Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. In most cases, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively affecting our hearing.
With a few basic lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s explore six surprising secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
It’s not good if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have higher than average blood pressure and they’re more likely to have other health problems as well.
Take steps to decrease your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. Consult a doctor right away and never ignore your high blood pressure. Management of blood pressure includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. Even more shocking: Individuals who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing issues. The harmful consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also remain in the air for long periods.
Consider safeguarding your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take steps to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
Diabetes or pre-diabetes impacts one out of four adults. A pre-diabetic individual is very likely to develop diabetes within 5 years unless they make serious lifestyle changes.
Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t 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, 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) goes up, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health conditions. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased chance of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese individual has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take action to shed that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause hearing impairment. The risk rises when these drugs are taken on a regular basis over prolonged periods of time.
Typical over-the-counter medicines that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medicines moderately and consult your doctor if you’re using them on a regular basis.
If you’re using the suggested dose for the periodic headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be okay. Taking them on a daily basis, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. But if you’re taking these drugs every day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron as well as essential nutrients including vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Iron helps your blood transport oxygen and nutrients 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 essential. 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 examined by Pennsylvania State University. Individuals who suffer from anemia (severe iron deficiency) are twice as likely, according to this research, to develop sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Age-related irreversible hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
The inner ear has delicate hair cells that pick up sounds and connect 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 never grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Prevent hearing loss by using these simple tips in your daily life.