Secrets to Preventing Hearing Loss

Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

It’s likely that you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Usually, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively affecting our hearing.

Many kinds of hearing impairment are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you protect your hearing.

1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure

Consistently high blood pressure is not good. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have higher than average blood pressure and they’re more likely to have other health issues as well.

Avoid damage to your hearing by taking measures to lower your blood pressure. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s guidance, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.

2. Quit Smoking

Here’s one more reason to quit: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone developing hearing issues if they are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you leave the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with unhealthy consequences.

If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and think about quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take measures to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check

Diabetes or pre-diabetes affects one out of four adults. Unless they make some significant lifestyle changes, somebody who is pre-diabetic will very likely develop diabetes within 5 years.

High blood sugar harms blood vessels, which makes it extremely difficult for them to effectively transport nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than two times as likely to experience hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic person.

If you suffer from diabetes, take the steps necessary to correctly 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 your body image. Hearing loss and other health problems increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased chance of developing hearing loss. For someone with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.

Work to eliminate some of that excess weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day can decrease your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can lead to hearing loss. The danger rises when these medicines are taken regularly over prolonged periods of time.

Common over-the-counter drugs that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications moderately and seek advice from your doctor if you’re using them on a regular basis.

Studies show that you’ll probably be fine if you’re using these medications occasionally in the recommended doses. The risk of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are taken on a daily basis.

Always follow your doctor’s orders. But if you’re using these medicines each day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is high in nutrients and vitamins including C and K and also has lots of iron. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is an important part of this process.

If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much meat, it’s important 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.

More than 300,000 people were studied by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers determined participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were twice as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for irreversible hearing loss related to the aging process.

The inner ear has fragile hair cells that detect sounds and connect with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die as a result of poor circulation or other complications arising from iron deficiency, they never grow back.

You’re never too young to get your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Apply these steps to your life and prevent hearing loss.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.