Do you have a bad habit you want to break in the New Year?
A habit is a way of behaving that is repeated and occurs subconsciously. These everyday actions become part of us and our identity. Some practices are harmless, while others may appear harmless but are detrimental to our health. Habits can be changed, and it is our responsibility to identify those habits that are harmful and rid ourselves of them. Some habits can harm hearing health. Here are a few of those habits and some steps you can take to rid yourself of them. Protecting your hearing is vital, so it is essential to take steps to protect this precious gift.
Smoking is harmful to your health. It is no secret that cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems are directly related to nicotine addiction. Your hearing health is also affected by smoking. Nicotine and carbon dioxide from cigarette smoke tighten the blood vessels in your ears, resulting in restricted blood flow. This depletion of oxygen damages the hair cells in the inner ear resulting in hearing loss.
However, there is some good news, and the benefits of smoking cessation begin just 20 minutes after you quit. Blood pressure drops and circulation improves, which benefits the flow of blood to your ears. If you smoke and would like to stop, check out the American Lung Association or smokefree.gov for help in quitting the habit.
Vaping is much like cigarettes in the way it harms your hearing health. E-cigarettes that contain nicotine affect your hearing in the same way as traditional tobacco. Furthermore, these e-juices, filled with chemicals, affect our health in ways that remain unknown. The hidden dangers of vaping are particularly dangerous for young people due to the variety of enticing e-juice flavors.
Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages causes numerous problems. It can affect your brain, which can also impact your hearing. Consuming alcohol over long periods damages the central auditory cortex, which is the part of your brain that processes auditory signals. The auditory cortex can shrink as a result of excessive drinking impacting the nerve responsible for processing sound. If you are trying to kick this habit and need some help, contact alcoholics anonymous or use the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.
Poor Dental Care
Brushing and flossing your teeth not only brightens your smile, but it also helps you hear better. By practicing good dental care habits, you free your mouth from bacteria that can cause infections in your mouth. This oral bacterium can make its way into the bloodstream. Once there, it may cause inflammation and narrowing of the arteries. Hearing health then suffers due to poor circulation. So be sure to brush, floss, and rinse regularly for good dental and hearing care.
Simply Ignoring A Hearing Loss
This last entry may be the most detrimental of all. Ignoring a hearing loss will not make it go away. The long-term health risks associated with disregarding a hearing loss are many and can seriously affect your health. If you have difficulty hearing, now is an excellent time for a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional.