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  • Writer's pictureWidex Emirates Hearing Care

Prevention of Hearing Loss

Prevention of Hearing Loss

Without having a device to measure sound, you can typically know if the noises you are hearing are too loud or not.

Adjusting to a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to protecting your hearing health. When you suffer from hearing loss, it becomes difficult to lead a normal life. The good news? There are many healthy habits that can help preserve your hearing, especially as you are getting older.

What is hearing loss?

If you feel you have to shout to be heard or you cannot understand what the person near you is saying, then the sound is too loud and might damage your hearing over time. Your inner ear includes hair-like cells that are very sensitive to the blood flow change. They are very important to how you hear. When they stop functioning properly, hearing loss occurs.

Everything above 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss. It diminishes the ability to hear sounds around you and to understand speech. When sound levels intensify, the daily listening time becomes a very indicative factor for hearing loss. There are two common and basic reasons for why people start losing their hearing:

  • Age – the tiny hair cells slowly start to break down and stop picking up sound vibrations in the same way they did before

  • Noise – loud sounds over time harm the hair cells in the ears. People who work in loud and noisy environments such as factories, road crews, and construction sites lose hearing over time because they are being exposed to regular, constant noises.

There are specific signs that can be an indication to hearing loss:

  • You feel you need to raise your voice in order to be heard

  • You cannot hear the person talking to you if they are three feet away

  • All sounds around you seem dull or muffled after you leave a noisy atmosphere

  • You experience ringing in the ears, tinnitus

To know if you have hearing loss, there are many hearing exams that can show what type and degree you have.

Common sources of harmful noise

There are many sources that cause hearing loss or have drastic, negative effects on hearing. It has been discovered that a variety of daily and routine activities can cause exposure to sound levels higher than 85 dBA. Some examples are:

  • Blasts such as fireworks or gunfire

  • Less explosive sounds such as rock concerts, airplane engines and many others

  • Listening to loud music through earbuds

  • Attending rock music concerts

  • Playing musical instruments

Healthy tips to help prevent hearing loss

There are many practices that can help prevent hearing loss from loud noises. If your test shows that you have hearing loss, you can take action to stop it from being worse. In case you need hearing aids, your audiologist can discuss with you the hearing aid prices and all the options you have that best suits your budget and lifestyle.

Most types of hearing loss are permanent, so it is very essential to prevent it before it occurs.

When you pay attention to the noise levels you hear at work or in your everyday life, you can enjoy all the hobbies you love without being obliged to stop them. There are some reasonable steps that can help protect your ears:

  • Lower the volume

  1. Turn down the volume of the music or show you are hearing on the radio or the television.

  2. If you are hearing using your headphones and the people near you can hear with you, then it is probably too loud.

  • Have your hearing tested regularly

Many people think that hearing tests are for people who have problems only. This is a big misconception. Having your ears tested regularly:

  1. Diagnose any underlying medical condition

  2. Identify any potential problem

  3. Prevent further damage

  4. Give you the chance to start the appropriate treatment

  • Avoid loud noise- noisy activities or places

Stay away from loud sound-producing sources such as stadiums, motorcycles, loudspeakers or cannons, especially when you are accompanied by kids or children.

  • Remove earwax

Excessive wax in the ears can muffle sound. Removing them yourself can push them deeper in.

  1. Do not utilize a cotton swab to clean them.

  2. Use at-home irrigation kit in order to soften the wax and wash it out nicely. In case it gets compacted in the ear, the doctor needs to remove it.

  3. Do not put anything in your ears, even if you want to scratch or clean them. This includes bobby pins, keys, paperclips or cotton swabs.

  • Have knowledge of your family history

  1. Knowing your family history will not definitely prevent hearing loss. However, it will help you to understand the risks you might encounter.

  2. Catching hearing loss early can lessen the risk of the negative impacts of hearing loss such as depression, social isolation or cognitive decline.

  • Take breaks from loud noise

  1. If you are listening to loud music, take breaks to reduce the exposure.

  2. You can use or buy quieter products or appliances whenever they are available. For example, kids can play with toys and recreational vehicles with reduced volume. You can look for toys that can have volume-control features or on-off switch. You need to remember that children may hold toys closer to their ears than adults do.

  3. Take habitual breaks away from the noise if leaving the location is not possible. This will give your ears a break.

  • Use hearing protection

  1. When you cannot avoid loud noise, you can use earmuffs or earplugs.

  2. They are economical and easy to use.

  3. These hearing devices reduce the level of sound that enter the ear.

earplugs vs earmuffs
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i) Earplugs: They are usually made of rubber or foam. You can purchase them off-the-shell or get them custom-made to fit you. They go inside the ear canal.

ii) Earmuffs: They fit entirely over the ears- fir tightly over both ears to block the sound.

  1. For easy access, stash your earplugs in your car or at work. Keep them with you in your pocket or in any other easy place to access.

  2. If you are a music-lover or a musician, you can use special musicians’ earplugs to shield your ears.

  3. You can wear both the earmuffs and earplugs for even more protection.

  4. There are noise-cancelling headphones that can block out background noise. They allow you to hear in a lower volume, making you hear movies, music and phone conversations in a better way.

  • Be alert of the drugs that might cause hearing loss

  1. Ototoxic drugs are drugs that have side effects such as hearing problems, tinnitus, dizziness or balance problems. Around 200 drugs can all damage hearing. Examples include cancer-fighting drugs, antibiotics and aspirin.

  2. Your doctor can refer alternative drugs in order to reduce the risk of drug-related hearing loss.

  3. If you have to take a medication that will harm your ears, make sure that the doctor examines your hearing and balance before and throughout your treatment.

  • Control your cardiac health and your blood pressure

  1. Heart diseases and high blood pressure damage the weak mechanisms that help in hearing inside the ear.

  2. You need to follow the doctor’s treatment orders to keep it under control.

  • Quit smoking and limit drinking

  1. Studies have shown that cigarette smoke, whether in utero or secondhand, can have a huge impact on the hearing health.

  2. Heavy alcohol use can also create a very toxic environment in the ear.

  • Keep the diabetes level under control

  1. Research showed that diabetic people are twice more likely to have hearing loss. Diabetes can hurt the cells found in the inner ears.

  2. Keep your blood sugar under control and keep coordinating with your doctor to manage your diabetes.

  • Keep moving

Doing exercise keeps the blood flowing through your entire body, your ears included. Good circulation keeps the oxygen levels and all the internal parts inside the ears healthy.

  • Eat foods that are rich in specific vitamins and minerals

  1. Certain vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and B12 are extremely important to good and healthy hearing.

  2. Losing hearing can be linked to iron-deficiency anemia. Eating a diet rich in iron can be very helpful.

The healthier you are, the better you can prevent hearing loss or preserve the residual hearing you already have in case you already have hearing loss. You need to be proactive in your approach to your hearing health. Add the amounts of regular visits and checkups to the audiologist. Just like you take care of your teeth and eyes, you should take care of your ears.

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