We all know that the natural aging process and listening to excessively loud music can cause hearing loss. However, there are many other factors that can affect your hearing. Below is a list of ways you may be putting your hearing risk.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and both types of diabetes affect just about every cell in your body, including your ears. Inside your ears are tiny hair cells called stereocilia that are responsible for converting soundwaves into energy that your brain interprets as meaningful sound. When these cells don’t get the blood supply they need, your hearing is affected.
Public transportation, especially the subway, can be very noisy. While exposure to these noise levels on occasion is not likely to cause damage, if you have a long commute every day, this noise exposure adds up. An approaching subway train and a car horn both clock in around 100 decibels, a level that can cause permanent damage in just 15 minutes.
Instructors of exercise classes love cranking the music up to get people pumped for their workout. If you’re leaving class with your ears ringing or temporary hearing loss, this is a sign that the music is far too loud. If this is the case, talk to your instructor or the gym manager, or you can invest in a pair of earplugs.
A high fever is dangerous for a variety of reasons. One risk of running a high fever is damage to the nerves in your inner ear, caused by a combination of inflammation and lack of oxygen. If you experience a fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, seek immediate medical attention.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications may list hearing loss as a side effect, meaning they are ototoxic. Prescription medications with this risk include diuretics for heart disease, chemotherapy drugs and certain antibiotics. OTC medications that can be ototoxic include aspirin and ibuprofen, but usually only in high quantities. Talk to your doctor about safe alternatives.
For more information about the risk factors of hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a hearing test with an expert audiologist, contact the Hearing & Balance Center at Charleston ENT & Allergy today.