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Many of us approach the new year with goals and intentions. In fact, the new year is often synonymous with making health centered resolutions. This fresh start is a great opportunity to prioritize your hearing health and wellness, you can achieve this by committing to better hearing. Practicing the following strategies in the new year can protect your hearing health:
- Schedule a hearing test. Hearing loss impacts over 48 million people, making it the third most common chronic medical conditions people live with today. This highlights the importance of having your hearing assessed regularly. Even if you do not suspect hearing loss, integrating a hearing test in annual health check-ins allows you to track your hearing health. Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing capacities in both ears. This identifies even the slightest degree of hearing loss in each ear. Your results are used to tailor treatment to meet your specific hearing needs. Fortunately, there are effective ways hearing loss is treated. Treatment offers countless life-changing benefits like strengthening communication, relationships, social life, and overall health.
- Maximize hearing aids. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. Similar to most electronic devices today, hearing aids have experienced significant innovation over recent years. Advanced technologies have been maximized to expand what hearing aids are able to do. Today’s hearing aids are savvier and sleeker than ever before, offering numerous cutting edge technologies. Be sure to discuss these technologies and features with your hearing healthcare provider. This includes wireless connectivity, digital noise reduction, tinnitus management, sound localization, and voice recognition capabilities.
- Exercise. The benefits of exercise are commonly known: boosts energy levels, supports the immune system, decreases health risks etc. But did you know that exercise also supports healthy hearing? Exercise promotes healthy blood flow and circulation in the ears which support sound being absorbed and processed effectively. Though the prospect of regular exercise can seem daunting, there are actually simple ways you can increase physical activity in your everyday life. This includes taking a daily walk, spending a few minutes stretching, and finding a physical activity you enjoy – biking, swimming, yoga, golfing etc.
- Adjust diet. Studies show that healthy eating also contributes to healthy hearing. This includes a significant study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School. After evaluating over 80,000 people for several years, researchers found that people following healthy dietary patterns were 30% less likely to develop hearing loss. These diets were rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and fish which offer an abundance of nutrients that support healthy hearing. This includes magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, and Vitamins C and D. Integrate more of these foods and nutrients into your everyday diet in the new year.
- Quit smoking. Extensive research shows that smoking can increase the risk of hearing loss. Studies show that smokers can be more than twice as likely to experience hearing loss compared to nonsmokers. Experts suggest that nicotine can affect blood vessels and restrict blood flow, affecting how sound is processed in the inner ear. This new year, quit smoking to reduce your risk of developing hearing loss.
- Reduce loud noise exposure. Loud noise exposure is a common cause of hearing loss. One time or regular exposure to excessive noise can cause noise induced hearing loss. We experience varying levels of sound throughout the day. In fact, it is estimated that over 22 million people are exposed to hazardous noise levels in the workplace. Also, according to the World Health Organization, over 1 billion people globally are at risk of developing noise induced hearing loss. This highlights the importance of practicing safety measures including: wearing hearing protection (headphones, earplugs), lowering volume settings on electronic devices, avoiding noisy settings, and taking listening breaks throughout the day. Noise induced hearing loss is totally preventable and practicing these safety measures in the new year can significantly protect your hearing health.
The new year is a great time to start integrating these strategies in your everyday life. Contact us to take the first step of scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health and wellness in the new year!