Today marks the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Week, and, while we don’t want to get preachy, it’s important to understand how regularly overindulging on the booze can lead to damaged hearing.
Excessive drinking causes a toxic environment in the inner ear, damaging those tiny hair cells that translate sound into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, which can lead to hearing loss.
Excessive booze damages the auditory cortex in the brain, making you unable to correctly process sounds. It can also change the volume and composition of fluid in the inner ear, causing dizziness and imbalance as well as hearing loss. Tinnitus can be an unwelcome side effect too.
How can you cut back on the booze?
Cutting down or finding alternatives to alcohol clearly makes a lot of sense. Below are some options to help you. What’s important is to get to the root of the problem and analyse why you drink. Is it out of habit? Boredom? Depression?
- Cut back a little each day. People talk about ‘going cold turkey’ but that may not be realistic. Reducing your alcohol intake a little at a time will mean you’re much more likely to succeed.
- Reduce the size of your drink. If you drink beer, go for bottles. If you drink wine, find yourself an attractive, smaller glass that you’ll enjoy drinking from.
- Have a lower strength drink. You might be surprised at the number of low alcohol or no-alcohol beers, wines and spirits that are now available and that taste good. What about a ‘mocktail’? There are loads of recipes online – try bbcgoodfood.com. We love the Virgin Mojito!
- Drink more water. Before you start drinking, have a large glass of water to quench your thirst.
- Set yourself booze-free days each week. Start with one or two and build up to more.
- Find other things to do. Are you drinking because you’re bored or unhappy? What can you do to distract yourself?
Get in touch to get your hearing health checked. Call one of our offices today