Seven Habits That Are Damaging to Hearing Health



Good hearing health is everyone's priority. However, healthy hearing can be difficult as hearing health and overall health are interconnected. While aging and exposure to loud noises are the most common causes of hearing loss, unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking can damage your hearing. Take note of any unhealthy habits you may have that can harm your hearing and avoid them to preserve your hearing for a lifetime.

Here are seven habits that are damaging to hearing health.

1. Excessive Headphone Use

Wearing earbuds or headphones can sometimes be harmful as they expose your ears to loud noises which can damage your hearing. Regular exposure to loud noises may damage the hair cells of your inner ears. These cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical impulses, which the brain interprets as sound. Limit your headphones or earbuds use to protect your hearing.

2. Smoking

Smoking impacts blood circulation and your ability to hear when you grow older. According to the American Lung Association, one cigarette can expose you to 7,000+ chemicals, damaging hair cells in the inner ear.

3. Lack of Exercise

Living a sedentary lifestyle puts people at risk of gaining weight, which in turn can cause heart disease and diabetes. These issues can affect blood circulation and eventually result in hearing damage. Regular exercise and keeping your weight in check can reduce your risk of developing health conditions that impact your hearing.

4. Excessive Drinking

Alcohol may impact your brain's ability to interpret sound, especially low-frequency sounds. It creates a toxic environment in the inner ear, damaging the cochlea's hair cells. Excessive drinking can negatively impact your brain's central auditory cortex, which is responsible for processing sounds.

5. Regular Exposure to Loud Noise

People who are exposed to loud noises should protect their ears. Wear hearing protection devices, such as noise-canceling headphones or earmuffs that block out external sounds or reduce noise levels. Consider wearing ear protection devices, especially if you work at any of these industries:

  • Plumbing
  • Military
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Mining
  • Carpentry
  • Agriculture

Also Read:

7 Tips to Protect Yourself from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

6. Poor Dental Hygiene

Unhealthy gums and bad teeth can impact your overall health, including hearing health. The bacteria can enter your bloodstream, causing inflammation and narrowing of the arteries, which results in poor blood circulation. Improper blood flow can cause heart problems that are harmful to hearing.

7. Ignoring Signs of Infection

Bacterial infections can damage hair cells in the ear. If left untreated, infections can reoccur and severely impact your hearing health. Although symptoms can disappear and you might feel better, the infection can be active deep in your ear. Over time, the bacteria may damage the inner and middle ear.

Avoiding these situations will help ensure good hearing health for a lifetime. Visit your audiologist regularly or as recommended to detect and treat hearing problems before they impact your lifestyle.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Hoffmann to get your hearing checked.


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Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.