While hearing loss is often permanent, there are certainly ways to prevent it from worsening. Here are four simple tips to protect your hearing, whether or not you already have hearing loss:
Follow a healthy lifestyle
- An individual’s blood chemistry may have an impact on their hearing health. The inner hair cells located inside of the cochlea are delicate sensory organs that help us hear and are susceptible to changes in blood chemistry. Our hearing may be adversely impacted by blood chemistry changes.
- Hearing loss can occur as a result of many different health complications such as high blood pressure (Agarwal S, et al., 2013), diabetes (Al-Rubeaan K, et al., 2021), heart disease, and more (Sterling et al., 2018). Everything in the body is connected.
- Certain activities such as smoking tobacco (Dawes et al., 2014) can affect our hearing health. Exercising (Chul H, et al., 2016) and maintaining a healthy diet (Jung SY et al., 2019) can help improve our hearing health.
Wear hearing protection and avoid loud environments
- Exposure to loud noises may be one of the biggest culprits in causing hearing loss (Mirella MM, et al., 2013). Extremely loud noises like gunshots or fireworks at close range can cause permanent damage within a few seconds, while “lower” loud level sounds can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss after exposure over several hours.
- It’s generally recommended to wear hearing protection like ear plugs or earmuffs in loud environments such as concerts, clubs, and around loud machinery. Taking breaks while at loud events can also help by giving your ears time to rest.
Ototoxic Drugs & Earwax management
- There are certain medications that can cause hearing loss, otherwise called “ototoxic drugs (Joo Y, et al., 2019).” Check with your doctor about ototoxicity and how your medication regimen may affect your hearing. If you are taking a medication that may be ototoxic, make sure to consult an audiologist to monitor your hearing.
Wearing hearing aids
- Medical research suggests that wearing hearing aids may slow the progression of hearing loss (Thatcher, 2021). Hearing aids may also help stimulate the auditory pathway in the brain and keep the auditory processing center of the brain active (Shoup, 2021).
- I recently spoke with an Eargo customer who was new to using hearing aids. She had been trialing a pair of Eargos for a couple of weeks and perceived a significant improvement. When she took her hearing aids out at night, she realized how much she was missing out on. She expressed concern because she felt like she was becoming dependent on hearing with her Eargos. I reassured her that the research suggests that her hearing aids may be picking up sounds that her brain has not been exposed to in a long time. After our discussion, I shared some articles to read, and the customer felt more confident and motivated to wear her hearing aids.
- Better hearing is a journey, and this journey is one that often comes with a lot of questions. Sharing those questions and concerns with somebody that can help answer your questions and share resources is critical to understanding hearing health and setting proper expectations for improving hearing.
If you think you may have some hearing loss, have questions about Eargos (or hearing aids in general), or already wear hearing aids and want to see if Eargos are right for you – please reach out to us.
Call 1 (800) 903-6883, or email [email protected]
Effects of Hypertension on Hearing: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3889339/
Hearing loss among patients with type 2 diabetes – Al Rubeaan: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8176373/
Hearing Loss Among Older Adults with Heart Failure in the U.S.: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854543/
Smoking Tobacco & Hearing Loss: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4141428/
Effects of Long-term exercise on Age-Related HL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5148246/
Association of Nutritional Factors with HL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6412883/
The Contribution of Ototoxic Medication to Hearing Loss Among Older Adults: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7328195/
NIHL: literature Review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399645/