You’ve most likely already noticed that your hearing is waning. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our decisions are negatively affecting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s explore six unexpected 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 revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have higher than average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems as well.
Prevent injury to your hearing by taking measures to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never dismiss your high blood pressure. Management of blood pressure includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Quit Smoking
There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: Smokers are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. The dangerous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also linger in the air for long periods.
Think about protecting your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take steps to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
Diabetes or pre-diabetes impacts one in four adults. A pre-diabetic person is very likely to get diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make significant lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it extremely difficult for them to effectively 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, safeguard your hearing by taking the correct steps to control it. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, protect 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 problems rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. A mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of developing hearing loss. For a person with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk goes up to 25%.
Work to eliminate some of that extra weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day can decrease your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. OTC Medicines Shouldn’t be Overused
Hearing impairment can be the result of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The risk increases when these medications 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 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 periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll most likely be okay. Taking them on a daily basis, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re taking these medicines every day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, consult your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron in addition to important nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is integral to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Nutrients and oxygen are carried to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is an important 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.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined more than 300,000 individuals. Individuals who suffer from anemia (extreme iron deficiency) are two times as likely, according to this research, to experience sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Age-related permanent 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 concerns related to iron deficiency, they never grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing exam because you’re never too young. Implement these steps into your life and reduce hearing loss.