Starting the New Year Right with New “Hearing” Habits

Your hearing can benefit from healthy life choices.

Consider the commitments many people resolve to in the new year-- healthier choices are frequently at the top of the list.  These are not generally focused on hearing health specifically, but can still have positive benefits on your ears and auditory system.  We know that some resolutions are difficult to keep, but encourage you to consider healthier lifestyle habits that are manageable and beneficial on many levels.

These tips are designed to help you form habits that will preserve your hearing.  

Whether you have a diagnosed hearing loss, suspect a loss may exist, or have normal hearing at this time, these habits can help anyone preserve what they’ve got.   

Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Many health issues are linked to unhealthy body weight.  Hearing is no exception to this rule.  Women and teens are the most susceptible populations in which obesity has been linked to loss of high frequency hearing.  Carrying excessive weight is linked to several other health concerns, including hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are all correlated with hearing loss as well.    

Healthy diet and exercise can positively impact your body weight and decrease risk factors for disease.  Fortunately, these habits can also encourage healthier inner ear function by providing the nutrients and circulation that the ear requires to work its best.

Consider your vices.

The benefits of smoking cessation are vast and apparent.  Of course, improvements in general health and wellness can occur when an individual commits to quit.  These benefits to not stop at the ears.  Smoking can cause damage in several stages of the hearing system, from the outer ear to inner ear all the way up through the auditory receptors in the brain.  Resolving to quit can have resounding long term effects on you overall health, and hearing health as well.

Drinking alcohol can pose risks to your hearing function, depending upon quantities consumed.  Many people consider a glass of wine a day to have positive health benefits. But drinking to excess can actually become quite harmful to your health, including the health of your ears.  Excessive alcohol consumption causes toxicity in the ears that can permanently damage hearing abilities, cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness, too.  Temporary effects of drinking also include decreased reception of low frequency sounds. So this year, try to be smart about the quantities of alcohol you consume to avoid negative health effects, including hearing damage.

Avoid excessive noise exposure.

Loud noise can cause permanent damage to part of the inner ear responsible for detecting sound.  Hearing damage from noise is often related to listing to music at excessive volume levels, working with loud equipment, motorsports, and use of firearms without hearing protection.  Consider making a New Year’s resolution of listening to music at a moderate volume, and using hearing protection (such as earplugs or muffs) when around loud noises.  A little prevention can go a long way in avoiding the onset of hearing loss and/or tinnitus which is commonly associated with exposure loud noises.

Seek the care of a hearing professional.

Being proactive about your health is easy to commit to. Most people wait seven years to do anything about their hearing once they suspect an issue. Don’t be that person. It doesn’t help you or the people around you to put it off.  The vast majority of hearing problems are treatable-- the first step is seeing a professional to have yourself checked.

Keep in mind that small, incremental changes that stick can ultimately outweigh huge sweeping resolutions that can’t be maintained over time.

Not hearing as well as you used to?

Stop in and have a chat with us. The hearing loss you are experiencing just might be treatable, and we can help guide you along every step of the way.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle.  Here at Family Audiology we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

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