Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected

Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected

Do you have an active lifestyle and love being social? Maybe meeting with family and friends is the highlight of every week. You rely on your sense of hearing to help you interact with loved ones. Hearing is an important part of connecting with others and staying socially connected.

Your sense of hearing is what lets you hear each word and keep up with conversations. However, if you’ve noticed recent changes in your hearing health, social interactions may be getting harder. You find yourself asking people to repeat words and phrases. And try as you might, it’s difficult to hear what’s being said. This can lead to feelings of anxiety when you’re with friends and make it hard to stay socially connected.

Hearing Loss and Social Isolation

Hearing loss makes it very challenging to hear conversations. This is especially true in places with a lot of background noise. Social activities with friends tend to get loud or happen in noisy venues. So, it becomes harder to tune out background noise and pick out speech sounds. It can be difficult to follow conversations or keep up as different friends chime in.

If you have hearing loss, social situations can make you feel anxious. You may worry about what your friends think of you. You often misunderstand what’s been said, and you never laugh at the right time. And you don’t want to keep interrupting the conversation to ask someone to repeat what they said. Instead, you smile and nod, and hope no one asks you a direct question.

Hearing loss can lead to social isolation. When it’s this hard to hear, it might seem easier and less embarrassing to just stay home. Sure, you miss your friends, but you don’t need to worry so much about your hearing loss. Choosing to stay home and avoid social activities can leave you feeling isolated and alone.

Social Isolation is More Than a Feeling

Have you been disconnected from your friend group? After you stop attending social activities or skip a few family events, the communication gap widens. It’s easier to keep staying home rather than trying to catch up with everything that’s happened since the last time you joined the group.

Social isolation can be more than just a passing feeling. If you’re feeling socially isolated or cut off from loved ones, you have a higher risk of developing ongoing feelings of loneliness, sadness, and even depression.

Hearing Aids for Social Lifestyles

Hearing loss makes it hard to follow conversations. There are some sounds you just can’t hear. For example, sensorineural hearing loss often affects higher-pitched sounds. Consonant sounds in speech are often higher pitched. So even though you may hear most of the words in a conversation, there are a few key sounds you’re missing. This makes it very difficult to actually understand the words you’re hearing.

That’s where hearing aids come in! Hearing aids are designed with conversations in mind. They have sophisticated programs that amplify speech sounds so it’s easier to hear every sound you need to hear. Hearing aids for social lifestyles also have programs that decrease background noise. You’ll be able to follow conversations even at a noisy restaurant. The sounds you don’t want to hear will fade more into the background, letting your ears and brain focus on the sounds you’re straining to hear.

Treating hearing loss gives you back your ability to communicate. You won’t need to frequently ask people to repeat themselves or pretend you can hear conversations. You’ll be able to enjoy every conversation, catch the punchline of every joke, and find new reasons to get out of the house.

Treat Your Hearing Loss

Don’t let hearing loss hold you back! You can stay socially connected and love every minute you spend with friends. We have a wide selection of hearing aids from top manufacturers that are designed for every lifestyle. Some of our devices offer additional features like streaming capabilities. You can connect your hearing aids directly to your phone or TV so you can be more social at home. Enjoy phone calls and video chats without straining to hear. Sounds will stream right to your ears and you’ll get to enjoy crystal clear sound quality. 

Come find your perfect hearing aids today!

Nutrients That Boost Your Hearing Health

Nutrients That Boost Your Hearing Health

Common sense tells us that what we eat affects our health. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can make us feel great and give us an energy boost. But did you know that what you eat affects your ears as well? Some nutrients can boost your hearing health. Here’s what you can eat to look after your hearing health.

Vitamins A and E

Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients you can give your body. These essential nutrients are responsible for hundreds of tasks in your body, from helping you heal, boosting your immune system, and giving you more energy. 

Vitamins A and E can even help prevent damage in your ears and lower your risk of hearing loss. A 2011 study looked at how these essential nutrients work in the body. They found that people with higher vitamin A levels had a 47% reduced risk of developing hearing loss. Vitamin E also reduced the risk of hearing loss by 14%.

Adding extra sources of these vitamins to your diet can really boost your hearing health. Find vitamin A in sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, beef, and eggs. Great sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, avocados, and squash.

Vitamin B-9

Folate or vitamin B-9 is another essential nutrient. This vitamin is critical for healthy functioning since it’s needed to keep your red blood cells oxygenated and healthy. One study reported that people with sensorineural hearing loss were more likely to have low vitamin B-9 levels. 

You can increase vitamin B-9 in your diet with foods like green leafy veggies, broccoli, asparagus, beans, and nuts.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is also vital for your body to be healthy. This vitamin aids in the production of red blood cells, and helps maintain blood flow. In fact, low B-12 levels can make it harder for blood to travel to your ears. This may cause cell damage and can lead to hearing loss. 

