An estimated 48 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss. You may think it's natural, something that happens as you age or comes from exposure to extremely loud noise. But you may be surprised to learn that some underlying illnesses have also been linked to hearing loss. Consumer Reports reveals what those are and tells you what you can do about it.
One thing is for sure: A higher risk of hearing loss has been linked to diabetes and other underlying illnesses, like osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and certain infections. The best thing you can do in all those cases is to make sure you are treating the underlying condition.
Even some prescription drugs and high doses of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin have been linked to an increased risk of hearing loss.
If you notice any hearing loss, Consumer reports says see your doctor immediately. If it's addressed quickly, permanent damage can often be prevented or minimized.
And of course loud sounds, especially for long periods of time, can harm your hearing. The World Health Organization says it's best to listen to music on personal devices at no more than 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than an hour a day. And protecting your ears with earplugs during fireworks or concerts can help.
Consumer Reports: How to protect your hearing
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