Eating healthy nutritious meals consistently, over many years, can slow down hearing loss in senior women, a study finds.
Many people lose some of their hearing as they get older. Experts say that, of those over the age of 75, about 50% have hearing loss. Not being able to hear well can make it hard to communicate. That can affect relationships with loved ones, friends, and coworkers.
Age-related hearing loss gradually occurs in most of us as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly adults.
Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and 50% of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Having trouble hearing makes it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, respond to warnings, and hear smoke alarms. Hearing loss can also make it hard to enjoy talking with family and friends, leading to feelings of isolation.
Age-related hearing loss most often occurs in both ears, affecting them equally. Because the loss is gradual, if you have age-related hearing loss, you may not realize that you’ve lost some of your ability to hear.
Eating: Nutritious Meals Can Reverse Hearing Loss
A new study shows that women who have a consistent pattern of healthy eating have a lower risk of hearing loss than women who don’t eat well. Good nutrition includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It limits sugar, salt, and animal fat.
The study took place between 1991 and 2013. Women taking part in the study were all professional nurses. Every 4 years, the researchers asked the women to recall what they had eaten over the past year. About 71,000 women responded to the questionnaires.
The research team also asked the women whether they had noticed a hearing problem. During the study, more than 2,000 women said they had developed moderate or worse hearing loss.
The team used the reports of food intake to group the women by diet patterns. They compared women with the healthiest pattern to those with the least healthy pattern. The women with the healthiest diet pattern were less likely to have a hearing problem.
“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” says researcher Dr. Sharon G. Curhan at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”
This study included only women, but other studies have reported similar results in senior citizen men.