You’ve probably already noticed that your hearing is waning. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
Many types of hearing impairment are preventable with several basic lifestyle changes. What follows are 6 tips that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study revealed that individuals who have above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Take actions to decrease your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. See a doctor as soon as possible and never ignore your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s guidance, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Smokers are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher probability of someone developing hearing issues if they are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you go away from the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with hazardous repercussions.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and think about quitting. Take actions to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time with a smoker.
3. Control Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will very likely get diabetes within 5 years.
Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t efficiently transport nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic person.
If you have diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the correct steps to manage it. Safeguard 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. Hearing loss and other health conditions increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The chance of getting hearing loss goes up by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For a person with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.
Work to eliminate some of that extra weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day can lower your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs
Hearing loss can be the outcome of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medications are taken over a long period of time, the greater 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 advice if you need to take them more regularly.
If you’re taking the suggested dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll most likely be okay. Using them daily, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will lessen your dependence on these medicines if you are using them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron in addition to important nutrients like vitamins C and K. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood transport nutrients and oxygen to cells to keep them nourished and healthy.
If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much meat, it’s important 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. The researchers discovered participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were twice as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for permanent hearing loss related to the aging process.
Sound is received and transmitted to the brain by fragile little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they never grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Reduce hearing loss by implementing these simple secrets in your day-to-day life.