There are many potential causes of hearing loss, and some may be very surprising. For example, did you know that the presence of certain bugs and other pests in your home can contribute to hearing problems? We review how this happens and how to protect your ears below.
Cicadas only emerge from the ground over 13 to 17 years, but when they do, they produce noise upwards of 100 dB – about the volume of a motorcycle revving or a jackhammer in operation. This can cause permanent damage to your hearing system with as little as 15 minutes of exposure!
Though most of the time cicadas make their home outside, they can occasionally enter your home. If you do find any cicadas in your home, remove them promptly and make sure any cracks and crevices are sealed.
Bed bugs are a pest that can be found throughout the world. While most of the time they are associated with skin problems, one study reports that there is precedence for ear-related problems (otitis) among some patients. It says, “A patient presented with complaints of right ear irritation for several days’ duration. A foreign body was lavaged from the ear canal, which proved to be an engorged nymphal form of Cimex lectularius [bed bug]. The parasite had apparently obtained a blood feed from the tympanic membrane [eardrum].”
If you’re buying any used furniture, check carefully for the presence of bedbugs. You can also use protective covers to eliminate any hiding spots, vacuum frequently and sealing cracks in shared buildings. Call an exterminator if you suspect you have bedbugs.
Toxoplasma gondii is a small pest that causes toxomplasmosis, a conditon linked to hearing problems. You can get this condition if you eat contaminated or undercooked meat, or if you are exposed to cat waste and do not practice good hygiene after.
To prevent exposure to this pest, invest in a good meat thermometer and use it to ensure all meats are thoroughly cooked. Also, wash your hands after cleaning your cat’s litterbox. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Kampsen Hearing today.