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How to Prevent Hearing Loss With Smart Nutrition and Exercise Habits

prevent hearing loss through nutrition and exercise

Nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population reports some instance of hearing loss. For the sufferer, it can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. Any level of hearing loss affects your quality of life to some degree. Although most hearing loss is gradual and increases with age, we can each keep our personal hearing at its optimum level if we first educate ourselves on what can diminish it. Secondly, knowing how hearing fits into our overall health during our lifetime gives us the opportunity to take preventative measures to slow the onset or progression of this condition.

Categories of Hearing Loss

There are two types of hearing loss. The part of the auditory system that becomes damaged determines which type of hearing loss someone gets. A third type occurs when a combination of the two basic types exist concurrently.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems with the ear canal, the eardrum or the middle ear. It mainly comes from obstructing wax or a perforated eardrum. Other causes can be a genetic condition, infection or trauma to the head.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss increases with age. It happens gradually and is mainly due to noise overload in our environment, work or lifestyle. Here, there is damage or a deficiency in the functioning of the cochlear hair cells, or there is damage to the cochlear nerve. In either case, the damage affects how our brain processes the information it is receiving, as opposed to the mechanics of our hearing system. Most of the U.S. population with hearing loss suffers from this second type (or about half of our country’s older population). The good news is that although it is not reversible, it can be prevented. If you notice that you may have mild to medium hearing loss consider utilizing an OTC hearing aid.

Prevention

How we treat our bodies has a monumental effect not only on our overall health but also on our auditory health, at whatever stage in life you happen to be. Actions we take to maintain overall health have a bearing on hearing as well.

Noise Reduction

Before we discuss the benefits of a strong diet and exercise regimen, the importance of noise reduction to slow or prevent hearing loss must be mentioned. The measures here speak mostly for themselves. Keeping the volume low on electronics. Wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones when equipment at work, at home or in public areas/events is too loud.

Diet

Balanced nutrition will help slow the progression of age-related hearing loss. Always keep in mind what constitutes an overall healthy diet. A 2013 study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health showed an association between “healthier eating and better hearing high-frequency thresholds in adults.” A few consistent findings:

  • We know the risks of high sugar intake are far-reaching. More recently, it is shown to also correlate with a higher indication of hearing loss.
  • Foods high in omega-3 fats promote heart health. Just as blood flow in increased in the cardiovascular system with these, it aids in maintaining proper blood flow in the cochlea of the inner ear. The greatest concentration of omega-3 fats is found in freshwater fish, like salmon. Eating it twice a week is recommended.
  • Vitamin B9, also known as folate, promotes both cardiovascular and neural health. Foods high in folate are cooked legumes, (black-eyed peas, lentils), broccoli, tropical fruits (mango, papaya) and most dark leafy greens.
  • Antioxidants seem to have positive effects in preventing hearing loss. As we age, our bodies produce more free radicals, but fewer antioxidants. Berries, some apples, and beans are good sources of these.
  • Excess weight has been shown to increase the age-related hearing loss. The best results come from reducing caloric intake supplemented with regular exercise.

Nutritional Supplements

Certain supplements can protect and improve your hearing. Folic acid (the synthesized form of Vitamin B9) complements folate intake. Vitamin A, zinc and magnesium also support hearing health, each in some ways.

Exercise

Cardiovascular fitness promotes increased neural strength in the cochlea. Additionally, as physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, we sharpen our cognitive functions. Included with this is the ability for our brains to process better the sounds we hear.

Other Lifestyle Changes

Other things to be aware of which can promote hearing loss are:

Other things to be aware of which can promote hearing loss are:

-Smoking (smokers are twice as likely to lose their hearing than non-smokers)

-Excessive sodium (salt) intake, which can cause fluid retention in the ears

-Overuse of NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)

-Overuse of antibiotics and anesthetics

The Time Is Now

A healthy diet and regular exercise program will provide many advantages for maintaining the joy that clear, vibrant hearing brings. Using sensible, preventative approaches in both areas sooner rather than later may sustain the healthy hearing we enjoy in our lives.

