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alcohol consumption

Can Consumption of Alcohol Result in Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss can make life more challenging. Difficulty understanding speech leads to missed information. It also makes it hard to hear plays and television programs, leading to frustration and avoidance of social situations.

Your hearing loss affects your overall health as well. Research shows that it may lead to faster brain atrophy. Social isolation means you do not converse often, which can contribute to dementia. Poor hearing can also cause problems with your balance, making walking and other simple tasks difficult. Maintaining your hearing is an essential part of a healthy life.

How Alcohol Affects the Body

Alcohol has numerous harmful effects on the body, both short-term and long-term. After a night of drinking heavily, you can experience headaches, stomach ills, mental confusion, and alcohol poisoning.

Long-term Effects

Over time, excessive alcohol use can increase negatively affect your mood and memory. You will have an increased risk of stroke and dementia. High blood pressure, heart damage, and heart attacks can also result from drinking too much alcohol. Long-term drinking raises your chance of liver cirrhosis, stomach cancer, ulcers, and bowel cancer. Both men's and women's fertility can be compromised by excessive drinking.

Alcohol and Your Organs

Long-term alcohol abuse is frequently associated with liver damage. Cirrhosis of the liver, or scarring of the liver, means your liver cannot function effectively. In severe cases, this condition leads to death.

You can also develop alcohol-related cardiomyopathy, a condition where your heart muscles become dilated and stretch out of shape, impairing its ability to pump blood. Alcohol abuse can also cause high blood pressure, which can lead to several heart conditions, including congestive heart failure. These issues can be fatal.

Your hearing can also suffer due to excess alcohol consumption. You can harm the part of the brain that processes hearing and damage your ears.

The Science Behind Alcohol and Hearing Loss

Alcohol can harm your hearing in multiple ways. It can damage your brain's auditory cortex, which allows you to process sounds. Because of this effect, your ears may be in good shape, but you can still experience hearing loss.

You can develop other hearing difficulties because excess alcohol affects the amount and composition of your inner ear fluid, which can lead to dizziness. The blood vessels in your ears may swell and ultimately cause ringing or pulsing sounds, also known as tinnitus.

Studies and Statistics

Researchers have conducted multiple studies on this subject. A study done at the University of Ulm in Germany found that prolonged heavy drinking did harm the brain's auditory cortex.

In a study carried out by researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany, it was discovered that prolonged heavy drinking causes damage to a specific part of the brain.

Another study by Qian et al showed that drinkers had a higher risk of hearing loss than non-drinkers.

Tips for Healthy Hearing

These studies suggest that limiting your drinking can help protect your hearing. Moderate or light consumption will be less likely to harm your brain or ears. Other ways to protect your ears include:

  • Lowering the volume on speakers to 60%. Prolonged exposure to loud music or other loud sounds can harm your hearing.
  • Wearing noise-canceling or noise-reducing headphones when you are exposed to loud noises.
  • Avoid using cotton swabs to clean your ears, as they can damage your inner ear and cause blockage. Avoid inserting anything into your ear.
  • Keeping your ears dry, as moisture can introduce and trap bacteria in your ears. When swimming, it's a good idea to wear earplugs for protection.

Seeking Professional Help

If you suspect alcohol use has affected your hearing, schedule an appointment with a specialist at Beltone Dallas Ft. Worth. Tinnitus and difficulty understanding others may be signs of hearing loss. If you suffer any hearing symptoms, whether you drink or not, seek a professional evaluation.