Approximately 36 million people in the United States have hearing loss. The causes of hearing loss can be divided into two broad categories, congenital hearing loss and acquired hearing loss
- Congenital hearing loss is defined as hearing loss present at or acquired soon after birth.
- Acquired deafness is defined as the loss of hearing that occurs or develops some time during a person’s life but was not present at birth.
Fortunately, many cases of acquired hearing loss can be prevented.
SOME SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING HEARING LOSS INCLUDE:
- Immunizing children against childhood diseases, including measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps.
- Discuss the use of over the counter medications with your physician that you may use in conjunction with prescribed medications that can potentially cause hearing loss.
- Reducing exposure (both occupational and recreational) to loud noises.
- Don’t smoke. Exposure to tobacco smoke has been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss. If you smoke, preserving your hearing is one more good reason to quit.
- Follow the rules regarding the removal of earwax. It’s very easy to cause damage to the outer and middle ear if not removed properly.
YOUR DIET AND HEARING LOSS
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicated that some day your diet may play a significant role in preventing hearing loss. According to Dr. Sharon Curhan, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the study women who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss.
Researchers analyzed data from 65,215 women gathered between 1991 and 2009. The female participants self-reported on their diet as well as a number of conditions, including hearing loss. And as it turned out the type of fish consumed was not significant. The study showed that the women who consumed the most fish were the least likely to report hearing loss. While the researchers found an association between greater fish consumption and hearing preservation, they have yet to prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship.