Prevention is the key to keep hearing

May 01, 2016

Q. Can you share some ways that I can improve my hearing?

A. Hearing loss is often the result of inner ear or nerve damage.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 37 million American adults age 18 and over have trouble hearing.

Prevention is the key to keeping your ears safe. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, and it is completely preventable.

Ear buds and headphones, when used with high volumes, damage the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. Once these hair cells are destroyed, they cannot be repaired or replaced.

Several other factors contributing to hearing loss include high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. These affect the circulation in the ears. Also, some medications are toxic to the ears, such as chemotherapy and certain types of antibiotics, which damage the nerve endings in the inner ear.