It’s likely that you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. In most cases, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s look at six surprising secrets that will help you preserve your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Consistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study determined that people who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to develop hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Avoid damage to your hearing by taking actions to lower your blood pressure. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Following your doctor’s guidance, 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: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more shocking: Individuals who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing troubles. Even if you go away from the room, smoke lingers for long periods of time with harmful repercussions.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and consider quitting. Take measures to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke if you hang out with a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one in four adults. Unless they make some significant lifestyle changes, somebody who is pre-diabetic will very likely develop diabetes within 5 years.
Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t 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 suffer from diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly manage it. If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes to prevent it.
4. Lose Some Weight
This isn’t about body image or feeling good about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health conditions rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The risk 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.
Work to get rid of some of that extra weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day can reduce your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Hearing impairment can be the outcome of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medicines are taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.
Drugs including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these medicines sparingly and seek advice from your doctor if you’re taking them regularly.
Studies reveal that you’ll probably be fine if you’re using these medications periodically in the suggested doses. Taking them on a daily basis, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re taking these drugs each day to control chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is full of nutrients and vitamins like C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is a major part of this process.
For vegetarians or people who don’t eat much meat, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is essential. 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.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers found participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for irreversible hearing loss associated with the aging process.
Sound is received and sent to the brain by tiny little hairs in the inner ear which resonate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these little hairs to die they will be gone forever.
Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Implement these steps into your life and prevent hearing loss.