As we near the end of January, you may be thinking that it’s too late to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2019. But what about a resolution that’s easy to stick to, benefits your overall well-being, could protect your brain and lets you enjoy the world around you? We’re talking about your hearing.
Here are five easy ways to take care of your hearing in 2019:
- Use earplugs during exposure to loud noises
Estimates from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) indicate that approximately 10 million Americans have suffered irreversible Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). NIHL can affect individuals of all ages, and is preventable!
If you have to shout in order for the person next to you to hear you, there’s a good chance that you’re being exposed to noise that is considered above safe volume. Exposure can occur at home, in the workplace, or in recreational settings.
Protect your hearing by knowing which noises can cause damage. Any noise above 75 decibels can pose a threat. Wear earplugs or other protective hearing gear when exposed to such volumes. Earplugs and earmuffs are available at many pharmacies, sporting good stores and hardware stores. If you experience repeated exposure to dangerous noise volumes, you may want to consider a custom pair of earplugs.
Many smartphones have apps that can measure the sound levels in a noisy situation with very high levels of accuracy. Take a look around your app store and search for “sound level meter” and see what types of free options are available for download.
- Don’t stick anything in your ear
This is such an important tip, we’re going to repeat it. Don’t stick anything in your ear, ever! Many of us will use cotton swabs to clean wax out of our ear canals, and we simply advise against doing this. Not only is a little bit of wax in your ears normal, it’s almost important. Wax can stop dust and other harmful material getting into the your ear canal. There’s also a risk that you can damage your eardrum with a cotton swab, or cause an impaction by pushing wax further into your canal.
- Keep Your Ears Dry
Excess moisture in your ears can allow harmful bacteria to enter your ear canal. This can result in swimmer’s ear or other other ear infections. Infections can in some cases cause hearing loss. Reduce your risks by ensuring you gently towel dry your ears after exposure to moisture, either from swimming, bathing or being caught in the rain outside. If you feel like you have water inside your ear, tilt your head slightly to the side and gentle pull on your earlobe. If you’re ears are regularly exposed to moisture, you may want to consider using custom-fit swimmers’ earplugs that block water from entering the canal entirely.
- Stay On Top Of Your Hearing Assessments
The most effective way to take care of your hearing is to book in a yearly hearing assessment. As hearing loss often develops over time, annual assessments can identify any changes in your baseline hearing. Early treatment of hearing loss can help mitigate any impact on your day-to-day life. Studies are also increasingly showing links between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults.
- If you need hearing aids, then get yourself some hearing aids
There are hundreds of reasons why you should treat any known loss of hearing with hearing aids if you have been told that you are a candidate for this kind of treatment. Hearing technology works better than ever before and you would be surprised at how much fun it is to hear as well as you can.
If you’re ready to commit to 2019’s New Year’s Resolution: Take Care Of Your Hearing, these tips will help you get started today! If you’d like to discuss further, or are ready to book in your yearly hearing assessment, come in and see the professionals at Sutton Hearing & Balance. Call us today on (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment.