We are now one month into 2022, which means many resolutions have been pushed to the sideline. Even if you were not able to start writing your great American novel or make it to the gym every day, you have plenty of time to make some life changes. A great way to start is giving up habits that can be harming your hearing.
Below is a look at some bad habits linked to hearing loss.
Drinking Alcohol Excessively
Drinking excess amounts of alcohol may impact your brain’s ability to interpret low-frequency sounds. Researchers have found that heavy drinking can damage the central auditory cortex, which can increase the time it takes for your brain to process sound. This can make it especially difficult to distinguish one voice from another in an area with a lot of background noise.
Those who smoke cigarettes are putting both their hearing and that of their loved ones at risk.
The nicotine in cigarettes restricts blood flow, which the delicate hair cells within the inner ear rely on to function. When deprived of blood, the hair cells can die, causing permanent hearing loss.
Exposure to secondhand smoke can also lead to hearing loss. One study found that children who lived in a home with someone who smoked were twice as likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss than those who were not exposed to secondhand smoke.
Vaping is no better for your hearing health. The juices in e-cigarettes also contain nicotine, which has the same effect on your inner ears. In addition, there are numerous chemicals with unknown health implications used in flavored vapes.
Disregarding Your Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a gradual condition that develops slowly over time. While it may not be obvious at first, after a while you will notice you cannot hear all the sounds you once could.
Putting off seeking help in the early stages of hearing loss can have long-term health implications. Instead, schedule an appointment with an audiologist when you have trouble following the dinner party conversation or realize your household appliances no longer hum.
There are groups at New Start Recovery Solutions to help you stop smoking or drinking as well as hearing doctors who can help you finally seek help for your hearing loss. To learn more about hearing loss solutions or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact Valley Audiology today.