Hand holding hearing protection earmuffs that can prevent hearing loss.

It’s likely that you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you used to. Usually, we don’t even recognize that our choices are negatively impacting our hearing.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, many kinds of hearing loss can be avoided. What follows are 6 secrets that will help you preserve your hearing.

1. Manage Your Blood Pressure

It’s not good if your blood pressure stays high. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have higher than average blood pressure and they are more likely to have other health issues as well.

Avoid damage to your hearing by taking measures to lower your blood pressure. Don’t neglect high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Blood pressure management includes correct diet, exercise, stress management, and following your doctor’s orders.

2. Stop Smoking

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, here’s another: Hearing loss is 15% more likely to impact smokers. Even more alarming: Individuals who are frequently subjected to second-hand smoke are 28% more likely to develop hearing problems. Even if you leave the room, smoke lingers for long periods of time with unhealthy consequences.

If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you hang out with a smoker, take steps to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.

3. Keep Your Diabetes Under Control

One in four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Unless they make some serious lifestyle changes, someone who is pre-diabetic will very likely get diabetes within 5 years.

Blood vessels that are injured by high blood sugar don’t effectively carry nutrients. Compared to someone who doesn’t have diabetes, a diabetic person has more than twice the chance of developing hearing loss.

If you have diabetes, safeguard your hearing by taking the appropriate 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 isn’t about body image or feeling great about yourself. It’s about your health. Hearing loss and other health disorders rise as your Body Mass Index (BMI) rises. A mildly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of getting hearing loss. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk rises to 25%.

Work to eliminate some of that excess weight. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes every day can decrease your risk of hearing loss and prolong your life.

5. OTC Medications Shouldn’t be Overused

Hearing loss can be the consequence of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The more often these medicines are taken over a long period of time, the greater the risk.

Medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are known to cause hearing loss. Use these medicines in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more frequently.

If you’re using the suggested dose for the periodic headache, studies suggest you’ll probably be okay. The risk of hearing loss goes up to 40% for men, however, when these medications are taken on a day-to-day basis.

Your doctor’s orders should always be followed. But if you’re using these medications each day to manage chronic pain or thin your blood, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to lessen your dependence on OTC drugs.

6. Eat More Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with iron in addition to essential nutrients such as vitamins C and K. Iron is essential to a healthy heart and proper blood circulation. Oxygen and nutrients are transported to your cells which helps keep them healthy and nourished and iron is a major part of this process.

For vegetarians or individuals who don’t eat much meat, 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 examined more than 300,000 people. People who suffer from anemia (severe iron deficiency) are two times as likely, according to this research, to develop sensorineural hearing loss than individuals who have typical iron concentrations. Age-related permanent hearing loss is what the technical term “sensorineural hearing loss” refers to.

Sound is received and transmitted to the brain by delicate little hairs in the inner ear which resonate with the volume and frequency of that sound. If these hair cells die as a result of poor circulation or other concerns related to iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.

Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Reduce hearing loss by implementing these simple tips in your everyday life.