7 Healthy Hearing Habits

7 Healthy Hearing Habits

In Hearing Health, Tips & Tricks by Zach Kenealey, HIS

Zach Kenealey, HIS

Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions that people experience today. Nearly 1 in 8 people have some degree of hearing loss! Rates of hearing loss are more than twice the rates of diabetes and cancer. This highlights the importance of prioritizing your hearing health which is integral to overall health and wellness. There are many healthy hearing habits you can practice to protect your hearing health. A few strategies include the following: 

1. Wear hearing protection. 

We navigate various levels and types of sounds throughout the day. From listening to music, using household appliances, being in noisy restaurants, to enjoying live music etc. Loud noise can take a toll on the auditory system – the sensory system for hearing – and  contribute to the development of noise induced hearing loss. A great way to protect your hearing from loud noise is by wearing hearing protection. This includes items like earplugs, headphones, and earbuds which provide the ears with a protective barrier. This physical barrier reduces the amount of loud noise you absorb, protecting your ears from loud noise. Hearing protection is portable, allowing you to carry a pair and wear them when moving through spaces that are noisier. 

2. Boost intake of nutrients.

Studies show that there are nutrients that support healthy hearing. Nutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and folate support fluid levels, sensory cells, healthy circulation, and auditory pathways that are all critical components of how sound waves are processed. You can increase your intake of these nutrients by integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. This includes:  tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, artichokes, and broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, beans, lentils etc. 

3. Reduce loud noise exposure. 

Loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. One time or regular exposure to loud noise can damage the sensory cells that are in the inner ear which prevents them from processing sound waves effectively, causing hearing loss. This type of damage is completely preventable and practicing safety measures supports prevention. This includes maintaining low volume settings on electronic devices, taking listening breaks throughout the day, avoiding noisy settings like restaurants (especially during peak hours), opting for quieter places, driving with the windows rolled up, taking alternate routes to avoid construction sites and traffic etc. 

4. Avoid triggers. 

Studies show that there are factors that can contribute to the development of hearing loss. This includes smoking and drinking which contain ingredients that can potentially harm the auditory system. Nicotine and alcohol can affect blood vessels and blood flow throughout the body including the inner ear where sound is processed. This can disrupt how sound is processed, contributing to hearing issues. Eliminating these triggers, or reducing consumption, is a useful way to protect your hearing health. 

5. Increase physical activity.

Another healthy hearing habit you can integrate into your daily life is increasing your physical activity. Exercise offers numerous benefits including supporting hearing health by decreasing health risks, promoting healthy circulation, processing stress etc. There are simple ways you can increase your physical activity which doesn’t require strenuous engagement. This includes taking a daily walk, stretching, or finding a physical activity you enjoy – biking, water aerobics, golfing, yoga etc. 

6. Get your hearing tested. 

Getting your hearing evaluated regularly allows you to monitor your hearing health. Hearing tests are painless and noninvasive, involving a process that measures your hearing capacities in both ears. Even if you do not have hearing loss, getting your hearing tested consistently allows you to identify any changes you may experience over time. This supports early intervention which can be incredibly beneficial. 

7. Maximize your hearing aids. 

If you wear hearing aids, there are ways you can maximize them to support your hearing health. This includes investing in the technologies and features that optimally meet your hearing needs in everyday environments. Today’s hearing aids are more innovative than ever before. There is a range of features that utilize cutting edge technologies to deliver sharp sound quality, increased connectivity, and personalized listening experiences. Be sure to discuss these options with your hearing healthcare provider who can help you identify the features that would be ideal for you. 

Practicing these habits is a great way to support healthy hearing. Contact us today to get started by scheduling an appointment for a hearing consultation!