The holidays often mean more celebrations, and that sometimes comes with greater alcohol consumption. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a celebratory cocktail at 067 Eatery, consuming too much alcohol is undeniably bad for your health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you consume no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. Consuming more than that can lead to significant health problems, including hearing loss.
How Alcohol Affects Hearing
Alcohol can negatively affect your hearing in several ways:
- Heavy alcohol consumption increases your risk for heart disease and other vascular disorders. This can negatively affect the circulation in your ear, and cause hair cells in your inner ear to degrade, leading to hearing loss.
- Alcohol makes you less sensitive to loud noises. Bars, concert venues and other areas where you might typically drink can often be very loud, sometimes dangerously so. Exposure to loud noises can negatively impact hearing on both a temporary and permanent level.
- A study of 30 young adults found that alcohol led to temporary problems hearing lower frequency sounds. The participants hearing returned to normal once they were sober. However, researchers suggest that frequent alcohol-induced hearing loss could lead to more permanent damage.
- Some people can experience tinnitus after heavy drinking. Tinnitus is described as a ringing in the ears, but can also sound like hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or other noise. In cases where it is induced by alcohol, it is usually temporary, but can be disorienting.
If You Believe You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
Whether you believe you are experiencing hearing loss due to alcohol or another cause, the best thing you can do for your hearing health is to schedule a hearing test. Knowing the results of those tests gives you the power to make the decision that’s right for you.
During a hearing test your audiologist will seek to determine:
- How your ears respond to loud sounds
- The quietest sound you can hear at different pitches
- How well you can hear speech
- The movement capacity of your eardrum
- What type of hearing loss you have
If hearing aids are right for you, your audiologist will work with you to determine which models best meet your needs. They will also help with fitting, programming and provide ongoing support to help you adjust to a whole new way of hearing the world.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Rancho Santa Fe Audiology today.