As we get older, our ability to hear can slowly decline throughout the years, and while no one likes this fact, many us of realize that is one of the many realities we may face as we age. Besides hearing loss occurring from aging, noise-induced hearing loss is also common. Once again, we may not like that reality, but it’s understandable that being exposed to high levels of noise such as fireworks or guns, for prolonged periods of time, can damage a person’s hearing. That law of cause and effect can be easily recognized and seen. However, there are some surprising causes of hearing loss that many are not aware of. It’s these causes that can cause the most damage, because how can you help protect yourself against something you are not aware of or lack knowledge about.
You may not realize some of the surprising causes of hearing loss that can occur outside of the common reasons for impaired hearing many already have knowledge about. Continue reading to learn more about some of the other, lesser-known ways you can damage your hearing so you can be sure to take heed and stay clear.
Allergies– When a person has an allergic reaction, they often experience itchy eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat, and even severe congestion. Inflammation triggered by an allergic reaction can also lead to fluid buildup in the ear, which can block the ear canal and affect the Eustachian tube. While this type of impairment generally only lasts during allergy season, in severe cases, or left untreated, this form of temporary hearing loss may develop into permanent hearing loss.
Stress– We all know that stress is a killer, but trying to limit its presence in our lives can be difficult sometimes. However, you may not realize that stress can impact your hearing health as well. While stress isn’t considered to be a direct cause, stress has been linked to tinnitus symptoms and hypertension. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss and can interfere with your ability to hear. While hypertension that occurs from chronic stress often leads to not just tinnitus, it can also lead to hearing loss as well. Luckily, in some cases, hearing loss as a reaction to stress may be reversible.
Smoking– Smoking is bad for our health. We know that, however, many don’t realize that smoking can affect your ability to hear as well. Research has discovered that smokers are 70% more likely to suffer from impaired hearing. Smoking can lead to hearing loss due to the irritation it can cause to the lining of the middle ear. Plus, nicotine can impair your ability to hear by blocking the neurotransmitters that send auditory information to your brain. So if you smoke, this may help you quit or at least limit your daily intake.
Being at a Bar or Restaurant– We aren’t recommending you to stay away from having a night out, but take notice of how hard your favorite restaurant or bar is on your ears. Many are loud and highly energetic, and because you can quickly get into the moment, the last thing you are thinking about is how noisy the place is (or becoming) and how you could be damaging your ears. However, it is essential to take notice so you can avoid or limit your exposure to these kinds of establishments, or at least bring a pair of earplugs with you. There also might even be an area to sit that’s not as loud, so that may also be an option. Make sure you limit your exposure to overly loud bars and restaurants.