It’s the start of a brand-new year, and an exciting time to set new goals and improve yourself! We all have that New Year’s resolution list and probably somewhere in there is getting healthy in the upcoming year. That may include losing weight, quitting smoking, working out more, and incorporating a healthier diet.
If you’re someone resolving to be healthier this year, you should definitely add hearing health to your resolution checklist. Studies have shown that hearing loss could lead to other illnesses and symptoms such as depression, decline in cognitive functions, and even dementia and diabetes. Getting your hearing tested is a great way to start off the New Year and pave the way for a healthier life.
Why Take a Hearing Test?
Did you know that nearly 40 million Americans are impacted by some sort of hearing loss? Hearing loss is one of the most common health concerns in the U.S., yet many of us don’t think of getting our ears checked each year. That’s because hearing loss is generally gradual and we are able to make slight adjustments to our listening when we lose certain sounds. Many people with low to moderate hearing loss might not even be aware they have hearing loss at all due to this reason.
Audiologists and hearing health professionals recommend an annual hearing test to be able to monitor any hearing changes, and to provide treatment early if faced with hearing loss. If you’re straining in everyday conversations or finding yourself turning up the volume on your TV way too loud, it might be time to get your hearing tested. Even if you don’t think anything is wrong with your hearing ability, getting a hearing exam is important for your overall hearing health.
Hearing Health Tips for the New Year
Turn Down the Volume
The easiest step towards improving your hearing health is by turning down the volume. Many people tend to turn up the volume as they start to get hard of hearing. This is actually more dangerous because the longer one is exposed to louder noises, the more damaging it becomes to their hearing ability.
According to audiologists, the safe volume level is 85 decibels (dB). Depending on how loud we turn up the music on our smartphones or other listening devices, the sound could reach over 100dB! At such levels, we may be facing hearing damage within only 30 minutes of listening.
If you and your family tend to crank the volume high when you’re spending time together, consider turning it down a notch. Also talk to them about how lowering the volume impacts everyone’s hearing ability.
Invest in Ear Protection
Noise is all around us. From the moment we wake up, we experience noise. Most folks generally only buy ear plugs when they’re going to a live concert, but there are hearing loss risks closer to home too. Everyday household items such as lawn mowers, drills, hair dryers, and vacuums can reach over 100dB, 15 dB over the recommended safe listening level. Investing in ear plugs or other forms of hearing protection then becomes important.
Whether you prefer foam or silicone, ear plugs are inexpensive protection against loud noises. Store bought ear plugs can protect up to 35 decibels, although you’ll need to look at the packaging to see how much any one brand can protect. If you’re doing a lot of work around the house with loud equipment, buying some protective ear muffs (not the kind for snow, but the kind specifically designed to mute very loud sounds), can help you avoid unnecessary hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss
The first step to identifying hearing loss is to get a hearing test. If the hearing test reveals that you have hearing loss, then it’s time to talk about treatment options with a hearing health professional. The earlier you seek treatment for your hearing loss the easier it will be for you to adjust to hearing aids, and safeguard your hearing.
At Focus Hearing, our trained hearing specialists will help you find the perfect hearing device from our top hearing aid brands, and will create the perfect combination of programs and settings to fit into your lifestyle and provide the hearing support you need to have a great year.