Do you often find yourself asking someone to repeat what they’ve just said? When you go out to dinner, do you have issues hearing your loved ones or friends during the conversation? Do you find yourself turning up the volume on your radio or T.V.? Do you have to work hard to hear on the telephone?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are 42 million people in the U.S. who suffer from some type of hearing loss, and at least 25% of those people are women in their early 60s and that percentage doubles over the age of 65.
These are all common symptoms of hearing loss. It is widely established that those with hearing loss frequently will not or just do not address these symptoms until they become so obvious that it can no longer be ignored. In fact, the average individual waits approximately seven years from the initial symptoms to actually seek help.
Some go as long as 10 years!
That is way too long to miss out on conversations, experience the joy of your favorite songs or shows, the joy of singing birds or simply the comforting words of your pastor or spiritual advisor.
The simple answer is – as soon as possible! Hearing loss is associated with increased rates of diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disease, falling, and the development of dementia. The longer you wait, the more you are depriving the brain of proper auditory stimulation, often referred to as auditory deprivation.
Your brain is not getting the proper auditory stimulation and auditory cues that it needs to run at 100%. The brain is a remarkably simple “use it or lose it” mechanism, and auditory input can help to provide the proper, constant stimulation our brains are accustomed to and designed to receive.
Pertinent studies all indicate that when hearing aids are appropriately fit, they will considerably improve quality of life, personal relationships, better psychological wellbeing, and higher incomes. Treating early will also reduce the risk of other health problems related to hearing loss including, but not limited to, diabetes, dementia, dizziness or balance issues, heart disease and falls.
Treating hearing loss has significant advantages including:
The bottom line – if you feel that you or your loved one may have hearing loss, do not wait until it is too late!
But there are ways to improve your hearing health naturally too! Try some of the below tips to begin down a path of better hearing better.
Do your best to avoid noisy environments.
Good earphones (i.e., noise canceling) are the best way to go and can help you achieve healthier hearing in the long run.
This may sound a little silly but cupping your hand around your ear and pushing your ear forward can help you increase your hearing by up to 10 decibels.
Always pay close attention to the side effects written on your medication labels. Hearing loss could very well be a side effect. If so, speak to your doctor about an alternative medication.
Sometimes hearing loss can be the result of a buildup of wax. However, that doesn’t mean you should stick something in your ear to remove it! This can cause further damage. Speak to your doctor about wax removal and prevention.
Ear infections can also be the cause of temporary hearing loss. If you have ear pain, see your doctor for antibiotic or other medications to take care of the problem.
There is a correlation between hearing loss and smoking. If you want to improve your hearing health, quit smoking.
Early detection is key.
Exercise (even walking and small amounts of exercise) can improve not only hearing health but also overall health.
There are specific foods that can help with hearing health – nuts and seeds, whole grains, cold-water fish, blueberries, and anything rich in antioxidants.
Studies have shown that meditation is a great way to improve your hearing health.
Treating hearing loss early has many advantages. It cannot prevent further damage caused by our genetics or prior exposure to loud noise, but it can help maintain clarity and fine resolution of speech understanding as the disorder progresses. Maintaining the strength and vitality of neural connections of the ear to the brain is key to the successful treatment of hearing loss.
What is the state of your hearing health? Have you noticed any signs that you might need to seek professional help?
Tags Healthy Aging