Though some cases of hearing loss are inevitable, like those caused by old age, a lot of the time, the condition can be prevented. You may just need to change some of your habits in order to prevent yourself from getting hearing loss. We review five habits that harm your hearing below.
Smoking cigarettes is linked to a number of health concerns, including cancer, heart disease and stroke. But did you know that it’s also linked to hearing loss? A 2019 study published in Nicotine & Tobacco found that smokers are 60% more likely to develop high-frequency hearing loss than nonsmokers. A 2014 study published in Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery uncovered that teens who are exposed to cigarette smoke are two to three times more likely to develop hearing loss compared to those with no exposure.
If you’d like to quit smoking, consider trying nicotine patches from Santa Fe Pharmacy until you can kick the habit.
2. Taking Ototoxic Medications
There are more than 100 drugs that are known to be ototoxic, meaning they cause damage to your hearing system. Though a lot of the time the auditory problems cease once you stop the medication, in some cases, the damage is permanent. Some ototoxic drugs include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Loop diuretics
- Salicylate pain medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs
3. Clogging Up Your Ears
The rule of thumb is you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear, even to clean it. Q-tips and cotton swabs are particularly dangerous because you’re more likely to push earwax deeper into the ear canal than remove it.
4. Listening Too Loudly
When listening to music through headphones, it’s important to practice the 60:60 rule: listen at no more than 60% of the device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time. This goes even if you’re listening through just one earbud, as you’re more likely to crank up the sound to compensate.
5. Delaying a Visit to an Audiologist
People wait an average of seven to ten years to get help for their hearing loss. If you’re having hearing problems and putting off a visit to an audiologist, you should reconsider. Left untreated, hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, falls and even cognitive decline such as dementia.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.