Surprising Ways You Can Lose Your Hearing

November 15, 2018

© Agencyby | Dreamstime

It is estimated that 48 million Americans have some sort of hearing loss. While most of that is caused by listening to music with earbuds at a high levels of sound, working around loud machinery or environment and you age, there are other less common causes that lead to early loss of hearing.  For instance, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic), ibuprofen (Advil and generic), and aspirin have been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) when taken at high doses or for long periods. So make sure to follow the dosing directions and consult your doctor if you are using them, especially if you're using them longer than recommended. A viral or bacterial infection can suddenly sink your ability to hear, and that damage can be lasting if you don’t get treated quickly. Ear infections are the most common culprit, but upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds, can also cause abrupt damage. See a doctor if you notice a sudden loss of hearing. Prompt treatment with steroids can minimize your risk of permanent damage. Sometimes a hearing problem may be due to something as simple as a blockage, such as impacted earwax. Cleaning with cotton swabs can push wax further into your ear. If you notice your hearing worsening and if your ears feel itchy, full, or stuffed, see your doctor. He or she may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. An experienced specialist can irrigate the earwax with hydrogen peroxide, soften it with mineral oil, or remove it manually. A recent study in Japan found that cigarette smokers were about one and a half times as likely as nonsmokers to develop high-frequency hearing loss, which can make understanding speech difficult. Additional studies have suggested that other lifestyle factors, such as a lack of exercise, might also increase the risk. Though none of these studies proves that these behaviors cause hearing loss, a healthy lifestyle can benefit all organs in your body, including your ears.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

See and hear more from the 98.5 KTK Morning Show

98.5 KTK Morning Show Podcast