Many patients ask “What can I do to preserve hearing?” Unfortunately, it only takes one incident for hearing to be temporarily damaged or permanently destroyed. Often, people don’t think about their hearing until it’s gone. But there is good news! There are plenty of ways to protect yourself and preserve hearing, including wearing hearing protection devices around loud sounds (e.g. machinery, movies), listening to music at safe volume levels, and staying healthy!
Research shows that a healthy diet isn’t just better for your body, it’s also helps preserve hearing! There is growing evidence of a relationship between the intake of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients and susceptibility to acquired hearing loss. For example, omega 3, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C have benefits for hearing. Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates can also detrimentally impact hearing. At your next meal, think about incorporating fish, broccoli, potatoes, oranges, and dark chocolate.
“Try to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.” Sound familiar? Physicians have been telling patients for years that moderate exercise has significant benefits, including cardiovascular health. That same blood flow in the body also benefits the ears. But don’t overdue it! (Another topic, another time.) A few tips to start exercising:
- Stay within your fitness level. Not sure what that level is? Ask your physician or a licensed trainer.
- Warm up before you start.
- Cool down when you are finished.
- You should be able to carry-on a conversation at your fitness level.
- Keep the volume down. If you have to shout to speak, it’s too loud!
Diet and exercise can help preserve hearing, so here’s to a healthy 2016!