Chances are you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Usually, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively affecting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s explore six surprising secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that individuals who have above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health concerns.
Reduce damage to your hearing by taking measures to lower your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never ignore your high blood pressure. 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 good reasons to quit smoking, here’s yet another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more shocking: People who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you leave the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with unhealthy consequences.
Think about safeguarding your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take actions to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic individual is very likely to get diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to efficiently carry nutrients. Compared to a person who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.
If you have diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the correct steps to manage it. If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, safeguard 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 risk of hearing loss and other health problems. The risk of developing hearing loss increases by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For an individual with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk goes up to 25%.
Work to get rid of some of that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can lower your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.
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 prolonged period of time, the higher the risk.
Drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these medicines sparingly and talk to your doctor if you’re using them regularly.
If you’re taking the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be fine. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are used on a daily basis.
Your doctor’s orders should always be implemented. Your doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will reduce your dependence on these drugs if you are taking them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as essential nutrients including 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.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat much meat, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is important. You’re more likely to be iron deficient because the iron found in plants is less bioavailable than the iron found in meat.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined more than 300,000 people. 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 name for permanent hearing loss related to aging.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that detect sounds and connect with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If poor circulation or an iron deficiency causes these little hairs to die they will never grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Implement these steps into your life and reduce hearing loss.