Hearing Loss is an Important Part of Caring for Your Health as You Age

In Health, hearing loss by Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Things change as you get older. Some of us battle aging, but many of us cope with it and try to stay as healthy as we can. We go to the doctor regularly, get all the recommended screenings, and add a trip to the dentist and eye doctor as needed. You should be adding an annual hearing evaluation at HearCare RI to stay healthy and young. Maintaining your hearing health is important to your general physical and mental health.

Aging and changing

There’s no denying that as we get older there are physical and mental changes. We learn to adapt and keep moving, even if it’s a little measured or slower. Physical signs of aging include eyesight and hearing changes, decreases in strength and stamina and for some, memory loss and chronic illnesses.
Many of these changes are natural and gradual, so being aware of them early and then taking steps to adjust or deal with them is the best thing you can do for your health. Some things that happen as you age are a product of genetics, but there are still many things you have control over as you get older.

Tips for staying healthy

To stay healthy as you age, make sure you are getting enough rest. Your body needs more time to rejuvenate, and that includes your brain needing more time to de-stress, process and re-boot. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time each day. Get your regular vision and hearing evaluations. As we get older, we encounter eyesight and hearing issues. Get glasses or contacts or make sure your prescription is up to date. Your eyesight is important for safety reasons and so you can continue to drive.

Hearing health is just as important. Untreated hearing loss is also unsafe. Your brain needs good vision and good hearing to keep processing properly. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to sleep apnea, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, depression and early onset dementia.

Take better care of your hearing now

To take better care of your hearing, use ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones whenever you’re in a lot of noise. Lawnmowers, chainsaws, construction noise, concerts and anything that makes you shout to be heard is too loud.

To stay healthy, turn the volume down! Ear buds and headphones are great for listening to your music or watching a movie if you don’t want to disturb those around you, but keep the volume at a decent level. Give your ears time to recover if you do expose them to loud noise at a concert or a theater production. The day after, give yourself some quiet time. Researchers say you may need up to 16 hours to recover from one evening of loud exposure, to recover.Careful when cleaning your ears, and stop digging around in with cotton swabs or Q-tips. A little bit of ear wax is good, since it protects the inside of the ear and keeps dust and harmful particles out. Pay attention to the medication you are taking and follow directions. Too much of some medications can contribute to hearing loss. If you think some of the medication you have been prescribed is contributing to hearing loss, talk to your doctor about it immediately.

Finally, get moving and get that blood flowing. Exercise benefits everything, even your ears. A healthy blood flow is great for hearing health.

Hearing aids

There are many kinds of hearing aids, and at HearCare RI, we will help you find the model that fits your lifestyle and hearing needs. The newer models are great at filtering through environmental noise and helping you understand conversations, and you can even stream sound from your television and your phone directly to your hearing aids. Geotagging features allow you to adjust them in one area, and have them “remember” and automatically adjust your settings next time you are at the same place. HearCare will help with adjustments so you’ll have the best in fit and comfort.

A once-a-year hearing evaluation will allow you to monitor your hearing health and stay healthy as you age.  If you think you may have hearing loss, give us a call today at HearCare RI to schedule a hearing test, and do the right thing for your health.