With the new year, we all look forward to a fresh start with our goals and projects. According to different surveys, such as SurveyMonkey, a majority of the resolutions for 2018 are to save money or get healthy. If your resolutions fall into either of these categories, add hearing health to the list! Protecting your hearing health helps you save money and is an important part of your overall health and well-being. Here, we offer you four easy ways to protect your hearing in 2018.
Though they are convenient and unobtrusive, earbuds are actually very dangerous to your hearing. With new wireless earbuds on the market, it may be tempting to make the switch to these devices, but it may be at the risk of your hearing health.
Earbuds are positioned deep in your ear canal, close to the eardrums. As a result, whatever sounds you stream will appear much louder than they are. This is due to the anatomy of the ear. Noise levels can rise to the equivalent of listening to a drill in a coal mine – loud enough to damage your hearing in just a short amount of time. Furthermore, earbuds don’t do a good job blocking out external noise. In other words, people who wear earbuds in noisy public spaces tend to crank up the volume on their devices and earbuds in order to listen to the music or podcasts or other media. Combined with the proximity to the eardrums, earbuds could do serious damage to your hearing, with the potential of permanent noise-induced hearing loss.
The solution: Switch to noise-canceling headphones. Though they are a bit bulkier, they do a great job at keeping out the external noises of your environment, which means you don’t have to listen to music at the max volume. Even better, follow the 60-60 rule prescribed by hearing specialists: listen to music at 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
Whether on the job or in your leisure time, you are exposed to various levels of noise all day. If you live in a city, the threat of noise pollution is very real. While most industries that are noisy provide employees with customized hearing protection, other industries that seem less likely culprits of hearing loss do not. For example, hair stylists and elementary school teachers do not often have to think about hearing loss as an occupational hearing hazard – but both professions do expose people to potentially dangerous levels of noise.
In your leisure time, whether you are a fan of live rock music or you enjoy DIY-construction projects, incorporate custom ear protection in your activities. Exposure to loud noise could lead to permanent hearing loss, over a gradual period of time.
The solution: You can find ear protection online, which is custom-fitted to your ear with custom earmolds and filters out dangerous levels of sound, while still giving you access to the sounds you want to hear. At the very least, carry around foam earplugs if you need them in a pinch!
As a medical condition – the third most common one in the US – hearing loss is linked to other parts of your life. Studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals all support healthier hearing. One study found that adults who eat several servings of fish a week actually performed better on hearing tests, compared to those who did not.
Your inner ear environment is a sensitive place, supplied with nutrients and oxygen by small blood vessels. Keeping down cholesterol and high blood pressure levels is an important part of your hearing health.
The solution: Pay attention to the nutrients in your diet! Make sure to incorporate leafy greens, fruits, and foods rich in antioxidants into your diet to support your hearing health.
Schedule an annual hearing test with us at Hearing Consultants. Hearing tests are painless and simple, and they provide you with important information on your current hearing abilities. Even if a hearing loss is not detected, or even if you don’t think you have a hearing loss, it is important to have an annual hearing test, just to keep tabs on your abilities. This provides us good background information in the event that your hearing abilities shift in the future.
The solution: Schedule a hearing test with us at Hearing Consultants today! At Hearing Consultants, we provide comprehensive hearing exams. Don’t forget to include hearing health in your 2018 goals! To schedule an appointment, get in touch with us today.