Aside from the odd infection and build-up of ear wax, it’s easy to view our ears as fairly simple organs. Though many people don’t realise it, other parts of your body can have a direct impact on the state of your ears. Here are three seemingly unrelated issues that are among the causes of hearing loss.
No surprise here. If you’re a smoker, you regularly hear how bad it is for you from friends, family, doctors and even cigarette packets. Though the most glaring symptoms are in your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, smoking can also contribute to hearing loss.
The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke are detrimental to your inner ear’s ability to transmit vibrations to your brain, and the more you smoke, the more damage you’ll cause to your ear. Though you’ve probably heard this a million times before, second-hand smoke will have the exact same effects on those around you.
Overeating and under-exercising
Being overweight places you at risk of many different problems, from circulatory trouble to diabetes to heart problems. Though many aren’t aware of it, all of these health issues have been linked to hearing loss. One 2013 study from the US Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women with higher body mass indexes were 17% more likely to experience some form of hearing loss.
The study also established that non-strenuous physical activity, such as walking for at least two hours per week, lowered the risk of weight-related hearing loss. Of course, this is just one way body weight affects your health – it’s never too late to establish some healthier habits!
Not having regular dental check-ups
Perhaps the most surprising habit that can lead to hearing loss is taking a blasé approach to your dental health. When you don’t keep an eye on your pearly whites, it can allow harmful bacteria to get into the bloodstream, clogging and constricting the arteries that carry blood to the brain. This can cause interference in the way your brain receives signals from your auditory nerve. Poor oral health can also increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes and stroke, which have all been linked with hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss – where to find out more
If you’d like to know more about how to protect your hearing, or if you’d like to have a hearing check-up, please contact us.
Or you can learn more on our Hearing Protection web page.