Prioritize Better Hearing in the New Year!

Prioritize Better Hearing in the New Year!

In Hearing Health by Bary E. Williams Au.D.

As the saying goes, “new year, new you.” The beginning of the year is when we all make resolutions to better ourselves, and there’s a long list to choose from, such as

  • Breaking bad habits
  • Saving more money
  • Losing weight
  • Improving our diets
  • Traveling more
  • Learning a new skill

But how often do we include managing our hearing health as one of our new year’s resolutions? It may seem like an unimportant resolution, but maintaining our hearing health is a simple way to have a long-term impact on our lives. 

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned hearing aid user or someone who has never gotten a hearing test, here are some tips you can take to improve your and your loved one’s hearing health for the New Year.

Get your hearing tested!

The first step in treating hearing loss is being aware of the potential signs of hearing loss. Suppose you often find yourself lost in the middle of group conversations or making extra efforts to hear what everyone around you is saying. In that case, that may be a sign of hearing loss. It’s recommended that you schedule an appointment with your hearing health professional for a more comprehensive check-up.

Even if you don’t notice any signs of hearing loss, it is still recommended that you schedule a hearing test annually. As with an annual physical, hearing health check-ups allow you to be proactive about identifying any potential issues to your hearing and be able to take preventative measures in addressing any sort of hearing loss. 

Be aware of noise around you

It is essential to be aware of the noise around you. Make sure you’re not exposing yourself to unsafe noise levels, whether at work while listening to music or using everyday tools. Audiologists indicate 85 decibels or under being the accepted safe noise levels. Working around power tools or going to concerts or sporting events often exceed that limit, so wearing a pair of protective earplugs in those settings reduces your chances of hearing loss. 

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), roughly 15 percent of Americans between 20 and 69 have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Learning more about NIHL and safe exposure times is an excellent first step in preventing hearing loss.  

A healthy diet can do so much

While the causes of hearing loss may be primarily associated with noise exposure, research also suggests a link between one’s diet and lifestyle habits and hearing health. Regulating what you eat can impact more than just your weight. Vitamins in your daily diet can help preserve your hearing long-term and fend off acquired hearing loss conditions. 

Giving up smoking could benefit your ears as well as your lungs. New research suggests smoking has an impact on your hearing abilities. The study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research analyzed eight years of health data on more than 50,000 people in Japan and found that smokers were 1.2 to 1.6 times more likely to suffer hearing loss. The toxins in cigarettes can affect components of your middle ear and the delicate hairs in the inner ear that transmit sound vibrations to the brain. The carcinogens from cigarettes can also damage the auditory processing nerves in your brain. 

Share the knowledge of good hearing health

We all know someone who is showing signs of hearing loss. We actually may know someone in our community that needs a hearing aid. This year, don’t just help yourself take care of your hearing health but also urge a loved one you know to get a hearing test! Doing so will make our world ever more connected when another person can communicate effectively again, so provide the appropriate nudges and education.

Visit Us in the New Year

It’s not too late to make that New Year’s resolution! Start the new year off to create a path towards a healthy hearing year! Whether you are a hearing aid user or someone who’s never gotten their hearing tested, make that appointment to see one of our hearing health professionals for an annual hearing test! 

Bary E. Williams Au.D.