17 Mar Could your St. Patrick's Day party affect your hearing?
While many people are aware of the obvious risks associated with binge drinking, did you know that excessive drinking can affect your hearing?
Research published in the Irish Medical Times (2010) found that high alcohol consumption over a long period of time can lead to negative changes in the auditory cortex of the brain. Even moderate drinkers may be at risk for nerve damage, which can lead to hearing loss.
While research shows that alcohol can result in changes to the drinker’s ability to hear, the quantity of alcohol and the length of time needed to cause the damage remains unknown. It is important to note that this hearing damage does not result from an insult to the ear, rather damage to the brain. This means that while the ears may function properly and the individual may pass a traditional hearing test, the brain is no longer able to process the sounds into a meaningful message.
However, while most studies focus on the effects of alcohol on the auditory portion of the brain, it has also been shown that high levels of alcohol in the bloodstream can lead to a toxic environment for the ears. This can lead to permanent damage to the delicate hair cells in the cochlea.
Overall, these studies suggest that regular injestion of alcohol may lead to permanent hearing loss in the long term.
Original post can be found here:http://www.imt.ie/news/2010/11/excessive-alcohol-can-influence-hearing-loss.html
As you make your plans for St. Patrick’s Day, be aware of the effects of regular alcohol use on your hearing!