10 Lifestyle Modifications to Manage Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often age-related which is termed presbyacusis. However, hearing loss can affect all age groups. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can impair your hearing ability as well as your coordination with the brain.
Having a mild to moderate hearing loss means that you have trouble hearing and understanding soft sounds, sounds from a distance, or are unable to recognize sounds with background noise. People with mild to moderate hearing loss find it difficult to hear the regular conversation, even at close distances.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50% of persons aged 12-35 years are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of headphones, earbuds, and speakers, and around 40% of persons of the same age range are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment places.4 In that case, the higher pitched tones may become muffled to you and it could become a task for you to focus on words with background noise.
Hearing loss can degrade the hearing-related quality of your life and increase the risk of depressive disorders, and overall cognitive decline.
In a few cases, hearing loss may not be preventable. But including and excluding a few lifestyle changes can help prevent and restore generic quality of life, including the quality of listening.
Here are the 10 modifications that you can incorporate into your routine to prevent and improve the risk of hearing loss:
1. Manage your blood pressure
High blood pressure is positively correlated with hearing loss. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you should regularly monitor your blood pressure to assess the status of your hearing ability.1
2. Stop smoking and limit alcohol use
Studies show that if you are a regular smoker, there are higher chances of hearing loss than nonsmokers. Likewise, alcohol can also put you at risk of hearing loss. The changes in volume and composition of fluid in the inner ear due to alcohol consumption can cause dizziness, imbalance and hearing loss. 2
3. Check your Diabetes
The increased blood sugar levels can damage small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. While the low blood sugar can hinder the travel of nerve signals from the inner ear to your brain. Both types of nerve damage can lead to hearing loss. So it’s recommended to monitor your blood glucose levels with glucometer in routine. 3
4. Exercise and stress management
Exercise in routine is known to improve blood circulation and improve hearing impairment. A meditation workout such as yoga is a very effective tool to improve hearing.
Neck muscles (cervical) exercises and deep breathing exercises such as Kumbhak, can increase the blood and oxygen supply to the inner ear.
Yoga is also proven to de-stress, coordinate mind and body, and manage lifestyle. Yoga can provide some improvement in hearing loss. Even with consistent meditation practice, this Gordian knot can be unwound and healthy stress levels can be restored. If not much, at least we can improve the quality of life through yoga and meditation practice.5,8
5. Powerful nutrients for healthy functioning of the ear
It can help maintain nerve function and help protect the hair cells in the inner ear when exposed to loud noises. Magnesium can also help improve blood flow, while a lack of it can cause oxygen deprivation. So magnesium-rich food can help retain your hearing ability.
It can help regulate the fluid in the body to aid effective hearing. As you age, the potassium levels in the body are more likely to drop, so ensure you get enough potassium-rich foods in your diet.
It can help increase circulation in the body to keep the hair cells of the ear healthy.
It helps to boost the immune system and ward off ear infections. Having enough zinc can also lower the chance of developing tinnitus and presbycusis. To help boost your immune system and your ability to heal, add more of these zinc-rich foods into your diet
Getting enough fatty acids in your diet can help keep your ears functioning properly as you age. Omega-3 fatty acids can help delay or prevent age-related hearing loss.
So make sure you add more of these nutrients to your plate to manage your hearing loss.6
6. Know the drugs that can cause hearing loss
Ototoxic drugs known to cause permanent damage to the ear include certain aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, and chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin.
Ototoxic drugs known to cause temporary damage include aspirin, used for pain relief and to treat heart conditions, quinine, used to treat malaria, and loop diuretics, used to treat certain heart and kidney conditions.7
So, it’s advisable to take these medicines under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
7. Avoid too loud noise
Long-term exposure to loud sounds above 70 dB can possibly damage the cells of your inner ear. So, it’s advisable to use ear plugs/ ear muffs to cut extra noise from loud places to retain the quality of hearing.
8. Keep ear dry
Try to keep the ear dry as much as possible as the wet ear is susceptible to infections. The water that remains in your ear, can create a moist environment to aid bacterial growth that can cause swimmer’s ear, a condition that is characterized by redness of the ear canal, ear pain, draining fluids, and discharge of pus. If left untreated it can cause complete blockage of your ear canal.
9. Check on ear wax
Excess earwax can block your ear canal and prevent the entry of sound waves. Therefore, earwax removal can help restore your hearing.
Besides, restore the optimum quantity of wax in the ear to deal with infectious substances.
10. Get a Hearing test
A regular assessment of the ear with a hearing test is helpful to retain the quality of hearing, especially when the sound in your working environment is more than 70 dB.
If you have difficulty hearing sounds quieter than 41 dB to 55 dB, such as a refrigerator humming, moderate rainfall, or even a normal conversation, you definitely need an assistive hearing aid for sound amplification.
It’s the best conservative treatment of the inner ear that can help you make the most out of the hearing you have. These can be adjusted to work best for your specific hearing loss.
Amplification of sound with hearing aids can make it easier to understand and simplify your life.
Get your Dr Trust Hearing Aid Amplifier to increase your awareness of sounds and their sources and ultimately improve your quality of hearing.