Hearing loss occurs for a variety of reasons and can vary in severity. Some people are born with hearing loss, while others may experience it later in life. You can experience hearing loss from aging, improper use of headphones, or exposure to loud noises for play or work.
There are two main types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive. The first type, sensory nerves, occurs when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. Damage is usually irreversible. On the other hand, conductive hearing loss is usually reversible.
Signs of hearing loss include:
- Don’t know the person on the phone
- Difficulty keeping up with conversations
- Listen to TV or radio at very high volume
- often requires people to repeat themselves
- Hearing difficulties due to background noise
- Difficulty hearing certain types of sounds, such as high notes
This article will describe some of the ways some types of hearing loss can be prevented.
age and hearing loss
Many people develop hearing loss as they age.This type of hearing loss, also known as Presbyopia, usually occurs in both ears at the same time, and can run in homes. It also usually happens gradually.
Don’t assume age is the cause of hearing loss, though. Underlying conditions that are more common in older adults can also cause hearing loss. For example, a stroke (reduced blood flow or bleeding in the brain) can cause hearing loss. Some medications can also cause hearing loss.
Be sure to consult your doctor if you notice changes in your hearing.
talk to the doctor
Since there are many possible causes of hearing loss, including underlying medical conditions, seeing a doctor is essential when you experience hearing loss.
They can examine underlying conditions and recommend appropriate treatment options for your type of hearing loss, such as hearing aids or surgery.
If you have sudden hearing loss, it is considered an emergency and requires immediate treatment.
noise and hearing loss
Noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss. Modern life involves lots of loud noises that can affect your hearing. Unlike age-related hearing loss, there are ways to prevent noise-related hearing loss.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Test your hearing
Regular testing with an audiologist (health professional who specializes in hearing and balance disorders) can help catch problems before they become irreversible.
avoid loud noises
Staying away from loud noises is the best way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss. If your work requires a loud noise environment, take breaks as often as possible in the noise environment. Wear hearing protection such as earplugs or noise-cancelling earmuffs.
Also, if you are concerned about noise levels in the workplace, consider talking to your supervisor.
Concertgoers who don’t want to sacrifice their favorite leisure activities can try positioning themselves away from the speakers. At home, keeping the volume on your device low and turning on closed captioning can help keep noise to a safe level.
wear hearing protection
Not everyone can avoid being exposed to loud noises. However, wearing proper ear protection can help prevent damage that can lead to hearing loss.
Whether you’re a touring musician or someone who works around loud equipment, wearing earplugs or earmuffs can help dampen sound and protect your ears. Be sure to wear hearing protection if you are hunting or shooting sports, or if you are near other people.
Be careful when wearing headphones
Ideally, you shouldn’t be playing music in your headphones. You might also consider taking breaks every hour or so.
This applies to all types of loud noises, as loud sounds cause increasing damage over time:
- Above 100 decibels: 15 minutes or less.
- Over 110 dB: One minute or less.
do not smoke
There is evidence that nicotine, a chemical in cigarettes and other tobacco products, can cause hearing loss. You don’t have to smoke yourself to experience tobacco-induced hearing loss. Secondhand smoke may also be to blame.
Check for side effects of drugs
Some medications can also cause hearing loss and may even cause tinnitus or tinnitus. These are called ototoxic drugs and include:
- certain antibiotics
- some chemotherapy drugs
- Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as aspirin
- some anti-inflammatory drugs
Tinnitus is usually the first sign of ototoxicity.
Hearing loss can occur at any age for many reasons. While age-related hearing loss is often not preventable, you can take steps to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
You can avoid noise-related hearing loss by regularly testing your hearing, avoiding loud sounds that can damage your ears, wearing ear protectors in loud noise environments, practicing safe earphone listening, quitting smoking, and stopping hearing loss-causing medications.
You can prevent noise-induced hearing loss, but it’s not always possible to avoid loud noises. They can happen suddenly, even if you are very careful.
If you suspect that you have some degree of hearing loss, don’t assume it’s caused by noise. Make sure to get a hearing test and see a hearing specialist. They can rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing your hearing loss and recommend solutions to help restore your hearing or manage your current level of hearing loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are headphones bad for you?
unnecessary. It is important to keep the volume at a safe level. Experts recommend keeping the volume at around 60 percent maximum and limiting listening time to an hour.
Can hearing loss be corrected?
Conductive hearing loss is sometimes reversible. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually not.
Which foods can improve hearing?
No food can magically improve hearing or reverse hearing loss. A 2018 study in women found that a healthy diet was associated with a lower risk of hearing loss.
Remember that correlation does not imply causation. However, it makes sense that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of hearing loss, especially due to underlying medical conditions.