Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you used to. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our choices are negatively affecting our hearing.
Many types of hearing loss are preventable with a few basic lifestyle changes. Let’s explore six unexpected secrets that will help you maintain your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that individuals with above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Prevent damage to your hearing by taking measures to reduce your blood pressure. Consult a doctor as soon as possible and never disregard your high blood pressure. Blood pressure management includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher probability of someone developing hearing issues if they are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke. The hazardous repercussions of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also stay in the air for long periods.
If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and think about quitting. Take measures to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time with a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic person is extremely likely to develop diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar harms blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to efficiently 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 suffer from diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the proper steps to 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. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health disorders. The chance of developing hearing loss increases by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. A moderately obese individual has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take steps to lose that extra weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day can decrease your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. OTC Medications Shouldn’t be Overused
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can result in hearing impairment. The more frequently these medicines are taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.
Drugs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more frequently.
If you’re using the recommended dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll probably be fine. Taking them every day, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.
Your doctor’s orders should always be followed. But if you’re using these medications each day to control 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 nutrients and vitamins like C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is integral to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Nutrients and oxygen are transported to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is a major part of this process.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat meat very often, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is important. 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.
More than 300,000 individuals were examined by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers discovered participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were twice as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Age-related permanent hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.
Sound is received and transmitted to the brain by fragile little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to have your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Counter hearing loss by applying these simple tips in your day-to-day life.