7 Common Habits that Can Damage Your Hearing

As more research on hearing loss is being conducted, scientists and doctors are uncovering more connections between your overall health and hearing. Everything is connected and there are bad habits that might have implications for your hearing. One thing to remember is that once your hearing is gone, it is gone for good. Here are 7 habits that can cause damage to your hearing:

  1. Smoking: Of course, everyone knows that smoking is bad for them. If you smoke, you likely hear it all the time along with the dangers of lung cancer, etc.and maybe you have even tried to quit. However, what you may not realize, is that in addition to all the other dangers of smoking, it can also be causing irreversible damage to your ears. Even second-hand smoke can cause damage to loved ones’ hearing too. (Source)
  2. Drinking: Excessive drinking has several implications when it comes to your hearing. When high levels of alcohol are found in the bloodstream, it can cause ototoxicity which damages the hair cells in the cochlea. In addition to that, moderate to high alcohol drinking can cause a type of brain damage that hinders the ability for it to process sounds. When alcoholism comes into play, it can cause the central auditory cortex to become damaged, which often leads to brain shrinkage.
  3. Over-eating: Both eating too much and not exercising enough are two habits that, when combined, can lead to hearing loss. Diabetes and other circulatory problems can end up affecting the ears.
  4. Cleaning with Q-Tips: While this may not completely fall into a category of a “bad habit”, using Q-Tips in your ears is a common practice that can easily cause irreversible damage to your ears and your hearing.
  5. Listening to Loud Noises: Many people who listen to music through headphones or earbuds don’t realize that over time, listening too loud can damage their hearing.
  6. Ignoring Your Dental Health: You may have heard that there are implications beyond your teeth and gums if you don’t keep up with your dental health and visit the dentist regularly. However, you may not realize that there is a connection between bad oral hygiene and your hearing. Harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream which can lead to a number of health problems that are all linked to hearing loss.
  7. Skipping Doctor Visits: Seeing your regular physician annually for a physical can detect early signs of hearing loss. Besides a preliminary hearing assessment, your doctor can detect early signs of hearing loss including some minor things that can be corrected like an obstruction or earwax buildup.

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