Chances are you’ve already noticed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Usually, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few basic lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s explore six unexpected secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study revealed that people who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to develop hearing loss, not to mention other health concerns.
Prevent injury to your hearing by taking measures to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never disregard your high blood pressure. Management of blood pressure includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.
2. Stop Smoking
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: Smokers are 15% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing troubles. Even if you leave the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with detrimental consequences.
Consider protecting your hearing, if you’re a smoker, by quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take steps to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic individual is extremely likely to develop diabetes within 5 years unless they make serious lifestyle changes.
High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it extremely hard for them to effectively transport nutrients. Compared to a person who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.
If you have diabetes, take the steps required to correctly control it. Protect 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 your body image. Hearing loss and other health disorders increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% risk of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take steps to lose that excess weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day can reduce your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Hearing impairment can be the result of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these drugs are used over a long period of time, the greater the risk.
Drugs like acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are known to trigger hearing loss. Use these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more frequently.
Studies reveal that you’ll most likely be fine if you’re using these medications occasionally in the suggested doses. Using them daily, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re using these medicines every day to control chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is full of nutrients and vitamins including C and K and also has lots of iron. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Iron helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them nourished and healthy.
If you’re a vegetarian or eat very little meat, it’s important that you consume enough plant-based iron. 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 examined over 300,000 people. 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.
Sound is picked up and sent to the brain by tiny little hairs in the inner ear which resonate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die as a result of poor circulation or other complications arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Counter hearing loss by implementing these simple tips in your everyday life.