March 3rd is World Hearing Day! This international campaign organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) is all about hearing health. Hearing loss is one of the most common medical conditions that people live with today. WHO estimates that over 1 billion people globally are at risk of developing hearing loss due to loud noise exposure. World Hearing Day is a perfect opportunity to prioritize your hearing health and wellness. You can do this by practicing safety measures to protect your hearing. Integrating the following tips can significantly reduce the risk of hearing loss:
- Wear hearing protection: there are different types of hearing protection including headphones, earplugs, and earbuds. These items provide the ears with a physical barrier which reduces the amount of loud noise you absorb. Wearing hearing protection when navigating spaces that are noisier is a great way to protect your hearing from the impact loud noise can have.
- Use noise canceling headphones: using headphones and earbuds are a common way people listen to audio – from podcasts, to talking on the phone, adn listening to music. If you use headphones or earbuds often, you may want to consider investing in noise canceling options. Noise canceling technology is designed to significantly reduce background noise. This prevents the need to increase volume settings when moving through spaces that are louder; allowing people to listen to audio safely in all environments.
- Boost nutrient intake: studies show that diet also impacts hearing health adn that practicing healthy ways of eating can reduce the risk of developing hearing loss. There are specific nutrients that support healthy hearing like: magnesium, potassium, zinc, and folate. These nutrients support the healthiness of cells, nerves, and auditory pathways which are key to how soundwaves are absorbed and processed. You can increase your intake of these nutrients by eating more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods.
- Increase exercise: exercise has also been shown to support healthy hearing. Exercise supports healthy blood flow throughout the body including the ears. This supports all of the critical components that are used to absorb and process sound. Exercise does not have to mean intense workouts and going to the gym. There are simple ways you can increase your physical activity including: taking a daily walk, stretching, adn finding an activity you enjoy – swimming, biking, golfing, yoga etc.
- Eliminate triggers: there are behavioral factors that can increase the risk of hearing loss. This includes smoking adn drinking which experts suggest can damage the auditory system – the sensory system for hearing. The active ingredients in these substances – nicotine adn alcohol – can impact blood vessels and constrict blood flow throughout the body including the ears. This can disrupt how sound is absorbed and processed, contributing to hearing loss. Eliminating these triggers, or reducing consumption as much as possible, can reduce your risk of hearing loss.
- Maximize hearing aids: there are a number of ways you can maximize your use of hearing aids to comprehensively support your hearing health. There is a wide range of features and technologies that are designed to enhance sound quality, increase connectivity, and create the best listening experience. This includes voice recognition, tinnitus management, digital noise reduction, and wireless connectivity. These features allow hearing aids to seamlessly intrigue into everyday life while optimally supporting hearing needs. Be sure to discuss these options with your hearing healthcare provider.
- Prioritize care for medical conditions: research shows that several medical conditions can increase the risk of hearing loss. Medical conditions like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes can impact blood flow in places like the ears where sound is processed. If you have or are at risk of developing any of these conditions, be sure to prioritize care for them. This includes taking any medications and following protocols prescribed by your doctor.
- Get hearing tested regularly: another effective way to protect your hearing health is by getting your hearing tested regularly. This allows you to track your hearing health and identify any changes you may experience over time. This supports early intervention which can significantly protect your hearing health.
This March is the perfect time to commit to your hearing health and wellness. Practicing these safety measures can protect your ears and reduce your risk of developing hearing loss. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.