Are you considering making a New Year’s resolution but aren’t sure what to change? Consider focusing on better hearing health.
Good hearing positively impacts all aspects of your life, from personal relationships to your earning power at work. Here are a few steps to boost your hearing and prevent future damage.
Protect Your Hearing
Assess your soundscape: The first step in protecting your hearing is identifying the sources of dangerously loud sounds. Those may include music, construction zones, workplace noise, or even hobbies like hunting and woodworking.
Reduce noise exposure: There are easy steps you can take to lower your risk of noise-induced hearing loss, including:
- Turning down the volume on your TV, radio and earbuds/headphones
- Moving away from noisy equipment or machinery
- Shutting your office door to muffle ambient noise
- Distancing yourself from speakers and amps at live performances
Wear hearing protection: Whether you buy custom hearing protection or disposable foam earplugs at the drugstore, hearing protection can go a long way toward preventing hearing loss.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Reduce or eliminate nicotine: Smoking lowers your oxygen levels and negatively impacts your blood vessels, especially in your ears. The hair cells in your inner ear that transmit audio signals to your brain can sustain permanent damage without sufficient blood flow. Cutting out smoking will give your blood vessels the chance to recover and support your hearing.
Eat a heart – and hearing – healthy diet: There’s a direct connection between your cardiovascular and auditory systems. Like smoking, a poor diet affects your cardiovascular health, which in turn impedes the blood flow to your ears. Limiting sodium and saturated fat in your diet will keep your heart healthy. Include fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, spinach, apples and bananas.
Get moving: Regular exercise boosts your overall health and lowers your risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, which may affect your hearing. Cardio exercises improve circulation and blood oxygen levels and keep your ears functioning at their best.
Treat Your Hearing Loss
Schedule a hearing evaluation: A hearing test will determine your type and degree of hearing loss. Hearing tests are painless and non-invasive and can be completed in a single appointment. Understanding your condition will help your audiologist develop an effective hearing treatment plan.
Take hearing aids for a test drive: The right pair of hearing aids will not only amplify the volume of sounds but clarify them before they reach your ears. That means your brain won’t have to work as hard to process what it’s hearing. Wearing hearing aids also supports brain activity, reducing your risk for cognitive decline.
Attend aural rehabilitation: This approach involves different therapies to improve your hearing aid experience. Attending aural rehabilitation gives you a chance to ask questions, practice effective communication techniques and network with people who share similar hearing struggles.
Come to a Hearing Associates office in northern Iowa or southern Minnesota, and our expert team will help you get started on your resolution of better hearing. Call 888-760-2032 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.