It is important to do a hearing test as soon as possible when you notice signs of possible hearing loss. The earlier you can catch on to any hearing problems, the sooner you can strategize on how to manage them, and improve your quality of life.
Before it ever gets to that, you may want to be deliberate about preventing hearing loss. Granted, you may not be able to prevent all types of hearing loss, but any effort you put towards the same is, of course, well worth it.
For noise-induced hearing loss, you will want to reduce your exposure to loud noise. Ensure you have earplugs and earmuffs every time you are in any noisy environment.
On the other hand, you can greatly reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss by changing up and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
How It Works and Top Tips
Inside your inner ear are small cells that look like hairs, which are quite sensitive to blood flow changes. Damage to these cells often results in hearing loss. It is therefore important that you are mindful of blood flow changes, and maintain good overall health, which will, in turn, contribute to good hearing health.
You can preserve your hearing health, by staying healthy, and here is a highlight of some of the top tips for you.
Manage your Cardiac Health and Watch your Blood Pressure
Problems related to cardiac health, and high blood pressure can cause some severe damage to the hair-like cells inside your ear. If you don’t manage these conditions over time, you may find yourself with severe hearing loss. It is, therefore crucial that you follow your doctor’s instructions on how to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol, not just for your heart, but also for your hearing.
Keep the Diabetes Under Control
A 2008 NIH study showed that people with diabetes are about twice as likely to have hearing loss compared to people without diabetes. A study published in 2012, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, supported the findings of the NIH study, stating that diabetics are at a greater risk of higher-frequency hearing loss.
While scientists are yet to give an absolute explanation for the link between hearing loss and diabetes, they have theorized that high blood sugar levels cause damage to hair-like structures in the inner ear. If you are a diabetic, strictly follow your doctor’s instructions on how to manage the disease and keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Quit Smoking and Watch your Drinking
There are several studies that have pointed to the impact of cigarette smoke on hearing health. This covers direct, secondhand exposure to cigarettes and even in utero. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke hampers the flow of blood and oxygen to the hair-like structures in your inner ear. Studies have also shown that the smoke irritates the middle ear lining and may affect other parts of the ear, including the eustachian tube. If ever you need one more reason to quit reason, preserving your hearing health is it.
Heavy drinking will create a toxic environment in your ears. The hair cells in your ear may get easily destroyed in this toxic environment and may not be able to regenerate. This damage is permanent, and you may end up with a permanent hearing loss.
Watch Your Diet
B vitamins are great for your hearing health in several ways. These vitamins promote optimal circulation to the ears, regulate fluid levels, optimize the use of oxygen, as well as promoting energy production in the cells responsible for hearing. Magnesium, on the other hand, promotes healthy never function in the auditory system. Zinc also helps to protect the hair cells in the ears, not to mention that it boosts immunity, which prevents ear infections that may potentially contribute to hearing loss. Studies have also linked iron deficiency anemia to an increased risk of hearing loss.
What you want to do is ensure your diet consists of foods rich in these vitamins and minerals. You can also take supplements and vitamins to help improve your hearing health.
Watch Your Drugs
Some studies have linked some medications to an increased risk of hearing loss. These are classed as ototoxic. Indeed, tinnitus and hearing loss are explicitly listed as potential side effects of some drugs.
While these drugs may certainly help you deal with other medical issues, there is no denying that putting your hearing at risk is a big deal. As much as possible, consider alternative medication that is not ototoxic, or explores natural remedies and alternative therapies. You will greatly reduce your risk of drug-related loss of hearing.
Exercise is good for your heart, and your body, including your hearing health. There’re, of course, plenty more great reasons to exercise. As you exercise, you stimulate blood flow and improve the flow of blood throughout your body, including your ears. With improved blood flow, the hair cells in your inner ears stay in great shape, greatly improving your hearing health.
There is a wide range of exercises that you can make a part of your daily life. You don’t need to go to the gym or even get expensive equipment. Walking, swimming and cycling are only just a few examples of great exercises for you.
It’s never too soon nor too late to adopt some healthy lifestyle changes. As outlined, you can improve your hearing health greatly by being deliberate with your lifestyle. Quit smoking, exercise, watch your diet, and manage preexisting conditions such as diabetes.