Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

You’ve most likely already recognized that your hearing is failing. Hearing loss frequently develops due to decisions you make without knowing they’re impacting your hearing.

Many types of hearing impairment are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. Let’s look at six surprising secrets that will help you protect your hearing.

1. Manage Your Blood Pressure

Persistently high blood pressure is not okay. A study revealed 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 also.

Take steps to decrease your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. Consult a doctor as soon as possible and never ignore your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s advice, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.

2. Stop Smoking

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more shocking: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to have hearing troubles. Even if you go away from the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with unhealthy repercussions.

If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and consider quitting. Take measures to minimize your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time with a smoker.

3. Manage Your Diabetes

One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, somebody who is pre-diabetic will very likely develop diabetes within 5 years.

Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t efficiently carry nutrients. Compared to someone who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.

If you suffer from diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the appropriate steps to control it. Safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.

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) increases. The risk of developing hearing loss increases 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 measures to lose that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day.

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 taken over a prolonged period of time, the greater the risk.

Drugs including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to trigger hearing loss. Take these medications sparingly and seek advice from your doctor if you’re taking them on a regular basis.

If you’re taking the recommended dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll most likely be fine. Using them every day, however, increases the chance of hearing loss by as much as 40% for men.

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

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with iron along with important nutrients like vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients 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 critical 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. 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 pick up sounds and connect with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die because of poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.

You’re never too young to have your hearing examined, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Apply these steps to 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.