Healthy Eating May Reduce Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million Americans every year and over 360 million people across the world suffer from disabling hearing loss. The cochlea is the part of the ear that receives sound and sends sound signal to the brain. Hearing loss often occurs as a result of the inner ear being damaged. The risk of hearing loss is often aggravated by aging, loud noises and genetics. These factors may cause wear and tear on the hairs or nerve cells in the cochlea. A healthy diet is the best way to take care of your body. Aside from weight management and keeping illnesses at bay, a recent study has revealed that eating healthy can help protect your hearing.

The study

Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined the link between three different diets and the risk of hearing impairment. The study examined the dietary habits of 70,966 women, aged between the ages of 27 and 44, for 22 years. The diets included were the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH) and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010). The AMED diet includes extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and also a moderate intake of alcohol. The DASH diet is high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium. The AHEI-2010 diet borrows components from the previous two diets.

There have been studies that have looked at how specific nutrients increase the risk of hearing loss but not many have examined the overall relation.

The results

The study revealed the women who followed the healthy diet had a lowered risk of developing hearing loss. “Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” said first author of the study and epidemiologist Sharon Curhan. Specifically, women who followed the AMED and DASH diets had a 30% less chances of developing moderate or complete hearing loss as compared to the women didn’t follow either diets.

The verdict

The assessment of hearing was based on self-report more research still needs to be done on a bigger population. Nonetheless, this study emphasizes the importance of consuming a healthy diet.

“Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss,” said Dr. Curhan.

You can read more about the study here.

Want to find out more about hearing loss? Click on the link to discover everything you need to know.