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New Year's Resolutions for Better Hearing

Did you know the custom of making New Year’s resolutions occurs all over the world, but is more common in the West? According to History, New Year’s resolutions originated with the ancient Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians made promises to their (pagan) gods to pay debts and return objects they had borrowed. If the Babylonians kept their word, their (pagan) gods would bestow favor on them in the coming year.

With 2017 arriving this weekend you may have considered making a New Year’s resolution. If you are in the 45% of people who make New Year’s resolutions, add these to your list to help ensure good hearing healthcare for the coming year.  If you are part of the other 55%, take these recommendations as good healthcare advice. Here are some suggestions for resolutions for better hearing in 2017.

Protect Your Hearing

One in three Americans with hearing loss has noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensory cells or hair cells found in the inner ear (cochlea). Loud noise exposure causes damage to those hair cells and ultimately causes them to die. Hair cells do not regenerate once they die. Noise damages the hearing system based on two factors, how loud the noise is and how long you are exposed to it. There are three ways that you can protect your hearing.

  1. Walk Away - The further you get from the noise source, the more the volume will decrease.
  2. Reduce the Volume - Listen to your personal listening device, car stereo, radio, television, or speaker system at lower volumes.
  3. Wear Hearing Protection - The use of hearing protection is the best solution for many occupational and recreational loud noise situations. There are both custom and non-custom hearing protection options available. Customized hearing protection can be an easy, comfortable, inexpensive, and effective solution. The Audiologists at Mile High Hearing will educate you on how to properly use non-custom and custom hearing protection so that it offers you maximum benefits to reduce noise exposure.

Quit Smoking

People who smoke are almost twice as likely to have hearing loss as those people who do not smoke. Additionally, people who do not smoke but live with someone who does are also more likely to develop hearing loss. How does smoking impact the hearing system? The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes restrict blood flow, preventing oxygen from effectively circulating in your inner ear. Poor blood flow can permanently damage the sensory cells in the hearing organ.

Exercise

Maintaining good overall health is also important in maintaining good hearing health. Exercise is a great way to help decrease your risk of chronic illness and other risk factors for hearing loss. People who are overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and people who have diabetes are twice as likely to have hearing loss. Being overweight makes it more difficult for the heart to circulate blood throughout the body, and that includes the small structures of the inner ear. Having high blood glucose levels may also damage the blood vessels in the inner ear.

Have Your Hearing Tested

A comprehensive hearing evaluation performed by an Audiologist is the first step in identifying hearing loss. Results of a hearing evaluation may help your Audiologist identify the cause of the hearing loss and will also assist in determining appropriate rehabilitation recommendations. Benefits of identifying hearing loss early and beginning rehabilitation can include:

  1. Cognitive Stimulation - The risk of dementia is up to five times greater in people with untreated hearing loss. Hearing aids have been shown to significantly reduce the increased risk of cognitive decline.
  2. Improve Quality of Life - People who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and feel engaged in life. They are also more likely to have a strong social network.
  3. Decrease Fall Risk - The risk of falling is three times greater in people with untreated hearing loss. Hearing aids have been shown to decrease that risk. 
  4. Protects Income and Earnings - People with hearing loss may lose as much as $30,000 in income annually. The use of hearing aids significantly reduces the risk of income loss.

Let’s make 2017 the “Year of the Ear” by making hearing healthcare a priority! Consult with the Audiologists at Mile High Hearing to assist you in your journey to better hearing in 2017!