Preventable Hearing Loss – What You Can Do to Protect Your Hearing

Hearing loss is usually considered part of aging. In other cases, medical issues may be blamed. A high percentage of the population experience issues with their hearing, and that number is increasing. However, evidence is growing that much hearing loss may actually have non-medical and, thus, preventable causes. What are some of these causes, what is truly preventable hearing loss, and what precautions can be taken that will maintain hearing health? Here are some answers to those questions.

Exposure to loud noises, especially on a regular basis, is an environmental factor that can have a detrimental effect on hearing. In fact, noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is one of the top non-medical causes of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss definitely goes into the category of preventable hearing loss. Often, it only requires a bit of forethought and preparation to protect oneself against hearing damage.

One of the primary causes of NIHL includes workplace noise. Wearing protective hearing gear, especially when using power tools or operating heavy machinery, can limit the effect this type of environmental noise can have on your hearing. Heeding this warning will go a long way to preserving the ability to hear.

It is fun to gaze and wonder at fireworks on New Year’s Eve and Independence Day, but getting too close can result in damage to fragile mechanisms within the ear.

Commuting to work is another daily chore that many have to do. In an effort to make the time pass, listening to music is popular. Another category of preventable hearing loss is in not raising the volume too high. Putting in ear buds may be enjoyable, but it can harm hearing. Lowering the volume can help.

Two other ways hearing can be damaged, and certainly fall into the category of preventable hearing loss, are smoking and earwax buildup. First, smoking can restrict blood vessels, making it difficult for the ear to function properly. Earwax, or cerumen, is a naturally occurring substance that is important for protecting the ear. However, too much earwax can impede hearing and should be removed properly.

Like most things, hearing is often taken for granted, that is, until it is gone. It is a shame when the cause is something that fits into the category of preventable hearing loss. By taking certain precautions, hearing can be protected and it can last a lifetime.