In an effort to bring awareness to ways you can help maintain healthy hearing and a healthful life, we’ve identified 5 Healthy Hearing Facts that you have control over.

  1. Untreated Hearing Loss Increases Risk for Dementia: A 12-year study conducted by the Neurology Department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that untreated hearing loss increased the risks for dementia.
  2. Smoking Can Cause Hearing Loss: Recent studies have found that smoking is a significant risk factor for hearing loss. Though ototoxicity is not fully understood. It is speculated that the nicotine in cigarettes causes cochlea anemia, meaning that the body has reduced ability to carry oxygen to the cochlea, the organ of hearing. Without sufficient oxygen, the cells within the cochlea that are responsible for picking up sound and sending that sound to the brain for processing, can die.
  3. Cotton Swabs Can Do More Harm Than Good: Save the cotton swabs for art projects and makeup. Not only is ear wax (Cerumen) beneficial it also helps to protect our ears by; helping to fight off infection, capturing dust, dirt and debris from getting inside our ears, and moisturizing the inner ear. By using a cotton swab (or Q-Tip) – you can actually push the ear wax further into the ear canal causing build up or a blockage. Or even worse, you could potentially rupture or puncture the ear drum.
  4. Unidentified Hearing Loss Can Cause Fatigue: Individuals who have unidentified hearing loss may suffer from increased fatigue caused by additional work the brain and body are doing in order to over compensate for the missing pieces the ear is not detecting. These physical and emotional side effects can be minimized and even overcome with evaluation and effective treatment.
  5. Diet Can Play an Important Role in Healthy Hearing: A healthy diet can be a cornerstone to a healthy life. This too can have positive effects on hearing. These foods and minerals can help promote healthy hearing.
    • Omega 3 Fats and Vitamin D – strengthens the blood vessels in our ears sensory system. Found in tuna, salmon, and trout.
    • Magnesium – aids in maintaining normal nerve function, which is vital in relaying hearing information from our cochlea to the brain. Found in spinach, potatoes, nuts, bananas, and avocados.
    • Potassium – plays a large role in how cells interact in the inner ear. Found in melons, apricots, bananas, and oranges.
    • Zinc – a cofactor which is a helper molecule, which helps many of the body’s chemical reactions. Research has shown that increased daily zinc intake can help to improve symptoms of tinnitus. Found in shellfish, yogurt, milk and red meat.

For more information on how Champlain Valley Audiology can help you, please give us a call at 518-324-5705.