It has been long established that consuming alcohol can cause severe damage to the brain. And it can even result in cognitive deficits. Moreover, in various research, it has been found that alcohol consumption can even lead to damage to the central auditory pathways of the brain. And this can lead to hearing loss.
In another study, scientists discovered that social and moderate drinkers could damage the central auditory pathway. This is because as time passes, the consumption of alcohol only increases.
So, does alcohol affect our hearing?
-Yes, it does! Whether you are a social or moderate drinker, eventually, you are affecting your health and hearing with alcohol consumption.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how alcohol affects our hearing and the possible solutions for this!
Ways Alcohol Damages Your Hearing
There are many ways alcohol can slowly deteriorate your hearing. And not only that, the further consequences of this can indeed be devastating.
Moreover, frequent drinking can even cause tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Below are some of the ways alcohol can be a disaster for your hearing!
1. Alcohol Shrinks Your Auditory Cortex
The auditory cortex is the brain’s part that is responsible for the processing of sounds. In short, you can say that it converts all the sound signals into music, words, and any other sounds that you hear.
Therefore, when you consume an excessive amount of alcohol, this can eventually shrink your auditory cortex. This, in turn, limits the ability of your auditory cortex to process sounds.
2. Alcohol Can Badly Affect the Ears’ Hair Cells
Numerous small hair cells in our inner ear can effortlessly translate any sounds surrounding the environment into our nerve impulses.
So, an excessive amount of alcohol consumption can severely damage the inner ear hairs. This is one of the significant reasons sound can’t be sent to the brain, causing hearing impairment.
3. Alcohol Causes Tinnitus
The consumption of too much alcohol can increase the flow of blood in the inner ear. This can be one of the important reasons for tinnitus (a buzzing, swooshing, or ringing sound in the ears).
Although tinnitus might resolve itself within a few hours, it can still be pretty annoying when it’s present. However, an excessive amount of consumption might result in it being permanent.
4. Alcohol Might Result in “Cocktail Deafness”
Hearing professionals have stated noise-induced hearing impairment as “Cocktail Deafness.” This issue can take place during drinking alcohol in a loud nightclub or bar.
Loud voices, loud music, and excessive alcohol consumption can all lead to tinnitus and hearing loss.
However, the effects of noise-induced hearing loss are primarily temporary, which can get resolved within a day or two. But exposure to such noises for too long can lead to permanent damage to your hearing.
5. Balancing Issues Can Also be Faced Due to Drinking
When you drink alcohol, there are chances that the fluid might get absorbed inside your inner ear, and it may even be there for quite a few times even after you have stopped drinking, and there’s no more presence of alcohol in the bloodstream.
This particular scenario might lead to balance issues and vertigo. And this is the reason why many people can feel “the spins” when they wake up in the morning after having a heavy drinking night!
6. Alcohol Affects the Amount of Fluid in the Ear
The fluid inside the ears is essential because it helps to maintain our body balance. So, when we consume alcohol, it can easily get absorbed inside the fluid of our ears. It can then stay there for quite a few times.
This absorption in the fluids can also cause temporary deafness, making you feel dizzy.
7. Alcohol Affects the Brain for Good
Your hearing health is very much linked to the health of your brain. And alcohol, in this case, can indeed have a detrimental effect on your brain.
Too much alcohol consumption can even severely damage the area of the brain responsible for the processing of sounds.
Yes, you might hear the sounds around you, but you may find it extremely challenging to comprehend. It might even block your ability to distinguish sounds around you.
Tips to Cut Down Drinking Habits
If you want to keep your hearing unaffected, you have to say goodbye to your drinking habits.
It might seem challenging to quit drinking due to sudden cravings, but you can have a good chance of quitting with the following short tips.
- Always set a limit of how much you are going to drink
- Let your family and friends know that you are trying to quit
- Try to lower the amount each day
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times
- Make a list of the days when you’ll not have any drinks.
These few tips can indeed help you to cut down your drinking habits. But do make sure that you follow them consistently.
Drinking doesn’t just affect your hearing but can also devastatingly jeopardize your health. It can badly affect your sleeping patterns, behavior, heart, and many more. The consumption of excessive alcohol can lead to tinnitus and even severe hearing issues. And to keep these issues away, try to cut down excessive drinking habits.
And yet, if you see any further issues regarding your hearing, consult with an expert audiologist as he might help with the existing problems.
Till then, don’t consume too much alcohol as it does affect your hearing!!