By Dr. Howard Mango, Ph.D., Au.D.
The weather is warming up, school will be out soon – and many of us are making plans for upcoming summer activities. Seasons transition to the next, and change is in the air! There’s no shortage of things to do… like stay outdoors later as the days grow longer, or plan activities indoors to beat the heat.
Yet we seldom think about what we can do and plan that also better protects our hearing. And where do we even begin? Today I’m going to help you get started!
There’s little issue planning lots of short-term activities…but we don’t often take the time and think about choices that may affect us in the long term – specifically when it comes to our ears. We seldom realize that some of our current choices affect our ability to listen and understand clearly in the years ahead.
All too often I see new patients struggle not only with hearing, but staying interested and involved in those conversations and activities all around them. Simply because they may not hear words or specific sounds well, and risk missing out on the world around them.
Maintaining healthy hearing is something to keep top of mind no matter the season.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released findings that younger generations are experiencing hearing loss at a younger age and in larger numbers than ever before. And these findings are not age-related hearing loss.
While we can improve the quality of life for most suffering from hearing loss, hearing loss cannot be reversed. So maintaining healthy hearing is something that should be on everyone’s mind.
Perhaps you work hard to maintain good dental health. Many of us arrange to check our eyes regularly to avoid longer-term problems. So let’s learn how to add our ears into the mix, too. Think about how you treat your ears, and how you can take a step forward to maintain healthy hearing, too.
It’s never too late to evaluate lifestyle, recreation and occupational choices or habits. Potential changes and simple adjustments can pay off in the long run. Permanent hearing loss can be avoided!
Carry or pack ear protection. There’s many environments we can control. Having protection allow us to better manage ear safety even when we put ourselves into noisy environments outside our control.
With the touch of a finger, smartphone technologies allow us to recognize and even test when something is too loud. There are apps in the marketplace today that are easy to add to your phone or device.
Choose over-the-ear headphones versus in-the-ear canal earbuds whenever possible. Headphones offer more protection for your delicate ear organs.
Learn to pay closer attention to the volume and time you’re pumping music into your ears. It’s become more important than ever. Practice the “60/60 rule”, which means listening at 60% volume for a maximum of 60 minutes.
Not only is it good for our brain and heart, but it helps maintain a healthy blood flow and circulation to our ears.
Your doctor of audiology will work with you to create your own customized hearing health plan. Regular visits that are routinely scheduled will help you manage your health.
Can you make that choice today? During Better Hearing & Speech Month, I encourage you to pledge to enjoy life AND protect your hearing, too.
We’re here to assist you every step of the way.
For more resources you can visit Twitter #BSHM conversation, as well as: