Hearing is an invaluable sense given to man and with aging; we are bound to suffer from different degree of hearing impairment. However, certain habits predispose us to hearing loss. In this article, we are going to review 8 Unhealthy Habits That Can Hurt Your Hearing.
1. Listening to loud music
Listening to loud music is fun and most people occasionally indulge in this bad habit. Studies have shown that about 20% of hearing loss in adolescence and young adult is as a result of prolonged listening to loud music. This is worsened in individuals who frequently use headphones. I once had a friend who worked with a certain construction company. Instead of using the ear muffs provided by the company he preferred to listen to music with his mobile device whenever he is at work. To him, as long as he could listen to his music while avoiding the harsh noise at work, he was protecting his ears. Loud music actually does same harm as noise from construction sites. It is recommended that you reduce the volume of your headset and limit the number of hours used in listening to loud music.
2. Using sharps, blunt objects, cotton swab to clean the ears
The ear is a delicate organ with structures responsible for hearing. Fortunately, specialized cells that lines the skin inside the ear secretes a cleansing substance commonly referred to as ear wax. This wax is responsible for keeping the ear lubricated and clean, traps dust and foreign bodies to protect the ear against microorganisms and this soothes the ear. Using sharp objects, biro caps or even cotton swab may cause abrasion in the delicate skin lining the ear making it possible for microbes to invade the ear. Also, the eardrum may be perforated if the object is pushed deep inside the ear. Always consult the services of your ENT surgeon or physician for the cleaning of your ear canal.
3. Smoking of cigarettes
It is now a known fact that cigarette smokers have a higher chance of developing ear infection and hearing loss than people who do not smoke. The tar and other toxins in cigarettes cause the destruction of the protective mechanism in the airway. Since the ear is connected with the upper respiratory tract via the Eustachian tube, it is possible for an infection to ascend into the ear canal. This causes severe infection of the middle and inner ear and can lead to hearing loss if not properly treated.
4. Excessive alcohol consumption
Alcohol has been directly or indirectly linked to different conditions. Excessive intake of alcohol is toxic to the structures in the ear responsible for hearing. It destroys the nerve cells which are responsible for the transmission of the sound impulses picked up by the ear to the brain for interpretation. Reduction in alcohol consumption greatly reduces the risk of developing hearing loss.
5. Avoid taking un-prescribed medications and OTCs
Your doctor/ pharmacist clearly know the best drug to prescribe for a certain disease. This is after careful consideration of the benefits and side effects of such drugs. Some drugs unknown to the public are ototoxic and can damage the ears. It is advisable to adhere to your doctors/ pharmacist prescription and avoid taking over the counter medications.
6. Exposure to loud noise
In our everyday life, we are constantly exposed to loud noises arising from generators, cars, trains and as part of domestic or occupational hazard for individuals working with construction companies. This exposure greatly affects our ears and can lead to irreversible ear damage and hearing loss. As part of the workforce labour, a construction company worker must be provided with hearing protective kits alongside other kits and should be mandated to use such kits. Neglecting these protective measures can leave your ears damaged for life.
7. Poor sugar and blood pressure control
Individuals diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension should endeavor to adhere to their medications, dietary and lifestyle modification. Diabetes and Hypertension affect hearing because they destroy the nerves that transmit sound from the ears to the brain. Consult your physician if you have symptoms suggestive of diabetes or hypertension for early diagnosis and treatment which avoids irreversible hearing loss.
Nothing beats imagination as people who neglect themselves. Take care of your body and it is going to perform at full capacity. Visit your physician early whenever you develop ear pain, ear discharge, subtle hearing loss, abnormal hearing sensation and sounds in the ear. These are symptoms of impending danger and early diagnosis and treatment can prevent total hearing loss.