Hearing loss is a health concern that becomes much more prevalent as we get older. If you want to maintain your hearing health then, apart from annual hearing tests, you should get to know the risk factors and what you can do to manage them. Here, we’re going to look at a few and what you might be able to do to prevent them.
There are a lot of impacts that chronic stress can have on the body, from increased risk of back pain to poor sleep, and so on. However, did you know that stress may be a causal factor of hearing loss, as well? This is thought to be due to the reduction of blood flow to the ears due to the increased production of adrenaline, which can starve the hair cells in the ear that are responsible for picking up hearing, leading them to die earlier. As such, managing stress levels can be vital for protecting your hearing, be it through exercise, meditation, or medical approaches.
Excessive noise levels
Outside of aging, exposure to excessive noise is the single greatest risk to your hearing. Most excessive noise is occupational, so finding the appropriate workplace hearing protection to safeguard your ears while allowing you to do your job can be crucial. You should take steps in your daily life, as well, such as making sure you never have your headphones on at full volume.
There are medical conditions that can leave you at a higher risk of hearing loss. This can include high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as some bacteria and viral infections, as well as tumors. Treating these can often reduce your chances of hearing loss, giving you another reason not to ignore any symptoms that could point to serious health problems, especially when the heart is involved.
It seems like diet can sometimes be proposed as the medicine for any potential health risk. Taking vitamins isn’t going to stop excessive noise from damaging your ears. However, there have been links found between an increased risk of hearing loss and iron deficiencies in the blood. In fact, people who have iron-deficient anemia have been found to be twice as likely to experience hearing loss as those without.
A lack of sleep can have a profound impact on your hearing. For one, not getting enough sleep increases your chances of both stress and heart disease, both of which we have already looked at as risk factors. However, there are certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which can increase your risk of hearing loss significantly. The link between the two is still being explored, but there are some theories it could be that sleep apnea reduces blood supply to the inner ear, much like stress can.
There are some risk factors, like age and genetic predispositions, that can’t really be managed. However, if they do affect you, then you should be more willing to get tests regularly to keep an even closer eye on your hearing, too.