When it comes to certain health conditions, it’s not uncommon to disregard their contraction as something which happens to “other people.” We never think that we’re going to be the person to experience a given issue until it rears its head, and this is especially prevalent in young people. For instance, smoking and drinking to excess are known to be damaging to our health and vitality, and yet many still do it.

As we mature, we realize that we’re a little more fragile than we had first assumed. This means that it’s worth sitting back and paying attention to the qualified medical professionals; listening to their advice and visiting them for check-ups semi-regularly – if only to make sure everything is in order.

In this post, we’ll discuss one consideration that, unfortunately, many people still take for granted: our hearing health. While not all causes of hearing loss are voluntary or exacerbated by day-to-day behavior, some are, and knowing what we can change gives us the power to do so. Note that nothing in this guide is written with the tone of someone wagging their finger with scorn; rather advising with a friendly warmth to help us all make better decisions in the future – or to know when visiting a worthwhile audiologist service is key.

Let’s consider the nine surprising causes of hearing loss.

1. Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is terrible for you in many ways and has even been proven to shrink the areas of the brain known for creative thinking (don’t worry, the brain is ‘neuroplastic’ and can make a great recovery in the right conditions).

That said, chronic stress has also been known to cause tinnitus; with hypertension also encouraging the development of ear hemorrhaging. This can sometimes cause permanent damage. With exercise and a healthy diet, good sleep, and reducing caffeine intake (as well as reducing the exposure to the intensive stress you need to deal with if possible), you can offset some of this risk.

2. Smoking & Vaping

Both smoking and vaping have been linked to the onset of noise-induced hearing loss; as the smoke often irritates your middle-ear lining. Additionally, nicotine acts as both a stimulant and depressant to the central nervous system and has been known to limit the neurotransmitters sending audio signals to your brain.

3. Ear Infections

Ear infections, like swimmer’s ear, have been known to damage the inner ear, especially if left untreated for a period of weeks. This can be a real problem and may even harm your sense of balance which can feel thoroughly disorienting and give you a condition akin to vertigo. In some cases, you may have to visit your primary care physician for antibiotics, particularly if the infection is stubborn. Make sure to reach out to your audiologist if you still notice hearing loss after your infection has resolved.

4. Too Much Earwax

A buildup of earwax can actually cause hearing loss, if temporarily. Having this professionally removed may be necessary in some cases.

5. Untreated Tooth Decay

The link between dental health and hearing conditions is surprisingly tight, and untreated tooth decay has been known to cause permanent hearing issues. In some cases, imperfectly growth teeth can cause a problem too; which is one some people have their wisdom teeth removed when appropriate, sometimes even for tinnitus.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes and hearing loss are intrinsically connected, as hearing loss is considered twice as prevalent in people with the disease. Thankfully, the effects of type 2 diabetes can be reversed by losing weight and following a healthy nutritional plan.

7. Obesity

In the same vein as diabetes, obesity can not only promote hearing loss but exacerbate conditions that bring it on. It’s always a good idea to either maintain a healthy weight or work your way to achieving it, and to get regular exercise to undo this effect as much as you can.

8. Certain Medications

Sometimes, hearing loss can come as a side effect of various conditions, especially diuretics for heart disease and chemotherapy – the latter may cause damage to the cells inside your inner ears. To the extent you can, reporting these side effects to your doctor may help them alter your treatment plan.

9. Too Much Physical Activity

Strangely enough, an excess of physical activity can promote hearing loss too, as too much exercise can put a heavy strain on our system; particularly if we’re not recovering from that strain appropriately. Luckily, this is more temporary than other markers on this list, but it’s certainly a factor. Be sure to rest up and reduce your activity if you can should this problem occur.

Visit an audiologist today!

If you believe that you’re experiencing hearing loss, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of professionals at The Hearing Clinic at Woodlake. With a range of resources available, you can easily schedule an appointment by calling 612-200-8414!

Tags: causes of hearing loss, hearing loss basics