Habits are everyday actions which are part of us, they become our identity. Some habits may seem harmless and are accepted but they can affect our health. Most of us realise the negative aspect of our habits only when they are brought to our attention. EarGuru, the Hearing Health blog has compiled a list of 7 Everyday habits that cause Hearing Loss. Hearing is one of the 5 important senses gifted to us. We should make all efforts to get rid of these unhealthy habits and maintain good Ear Health to protect ourselves from Hearing loss.
7 Daily Habits That Cause Hearing Loss
1. Listening to Loud Music
Many of us listen to music while commuting or to relax. There is no harm in listening to music, in fact, it is one of the best methods of relaxing. The only precaution we should take is to listen at a low volume. The In-Ear Headphones available with personal music devices can deliver a lot of power. Music lovers should Detox their ears after a long session of music listening. Follow the 60:60 rule. Do not listen to music for more than 60 minutes at a stretch and do not increase more than 60% of the volume setting on your device. There are other precautions which will help preserve your Hearing. Music Concert goers should use Ear defenders or Ear plugs to prevent exposure to loud sounds.
2. Not Consuming A Balanced Diet Can Cause Hearing Loss
We associate poor diet with physical well-being. One might be physically healthy but the diet may be poor in the necessary nutrients. Fast food containing high sodium and trans-fats lack the required nutrients. Though they contain plenty of Carbohydrates and fat. Our body needs minerals like Potassium, Zinc & Magnesium for the nerves to stay healthy. Vegetarians have to be particular about their diet. Certain Vitamins like B12 and Vitamin D are not amply available in vegetarian foods.
Dietary supplements should be taken to make up for the deficiency. Lack of Vitamins and minerals results in early onset of Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Our everyday food habits can be modified to include selected vegetables and fruits to supply our body with the required nutrients.
3. Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Cause Hearing Loss
Quite a few of us have desk jobs and have no option but to remain tied to our chairs. Sedentary or an inactive lifestyle is the cause of many health ailments. Diabetes, Hypertension and poor Cardiac health due to inactive lifestyle are also known to cause Hearing loss. An active lifestyle boosts our blood circulation helping the tiny blood vessels in the ear to get a proper supply of blood and oxygen. This delays the onset of Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
Certain Yoga Asanas (exercises) can help improve Hearing Health. The following Asanas are recommended as a Hearing loss solution.
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Matsyasana or Fish Pose
- Shunya Mudra
It is advisable to destress oneself at every available opportunity to prevent early onset of Hearing loss.
4. Excessive Cigarette Smoking and Consumption of Alcohol
Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are commonly linked to Cardiac and liver ailments. It also plays a significant effect on our Ear Health. Smoking is the main cause of Arteriosclerosis or thickening of the walls of our arteries. The arteries carry healthy blood to all the parts of our body including the ears. Thickening of the wall reduces the quantity of blood carried by the arteries. This results in lesser blood reaching the ears. The lack of nourishment for the ears causes Sensorineural Hearing loss, it can lead to Profound Hearing loss in some cases.
Consumption of Alcohol in large quantities also causes Hearing loss. Excessive alcohol in the bloodstream causes toxicity which destroys the tender hair calls in the inner ear. These tiny Hair cells are responsible for converting sound signals to electrical impulses which are carried to our brain. Alcohol also causes Tinnitus and Vertigo.
5. Not Caring For Dental Or Ear Infections
Ear Infections have a direct link to our long-term Hearing Health. Neglecting small infections can affect the sensitive parts of the ear causing permanent Hearing disability. There are 2 types of ear infections.
- Fungal Ear Infection
- Bacterial Ear Infection
Fungal Ear infections are more common in regular swimmers or during monsoons when the humidity is high. Fungal infection can be avoided by keeping our ears dry and clean. Bacterial infection is more serious in nature and causes a lot of inconvenience. Medication is required to cure the infection. It is advisable to consult an ENT Doctor and seek proper medical advice.
Carelessness about treating Dental infections can also affect the Ear Health. The infection can spread from the teeth to the ear. The Eustachian Tube connects the throat to the middle ear, this becomes a path for the infection to spread to the ear.
6. Ignoring Minor Changes in Hearing Ability
Our body gives us enough warning signs, we miss these subtle signs which leads to the advancement of the ailment. If we happen to miss out on a few words in a conversation, we should be attentive and make a mental note. It could be due to the noisy surrounding but if it happens too often, it’s time to pay a visit to the Audiologist. The Audiologist will conduct an Audiogram which will determine if we do have a Hearing Loss. If we do we will also know the extent of the Hearing loss. In a majority of the cases, it starts with a High-frequency Hearing Loss. Medical advice from your Audiologist and ENT doctor will prevent the loss from increasing.
7. Inserting Fingers Or Cotton Buds in Your Ears
Inserting our little finger in our ears is a very common habit. Our fingers pick up germs and bacteria from commonly used surfaces like staircase railings and door handles in public transport and offices. We use the same finger to soothe an itchy ear, this transfers the germs to our ears increasing the probability of infection. Ladies with long nails are in danger of scratching the tender walls of the ear canal. An exposed wound is more likely to get infected.
Inserting fingers and Cotton buds (Q Tips) pushes the wax deep inside. The compacted wax blocks the ear canal and irritates the eardrum causing pain and giddiness in some cases.
Habits can be changed, it is for us to realise the long-term damage a few simple involuntary actions can cause. It is better to practice and also to impart healthy habits to our Children.