Proper nutrition is vital for children’s overall health and development. Being undernourished can cause numerous problems both in childhood and later in life. Research has discovered that it may even lead to an increased risk of hearing loss in young adulthood.
Study Links Poor Childhood Nutrition to Hearing Loss in Adulthood
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at the relationship between hearing in more than 2,220 young adults and the nutrition they received as children. Auditory test results showed that those adults who were stunted (being too short for your age) in childhood were twice as likely to show signs of hearing loss as young adults. Stunting is often an effect of chronic poor nutrition.
The researchers of this study posited that this might occur because undernutrition impedes inner ear development, especially in the womb, and that nutrition intervention in early childhood may be essential to protecting hearing health.
Knowing The Signs of Hearing Loss
If you or one of your loved ones experienced poor nutrition in childhood, you may be concerned about the effect it may have on your hearing. Like many chronic conditions, hearing loss is both gradual and progressive, meaning signs can be subtle at first, but the earlier it is treated, the better.
To that end, it can be helpful to be aware of the early signs of hearing loss to get a hearing test at the first sign of a problem. These signs may include:
- Speech and other sounds seem muffled.
- Conversations become especially hard to follow in environments with a lot of background noise, like a busy Exton restaurant such as Appetites on Main.
- Trouble hearing high-pitched noises like children’s voices or birds chirping.
- Asking others to repeat themselves frequently.
- Needing to turn the volume up on the TV or radio louder than normal.
- Trouble understanding phone conversations.
- Experiencing a ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Family and friends have commented on your hearing.
Do You Need Hearing Aids?
If your hearing test results indicate that you have hearing loss, hearing aids will likely be recommended. While they cannot reverse hearing loss, they can make it much easier for your brain and ears to process sound. This allows you to continue to navigate the world around you and feel confident in your ability to communicate with others and hear the sounds you need and want to hear.
To learn more about treating your hearing loss or to schedule an appointment, contact Pinnacle ENT today.