3 Tips for Managing Hearing Loss
Many people assume hearing loss is an effect of aging and is confined to the older population. However, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 13% of people in the United States aged 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears.
This can make everyday interactions and conversations more challenging, and can also affect a person’s self confidence. Fortunately, with advances in technology such as implants and modern and discreet hearing aids, it is now more possible than before to live a full and healthy life with hearing loss. In this article, we will provide some helpful tips for managing hearing loss.
Avoid Excessive Noise
Hearing loss is often the result of exposure to excessively loud noise. Common causes of noise-induced hearing loss include loud music, power tools and explosions from firecrackers or gunshots. It is important to protect your ears by avoiding situations that will expose you to loud noises, where possible, and use hearing protection such as ear muffs and ear plugs to prevent further damage to your ability to hear. Below are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep the volume on your TV and other devices at a reasonable level and use subtitles
- Limit your exposure to loud venues, and always take regular breaks
- Keep a safe distance from speakers and other sources of sound
- In restaurants and public places, ask to be seated somewhere quiet
Use Assistive Technology
Explore the availability of devices that can assist you with your hearing loss and make your life easier. From vibrating alarm clocks to watching tv with hearing aids, there are many devices on the market today that you can take advantage of to make everyday situations less challenging. These include the following:
- Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems: These wireless devices are typically used in combination with hearing aids to enhance the user’s ability to hear in noisy situations.
- Induction Loop Systems: Also called a T-loop or a hearing loop, this device creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up by a person’s hearing aid and converted into audible sound. This device can be effective in large groups, as it filters out background noise, making it easier to hear what is being said.
- Infrared Systems: This device uses infrared light to send sound to a receiver which then converts it back to sound. This can be used at home or in large places such as movie theaters and classrooms.
Review Your Diet
Certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to help protect against hearing loss. Eating a healthy diet, high in such nutrients can ensure your hearing health is looked after. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, which involved assessing the effects of three different diets on 70,000 women over the course of 22 years, found a positive connection between adherence to healthy dietary patterns and lower risk of hearing loss.
On the other hand, diets which are high in fat, sodium and sugar are discouraged. Studies have also found that diets which are rich in vegetables, fruits, vitamins and fatty acids such as omega-3s can reduce the effects of age-related hearing loss.
By following the guidance in this article, you can begin taking steps to manage your hearing loss.