It might be time to rethink cruising around in your car with the tunes turned up, leaving your ear buds in while working out at your noisy gym or turning right to your OTC pain relievers to alleviate your ailments. All three of these–the noise of operating a vehicle, loud music and some medications–are associated with hearing loss. Among the other top causes of non-medical hearing loss are:
- Noise at work: If you’re working in a noisy environment with loud machinery or vehicles present, you really should be wearing ear protection. Ear plugs, as well as protection which fits over your ear, are great ways to protect your ears from loud noises.
- Explosive noises: Firework and gun shooting enthusiasts, beware. Loud explosions produced by the firecrackers and guns create strong sound waves that can rupture your eardrum or damage your inner year. Wear proper ear protection and keep as far away from the explosion as possible.
- Earphones and ear buds: Do you find yourself turning up the volume on your iPod to counteract the increased noise of your treadmill? Or maybe you’re out walking the dog and pass by several people mowing their lawns, so you crank up the sound. Both temporary and permanent damage can occur by using too high of a setting. Limit the amount of time you’re using your ear buds and keep the sound down.
- Excessive earwax buildup: Many people don’t realize it, but earwax is essential in protecting the ear. It keeps the ear canal free of bacteria and dirt, but a buildup of it can affect your hearing. While it won’t damage your ear or your hearing permanently, removing it improperly may cause harm. Don’t stick any object into your ear; contact your doctor to have the earwax removed safely and quickly.
- Smoking cigarettes: Did you know that your ears can be affected by smoking, just like your lungs and heart? While the later two are damaged the most, your hearing may worsen for those who don’t kick the habit. Nicotine causes blood vessels to slightly shrink, thus restricting blood flow to your inner ear. For optimal overall health it’s essential to give up smoking.
While modern medicine does allow Dr. Kalpana DePasquale and her team at St. Augustine ENT to treat hearing loss in patients, being proactive and doing whatever you can to prevent hearing loss should be your first priority. If you’ve experienced a reduction in what you can hear, contact St. Augustine Ear, Nose and Throat at 904-461-6060 to schedule a hearing screening and treatment consultation today.