Hearing loss is a common problem in the US and other parts of the globe. Some people are born with hearing loss, but the problem can still occur due to exposure to excessive noise or certain medications. Luckily there are multiple devices to aid patients with hearing loss, and these include hearing aids.
Nutrition also has a role to play; different food types can benefit people with hearing issues. Vegetables like spinach, lake, and lettuce are perfect examples. They are rich in folate, which can decrease the risk of age-related hearing loss.
What are the common hearing problems& Tests?
Over time our ears get won out and less effective. This is a common problem among the elderly but can still affect youths and kids. If you suspect that you’re suffering from hearing loss, watch out for the signs and consult a doctor for some hearing tests. Common symptoms that indicate hearing loss include;
- Muffled sounds when people around you start talking
- Inability to decipher words clearly
- Feeling that others speak too loudly or slowly
- Need to increase volume on the phone or home entertainment
The common causes of hearing loss include ear infection, ruptured eardrums, tumors, and abnormal boney growths. However, hearing loss may exhibit in different forms, and there are different types of hearing loss. These are;
- Sensorineural hearing loss: Sensorineural hearing loss results from damages or impairment to the inner ear. It also happens due to impairment to the nerves from the inner ear to the brain. The condition is commonly caused by injuries, drugs and genetics, noise exposure, and tumors.
- Conductive hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss results from problems in the ear canal. This hinders the successful transmission of sound to the middle ear. It can be caused by infection, ear wax, fluid, or abnormalities of the middle ear.
- Mixed hearing loss: Mixed hearing loss is whereby you have both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.
What are the standard tests for evaluating hearing loss?
During a hearing test, the doctor will ask a series of questions to understand your hearing history and health status. Also, they will perform various tests to diagnose hearing loss. The procedure used depends on the patient’s age and many other aspects. The tests may range from;
- Pure-Tone Testing.
- Speech Testing.
- Tests of the Middle Ear.
- Auditory Brainstem Response
- Otoacoustic Emissions
How do vegetables help patients with ear problems?
Nutrition plays a significant role in hearing health. Studies claim that maintaining a proper diet consisting of plenty of vegetables and fruits can minimize your chances of hearing loss by about 30%. Consuming green leafy vegetables will supply your body with essential nutrients that improve your ear health.
- Folate: Folate is a B vitamin that unproved body circulation, regulates blood flow, and helps generate new body cells. It’s essential for the healthy functioning of the inner ear, and you can get it in spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, lettuce, Brussels, asparagus, and more.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is famous for its neuroprotective properties and can help prevent or treat hearing loss, particularly for noise-induced damages. It enhances blood flow and prevents free radical damage. Examples of vegetables rich in magnesium are; spinach, tamarind, okra, Swiss chard, edamame, and potato with skin.
- Potassium: A drop in the level of fluid in the inner ear can cause hearing loss. Potassium helps regulate this fluid in the ears, which is essential for hearing health. The amount of fluid is dependent on a rich supply of the mineral, especially in the part of the ear responsible for translating noises that we hear to electrical impulses and sound. Examples of potassium-rich vegetables are; spinach, apricots, celery, broccoli, lettuce, and mushrooms. Also, you get potassium from other non-vegetable foods like bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, and yogurt.
- Zinc: Zinc helps prevent and treat sudden or unexplained hearing loss. It can help limit ear infections which are a leading cause of hearing loss. You can get zinc from healthy vegetables like; mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic.
- Omega 3 fats& Vitamin D: Omega 3 fatty acids are famous for their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. However, Omega 3 is associated with hearing loss prevention, and consuming foods rich in this mineral can help minimize your risk of age-related hearing problems. What’s more, Omega 3 helps communicate signals between your ears and the brain, which supports hearing capability.
What other foods help with hearing loss?
- Bananas: Bananas pack high amounts of potassium, an essential nutrient for optimal functioning of your body and ears. Potassium ensures an adequate supply of your inner ear fluid, which keeps ear infections at bay. A diet rich in bananas can protect against environmental and age-related hearing loss.
- Eggs: Vitamin B12 in eggs can help alleviate tinnitus symptoms that mainly result from noise damage. You can also get this vitamin B12 from beef, salmon, and chicken. Eggs yolks are also rich in Vitamin D, which helps preserve the delicate bones in your ears.
- Beans: Legumes are rich sources of potassium, and you’ll get about 600 mg per half cup of lima beans, navy, or pinto beans. The best legumes that will supply your body with high amounts of potassium are: Lentils, Lima beans, Kidney beans, Soybeans, Pinto beans
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges take care of free radicals in the body, which cause ear infections and age-related hearing problems. They are rich in vitamins C and E, which help with hearing loss. Vitamin can help repair the sudden onset of hearing loss. On the other hand, Vitamin A deficiency and increases the severity of ear infections.
What are the foods to avoid?
- Vegetable oils
- Fatty meats
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Processed cheese
- Cream cheese
- Refined carbohydrates
- Too much sodium from processed foods
The bottom line
Having a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help improve your ear health. Also, it’s best to go for routine hearing tests for early diagnosis for ear infections. Remember, hearing loss is a gradual process that damages your auditory system over time. And you may not notice signs of hearing loss until the last stages of the condition.