How Your Exercising Activities could be Damaging Your Hearing
Are you keen on exercising? Did you know that it can affect your hearing health? Check this out to find out their connection.
Every year, we get ready to face new challenges and plan for things we want to achieve and do. Many of us would have "be fit" or "lead a healthier lifestyle" on our checklist. Some are able to execute it at will while 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 certain exercises can make you lose, if not endanger your hearing. Read on to learn how.
How can exercising damage hearing?
You are probably wondering how hearing could be affected by exercising activities that we do. Well, it is very simple.
In weightlifting, for instance, two common practices are done — straining and breath holding. The former causes pressure in the brain which can lead to pressure within the ears. The latter, while it may give that extra boost needed in lifting, actually adds more pressure to the ears.
This pressure in the inner ear can affect our hearing and result in PLF (or perilymphatic fistula). PLF refers to a tear in an opening between the middle and inner ear. The middle ear is air-filled while the inner ear is fluid-filled. This tear can be caused by straining and 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 - 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 ears, when holding your breath. Don’t try to compete with others and never push yourself to the point where you may break your eardrums. You know your body best and know what your limit is.
2. When music is too loud - it's okay to ask to turn it down.
The gym can be a noisy place. With everyone struggling to go by their exercise regimes and sweating the fat away, music just makes the experience better keeping everything up to the beat. People want to have music playing in the background for this reason - and sometimes may set it in undesirable volumes.
If you think the gym’s music is getting a bit loud, don’t be afraid to ask them to lower the volume 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.
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