New Research on Women and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss impacts some 48 million Americans1, or about 20% of the population of the United States, and can lead to more than just trouble following a conversation. For women, reducing the risks for hearing loss may start with the basics. A study published in June 2018 in The Journal of Nutrition2 showed that following a healthy diet is linked to lower incidents of hearing loss. Specifically, the study found three diets that have been proven to reduce the risk for hearing loss.
While current trends focus on eating well to help people overcome a wide array of medical concerns, a link between what we eat and how well we hear is the subject goes as far back as the 1950s3.
What should you eat to help your hearing?
Many people associate bananas with hearing well because this is a fruit high in potassium. Here are the diets specifically mention in the study of women.
- The Mediterranean Diet – This way of eating revolves on practices used in Italy, France, Spain and Greece, where the focus is on vegetables, fish and poultry, cheese and yogurt, and avoiding refined sugars and trans fats. Keep in mind that “Mediterranean” doesn’t mean pasta.
- The DASH Diet – With a focus on eating well as a method of lowering blood pressure, DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” It’s not surprising that this diet encourages lowering salt intake.
- The Healthy Eating Index – This diet suggested by the US Government uses a scoring system to evaluate foods and to teach people healthy eating habits. To get started, check out the resources at www.choosemyplate.gov. If that is too complex, the message is simple. Eat more veggies and drink less sugar-sweetened drinks or alcohol.
Poor nutrition linked to hearing loss in children
Adults aren’t the only ones at risk for hearing loss. A study of children in Asia4 found that young children who were malnourished had higher rates of hearing loss as they grew up.
Why address hearing loss?
Hearing loss is an issue that impacts more than just your ears. Studies show that there are links between hearing loss and multiple health issues, including dementia, depression and stroke, just to name a few.
Protect your ears with noise-canceling headphones – and good nutrition
And while it would be ideal to always protect your ears from loud noise, especially at dangerous levels, we understand that you can’t prevent an unexpected sound, such as a car backfiring or loud cheers if you attend a sporting event. Fortunately, you can help reduce your risk for hearing loss by making good choices in the kitchen.
If you have concerns about your hearing or would like more information on hearing loss, contact HearingLife today.
1Hearing Loss Association of America
2Sharon G Curhan, Molin Wang, Roland D Eavey, Meir J Stampfer, Gary C Curhan; Adherence to Healthful Dietary Patterns Is Associated with Lower Risk of Hearing Loss in Women, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 148, Issue 6, 1 June 2018, Pages 944–951, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy058