More than thirty million Americans over the age of 12 show hearing loss in both ears during the course of a standard hearing test. While a small percentage of people are born with congenital hearing loss, a majority of folks encounter hearing loss later in life.
And while we are culturally trained to schedule frequent eye exams, less than twenty percent of adults have had a hearing exam in the past five years. The great news is that it’s never too late to pay attention to your hearing health. Make hearing health a priority by adding it to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
Hearing health is an important foundation in overall health
Healthy hearing is an important marker in overall wellness. When we lose our ability to hear, we also lose ease in relating and connecting to other people. A frequently reported consequence of hearing loss is a sense of isolation that can even lead to depression.
People with hearing loss are more likely to lead a sedentary life and even mild hearing loss doubles your risk of dementia down the road. We know that confronting hearing loss and implementing proven solutions like hearing aids can decrease those risks and even helps to prevent accidental falls in older people.
How to make a successful resolution
The motivation that drives our New Year’s Resolutions is notorious for its tendency to diminish over the course of weeks and months. However, you can set yourself up for success by making resolutions that are more likely to succeed.
The first step is picking a goal, like prioritizing hearing health. Once you have your goal in mind, you can break it down into realistic, actionable items charted over the course of the year. One of the main reasons that resolutions fall off the radar is because we bite off more than we can chew at the outset. Instead, make your goals highly do-able and post them in a place where you’re often reminded of them.
As you make progress in your goals, reward yourself to keep the momentum moving.
Steps to healthier hearing next year
To end next year on a high note, commit to focusing on one goal for each quarter of the coming year. These goals are achievable for even the busiest lifestyle and you have three months to check each item off your list or transform an unhelpful hearing habit.
Schedule a hearing consultation
The first step in making a change in taking stock of where you are. Schedule a hearing consultation in the first three months of the new year with an audiology practice you trust.
Most people wait to confront their hearing loss, which means they lose years and even decades of improved hearing while they wait for things to get really bad before taking action. Don’t let yourself become a statistic and choose to bravely confront your current hearing health.
Once you’ve checked this off your list, reward yourself by doing something you love!
Commit to a regular movement practice.
If the word exercise makes you cover your ears and slowly back away, try to think about fitness in a different context. Instead of using it as a means to punish your body (in pursuit of weight loss or aesthetic goals), choose movement as a way to explore celebrating the body you live in.
Consistency is more important than anything else. Build something you can continue in the long-term.
A regular movement practice strengthens your cardiovascular system, which in turn delivers fresh, oxygenated blood flow to the inner ear. Your inner ear cells will thrive!
For each week that includes movement practice, reward yourself with something that feels like a treat for you!
Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet
Just in time for summertime farmer’s markets and a flood of seasonal fruits and veggies, spend the third quarter of the year focused on amping up your diet in support of better hearing health.
Studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables with occasional servings of meat have a higher likelihood of healthy hearing. Our bodies require vitamins and minerals found within these colorful additions to our plates that are hard to find elsewhere.
Give yourself a high five every time your plate includes extra fruits and vegetables and celebrate your new habit with a monthly outing to a place you love to go.
Practice responsible listening habits
Notice the volume settings on your personal devices. Resolve to listen only at medium volume and never exceed two-thirds of maximum. You can also track your decibel output using an app on your smartphone.
The damage of dangerous volumes add up over a lifetime and protecting the hearing you have now will pay off in spades in the future.
Each week that you pay good attention to your listening habits, reward yourself with an activity you love!
Schedule a hearing consultation today
You can get a head start on this New Year’s Resolution by scheduling a hearing consultation with our team today.