A Healthy Diet Can Lower the Risk of Hearing Loss

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss by Roselynn Gamboa Young, Au.D., CCC-A

Roselynn Gamboa Young, Au.D., CCC-A
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If you or someone you love has had to deal with poor cardiovascular health, you are probably familiar with the DASH and Mediterranean diets. DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension, and it has been found to be effective against the looming threat of heart disease and even a heart attack. By changing the way we eat, we can have a remarkable influence on heart health. The Mediterranean diet similarly has been correlated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, so doctors are recommending this way of eating to those who are at risk of heart attacks or stroke. However, the health benefits of these two types of nutrition are not limited to the heart and blood vessels. Those who observe these diets report better energy levels, mental health, and a wide array of good health outcomes including the skin, bones, and hair. In addition to these many healthy effects, a new study suggests that healthy eating might be able to prevent yet another condition: hearing loss. Although the underlying mechanism of the connection is not clear, the results of the study were encouraging, and researchers are curious to know more about the connection. Let’s take a look at the study, as well as the feature of the DASH and Mediterranean diets you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Hearing Loss and Healthy Eating

The study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital tracked the hearing ability of women at 19 different testing sites throughout the United States. These women began with a baseline hearing ability determination as well as an interview to get to understand their eating habits over the last 20 years. With these results in hand, the researchers waited three years before testing the subjects’ hearing again. They found quite high rates of hearing loss among the entire groups. 38 percent of participants had lost some hearing in the vital midrange of hearing where human speech occurs, and nearly half had lost some hearing ability in the high range. However, the likelihood that a person lost hearing was related to whether their eating habits aligned with the DASH and Mediterranean diets, as well. Those who ate something similar to theses diets had 30 percent less likelihood of hearing loss in the midrange and 25 percent less likelihood in the high range. With such striking results, the researchers are curious to know more about how this connection works. The correlation might have to do with an intervening variable that was not measured in the study. They also want to know how the results stand up to expanding the demographic profile of the respondents, who tended to be white women in their 50s and early 60s with an average age of 59.

Healthy Eating How-To

If you are interested in the many benefits of these diets, you will be curious to know how they work. First, the two diets overlap in their shared emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These elements have been found to be effective in a wide range of healthy lifestyles. Both diets also recommend limited consumption of red meat and sugary desserts. Where they differ has to be with fats and oils. The DASH diet prescribes that adherents limit the total amount of fat in their diets, particularly saturated fats. The Mediterranean diet encourages the use of olive oil. As well, it allows us to drink wine in moderation. Imagine the possibilities of a nourishing and satisfying meal within the broad context of these dietary plans! Not only will vegetarians thrive with this style of eating, but seafood and poultry are recommended in moderate amounts.

Roseville Diagnostic Hearing Center

When you think about your future hearing health, don’t put off getting a hearing test if you haven’t already. Those who suspect they might have hearing loss should not delay, because assistance is right around the corner. Even those who don’t think their hearing is compromised can benefit from a baseline hearing exam to track future progress in hearing ability. Why not make your appointment today with us at Roseville Diagnostic Hearing Center, and why not consider a healthy form of nutrition that might help prevent hearing loss, as well?