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Just like that, we’ve almost completed another year, and what a year it has been! This year has forced most of us to make many changes in our lives and on top of that, reevaluate the things that are truly important. More than ever before, we have realized the importance of community, connection, communication, and our relationships with those we love.
If you want to focus on strengthening your communication and connection with the people in your life in 2021, then taking care of your hearing health may be a good place to start. When we are able to effortlessly hear those we love, it is easier to have the meaningful conversations that make life that much richer.
Protect the hearing you have.
Whether you are a teenager with perfect hearing or have been a hearing aid user for decades, it is still important to take care of the hearing you do have left. Once our hearing is gone, it is gone for good, and many cases of hearing loss are preventable. Follow these steps to better protect your healthy hearing in the New Year:
1. Follow the 60/60 rule. Personal listening devices have revolutionized our lives; however, they have also created a new way for us to unintentionally damage our hearing. To protect yourself from hearing loss from your personal listening devices, follow the 60/60 rule. This rule encourages us to listen to our personal listening devices at no higher than 60% of the max volume and for no more than 60 minutes per day. Following these guidelines will help to prevent unintentional hearing damage from our headphones and ear buds.
2. Know how loud is too loud. Pay attention to the noise level at your workplaces and places of leisure. Do you find it is difficult to easily hold a conversation with someone standing a few feet from you because the noise is so loud? If so, your environment may be loud enough to be causing hearing loss. To help prevent hearing damage, limit the amount of time you spend in these environments and balance them with quieter activities such as reading a book or taking a walk. You could also use hearing protection when in these environments.
3. Invest in hearing protection. If you find you spend time in noisy environments, it is important to consistently wear hearing protection. Ear plugs that protect your hearing can be picked up very cheaply at almost any pharmacy. Although inexpensive, these ear plugs tend to be uncomfortable and less effective than custom hearing protection. Custom hearing protection are ear plugs that are moulded to your unique ear shape, ensuring comfort and efficacy.
Know the early signs of hearing loss.
On average, Americans wait about seven years from the time they notice changes in their hearing to the time they seek treatment. Hearing loss occurs gradually, over the course or years or even decades, making it difficult to detect. Knowing these early signs is helpful in ensuring you receive the treatment you need when you need it.
1. Feeling as though you can “hear” what other people are saying, but cannot understand them. It may seem as though everyone is mumbling.
2. Complaints from friends and family members that you are not listening.
3. Frustration with conversing over the phone.
4. Household members consistently asking you to turn down the volume.
5. Having trouble understanding others and frequently experiencing misunderstandings due to mishearing conversation.
Get your hearing checked with Hearing Wellness Solutions!
Even if you haven’t noticed any of these changes in your hearing, it is still good practice to get a hearing assessment every year. This will help you and your hearing healthcare professional to determine your baseline, and more easily detect if your hearing is becoming less keen year over year – and quickly implement a hearing healthcare plan if or when it becomes necessary to do so.
Nothing is more important in this life than our relationships to the people we love. Keeping your hearing health at top of mind can help ensure that you are taking every action necessary to ensure that your conversations and connections are as strong as possible in 2021 and beyond.