You’ve most likely already noticed that your hearing is waning. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our decisions are negatively affecting our hearing.
With a few basic lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be prevented. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have above average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems as well.
Take steps to reduce your blood pressure and prevent hearing damage. Don’t ignore high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Blood pressure management includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.
2. Quit Smoking
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more alarming: People who are regularly subjected to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing troubles. The dangerous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also hang in the air for long periods.
Consider safeguarding your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. Take actions to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke if you hang out with a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check
One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic individual is highly likely to develop diabetes within 5 years unless they make significant lifestyle changes.
Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t efficiently transport nutrients. A diabetic person is more than two times as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, take the steps required to properly manage 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 isn’t about body image or feeling good about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health conditions increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases. A mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of developing hearing loss. A moderately obese individual has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Work to get rid of some of that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day can reduce your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause hearing loss. The more frequently these medicines are taken over a long period of time, the greater the risk.
Medications including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to trigger hearing loss. Use these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more regularly.
If you’re taking the recommended dose for the occasional headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be okay. The danger of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are used on a daily basis.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will decrease your dependence on these medications if you are taking them every day.
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. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is an important 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. You’re more likely to be iron deficient because the iron found in plants is less bioavailable than the iron found in meat.
Pennsylvania State University researchers studied more than 300,000 people. People who have anemia (extreme iron deficiency) are twice as likely, according to this research, to experience sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for irreversible hearing loss related to aging.
Sound is received and transmitted to the brain by fragile little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the frequency and volume of that sound. If an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these delicate 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. Reduce hearing loss by implementing these simple tips in your daily life.