Not all types of hearing loss are preventable, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing the condition. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and minimizing your exposure to unsafe noise levels are the best ways to preserve your hearing health. Follow our tips below to take steps to prevent hearing loss.
Manage Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health
Poor cardiovascular health has been linked to hearing loss in a number of studies. This is because the delicate hair cells within your ear responsible for converting soundwaves into energy that is interpreted by the brain as sound are very sensitive to blood flow. When heart health is poor, they do not receive the blood flow they need and can die. Once damaged, they do not regenerate. If you have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease or any other heart condition, talk to your doctor to ensure you’re managing it properly.
Stop Smoking, Vaping and Drinking
Cigarette smoke (direct and secondhand) and alcohol overuse are both well-documented habits that create a toxic environment within the inner ear. While the connection between vaping and hearing loss isn’t yet well-studied, some of the chemicals in “vape juice” have been linked to sudden hearing loss.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than those without the condition. Just like heart disease, smoking, vaping and drinking all affect the hair cells in the inner ear, improperly managed blood sugar levels can also impact their ability to function.
Exercise Regularly & Manage Stress
Exercise improves blood flow and keeps your body, including your inner ear, healthy. Exercise also helps reduce stress, which has been linked to poor hearing health. Other stress management techniques include meditation and mindfulness exercises
Eat a Healthy Diet
Research shows that the foods you eat can have an impact on your hearing health. For example, vitamins like B12 and minerals such as potassium and magnesium can give your auditory system a boost. Be sure your iron levels are high enough too, as iron-deficiency anemia is linked to hearing loss.
Limit Noise Exposure
Any sound over 85 decibels – about the volume of highway traffic – can cause irreversible hearing damage over time. Make sure you wear proper hearing protection when attending concerts, using power tools or shooting firearms, and listen to music through headphones at no more than 60 percent of the device’s maximum volume.
For more information about hearing protection or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today.