The odds are good that at some point in your life you’ll start to experience hearing loss. According to experts, more than 40% of people over the age of 65 suffer from some degree of hearing impairment, and the risk of hearing loss only increases with age. But while advanced age is far and away the greatest cause of hearing loss, there are actually a number of surprising causes that can occur much earlier in life. And some of these causes you may be inflicting upon yourself.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Exposing yourself to excessive noise is one of the greatest contributors to hearing loss. This problem particularly affects young people in their teens and twenties who play music at a high volume through their earbuds or headphones, or people who regularly attend concerts. These kinds of activities can damage the receptors in your ears, limiting your ability to take in sounds and causing hearing impairment.
Medication Side Effects
Believe it or not, certain medications can cause you to lose your hearing. Studies have shown that certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and chemotherapy are all linked to hearing loss. Fortunately, none of these are common, over-the-counter drugs, and doctors usually only prescribe them when no other options are available. But still, it’s something to be aware of, as hearing loss caused by medications is often irreversible.
We’re all guilty of using a cotton swab every now and again to remove a little wax from our ears, but we may actually be doing more harm than good. Although cotton swabs can remove some wax, the rest of the wax gets pushed down deeper into our ears, causing it to compact, which can lead to infections, blockages and impaired hearing. And keep in mind, ear wax is good for you, as it offers protection against dust and dirt from getting into your ears. So just let it be.
As if being sick isn’t bad enough, certain illnesses can have lingering effects on your hearing. For example, diseases like measles, meningitis and mumps can all damage the auditory system, resulting in hearing impairment. Additionally, people who suffer from osteoporosis or who have experienced strokes are also at a higher risk for hearing loss.
The ability to hear the world around us is precious. And while that ability may slip away as we get older, there’s no reason to speed up that process. It’s a good idea to do everything you can now to protect your hearing.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!