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Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

Chances are you’ve already detected that you don’t hear as well as you once did. Usually, we don’t even realize that our decisions are negatively affecting our hearing.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be prevented. What follows are 6 tips that will help you protect your hearing.

1. Regulate Your Blood Pressure

It’s not okay if your blood pressure stays high. 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.

Avoid damage to your hearing by taking steps to lower your blood pressure. See a doctor as soon as possible and never dismiss your high blood pressure. Following your doctor’s guidance, managing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise are all parts of blood pressure management.

2. Quit Smoking

Here’s one more reason to quit: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. Even more alarming: People who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing problems. The hazardous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also linger in the air for long periods.

Consider safeguarding your hearing, if you smoke, by quitting. Take actions to decrease your exposure to second-hand smoke if you spend time with a smoker.

3. Control Your Diabetes

One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic person is highly likely to get diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.

High blood sugar damages blood vessels, which makes it very hard for them to effectively carry nutrients. Compared to a person who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.

If you have diabetes, protect your hearing by taking the proper steps to control it. If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, protect your hearing by making lifestyle changes to prevent it.

4. Lose Some Weight

This is more about your health than feeling good about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises, so does your possibility of hearing loss and other health disorders. A mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% increased risk of developing hearing loss. A moderately obese individual has a 25% risk of hearing loss if they have a BMI of 40.

Work to get rid of some of that excess weight. Something as basic as walking for 30 minutes every day can reduce your chance of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. OTC Medications Shouldn’t be Overused

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can result in hearing loss. The danger goes up when these medicines are taken regularly over prolonged periods of time.

Drugs including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to trigger hearing loss. Take these medicines sparingly and talk to your doctor if you’re using them on a regular basis.

If you’re using the recommended dose for the occasional headache, studies indicate you’ll probably be okay. The danger of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these drugs are used on a day-to-day basis.

Always follow your doctor’s advice. But if you’re taking these medications every day to manage chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can implement to decrease your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is high in nutrients and vitamins like C and K and also has lots of iron. Iron is vital 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. You’re more likely to be iron deficient because the iron found in plants is less bioavailable than the iron found in meat.

Pennsylvania State University researchers studied more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers found participants with anemia (severe iron deficiency) were two times as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the condition. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for permanent hearing loss associated with the aging process.

Sound is picked up and transmitted to the brain by fragile little hairs in the inner ear which resonate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die due to poor circulation or other complications arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.

You’re never too young to have your hearing checked, so don’t wait until it gets worse. Implement these steps into your life and prevent hearing loss.