Five Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss
Our ability to perceive sounds is absolutely one of the most wonderful senses gifted to humankind.
As our hearing allows us to communicate and even help us maintain our body’s balance and equilibrium, it is just appropriate that we try to protect it from everything that may possibly cause its damage.
Ageing is one of the most common causes of hearing loss which hearing aids can help manage or cochlear implant for severe cases, but you’ll be surprised that there’s actually much more to it than just the body’s natural process of becoming older. Here in this post, we’ll uncover five unexpected causes of hearing loss and help you take extra defensive actions to keep your hearing healthy.
Medically coined as “cerumen,” earwax is actually a waxy oil that is naturally produced by the body. Its purpose is to protect the ear from dirt and other foreign particles that may enter the organ and harm the ear canal. Further reading: What the colour of your earwax is telling you
Contrary to popular belief, earwax is actually a necessary material to keep our ears healthy. So when does it become more of a threat than a protection? When the glands produce way more earwax than needed, the ear faces a risk of developing an unwanted buildup. If too much of these accumulate and become hard, it can form a plug that may block the ear. This is a common cause of temporary hearing loss.
How to avoid earwax buildup: Our bodies have their own way of drying up earwax and falling out of the ears. Avoid using cotton buds or other objects that may possibly push the wax deeper into the ear. For professional earwax removal, you can visit Listening Lab in Singapore.
Interestingly, human eardrums work like actual musical drums that vibrate when penetrated by sound waves. It senses and converts these vibrations into nerve impulses which conveys sounds to the brain.
As the eardrums play a significant role in the process of hearing, damaging it may cause deterioration in hearing.
How to avoid damaged eardrums:
- Avoid excessive exposure to extremely loud noises
- Maintain an appropriate volume when using earphones and headsets
- Wear hearing protection within workplaces that are exposed to loud noises
- Avoid insertion of foreign objects inside the ears
Add hearing loss to the list of many complications that may result from smoking. There are enough studies—both old and recent—to prove this point. One of these is a study published in the journal ‘Nicotine & Tobacco Research,’ which suggests that the more a person smokes, the greater the risk of developing hearing loss.
How does smoking affect a person’s hearing? Nicotine and carbon monoxide produced from smoking reduces oxygen in the blood, including those in the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining the health of the cochlea’s hair cells. When this happens, its function to translate sound vibrations into electrical impulses for the brain cannot be performed properly. Hence, the development of hearing loss.
Another one of the possible complications that could arise from diabetes is a hearing problem. As a matter of fact, research shows that diabetics are twice as likely to develop hearing loss than those without.
How is diabetes linked with hearing loss? The cause isn’t precisely known just yet. But it is highly suspected that the risk has to do with high blood sugar damaging the blood vessels. Again, as mentioned earlier, good blood circulation is necessary to maintain healthy hearing.
How to avoid hearing loss due to diabetes:
- Follow your diet and medication plan
- Monitor your blood sugar levels
- Manage your hypertension
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep an active lifestyle
Stress, believe it or not, has many advantages as proven by the fight-or-flight response. But when the body experiences stress on a regular basis, this is when it becomes unhealthy. By now, you may have already figured out that anything that causes a restriction in your circulation will negatively impact your hearing health. This is the same case for chronic stress.
How to avoid chronic stress:
- Exercise regularly
- Laugh often—it eases tension and sends “feel-good” chemicals to the brain
Hope you took note of the points discussed above! Visit us at Listening Lab for hearing assessment if you’re experiencing difficulty in hearing.
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