Protect Your Hearing
Hearing loss is a serious problem affecting millions of individuals especially as they age. Hearing loss occurs when sound waves no longer can properly reach the brain. It can be temporary, partial or permanent depending on the cause. Hearing loss is not exactly the same thing as deafness, the latter being defined more generally as the inability to hear at or near birth as a result of infection or major illness.
One third of people over the age of sixty-five are affected with some sort of hearing impairment. Aging is one of the major factors in the loss of hearing. Usually, losing the ability to hear higher frequencies is the first step in hearing loss.
Hearing loss can occur both suddenly or gradually. Infection, changes in atmospheric pressure, earwax buildup or impaction or other types of trauma may cause sudden hearing loss. Infection and persistent ear infections can also lead to hearing impairment.
Hearing loss can also be the result of frequent exposure to loud noises. This is ever more common in today’s society. The delicate inner ear can be assaulted by loud noises. Noise pollution is therefore an extremely important concern. Lengthy or repeated exposure to loud noise will result in permanent threshold shift (PTS) which is a permanent impairment to the inner ear resulting in hearing loss. Recent estimates suggest that as much as one third of all hearing loss may be attributed to noise related hearing decay.
There area a variety of things you can do to prevent hearing loss or to maintain healthy hearing. Number one of course is to limit your time in loud areas. Protect yourself against the influx of noise pollution by wearing earplugs when necessary. Keep music levels low, especially when using devices such as ipods. Studies have shown that ipod users consistently use volumes much higher than recommended for the maintenance of proper hearing function.
Do not use cotton swabs for cleaning the ear. This can further impact wax buildup. Instead us an eyedropper of one part warm water and one part vinegar and allow it to settle in the ear for a minute or so and then drain. Liquid garlic is also good for ear infections and can be purchased at the health food store.
When flying chew gum during the plane’s descent to prevent the discomfort and potential hearing loss associated with changes in atmospheric pressure.
Food allergies have also been associated with frequent middle ear infections so if your child has recurrent ear infection allergies to milk and wheat should be investigated. Candidiasis is also often associated with frequent ear infections.
Finally, studies have shown that lowering cholesterol levels have a beneficial effect on hearing. People with high cholesterol levels have greater hearing loss as they age than others. A good diet and supplement regime can help to prevent age related hearing loss.
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