There are things we all know can damage our hearing. After all, ear protectors were invented for a reason. But aside from the usual suspects, there are also some unexpected activities that are bad for your hearing. In the list below, we’ll highlight five things you should avoid (or take measures to lessen the impact) to keep your ears in top shape as long as possible.
#1 Exposure to Loud Noise
Exposure to loud sounds can easily damage the ear. It overworks hair cells and affects the cochlea, the inner organ that allows you to hear. Intense sound pressure from explosions, using power tools, gunshots close to the ear, fireworks, gun games, and earphones can cause the eardrum to rupture. Although these activities may seem enjoyable at the time, they’re harmful to hearing. Using over-the-ear ear protectors or ear plugs can help minimize the negative impact.
#2 Surfing the Beach
Surfing the beach is a beautiful activity. However, it exposes you to cold and wind, which can irritate the ear. In response, the body builds up bone under the lining of the ear canal to protect the eardrum. This condition narrows the ear canal and gradually closes off the eardrum, leading to exostosis or Surfer’s ear. Over time, Surfer’s ear can lead to conductive hearing loss.
If you’re going to surf, you should use earplugs to protect your ears.
#3 Jobs with constant sounds
Jobs like mowing, working in a flight crew, construction, carpentering, and lumberjacks require deafening sound levels. They work with loud and heavy equipment that can damage the ear with time. Unfortunately, exposure to sound over 85 decibels can lead to ear damage.
Most people working these jobs don’t know their ears have gone bad until it’s too late. But you don’t need a full-time job to suffer the consequences from constant sounds. Doing a DIY project for a weekend can already have a lasting impact on your hearing. A good pair of ear protectors should be part of every toolkit.
Rule of thumb: if you have to scream to hear each other, your environment is too loud. Clubbing is one activity that has experts worried about the long-term effects on the hearing health of young adults.
Usually, after spending a night in a club, the noise exposure negatively affects hair cells in the inner ear. This condition can cause tinnitus, a constant or periodic buzzing noise in one or both ears associated with hearing loss. Turns out that ringing in your ear is your ears having a serious hangover (and suffering from damage already done). There are special ear plugs for music lovers that help against the effects of this noise exposure.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are lots of ototoxic medications on sale. Certain drugs like antibiotic gentamicin and some chemotherapy drugs can damage the ear, thereby causing hearing loss.
Hearing loss side effects may not be stipulated on drug labels, but patients have had their share of this experience.
#6 Getting Older
I don’t know if this technically counts as an activity, but sometimes it doesn’t really matter what you do. As you age, your hearing will decline. Those ear plugs and other protectors we’ve mentioned above will slow, but not stop the effects aging has on your hearing. If you’ve started to notice the first signs of hearing loss, it might be time to look into a pair of hearing amplifiers for mild hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a condition that can be caused by nerve damage in the ear. Some medications, exposure to loud noise, and other activities could put your hearing health at risk. Though treatment can help if you discover the problem on time, the condition cannot be cured.
It’s advisable to use earplugs to protect your ears at all times. Earplugs are easy to pop into the ear; they can be custom made too. Remember to visit a medical professional regularly to ensure you have healthy ears and mitigate any problems that might arise.