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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Hearing

For many people, new year’s resolutions often involve improving physical health, work, and spending more time with friends and family.  But this year is a great time to consider taking a few steps towards better hearing health. Whether you have hearing loss or not, it never hurts to take good care of your ears. Here are some good steps towards healthy hearing.

Get Educated!

Now is a great time to learn about how you hear, and what is involved in the process. For example, did you know that you hear with your ears, but you understand with your brain? Your ears act as instruments to direct sound, but it’s your brain that interprets that sound.  It’s also important for you to learn how loud is too loud in order to better protect yourself from unnecessary noise-induced hearing loss.

Always Use Protection For Your Ears!

Noise-induced hearing loss has become alarmingly common, especially among younger people. With the use of IPods, and other devices it is more important than ever to protect your hearing.  Some good ideas are to use noise-cancelling headphones instead of turning the volume up higher to compensate. Also, take a break while listening to music, and keep the volume at a safe level. Some headphones on the market have a limit on how loud the volume gets to help protect your hearing.

Ear plugs are also a great idea for protecting your ears, especially when using snow blowers, lawnmowers or other machines that are very loud. Ear plugs can also protect your hearing with recreational activities, such as snowmobiling, motorcycling, or attending loud concerts.

Understand The Signs Of Hearing Loss!

Do you know the signs of hearing loss?  For those who think they might be experiencing hearing loss, there are definite signs to look for, including the perception that people are mumbling, asking for repetitions, and simply not hearing clearly. Other signs include:

  1. Having difficulty following conversations with two or more people.
  2. Finding it especially hard to understand women or children’s voices.
  3. Finding it hard to hear over the phone.
  4. Need to strain to hear with background noise.
  5. If you, spouse or friends remark at how loud you listen to the radio and/or TV.
  6. If you ask people to repeat themselves
  7. You cannot hear the subtle sounds in the environment (i.e. birds, etc.).
  8. You may complain that people are mumbling, and/or that you feel you can hear better when looking at people as they speak.

 

Get Your Hearing Checked By An Audiologist!

Audiologists have Masters or Doctorate level degrees and are regulated by a governing college.  Audiologists are dedicated to helping people of all ages overcome hearing loss and enjoy a high quality of life, they can help to assess your hearing loss and prescribe hearing aids if the need is warranted. In Ontario, you must have a prescription before purchasing a hearing aid.

Many people don’t realize they have a hearing loss, usually because hearing loss is gradual; therefore, the brain simply becomes accustomed to hearing the reduced sounds. Unfortunately some people are aware they have some degree of hearing loss, but remain in denial, or feel embarrassed about not hearing properly, and continue pretending to hear instead of seeking professional treatment. It’s critical for people to understand that the ability to hear plays a crucial role in the way we interact with each other and our surroundings. Not hearing properly is nothing to be ashamed of, and by seeking professional treatment you can improve your quality of life.

Improve Your Communication!

Good communication should never be taken for granted! If you or someone you know has a hearing loss, it can sometimes put a real strain on the relationship.  That’s why you should try to improve your communication this year, and lessen the likelihood of frustrations due to poor communication.  Do your best to communicate your needs to others when you have a hearing loss. Letting others know you have a hearing difficulty allows them to adjust for your needs. Another good way to improve your communication is trying aural rehabilitation. Aural rehabilitation helps you and your family members adjust to hearing loss. It also provides you with tips in adapting to hearing aids, managing conversations, and helps you take control of your communication.

If you have a hearing loss, there are steps you can take to let your friends or family know what you need to communicate successfully:

  1. Getting your attention before starting a conversation by calling out your name.
  2. Avoid talking to you from another room
  3. Keeping hands and objects away from their mouth when talking to you.
  4. Going to a room with little background noise.

Get The Support You Need!

Hearing loss is something you don’t have to deal with alone. There are many support groups such as the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association that can connect you with others who have hearing loss, and it’s a great way to learn new tips for better communication.

2016 is a new year full of new possibilities, and better ways of communication. Your ears are important, and once your hearing is gone, it’s gone forever. So, why not make this the year to hear better, and to resolve to take better care of your hearing.

At Auburn & Mountain Hearing, we are committed to providing you with the best quality of care for your hearing healthcare needs. Book an appointment to see our Doctor of Audiology-registered Audiologist today!

Hamilton

16B-550 Fennell Ave. E
Hamilton, Ontario, L8V 4S9
Phone: (289) 768-6167

723 Rymal Rd. West, Unit 500
Hamilton, Ontario, L9B 2W1
Phone: (289) 768-8971

Waterloo

570 University Ave. East,
Suite 905
Waterloo, Ontario, N2K 4P2
Phone: (888) 907-1436

Cambridge

350 Conestoga Blvd Unit B3
Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 7L7
Phone: (888) 737-9976

Kitchener

520 University Ave. West,
Unit 104
Kitchener, Ontario, N2T 2Z6
Phone: (888) 979-7196