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How drinking alcohol affects your hearing

Think twice before drinking that next beer.

A cocktail after work can help you wind down after a long day, and a beer or two keeps you laughing with friends and family at dinner.

But, if you consume more than two alcoholic drinks per day, you’re considered a “heavy drinker” by the National Institutes of Health—and the health risks can be serious. Many know that alcohol consumption affects your brain, heart, and liver; however, it is a little-known fact that drinking alcohol also damages your hearing.

A study done in London found that alcohol blunts lower frequency sounds that are crucial for speech discrimination. If you’ve ever noticed how a party gets louder as the evening goes on, then you’ve experienced this effect. This type of hearing loss is also referred to as “cocktail party deafness,” and is usually temporary for those who don’t drink regularly.

Researchers in Germany studied the effects of excessive drinking on the central auditory cortex. They discovered that those who drank more than two alcoholic beverages daily and over long periods of time suffered damage that affects the way the brain processes sound.

To make matters worse, over prolonged periods of heavy drinking, researchers believe the damage to your hearing organs can become permanent – in the same way noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) happens with repeated exposure to loud and consistent sounds.

Like all good things, enjoying alcohol in moderation is the only way to protect your hearing when it comes to adult beverages.

Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers is a family-owned business dedicated to improving and maintaining the hearing health of their patients. With 20 clinics across Iowa, all of the clinics offer free hearing screenings and top of the line technology administered by an attentive team of certified hearing health experts.

Sign up online for a complimentary hearing screening, or contact Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers today at (877) 908-9308.

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