Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss typically develops because of decisions you make without recognizing they’re affecting your hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be prevented. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Consistently high blood pressure is not good. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with individuals who have higher than average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems also.
Reduce damage to your hearing by taking steps to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor as soon as possible and never dismiss 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. Quit Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more shocking: Individuals who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you go away from the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with harmful repercussions.
If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and think about quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take steps to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Manage Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes impacts one in four adults. A pre-diabetic individual is highly likely to develop diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it extremely hard for them to efficiently carry nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than two times as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic person.
If you suffer from diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly control it. Safeguard 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. Hearing loss and other health conditions increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases. The chance of developing hearing loss rises by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For someone with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.
Work to get rid of some of that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Hearing loss can be the consequence of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medicines are used over a prolonged period of time, the higher the risk.
Common over-the-counter drugs that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications moderately and talk to your doctor if you’re taking them regularly.
If you’re using the recommended dose for the occasional headache, studies suggest you’ll most likely be fine. Taking them daily, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Your doctor’s guidance should always be implemented. But if you’re taking these drugs every day to manage chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as essential nutrients like vitamins C and K. 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 individuals who don’t eat meat very often, 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.
More than 300,000 people were studied by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers determined participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times 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 aging.
Sound is picked up and sent to the brain by fragile little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the frequency and volume of that sound. If these hair cells die as a result of poor circulation or other complications arising from iron deficiency, they never grow back.
You’re never too young to have your hearing tested, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Reduce hearing loss by using these simple secrets in your everyday life.