We’re sure glad to welcome the new year, but what can we do to make 2021 better? You might have several New Year’s resolutions related to your health and well-being, and this is an excellent time for your hearing health to take center stage!
Hearing loss, which affects almost 1 in 5 individuals, is an invisible condition that is frequently underdiagnosed. Here are a few ways you can take charge of your hearing health in 2021.
Recognize the early signs of hearing loss
On average, Americans wait about seven years from the moment they experience hearing difficulty to the moment they seek care. Hearing loss often happens slowly, over years or even decades, making it hard to detect. It is helpful to understand these early signs to ensure you seek the treatment you need:
- You can hear what other people say, but you can’t understand them.
- Friends and family members complain that you are not listening to them.
- Telephone conversations are tricky as you can’t understand the other person very well.
- Members of the household often ask you to turn the TV volume down.
- You experience a ringing in your ear.
Teach yourself how to recognize dangerously loud sounds
We encounter loud noises on a daily basis. But at which point do these noises become damaging?
Most people know that hearing damage can occur from exposure to loud sounds, but there is another important factor: how long you’re exposed to those sounds. While it takes eight hours for a sound that registers at 85 decibels (dB) to cause damage, a sound that is 105dB can cause permanent damage to your hearing in less than ten minutes. For context, heavy traffic can be as loud as 85dB, and motorcycle engines often register at 100dB.
Learn to understand loud sounds and restrict your exposure to them. Usea decibel meter app on your smartphone like Decibel X to monitor the volume of the loud sounds in your life.
You should also practice responsible earphone use. Always play songs at a moderate volume setting while you listen to music on headphones or earbuds. This is especially important to remember when you’re in an environment with lots of background noise, such as an airplane.
Fight the stigma of hearing loss
Do you or your loved one have a hearing loss? Over 50 million Americans experience hearing loss, but it’s still a misunderstood topic.
In the new year, another way to encourage healthy hearing is to increase awareness of hearing loss. Although millions of Americans have hearing loss, only 1 in 3 of those are using hearing aids! This means many people are coping with untreated hearing loss.
Speak openly about hearing loss to your family and friends to raise awareness about this chronic condition. Experiencing hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of, and hearing treatment can be life-changing.
Make sure your hearing aids are working well
Do you already have hearing aids? See us for a check up so that we can ensure your hearing aids are working well for you.
Schedule a hearing test
New Year’s resolutions are more likely to be successful if you start small, so if you do only one thing on your list, make sure it’s this one. A hearing test takes only a few minutes and can give you a lot of insight into your hearing condition.
Even if you do not think you have hearing loss, it’s a good idea to have your hearing tested — starting with a baseline allows for you to compare how your hearing is changing over time.
Contact us at Kenwood Hearing Centers today to set up a test for yourself or someone you love!