The World Health Organization’s Message for World Hearing Day 2018

Hear the future and prepare for it” is the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) message for World Hearing Day 2018. To that end, Sutton Hearing & Balance advises everyone to take care of their hearing health.

Take action for hearing health on World Hearing Day

On World Hearing Day, March 3rd, 2018, Sutton Hearing & Balance hopes to encourage more people to be mindful of their hearing health.1 Based on statistical projections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the prevalence of hearing loss is set to increase globally, and this World Hearing Day discusses how preventative measures could help curb the rise. With more than 5% of the global population already affected by disabling hearing loss2, now is the time to raise awareness and address why people do not recognize the signs when they are affected.

Causes of hearing loss

Many things can cause hearing loss – both in and out of our control. The most common include:

  • Exposure to excessive noise
  • Genetic causes
  • Complications at birth
  • Certain infectious diseases
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Certain medications
  • Aging2

Approximately 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.2 Although not all hearing loss can be prevented, we can take action to take better care of our ears, such as wearing ear protection when working with loud machinery. More importantly, we can pay more attention to our hearing and seek advice from an expert if we have any concerns.

Hearing loss can be a slow process, so it can be difficult to read the signs of deterioration, and in many cases, is easily ignored. In comparison to loss of sight, hearing loss is not always noticeable. Many people have a vision test annually to maintain eye health. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the same precautions for their ears, because hearing is as important as sight.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss

One key element to maintaining hearing health is paying attention to the early signs of hearing loss, such as:

  • Having the television or radio consistently at a loud volume
  • Struggling to follow conversations (especially in noisy environments such as restaurants)
  • Asking people to repeat themselves often
  • Withdrawal and isolation to avoid tough listening situations
  • Repositioning to point your ears toward sound
  • Not hearing the phone ring, the doorbell or sirens

Untreated hearing loss can be detrimental

Our professionals urge you to address the symptoms of hearing loss. We advise you begin with a professional hearing assessment* to eliminate guesswork. Untreated hearing loss can cause serious long-term conditions, especially later in life, so we implore everyone to maintain their hearing care now.

Hearing loss has a number of side effects. Untreated, hearing loss can cause people to withdraw from socializing and lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Several studies have concluded that hearing loss contributes to the early onset of dementia, including the recent study authored by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care.3 Addressing hearing loss is key to remaining cognitive and socially active.

Hearing loss is widespread – and growing

According to the WHO, approximately one third of people over 65 years of age are affected by disabling hearing loss2 and are potentially at risk of affecting their overall health if untreated. With the number of people aged 65 and above predicted to have doubled in 2050 compared to today4, age-related hearing loss is almost certainly a contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of hearing loss. That’s partially why the WHO’s slogan for 2018 is “Hear the future and prepare for it.” Now is the best time to act.

How can you take action on World Hearing Day?

Just by reading this to educate yourself, you are taking an important step. If you have concerns about your hearing, or have someone in your life who shows signs of hearing loss, make an appointment for a free, no-obligation hearing assessment* so you can learn more about your individual needs. Call (212) 786-5741 for more information.

5 Tips to Improve the Life of Hearing Aid Batteries

Protecting your investments is a practical piece of advice not just when it comes to finances. Extending the life of your hearing aid batteries can help you get not only the best performance but also save you some extra money along the way.

The Battery Itself

Tip 1: Be sure to safely store any unopened and unused hearing aid batteries with protective tabs intact. Pulling the battery’s plastic tab prematurely will activate the battery and begin draining its power like an unused watch ticking away time.

Tip 2: Handle your hearing aid batteries carefully. Instead of popping a new one into your device right away, let the battery sit exposed to air for a few minutes before inserting it. Five to ten minutes allows it to power up fully and will result in optimal strength.

Hearing Aid Care

Tip 3: Always protect your hearing aid from prolonged exposure to moisture to avoid corrosion and damage. Don’t store it in the bathroom or near sources of moisture (like a bedside diffusers or humidifiers). Keeping your device ventilated helps to dry out any excess moisture ad you can purchase a hearing aid dehumidifier to help maximize this.

Tip 4: If your device is going to sit unused for a prolonged period of time, be sure to remove the batteries and store in a dry, room-temperature spot to avoid any leakage into the device. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling the batteries to avoid transferring dirt to the battery and the device (and also to protect your hands against any battery residue).

Good Habits

Tip 5: Like any other battery you’d encounter in day-to-day life, hearing aid batteries have a limited shelf life. But, unlike your remote control’s AAs, the rate of consumption likely won’t be as quick. Even keeping their protective tabs intact won’t prevent hearing aid batteries from weakening over time, so cautiously anticipate when you will need to re-order your batteries with enough wiggle room to cover any shipping delays.

Hearing aid batteries can also be recycled just like anything else that is made of metal. Keep your used batteries in a bag and bring them to your audiologists office and they will recycle them for you.

Taking these steps to squeeze the extra juice out of your batteries can help save you a few days of power and extend the life of your investment.