3 Ways To Support Your Hearing Health
We all want to keep on top of our health and wellbeing. The better shape we’re in, and the better our levels of overall wellbeing, the better quality of life we can generally lead. Now, when we talk about health and wellbeing, many of us automatically think about diet and exercise. But there are other facets of yourself you should focus on too! Your hearing is a great example. You may be surprised to know that your hearing isn’t necessarily just a given. You need to take steps to support it where possible. Here are three recommendations to get you off to a good start!
Visit an Audiologist
If you’re reading this article, you may be experiencing some issues with your hearing, or you may have experienced changes with your hearing. If this is the case, it’s important that you book an appointment with an audiologist. If your hearing is fine at the moment, but you do experience any issues or changes in the future, you should book in as and when required.
An audiologist will help you keep your hearing health in the best condition for you, and help you find the right fit. You should visit your audiologist frequently, when you first book an appointment with them, but as we’ve briefly touched on above, they are the first person you should consult when experiencing differences or difficulties with your hearing.
An audiologist will undertake the tasks of identifying, testing and diagnosing any disorders associated with your hearing. This can include conditions that affect your balance, or conditions associated with tinnitus too. If any conditions are discovered, they will be able to counsel you on next steps regarding your hearing health or hearing conditions. They can recommend treatment and other steps that will help you to manage your condition. If you require hearing aids, cochlear implants or other audiological aids, they will be able to advise and help with this too.
Protect Your Hearing Against Loud Noises
Most of us live and work in relatively quiet environments. But there are some job roles or social activities that can entail loud noise. Loud noises can damage your hearing by damaging cells and membranes in your cochlea. Listening to loud noises for a long time can overwork hair cells in the ear, which can then cause these cells to die. Harmful effects might continue even after noise exposure has stopped.
Where possible, you should avoid loud noises. However, if you work in a noisy environment – for example, on a construction site, at concerts and events or in clubs and bars – and find it hard to completely avoid regular exposure to loud noise, you should take steps to protect your hearing as best possible. Where possible, try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes. You should also give your hearing roughly 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise. Another good consideration is wearing earplugs. There are re-usable musicians' earplugs available on the market that reduce the volume of music but do not muffle it.
If you listen to music on your phone or another device, use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones rather than turning the volume up to cover up outside noise. You should also avoid listening to music at the maximum volume.
Now, this may sound like an odd one, but believe it or not, smoking has been linked to hearing loss. According to research carried out by the University of Manchester, smokers are 28% more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers. The study showed that the risk for hearing loss further increased with an increased number of packs of cigarettes smoked and the amount of time the individual had been smoking.
The reasons for this are assumed to be that the nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes tighten your blood vessels. This can consequently starve your inner ear of the oxygen it needs to keep hair cells in the cochlea healthy. On top of this, nicotine can affect the neurotransmitters in your auditory nerve, preventing them from correctly processing sound
Sure, quitting smoking can be difficult. But it’s for the greater good of your health and wellbeing and can reduce damage to your ears over time.
These are just three ways to support your hearing health, but each is simple, straightforward and definitely possible. Hopefully, at least one will come in useful for you! To learn more about Hearing Wellness Centre or for further advice and assistance with your hearing, please call us today at (519) 735-4327.