Not all cases of hearing loss are preventable, but there are ways to lower your risk. Some methods entail protecting your ears from loud noise, while others involve keeping your body healthy in order to promote good blood flow to the ears. Below are our top tips for preventing hearing loss.
1. Wear Earplugs
Within the ears are tiny hair cells called stereocilia, which convert soundwaves into electrical energy that is interpreted by the brain as sound. When loud sounds pass through the ears, it can permanently damage or destroy these cells, causing sensorineural hearing loss.
The best way to prevent this type of hearing loss is to wear earplugs when working in a noisy occupation, attending concerts, operating power tools or participating in any other loud activities.
2. Turn Down the Volume
In the same vein, you should practice safe listening habits when enjoying music, especially through headphones or earbuds. In general, headphones are safer than earbuds because there is a space buffer between the speaker and your eardrum. High-fidelity noise-cancelling headphones are the safest option because you don’t have to turn up the volume as loud to hear over background noise.
We recommend following the 60:60 rule when listening through headphones or earbuds: listen at no more than 60% of the device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
3. Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
The same cells that help you hear are extremely sensitive to blood flow, which is why it’s important to take good care of your cardiovascular health. Exercise regularly or take walks around Arbolado Park to prevent heart disease and other conditions linked to hearing loss.
4. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
One study found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss as those who don’t. This is because, like heart disease, diabetes can damage the cells in your inner ears. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations to keep your blood sugar under control.
5. Quit Smoking & Vaping
Cigarette smoke – whether direct or secondhand – can impact many aspects of your health, including your hearing. Vaping has also been linked to cases of sudden hearing loss.
For more information about protecting your hearing health or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Valley Audiology today.