Everyday ways to prevent hearing loss
Hearing is one of the five critical senses and to have good hearing is imperative for experiencing the world around you fully. But as you get older, your hearing can often fail you. This is a natural thing and just a part of the ageing process in the same way that it is also natural to move at a slower pace as you get older and for your hair to become grey. Even though it is natural to lose some of your hearing over time, this doesn't mean that it is impossible to do anything about it. In fact, no matter how old you are, the time to stop your hearing from deteriorating is right now. Here are a few everyday practices that you can put in place to ensure that you can enjoy your ears for many years to come.
Invest in noise cancelling headphones.
When you turn the volume right up on your headphones, this is not great for your delicate ear drums. But when you turn the volume up so loud, you might be doing so to cancel out all of the other periphery noises in the background. Say, for example, that you are listening to some music on your headphones in the living room, but you feel that you have to turn the volume right up in order to compete with the sound of the television blasting in the same room and with noisy roadworks happening outside.
Noise cancelling headphones can help because they actually block out all of that ambient noise so that you can listen to music, television shows or podcasts at a lower volume. As a result, you will protect your ears so that your hearing is better for longer.
Be alert to changes in hearing because of medications.
People take medicines to make themselves feel better. But, in fact, there are many medicines out there that actually encourage hearing loss. If you take aspirin in large quantities (more than 8 tablets per day), ibuprofen, antibiotics used to treat kidney diseases, and loop diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, these can all cause hearing problems. And the problems can intensify if you take more than one of these medications at once.
Of course, sometimes you will just need to take medicines like these in order to promote your greater health, but be very sensitive to any changes in your hearing when taking medications. If you experience any notable changes, make sure that you consult your audiologist about it right away.
Quit your smoking habit.
Most people are aware that smoking tobacco is a bad idea. It is linked to fatal conditions such as heart disease and lung cancer, but beyond this, it can actually negatively impact your hearing as well. In fact, smokers are 70% more likely to experience hearing loss than non smokers. Every time that you inhale tobacco smoke, you are inhaling a cocktail of dangerous toxins. Among these toxins, there is a subset that are labelled as "ototoxic" – and this essentially means that they are toxic to your ears and can cause hearing damage. When you consider that nicotine, the most prevalent substance in cigarettes, is ototoxic, it becomes clear why smoking cigarettes is so damaging to the ears.
And as well as taking all of these precautions, it is also a very good idea to book regular appointments with an audiologist. They specialise in the field of ears and hearing and will be able to monitor your hearing loss and ensure that you are on the right track in order to maintain good quality hearing throughout your life.