It’s likely that you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you used to. In most cases, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few basic lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. What follows are 6 tips that will help you maintain your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study found that individuals with higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Take steps to lower your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Management of blood pressure includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone experiencing hearing issues if they are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you leave the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with harmful repercussions.
Think about protecting your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take actions to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will probably develop diabetes within 5 years.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very difficult for them to effectively transport nutrients. A diabetic person is more than twice as likely to cope with hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly manage it. Protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Lose Some Weight
This is more about your health than feeling good about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health conditions. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% risk of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Work to eliminate some of that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused
Hearing loss can be the consequence of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more frequently these medications are taken over a long period of time, the higher the risk.
Medicines including acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more regularly.
If you’re taking the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be okay. The danger of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are taken on a daily basis.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will decrease your dependence on these drugs if you are taking them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is high in nutrients and vitamins such as C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is a significant part of this process.
If you’re a vegetarian or eat very little meat, it’s important that you consume enough plant-based iron. The iron found in plants is not as bioavailable as the iron in meat so people in this group are more likely to be deficient in iron.
More than 300,000 people were examined by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers determined participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were two times as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for permanent hearing loss related to the aging process.
Sound is picked up and sent to the brain by tiny little hairs in the inner ear which resonate with the frequency and volume of that sound. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other concerns related to iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to have your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Implement these steps into your life and reduce hearing loss.