Chances are you’ve already observed 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 basic lifestyle changes. What follows are 6 tips that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s not good if your blood pressure remains high. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with individuals who have above average blood pressure and they’re more likely to have other health issues as well.
Take actions to lower your blood pressure and prevent hearing damage. Don’t dismiss high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s advice, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. Even more shocking: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you go away from the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with harmful repercussions.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and consider quitting. Take measures to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke if you hang out around a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, somebody 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 effectively transport nutrients. A diabetic person is more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, take the steps necessary to properly manage it. Safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Lose Some Weight
This is more about your health than feeling good about how you look. Hearing loss and other health problems increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The risk of developing hearing loss goes up by 17% for a slightly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.
Take action to lose that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. OTC Medicines Shouldn’t be Overused
Hearing loss can be the result of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more frequently these drugs are taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.
Common over-the-counter medications that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more frequently.
Studies reveal that you’ll probably be fine if you’re taking these medications occasionally in the suggested doses. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are used on a daily basis.
Always follow your doctor’s orders. But if you’re taking these drugs each day to manage chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is packed with iron in addition to essential nutrients including 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.
If you’re a vegetarian or eat very little meat, it’s important that you consume enough plant-based iron. 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 people. 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 associated with aging.
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 as a result of poor circulation or other complications related to iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing tested, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Counter hearing loss by using these simple tips in your day-to-day life.