Still deciding what your New Year’s Resolution will be for 2019? Why not resolve for healthy hearing?
The benefits of healthy hearing are truly astonishing. Studies have shown that being able to hear properly can increase physical activity, improve mental sharpness, and increase social activity. In a way, healthy hearing can help you accomplish all of those other New Year’s Resolutions, too! Here are a few ways to protect and restore your hearing this year.
For many people, a New Year’s resolution includes some form of exercise. We all know that being active is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellbeing. So, it’s not surprising that exercise is good for your hearing health, too!
Hearing professionals believe that exercise increases the blood flow to the ear. Blood flow is essential to the health of the hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for translating sounds into electrical impulses, which are then ascribed meaning by the brain. Because these hair cells do not regenerate, our hearing suffers permanently when they die or are damaged.
This is another common New Year’s Resolution, and for good reason. Many people who smoke realize the harm it can do to the lungs, oral health, and so on. However, smoking can also affect hearing health in a variety of ways.
For example, nicotine can cause tinnitus, dizziness, and vertigo. It also interferes with neurotransmitters in the auditory nerve, which are responsible for telling the brain which sound is being heard. Many medical professionals believe that nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes tighten blood vessels, effectively starving the inner ear of the oxygen it needs to keep hair cells in the cochlea healthy. Once these hair cells are damaged, they cannot be repaired. In addition, a study from the University of Manchester in the UK, revealed that smokers are 28 percent more likely to develop hearing loss than non-smokers.
Wear Hearing Protection
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 22 million American workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year. These dangerous noise levels, whether at work or in lifestyle, can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Unfortunately, many people who suffer from NIHL don’t realize they’ve been affected until it’s too late. The good news is that it is completely preventable.
This year, protect yourself from NIHL by limiting your exposure to moderate or high levels of sound with the use of hearing protection. You should also give your ears a chance to recover after any period of noise exposure. If you work in an area where you are constantly exposed to dangerous noise levels, consider custom hearing protection.
Wear Your Hearing Aids
If you already have hearing aids, resolve to do yourself favor and wear them! The amplification they provide will give your ears they boost they need to be able to send sound waves to the auditory region of the brain. Just like any other muscle, the brain can atrophy when it becomes injured, impaired, or isn’t being exercised.
When you resolve for healthy hearing, you’re also helping to improve your overall wellbeing, too. Not having to strain to hear everything will leave you less fatigued and more able to concentrate. Being able to hear can improve your confidence in social situations. When you can hear easily, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite activities again!
Get Your Hearing Tested
In most cases, the road to healthy hearing begins with a simple hearing test. Even if you think your hearing is fine, getting your hearing tested now can give you a baseline for the future. In a few years when you get your hearing checked again, you’ll know if anything has changed. Follow this link to take our free online hearing test.
An audiologist at Whisper Hearing Centers can help guide you on your journey to healthy hearing and all of its cascading benefits. We’ll take the time to learn about your lifestyle to be sure we match you with the right hearing device to meet your needs. Schedule an appointment today to get started.
Happy New Year from Whisper Hearing Centers!