This is the simple way to protect yourself against hearing loss

This is the simple way to protect yourself against hearing loss

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The Hearing loss It affects millions of people around the world. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.5 billion people live with some degree of hearing loss, of which about 430 million need rehabilitation services.

But when do we talk about deafness or hearing loss? Someone is said to have hearing loss when they are not able to hear as well as a person whose sense of hearing is normal, that is, whose threshold of hearing in both ears is equal to or better than 20 dB. From that figure, the loss can be moderate, severe or profound, affecting one or both ears.

It is one of the most common disorders affecting older adults and elderly. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH, for its acronym in English), there are several causes that explain this deficit: the changes that occur in the inner ear with age or complex changes in the nerve pathways that go from the ear to the brain.

Benefits of healthy lifestyles

Hearing loss is a health condition associated with increased depression, social isolation and dementia. Finding protective factors against hearing loss is essential, since currently existing treatments have limited efficacy.

Along these lines, a study carried out by researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid, CIBERESP and the IMDEA-Food Institute has concluded that adherence to healthy lifestyles Reduces the risk of hearing loss in adults.

This work published in the prestigious scientific journal Mayo Clinic Proceedingsanalyzed data from more than 61,000 participants in the UK Biobank study, with the aim of determining the effect that healthy lifestyles have on the adult auditory system.

The researchers highlight the results of the study and point out that it is the first study in the world that examines the joint effect of some healthy lifestyles (never having smoked, moderate alcohol consumption, high levels of physical activity, high quality of optimal diet and sleep) versus hearing loss, which was assessed in all participants.

Hearing Loss Prevention

The results show a clear association between increased adherence to a number of healthy lifestyles and decreased risk of hearing loss. The researchers estimate “that the population attributable risk percentage for not adhering to any of the five healthy lifestyle behaviors is greater than 15%.”

“Increasing the number of our healthy lifestyles would reduce the risk of developing hearing loss in the future,” explains Humberto Yévenes Briones, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the Autonomous University of Madrid and the first signatory of the study. Francisco Félix Caballero, professor of the same department and second signatory of the study, assures that “adhering to at least four healthy lifestyles could reduce the risk by 20% of developing a clinically relevant hearing loss.

Although longitudinal studies with longer follow-up and repeated measurements of lifestyles are needed to address cumulative exposure over time, this study contributes substantially to the hearing loss prevention in adults.

This information does not replace in any case the diagnosis or prescription by a doctor. It is important to go to a specialist when symptoms appear in case of illness and never self-medicate.

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