Hearing Matters

Hearing and a Healthy Lifestyle

Hearing and a Healthy LifestyleAs we get older, many of us start to realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living is good for everyone, of course, but it takes the reality of aging to convince many people to make changes for the better in their lifestyle. But what does your sense of hearing have to do with a healthy lifestyle? As it turns out, quite a bit!

Exercising Good Hearing Health

When you think of ways to protect your sense of hearing, jogging might not be one of them. But the many benefits of good exercise habits extend to your hearing, too.

The ear is a highly sensitive organ, and there?s more to it than meets the eye! Inside your ears are tiny parts which work together to turn sound waves into signals your brain can recognize. And because these tiny parts are so sensitive, changes to or imbalances in your body can have adverse effects on them.

A high BMI is one of those imbalances. Being overweight comes with risks to your health, including the risk of hearing loss. Lower oxygen levels in your blood can harm the cochlea, one of the tiny parts of your ear, impairing its function and causing hearing loss.

Regular exercise can help you improve your oxygen levels and lower your BMI. It can also prevent neurotransmitter loss, reduce the damage caused by noise, and help you avoid or mitigate other harmful effects that being overweight can have on your hearing.

Protecting Your Heart and Hearing

Exercise doesn?t just help you lose weight, though. It?s also a good way to help protect yourself from conditions like heart disease and diabetes – both of which can also affect your hearing.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans. It kills around 659,000 people in the United States alone each year and is behind one in four deaths. Now while death is obviously not great for your hearing, there?s more to the connection between hearing and your heart. Like a high BMI, heart disease affects the amount of oxygen in your blood. The high blood pressure and cholesterol levels associated with heart disease rob the cells in your ears of the oxygen they need.

Diabetes also puts you at a higher risk of hearing loss. High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels and nerves inside the inner ear, while low blood sugar levels impair the nerve signals traveling from the ear to the brain. Both of these issues can cause hearing loss, which is twice as common in people with diabetes as in those of the same age without this condition.

How Hearing Impacts Health

So we?ve talked about the impact a healthy lifestyle can have on your hearing, but what about the reverse? How does your hearing impact your health?

Your sense of hearing is an important connection to the world around you. Using your hearing, your brain can react to sounds in the environment, like an oncoming vehicle or a smoke detector, often before you?ve even consciously registered those sounds. When you experience hearing loss, you can put your health at risk from dangers around you that you normally could have reacted to.

The risks of hearing loss don?t stop there, though. Hearing loss is connected to both cognitive decline and depression. Your ears also play a big role in your ability to maintain your balance, meaning hearing loss can put you at a higher risk of fall-related injuries.

Hearing Technology and a Healthy Lifestyle

Hearing aids aren?t just a luxury. They?re a means to treating not only hearing loss but the health risks that come with it, as well.

Hearing aids work by helping your ears make the most of their remaining ability. They amplify sound from the environment around you, creating a stronger signal that your ears can transmit to your brain. But today?s hearing aids can do a lot more: some of our favorite devices can intelligently focus on certain sounds in the environment, just like your ears would.

All of this means that your ears could again warn you of dangers in the world around you. By improving your hearing, hearing aids can also help restore your sense of balance. The tracking features in some hearing aids can detect falls, so even if you do lose your balance, they can automatically send help to you when you need it. Those same tracking features can also help you keep a record of your physical and mental activity so you can improve your fitness and ward off cognitive decline.

Some hearing aids also feature mask modes, which boost speech frequencies muffled by face masks. These help you hear what?s being said without having to ask others to remove their masks, keeping both you and your conversation partners safer from contagious illnesses like COVID-19.

Improving Your Hearing and your Healthy Lifestyle

At The Hill Hear Better Clinic, we believe in holistic hearing care. We seek the complete cause of your hearing loss and help you find a treatment solution that?s just right for you. We also believe that your sense of hearing is just one facet of your overall mental and physical health.

Hearing loss treatment can go a long way toward improving your health, just like a healthy lifestyle can help you retain and even improve your hearing. Ready to start living a healthy hearing lifestyle? Book an appointment at The Hill Hear Better Clinic today!?