It’s a new year and here we all are ready to face new challenges and have planned for things to happen moving forward, have not you?
Most of us would always put “be fit” or “lead a healthier lifestyle” as part a moving forward checklist. Some are able to execute it at will and others find themselves putting it off year after year.
Whatever your reason is, it is always a great idea to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. However, you should know that your exercise can make you lose, if not endanger, your hearing. How?How exercising can damage hearing?
You are probably wondering how our hearing could be affected by the exercising activities we are attending to. Well, it is very simple.
In weightlifting, for instance, there are two common practices that are done — straining and breath holding. The former causes pressure in the brain which can lead pressure within the ears. The latter, while it may give that extra boost needed in lifting, actually adds more pressure to the ear.
This pressure in the inner ear can affect our hearing and it is a result of PLF or perilymphatic fistula. PLF is an opening between the middle and inner ear. The middle ear is air-filled while the inner ear is fluid-filled. Usually, there is a tear or defect in the oval or round window membranes. This tear can be caused by the straining. This tear can cause fluid from the inner ear to leak through the middle ear.
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts in exercising that should be observed to protect hearing.
1. When lifting weights - do keep it at a manageable level. Reduce the weight if it is too heavy. This way, you reduce the strain on your body, especially your ear when holding your breath. Don’t try to compete with others and never push yourself to the point of breaking your eardrum. You best know your body’s limit. Is the hot and sexy body really worth risking your hearing health for?
2. When music is too loud - don’t be shy in asking people to turn it down. The gym can be a very noisy place. With everyone struggling to go by their own exercise regimes and sweating all the fat away, music just makes the experience better and keep everything up to the beat. People would want to have some music playing in the background for this reason - let alone having it set in undesirable volumes for others to enjoy.
If you think the gym’s music is getting a bit loud, don’t be afraid to ask them to lower the volume down a little. Don’t forget that loud music would be adding to the noise produced by many gym equipment like treadmills, bikes, and trainers. Add all these noises up and your hearing could be in trouble.
3. When noise can’t be avoided - do protect your hearing. The easiest way to protect yourself from loud sounds in the gym, or in loud areas where you exercise, is by wearing earplugs. If it helps set the mood, make use of a bluetooth headset with noise cancelling feature and a cardio-themed playlist set to shuffle in a subtle volume.
4. When you’re not used to - don’t participate in activities that can damage your head. Our head is one of the most fragile and important part of our body. It contains our brain. Having said that, learn to say no to physical activities, especially those that you are not used to doing, that have direct contact to it like boxing and wrestling.
5. When wearing headphones / headsets - don’t turn it up beyond manageable volumes. Jogging while wearing a headset seems to be a harmless idea, right? Not when you turn up the volume beyond what your ears can handle. While music is a must-have while exercising, it should be set in a volume that is just right.
When things go wrong, don’t be afraid to immediately approach your hearing specialist. If you want to understand the condition of your hearing, visit Listening Lab Singapore for hearing assessment. Drop us a call at +65 6817 5100 for enquiries.