Do you know that you might still be exposed to the risks of having a hearing loss even if you are not exposed to loud noises? Protecting your ears from over-exposure to tremendously high decibels of sounds will definitely help prevent hearing loss. But, unfortunately that is not all! You might still need to be more cautious and take many other preventive measures so as to keep hearing problems at bay. Thus goes the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

 

What to do then?

The answer is quite simple. Take all preventive measures possible to safeguard your beautiful God-gifted hearing health for as long as possible. Always remember that once you have acquired hearing loss, you can never get a chance to recover from it, and regain back your natural hearing experience which you once enjoyed.

 

What if I wear hearing aids?

You might be thinking that all problems of hearing loss will be solved once you opt for hearing aids. But in practicality, it is not so! Although you might be getting quite a lot of benefits from hearing aids, and other treatments of hearing loss, but the truth is that even if your hearing loss problems will not be completely cured, and you will not be able to leave your hearing devices once you have opted for them. To put it shortly, hearing aids are simply devices which amplify sounds for you which you were otherwise unable to do due to your hearing impairment. But other than that, they are not devised to cure your hearing loss problems, no matter how digitally advanced hearing aids you are wearing. So the moral of the story is - you need to take preventive measures.

 

What Other Causes are Responsible for Hearing Loss?

No doubt, exposure to loud noises do cause hearing loss, especially if you are living in an urbanised world. But there are many other factors that might affect your hearing health. You must be well aware of these factors and take necessary preventive measures so as to avoid situations from growing adverse. These include -

  • Early Exposures - Nowadays most of the newborn babies are being screened to identify any presence of hearing problems. Although in a majority of the cases they do not show up much issues, but there are many factors that makes the child open to risks that can cause hearing problems to turn up. These factors include various developmental problems, infections like mumps and measles. Apart from this, maternal diabetes and others complications during pregnancy might also increase the risks of hearing impairment in a child.

  • Genetic Factors - Studies show that for at least half of the children with hearing loss, genes are the main culprit. About 20% of the babies with a genetic hearing loss, suffer from syndromes like Down Syndrome or Usher Syndrome, which are huge factors for causing hearing loss problems in many children which worsen over time.

  • Ear Infections - Young children are particularly more prone to ear infections which are generally accompanied by cold, flu, as a result of which fluid builds up in the middle ear - a condition which is termed Otitis Media - which might give rise to hearing loss.

  • Perforated Ear Drum - A perforated eardrum, or some other malformation in the internal structures of the ear might, which may be caused by untreated ear infections, head injury, blow to the ear, or from poking sharp objects in the ear.

  • Otosclerosis - Otosclerosis is a medical condition which involves abnormal bone growth in the middle ear. In this condition the passage of sound waves towards the inner ear is obstructed, thus causing hearing loss. Studies show that a family history of otosclerosis increases the chances of a person acquiring it gradually. Although hearing aids can be the best treatment for mild otosclerosis, experts, however, suggest surgeries in case of more serious ones.

  • Meniere’s Disease - It is an inner ear disorder which causes episodes of vertigo or the sensation of spinning and dizziness, especially while looking down from a height. Meniere’s disease usually starts in one ear, and gradually involves both the ears. Smoking, a high-salt diet and even certain infections might worsen the condition. Some common symptoms of Meniere’s disease include fluctuating and eventually progressive hearing loss with vertigo (spinning sensation), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and pressure or pain in the ear. Although there is no cure for the disease as such, but according to experts, a timely diagnosis and treatment, such as medication to reduce vertigo and hearing aids, can help address these symptoms and helps reduce the severity of the disease.

  • Diabetes - Although the precise reasons for the link aren’t quite clear, studies show that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as in the general population. Studies proved that diabetes most probably accelerates age-related hearing loss. So a healthy lifestyle is very essential and that includes being physically active and eating a balanced diet, with lots of veggies – to keep your weight under control.

  • Autoimmune Disorders - Usually your immune system is designed to protect you from a majority of diseases. But certain autoimmune disorders can affect the ear, causing some fluctuation in hearing and can cause permanent hearing loss. Medication, like a steroid, may help, but it's not always possible to prevent hearing loss from occuring.

  • Ototoxic Medications - Certain ototoxic medications like certain aminoglycoside antibiotics, like gentamicin, and drugs might cause hearing loss. Also, if you take aspirin in very high doses, then you might develop hearing loss and severe tinnitus problems (ringing in the ears). Therefore, it is always advised to consult a good doctor as well as an expert Audiologist before taking any medicines by yourself.

  • You are getting Old - Age factor is a huge cause of hearing loss, because as you start to age, your hearing organs, just like any other organ, start deteriorating - thus, affecting the overall hearing health of a person. However, you can still prevent hearing loss by avoiding loud noises, ototoxic medications and drugs, wearing ear plugs or ear muffs. If, however, you have already acquired hearing loss, then wearing hearing aids would help you lead a normal life again.

  • Head Trauma - Did you ever have a head trauma or a brain injury after which you are feeling a deterioration in your hearing health? It is because they are directly related. It might be the case that the auditory centre of your brain gets damaged due to some severe blow to the head.

  • Smoking or Intake of Alcohol - These have a severe effect on the auditory system and might affect your overall hearing health.

 

In a nutshell, only preventing yourself from being over-exposed to loud noises might not help; you need to take other preventive measures as well so as to keep hearing loss at bay. Also, you must never shy away from wearing good quality hearing aids and leave your hearing loss untreated, because in such cases your hearing health will worsen.