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Habits that can harm your hearing health

Habits that can harm your hearing health
Hearing is not something that a lot of people think of until it becomes a problem and many people have
never had a hearing test. A lot of people think that hearing loss is associated with older age and they
don’t realise that there are many more risks to developing a hearing loss other than old age. People also
don’t know what to do about it, they will ignore it and it gets progressively worse. Sometimes people
don’t realise that they do have a hearing problem and may be surprised when a hearing test indicates it.
However, how does one get their hearing checked? Is there a place I can get a free hearing test near me?
Understanding hearing loss a little better, as well as recognizing habits that can harm your hearing
health is very important and help in knowing when it might be time to get the hearing test done.
1. Environmental (noise)
A significant cause of hearing loss is due to noise exposure. This is often due to a long-term loud noise
exposure that can gradually occur over a period of time. This hearing loss may occur when working in
an environment of loud noise exposure, such as working with heavy machinery, or it may occur
instantaneously when exposed to a single very loud noise incident in a workplace. Prolonged noise
exposure in an environment that is measured to be over 85 dB (decibels) can be damaging to your
hearing, with the resulting damage to the hair cells in the inner hair being irreversible. Some
workplaces are set up to get hearing tests routinely done, however this is not always the case. Likewise
noisy hobbies such as recreational shooting, motor racing and motorbikes can also be damaging to
hearing when adequate hearing protection is not worn. Most of us at some time in our lives went to a
night club, with the place packed with people and the music blaring, only to find our ears ringing when
we get home. Regular exposure to live/loud concerts and bands is not good for hearing. However many
people don’t think to get a hearing test done to check. It is also not good to listen to your favorite music
from phones/ipods at a loud level through headphones/earphones. If someone is sitting near you and
can clearly hear the music that you are listening to, it is probably at an unsafe listening level. It is
important to realise that noise induced hearing loss is a permanent hearing loss which will be unable to
be improved by a medical doctor. Treatment would involve hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
But how does one know that they may not be hearing optimally and whether they have any hearing
damage? Hearing tests are available at many places and even a free hearing test will be able to
determine whether a hearing loss is present.
2. Health
It is generally known that unhealthy diets along with poor exercise can be linked to increased risk of
cardiovascular disease as well as increasing the risk of developing diabetes and obesity. However many
people don’t know that these bad habits and resulting health issues can also be linked to permanent
hearing loss. Who would think that a hearing test should be undertaken when these conditions are
present! Cardiovascular disease impacts on the heart and blood vessels, however these symptoms can
also affect the area of the body where the hearing occurs. This is thought to be due to a poor circulation
or trauma impacting on the blood flow to the inner ear area which will lead to permanent damage in
this area. Interestingly, the type of hearing loss you have and the shape of the hearing loss that is
shown in a hearing test, may aid in identifying early risk factors for these health issues. But one might
ask, what can I do about checking my hearing, is there a hearing place near me? Many clinics will offer a
free hearing test which will help identify an early hearing loss. Further hearing testing can determine
the type of hearing loss and may assist with other markers to indicate potential health concerns that
need to be addressed with your doctor.
Social habits such as smoking and drinking are also detrimental to one’s hearing. The nicotine in
cigarettes can impact on the blood flow throughout the body and similar to cardiovascular disease, can
potentially affect the blood vessels in the inner ear and damage the inner hair cells resulting in a
permanent hearing loss. Excessive alcohol consumption is also shown to be linked to hearing loss.
Scientific evidence suggests that chronic alcohol abuse can damage parts of the brain that cognitively
process information, and hence lead to difficulties with the ability to hear and understand sounds.
Should concerns be present in hearing and processing information, it is important that you speak to your
doctor about whether a test of hearing is indicated and look at getting a hearing test done. By visiting a
local hearing clinic, you can initially undertake a free hearing test, even a free screening, that can help
determine any abnormal result and suggest what can be done about it and whether a more advanced
hearing test is needed.
3. Put buds in ears
You may have heard the old saying that you shouldn’t put anything smaller than your elbow into your
ear! Well there is good reasoning behind that saying, as by sticking things in your ear, it puts you at risk
of irritating or damaging your ear canal or eardrum (by accidently putting a hole in it). Therefore,
despite it being a common practice, it is not advisable to stick Q Tips or other items into your ear to
remove the wax or clean the ear, as these items can do serious damage to your ears and hearing. The
Qtip is also likely to end up pushing the wax deeper into your ear! Wax in ears is a normal thing to have
and helps protect the ear canal, so it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. Wax will naturally work its
way out of your ear over time, however, should it be a concern, or should it be something that is
impacting on your ability to hear, using wax drops or getting the wax removed by a specialist/doctor is
advisable. It can even be checked at a hearing clinic where a specialist can check your ears with a
special torch to see how it looks and determine whether it does need to be removed. They will often
offer a free hearing test to check how your hearing is while you are there.
5. Pretending your hearing difficulties are not there
One of the biggest dangers to your hearing health is ignoring the fact that you do have a hearing loss.
Some people are in denial and think that they can ignore it and just get everyone to just speak louder to
them or have the television on at a louder volume. Many people will scoff at the idea of getting a
hearing test done or will put off the thought of getting a hearing test. However, what you may not know
is that if someone has a decent hearing loss, it has been shown that if you don’t “use it you lose it”. It
has been shown that hearing loss can be associated with cognitive decline and dementia and that if you
aren’t hearing sounds well, that your brain can forget what it is like to hear properly. The longer you put
off getting a hearing test, and ignore the fact that you aren’t hearing well, the more likely this is to
happen. Hearing loss can also impact on your ability to socialize and connect with others. It is therefore
important that if you are struggling, to get a hearing test done and see what your options may be to
hear better. The audiologist who does the hearing test will be able to discuss all your options for you. It
is important to find a hearing clinic that is client focused, where they can give you valued service and
care during the test of hearing. Even if just starting with a free hearing test, the result can give you an
idea of what your hearing is like and the audiologist can have a discussion on what options are available
and what further hearing testing may be needed.
4. Summary
In summary, there are many factors that can affect your hearing health outside of old age. It is
important to be informed about these things for long term hearing health, as well as know what to do if
you feel a hearing loss is present. Getting a hearing test is important, whether it initially be a free
hearing test, or a full diagnostic hearing test. Contact Attune Hearing by going to the website or calling
1300 736 702 to book an appointment with a qualified Audiologists.
Website url:
Business Name: Attune Hearing
Address: Level 3, Wickham Terrace 135
City: Brisbane
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
zip code: 4000
Phone no: +61 1300 736 702
E-mail: [email protected]