Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Usually, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s look at six surprising secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not good. A study found that hearing loss was 52% more likely with individuals who have above average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems also.
Take actions to reduce your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. Consult a doctor right away and never ignore your high blood pressure. 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 develop hearing loss. What’s even more surprising is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone experiencing hearing issues if they are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke. The dangerous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also hang in the air for long periods.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and think about quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take measures to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Control Your Diabetes
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 get diabetes within 5 years.
High blood sugar harms blood vessels, which makes it very difficult 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, take the steps required to correctly control it. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes to prevent it.
4. Lose Some Weight
This is more about your health than feeling good about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, so does your possibility of hearing loss and other health disorders. A mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher chance of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Work to eliminate some of that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded 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 certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The risk increases when these medications are taken regularly over prolonged periods of time.
Typical over-the-counter medicines that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Use these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more frequently.
If you’re using the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be fine. The risk of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are taken on a daily basis.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. But if you’re taking these drugs each day to deal with 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 nutrients and vitamins including C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is integral to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Iron helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them nourished and healthy.
For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat much meat, 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.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined over 300,000 individuals. The researchers determined participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were twice as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. 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 interact with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they never grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing tested, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Prevent hearing loss by implementing these simple secrets in your everyday life.