Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss. So if you're exposed to loud noise on the job or at home, the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests how you can protect your hearing:
- Wear disposable earplugs or special earmuffs when exposed to loud noise.
- Use rubber mats under noisy kitchen appliances.
- Install sound-absorbing draperies, carpeting and storm windows.
- Limit the volume on loud electronic devices.
- Don't use several noisy machines at once or use one loud noise to drown out another.
- Get an annual hearing test.
Diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to have hearing loss, according to the American Diabetes Association. It's thought that diabetes damages the small blood vessels and nerves in the inner-ear, the ADA says.
The association suggests diabetics heed these warning signs of hearing loss:
- Asking people frequently to repeat themselves.
- Having trouble keeping track of conversations with more than two participants.
- Noticing that other people appear to be mumbling.
- Having difficulty hearing in places where there's loud noise.
- Having difficulty hearing young children and women.
- Needing to turn the radio or TV louder than is comfortable for others.