My audiologist sends his patients a quarterly newsletter. It usually has announcements about the latest in hearing technology and his columns always have helpful advice about things you can do to hear better. This month the newsletter focused on some healthy choices one can make to help improve hearing, which left me thinking about how living well might help me hear better.
The first article in the newsletter discussed a study done at the University of Sydney in Australia. The study’s authors looked at the diets of three thousand participants over five years. The results showed that those participants who had the highest intake of Vitamin A and antioxidants had a 50% risk reduction for severe to profound hearing loss. Wow! Who would have thought that eating carrots, spinach, kale, swiss chard, and mustard greens could prevent catastrophic hearing loss!
According to this study, diets high in antioxidants might reduce and prevent inner ear damage thus protecting one’s sense of hearing. If that isn’t a good advertisement for eating your veggies, I don’t know what is. So, the next time you’re in the grocery store, you might want to think about loading up on strawberries, blueberries, nuts, red cabbage, tomatoes, and dark red kidney beans, foods loaded with antioxidants.
Another article made me think of the importance of dental checkups. You wouldn’t think that what goes on in your mouth affects your hearing, but this article stated that hair cells in your inner ear can be damaged by trauma, exposure to loud noise, and poor blood circulation. Damaged hair cells don’t heal. Many of us suffering from varying degrees of hearing loss have damaged hair cells. We certainly want to preserve want we have left.
Poor dental hygiene can lead to the development of harmful bacteria that make their way to your ears and brain. Inflammation can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels which just might affect your hearing. Simply by brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and seeing your dentist regularly, you can keep your mouth in tip-top shape thus preventing canker sores, gingivitis, and other infections which could potentially affect your hearing.
Everyone should consider exercising, eating well, keeping your weight within normal limits, and doing a few preventative measures such as regularly visiting your dentist, and your family doctor. Those of us suffering from hearing loss might want consider these kinds of appointments and healthcare measures as vital. As we meander through the hearing world think of all the things you might do to help yourself. Isn’t taking better care of yourself worth a little extra time effort if you are able to prevent further hearing loss? #ALDA