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Hearing Loss and Balance: Chemicals In Your Home

If you struggle with hearing loss and maintaining your balance, you may not be to blame. While your Audiologist should regularly see you to assess, treat, and maintain your hearing, know that your environment plays a significant role in your hearing health.

Common Causes for Hearing Loss and Balance Issues

The World Health Organization lists several reasons one may have hearing loss and balance issues; they include common causes you may be aware of, including:

 

  • Exposure to loud noises repeatedly
  • Birth anomalies
  • Ear infections
  • Smoking
  • Impacted earwax
  • Genetic predisposition

 

You may not know that the chemicals in and around your home may be causing your hearing loss and balance difficulties.

Chemicals In Your Home that May Cause Hearing Loss and Balance Issues

We come in to contact with chemicals daily when doing laundry, cleaning, or even weeding the garden. Chemicals that can cause hearing loss and balance issues are known as ototoxic chemicals. These chemicals enter the body through inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion.

 

The following chemicals in and around your home may cause hearing loss and balance difficulties, including:

Benzene

  • Plastics
  • Paints
  • Cleaning agents
  • Cigarette smoke

Carbon Disulfide

  • Pesticides

Carbon Monoxide

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Welding
  • Gasoline-powered tools and vehicles

Styrene

  • Plastics
  • Insulating material

Trichloroethylene

  • Paints
  • Waxes
  • Pesticides
  • Lubricants
  • Rug cleaners
  • Spot remover

Toluene

  • Paints
  • Lacquers
  • Adhesives
  • Rubber
  • Leather tanning
  • Spray paint

Xylene

  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Thinners

Why Do Chemicals Cause Hearing Loss and Balance Issues?

The chemicals listed above are in common items, but how do they damage your ears?

 

Over time if you do not take precautions to protect your ears, you may damage the nerve fibres and hair cells in your inner ear. The damage may start as ringing in your ears (tinnitus) and progress to hearing loss and eventually problems with your balance.

 

The people most often exposed to harmful chemicals are those that work in hazardous jobs. If this applies to you, carefully follow your employer’s guide to preventing such damage.

Reducing Your Exposure to Household Chemicals

Many of us may not use these products regularly, but when we do, we should take precautions to reduce our exposure. Work in well-ventilated areas; for example, if you’re painting your room, ensure your windows are open to let in the fresh air. You can also wear a mask to reduce the toxins you inhale while working.

 

Working with your Audiologist can determine if household chemicals affect your hearing loss and balance struggles. You can learn to reduce exposure to such chemicals and improve your hearing and balance with the correct treatment. Contact the Pindrop Hearing team today.

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