As one of the five senses, hearing shapes how we interpret and interact with the world. And yet, people don’t take the same kind of precautions to protect their hearing as they do to protect their other senses.
Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of personal and environmental factors beyond our control, such as illness, age, or genetics. However, there are also many avoidable, lifestyle-related causes of hearing loss.
Here are the five most common sources of preventable hearing loss, and what you can do to avoid them:
- Loud noise
You may be surprised to find out just how little noise it take to cause hearing damage. Many people are regularly exposed to loud noises in their workplace or during recreational activities such as concerts or sports games, or even just mowing the lawn. Many of these people eventually end up with hearing loss. Wearing protection during any activity that is likely to exceed 85 decibels is the safest practice. Custom hearing protection (available at Chicago Hearing Services) can help you protect your hearing while still getting to fully experience these activities.
- Untreated ear infections
Ear infections often cause temporary hearing loss due to a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. However, if an ear infection is left untreated, the hearing apparatus of the ear could be damaged and that could result in permanent hearing loss. Whenever you have the suspicion that you may have an ear infection, play it safe and see a doctor to make sure it gets resolved quickly and painlessly.
Another mostly preventable cause of hearing loss is injury to the ear of head. If you’ll be in a situation that poses the risk of head trauma, such as a particular work environment, contact sport, or other potentially dangerous activity, always wear the recommended headwear to avoid possible head and ear trauma.
- Objects in the ear
Most adults (hopefully) don’t have to worry too much about this one, though they should make sure that their children don’t have the opportunity to stick objects in their ears when unattended. Additionally, when using Q-tips to clean your ears, only use them on the outer ear—they are not meant to go inside your ear canal, and if they do they could push wax further into your ear, or even cause your eardrum to rupture if accidentally pushed in too far.
- Diabetes and dietary
Hearing loss can also be caused or get progressively worse from diabetes, high cholesterol, and other diet-related lifestyle choices. Staying healthy and fit, and eating plenty of antioxidants can also help prevent hearing loss.
Follow these steps to avoid the most common sources of preventable hearing loss. If you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss as a result of one of these (or other) reasons, it’s best not to delay and to schedule a consultation with a Doctor of Audiology to measure your level of hearing loss and how to treat it.
Get in touch with us to schedule your consultation!