Our hearing is an important sense that helps connect us with the world. It allows us to understand others and to be understood by others. Working to keep your hearing healthy as you age has many physical and emotional benefits. Some surprising lifestyle factors can help you to keep and even strengthen your hearing health.
Consider a Noise Diet—This doesn’t mean you need to make an appointment at the quietest place on earth, an anechoic chamber at Binghampton University, or abstain from listening to your spouse’s plans for remodeling your closet, but turning off the radio in the car, keeping the television off during dinner, or taking a run without an MP3 are all good ways to give your ears a break. These little breaks may help preserve the delicate hair cells within your inner ear.
Play a Game—According to the manufacturer, of CLIX, “CLIX is the first installment in a suite of rehabilitation applications that make up the Advanced Bionics Listening Exercises (able). This free program is for adults using hearing aids or cochlear implants who want to practice listening for word differences in both quiet and noise.” This kind of training isn't just for people with hearing loss. Healthy Hearing has a list of apps and games that can help to improve and protect everyone's hearing.
Hear Yourself Sing—Make sure that you’re not listening to music at too loud a level. Listening to music in a car can be particularly damaging, because a confined space can cause sound waves to reverberate and damage the delicate hair cells in your inner ear. So when you’re driving, remember if you can’t hear yourself singing, you should turn down the sound!
Play an Instrument--Music performed or listened to at acceptable levels—perhaps with protective listening devices, can help keep hearing fitness. So suggests research done by Dr. Nina Kraus of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience’s department. Dubbed the Musician Effect, Dr. Kraus discovered brains are more efficient at converting sounds and neurological processes are healthier when a person has had musical training.
Avoid Certain Medicines— There are hundreds of medications, including over the counter, which can cause hearing loss. In many cases, hearing loss is thought to be the lesser of two evils—as in the case of using chemotherapy to treat cancer which can result in up to 84% of patients having damaged hearing. But new studies reveal certain medications can treat conditions without damaging hearing, so it is no longer considered necessary to temporarily impair or permanently destroy someone’s hearing to relieve a condition or even to save their lives.
Eat a Salad—Eating healthy foods is good for your hearing. That’s because the same type of processed foods and sugars that can cause obesity can restrict blood flow. So next time you’re choosing a snack, pick up something like a salad and help preserve your hearing.
Listen to an Audio Book—As long as this is done at acceptable decibel levels, listening to an audio book may help sharpen an ability to focus on spoken language or speech. Speech is the verbal expression of language and includes the way sounds and words are formed or articulated. So listening to audiobooks could help strengthen key aspects of listening.
Hearing health is an important aspect of life and communication and whole body health. If you'd like to learn more about keeping your hearing healthy, see your hearing health provider for an annual checkup. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!