Our bodies undergo various changes as we age, and our senses are no exception. Hearing is one such vital sense that often faces challenges with the passing years. The ability to hear enriches our lives, allowing us to connect with others, enjoy music, and appreciate the sounds of nature. However, with age, the risk of hearing loss increases. The good news is that there are habits older adults can adopt to safeguard their hearing and maintain their quality of life.
Regular Hearing Check-ups
Just as regular check-ups are essential for overall health, routine hearing evaluations are crucial for identifying any hearing issues early on. Older adults should schedule regular visits to an audiologist for hearing assessments to help catch potential problems before they escalate.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults at the age of 50 get screened every 5 years until they are 64. At the age of 65, the WHO recommends that hearing screening be done every 1-3 years. To make things easier, the WHO suggests that hearing screenings be done in tandem with other health visits as much as possible.
Limit Exposure to Loud Noise
Prolonged exposure to loud noises can be detrimental to hearing health. Older adults should minimize exposure to high-decibel environments, such as concerts, loud parties, or noisy construction sites. When encountering loud noises, wearing ear protection like earplugs or earmuffs can significantly reduce the risk of damage.
Getting a custom pair of earplugs from an audiologist will cost more than standard earplugs you can find at any store, but they are worth the cost if you can swing it. These are custom-fitted to your ear canal, resulting in a significantly more comfortable fit and a more complete seal that limits sound more effectively.
Create Quiet Spaces
In our busy world, it’s essential to have quiet spaces where we can retreat and allow our ears to rest. Creating a tranquil environment at home can be beneficial for hearing health and overall well-being. A reading nook, crafting area, or other low-volume space is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life while offering a place to relax and unwind.
Physical activity is not only good for cardiovascular health but also beneficial for hearing. Studies have shown that regular exercise can improve blood flow to the ears and help maintain healthy hearing.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIH), several studies have linked hearing loss to lower physical activity. Physical activity has a plethora of other benefits as well, so remember to follow the CDC recommendations on weekly physical activity to ensure that your body is getting what it needs to thrive!
Eat a Balanced Diet
Getting some particular foods in your diet can actually help to prevent hearing loss or at least slow it down significantly. According to the AARP, “Researchers in Spain found that eating fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E was linked to a lower risk of developing hearing loss.” Some foods to get a little more of include fish, eggs, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, bananas, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits.
Stress has been linked to numerous health issues, including hearing problems. You can manage your stress in a myriad of ways, and it will do a lot more than just help to maintain your hearing. Physical activity, yoga, meditation, reading a good book, spending time on a favorite hobby—there’s almost no limit to what you can do to help yourself manage stress. If you need a little help, don’t be afraid to seek out professional counseling or therapy to explore what causes your stress and what avenues will be helpful for you to manage that stress.
Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can be damaging to hearing. Older adults should refrain from smoking and consume alcohol in moderation to promote overall health, including hearing.
Smoking and excessive drinking will cause many other health problems in addition to hearing loss, so you will likely feel much better overall once you kick these habits.
Manage Underlying Health Conditions
Certain medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can affect hearing. If you have any kind of chronic condition, you should always be carefully managing it for the sake of your health. The improvement in your hearing ability is just a bonus.
Contact Aging Benefits Advisory Today!
If you need help navigating the world of senior health insurance, our advisors at Aging Benefits Advisory are here to assist. Take advantage of our free consultation to ensure that you receive the plan for your budget and needs. We specialize in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Dental, Vision, and Final Expense insurance for the senior market of Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Citrus County, and Marion County, Florida. If you would like a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 727-266-0355. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.