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Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

It’s likely that you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Hearing loss typically develops as a result of decisions you make without knowing they’re impacting your hearing.

Many types of hearing impairment are avoidable with several simple lifestyle changes. Let’s explore six unexpected secrets that will help you protect your hearing.

1. Manage Your Blood Pressure

Consistently high blood pressure is not good. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have above average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health problems as well.

Prevent injury to your hearing by taking steps to reduce your blood pressure. See a doctor right away and never ignore your high blood pressure. Blood pressure management includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s advice.

2. Quit Smoking

Here’s one more reason to quit: People who smoke are 15% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. What’s even more alarming is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone developing hearing issues if they are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke. Even if you leave the room, smoke hangs around for long periods of time with detrimental consequences.

If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take steps to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Control Your Diabetes

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

Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t effectively transport 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, safeguard your hearing by taking the appropriate steps to manage 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. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health problems. The chance of developing hearing loss goes up by 17% for a mildly obese woman with a BMI of 30 to 34. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk increases to 25%.

Work to eliminate some of that excess weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day.

5. OTC Medications Shouldn’t be Overused

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can result in hearing impairment. The more often these medicines are used over a long period of time, the higher the risk.

Typical over-the-counter medicines that affect hearing include aspirin, NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen), and acetaminophen. Take these medicines moderately and seek advice from your doctor if you’re using them on a regular basis.

If you’re using the suggested dose for the occasional headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be fine. The danger of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are used on a daily basis.

Your doctor’s orders should always be implemented. But if you’re taking these drugs every day to control chronic pain or thin your blood, speak with your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to reduce your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with nutrients and vitamins such as C and K and also has lots of iron. Iron is essential to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood carry nutrients and oxygen to cells to keep them nourished and healthy.

For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat meat very often, eating a sufficient amount of plant-based iron is essential. 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 determined participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were two times as likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific term for permanent hearing loss associated with aging.

The inner ear has tiny 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 be gone forever.

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

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today