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  • Writer's pictureWidex Emirates Hearing Care

8 Ways That Help Prevent Hearing Loss

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

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Are you clicking the “volume up” button on the TV remote a lot recently? Are you asking the people around you to speak up? If so, you are experiencing some hearing loss which is one of the most common health issues lately.

We measure sounds in decibels, and those that exceed 85 decibels can hurt your ears permanently. The average person has around 16,000 hair cells in their inner ear. If a hearing test signifies hearing loss, chances are that you have damaged 30% to 50% of these cells. This damage is often due to noise and is typically permanent.

The best way to prevent hearing loss is to move away from loud noises as much as possible. Identify what is considered “loud” and limit your exposure. The World Health Organization recently announced a new awareness theme around hearing loss: “To hear for life, listen with care.”

The good news? You can do some prevention methods to avoid hearing loss and keep it from getting worse. Let’s identify eight tips that help keep your ears as sharp and alert as possible.

Avoid loud and noisy environments when possible

How loud is too loud? If you need to shout…the sound is too loud.

You can regularly tell if the noise around you is too loud. If you or others need to shout in order to be heard or cannot understand each other, the sound is too loud and may damage your hearing over time. Such places include rock concerts or any type of loud performance, construction sites, airports or train and bus stations, auto racing, hunting or shooting.

Use Hearing Protection

If you know you'll be around loud sounds for more than a few minutes, you should consider wearing protection. Hearing protection devices reduce the level of sound entering your ear such as protective earphones, earplugs (make sound quieter but undistorted) or earmuffs (fit tightly over both ears to block sound). Always keep one of these options with you, especially when you know you’re heading to a loud and noisy place.

Monitor the volume of your devices

While you are watching TV or using any mobile device, always keep the volume at a considerate level. It should be loud enough that you do not need to struggle to hear, but not so loud that when you leave the room, you can still hear it from another part of your home.

Get regular hearing exams

Annual hearing tests are essential. Being proactive prevents hearing loss. When you don’t hesitate to have your eyes or teeth checked, it is time to add hearing exams to your check-up lists. Each year, your audiologist can compare the result of that year’s exam to your previous tests. Regular and routine examinations allow your audiologist to detect problems early.

Take care of your overall health

A healthy diet is accompanied with a lower risk of hearing loss. Getting enough sleep, reducing stress and staying physically active through exercising is good for your ears and the rest of your body. Healthy nutritional food is good for your ears, just as it’s good for the eyes, brain, stomach and other parts of the body.

Keep diabetes, blood pressure and cardiac health under control

Diabetic people are twice as likely to have hearing loss. Diabetes can damage the cells and nerves in your inner ears. Look after your blood sugar. Keep it under control and follow your doctor's orders.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) can also affect blood vessels in the ear, causing temporary hearing. Research has connected increased rates of hearing loss in individuals to hypertension.

Hearing loss is also associated with heart diseases. Simply put, it’s all about blood flow. Heart problems can restrict blood flow causing irreversible damage to the ear.

Check medications for hearing risks

Hearing loss has been linked to hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. If you take a prescription medication, always check with your doctor to ensure it won’t make an impact. Ask your doctor if there are any alternative medications to reduce the risk of drug-related hearing loss.

Remove earwax properly and get treated for ear infections

If you have an ear infection, it won’t go away by itself. The longer you keep it, the more you put yourself at risk of damaging your hearing.

Earwax buildup or blockage may also cause hearing loss and irritation in the ear. This build-up of wax could occur due to using hearing aids, inserting cotton buds or other objects into the ear canal or having excessive hair in the ear canal.

There’s no one rule when it comes to preventing your hearing loss. It is about small steps and changes you have to make and stick to throughout your everyday life. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking action can go a long way to protecting your hearing health.

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