It’s likely that you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Normally, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
Many kinds of hearing loss are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you preserve your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study determined 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 prevent hearing damage. Don’t dismiss high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Blood pressure management includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: Smokers are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you leave the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with harmful consequences.
If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take actions to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Control Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, somebody who is pre-diabetic will probably get diabetes within 5 years.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very difficult for them to effectively transport nutrients. Compared to someone who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.
If you have diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly control it. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes to avoid it.
4. Lose Some Weight
This isn’t about body image or feeling great about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health disorders increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take steps to lose that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can reduce your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs
Hearing impairment can be the consequence of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. 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. Use these drugs in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more frequently.
Studies reveal that you’ll most likely be fine if you’re using these medications periodically in the suggested doses. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are used on a daily basis.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor might be able to suggest some lifestyle changes that will lessen your dependence on these medicines if you are using them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron along with important nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood transport oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them healthy and nourished.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat much meat, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is essential. 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 studied over 300,000 individuals. The researchers found participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Age-related irreversible hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that detect sounds and communicate with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other complications arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing exam because you’re never too young. Counter hearing loss by applying these simple secrets in your day-to-day life.