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How Lifestyle Habits Can Impact Ear Health

How Lifestyle Habits Can Impact Ear Health

Do you have ringing or muffled hearing in one or both of your ears? If so, you’ve probably wondered what is causing this issue.

The key to unlocking the issue is to understand lifestyle habits that impact ear health. By doing so, you can prevent further hearing loss.

Not sure where to start? Keep reading to learn about how lifestyle habits can impact ear health.

Bad Habits That Worsen Ear Health

Bad habits can have a big impact on ear health. Some of these bad habits are listed down below:


Smoking is a bad habit that can detrimentally affect ear health. The dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke can penetrate deep into the ear. This can cause damage to the eardrums, eardrum inflammation, and even hearing loss.

Long-term smokers are at an increased risk of developing tinnitus. Smoking can also reduce the efficacy of treatments for certain ear conditions, such as different types of hearing aids. It can affect the performance of these devices. 

Biting and Chewing

Biting and chewing, whether it be on our nails, pencils, or any other objects, are bad habits that take a toll on our ear health. Constant biting usually causes an infection of the outer ear canal. This is due to the trauma and accumulation of bacteria, leading to an itchy, painful experience.

Additionally, biting items too hard could potentially cause injury to the delicate parts of the ear lobe or external ear. Incessant chewing can also cause injury to the inner ear as well as to its delicate structures. In severe cases, it can cause hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus. 


Inactivity is one of the most damaging bad habits that can affect ear health. Without regular exercise, circulation is impaired, making it difficult for the body to filter out toxins in the blood. This can lead to a buildup of toxins in the ears, which can cause swelling, itching, and increased sensitivity of the ear.

Additionally, inactivity may result in problems with inner ear structure development. It may lead to hearing problems and other ear health issues down the line. 

Swimming and Water Exposure

Although it is a great form of exercise, swimming is a bad habit that can affect the health of the ears. Swimming and other forms of water exposure create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive in. This can lead to many ear diseases and infections.

Water also softens the earwax, which can allow the growth of bacteria in the ear canal resulting in infections. And these chronic ear infections can result in hearing loss or permanent ear damage.

Listening to Music at High Volumes

Constant exposure to loud music can cause hearing loss and permanent damage to delicate cochlea cells. It can even cause tinnitus. This is a condition where the individual experiences a continuous ringing or buzzing sound in the ears and hyperacusis.

In addition, noise-induced hearing loss can also lead to a decrease in speech and language comprehension. As such, it is important to be aware of the risks posed by loud music and take precautionary measures.

Cleaning Ears Too Aggressively

Cleaning ears too aggressively includes using objects such as cotton swabs, bobby pins, or even pencils to clean the ear canal. This practice can push ear wax and debris further down the canal.

The action, therefore, increases the risk of damage to the delicate tissues within the canal. And it also damages the essential protective layer of ear wax required to protect the eardrum from infection. It can even cause ear infections, hearing loss, and even loss of balance. 

Good Habits That Improve Ear Health

Good habits are a vital part of ear health, as they can help protect against hearing loss. Some of these good habits are listed down below for you to follow:

Regular Cleaning

Ensuring you regularly clean your ears plays an important role in maintaining ear health. It is advisable to use a soft cloth to carefully remove any wax buildup and dirt.

Additionally, when cleaning the outer ear, a gentle, circular motion is best to avoid damaging the delicate skin of the ear. This ensures that bacteria and dirt do not build up and prevent ear infections.

It is also important to avoid earbuds or cotton swabs when cleaning the ears. These can push wax deeper into the ear and irritate. Cleaning the ears regularly also gives sharper audio, as it helps remove any wax build-up that can muffle the sound.

Listening in Lower Volumes

Always listen to audio in lower volumes. This includes music, videos, or other audio sources that you often hear through headphones, earbuds, or speakers. Muting a phone call increases the risk of hearing loss.

By keeping the sound levels low, you can more easily absorb the sound around you without any long-term harm. This is especially true when listening to music for extended periods.

Eating Right

Eating a balanced diet provides your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to remain healthy. So you should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. 

Good fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are important for building healthy cell membranes and lubricating the ear canal. Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin cells in the ear canal, and Vitamin C helps to fight off infections.

Avoiding highly processed and sugary foods is important, as they can raise yeast levels in the ear and lead to infection. And eating too much salt can dehydrate the body and cause hearing loss. 

Taking Vitamins

Vitamins are essential to maintain a healthy inner ear and auditory system. The most important vitamins for improved ear health are vitamins A, C, and E. They provide the body with antioxidants that fight off infection and a healthier balance of ear fluids.

Vitamin D is also important. It helps maintain strong bones, including the bones of the ear, which are responsible for conducting sound waves. Taking a daily multivitamin is also a helpful habit to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins to protect your hearing ears from infection. 

Be Aware of Lifestyle Habits That Affect Your Ear Health

Lifestyle habits are integral to ear health. Eating a balanced diet, listening at lower volumes, and taking vitamins are key steps to ensure that your ears are functioning well. You also need to avoid bad habits like smoking and cleaning your ears too aggressively.

For more information, reach out to your audiologist on how to improve your hearing health.

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