Schedule routine medical exams and inquire about getting a hearing test. If you have difficulty hearing low or distant sounds, or hearing on the phone, an Otofonix hearing aid can help. Work with a dietitian to find out more about ways to improve your diet and exercise regimes to stay as healthy as possible for years to come.

how to prevent hearing lossCategories of Hearing Loss

There are two types of hearing loss. The part of the auditory system that becomes damaged determines which type of hearing loss someone gets. A third type occurs when a combination of the two basic types exist concurrently.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems with the ear canal, the eardrum or the middle ear. It mainly comes from obstructing wax or a perforated eardrum. Other causes can be a genetic condition, infection or trauma to the head.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss increases with age. It happens gradually and is mainly due to noise overload in our environment, work or lifestyle. Here, there is damage or a deficiency in the functioning of the cochlear hair cells, or there is damage to the cochlear nerve. In either case, the damage affects how our brain processes the information it is receiving, as opposed to the mechanics of our hearing system. Most of the U.S. population with hearing loss suffers from this second type (or about half of our country’s older population).The good news is that although it is not reversible, it can be prevented. If you notice that you may have mild to medium hearing loss consider utilizing a personal hearing device

Prevention

How we treat our bodies has a monumental effect not only on our overall health but also on our auditory health, at whatever stage in life you happen to be. Actions we take to maintain overall health have a bearing on hearing as well.

Noise Reduction

Before we discuss the benefits of a strong diet and exercise regimen, the importance of noise reduction to slow or prevent hearing loss must be mentioned. The measures here speak mostly for themselves. Keeping the volume low on electronics. Wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones when equipment at work, at home or in public areas/events is too loud.

Diet

Balanced nutrition will help slow the progression of age-related hearing loss. Always keep in mind what constitutes an overall healthy diet. A 2013 study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health showed an association between “healthier eating and better hearing high-frequency thresholds in adults.” A few consistent findings:

  • We know the risks of high sugar intake are far-reaching. More recently, it is shown to also correlate with a higher indication of hearing loss.
  • Foods high in omega-3 fats promote heart health. Just as blood flow in increased in the cardiovascular system with these, it aids in maintaining proper blood flow in the cochlea of the inner ear. The greatest concentration of omega-3 fats is found in freshwater fish, like salmon. Eating it twice a week is recommended.
  • Vitamin B9, also known as folate, promotes both cardiovascular and neural health. Foods high in folate are cooked legumes, (black-eyed peas, lentils), broccoli, tropical fruits (mango, papaya) and most dark leafy greens.
  • Antioxidants seem to have positive effects in preventing hearing loss. As we age, our bodies produce more free radicals, but fewer antioxidants. Berries, some apples, and beans are good sources of these.
  • Excess weight has been shown to increase the age-related hearing loss. The best results come from reducing caloric intake supplemented with regular exercise.

Nutritional Supplements

Certain supplements can protect and improve your hearing. Folic acid (the synthesized form of Vitamin B9) complements folate intake. Vitamin A, zinc and magnesium also support hearing health, each in some ways.

Exercise

Cardiovascular fitness promotes increased neural strength in the cochlea. Additionally, as physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, we sharpen our cognitive functions. Included with this is the ability for our brains to process better the sounds we hear.

Other Lifestyle Changes

Other things to be aware of which can promote hearing loss are:

Other things to be aware of which can promote hearing loss are:

-Smoking (smokers are twice as likely to lose their hearing than non-smokers)

-Excessive sodium (salt) intake, which can cause fluid retention in the ears

-Overuse of NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)

-Overuse of antibiotics and anesthetics

The Time Is Now

A healthy diet and regular exercise program will provide many advantages for maintaining the joy that clear, vibrant hearing brings. Using sensible, preventative approaches in both of these areas sooner rather than later may sustain the healthy hearing we enjoy in our lives.

Schedule routine medical exams and inquire about getting a hearing test. If you have difficulty hearing low or distant sounds, or hearing on the phone, a hearing amplifier can help. Work with a dietitian to find out more about ways to improve your diet and exercise regimes to stay as healthy as possible for years to come.

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