Chances are you’ve already noticed that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Hearing loss often develops as a result of decisions you make without recognizing they’re impacting your 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 preserve your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Consistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study found that people with above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to develop hearing loss, not to mention other health issues.
Prevent damage to your hearing by taking actions to lower your blood pressure. Don’t ignore high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s guidance, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Stop Smoking
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, here’s yet another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. Even more shocking: People who are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing problems. The dangerous repercussions of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also stay in the air for long periods.
Think about safeguarding your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. Take steps to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke if you hang out with a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one in four adults. A pre-diabetic individual is highly likely to get diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make significant lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to efficiently transport 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 suffer from diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly control it. Protect 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 disorders rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases. The chance of getting hearing loss increases by 17% for a slightly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take steps to shed that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can lower your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs
Hearing impairment can be the result of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medicines are used over a long period of time, the higher the risk.
Typical over-the-counter drugs that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medicines 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 indicate you’ll most likely be okay. The risk of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are used on a day-to-day basis.
Your doctor’s guidance should always be followed. But if you’re using these medications each day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron as well as essential nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them healthy and nourished.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat meat very often, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is important. 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 individuals were examined by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers found participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were twice 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.
The inner ear has fragile hair cells that pick up sounds and interact with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other complications related to iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing exam because you’re never too young. Apply these steps to your life and prevent hearing loss.