Reducing Your Risk of Hearing Loss
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
The risks of some types of hearing loss cannot be lowered. The risk of other types of hearing loss can be reduced by taking these steps.
Avoid Loud Noises
Wear ear protection when you will be exposed to a loud noise or loud noises over a long period of time. Target shooting and loud concerts are two types of loud noise.
People who smoke are more likely to have hearing loss. Quitting may lower the risk.
Avoid Some Medicines
Some medicines may harm the ear and lead to hearing loss, such as some antibiotics, drugs to treat cancer, and aspirin. People should talk to their doctors about the medicines they take.
Manage Health Problems
Some health problems can lead to hearing loss, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. People with these health problems should follow the care plan given to them by their doctor.
Think About Taking Supplements
Some people who have low levels of folate may be able to lower the risk of hearing loss by taking folic acid supplements. Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids may also help. Fish and flaxseed are good sources.
Noise-induced hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss. Updated May 31, 2019. Accessed October 29, 2019.
Stachler RJ, Chandrasekhar SS, et al; American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). Clinical practice guideline: sudden hearing loss. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;146(3 Suppl):S1-35.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-sensorineural-hearing-loss. Updated November 26, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 6/5/2020
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