Tips to Preventing Hearing Loss

Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

It’s likely that you’ve already noticed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss frequently develops as a result of decisions you make without recognizing they’re impacting your hearing.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s look at six surprising secrets that will help you maintain your hearing.

1. Manage Your Blood Pressure

It’s not good if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that people with above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to develop hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.

Avoid damage to your hearing by taking measures to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never ignore your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s orders, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.

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 frequently exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing problems. Even if you leave the room, smoke lingers for long periods of time with unhealthy repercussions.

If you smoke, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take steps to decrease 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 highly likely to get 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 twice as likely to cope with hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.

If you suffer from diabetes, safeguard your hearing by taking the appropriate steps to control it. Protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.

4. Lose Some Weight

This isn’t about body image or feeling great about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health problems increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) increases. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of getting hearing loss. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.

Take action to lose that extra weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day can lower your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can lead to hearing impairment. The more frequently these drugs are taken over a long period of time, the higher the risk.

Medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to cause hearing loss. Take these medicines moderately and seek advice from your doctor if you’re using them regularly.

If you’re using the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be okay. Taking them daily, however, raises the risk of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.

Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor might be able to suggest some lifestyle changes that will decrease your dependence on these medicines if you are using them every day.

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. 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 critical that you consume enough plant-based iron. 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 examined over 300,000 people. The researchers discovered participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for permanent hearing loss related to aging.

Sound is received and transmitted to the brain by tiny little hairs in the inner ear which vibrate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If poor circulation or an iron deficiency 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. Counter hearing loss by implementing these simple tips in your day-to-day life.

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