Do you ever find yourself searching for the remote to put up the volume a few bars? Or asking people to speak up or repeat themselves? Or maybe even struggling to hear what people are saying on the phone?
If so, you might be suffering from hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a common condition, especially as you get older. But did you know that you can take steps to avoid this?
So how can you prevent hearing loss? Read on as we take a look at the top four ultimate tips on how to prevent hearing loss and keep your hearing sharp and clear.
What causes hearing loss?
Before we dive into how to prevent hearing loss, let’s take a look at what actually causes you to lose your hearing.
There are a number of different causes of hearing loss, but we’ll go over some of the main ones that you are most likely to suffer from in your day-to-day life.
Inner ear damage
Your inner ear is a delicate place. It contains small, fragile, hair-like cells that are key to your ability to hear. If these cells are broken, damaged, or bent, then your hearing will become impaired.
A ruptured or perforated eardrum
The aptly named eardrum is key to your hearing. Similar to a real drum, it is a membrane that is struck by sound waves – which cause it to vibrate. These vibrations are then transferred over to the tiny bones in the middle section of your ear.
If your eardrum is perforated, ruptured, or otherwise not intact, the drum will cease to vibrate as effectively – leading to some degree of hearing loss.
A buildup of earwax
Contrary to popular belief, earwax is not a sign of poor hygiene. Your body creates earwax as a form of protection, as it traps and prevents any bacteria, dust, or other harmful substances from entering and damaging your ears.
However, your body can overproduce earwax or fail to effectively self-clear, which can cause a buildup of wax to block your ear canal and lead to hearing loss.
The four ultimate tips on how to prevent hearing loss
Now that we’ve had a look at what can cause hearing loss, let’s take a look at some ways to prevent hearing loss. We’ve put together a list of the four best hearing loss prevention tips, and it’s worth pointing out that these can also help you prevent hearing loss from getting worse:
1. A healthy diet
Your diet is a vital component of keeping your hearing – and your body in general – fit and healthy. For example, iron-deficiency anemia is linked to hearing loss. In fact, there are a number of vitamins and minerals such as B12, magnesium, and potassium that are instrumental in keeping your hearing healthy.
A healthy, balanced diet is important at every stage of life. It can help with hearing loss prevention for youths, all the way to answering the question of how to prevent hearing loss in old age.
2. Routine exercise
Another all-rounder when it comes to health, exercise improves your blood flow and keeps all of your vital organs in tip-top shape. However, it’s important to note that exercises such as weight lifting can be linked to hearing damage if done incorrectly – so make sure you’re maintaining good form when working out.
It’s also important to note that listening to loud music when you’re exercising can also damage your hearing. So when considering how to prevent hearing loss caused by headphones, make sure that you’re keeping the volume at a suitable level.
3. Reduce your stress levels
The modern world can be a stressful place, but did you know that high stress levels can cause hearing loss?
When you are feeling stressed, your body responds by producing adrenaline. Overproduction of adrenaline causes a reduced level of blood flow to your ears, which can affect your hearing. Stress is also linked to high blood pressure and cardiac health issues - which can cause damage to the fragile cells in your ear that help you process sound.
4. Stay away from damaging noise
Last, but very much not least, it’s vital that you protect your ears from damaging noise. If you are consistently putting your ears under strain from loud noises, or are exposed to sharp, sudden, loud sounds, then you can experience what’s known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
You could practice every hearing loss prevention tip on the planet, but if you don’t effectively protect your ears in loud environments then you will almost certainly suffer from NIHL.
To prevent hearing loss, both earplugs and earmuffs are effective solutions. Any sound at 85 dB or higher can cause damage to your hearing, so reducing the decibel level your ears are exposed to when in loud environments is key.
Loop earplugs can reduce noise by up to 27 dB, making this form of protection one of the best ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Why look after your hearing?
Ear care is extremely important. The ability to hear is precious, and something that you may not fully appreciate until you begin to lose it.
Unfortunately, some forms of hearing loss – especially those associated with age – are inevitable. But with these ultimate tips, you can take steps to prevent later-life hearing loss and do your best to keep your hearing crystal clear for as long as you can.
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