You’ve probably already noticed that your hearing is waning. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. What follows are 6 tips that will help you preserve your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have higher than average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems also.
Prevent injury to your hearing by taking steps to lower your blood pressure. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Management of blood pressure includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to affect smokers. Even more shocking: People who are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing issues. The hazardous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also remain in the air for long periods.
If you smoke, protect your hearing and think about quitting. Take steps to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time with a smoker.
3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check
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 develop diabetes within 5 years.
Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t 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 suffer from diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the appropriate steps to manage 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 great about how you look. Hearing loss and other health conditions rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The chance of developing hearing loss rises by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.
Take measures to lose that extra weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can lower your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.
5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused
Hearing impairment can be the consequence of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medicines are taken over a prolonged period of time, the higher the risk.
Common over-the-counter drugs that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more regularly.
If you’re taking the suggested dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be fine. The danger of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are used on a day-to-day basis.
Your doctor’s guidance should always be followed. But if you’re using these medications each day to control 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 packed with nutrients and vitamins such as C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Nutrients and oxygen are transported to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is an important part of this process.
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 studied more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers found participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for irreversible hearing loss associated with the aging process.
The inner ear has tiny hair cells that pick up sounds and communicate with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If poor circulation or an iron deficiency causes these little hairs to die they will never grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Apply these steps to your life and reduce hearing loss.