Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic physical conditions around the world, with over 1.5 billion people living with hearing impairment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While not all types of hearing loss can be reversed, they can usually be managed with the latest innovative technology and following your doctor’s advice. There are also steps you can take to prevent your hearing loss from becoming worse. Here are five simple ways you can protect your hearing.
1. Schedule regular hearing exams
Following up with your audiologist is the easiest way to ensure good hearing. Annual hearing evaluations and reflex tests can allow your hearing doctor to detect ear problems early and prevent them from becoming worse. Schedule your first visit with HearCanada if you have never had a hearing evaluation.
2. Take good care of your well-being
Everything in your body is connected, and hearing loss usually doesn’t only affect your ears. It might be linked to other conditions such as dementia, diabetes, kidney, or heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients with diabetes are twice more likely to get hearing loss since the condition can damage the cells in your inner ears.
The exact link between other conditions is still being researched, but your goal should be to maintain your overall health. Consult with your audiologist about how hearing loss can affect your overall well-being and how you can enhance your total wellness.
3. Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
Whether you are an active or passive smoker, tobacco smoke can negatively affect your hearing health. Heavy alcohol use, on the other hand, can create a toxic environment in your ears.
Since these two substances can be real addictions, you should do your best to avoid either of them or at least reduce on use. There are prescription drugs that can help you quit smoking, and some can be used along with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
4. Wear hearing aids
While hearing aids won’t prevent further hearing loss, they can improve your hearing and delay hearing loss degradation. Hearing aids make the sound louder and can be adjusted to work best for your hearing loss, helping you enjoy situations and conversations.
However, if used inappropriately, hearing aids can further cause harm to your hearing. It’s essential to see a qualified and licensed hearing aid dispenser or audiologist to get hearing aids that fit correctly and are appropriately programmed.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet is essential for your ears, just as it’s for your bones, brain, muscles, and other body parts. Studies have shown that deficiency in nutrients, such as folic acid and B12, can cause hearing impairment, while increasing these nutrients can boost your hearing health.
To prevent your hearing loss from getting worse, consider adding vitamins (A, B, D), magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, zinc, and omega-3s to your diet. Avoid vegetable oils as they contain too many omega-6 fatty acids, which can significantly lower your auditory brainstem response (ABR) threshold.
There is no get-rich-quick strategy to prevent your hearing loss. You have to make small steps and changes and stick to them throughout your days, weeks, and even months. Remember also to visit your audiologist when you have a sudden change in what you can hear but can’t explain or are concerned about your hearing.