However, hearing loss from aging, ear damage, or brain illnesses can
7 Habits That Are Damaging to Hearing Health
The feel of blasting music through your headphones or enjoying your favorite sports at the noisy bar can be exciting. However, these activities have a significant effect on your hearing health. It is not surprising that approximately 36-million Americans of 18 and above experience trouble with their hearing at a point in their life. Good hearing health is a key component for your overall wellbeing, so you would want to avoid habits that may damage it!
Skipping Regular Hearing Checks
Many people skip annual hearing checks until they experience a concern with their hearing. However, hearing loss develops gradually, and you may only notice when it’s already a full-blown issue. Regularly checking your hearing can help you detect symptoms early to take immediate action. For instance, regular physical examinations can help protect your hearing health and ensure your hearing does not change due to unexpected or unforeseen circumstances.
Lack of Exercising and Constant Stress
The importance of regular exercise for your overall health cannot be overemphasized. Cardio exercises such as running, swimming or walking increase blood flow to your ears. This is essential for keeping your ears healthy and allowing them to function at optimal levels. Research has linked stress to hearing health problems such as tinnitus. The part of your brain responsible for your hearing is also responsible for your emotions. Therefore, your hearing can be affected when you are fatigued, stressed or under enormous pressure.
Poor Dental Health
Dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum diseases can negatively affect your general health, including your hearing. Bacteria can travel from the mouth to the brain through the bloodstream. It can lead to dental problems and cause artery narrowing and inflammation to impair blood circulation.
More so, poor blood flow can cause cardiac problems, affecting your hearing. Although it is natural for your hearing to grow weaker with age, poor dental health can speed up the process and lead to extensive damage.
Lack of Recovery Time for Your Ear
If your work requires working in a noisy environment for long periods, it is important to give your ears some time to recover. You can take 10-15 minutes to break away from the workplace and go to a quiet surrounding after some time to give your ears rest. You can also speak to a hearing instrument specialist for expert advice on protecting your ears if you work in a noisy environment. Experts suggest giving your ears around 16 hours of quiet time to recover after one loud night out.
Smoking affects your blood circulation and your hearing capacity as you become older. A study by the American Lung Association suggests that one cigarette can expose you to over 7,000 toxins that can harm the hair cells in the inner ear. Research says that smokers have a 70% chance of experiencing hearing loss than nonsmokers. And if a nonsmoker lives with a smoker, they are twice as likely to have hearing loss due to the effects of second-hand smoking.
Smoking can cause blockage in the eustachian tube to cause pressure buildup and hearing loss. Nicotine in cigarettes can affect your neurotransmitter’s ability to transport sound information from the inner ear to your brain.
Excessive Use of Headphones
Wearing headphones can harm your hearing since they expose your ear to loud, harsh noises. The hair cells in your inner ears can be damaged when regularly exposed to loud noises. These cells convert sound waves into electrical impulses for the brain to interpret as sound. So, to protect your hearing, be sure to keep the sound at a reasonable volume. The maximum volume while wearing headphones can equal 102 decibels, so anything lower would suffice.
Keeping Your Ears Wet
The eardrum located in the middle of the ear is an air-filled chamber. This means excess moisture can cause an imbalance in the eardrum and allow bacteria to flow through and infect the ear canal. Wet ears can lead to swimmer’s ear or other ear infections, which are unhealthy and unsafe for your hearing.
It is always good to gently dry your ears with a towel or tissue after swimming or showering. You can also gently tug on your earlobe by gently tilting your head to one side to let the water out.
Avoiding these habits can help ensure good hearing health throughout your lifetime. However, if you are experiencing any trouble with your hearing, you can call the Center for Better Hearing today at 510-768-7091 to learn more about your hearing loss.