There is currently no effective way to prevent congenital or genetic deafness or hearing loss. However, hearing screening for newborns can help ensure that hearing loss in young babies is detected and treated at the earliest possible stage.
The following are steps you can take to help prevent other types of hearing loss:
Decreasing or quitting smoking may prevent or delay age-related hearing loss. Smoke may act as a toxin, harm blood flow to the cochlea, or change blood consistency.
Prevent Ear Infections
Washing your hands often can help prevent ear infections, which can lead to long-term hearing loss. This is especially important for children.
Treat Other Medical Conditions
A number of medical conditions can lead to hearing loss, especially if they are not treated properly. This is particularly true for ear infections, which occur often in children. But it is also true for cardiovascular diseases,
, and illnesses that involve a high fever, such as meningitis.
Address Nutritional Deficiencies
It may be possible to slow age-related hearing loss in elderly persons through dietary modification. In a recent study, 728 men and women with age-related hearing loss and low folic acid levels in their blood were given either folic acid supplements (800 g) or placebo for three years. Hearing decline for speech was slower in the group that received folic acid during that period of time.
Get All Appropriate Immunizations
This is especially important for children and pregnant women given the increased risk that infectious diseases such as
can lead to hearing loss. People at risk for the
should get a flu shot each year to prevent respiratory infections that could lead to ear infection and hearing loss.
Palmer KT, Griffin MJ, Syddall HE, et al. Cigarette smoking, occupational exposure to noise, and self reported hearing difficulties.
Occup Environ Med
Updated Treatment section on 1/24/2007 according to the following studies, as cited by
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
: Durga J, Verhoef P, Anteunis L, Schouten E, Kok F. Effects of folic acid supplementation on hearing in older adults:
a randomized, controlled trial.
Ann Int Med.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a