The new year offers a fresh start. This is a perfect time to prioritize your hearing health and the practices to achieve your health goals. Integrating the following tips in the new year offers a useful roadmap on how you can improve your hearing health.
- Schedule a hearing test. Hearing loss is the third most common, chronic health condition people experience today. Nearly 1 in 6 people have some degree of hearing loss but only a third of people who could benefit from treatment, actually receive it. Contributing to this delayed treatment of hearing loss is the fact that hearing health is often not assessed. In a study published by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, nearly 2,500 people were surveyed, and researchers found that only
- 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared to 6 in 10 adults who have had their vision tested.
Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing
capacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment
you could be experiencing. Even if you do not suspect hearing loss, getting your hearing
evaluated allows you to establish a baseline of your hearing health. This makes it easier
to track any changes you may experience over time.
- Increase physical activity. Exercise provides numerous health benefits including increasing energy, supporting the body’s immune system, and decreasing health risks. Exercising also supports healthy hearing by encouraging blood flow and circulation in the ears which is where sound is absorbed and processed before going to the brain. Though exercise can seem overwhelming and daunting, there are actually simple ways you can increase physical activity. In the new year, try to take a daily walk, stretch, and find a physical activity you enjoy – biking, swimming, golfing etc.
- Adjust diet. Healthy eating is also linked with healthy hearing. Studies show that healthful diets can reduce the risk of developing hearing loss. This includes a significant study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers found that people who followed healthy diets were 30% less likely to experience hearing loss. These dietary patterns were rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and nuts. This offers an abundance of nutrients that support healthy hearing including: magnesium, potassium, folate, zinc, and Vitamins C and D. Integrate more of these foods and nutrients in your everyday diet in the new year.
- Reduce noise exposure. Loud noise is a common cause of hearing loss. One time or regular exposure to excessive noise can cause noise induced hearing loss. But this type of hearing loss is preventable. Practicing the following safety measures can significantly protect your healing health:
- Wear hearing protection: headphones, earplugs, earmuffs etc. provide a protective barrier for the ears. This reduces the amount of loud noise you absorb.
- Maintain low volume settings. Electronic devices can easily reach hazardous noise levels so be sure to maintain low volume settings on your TV, phone, speaker etc.
- Take listening breaks: the ears and brain work together to absorb and process speech and sound – a process that is always happening. Take 5-10 minute listening breaks throughout the day to give your auditory system time to rest and recuperate.
Additionally, avoid places with excessive background noise like restaurants during
peak hours. You can also avoid routes with heavy traffic and construction sites to
reduce the environmental noise you are exposed to.
- Explore hearing technologies. There are different types of hearing technologies you can benefit from so be sure to discuss your options with your hearing healthcare provider. In addition to hearing aids, there are also assistive listening devices as well as hearing aid accessories. These technologies are designed to make hearing as seamless as possible in everyday environments.
- Quit smoking. Studies show that smoking can significantly increase the risk of developing hearing loss. Experts suggest that nicotine can damage blood vessels and restrict blood flow in the ears where sound is processed. In the new year, commit to stop smoking which can protect your hearing health.
The new year is a great time to implement new practices. Integrating these strategies can protect your hearing health and wellness. To get started, contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!