While not all types of hearing loss can be prevented, there are steps you may take to reduce your chances of developing age-related hearing loss or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Hearing protection should be worn around loud noises at all times, and it is never too early or too late to start. A healthy lifestyle and following your audiologist’s advice may also be beneficial in safeguarding your hearing health in the long run.
The importance of avoiding loud noise to protect your hearing cannot be overstated, but there are other healthy activities that will also help you safeguard your hearing as you age, including the following.
How can you prevent hearing loss?
Inner ear cells that look like hairs and are extremely sensitive to changes in blood flow can be found in your inner ear. You will experience hearing loss if these cells are destroyed. The better your overall health, the more likely it is that you will be able to prevent hearing loss or, if you already have hearing loss, better your chances of preserving it.
Maintain Heart Health
High blood pressure and heart disease can also cause harm to the delicate systems inside your ear that aid in your ability to discern sounds. Keep up with your treatment recommendations if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure to bring it under control.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
There is no doubt that cigarette smoke, whether inhaled directly, inhaled secondhand, or even in pregnancy, can have a significant negative influence on a person’s hearing health. The same is true for excessive alcohol consumption, which can generate a toxic environment in the ear. The relationship between vaping and hearing loss has not been thoroughly researched; however, there have been anecdotal accounts linking it to abrupt hearing loss.
Manage Your Diabetes
According to research, those who have diabetes are twice as likely as the general population to suffer from hearing loss. In the same way that high blood pressure affects the cells in your inner ear, diabetes can cause harm to those cells as well. Maintain tight control over your blood sugar levels and adhere to your doctor’s instructions for treating diabetes.
Stay Active and Reduce Stress
Exercise increases blood flow and benefits your body and ear health. However, be cautious with loud music and improper weightlifting at the gym, as both have been related to damage to hearing. Because chronically elevated levels of stress are detrimental to your hearing, do everything you can to keep stress levels under control.
Talk to Your Doctor About Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications have been linked to hearing loss in large numbers of people. From common OTC pharmaceuticals such as aspirin to chemotherapy therapies and intravenous antibiotics, these ototoxic substances can cause hearing loss. If you are at risk of drug-related hearing loss, you should speak with your physician about any alternate medications available to lower your risk of hearing loss.