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. Hearing loss frequently develops as a result of decisions you make without realizing they’re impacting your hearing.

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

1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure

Consistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study determined that people with higher than-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health issues.

Take actions to lower your blood pressure and prevent hearing damage. 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: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you leave the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with hazardous repercussions.

Think about safeguarding your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take actions to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Regulate Your Diabetes

One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some significant lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will probably develop diabetes within 5 years.

Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t effectively carry 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, take the steps necessary to correctly control it. If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes to prevent it.

4. Lose Some Weight

This isn’t about body image or feeling good about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health disorders rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The risk of getting hearing loss rises by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. A moderately obese person has a 25% chance of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.

Take steps to lose that extra weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can decrease your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. Don’t Overuse OTC Drugs

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

Common over-the-counter medicines that impact hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (like naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medications sparingly and seek advice from your doctor if you’re taking them on a regular basis.

If you’re using the suggested dose for the periodic headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be okay. Taking them every day, however, raises the chance of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.

Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re taking these medicines every day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, consult your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with iron along with important nutrients including vitamins C and K. Iron is integral to a healthy heart and strong blood circulation. Nutrients and oxygen are transported to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is a significant part of this process.

If you’re a vegetarian or eat very little 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.

Pennsylvania State University researchers studied more than 300,000 people. People who suffer from anemia (severe iron deficiency) are twice as likely, according to this research, to experience sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for irreversible hearing loss associated with 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 an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these delicate hairs to die they will never grow back.

You’re never too young to have your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Counter hearing loss by applying these simple tips in your everyday life.

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.