Cellphones are cochlea killing culprits. Even though they have been cleared of causing tissue damage or brain cancer, they can cause high frequency hearing loss.
A study by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, found that ear warmth, ear fullness and ringing in the ears are early symptoms. Dr Naresh Panda and fellow researchers in India re-inforced these findings with a study of a hundred cell users, and concluded that four years of heavy usage (an hour a day) diminished the users’ ability to hear high frequencies, making it hard for them to distinguish between certain sounds. The cause? Electromagnetic waves emitted by handsets. ‘This radiation can affect your inner-ear mechanics over time,’ says Panda, who suggests always using a headset to move the cellphone away from your ear.
Dial down the volume of your phone, activate vibrate mode and cut down on the time you hold the phone to your ear.
Concerts and nightclubs
People often sweat in clubs and at concerts and dehydration is not good for inner-ear function. Steer clear of drinking too much alcohol in a noisy environment. It causes a specific fluid shift out of the inner ear, which also causes problems and re-disposes it to damage. This also explains why people often feel quite dizzy if they’ve drunk too much – the process affects the fluid in the balance-controlling, semicircular canals of the inner ear. Just don’t use it as an excuse for falling off your chair.
Take a bottle of water to a music festival and buy bottled water to go with your drinks at a nightclub. When you’re hitting the rock concert, beware of the sound levels and steer clear of the speakers. If you have a ringing in your ears when you go to the bathroom between sets, you’re damaging your ears. Invest in foam earplugs from your local chemist. They can knock off 30 decibels if inserted properly.
Unhealthy habits can play a part in hearing loss. For instance, smoking and chronic heavy drinking may damage blood vessels in the ears, affecting your hearing. And those aren’t the only lifestyle factors. There’s no convincing evidence that conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hyper-cholesterolaemia and hyperlipidaemia, and atherosclerosis are associated with hearing loss, although common sense tells us that they should be harmful to one’s hearing. High blood pressure and cholesterol can only make conditions worse.
Drop the smoking and cut back on the booze. Add some green, leafy vegetables to your eating plan.
Genetics and disease
Sadly, there are a number of genetic factors that can affect hearing loss. Below is a pared down list of some common ones. If you’ve been affected by any, or need clarification, contact an ENT specialist.
a) HIV – the virus not only affects the cochlea, but also may cause damage to the auditory nerve. People with Aids also tend to suffer from middle ear disease, which produces a conductive hearing loss.
b) Head trauma.
c) Ototoxic medication, platinum-based chemo-therapeutic agents and certain diuretics.
d) Viral infections like measles, mumps and cytomegalovirus.
e) Otosclerosis – a genetic condition in which the stapes (part of the ossicles or middle-ear bones) becomes fixed in the oval window leading into the inner ear. This can be corrected surgically.
f) Meningitis – anyone recovering from meningitis should be seen by an ENT specialist within six weeks of recovery.
g) Various diseases. Examples: syphilis, autoimmune diseases, congenital disorders, benign and malignant brain tumors.
Research your family tree and see an ENT specialist.
Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three…
There are a number of ways you can check if you are losing your hearing. Read on (if that’s not one of the only senses you want left) for a summarized list of the symptoms you should be watching out for:
1. Certain sounds seem very loud.
2. High-pitched sounds such as ‘s’ or ‘th’ are hard to distinguish from one another.
3. It’s hard to understand speech – vowels are all lower frequency but consonants are high.
4. Men’s voices are easier to hear than women’s ones.
5. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
If you have any of those symptoms, it’s time to see an ENT specialist and an audiologist. Your action plan to save your hearing will depend on the severity of your present sense of hearing (or lack of it), as you can choose just to prevent further hearing loss, or you can seek some medical intervention, either through hearing aids or surgery. The first step? A list of things you can do to prevent hearing loss.
Save your Hearing
Mute the commercials while watching TV. When you hit the volume button again after the ads, you’ll be surprised how loud it is and turn it down.
Stick your fingers in your ears .When you know there’s going to be a loud noise or if you’re trying to escape a noisy situation, use your fingers as makeshift ear protectors – it actually does help.
Step away. Doubling the distance halves the sound pressure. Research suggests that hair cells can recover if you rest your ears and keep noise below 85 decibels for 48 hours.
Don’t skimp on protection. If you work in a high-noise environment, you need proper hearing protection, depending on the noise levels and the duration of exposure. Be proactive – the effects are cumulative and you will not notice them after a single exposure. For quality control: hearing protectors are on properly if your voice sounds louder and deeper to you.
Have daily protein shakes. If you want to safeguard the cilia that remain, lower the volume and raise a glass of whey protein. Whey not only helps you build muscle, but also boosts your body’s production of glutathione, an antioxidant that University of Buffalo researchers found could limit noise-induced hearing loss in mice. They say it should have a similar protective effect in humans.
If you’ve already sustained serious hearing loss, however, then these tricks are not going to be enough. What is essential is that you see both an ENT specialist and an audiologist. Certain conditions affecting one’s hearing can be treated medically or surgically.
Both surgery and hearing aids carry advantages and disadvantages and these need to be explained thoroughly to the patient. Sadly, there are no magic pills that can restore your hearing to its original quality, but hearing aids are one way to improve it considerably. The new digital versions are much smaller and more inconspicuous. Even better, they can separate background noise, say in a restaurant, from speech with startling clarity. They can be divided up into categories:
a) Traditional hearing aids. Behind the ear (BTE) or in the ear (ITE) devices. ITEs may look better, but don’t necessarily deliver sufficient amplification for the more severe hearing losses.
b) Implantable devices. A bone-anchored hearing aid or middle-ear implantable device. These are highly-specialized devices that all have an external component behind the ear.
c) Cochlear implants. These devices convert sound into an electric current, which is then transmitted down an electrode array implanted directly into the cochlea. This treatment involves intensive rehabilitation to get a child or adult to hear correctly.
Published At: Isnare Free Articles Directory http://www.isnare.com