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There are common causes of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss, which involves the inner ear, is often a product of aging, injury, and exposure to loud noise. Conductive hearing loss includes foreign objects in the ear, excessive earwax in the ear canal, and abnormal growths or tumors. There are other reasons for loss of hearing, and here are a few that may surprise you.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking is detrimental to your health in many ways. Did you know it also negatively affects your hearing? According to a hospital-based study, hearing loss, specifically a sensorineural hearing loss, has been linked to the abuse of tobacco. Smoking affects the Eustachian tube, the lining of the middle ear, and the auditory nerve which tells the brain what sounds you are hearing. Tinnitus, vertigo, and dizziness can result from nicotine abuse as well.

Diabetes

The particular cause of hearing loss for diabetics is not clear. Sustained elevated blood sugar levels damage blood vessels throughout the body including those in the ears. Diabetes also causes nerve damage. This nerve damage includes the auditory nerves which make those with diabetes particularly susceptible to prolonged loud noises.

Hypertension

If you receive a diagnosis of high blood pressure, it is important to have your hearing checked by a trained audiologist as soon as possible. High blood pressure damages all blood vessels, including those in the ears. Damaged vessels allow fatty plaque build-up to occur, which in turn causes hearing impairment.

Measles

The highly contagious viral disease that usually affects children has complications, including hearing loss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 30% of all individuals affected with measles also suffer ear infections and hearing loss.

Shingles

A person’s hearing is affected when shingles form on the face and neck area. Roughly one-third of those affected by the shingles rash around the ear can have temporary or permanent hearing loss. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a condition that can occur when a shingles infection affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. This syndrome can include hearing loss on one side, vertigo, facial weakness, and possible paralysis on one side of the face. Labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear, is accompanied by decreased hearing, severe ear pain, ringing in your ear, vertigo, and nausea.

Driving with the Top Down

Wind blowing in your hair is pleasant, but losing your hearing is not. As nice as owning a convertible car may be, they are not exactly good for your health. The limited insulation of a convertible fails to protect passengers from high wind speeds, vibrations, and higher decibels of sounds. Prolonged exposure to these conditions can severely damage your hearing.

Ear Buds

Music is a beautiful thing, especially when its portable and you can listen to it privately all day long. Unfortunately, our ears are not designed to endure constant music in such proximity. To make matters worse, we often listen to the music loudly to drown out ambient noise which increases the damage to our hearing.

Do you or a loved one have an untreated hearing loss? If the answer is yes, this is a good time to take action. A comprehensive hearing evaluation with an ear doctor will detect any hearing problems that may exist. Your physician can then design a treatment plan to correct your hearing loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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