Hearing Health for Baby Boomers

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Many baby boomers and seniors are finding they are having to turn up the TV at home, asking people to repeat themselves either in person or on the phone. Often the problem is ignored but is still impactful to their lives.
Hearing tests, talking to your family doctor and/or an audiologist are important first steps.
Hearing aids, assistive listening devices and amplified phones are products which can significantly improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss.
It’s exciting to know that there are things we can do to prevent or delay hearing loss.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Have your hearing evaluated by a hearing professional to establish a baseline for comparison in the years ahead. This evaluation may also reveal hearing loss that can be addressed by lifestyle changes or through the use of today’s high-tech hearing aids that deliver improved sound quality, wearing comfort and automated convenience thanks to digital technology.
  • Quit smoking. Studies show that the toxins in cigarette smoke, in fact, do damage the hearing mechanism nature provides us.
  • Eat foods high in anti-oxidants and folates – foods like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, blueberries and other “good-for-you-foods.” These nutrient-rich foods fend off free radicals – naturally-occurring molecules in the body that are caused by everything from a Green Day concert to a cut to just plain old stress from an overly-hectic lifestyle.
  • Wear ear protection when you know you’re going to be exposed to loud noise. Wearing a pair of low-cost foam ear plugs while you’re mowing that beautiful lawn each Saturday will provide the protection your ears need to hear better longer.
  • Wear hearing aids. Buy them in pairs so you don’t strain the un-aided ear. Today’s hearing aids are discrete, and powerful so you get the most from your natural hearing. Oh, today’s hearing aids are also lightweight so wearing comfort is no longer an issue. In fact, lots of wearers report that they forget they’re wearing hearing aids, and more than one hearing aid practitioner reports cases of people who forget to remove their hearing aids before doing a few laps in the condo pool. Oops.
  • Go unplugged. Avoid and/or limit exposure to loud noise. You have the potential to do serious damage to your hearing so take out those earbuds every now and then and give your ears a break. They will thank you.
  • Consider purchasing noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones block out background noise surrounding you. Studies have shown persons wearing these types of headphones are less likely to turn the volume up to damaging levels.
  • Wear ear protection in any loud workplace or during loud recreational activities. Not only is it the law for the workplace, it’s just plain smart.
  • If (or when) you DO notice a loss of hearing, see a specialist ASAP. The longer you wait the more difficult the problem is to treat.
  • Read the labels on medications, or talk to your family physician about the side effects of certain drugs. Some medications are ototoxic to your hearing, often when mixed with other medications.
  • There are other things you can do: roll up the windows when riding in a convertible, cover your ears during the 4th of July fireworks, the list goes on and on.
  • Healthy hearing starts with you and your lifestyle. It also starts today!