You’ve probably already recognized that your hearing is failing. Normally, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s explore six surprising secrets that will help you preserve your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study determined that individuals who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Avoid damage to your hearing by taking actions to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never dismiss your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s advice, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more shocking: Individuals who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing problems. Even if you leave the room, smoke lingers for long periods of time with hazardous consequences.
Think about protecting your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take actions to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Manage Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes impacts one out of four adults. A pre-diabetic person is very likely to get diabetes within 5 years unless they make significant lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to efficiently carry nutrients. A diabetic person is more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, take the steps required 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 is more about your health than feeling good about how you look. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, so does your possibility of hearing loss and other health disorders. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of developing hearing loss. For someone with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.
Take measures to lose that extra weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day can lower your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications can lead to hearing loss. The more often these medicines are taken over a prolonged period of time, the higher the risk.
Common over-the-counter medications that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more frequently.
If you’re using the recommended dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll most likely be fine. Taking them on a daily basis, however, raises the chance of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Your doctor’s advice should always be followed. But if you’re taking these drugs each day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to reduce your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with nutrients and vitamins including C and K and also has lots of iron. Iron is integral to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients are transported to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is a major part of this process.
If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much meat, it’s critical that you consume enough plant-based iron. You’re more likely to be iron deficient because the iron found in plants is less bioavailable than the iron found in meat.
More than 300,000 people were studied by Pennsylvania State University. Individuals who have anemia (severe iron deficiency) are twice as likely, according to this research, to experience sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Age-related irreversible hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
Sound is received and sent to the brain by delicate little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die because of poor circulation or other concerns related to iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Apply these steps to your life and prevent hearing loss.