Our ‘Ask the Expert’ series is back! This time, Amplifon Hearing Health Care audiologist Carrie Meyer, Au.D., is answering frequently-asked questions about hearing loss and how it’s connected to your overall health.
“My Audiologist asked me if I had a history of heart disease, diabetes, or balance issues. I just came to get my hearing checked, what do these other conditions have to do with my ears?”
Dr. Meyer’s Answer:
Believe it or not, your ears can actually tell us a lot about your overall physical health. Good hearing relies on blood flow, healthy hair cells, and clear ear canals. Conditions like heart disease, high-blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and even some medications can impact all of these, leading to hearing loss. One study even found that 78.5% of participants with insufficient or poor hearing suffered from at least one additional chronic condition1. And if you have hearing loss, you’re also at risk for dementia, depression, injury-causing falls, and social isolation.
So, what can you do to keep yourself healthy? Here’s what I recommend:
Eat Healthy Foods
They say an apple a day keep the doctor away, they’re right! Foods high in folates (leafy green veggies), anti-oxidants (nuts, blueberries, spinach), potassium (bananas, fish, tomatoes), zinc (whole grains, carrots) and omega 3 fats (avocados, fish, sweet potatoes) can all help your hearing and your overall health.
Moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day not only helps you stay energized, but it also reduces your risk for heart disease & stroke, helps to improves your memory, reduces stress, and helps you maintain a healthy weight – all of which lower your risk of hearing loss. A little bit of effort goes a long way!
You’ve already taken the first step to better hearing health – getting your hearing checked. Just like going for your annual physical or bi-annual teeth cleaning, having your hearing tested on a regular basis helps to make sure any hearing loss is caught early. Like so many other conditions, the sooner you get your hearing loss treated, the better the outcome.
It’s also important to get your hearing checked by a hearing health professional. Just like your audiologist did, they’ll ask you questions about your overall health to get a better picture of what may have led to your hearing loss and what the best method of treatment may be.
When it comes to your physical health, it’s all connected. The good news is that when you make positive changes through food and exercise, the benefits reverberate throughout your body – including your ears.
Making drastic changes to your routine can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Making gradual changes can help make the transition easier. Even simple things like swapping out butter in favor of olive oil and taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big difference. Working with a nutritionist or personal trainer can help you create a plan that’s tailored to your needs.
Think it may be time to get your hearing checked? Schedule an appointment today at http://go.amplifonusa.com/request-appointment or call 888-406-7734.