Hearing health might not seem like the most common focus for your new year’s resolutions, but making your hearing a priority can truly be beneficial to your long-term health overall. In fact, hearing is related to your sense of balance, has been linked to cardiovascular health and has a significant effect on cognitive function. Despite the fact that hearing loss is extremely common, many Americans make decisions every day that can cause permanent damage to their hearing. Don’t hurt your long-term hearing health due to lack of awareness. This year, make these five resolutions to protect the longevity of your hearing:
- Get your hearing tested
Even though more than 30 million Americans experience some level of hearing loss, fewer than one-third of people with this condition have ever used hearing aids, according to the National Institutes of Health. A common misconception is that hearing loss happens to old people when in fact, the majority (65%) of the people that need hearing aids are younger than age 65! For adults age 69 or younger, according to the NIH only about 16 percent of those with hearing loss in this age group have used hearing aids. One of the reasons for this trend is because many people are hesitant to have their hearing tested or admit they’re having a problem. If you’re above 50 years of age, it is recommended that you have your hearing tested every three years. So, New Year’s Resolution idea number one: Make your hearing health a priority this year by scheduling a hearing screening with Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah, KY.
- Start wearing hearing protection
If you’ve gotten in the habit of mowing the lawn without wearing proper hearing protection, make a point of using earplugs this year. Noise levels above 85 decibels causes permanent hearing damage, and lawn mowers, leaf blowers and weed eaters can all produce noises above this threshold. In fact, gas lawn mowers are listed at emitting approximately 106 decibels, well above a volume that’s safe to be exposed to for a long period of time.
- Buy safer headphones
Do you listen to headphones during a noisy morning commute or in other loud environments? If your system for hearing music over background noise has been to just crank up the volume, odds are you’re doing serious damage to your hearing health. Research shows the maximum volume on a pair of Apple stock earbud-style headphones is more than 100 decibels. Be warned! Exposure to such volume will cause damage in 15 minutes or less. To protect your hearing, it’s not only important to turn down the volume when listening to music, but it would be wise to invest in noise-canceling headphones that block outside noise so you won’t absentmindedly max out the volume. Focus on protecting your hearing this year by resolving to purchase headphones that are better for your ears.
- Make heart health a priority
Studies have linked heart health to hearing health and indicate good circulation has an overall positive effect on hearing. On the other hand, poor blood flow in the inner ear has been linked to hearing loss. Therefore, not only does taking care of your heart help protect your hearing, but a hearing screening (resolution No. 1) may also be able to pick up on cardiovascular abnormalities. Exercising regularly is a great resolution for anyone to set for the New Year, and it’s a nice bonus that making physical activity a priority can benefit both your cardiovascular and auditory health.
- Protect your ears
If you’re an avid athlete, make sure this year that your ears are protected when you go out and get physical. If you participate in winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding or ice hockey, wear warm ear muffs or a hat under your helmet to fight off infections and avoid the development of bony lumps and growths in the ear canal from the cold called Surfer’s Ear.
If you are concerned about hearing loss, for yourself or someone important to you, contact Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.
If you want to learn more about how your hearing works, hearing loss and hearing aids or how hearing aids work, we can help. Give us a call at Purchase Ear Technology at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us. At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient. You are FAMILY!