It’s no secret that getting regular exercise is important to healthy aging. Staying active can keep you feeling energized and reduce your risk of developing numerous different health conditions, including hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Becomes More Common with Age
While hearing loss can occur at any age, it is more common in older individuals. In age-related hearing loss, the hair cells of the inner ear become damaged. These cells play a crucial role in the hearing process, and any damage that occurs to them is permanent.
Multiple factors can cause this damage, including exposure to loud noise or taking certain medications. Another factor that can play a role in developing conditions that affect the blood vessels, like heart disease or diabetes. Any condition that disrupts blood flow to the inner ear can cause harm to the cells and put you at a higher risk of permanent hearing loss.
Being physically active can lower your risk of these conditions, so it stands to reason that exercise can benefit your hearing health. Research has also found a similar connection.
A recent compared the exercise habits of 291 adults between the ages of 60-69 to look at the association between physical activity and hearing loss. The results of the study showed that participants with hearing loss engaged in less physical activity of all types and spent more time engaging in sedentary behaviors than those with normal hearing.
Should You Exercise to Prevent Hearing Loss?
Many factors play a role in whether or not you develop hearing loss, and not all of them are in your control. However, staying physically active is certainly good for your hearing health as well as the rest of your body and mind.
Try finding activities that you enjoy and aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise five days a week. It’s always a good idea to discuss any new workout regimens with your doctor before starting them to make sure they are safe. Options include:
- Taking a fitness class at a local gym or community center
- Working in your garden
- Playing sports
- Practicing yoga or Tai Chi
- Going for regular walks at Legacy Trail
Visiting a Hearing Specialist
Because hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons and because symptoms develop gradually, it’s a good idea to visit a hearing specialist if you are over 50, regularly exposed to loud noise through work or hobbies or have noticed even slight changes in your hearing.
They can perform a hearing test, and if hearing loss is discovered, talk to you about hearing aids or other treatment options that can help make it easier to listen and navigate in any environment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call SoundLogic today.