Chances are you’ve already noticed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Normally, we don’t even recognize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few basic lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be prevented. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure remains high. A study determined that people with higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health concerns.
Prevent damage to your hearing by taking actions to reduce your blood pressure. Consult a doctor as soon as possible and never ignore your high blood pressure. Management of blood pressure includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more alarming: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing troubles. The harmful repercussions of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also remain in the air for long periods.
Consider protecting your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take measures to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Manage Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one in four adults. Unless they make some significant lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will probably develop diabetes within 5 years.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very 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 individual.
If you have diabetes, safeguard your hearing by taking the proper steps to 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. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your possibility of hearing loss and other health conditions. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of getting hearing loss. For someone with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.
Take action to shed that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can result in hearing loss. The more frequently these medications are used over a long period of time, the greater the risk.
Typical over-the-counter medicines that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Use these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more regularly.
If you’re using the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be fine. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these medicines are taken on a day-to-day basis.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re using these medicines each day to control chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron as well as important nutrients like vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Iron helps your blood carry nutrients and oxygen to cells to keep them nourished and healthy.
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 over 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 name for permanent hearing loss related to aging.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that pick up sounds and interact with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these delicate 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.