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The Guide That Will Help You Prevent Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur gradually or congenitally: it is defined as the difficulty in receiving and interpreting the sound of the environment.

Constant exposure to noise, noise pollution, infections or the intake of certain medications is some of its causes of appearance. Fortunately, all of these risk factors can be prevented.

So that you can properly take care of your hearing health, we have prepared this complete guide with key guidelines and recommendations from audiologists that can prevent the onset of deafness.

  1. Risk factors affecting the ear

Difficulty understanding words and interpreting sound, whether from television or in conversation, are often the first indications of the onset of deafness.

There are several reasons why our auditory system may not be working properly.

The most common causes of hearing loss are deterioration of the cells in the ear, birth defects, and external risk factors.

Not all routes of appearance can be avoided, but the vast majority can. Therefore, taking care of hearing health regularly and constantly is crucial.

Among the most common ear pathologies are:

  • hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Otosclerosis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Tympanic perforation
  • Pathologies that can cause hearing loss, such as Ramsay Hunt syndrome or hypothyroidism

Most types of hearing loss are irreversible, but the good news is that, by doing some hearing test and avoiding the main risk factors we can delay, avoid or even prevent hearing loss.

  1. 1. Prevent deafness in childhood

According to the WHO, approximately 60% of the causes of childhood deafness can be prevented by taking the appropriate measures. The main pathologies related to hearing loss in children are:

  • Measles.
  • Parotitis.
  • Rubella.
  • Meningitis.

The detrimental effects of these conditions can be minimized through vaccination and hygiene practices; however, we can also take active measures when faced with a diagnosis of hearing loss in our child.

On the other hand, complications that can arise during childbirth can also lead to prelingual hearing loss; that is, diagnosed in the months after birth.

  1. 2. Prevent hearing loss in young people and adults

One of the main causes of sensorineural hearing loss is exposure to loud noise, especially in adolescents and young adults.

To avoid hearing loss that can be caused by noise and constant exposure to crowded spaces, preventive measures must be taken to protect against possible damage to the ear.

Among these measures, the most important are:

  • Control the dB to which we expose the ear for long periods of time.
  • Use earplugs and hearing protection in particularly hostile environments, such as the workplace.
  • Always read the dosage and prescription of medications, as well as avoid self-medication.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle, both in food and hygiene.
  • Check our hearing periodically, in a specialized hearing center.
  1. Why is it important to take care of your ears?

It is important to influence the creation of healthy habits from a young age to prevent diseases related to hearing loss and, in turn, to produce a good development of the auditory system.

When some type and degree of hearing loss or related pathology has already been diagnosed, hearing aids are the solution that can help us improve our quality of life.

To find out the most functional prevention measures and methods for our case, we must go to the ear specialist or hearing center and avoid the aggravation of symptoms.

  1. Keys to taking care of your hearing health

We explain what are the main keys to taking care of your hearing health and preventing damage to the hearing system.

  1. 1. Control the volume of your headphones

According to the American Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, people between 12 and 35 years of age are continuously exposed to excessive noise levels that are harmful to hearing.

The use of headphones for all kinds of situations is the most common risk of hearing loss.

These are the main guidelines to follow while using headphones that will help us enjoy the sound without damaging our hearing:

  • Take breaks every 10 minutes if the exposure has been high.
  • If the sound intensity increases every 3dB, the noise exposure time should be halved.
  • Avoid intra-type headphones, with a strap or helmet-type headphones being the most advisable.

The ear is capable of receiving a certain dB level that is on the hearing spectrum. Above and below this spectrum, the sound can be very harmful or even not be perceived.

  1. 2. Avoid bad habits

Diet influences all aspects of health.

Eating healthy, including vitamins and micronutrients, also reduces the risk of hearing loss or related diseases.

All minerals are important, especially foods of plant origin such as cereals, vegetables and nuts are the most recommended to take care of hearing health.

Vitamin C in pineapple, for example, is one of the most beneficial foods for repairing the internal tissues of the auditory nerve.

Other typically toxic habits, such as tobacco or alcohol, can also damage hearing in the long term.

  1. 3. Take care of your hearing hygiene

Ear cleaning is just as important as any other form of care. To do it properly, we must implement some hygiene habits:

  • Avoid letting the ears stay wet for a long time.
  • Dry the ears using cloths or towels.
  • Use of sanitary sprays.
  • Wax removal must be done by a professional, using electronic devices.

The auditory system already has its own cleaning system, so we must avoid very popular but absolutely toxic practices, such as the use of cotton swabs or hydrogen peroxide to clean the ears.

  • The use of cotton swabs can cause damage to the eardrum, wounds, infections or even otitis.
  • Avoid cleaning ears by using candles, these can cause ear burns.
  • Avoid cleaning possible wax plugs with hydrogen peroxide.

Wax plugs can be complicated and be a symptom of major pathologies.

The hearing care professional is the one who can recommend a treatment to clean the accumulation of dirt or other pathogens. Normally, it will be this specialist who will carry out the proper cleaning using specialized tools.

  1. 4. Check your hearing regularly

Whether or not there are symptoms of hearing loss, carrying out frequent periodic check-ups at a specialized center is the best solution to prevent its appearance and detect it as soon as possible.

Acting in time is the main key to avoiding the aggravation of symptoms and any other pathology that may be related.

  1. Hearing loss as an occupational disease: prevention guidelines

Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common occupational disease in the USA, especially in the construction, industry and, above all, in the air transport sector.

To prevent its appearance, many companies have launched control and prevention programs that contribute significantly to comprehensive health care.

  • Workers can undergo annual hearing tests if requested.
  • At the first symptoms of hearing loss, the worker can request a hearing check every 6 months.
  • Depending on the professional sector, the worker can carry out a hearing check every 3 months, the cost of which is of course covered by the company.

If the worker already has a diagnosis of hearing loss, their symptoms can be corrected through early diagnosis and treatment recommended by the specialist.

The recommended hearing solutions for the correction of hearing loss are bone and cochlear implants and the use of hearing aids.

  1. The hearing threshold: how hearing works

The human ear has different levels to measure and capture sound: decibels (dB), which indicates the volume, and Hertz (Hz), which indicates the frequency or vibrations per minute.

The minimum level ranges from 20 dB to maximum levels of 120-140 dB, from which it could be perceived as a strong sensation of pain in the ear.

  • Sounds that are between 20 and 70 dB are considered normal sounds, not annoying: traffic, conversations with people, hair dryers…
  • Sounds that are between 80 and 85 dB are considered louder than normal: dog barking, the sound of the subway, horn, listening to music with headphones…
  • Sounds around 90 and 100 dB are loud and risky: rock concerts, fireworks…
  • Sounds between 110 and 140 dB are painful and highly damaging.
  1. How to act before the first symptoms of hearing loss

If we detect that our hearing begins to deteriorate, we must go to a hearing center urgently. The hearing care professional will be able to recommend different types of hearing solutions that can be adapted to our degree and type of hearing loss.

ABOUT

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My name is Debra Cargill, I live in my home in Springfield, Massachusetts and have been looking for new direction in my life. I started blogging recently and I've discovered a new passion in life. This blog is all about health, wellness, life issues and about lifestyle in general where I cover a broad range of topics on the subjects....

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