Advice from an Audiologist for a Year of Healthy Hearing

As we step into the new year, it's time to reflect on our health objectives and how we can improve our overall well-being.

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Advice from an Audiologist for a Year of Healthy Hearing

As we step into the new year, it's time to reflect on our health objectives and how we can improve our overall well-being. While we often focus on physical fitness and mental health, our auditory health is an aspect that often goes unnoticed. However, nurturing our hearing capabilities is just as indispensable to our overall health as eating a balanced diet or getting regular exercise. Here, Dr. Marni Novick of Silicon Valley Hearing in Los Gatos, CA shares her expert insights on how to prioritize your hearing health in 2024 and beyond.

Understanding the Immense Value of Hearing Health

Healthy hearing is crucial for various aspects of our lives. It's not just about the ability to hear sounds but also about the impact it has on our well-being.

  • Overall Health: Hearing health is linked to our overall health. Issues with hearing can be tied to other health concerns such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
  • Social Interactions: Our ability to hear enables us to engage in meaningful conversations, ensuring we can maintain and build relationships with friends and family.
  • Cognitive Functions: There's a connection between hearing and cognitive abilities. Good hearing contributes to your brain health!

Maintaining good hearing health enables us to form stronger bonds within our social circles. It allows us to actively participate in conversations and comprehend both verbal and non-verbal cues. These social interactions enhance our lives and contribute to our happiness, underscoring the importance of hearing health to our overall well-being.

Additionally, the relationship between a vibrant social life and brain health has been documented. Our hearing, deeply connected to our cognitive abilities, can be improved with the use of hearing aids. Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss - a problem that can be greatly mitigated with a hearing test and a fitting for hearing aids - can hasten cognitive decline and heighten the risk of dementia. However, by incorporating the use of hearing aids and thus prioritizing your hearing health, you can maintain your cognitive functions and promote overall brain health.

Regular Auditory Check-ups: Your First Step to Hearing Wellness

One of the most effective ways to ensure your hearing health is by scheduling regular appointments with your audiologist. This is similar to getting your eyes tested regularly or going for annual dental and medical examinations. Regular hearing tests are crucial for several reasons:

  • Early Detection of Hearing Loss: Audiologists can identify signs of hearing loss at an early stage. This is important because early intervention can prevent further deterioration and facilitate better management of the condition.
  • Minimizing Life Disruption: Addressing hearing issues promptly can reduce the impact on your daily life. It can help maintain your quality of life by ensuring effective communication and social interaction.
  • Valuable Advice and Information: Even if there is no hearing loss, an audiologist can provide advice on how to protect your hearing and possibly prevent future hearing problems.
  • Baseline Hearing Assessment: Regular tests create a baseline to compare future tests against, making it easier to notice any changes.
  • Identification of Other Health Issues: Hearing tests can sometimes reveal other health concerns, as hearing loss can be linked to other medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Remember, maintaining good hearing health is vital for overall well-being, and regular check-ups with an audiologist are a key component of this. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends that healthy adults get their hearing checked at least once every ten years until they turn 50. After the age of 50, these checks should be done every three years.

Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises

If your work involves high noise levels or you regularly attend loud events, your hearing may be at risk. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds can result in hearing loss. If you cannot avoid these noises, consider using earplugs or other ear protection devices. These can substantially mitigate the effects of loud sounds on your ears and safeguard your hearing. Make sure to use high-quality earplugs or ear defenders, as their effectiveness can significantly differ based on their quality.

In our increasingly digital world, we often find ourselves plugged into our devices for entertainment or communication. But high volumes, especially when listening through earbuds, can harm your ears. Try to keep the volume under fifty percent, and adjust it based on your surroundings. There are several apps available that can help you monitor your noise exposure and ensure safe listening practices.

Nutrition and Hearing Health

A balanced diet can supply essential nutrients to your ears, helping to prevent health issues that could damage your hearing. High cholesterol, for instance, can adversely affect the functioning of your ears. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as those high in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, and antioxidants, can be beneficial for your hearing.

See an Audiologist for Wax Build-up

Although using cotton swabs to clean your ears may appear beneficial, it can actually cause more harm than good. Cotton swabs can push earwax further into your ear, potentially damaging your eardrum and ear canal. If you suspect a wax build-up in your ear, it's advisable to consult an audiologist. They can offer the most accurate and current advice on how to handle it safely.

Hearing Tests & Hearing Aids with Silicon Valley Hearing

If you begin to detect changes in your hearing, including a persistent ringing in your ears or challenges in understanding speech in conversation, it's important to take these symptoms seriously. Addressing these early signs of hearing issues can result in more successful treatments and help improve your hearing health! If prioritizing your health and well-being is among your New Year resolutions, contact us at Silicon Valley Hearing today!

Marni Novick, Audiologist in Los Gatos, CA

Dr. Marni Novick

Founder & Audiologist

Marni Novick, AuD, is founder of Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc., which opened its doors in 2014, with the promise of delivering honest and affordable hearing health care, along with exceptional customer service to her valued patients.

About Dr. Novick