Surprising Risks of Hearing Loss
There are three major causes of hearing loss—exposure to loud noise, traumatic brain injury and aging. But did you know there are a number of risks to your hearing that are less obvious?
Below are six unexpected risks factors for hearing loss.
In addition to putting you at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, heavy drinking can damage your auditory cortex. This damage can increase the time it takes for your brain to process sounds.
In addition, excess drinking can cause young adults to have problems processing low frequency sounds.
While the connection is not clear, sleep apnea has been linked to hearing loss. Experts believe that the connection has to do with sleep apnea reducing blood supply to the inner ear, which requires good circulation to function properly.
Research suggests a relationship between iron-deficient anemia and hearing loss. In fact, a study found that those with iron-deficient anemia were twice as likely to develop hearing loss than those without. This connection may be related to iron’s role in providing healthy blood to the hair cells within the inner ear.
Due to the resurgence of this disease, this connection is especially troubling for parents of immune compromised children or those too young to receive the vaccine.
Mumps causes painful swelling of the salivary glands, and in rare cases it can affect the membrane surrounding the brain. Mumps can also damage the cochlea, which is a crucial component to hearing.
Experiencing high stress on a daily basis puts you at risk of developing a number of health problems, including hearing loss. During a period of stress, your body diverts oxygen to your muscles so you can react quickly in a fight or flight scenario. Unfortunately, your inner ear relies on proper oxygen and blood circulation to function properly.
While once advertised as a safe cigarette alternative, new research on vaping shows a different story. These e-cigarettes contain large amounts of nicotine, flavoring, coloring and other additives, including an alcohol-based solvent called propylene glycol that can be harmful to your ears.
And as with smoking traditional cigarettes, the nicotine in a vape pen can restrict blood flow, damaging the inner ear.
Understanding what can cause damage to your ears and hearing can help you protect yourself. To learn more about proper hearing protection, contact the experts at Valley Audiology today.