Resolve to Hear Better in 2020

Don't know where to begin? Here are five ways to keep your better-hearing resolution going strong.

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From spending more time with family and friends to taking classes at the local gym, almost everyone makes at least one New Year’s resolution. The catch? Just 8% of resolvers stick to their goals, per a Forbes story referencing University of Scranton research.

No worries: If you’re aiming to hear your best in 2020, we’re sharing five tips to help boost your stick‑to‑itiveness for the new year and beyond!

  1. Be Realistic – Though hearing loss can be permanent — some cases caused by noise exposure, for example, can be irreversible, hence the importance of hearing protection — nearly all types can be effectively managed with solutions such as today’s sophisticated hearing aids. Understanding the power of hearing technology, including what it can and cannot do, can go a long way toward shaping attainable goals.
  2. Write It Down – With the potential ability of hearing loss to take a heavy toll on relationships, self-esteem, social engagement, brain health, and so much more, it may seem surprising that a written reminder is in order. When it comes to self-care, however, it’s not uncommon for people to put themselves last. Put your better-hearing goal in writing — even setting a weekly electronic reminder — to help stay on track.
  3. Visualize Success – Did you know? Improved hearing is associated with lower odds of depression, a reduced chance of dementia, a greater sense of independence, and other important facets of quality living. What counts even more, however, are the reasons better hearing matters to you. Visualize a world — at home, work, and play — in which you hear the sounds that mean the most, and keep that motivation top of mind.
  4. Tell a Friend – Sometimes it’s a little easier to feel accountable to someone else, so consider sharing your better-hearing goal with a friend, relative, or other confidant who’s willing to back you with reminders, encouragement, and check-ins. Knowing that someone else wants you to succeed may be just the push you need. You could even take them to your appointments for support and additional perspective.
  5. Set Benchmarks – You’ve heard the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” (Full disclosure: We don’t eat elephants here!) Your better-hearing goal can work the same way. Break your resolution into small bites set to reasonable deadlines — for example, writing it down, listing the benefits, telling a friend, making a hearing‑check appointment — and reward yourself with each milestone accomplished.

Steps to Better Hearing

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. 

Contact us today to make your appointment!

- Content provided courtesy of Starkey

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