Saturday, October 6, 2012

Keep Your Hearing Healthy

I think sometimes we don't realize just how important our hearing is until we have a cold and our ears are clogged, or we meet someone who can't hear as well as we can.  In this world full of loud sounds, hearing loss is a real possibility for just about anyone.  We turn our mp3 players up too high or we attend a loud concert, and we might find that we have temporary hearing loss.  And unfortunately, permanent hearing loss can happen at any time.  It is estimated that 38 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.  What people may not realize is that help for hearing loss is as close as a call to your physician.  Once a proper diagnosis of your hearing loss is accomplished, chances are excellent that you can be well on your way to healthy hearing.

Many people don't get their hearing loss taken care of because they worry that wearing a hearing aid will make them look old.  And I can understand that there is a certain stigma when it comes to hearing aids.  We have this idea that hearing aids are big, bulky, and not effective.  The truth of the matter is that asking your friend or family member (or boss or client, perish the thought!) to repeat himself or herself repeatedly makes you look sillier and older (and worse) than wearing any old hearing aid.  Also, hearing aid technology has come a long ways, and it is possible to find hearing aids that are practically invisible.

Other people put off hearing loss treatment because they mistakenly believe that hearing aids won't help or that the cost will be prohibitive.  These are both myths as well.  Hearing aids do help a lot of people's hearing (even if hearing restoration is not complete).  Also, insurance will often cover hearing aids--it is worth investigating.  However, even if your insurance will not pay, there are many wonderful organizations out there that will help with the cost.

Of course, the best way to fix hearing issues is to take steps to protect one's hearing.  In fact, even if you have a hearing aid, it doesn't mean that all your hearing issues are a thing of the past.  It can be as simple as buying a pair of earplugs at the drugstore or wearing headphones or ear muffs to reduce the loud noises you may experience when operating outdoor machinery.  It is also advisable to wear a winter hat that covers your ears whether you wear hearing aids or not.  The hat will protect your ears and your hearing aids.  In addition to all of these measures, it is imperative to continue living a healthy lifestyle because it is believed that proper nutrition and blood flow also contribute to the health of your hearing.

In conclusion, in this day and age, there is no reason for anyone to just "put up with" any kind of hearing loss or hearing issue.  While it is true that medical technology cannot fix everything in this area, you have nothing to lose by at least seeking the professional opinion of your ear doctor.


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