The whir of a hummingbird. The warning of an approaching ambulance. The round of laughter after your deviously funny — and deftly delivered — wedding toast. That sublime guitar riff or soulful crescendo in your favorite song.
As we celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month in May — and the theme, “Communication for All” — it’s a great time to remember the many ways hearing makes a difference in your life. And to help you maintain those connections that matter, we’re sharing five easy tips for hearing your best.
Know the Signs
More than 466 million children and adults have disabling hearing impairment, according to the World Health Organization, but nearly all hearing loss can be treated. One of the first steps is recognizing the potential signs. If you experience muffled speech sounds, difficulty hearing on the phone or in a crowd, trouble understanding women’s or children’s voices, or complaints from loved ones about your TV or radio volume, consider a professional hearing test.
Curb the Noise
Did you know? Noise-induced hearing loss — a largely preventable public-health problem — affects children and adults and is on the rise, according to the Hearing Health Foundation. Whether rocking out at a summer concert, enjoying New Year fireworks, or using power tools, consider limiting the duration of your noise exposure and wearing quality hearing protection.
Hold the Swabs
If you like the feeling of a cotton swab rubbed in your ear, you’re not alone. It’s a common habit but, oh, so dangerous. Sticking objects in your ear can cause injury and push earwax farther into the ear canal. To remove excess cerumen, use a warm soft cloth after washing or showering, or soften the wax with drops of warmed olive oil, water, or a commercial solution — as long as you don’t have a perforated eardrum. In cases of persistent ear pain, hearing loss, or blockage of the ear canal, contact us for a professional evaluation.
Bring on the Bananas
Healthy eating offers endless benefits, including better hearing wellness, so consider selected fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other key foods that can make a difference. Bananas, for example, pack potassium, which plays a role in regulating the inner-ear fluid crucial to healthy hearing. Look for foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as A, C, E, folate, magnesium, and zinc, too.
Schedule Regular Checkups
It’s easy to make better hearing a family affair by scheduling hearing evaluations for the whole household. How often? At least once a year, just as you would for your eyes or teeth. Staying atop your hearing health helps catch any potential changes or problems early, which is important for overall wellness.
At Chattanooga's Healthy Hearing, we’re here to help you and your loved ones hear your best during Better Hearing & Speech Month and beyond. Keep our five easy tips in mind, and contact our caring team for your next hearing check!