Chiropractic Healing Works

Chiropractic Healing Works

3 Things You Didn't Know Could Affect Your Hearing

by Charlie Berry

It's easy to think of hearing loss as something that happens to your grandmother, not something that affects people of all ages. But you should know that there are a number of things that can cause hearing loss, and you don't have to wait for your golden years to experience them. Lifestyle choices, medication, and certain medical conditions may cause hearing loss, no matter what age you happen to be. Take a look at some of the surprising things that can affect your hearing. If you have any of these risk factors, it may be time to go in for a hearing test.

Lighting Up

There are many reasons why cigarettes are an unhealthy choice, and if you smoke, you've probably heard most of them from doctors, friends, and family members. Emphysema, lung cancer, birth defects, bronchitis, and throat cancer have all been linked to tobacco use, and any one of those conditions is a good reason to quit. But what you may not know is that researchers have found a strong link between smoking and another life-altering condition: hearing loss.

Are you wondering how cigarettes could possibly affect your ears? As it turns out, the chemicals in cigarettes attack vital elements in your middle and inner ear, affecting your ability to hear certain sounds, especially high frequency sounds. Even worse, the chemicals go on to cause damage in your brain, which interferes with the way the brain processes and interprets sounds. The more you smoke, the stronger the link between smoking and hearing damage becomes, so even cutting down your daily cigarette intake can help protect your hearing. However, the best thing that you can do for your ears is to kick the habit entirely.

Sneezing and Wheezing

Do you suffer from asthma or allergies? If so you may already have your hands full dealing with your symptoms when the pollen counts are high. You probably won't be thrilled to learn that your breathing problems may lead to yet another health problem. Unfortunately, some doctors are convinced that people with asthma or allergies are more susceptible to hearing loss than people without allergies.

The problem is that some allergic reactions cause the middle ear to fill with fluid. The Eustachian tubes in your ears then become inflamed, which prevents the ear from draining the fluid. Ear infections are common among asthma and allergy sufferers. In many cases, the hearing loss is only temporary, but if the infections are frequent or aren't treated, it can lead to more permanent hearing damage, as well as to conditions like tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and Meniere's disease (a condition that causes vertigo). Also, frequent ear infections that impair hearing can delay speech in young children.

Popping Painkillers

Over the counter analgesics like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen are supposed to be safe to self-administer – that's why you can buy them over the counter with no prescription. But what many people don't realize is that, when overused, these seemingly-benign painkillers can have serious adverse effects. And overuse is incredibly common. Acetaminophen alone hospitalizes 30,000 people a year, mostly due to liver failure. But the liver isn't the only thing affected by these drugs – they can also negatively impact your hearing.

In addition to being toxic to the liver, an overdose of analgesics can also damage your kidneys. And things that are harmful to the kidneys are often harmful to the ears as well. In the short term, taking too much of an analgesic can cause reversible hearing loss and tinnitus. However, studies done on both men and women confirm that an overly liberal use of over the counter painkillers is strongly linked with long term hearing loss as well.

In short, if you're a smoker, an allergy suffer, or a frequent user of OTC meds, your hearing is at risk. You should consult with an ENT that specializes in hearing about having your ears examined regularly. If you've already begun to experience hearing loss, a hearing aid specialist can help you find a hearing aid that's right for you. And if your hearing is fine for now, a hearing specialist can work with you to find ways to protect your ears going forward.


About Me

Chiropractic Healing Works

I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.