It’s likely that you’ve already noticed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss often progresses due to decisions you make without recognizing they’re impacting your hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be prevented. Let’s look at six unexpected secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Consistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study found that individuals with above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Reduce injury to your hearing by taking measures to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never disregard your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s orders, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Stop Smoking
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, here’s yet another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. What’s even more surprising is that there’s a 28% higher probability of someone developing hearing problems if they are regularly subjected to second-hand smoke. Even if you go away from the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with detrimental repercussions.
Think about protecting your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. Take measures to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time around a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. A pre-diabetic person is highly likely to get diabetes within 5 years unless they make serious lifestyle changes.
Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t efficiently transport nutrients. A diabetic person is more than two times as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, take the steps required to properly control it. Protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Lose Some Weight
This isn’t about body image or feeling good about yourself. It’s about your health. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health conditions. The chance of getting hearing loss goes up by 17% for a slightly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. A moderately obese person has a 25% risk of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take actions to lose that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. OTC Medicines Shouldn’t be Overused
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can lead to hearing impairment. The danger increases when these medications are taken on a regular basis over lengthy periods of time.
Typical over-the-counter medications that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medicines sparingly and consult your doctor if you’re taking them on a regular basis.
Studies reveal that you’ll probably be fine if you’re taking these medications periodically in the recommended doses. Taking them daily, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will reduce your dependence on these medicines if you are using them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as important nutrients like vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood transport oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them healthy and nourished.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat much meat, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is important. 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 studied by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers discovered participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were two times as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Age-related permanent hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
The inner ear has delicate hair cells that pick up sounds and interact with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die because of poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to have your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Apply these steps to your life and reduce hearing loss.