younger you are, the more susceptible your ears are to damage. If you frequently listen to loud music or attend loud concerts, you may want to limit your noise exposure. This is because excessive noise exposure can damage your ears, resulting in hearing loss. If you do want to enjoy loud sounds, make sure you do it safely. This means keeping the volume low, wearing ear protection, and giving your ears a break if they start to get sore.
Keep Your Earwax Healthy
As we age, our earwax becomes less effective. This is because the cells that produce it begin to die off, which leaves your ears with a less effective barrier against harmful bacteria and fungi. This is why earwax alone can help protect your ears from damage. Earwax is just as effective at preventing harmful bacteria and fungi from damaging your ears as a sterile cotton plug would be. So, by cleaning your ears well, you can help protect your ears from damage by preventing your earwax from becoming less effective. One of the best ways to clean your ears is to use a q-tip. This way, you’ll be using the same sterile cotton tip over and over again, helping to keep it clean and dry. If you don’t want to keep using the same q-tip, you can also use a bulb syringe to help keep it sterile.
One of the best things you can do to protect your hearing is to drink enough water. This is because having clean, moist ears can help keep debris and bacteria out of your ears, protecting them from damage. In order to keep your ears moist, you need to drink plenty of water. This is because dehydration can lead to a dry, damaged eardrum. So, if you’re not consuming enough water, start drinking water regularly. Another thing you can do to help protect your ears is to avoid smoking. This is because tobacco products can dry out your ears, making them more susceptible to damage.
Hearing loss is a serious issue that can greatly impact your life. If you notice that you have reduced hearing, it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible. However, if you want to protect your hearing, it’s important to do your research and be proactive about preventing hearing loss. This can help you stay in one piece and prevent the damage that can come with age. Keep your ears clean and dry by using a q-tip and keeping your ears clean and dry. This can help protect your ears from dust, dirt, and bacteria that can damage them.