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Surprising Links to Hearing Loss


Terri Ellert, HIS

Terri has been in practice as a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for the past 11 years and is a co-founder of the Hearing Centers of Arizona.
Terri Ellert, HIS

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Surprising Links to Hearing Loss

Do you have hearing loss? Maybe one of your loved ones is struggling to hear, and it’s affecting the entire family. Many of us know that hearing loss can be a natural part of aging, and half of all seniors over the age of 75 strain to hear or understand conversations. Loud noise is another culprit in hearing loss, and many teens and adults have hearing loss from noisy jobsites, excessively loud leisure activities, or unsafe listening practices through earbuds or headphones. However, there are many other causes of hearing loss, and here are a few of the most surprising links to hearing loss.

Medications that Can Cause Hearing Loss

You might not think of this link, but there are a handful of medications that can cause hearing loss! The medications that affect your hearing usually do so by restricting the blood flow to your ears. When your blood isn’t circulating well, your ears could become oxygen deprived, and suffer from lack of nutrients. They can even be damaged, or in worst case scenarios, die. When the cells in your ears are damaged, you will experience hearing loss, and struggle to hear in your daily interactions with family and friends.

One of the most common kinds of medication that can affect your hearing are over the counter painkillers such as acetaminophen, or Tylenol, and ibuprofen, or Advil. Regular use of Aspirin has also been linked to both hearing loss and tinnitus. Taking these painkillers even 3 times in a week for a few weeks will start to affect your hearing, so always be mindful about how you’re using these painkillers, and talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your hearing health.

Infections Can Cause Hearing Loss

A common cause of hearing loss among children and teens is infections. Both viral and bacterial infections can affect the ears, damaging the delicate cells in the inner ear, and leading to hearing loss. You’d expect that ear infections would damage your ears, but if you have a respiratory tract infection, you could also face sudden hearing loss.

Health Conditions that Lead to Hearing Loss

A surprising number of health conditions have been linked to hearing loss, and the list might surprise you. Diabetes and hearing loss have been closely linked in several recent studies. Osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can also affect the structures of the inner ear. If you have any of these conditions, see your doctor right away to do the right thing for your health, and protect your hearing.

Habits that Damage Hearing

If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, you’re risking far more than putting on a bit of weight or being less mobile. Unhealthy habits can damage your hearing health, and leave you straining to hear. Smoking has been closely linked to hearing loss, and those who don’t get enough exercise also risk higher rates of hearing loss. To protect your hearing and improve your overall health, eat a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and stay active.

Earwax Could Be Blocking Your Ear Canal

Have you noticed the signs of tinnitus, that annoying ringing or buzzing sound in your ears that keeps you awake at night, or bothers you anytime you find yourself in a quiet place? Earwax could be causing your hearing loss. Impacted earwax blocks your ears, and cleaning your ears with cotton swabs or Q-tips can simply push the wax further into your ear canal and make the problem worse. If you think you have an earwax buildup, visit a doctor to check your ears, have them irrigated with water, and get back to hearing clearly.

Hearing Centers of Arizona

If you’ve been struggling to hear, whether from any of these or some other cause, don’t hesitate to visit us at Hearing Centers of Arizona where our team of hearing health specialists will work with your to determine your level of hearing loss, and the best treatment method that will help you hear in every listening environment, from the quiet of your own living room to a crowded conference meeting at the office, or family dinner with your loved ones. Our hearing aids are designs for the ultimate in comfort, discretion, and easy hearing.

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