August is National Wellness Month: Improve Your Hearing Health
August is National Wellness Month, and the goal is to improve self-care, such as managing stress and promoting healthy routines. Many of us can relate that because of our busy lives, we tend to move our health and wellness to the back burner. During National Wellness Month HASA encourages you to improve your hearing health! With only a few minor adjustments you can implement healthy routines that can prevent hearing loss in the future.
1. Use earplugs around loud noises
Approximately 15% of Americans have noise-induced hearing loss because of loud work or leisure environments like clubs, concerts, lawnmowers, chainsaws, movie theaters, and even dining at restaurants. Earplugs are a convenient and easy solution. They are available over-the-counter at many stores and pharmacies or have a pair custom fitted for your ears by our audiology team.
2. Turn the volume down
According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe audio device levels. Earbuds can be especially dangerous because they fit directly next to the eardrum, so consider over-the-hear headphones instead. Don’t forget that listening to loud music from your radio or stereo can also induce hearing loss. Protect your ears using the 60/60 rule: listen at 60% max volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
3. Give your ears time to recover
If you are exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods, such as at a concert or a bar, give your ears time to recover. Experts suggest that your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out.
4. Never use cotton swabs in your ears
It’s common for people to use cotton swabs to clean wax out of their ear canal, but this is NEVER advisable. A little bit of wax in your ears is not only normal, but it’s also important. Earwax is produced to capture dirt and dust, and it cleans your inner ear. If you have earwax that means your ears are doing a good job at keeping your ears clean and healthy. Inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum. However, a build-up of the substance may affect your general hearing. Let the professionals help! Make an appointment with someone from the audiology team at the HASA hearing health clinic.
5. Keep your ears dry
Excess moisture can allow bacteria to enter and attack the ear canal, causing swimmer’s ear or other types of ear infections. Be sure you gently towel-dry your ears after bathing or swimming, remember never insert a cotton swab in your ear! If you can feel the water in the ear, simply tilt your head to the side. Gently tug on the ear lobe to coax the water out.
6. Get up and move
Exercise is good for your ears. Another reason to get moving! Different types of cardio exercises such as walking, running, or cycling gets the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. Good blood flow and circulation help the internal organs stay fit and healthy.
7. Manage stress levels
Can meditation help your hearing health? Absolutely. Stress and anxiety have been linked to both temporary and permanent tinnitus. Research indicates that up to 45% of individuals with chronic tinnitus also experience anxiety symptoms. Further, they report that tinnitus often worsens after an individual experiences stress.
9. Get regular checkups
During National Wellness Month HASA encourages you to improve your hearing health! You can ask your primary care physician to incorporate hearing screenings into your annual checkups. Or click here to contact a member of the HASA audiology team. Do your ears a favor and start taking care of your hearing health today!