Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

Chances are you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Hearing loss often develops as a result of decisions you make without realizing they’re impacting your hearing.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be prevented. Let’s explore six surprising secrets that will help you maintain your hearing.

1. Manage Your Blood Pressure

Persistently high blood pressure is not good. A study found that people with above-average blood pressure are 52% more likely to have hearing loss, not to mention other health issues.

Take actions to decrease your blood pressure and prevent hearing damage. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to see a doctor. Following your doctor’s orders, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.

2. Quit Smoking

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: People who smoke are 15% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. What’s even more surprising is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone developing hearing problems if they are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Even if you leave the room, smoke remains for long periods of time with detrimental consequences.

If you smoke, protect your hearing and think about quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take actions to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Regulate Your Diabetes

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

High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to effectively 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 developing type 2 diabetes, safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes to prevent it.

4. Lose Some Weight

This is more about your health than feeling great about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health problems. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of developing hearing loss. For an individual with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk goes up to 25%.

Take steps to shed that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be protected by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes each day.

5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused

Hearing loss can be the result of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The risk rises when these medicines are taken regularly over prolonged periods of time.

Drugs including acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Use these drugs in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more frequently.

Studies demonstrate that you’ll most likely be fine if you’re using these medications periodically in the recommended doses. Taking them on a daily basis, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.

Your doctor’s guidance should always be followed. But if you’re using these medications every day to deal with chronic pain or thin your blood, consult your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is full of nutrients and vitamins like C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Oxygen and nutrients are transported to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is a major part of this process.

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 more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers found 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 irreversible hearing loss related to aging.

The inner ear has delicate hair cells that detect sounds and interact 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 concerns arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.

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

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