It’s likely that you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss frequently develops due to decisions you make without realizing they’re affecting your hearing.
Many kinds of hearing loss are preventable with several basic lifestyle changes. 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 determined that people who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health concerns.
Reduce injury to your hearing by taking steps to lower your blood pressure. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s orders, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Smokers are 15% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. What’s even more surprising is that there’s a 28% higher probability of someone experiencing hearing problems if they are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you go away from the room, smoke lingers for long periods of time with detrimental repercussions.
Think about protecting your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take measures to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will very likely develop diabetes within 5 years.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it extremely hard for them to efficiently carry nutrients. A diabetic person is more than two times as likely to cope with hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you suffer from diabetes, take the steps required to properly manage 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 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 mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of getting hearing loss. For an individual with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.
Take steps to shed that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day.
5. OTC Medications Shouldn’t be Overused
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can cause hearing loss. The more frequently these medications are taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.
Typical over-the-counter medications that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications moderately and talk to your doctor if you’re taking them regularly.
If you’re taking the recommended dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be fine. Taking them daily, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.
Your doctor’s advice should always be followed. But if you’re taking these medications each day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to 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 important nutrients including vitamins C and K. Iron is vital 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 meat very often, 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 individuals were studied by Pennsylvania State University. Individuals who suffer from anemia (extreme iron deficiency) are twice as likely, according to this research, to develop sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have normal iron concentrations. Age-related irreversible hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that pick up sounds and communicate with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If poor circulation or an iron deficiency causes these little hairs to die they will never grow back.
You’re never too young to have your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Implement these steps into your life and reduce hearing loss.