When you think about hearing loss, do major injuries come to mind? While it’s true that very loud noises and physical damage can cause hearing loss, there are a few everyday activities that can erode your hearing a little at a time. The effects might not be noticeable immediately but over time, you’ll find it harder and harder to hear.
1. You Use Cotton Swabs
Most people know that cotton swabs can damage your eardrums if pushed too far into the ear. What you might not realize is that even if you stick to the outer parts of the ear, you may be pushing wax back inside the canal. This compacted earwax can obstruct the canal and affect your hearing.
2. You’re Not Diving Safely
An important aspect of diving properly is having the right equipment. As you’re descending, you need to ensure that the balance in your ears is maintained. If this doesn’t happen, you could end up damaging your eardrums.
3. You Don’t Protect Your Ears on Airplanes
There’s no doubt that airplanes are one of the loudest modes of transportation around. If you’re flying, consider using noise-canceling earphones or headphones. In an ideal world, you’d be able to choose a seat in the plane that’s not as loud but it’s not wise to count on that option.
4. Your Diabetes Risk Is High
The body is a complex combination of systems, which means an issue in one area can affect something else that seems unrelated. When it comes to your hearing, diabetes can weaken blood vessels that are integral to your hearing. If you’re at risk for diabetes, you should get it under control quickly.
5. You Take Certain Medications
While all medications have side effects, there are a select few that have what are known as ototoxic effects. That means they are poisonous or damaging to the ear. If you’re taking antibiotics, aspirin, blood pressure medications, or you’re on chemotherapy, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
6. You’re Not Getting Enough Potassium
A balanced diet is essential to being healthy. Potassium, in particular, has been found to be important for how the middle ear converts sound to signals the brain can interpret. To make sure you’re getting the right amount of potassium, you should include bananas, beets, spinach, potatoes, and oranges in your diet.
7. You Don’t Use Headphones Properly
Many people use headphones to block out external noise. The issue with that is you might not be using the right ones. If you’re constantly increasing the volume of what you’re listening to then you’re likely to damage your ears. What you should be doing instead is using noise-canceling earphones or headphones that fit your ears well.