While many people begin to lose their hearing as they age, there are some causes of hearing loss that are preventable. Below are five lifestyle tips to help you prevent hearing loss or preserve what hearing you have left if you are already exhibiting symptoms.
Manage Your Cardiac Health
In addition to putting your heart at risk, heart disease and high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels. Good blood supply is crucial for the tiny hair cells within your inner ear to work correctly and send sound information to your brain to be processed.
If you have high cholesterol or blood pressure, make sure you are following your doctor’s orders to keep it under control.
Quit Your Vices
If you smoke cigarettes, you are putting your entire body, including your hearing health, at risk. In addition to damaging the hair cells in your inner ear, your secondhand smoke can put others at risk.
While advertised as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, vaping has been linked to sudden hearing loss. This is most likely due to the chemicals in the “vape juice.”
Heavy alcohol use can also create an unhealthy environment for your ears. Researchers found that drinking a lot over a long period of time can damage the central auditory cortex, the part in the brain responsible for processing sound.
Control Your Diabetes
Those with diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss than those without the condition. In order to prevent damage to the cells in your inner ear, it is important to keep your blood sugar under control by following your doctor’s orders for managing the disease.
Reduce Your Stress
While stress is a normal part of life, it can cause extensive damage if not well controlled. Stress can restrict your circulation, which can harm the sensory hair cells in your inner ear.
Poor circulation has also been linked to pulsatile tinnitus.
Pay Attention to Drug Warnings
There are hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications that are linked to hearing loss. Known as ototoxic drugs, they include antibiotics, aspirin and chemotherapy medication.
If you are taking an ototoxic medication and begin to realize it is affecting your hearing, talk to your doctor. They can help you find an alternative drug that won’t damage your ears. It is important to talk to a medical professional before altering your medication schedule, as some life-saving medications should not be paused.
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment to meeting with one of our hearing experts, contact Evergreen Speech & Hearing Inc today.