You can get additional B-12 in your diet with foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs.

Vitamin C

No list of essential vitamins would be complete without vitamin C. This nutrient is incredibly important for your overall health and wellbeing. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can boost the immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure. When it comes to your hearing health, vitamin C acts as a protector. When you’re exposed to loud noise your ears may be damaged by free radicals. Vitamin C can protect your ears and reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss. 

Vitamin C is in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, grapes, citrus fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and dark greens, and dates.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats your body needs. This nutrient gives you sustained energy and reduces inflammation. It’s used in many functions throughout the body, including in the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system. A recent study examined the role of omega-3s and your ears and discovered that those with high levels of these fatty acids were 42% less likely to develop age-related hearing loss. 

You’ll find omega-3 fatty acids in sardines, other fish, beef, eggs, and nuts.

Potassium

Let’s take a moment to talk about minerals. Along with vitamins, minerals are essential nutrients your body needs for numerous functions throughout your body. Potassium is responsible for regulating fluid in the body. This includes your blood and the fluid in your inner ears. High levels of potassium will keep your ears healthy.

Potassium is in a number of fruits and veggies, including bananas, grapefruit, oranges, cucumbers, leafy greens, and potatoes.

Magnesium

Another important mineral is magnesium. One function of this mineral is working together with vitamin C to protect your ears from free radicals, and reduce your risk of hearing loss due to noise.

You can add more sources of magnesium to your diet by eating legumes, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and dairy products.

Prioritizing Your Hearing Health

Now is the perfect time to prioritize your hearing health. Along with eating a diet full of essential nutrients, we recommend booking a hearing test. Together we’ll learn more about your hearing health and we can suggest other ways you can maintain your hearing health. 

Working with Hearing Loss

Working with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can make some everyday tasks a bit more complicated. You need to carefully focus on what your loved one says over breakfast, and you can’t multitask and listen at the same time. Hearing loss also impacts your job. Working with hearing loss can present a few unique challenges, but with the right hearing aids you’ll easily keep up at the office or on the job site.

Know Your Rights

If you have hearing loss, make sure you learn more about your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act is clear that employers may not treat you differently based on any disability. This includes hearing loss.

Your employer also has the legal responsibility to help you do your job effectively. They’re required by law to provide reasonable accommodations that can help you be a great employee. Reasonable accommodations could include requesting a quieter workspace further away from the break room or providing speech-to-text technology to help you keep up during meetings. 

Ask For Accommodations

When you know your rights, you’ll feel confident in asking for reasonable accommodations. You can let your boss know about your hearing loss, and explain how it affects your job. With a few changes, you’ll be able to overcome these challenges and be a more effective team player. Possible accommodations may include: 

  • Sitting at the front of the room during meetings so you don’t miss any key information.
  • Getting meeting minutes in writing so you can review the information and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  • Requesting instructions in writing so you’re always on the right track.
  • Asking that any background music is turned off, that meetings are held in a quieter room, or that the door is closed to dim distracting background sounds.
  • Moving your workspace to a quieter part of the office to minimize noises that make it harder for you to focus on tasks or hear on the phone.

Use the Right Technology

In a post COVID world, we’re relying on technology more than ever before. This could lead to communication issues, such as having a hard time hearing during zoom meetings or mishearing important information. 

If you have hearing loss, there’s a lot of technology that can help you work with hearing loss. 

  • Assistive listening devices can make it easier to hear during in-person meetings. For example, you can place a mic near the speaker, and send the audio directly to your earbuds or your hearing aids for better comprehension. 
  • Real-time translation can also help during those in-person briefings. These speech-to-text programs can give you a written version of everything being said, so you never have to guess the details you didn’t hear. 
  • Request video calls rather than audio calls. In the post-COVID world, we’re all used to using zoom for many of our meetings. Going forward, you can request to have more meetings on zoom rather than having audio calls or conference calls. Having video, or even video with auto-captions can make it much easier to work with hearing loss. 

Hearing Aids at Work

The best technology you can use when working with hearing loss is hearing aids. These sophisticated devices will make it easier to hear at work, both in-person and online. You’ll be able to focus on the sounds you want to hear using advanced speech enhancement programs. This program not only makes speech louder but also makes it clearer. You’ll have an easier time distinguishing speech sounds and hearing every conversation. Meanwhile, noise reduction settings help reduce distracting sounds you don’t want to hear.

Advanced connectivity features can be a lifesaver at work. Your hearing aids can connect directly to your phone, computer, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. You’ll be able to stream audio from calls, video calls, or other sound sources right to your ears. 

In the post-COVID world, hearing loss has become more mainstream. People have been talking about hearing loss, as well as realizing how challenging it can be to hear with face masks and while social distancing. Communication challenges are being understood by more people, including co-workers and employers. Visit us today to find out more about your hearing health and hearing needs! Find out how working with hearing loss can be a breeze.