At Beltone Tristate, we love to talk to the folks in our communities about how they can live a longer, healthier life with the best hearing possible. The good news is that there are many ways in which we can make good choices that support our hearing. Small, simple, and even enjoyable habits that support a better quality of life. Better hearing, it turns out, can be quite easy! Let’s talk about how!
Get your hearing tested — annually
This is an incredibly important step to prolong your hearing health. The earlier that we can detect a hearing loss, the sooner we can help identify the most appropriate treatment methods for your type of hearing loss. Hearing loss is a gradual process.
Many who suspect they have a hearing loss will wait as many as five to seven years before seeking help with their hearing health. 85% don’t seek treatment at all. And that’s too bad, because hearing difficulties can of course cause issues with your ability to listen and communicate, but they can also be indicators of other health conditions, including heart and cardiovascular disease.
Relatedly, hearing loss can also lead to an increase in balance issues, dizziness, and an increased risk of falling. Additionally, cognitive impairment and diseases like Alzheimer’s have been linked to hearing loss.
Point being, if you’re concerned about your hearing health, speak to your primary care physician about potential comorbidities (two or more concurrent health conditions) and start the good habit of seeing a hearing care professional like those at Beltone Tristate on an annual basis so we can track your hearing health.
Stay active with activities you love
As we mentioned, hearing loss can often be linked to vestibular dysfunctions, or balance and dizziness related issues. The risk of falling is one of the most common health threats in elderly populations, and in the instances that falls do occur, can lead to issues like broken hips, brain injuries, and other sometimes fatal fractures.
This fear of falling naturally leads to people withdrawing from physical activities, as this is assumed to protect them from injury. However, avoiding physical activity will actually increase the risk of falling even further, as it can cause a decrease in muscle strength.
The best thing you can do for yourself in such a situation is to make sure that you are getting the hearing care you need while also maintaining a consistent physical activity regiment. Yoga, walks, gardening, swimming, and the like are just a few of the ways you can stay physically engaged with your world and the activities you love.
Not only are you keeping your body engaged, but you are also keeping your brain active, as well. Hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline and it can also lead to things like increased anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation.
Stay engaged with friends and family
We hear it time and time again from our patients: they used to love attending parties, gatherings with loved ones, and going out to restaurants in small and large groups, but they started to notice that it was becoming harder and harder to keep up with conversations.
The world around them became noisier, and being able to distinguish between voices became increasingly difficult, and sometimes understanding the voices of women and children seemed downright impossible. Instead of being at the heart of the conversation, they started to feel like they were on the outside looking in. Smiling and nodding, but not always understanding. This becomes so frustrating — and sometimes even humiliating — that they would start to decline those invitations.
We’re here to tell you that the sooner you get your hearing tested and you get the treatment that is appropriate for your type of hearing loss, the sooner you can get back to spending time with the ones that you love.
It can feel vulnerable to share these feelings with others, but we assure you that it’s entirely normal, and that the alternative to not seeking treatment, sadly, is likely to be increased feelings of depression, isolation, and loneliness. Today’s hearing technology is better than ever at helping wearers distinguish speech from noise and keeping them engaged with the people and the things that they love.
Don’t wait any longer — take control of your hearing!
At Beltone Tristate, our hearing professionals have devoted their careers to helping people from all walks of life achieve their hearing goals. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have a hearing loss, or if you’re fifty or over, then it’s time to get your hearing tested! Our providers are highly trained at testing, making recommendations, and treating the effects of hearing loss. We’d be proud to serve you!
Contact Beltone Tristate today for your FREE hearing test!