Many people have hearing loss because of damage to a part of the auditory system. Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common cause of hearing loss in the U.S.; however, it is easily preventable.
Follow these tips for hearing protection:
- Wear hearing protection when exposed to loud noise. Ear plugs are a must in noisy environments such as rock concerts or sporting events. They should also be worn when riding a motorcycle or snowmobile, mowing the lawn, using power tools, etc. If your job exposes you to loud noise, your employer is required by OSHA to supply hearing protection.
- Turn down the volume. When listening to music or watching television, keep the volume low.
- Limit the number of noisy appliances running at the same time.
- Buy quieter products. Many appliances list dB ratings in their specifications.
Some diseases can also cause hearing loss. Viruses that might damage hearing include measles, mumps, whooping cough and rubella. Bacterial diseases such as meningitis and syphilis can also lead to hearing damage. Acoustic neuroma – tumors on the hearing nerve that are usually benign – may contribute to hearing loss. Tips for preventing hearing loss from disease include:
- Make sure your child is vaccinated. Immunizations offer protection from many childhood infections that can cause hearing damage.
- If you are sexually active, use protection to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which can cause hearing loss.
- Don’t delay seeking medical attention should you become ill.
Some drugs cause damage to the sensory cells responsible for hearing. These include certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, salicylate pain relievers (e.g., aspirin), quinine (for treating malaria), and diuretics. To reduce your odds of hearing loss when taking medications, follow these tips:
- Take medications only as directed.
- If you experience symptoms of hearing loss such as tinnitus while taking new drugs, see your doctor immediately.
Head trauma can damage the temporal bones in the lower lateral walls of the skull, leading to hearing loss. To help prevent this type of injury, take the following precautions:
- Wear a seat belt at all times when in a car.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, and participating in contact sports.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks, such as standing on the top rung of a ladder.
There are other general steps you can take to protect your hearing. Refrain from inserting foreign objects in the ears; these can lead to impacted earwax, perforated eardrum, or damage to the skin. Cotton swabs and safety pins are notorious offenders. Use swim plugs when engaging in water activities, and be sure to dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or bathing. And seek prompt medical attention if you are suffering from an ear infection.
If you have problems with your hearing or want to protect your hearing, call 310-906-4447 today to schedule a consultation and let CHG transform your hearing.