Hearing loss can arise from a number of factors, including but not limited to aging, exposure to loud noise, physical trauma to the ear and the use of ototoxic medication. While certain causes of hearing loss can be prevented or minimized, such as protecting the ears from loud noise, others, like aging, are often inevitable and harder to avoid.
Although you cannot stop yourself from aging, research suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may benefit your hearing health.
How Does Omega-3 Impact Your Hearing?
A study conducted in 2010 examined data from 1997-1999 and 2002-2004, involving 2,956 participants. The study compared the development of hearing loss in individuals consuming more than two servings of fish per week to those consuming less than one. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The findings revealed an association between increased fish intake and a reduced risk of hearing loss. The study concluded that incorporating polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3s, into the diet could potentially prevent or delay the progression of age-related hearing loss.
The data from the 2010 study was supported by a second study conducted in 2014, which analyzed 11,606 cases of hearing loss. The results demonstrated that individuals consuming two or more servings of fish per week were associated with a lower risk of hearing loss.
While you may not be able to stop aging in its tracks, these studies suggest that consuming a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids regularly can benefit your overall hearing health.
What Are Some Good Sources of Omega-3?
You likely associate omega-3 with fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and cod. While fish is one of the most commonly discussed sources of omega-3, there are a few vegetarian options or vitamins that can help you get your daily intake.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements are a convenient option, providing a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarians, flaxseed or chia seed oils can be excellent substitutes. Consider consulting with your primary care provider to help you identify whether vitamins are right for you.
For those who do not consume fish, vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids are available. Chia seeds, soybeans, walnuts and ground flaxseed are viable alternatives to consider.
Ensuring an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids is just one of the many ways you can establish good hearing health. In addition to consuming omega-3, make regular appointments for hearing tests, wear hearing protection around loud noise and avoid placing foreign objects like cotton swabs in your ear to help protect your hearing long-term.
To make an appointment with one of our trusted hearing specialists for treatment, contact SoundLogic today.