You may not realize it, but your ears are under constant attack.
The modern environment presents many unique threats to our hearing. The good news is that you are not helpless against these factors.
This Better Hearing Month, monitoring and maintaining your hearing health can help you to keep your hearing ability throughout your golden years. The first step in defense of your hearing is to identify the factors that can damage, and possibly destroy, your ability to hear normally. After you identify the threats you should schedule a hearing test to determine if you already suffer from hearing loss. The following are threats that you may not be aware of, but can damage your hearing. Once you know them, you will be better able to protect yourself against them.
When you think about the negative effects of smoking, hearing loss may not immediately come to mind. However, smoking can have negative effects on your hearing. Research indicates that nicotine is ototoxic (damaging to the ear). Specifically, it can damage the auditory nerve or the cochlea. Research studies, like this one from Reuters, illustrate that the damage that smoking does to our hearing is not anecdotal and is backed by research.
Like smoking, some medications can be ototoxic. Hearing loss due to an ototoxic medicine can come on suddenly and endure for as long as you take the medicine. Fortunately, hearing is typically restored when the medication’s use is discontinued, though some medications can cause permanent damage.
It probably comes as no surprise that loud noises at the movies can be damaging to your hearing. However, you may be surprised at how much damage movie theater noise can cause. Experts suggest that sounds above 85 decibels can damage your hearing. Many movies put out above that, some even recorded into the 90’s and over 100 decibel levels. This can cause major damage, especially to the young.
Driving in A Convertible
ABC News reports that an ear nose and throat surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, England, stated that driving a convertible can cause long-term hearing damage. Dr. Philip Michael’s research found that drivers are typically exposed to decibel levels of 88-90 decibels while driving. This damaging noise comes from not only the car’s engine, but also wind noise at high speeds, and traffic noise at lower speeds.
Hearing these facts can seem intimidating but there are relatively simple things that you can do to preserve your hearing. A good first step is to schedule a hearing test, contact us at Selective Hearing to schedule a hearing test in Acadiana. We will evaluate your health and can advise you on treatments and strategies to maintain and improve your hearing. Knowing what to look for and who to contact is the key to maintaining your hearing throughout your life.
An Abbeville, Louisiana native, Dr. Thom realized her love for speech, language, and hearing while taking a speech pathology class her junior year at LSU. After completing a bachelor of arts in communications disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a clinical doctorate in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to her patients and likes to learn about their unique hearing and communication needs. An active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, she has been serving as a board member for two years, and was the 2016-17 President of LAA.