7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Hearing Health
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Hearing loss is something that afflicts a large number of people as they go through life. There may be more than 65 million people in the country with difficulties hearing the world around them at any point in time.
People typically see hearing loss as something that is an unavoidable consequence of aging. But that’s not always the case. Just like so many other things, there is a distinct lifestyle component as well.
Take a look at these little changes that’ll make a big difference with your hearing health.
Eat Plenty Of Veggies
Hearing loss usually occurs because of a breakdown of the sensitive machinery that comprises the inner ear. The tiny hair-like fibers that pick up sounds degrade and eventually can’t send high-fidelity signals to the brain.
Eating veggies, however, may help. Thanks to their anti-aging properties, they can keep cells in your ears healthier for longer, preventing them from undergoing changes that cause them to degrade.
Similarly, veggies have a remarkable capacity to improve blood flow to all regions of the body, including the ears. So, again, they may prevent age-related decline, allowing you to hang on to your hearing for longer.
The story of smoking is similar but works in reverse. The chemicals in tobacco damage the tissues that comprise the ear, preventing blood flow, and aging them prematurely. People who smoke tend to develop hearing loss earlier in life than those who don’t.
Wear A Hearing Aid As Soon As You Notice Hearing Trouble
Some people can be reluctant to put assistive hearing devices in their ears. But one of the biggest hearing aid benefits is that they can slow hearing loss down substantially.
How this works is still a bit of a mystery to modern science, but researchers think it relates to the “use it or lose it” principle. If the ear continues to send signals down the auditory nerve to the brain, the auditory cortex must continue to process them. And that helps it continue working as well as it always did. Without the hearing aid, sound signals wouldn’t reach it, and it’ll wither, like grapes on the vine.
Get Your Hearing Tested
Getting your hearing tested doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is. Hearing tests are vital for picking up problems as soon as they emerge instead of years later when they are more advanced.
Most people with hearing loss wait between five and seven years before seeking professional help. What’s more, they rarely notice what is happening until they have a wake-up call one day. Hearing loss occurs slowly over time. People hardly ever wake up randomly, being unable to hear. The damage to the cellular machinery often takes many years.
Protect Your Hearing At Loud Events
If you’re not wearing earplugs to loud events yet, you should be. Rock concerts and discos tend to be too loud for the human ear and can cause lasting damage. Furthermore, the effects are cumulative. The more times you allow loudspeakers to blast your eardrums, the worse off you’ll be.
Earplugs, therefore, are your first line of defense. They’re often discreet. And they can reduce the noise reaching the ears by between 20 and 30 decibels.
Please note that the safe volume threshold for the human ear is around 85 dB. Rock concerts can sometimes be as loud as 115 dB, which is enough to damage your ears quickly.
Don’t Listen To Loud Music Through Headphones
Because listening to music is pleasurable, people will often do so at high volumes. And because the loudness isn’t transient – like a crack of thunder – it can do potentially even more damage.
If you like listening to music loud just for its own sake, please note that it is probably damaging your ears. If, however, you listen to it on full volume because you’re trying to block out other noises, then you should consider getting noise-canceling headphones. These emit unique sound signals that neutralize incoming waves, giving you a purer listening experience.
Avoid Loud Noises In General
Finally, loud noises of any kind can damage your hearing over time, so you’ll want to avoid them where possible.
Generally, you can tell if a noise is too loud if it hurts your ears or you need to raise your voice for other people to hear what you’re saying.
Planes taking off, for instance, are one of the loudest noises that most people encounter. Listening to music at full volume through headphones is another – clocking in at a crazy 110 dB sometimes.