Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic physical conditions, primarily caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise. One in eight people in the U.S. ages 12 or older has hearing loss in one or both ears. NIHL or noise-induced hearing loss is also caused by the continued use of audio devices, tools, and toys that generate sound over 85 decibels.
While most types of hearing loss are irreversible, it often is possible to prevent the condition from worsening. Here are a few tips to help you protect your hearing.
Noise levels of 85 decibels and higher are detrimental and can cause temporary or permanent deafness, tinnitus and muffled hearing. You can reduce your exposure to loud noise by moving away from loud environments, turning down loud music, and using ear protection. Moving to a quieter setting can mitigate the effects of prolonged exposure to loud noise and help rest your ears.
Sometimes exposure to loud environments is unavoidable. For example, your workplace can be noisy depending on your profession. In these cases, hearing protection devices are effective in decreasing the effects of loud noises. Consider investing in disposable earplugs, earmuffs, and/or noise-canceling headphones. Not only will they protect your ears, but they can also help prevent your hearing loss from getting worse.
Getting checked for excessive earwax buildup can help prevent temporary hearing loss. Cerumen or earwax buildup can block the ear canal, causing hearing loss. Though excess earwax is normally pushed out of the ear canal naturally, that natural function does not always work perfectly. To prevent or remove blockage, there are over-the-counter solutions available from your pharmacy, and you can also seek out assistance from your physician, E.N.T., or audiologist.
Hearing loss can also be caused by certain ototoxic medications and drugs. Before prescribing such medications, your doctor will explain to you the possible side effects, along with any potential alternatives.
Besides following these tips for hearing loss protection, you can also seek medical assistance to improve your hearing. Regular checkups can help in early diagnosis and timely treatment that can prevent your hearing loss from worsening.
If you suspect hearing loss, book a hearing test appointment with our leading audiologist, Dr. Chris Hoffmann, today.
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