Hearing loss has a number of causes, including aging and exposure to loud noises. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent the march of time, a few causes are preventable.
Below are three surprising causes of hearing loss.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and even diabetes can affect the cells in your body, including the ones in your ears. The tiny hair cells within your inner ear are responsible for passing along information about sound through your auditory nerve to your brain. But they require proper blood flow in order to function.
A recent study determined that those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss than those without the disease.
Because of these risks, it is important to make sure your blood conditions are well controlled.
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB); anything over 85 dB can cause hearing loss.
Appliances you have come to rely on in your daily life may produce sounds that are too loud. Your hair dryer is one of those items. According to Kit Frank, a clinical audiologist, “The more you use [blow-dryers] and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to have damage.” She goes on to explain, “It might not do immediate damage, but over time it will.” Hearing loss experts recommend letting your hair air dry when you can.
Your kitchen is home to a number of loud appliances, such as your blender, food processor and coffee grinder. Higher end devices are usually more powerful, meaning they will do the job in half the time. If you find yourself spending a good deal of time in the kitchen, consider wearing hearing protecting while you cook.
There are a number of medications that list hearing loss as a potential side effect. Known as ototoxic drugs, they cause damage to the ear and lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and even balance disorders.
More than 200 drugs are included in the list, including both prescription and over the counter. If you think you are taking a medication that may be harming your hearing, talk to your doctor. They can recommend a safer alternative.
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact House Providence Health Care Centers today.