Many hearing disorders are caused as a result of trauma, ear infections, genetic conditions, and even the natural aging process. However, some hearing loss is a direct result of the way a person lives his or her life—and in some cases, patients can be chipping away at their ability to hear one day at a time.
Personal Habits That Can Cause or Worsen Hearing Problems
Hearing problems are becoming more and more common at younger ages. Many Americans as young as their mid-twenties can do permanent damage to their hearing simply by performing common daily activities, including:
- Smoking. Smoking causes the blood vessels in the body to constrict, cutting off the blood flow to sensitive parts of the body (such as the feet, fingertips, and ears). A lack of oxygenated blood in the ears can prevent regeneration of hair cells in the ear, leading to an increased risk of hearing problems.
- Listening to loud music. The popularity of earbuds and personal music devices has caused teenagers and young adults to suffer from early-onset hearing problems. Loud music played directly into the ear canal can cause a ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and an inability to hear certain sound frequencies before a person reaches age 40.
- Making poor dietary choices. Some foods— such as caffeine and meals with a high salt content—have been linked to increased risk of tinnitus. Scientific studies have also indicated that diets low in certain vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, can contribute to the risk of developing hearing loss.
- Failing to wear ear protection. Many employees are exposed to high noise levels in the workplace, such as construction workers and factory employees. If workers do not invest in hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs, they could be forced to pay the price with their hearing later in life.
Are you experiencing the early symptoms of hearing loss? Call the number on this page or click on the appointment tab above to set up your hearing exam in our Wakefield or Wilmington offices!