As the years roll on, many of us experience hearing loss in some capacity. And while this is partly down to aging, it can sometimes be a consequence of our own bad habits. When we later come to understand this, we then live with ‘if only’ regrets as we wish we had done more to protect our hearing at an earlier stage.
So, to prevent hearing loss in the future, it’s important to get on top of any bad habits early. We will list some of them below, and if you relate to them, now is the time to make a few changes in your life.
Bad Habit #1: Smoking
Okay, you already know that smoking is bad for your health, but did you know that it could damage your hearing too? This is partly because nicotine reduces the blood flow to the ears, which is potentially damaging to the delicate cells in our ears. And it’s partly because of the toxins in the smoke, which can affect the workings of the inner ear. If you’re a smoker, you might also be responsible for hearing loss in others. You can read more about smoking and hearing loss here. So, if you ever needed another incentive to quit the habit, let the future of your hearing be it.
Bad Habit #2: Turning up your music
Constant exposure to loud noises could damage your hearing. Thankfully, you can take preemptive steps when you know your hearing might be at risk, such as wearing ear muffs or taking the recommended precautions if you use loud equipment at work. However, many of us expose ourselves to loud noise on a daily basis, and that is because of the music we listen to through our headphones. The recommended range of sound exposure our ears can deal with is 60 to 85 decibels, but when we have the volume turned all the way up, experts suggest the sound exposure exceeds 94 decibels, which is dangerous for our hearing. Be mindful of the volume range on your music device then, and if other people tell you they can hear the music piping through your headphones, turn down the volume immediately.
Bad Habit #3: Sticking your fingers in your ears
And not only your fingers, but any foreign object that you might use to clean the wax from your ears. Many of us do it, but as we do so, we run the risk of puncturing the eardrum if we dig too deep. We might also push the wax further into our ears, and this can result in temporary hearing loss. So, don’t put anything in your ear, be it your finger, a cotton bud, or any other object that could potentially cause you harm. In most cases, you should leave well alone anyway because, as discussed in the following article, your ears are self-cleaning. However, if you do have an excessive build-up of wax, speak to a hearing professional for professional advice.
Now you know of some of the bad habits to avoid, you can take steps to avoid them. However, if you suspect you are suffering from hearing loss, make an appointment with your doctor or hearing professional. If problems are caught early, there might be a way to save your hearing before it gets any worse. You might also benefit from a hearing aid, and while this might bother you, it’s important to know that new technologies make them less of a stigma. Read the following article to learn more about hearing aids.
So, be mindful today, look after your ears, and research those other bad habits that could potentially damage your hearing.
*image credits: Turning up the music too loud is a big no-no! (Pixabay CC0)