Too few healthy red blood cells can lead to Iron Deficiency Anemia, a common condition in Concord and throughout California.
When your body is not getting enough iron, you can end up experiencing a variety of health problems – including hearing loss.
What is IDA?
Your body requires a certain amount of iron in order to supply oxygen to red blood cells.
Too little iron can cause a shortage that leads to symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet and chest pain.
If left untreated, Iron Deficiency Anemia – IDA for short – may impact cardiovascular health, lead to growth and developmental delays and increase your risk of giving premature birth. It can also cause hearing loss.
A research group from Pennsylvania State University was curious over the fact that nine out of every 10 patients with the most common type of hearing loss in Concord was also diagnosed with IDA.
They took a retroactive look at 300,000 patients of all ages with IDA and were able to confirm that iron deficiency was a prime factor in hearing loss, apparently due to low oxygen levels in the vestibulocochlear nerve responsible for hearing and balance. 15 percent of patients in the study were found to have hearing problems that dated as far back as five years.
Hearing loss does become more likely as we age, but risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and IDA all contribute to an increase in early-onset hearing impairment. Because iron levels are fairly easy to regulate, prevention can help ward off hearing loss down the road.
Easy Ways to Add Iron to Your Diet
Incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet is the easiest way to prevent iron deficiency. Good sources of iron include:
- Red meat
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dried fruits
- Bread and pasta
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. It turns out that Guinness, a popular Irish stout beer, contains 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron in each pint.
This doesn’t give you leeway to while away hours at the pub tossing back pint after pint of Guinness, but you can at least enjoy a glass or two without too much guilt. As always, drink responsibly.
Related Tinnitus and Hearing Loss Posts:
- Tinnitus in America
- Tinnitus Isn’t as Rare as You Might Think
- Is Auditory Attention Decoding the Solution to an Age-Old Hearing Problem?