Hearing loss can happen suddenly as a result of trauma or toxicity, or slowly, as a result of repeated exposure to loud or intrusive noise. Knowing how to reduce your risk of hearing loss can help you protect one of your most important senses.
At SLENT (South Louisiana Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastics), with multiple locations throughout Mandeville, Hammond, and Slidell, Louisiana, our experienced otolaryngology specialists can help diagnose hearing issues and tell you if hearing aids are right for you.
Avoiding hearing loss
Understanding what causes hearing loss gives you the tools you need to avoid this limitation for as long as possible. Obviously a sudden trauma may be unavoidable, but there are many slow, insidious threats to your hearing that can be avoided with vigilance. Here are four ways to avoid hearing loss.
1. Turn the music down
If you’re the type who likes to turn it up to 11, consider revisiting your Spinal Tap obsession and moderating the way you listen to music. Loud music through headphones can damage the sensitive hairs in the cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear) that are responsible for transmitting vibrations to the brain, which translates them into sound.
2. Wear ear protection on the jobsite
If you work on a construction site or any other jobsite where there’s excessive noise from machinery, your hearing is at risk. Wear earmuffs that fit tightly over your ears to prevent damage to your hearing. If you need to be able to communicate with others, use earbuds under the earmuffs connected to your phone or walkie talkie by bluetooth.
3. Talk to your doctor about ototoxic medications
Certain prescription medications and even over-the-counter meds can contribute to hearing loss. Discuss medication risks with your doctor if you need to take aspirin as part of a long-term regimen, or are on loop diuretics (used to treat some heart and kidney issues) or quinine (used to treat malaria). If you have a familial history of vulnerable hearing, your doctor may choose a less risky med for you to take.
4. Remember your ears, nose, and throat are connected
If you constantly have sinus infections, throat infections like strep, or ear infections, you can end up with hearing issues. Your ears, nose, and throat are all closely connected, and an infection in one area can spread to the others. Your ears are uniquely vulnerable and should be protected. And you should always have your doctor check out any ear pain as soon as possible.
Are you concerned about potential hearing loss? Schedule a consultation with the experts at SLENT by calling the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information.