It’s likely that you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss often develops because of decisions you make without knowing they’re affecting your hearing.
Many types of hearing impairment are avoidable with several basic lifestyle changes. 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 determined that individuals who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to develop hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.
Reduce damage to your hearing by taking actions to reduce your blood pressure. Don’t ignore high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Management of blood pressure includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.
2. Stop Smoking
There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, here’s yet another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. Even more alarming: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. The dangerous repercussions of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also stay in the air for long periods.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take steps to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Regulate Your Diabetes
Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. A pre-diabetic person is very likely to develop diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.
Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t effectively transport nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic person.
If you have diabetes, take the steps required to correctly manage it. Safeguard 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. 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% increased chance of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take steps to lose that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications
Hearing loss can be the outcome of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The danger goes up when these medications are taken regularly over lengthy periods of time.
Medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these drugs moderately and consult your doctor if you’re taking them regularly.
If you’re using the recommended dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be fine. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these medicines are taken on a day-to-day basis.
Your doctor’s advice should always be followed. But if you’re taking these medicines every day to manage chronic pain or thin your blood, consult your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as essential nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper 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 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.
Pennsylvania State University researchers studied more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers determined participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were twice as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for permanent hearing loss related to aging.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that detect sounds and communicate with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these delicate hairs to die they will be gone forever.
Don’t wait to get a hearing exam because you’re never too young. Reduce hearing loss by using these simple secrets in your daily life.