How does alcoholaffect your hearing?
Many Americans like a glass of wine or a few beers every now and then. In fact, around 24 million Americans take more than 70 drinks per week, and only 30 percent of us don’t drink at all. But does drinking affect hearing, and what level of alcohol consumption is safe for those at risk from hearing loss? Well, as you’d expect with a medical and social issue like drinking, the picture is complex, but there are some takeaways for hearing loss patients to think about.
How to drink safely and minimize the risks to your hearing
Before you stop drinking entirely to protect your hearing, relax. 70 percent of Americans drink regularly, and 70 percent of Americans aren’t afflicted by hearing loss. The number is actually around 15 percent, so clearly not everyone who drinks will ruin their hearing.
The issue is how to mix social drinking with safe behavior. The first step is to understand the risks involved, and to limit your exposure to excessive alcohol and noise at the same time. Excuse yourself after a few hours in noisy environments, and be aware of things like tinnitus and dizziness (another problem related to the inner ear).
The important thing is to moderate your drinking, and seek professional help when issues arise. You definitely don’t need to stop drinking. In fact, some studies have found that a glass of red wine a day can protect your hearing – so don’t be puritanical. Take it easy, deal with problems when they arise, and you’ll be fine.