At times, it is easy to overlook what we have and only realise their value once we lose them. While there are certain things in life we can afford to lose and regret, our ability to hear is not one of them. We may not think much of hearing, but it is one of the most important senses, alerting us of dangers and enabling us to communicate effectively.
Some of us may perceive hearing loss as a natural part of ageing and thus, render it unnecessary to take care of our hearing. Though it is true that age-related hearing loss cannot be prevented, we can still slow down its deterioration. Moreover, there are other forms of hearing loss that can be prevented such as noise-induced hearing loss. Therefore, here are some good practices we can follow to ensure we keep our hearing at its optimum.
Avoid Loud Noises
Did you know, 17% of adults aged 20 to 69 have suffered from hearing loss due to excessive exposure to loud noise? Our ears contain hair cells that catch sound vibrations and transport them to our auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then sends this to the brain, which helps us interpret the sounds we hear. Overexposure to loud noises damages these hair cells and hence, impedes our ability to hear.
The best way to ensure the hair cells remain healthy is to avoid loud noises when possible. In cases where we cannot simply cannot avoid loud noises, the next course of action would be to use hearing protection including earplugs, earmuffs and semi-insert earplugs. They help reduce the sound level reaching our hair cells to minimise damage.
Lower Music Volumes
For most of us, music is a staple. Listening to music during commutes and while working is common to many. In fact, an online survey revealed that 60% of Singaporeans listen to music daily. Just like how it is important to reduce our exposure to loud noises to minimise hearing loss, the same goes for the music we listen to. Ideally, it is recommended to play your music out loud rather than using hearing earpieces.
However, in situations where this is not permitted, opt for headphones instead of earpieces. Unlike earpieces, headphones do not project sounds directly into your ear canal, which may help reduce damage to your ear hair cells. Do also ensure that the volume is just loud enough for you to hear. Certain smartphones and laptop devices are integrated with a hearing warning that notifies you when your audio is considered to be above average.
Reinforce a Healthy Lifestyle
Good food and regular exercise are typically associated with healthy organs, but they are crucial elements to prevent hearing loss as well! Foods that promote healthy hearing include potassium and magnesium. Magnesium supports cell and nerve function. With more magnesium in your diet, the inner ear hair cells and auditory nerves are kept healthy and strong to effectively send signals to the brain and interpret sound. On the other hand, potassium is great for regulating fluids in cells, ensuring a balance. Without this balance, the endolymph in the cochlea can be disrupted, which may lead to hair cell damage. Foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium can be found in salmon, spinach, avocados and potatoes.
Apart from a balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise positively influences hearing health too. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a correlation between heart and hearing health was found – heart disease was a factor in late onset hearing loss. As regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, it also becomes vital in maintaining healthy hearing.
Last but not least, preventing the deterioration of hearing loss can be achieved by going for a professional hearing test in Singapore. Your hearing care consultant will be able to determine if you have hearing loss and the degree of hearing loss you may be suffering from. With that information, they are able to recommend suitable solutions and offer advice relevant to your condition. Should the idea of a physical hearing test intimidate you, you can even try out online hearing tests to get a better idea of your current hearing ability before making an appointment.
No doubt, our sense of hearing is precious and while we are still able to listen, we should not take it for granted. By adopting the above habits as much as possible, we help minimise our risk of hearing loss.
The Hearing Solution Group offers a range of services and solutions to help customers through their hearing loss journey. Contact us today or call us at 63370090 and our hearing care professionals will be on hand to help!