Hearing may not be necessary to survival, but it is a sense which can bring great joy to the human experience. Whether it be an orchestra playing a Mozart symphony, a child’s laughter or the sound of rain hitting the roof, hearing can bring pleasure and contentment as well as knowledge to our lives. At Audiology Island we are qualified and ready to help you maintain and improve your hearing.
Causes of poor hearing:
Most of us are fortunate to be born with nearly perfect hearing. Genetics and birth defects can play a role in hearing loss and even deafness in infants and children, but typically hearing does not begin to diminish until we reach our fifties, and then very gradually.
There are external forces that may contribute to early or more severe hearing loss. An infection or illness may cause damage to the hearing. Additionally, regular exposure to loud noises such as music, gunfire, or construction sounds may be factors. Musicians, those in the armed forces, and others who are around guns or construction may notice their hearing start to suffer. Sometimes just a sudden loud noise, especially if it is close to the ear, may cause permanent hearing loss.
Age is also a major contributor to hearing loss. Sixty percent of individuals over 70 have a notable hearing loss. Most of the sixty percent are men. Men are five and a half times more likely to suffer from hearing loss than women.
Hearing and overall health:
There are chronic illnesses that can cause or worsen hearing loss and there are also conditions aggravated by hearing loss.
- Cardiovascular disease- Cardiovascular disease or any condition in which blood flow and circulation are major considerations can impact hearing loss. The hearing loss is due to the restricted blood supply robbing the cochlea of oxygen.
- Mental health- A loss of hearing can have an enormous impact on one’s quality of life and mental health. Not being able to hear well may cause depression or anxiety. Treating hearing loss, particularly with properly prescribed hearing aids can make a world of difference in the social lives and mental health of men with hearing loss. Surveys show that men with treated hearing loss have reported significant improvement in their social lives, domestic lives, self -image, work relationships, and overall mental health. The interesting thing is that those surrounding them at work, home or in social situations found even more notable improvement than the patient.
Preventing hearing loss:
- Quit Smoking- Smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke stand a much better chance of developing hearing loss than non-smokers and those who live in smoke-free environments. Those who have smoked over a pack a day for decades could have up to a seventy percent higher chance of developing hearing loss. Smoking impairs your circulation, but nicotine also plays a part in hearing loss by interfering with the neurotransmitters and their connection to the brain and hearing. Nicotine can also contribute to tinnitus, vertigo, and general dizziness. Nicotine also makes you more sensitive to loud noises.
- Protect your ears- If you are a smoker and want to protect your hearing and the rest of your health you will, of course, want to quit smoking. If you are subject to second-hand smoke, you will also want to do your best to change your environment. There are also several steps you can take to protect your ears from loud noises and other interferences.
o Custom ear pieces
o Protective ear plugs for hunters or musicians
o Ear muffs for inclement weather
o Education and keeping informed
o Have regular check-ups and ear irrigations
Finally, don’t ignore your ears! There is a propensity, especially among older men, to deny hearing loss because it is a sign of getting older. Well, we are all getting older and not taking care of our ears and hearing will only expedite the process. If you are missing out on conversations and other precious sounds, get your hearing checked today.
Visit our website at Audiology Island. We offer complete services in diagnosing and treating hearing loss to tinnitus and other conditions of the ear. We also have an educational blog and an online hearing test available.