The 7 Daily Habits that cause Hearing Loss

Hearing – one of the 5 senses of the human body and perhaps one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. However, it isn’t until hearing fades that a person realizes how much value the sense of hearing provided in their lives.

Here are seven everyday habits that contribute toward hearing loss over time.

1. Overlooking ear, nose, throat and even dental infections:

The ear is a complex and delicate organ which not only helps with the perception of sound through vibrations, but also helps with the sense of balance through the perception of pressure. Poor hygiene, environmental factors and even certain sports and hobbies can make a person prone to ear, nose, throat and dental infections. A prolonged infection, even if it seems small can damage the ear and have a negative impact on hearing over time. Chronic sinusitis, swimmers’ ear and repeated bouts of toothache or even common cold & cough can lead to hearing loss.

2. Ignoring signs of hearing loss:

Our bodies are designed to indicate where the problems might be. Some symptoms such as general body ache or headaches may not point to a single organ, however other symptoms such as constant ringing in the ears, loud pops and blocked feeling are clear signs of hearing loss. Other symptoms can be losing balance or a general feeling of lightheadedness because the ear is also associated with maintaining balance. See your ENT OR AUDIOLOGIST at the first sign of these symptoms.

3. A sedentary lifestyle:

We are spending an average of 9.3 hours every day tied to our desks. That number is higher for those who travel long distances to work or live in large cities. A sedentary life and an inactive lifestyle is related to various health ailments such as diabetes and hypertension. These lifestyle diseases cause nerve damage leading to Sensorineural Hearing Loss over time, especially when symptoms go untreated.

4. Indulging in unhealthy foods:

Consumption of junk food goes hand in hand with a stressful and busy life. While junk food can sate the tongue, it is usually unable to provide the necessary nutrients required to maintain a healthy body. Fast food such as burgers, fries, chocolates & shakes etc contain plenty of carbohydrates, sugars and fats. Overindulging in fatty and sugary foods is linked to expanding waistlines, an underlying factor toward lifestyle diseases. Moreover, these quick eats also lack complex carbohydrates, vitamins, good fats and minerals such as potassium, magnesium etc which are vital for optimal nerve function and bone maintenance.

5. Listening to loud music for extended periods of time:

Listening to music is a harmless indulgence, a soothing hobby and an energizing pastime for most of us. But listening to loud music over long periods of time especially while wearing in-ear headphones can harm the ear. Some listening devices even give a warning anytime you go over the 60% of the volume setting since it is linked to hearing loss.

6. Cleaning ears with cotton buds, cleaning instruments and fingers:

This is perhaps the most common and innocent looking things that almost all of us do. However cotton buds and cleaning instruments when not handled by Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists may lead to impacted wax build up and cause hearing loss or even loss of balance. Germs can also be transferred by unclean fingers that may lead to infections.

7. Excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption:

Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking is linked to hypertension and cardiac complications. These diseases reduces the blood circulation in several parts of the body due to thickening of arteries.

We hope this article illustrates how everyday habits can also lead to hearing loss. However, being aware of these habits and making a few, small alterations can improve your overall health and in turn have a positive effect on your auditory health as well.

These quick tips will help you take back control of your health –

• Go for regular checkups to your family physician to keep your blood pressure, blood sugars and heart in check.
• Get your ears checked by your Hearing specialist at least once a year or whenever you notice signs of hearing loss.
• Twenty minutes of regular exercise in the form of yoga or jogging or brisk walking combined with a healthy diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables & healthy fats from dairy, fish & nuts will greatly improve overall health.
• Reduce consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking.
• Listen to music at lower volumes and use ear plugs when attending concerts to reduce chances of damaging the auditory canal.