There really is something special about the first day of a new year. It holds potential and possibilities for the next 365 days and it is a wonderful time to embark on a plan to transform your habits.
Improving one’s health is one of the most popular resolutions in a new year, but focusing on hearing health is rarely on anyone’s to-do list of health items. Let’s change that this year with 7 easy things you can do to give your ears the TLC they deserve.
- Make your ears a topic of conversation at your annual physical exams. If your doctor doesn’t bring it up, make sure you do. The time to focus on preserving and protecting your hearing is before you notice a decline. Once hearing loss sets in, it is most often not reversible.
- Reduce the noise level in your life. High-decibel sounds like planes and sirens are not the only dangers to our ears. Long-term exposure to a lot of common noises can also damage the delicate parts of our inner ear. So, take stock of your daily noise exposure and take measures to cut down on time spent in noisy environments like crowded restaurants, bars, loud offices, and concerts.
- This one is going to be tough for some: Limit earbud use. Earbuds have allowed us to inoculate ourselves against outside distractions when we’re working, traveling, or exercising, but they are bad for our ears. Never use earbuds at full volume and take frequent earbud breaks if you can’t live without them.
- If you wear hearing aids, wear them often. Using hearing aids on a limited basis impacts the brain’s ability to hear properly again. Hearing is not just about the sound entering your ears. It is a complex process involving the relationship between both ears and the brain. Don’t save your hearing aids for social situations; use them in your home daily to get the optimal results, even if you are the only person there.
- Take advantage of hearing assistance strategies if you need them. Request listening devices at the movies, theater, and museums. Ask people to speak louder or to face you if it helps you to better understand conversations. Request written instructions or ask people to write down essential information like phone numbers and emails for you. Be your own best advocate.
- Carry ear protection with you. Ear plugs and earmuffs are portable and relatively inexpensive. You can’t always predict when you’ll encounter a dangerously loud noise, so be prepared. Hearing protection can also be used to give your ears a much-needed rest after a long day.
- See a hearing healthcare professional for a hearing evaluation! A qualified professional can help you protect the hearing you have or improve your hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us to ensure you don’t miss a sound this year.