It’s National Women’s Health Week & we wanted to share some preventative tips for women to help maintain their hearing health:
1) Maintain Your Heart’s Health. The Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute sees a strong correlation between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be realized in the ear earlier than in other parts of the body. Over time, the harm to hearing from restricted blood flow to the delicate inner ear organs can be permanent.
2) Beware of Diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re about twice as likely to have hearing loss. Diabetics are at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, which damage the inner ear. What’s more, having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the diabetes is not well controlled with medication. Persistent high glucose levels harm the tiny inner ear blood vessels, and the brain cannot process sound appropriately with impaired inner ear function.
3) Lower Hypertension. The tiny veins and arteries carrying blood to the delicate cochlea can be seriously disabled by poorly-managed hypertension, as they strain to keep up with high blood pressure. Take appropriate medication or exercise to manage high blood pressure and to protect the delicate veins and arteries that are essential to preserving healthy hearing.
4) Maintain a Healthy Diet. Some studies suggest that eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower the risk of hearing loss by 30%. Eating a balanced diet consisting of whole foods is always a good idea for total body health, but specific minerals like potassium, zinc, folic acid, and magnesium have been linked to improved hearing heath.
5) Quit Smoking. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, cigarette smoking was determined to be a factor in the development of hearing loss. People who smoke are 1.6 times more likely to have hearing deficits, compared with those who do not smoke. Individuals who live with a smoker are also more predisposed to hearing loss than those who are not exposed to secondhand smoke.