Eating a Healthy Diet Can Help Prevent Hearing Loss

December 10, 2019

A recent study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicates that a healthy diet may reduce the risk of acquired hearing loss. The hospital announced the results of the study in a press release in November.

Let’s take a closer look at the study and what it potentially means for the world of hearing and hearing aids in Waterloo, IA.

The study

In the study, researchers closely analyzed three-year changes in hearing sensitivities, and discovered women who kept eating patterns that closely adhered to recommended healthy dietary patterns (including the DASH diet or a Mediterranean diet) had a much lower risk of decline in hearing sensitivity than those who did not.

One of the authors of the study, Sharon Curhan, M.D., says it is common for people to consider hearing loss an inevitable part of the aging process, but while it’s true that aging can play a role in hearing loss, there are other risk factors that people can mitigate to potentially delay or prevent that hearing loss from occurring. Based on the results of the study, people can make certain changes in their diet and lifestyle that will not only improve their overall health, but also help them prevent issues associated with hearing loss, or at least delay that hearing loss for longer.

This research follows on the heels of previous studies that have investigated the relationship of certain foods and nutrients to hearing. For example, foods that have high levels of carotenoids like beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin (common in squash, oranges, carrots and various other fruits and vegetables), as well as folate (found in many leafy greens and legumes) and omega-3 fatty acids (common in fish and other seafood), are all associated with lower risks of hearing loss. All of these studies indicated the potential for dietary intake influencing hearing and hearing loss, but researchers still needed to engage in further studies to better understand the connection.

With this study, then, researchers analyzed results across 19 testing sites across the United States, aiming for diversity in their geographical testing locations. Audiologists in the study measured changes in pure-tone hearing thresholds among study participants. This refers to the lowest volume at which a pitch can be detected in a given year. These changes were measured over the course of three years. Participants were asked to indicate when they could barely hear the tones, and the volume levels were noted.

Ultimately the team found the chances of a decline in mid-frequency hearing sensitivity was 30 percent lower among people whose diets closely resembled certain healthy patterns versus women whose diets did not resemble those healthy patterns. At higher frequencies, the odds were up to 25 percent lower.

This is just one more study that fleshes out some of the potential risk factors associated with hearing loss, and the steps people can take to change their lifestyles and either prevent or delay that loss from occurring. For more information about how a healthy diet may reduce the risk of acquired hearing loss, or for help with choosing the right hearing aids in Waterloo, IA, contact Potter’s Hearing Aid Service today.

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