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Low exposure to noise key to protecting ears from damage, say doctors

 Low exposure to noise key to protecting ears from damage, say doctors

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Sep 25 (KNO): In order to keep your ears safe, one should lower exposure to noise, stay away from drugs and maintain cardiovascular health, doctors said on Monday.

Dr Saima Tabassum consultant ENT J&K health services told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that there are various ways to protect ears from hearing loss and the most important is to stay away from noise.

“So lower your exposure to noise and reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as no matter what your age is or what your hearing status is it's always a good idea to protect your hearing when you're going to be exposed to loud sounds,” she added.

“Apart from noise we should be aware of drugs that cause hearing loss & there are hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription drugs linked to hearing loss. These ototoxic drugs can damage your hearing ability permanently so consult your expert before taking any medication.”

The doctor said the factors to consider are maintaining cardiovascular health meaning raised blood pressure, cardiac disease and deranged lipid profile can damage the vascular mechanisms inside ear.

“Similarly various researches have shown that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. Smoking and drinking has also shown association with hearing loss. As Studies have show that cigarette smoke can have a big impact on a person's hearing health,” Dr Saima added.

Similarly heavy alcohol consumption, according to her, can produce free radicals which are toxic to the body and ear.

“Like exercise, healthy eating is highly beneficial so food high in certain vitamins and minerals especially B12, potassium and magnesium are vital to good hearing. Studies have shown the beneficial effect of an iron rich diet in good hearing,” She added.

“Hearing loss has a genetic predisposition so catching the risk early can reduce your risk of the negative impacts of hearing loss, such as depression and social isolation.”

Another ENT specialist from GMC Srinagar told KNO that the signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include muffling of speech and other sounds, difficulty understanding words especially against background noise or in a crowd, trouble hearing consonants, frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.

He said causes of hearing loss include damage to the inner ear as aging and exposure to loud noise may cause wear and tear on hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea that send sound signals to the brain.

“When these hairs or nerve cells are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren't transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs,” he said.

Ear war can block ear canal and prevent conduction of sound waves and earwax removal can help restore your hearing.

He also said that in the outer or middle of ear, any of these issues can cause hearing loss and loud blasts of noise, sudden changes in pressure, poking your eardrum with an object and infection can cause your eardrum to rupture and affect your hearing.

Notably, the world deaf day is observed on last Sunday of September which serves as a reminder about awareness about the daily challenges faced by the deaf community.

The day serves to highlight the value of sign language as a means of communication and this day reminds us the importance of Ear and hearing—(KNO)

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