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Could your lifestyle be putting you at risk of hearing loss?

"by " Albert Stein

Hearing loss isn't the result of a sole cause – as a complex condition, there are many facets to it, and just as many triggers. Sometimes, it is due to an overexposure to loud volumes, such as in the case of noise-induced hearing loss. Believed to account for 37 per cent of all hearing loss cases in Australia*, NIHL is fortunately largely avoidable through primary prevention. 

Additionally, hearing loss often accompanies the ageing process, as in presbycusis, and can also be determined by hereditary factors. However, two causes many people may not have thought to have a bearing on hearing can also contribute towards its demise.

According to research published by Springer's Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, body mass index (BMI) and smoking could contribute to whether we develop a hearing condition*. 

Examining the data of 4,083 people aged between 53 and 67, researchers from the University of Antwerp found that smoking and being overweight ranked alongside occupational noise as putting people at risk of hearing loss*. 

The Victoria government's Better Health Channel identifies people with a BMI range of 25 to 29.9 as potentially being overweight, while those with a BMI in excess of 30 are deemed to be obese*. 

"Hearing loss has always been considered an inevitable part of ageing, but more and more studies seem to indicate this is not necessarily true. Apparently a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial for hearing conservation at higher ages," concluded Dr Erik Fransen from the University of Antwerp*.

If you have smoked in the past, or you believe that your weight may put you at risk of hearing loss, it may be a good idea to get your hearing checked. Click here or call 1800 340 631 to request an appointment with your local Audika clinic.

*Queensland Government, Noise induced hearing loss. Accessed November 9, 2015

*Springer, New research links smoking and body mass index to hearing loss. Accessed November 9, 2015

*Better Health Channel, Body mass index (BMI). Accessed November 9, 2015