Causes of Hearing Loss

Here are 5 reasons for hearing loss if you think hearing loss is just an age-related problem, think again. Hearing loss can occur suddenly or progressively at any point in life. A variety of factors can cause people of all ages to develop hearing loss in one or both ears.

While loud noise and music are often the most commonly recognized causes, there are other influences that can have you asking, “Can you repeat that?” Here are five lesser-known offenders:

Smoking

As if you needed another reason to kick the habit, now researchers are warning that smoking can affect your hearing. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and shrink, including the blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the inner ear. Without adequate blood flow, the cochlea can quite literally “suffocate,” resulting in hearing loss.

Pain Killers

What soothes your aches and pains may be damaging your ears. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen two or more days per week resulted in an increased risk of hearing loss. Researchers suspect that the drugs reduce blood flow to the cochlea (an essential hearing mechanism), thereby impairing its function. Other drugs that have been linked to hearing loss include antibiotics, oxycodone and certain types of chemotherapy.

Stress and Anxiety

There’s no doubt that hearing loss can make a person feel stressed and anxious, but doctors say that stress and anxiety may be risk factors for developing hearing disorders in the first place. Studies have shown a correlation between stress levels and hearing ability. Because researchers have established a connection between stress and illness, it’s thought that stressed individuals may have a higher incidence of illness and infection, which in turn may lead to hearing impairment.

Allergies

Sniffing and sneezing aren’t the only effects of seasonal allergies. Experts say that people with allergies are also susceptible to hearing loss. They believe that high pollen levels can cause an allergic reaction in the inner ear, which causes swelling and an increase in fluid and wax accumulation. Luckily, many people find that as their allergies subside, so do their hearing problems.

Cell Phones

The jury is still out on this one, but some specialists say cell phone use may cause hearing impairment. Practitioners are seeing more young people in their twenties for conditions such as tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and hearing loss, and studies suggest that the electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones may damage the cochlea and auditory cortex. They found that hearing problems sometimes develop in the ear that is favored most frequently when using a cell phone. Using a landline, Bluetooth earpiece or a headset is thought to be a safer option.

New Technology for Better Hearing

If you have difficulty hearing, all is not lost. Educating yourself about how to prevent and treat hearing loss is the best first step, and there are many new technologies available that can improve your hearing. Contact a hearing professional near you to learn more about the latest options.

Hidden Hearing offers FREE tests call 1800 370 000 or book online. www.hiddenhearing.ie

Source Healthy Hearing Read More >

Where are the biggest health problems?

People in the cities of Limerick and Cork believe they have the poorest health, according to new Census 2011 figures.

Both cities also rank as having the highest proportion of people with a disability, the latest national snapshot revealed.

Nearly one in five people in Limerick city has a disability while 2.6pc of its residents describe their health as “bad or very bad”.

Cork city dwellers have a disability rate of 17.7pc while 2.2pc say their health status is low, the Central Statistics Office(CSO) revealed.

There is a higher proportion of people with a disability in Waterford city (15.3pc) than in Dublin (14.9pc). But when it comes to bad health Dubliners are ahead at 2pc, compared to 1.9pc in Waterford.

This is the first time in the Census questionnaire that people have been asked to rate their health and is it believed to be a good indicator of the real state of their well-being.

People living in the suburbs of the five major cities had the best overall health.

Disability included sight and deafness problems, intellectual disability, difficulty learning, psychological problems, pain, breathing problems or long-term illness.

The latest snapshot of the nation reveals there is a quiet army of 190,000 people who are providing unpaid care and assistance to families and friends.

They are giving 6.2 million hours of care weekly, an average of 33.6 hours of unpaid help for every carer.

Women, many in their mid to late forties, are providing two-thirds of this form of care.

It also emerged that as many as 4,338 children under 15 years of age are carers.

Healthier

Overall, there were 595,335 people in the population who had a disability in 2011, a rise of 201,550 over five years.

The report found that widows are more likely to be healthy than separated or divorced people, with married people also found to be healthier than singletons.

There are lower levels of education among the disabled and they are also less likely to have a job. There are 162,681 people with a disability in the labour force, a rate of 30pc compared to 61.9pc for the entire population.

At Hidden Hearing we offer FREE health check for your hearing simply call us 1 800 370 000 or book online www.hiddenhearing.ie

– Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent

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