Tips to Preventing Hearing Loss

Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

It’s likely that you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Hearing loss typically progresses because of decisions you make without recognizing they’re affecting your hearing.

With a few basic lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be prevented. What follows are 6 tips that will help you preserve your hearing.

1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure

It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. A study found that hearing loss was 52% more likely with individuals who have above average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health issues as well.

Avoid injury to your hearing by taking actions to reduce your blood pressure. Don’t dismiss high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s advice, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.

2. Stop Smoking

Here’s another reason to quit: Smokers are 15% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher probability of someone developing hearing problems if they are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke. The hazardous repercussions of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also stay in the air for long periods.

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

3. Keep Your Diabetes in Check

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 serious lifestyle changes.

High blood sugar harms blood vessels, which makes it extremely difficult for them to effectively carry nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than twice as likely to cope with hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.

If you suffer from diabetes, take the steps necessary to correctly manage 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 great about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health problems increase as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. The chance of developing hearing loss increases by 17% for a slightly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For an individual with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.

Work to get rid of some of that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day can reduce your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. Don’t Overuse OTC Medications

Hearing impairment can be the outcome of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more frequently these medicines are used over a long period of time, the greater the risk.

Drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to cause hearing loss. Take these medications sparingly and talk to your doctor if you’re using them regularly.

Studies show that you’ll probably be okay if you’re using these medications periodically in the recommended doses. Using them on a daily basis, however, increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 40% for men.

Your doctor’s orders should always be followed. Your doctor might be able to suggest some lifestyle changes that will decrease your dependence on these medications if you are taking them every day.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with iron as well as important nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is vital to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Nutrients and oxygen are carried to your cells which helps keep them nourished and healthy and iron is a major part of this process.

For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat meat very often, 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 experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for irreversible hearing loss associated with the aging process.

The inner ear has fragile hair cells that pick up sounds and communicate with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If an iron deficiency or poor circulation causes these little hairs to die they will never grow back.

Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Apply these steps to your life and reduce hearing loss.