You’ve probably already recognized that your hearing is failing. Normally, we don’t even realize that our choices are negatively affecting our hearing.
Many types of hearing impairment are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. Let’s look at six unexpected secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not good. A study revealed that individuals with 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 lower your blood pressure. Don’t ignore high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Following your doctor’s guidance, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Quit Smoking
Here’s one more reason to quit: 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 develop hearing troubles. Even if you leave the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with detrimental consequences.
If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and think about quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take measures to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control
One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some significant 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 efficiently carry 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 necessary to properly 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 good about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, so does your possibility of hearing loss and other health conditions. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher chance of developing hearing loss. A moderately obese individual has a 25% risk of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.
Take actions to shed that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day.
5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause hearing loss. The danger increases when these medicines are taken regularly over prolonged periods of time.
Medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to trigger hearing loss. Use these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more frequently.
Studies show that you’ll probably be fine if you’re taking these medications periodically in the suggested doses. Using them on a daily basis, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.
Always follow your doctor’s orders. Your doctor might be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will reduce your dependence on these medications if you are using them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as important nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Iron helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to cells to keep them healthy and nourished.
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 studied over 300,000 people. The researchers determined participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for irreversible hearing loss related to the aging process.
The inner ear has delicate hair cells that pick up 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 won’t grow back.
You’re never too young to get your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Counter hearing loss by using these simple secrets in your everyday life.