Alcohol Use and Hearing Loss?

As we get into the final days of Dry January, there may be a number of things you’ve noticed over the last month – a clearer complexion, a healthier bank balance, more productive weekends (who knew Sunday mornings even existed?!) and perhaps you’ve even shed a bit of that Christmas jiggle! But did you know that by shunning the sherry, you could have been protecting your ears too?! 

We are all aware of the obvious risks connected with excessive alcohol consumption, but not many people realise there is a strong link between alcohol use and hearing loss!

Studies have shown that high alcohol consumption over a long period of time can result in damage to the central auditory cortex of the brain and may lead to brain shrinkage. Because the damage to the auditory nerves adds up, even moderate drinkers may risk nerve damage and hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany tested both heavy and social drinkers BAEP levels (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials) by testing the level of damage in the part of the brain that enables you to hear. The results indicate a correlation between alcohol and hearing loss.

Alcohol researchers believe that drinking can potentially result in brain damage, while the quantity of alcohol and the length of time needed to accomplish this remain unknown. So even though the ears may still be functioning perfectly, the brain is no longer able to process the sounds, resulting in hearing loss because of alcohol.

Now we don’t want to terrify you into never enjoying a glass of fizz again, but it’s always refreshing to know that by lessening your alcohol intake, you can help your body in many many ways! 

As always, have a great week and take really good care!


Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash