The most common cause of hearing loss is the natural aging process, which unfortunately cannot be stopped or reversed. However, there are many other possible causes that you can do something about. See our list of three things you can do to improve the health of your hearing system.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Many people don’t know that one of the benefits is it can improve your hearing!
According to hearing health experts, exercising helps increase blood flow to the ears. This is essential for protecting the delicate hair cells within the inner ear, which are responsible for converting soundwaves into electrical energy that the brain interprets as sound. If these hair cells do not get enough blood supply, they can die. And once dead, they do not regenerate.
The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Fortunately, you can break up your exercise into smaller sessions. This means, if 30 minutes of exercise seems overwhelming, you can instead take two 15 minute walks a day.
One of the many risks smoking poses to your health is it can lead to hearing loss. According to research by the University of Manchester, smokers are 28 percent more likely to develop hearing loss than people who do not smoke. This risk increases based on number of packs of cigarettes smoked and length of time an individual has been smoking.
This correlation is likely due to nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes tightening the blood vessels, starving your inner ear of oxygen and killing the hair cells in the inner ear. Quitting smoking has been shown to have immediate benefits.
Turn Down the Volume
The easiest way to prevent hearing loss is to lower the volume on unsafe noises. Any sound over 85 dB can cause permanent hearing damage over time. For reference, this is about the volume of highway traffic.
When listening to music through headphones follow the 60/60 rule: listen to music for no more than 60 minutes at a time at no more than 60 percent of the device’s maximum volume.
In noisy environments like concerts, construction sites and shooting ranges, make sure to wear hearing protection, like drugstore foam earplugs or custom-molded high-fidelity earplugs from an audiologist’s office.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.