Secrets to Preventing Hearing Loss

Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Usually, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively impacting our hearing.

Many types of hearing loss are preventable with several basic lifestyle changes. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you preserve your hearing.

1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure

Consistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study found that individuals who have higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health problems.

Avoid injury to your hearing by taking actions to lower your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never dismiss your high blood pressure. Management of blood pressure includes proper diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.

2. Stop Smoking

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, here’s yet another: Smokers are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are regularly subjected to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing problems. Even if you go away from the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with hazardous repercussions.

Consider safeguarding your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. Take measures to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke if you hang out with a smoker.

3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check

One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic person is extremely likely to develop diabetes within 5 years unless they make significant lifestyle changes.

High blood sugar harms blood vessels, which makes it very difficult for them to efficiently 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 have diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the appropriate steps to control it. If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes to avoid it.

4. Lose Some Weight

This is more about your health than feeling great about how you look. Hearing loss and other health disorders increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The risk of getting hearing loss increases by 17% for a slightly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.

Take measures to shed that extra 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 Medications

Hearing impairment can be the result of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medications are taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.

Common over-the-counter medicines that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Use these medications in moderation and only with your doctor’s guidance if you need to take them more regularly.

Studies reveal that you’ll probably be okay 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 medicines are taken on a daily basis.

Always follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor might be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will lessen your dependence on these medications if you are using them every day.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with iron in addition to important nutrients including vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Nutrients and oxygen are carried to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is a major 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 individuals were studied by Pennsylvania State University. The researchers discovered participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for permanent hearing loss associated with the aging process.

The inner ear has delicate hair cells that detect sounds and connect 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 never grow back.

Don’t wait to get a hearing exam because you’re never too young. Implement these steps into your life and reduce 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.