With the New Year fast approaching, it’s a time for reflection and goal-setting. This year, make resolutions to protect and improve your hearing for better overall health and happiness. Here are five great ways to start:
1. Listen carefully. Always be conscious of how loud you’re listening to your television and music. Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine or wind and back away from the noise source when watching TV.
Learn more about conscious listening at listencarefully.org.
2. Protect your hearing. At sports venues, hunting, shooting, concerts, or other events and activities that are loud, make sure you’re using proper hearing protection. As little as 10 seconds at a loud stadium or concert can cause permanent hearing damage. There are several different hearing protection options available, including In-the-Canal earplugs, Behind-the-Ear protection and custom-fit products.
3. Tend to your overall health. Your hearing health has a direct effect on your overall health. Hearing loss has been linked to numerous medical issues, including viruses, bacteria, heart conditions or strokes, head injuries, tumors and certain medicines.
- Heart health: Studies show that a healthy cardiovascular system – a person’s heart, arteries and veins – has a positive effect on hearing. Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.
- Hypertension: There is a significant association between high blood pressure and untreated hearing loss. Hypertension can be an accelerating factor of hearing loss in older adults.
- Smoking: Current smokers have a 70% higher risk of having hearing loss than non-smokers.
- Obesity: Higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference are associated with increased risk of hearing loss in women.
- Diabetes: Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without. Adults whose blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, have a 30% higher rate of hearing loss compared to those with normal blood sugar.
- Ototoxicity: There are more than 200 medications (prescription and over-the-counter) on the market today that are known to be ototoxic or “poisonous to the ears.” Some known ototoxic drugs are: Aspirin, Quinine, Loop diuretics (or “water pills”), certain antibiotics, and some environmental chemicals.
4. Consult a professional. If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of hearing loss (See this list of common signs), talk to your doctor or hearing care professional about taking a hearing test. The sooner you take action, the sooner you put a stop to the negative effects of hearing loss, and the sooner you begin to regain sharpness, confidence and control. Take our quick hearing test here.
5. Use the tools available to you. If you already have hearing aids, resolve to get the most you can out of them by using the appropriate hearing aid accessories. For example, Surflink Mobile 2, SurfLink Media and the SurfLink remote provide all kinds of conveniences and helpful tools for Z Series wearers. Find out more about SurfLink accessories by clicking here. If you have Halo (Made for iPhone) hearing aids, the TruLink Hearing Control app can stream music, media and more directly from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your hearing aids.
For more information about products or capabilities, visit our Hearing Aid page or contact your hearing healthcare provider.