Have you ever thought you needed to exercise to make sure your ears stayed in shape? We have linked healthy habits with our sense of sight, but do we take the time to think about how healthy (or unhealthy) habits affect our hearing? There is a connection. Some of our readers shared what they know about how diet and lifestyle affect our hearing health. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between them.
Vitamins and Minerals Help Preserve Hearing
The need to take good care of our auditory sense is sometimes underrated. It is important to note that ensuring enough intake of vitamins and minerals is not only vital for maintaining the eye, heart, and immune system functions, but it also keeps one’s hearing health working at an optimum level. Eating foods that naturally contain vitamins (such as A, B, C, D, E, K), minerals (such as zinc and magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids) are essential to preserving one’s hearing ability.
These nutrients also aid in preventing noise-induced hearing damage and age-related hearing loss. Excellent sources of such nutrients are bananas, salmon, broccoli, and dark chocolate.
However, I specifically advise my patients to opt for the “darkest” of chocolates (those with a higher cacao percentage) and consume them in moderation, especially for diabetic ones. Diet and behavior change can do wonders for people with auditory problems. Interestingly, a person with tinnitus improved their symptoms after they cut down on caffeine and alcohol, reduced fat in their diets, and quit smoking.
Exercise Improves Circulation
Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is essential for keeping good hearing health. Eating the right foods, staying active, and avoiding bad habits can help to preserve your hearing in the long run. A diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E is especially helpful for protecting and preserving your hearing. Vitamin A helps to protect the inner ear against damage, while vitamins C and E function as antioxidants that fight inflammation, which can lead to hearing loss. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, such as fruits and vegetables, can help keep your ears healthy.
Regular exercise is also important for maintaining good hearing health. Exercise helps to improve circulation, which ensures that oxygen-rich blood is reaching the inner ear. Healthy circulation also helps to reduce inflammation and can even help to prevent hearing loss.
Weight Management Protects Your Hearing
Nutrition is extremely important to a healthy lifestyle and this comes through a balanced diet. Although nutrition is essential for health, we seldom hear or talk about the connection between diet and the auditory system. Nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and hearing are related. There is no specific food that has the power to control or restore hearing, but diet has been shown to decrease or increase the risk of hearing loss.
A balanced diet includes a variety of nutrients essential for good hearing. Studies show that consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the chance of hearing loss by 30%. The four essential minerals potassium, zinc, folic acid, and magnesium are all associated with better hearing health.
Your hearing will benefit greatly from including fruits and vegetables in your diet regularly. Foods high in sodium, sugar, and cholesterol, red meats, and processed foods are extremely detrimental to your hearing and should be reduced as much as possible in your diet. A diet that favors your hearing more times than not needs to be carefully curated. This is the reason why malnutrition goes hand in hand with hearing loss.
A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise helps to boost blood flow and circulation to the ears. Weight management can help reduce the risk of hearing loss because obesity causes swelling and damage to blood vessels which can in turn damage hearing. Adequate sleep and lack of stress without bad habits like drinking and smoking can improve ear health, and bad habits like smoking can decrease blood flow to the ears. A healthy lifestyle would also entail avoiding noise exposure and protecting the eardrums from hearing damage.
Dr Bassam Zeina, MD, PhD
A Balanced Diet Provides Antioxidants
A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet are key factors in maintaining good hearing health. A balanced diet includes enough fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. These foods supply the body with essential nutrients needed for good health, including antioxidants that can protect against hearing loss. Eating a balanced diet also helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, which is important for preventing ear problems such as tinnitus.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, exercise is another important factor in maintaining good hearing health. Regular physical activity can help keep your heart rate and blood pressure under control, which can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as hypertension or type 2 diabetes. Exercise also helps improve circulation in the ears, which is important for preventing ear infections.
Finally, it is important to keep your ears clean. Wiping your ears with a damp cloth every day can help remove wax buildup and other debris that can obstruct your hearing. Be sure to use a gentle soap and avoid using harsh cleaners or scents that could irritate your skin or eyes.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.