Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hearing Loss: Four Things You Should Do In a Pandemic #hearingloss #hearinghealth #Healthy2021

Living with hearing loss is always difficult, but doing so during the current COVID quarantine requirements can be especially challenging! After years of procrastination, I finally started wearing hearing aids a little over a year ago. It's hard to overstate the difference this decision has made to my daily life -- it's literally one of the best decisions I've ever made. As part of my year-long #Healthy2021 series, today's feature is sharing four great strategies for dealing with hearing loss while practicing COVID social distancing. This article may contain affiliate links.


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If you suffer from hearing loss, you may have found that life in a pandemic isn’t a piece of cake. It’s not the sort of underlying health issue that puts your safety at risk, but it definitely isn’t pleasant. For one thing, hearing loss requires a lot of careful treatment and understanding, two features that aren’t available when health services are overwhelmed. Hearing loss side-effects can be incredibly damaging -- from making your hearing worse (maybe permanently) to exacerbating feelings of isolation and loneliness. The COVID lockdown down is tough enough without added pressure dealing with very real, prominent health issues. However, all is not lost! Experiencing hearing loss during a pandemic is challenging, but it isn’t a game changer -- especially if you heed the following advice. Here are four actions you can help to help your ear health and hearing.

(1) Preserve Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are excellent tools that make your lifestyle much easier by improving your ability to hear. Whether you turn the volume up or down, you're in control -- something that isn’t true when you rely solely on your unassisted hearing. However, hearing aids aren’t infallible, which means it’s essential to maintain them as much as possible. You should start by treating them with care. That means not putting them down on the nearest uncovered surface, because bacteria and dirt will build quickly. Once contaminants get under the case, hearing aids can malfunction. Instead, it’s important to put hearing aids back in their storage box and close the lid to provide an extra layer of protection. Don’t forget about the batteries either! To make your hearing aid batteries last longer, leave the battery door open when you're not using your hearing aids (i.e., when you're sleeping). This trick could stop the batteries from losing around 3% of their power every year. Taking care of your hearing aids is vital when you don’t have the option to see you audiologist due to COVID restrictions.

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(2) Wear a Mask

Most people are wearing masks indoors and outdoors to stop the spread of the COVID virus. However, a mask isn’t the only way to keep yourself and others safe when you’re in an enclosed space. Some people prefer to wear a balaclava or scarf. These options are workable backup plans in case you forget to bring a traditional face mask, but they aren’t ideal for people with hearing loss -- because any extra fabric around the ears can cause reduced hearing. This can make it difficult to understand what people are saying when you’re in a supermarket or store. Traditional masks connects to your face via two small, thin pieces of string. With these masks, there are no hearing obstacles to contend with.

(3) Cut Screen Time

At first thought, staring at a device screen isn’t necessarily bad for your ears. Excessive use of mobile devices won’t do your eyes any good...but it can also harm your hearing under specific situations. Mobile devices are potentially harmful to your ears if you use them to listen to music. Spotify and Apple Music have made streaming songs very straightforward, which is why Americans listened to music for more than four hours a day before the current health crisis. Stats show the use of streaming services is only going up, so you may find you’re using your earbuds and headphones more. High volume or pitch can lead to hearing damage, and a build-up of ear wax can make your predicament even worse. Therefore, it’s imperative to cut down on your mobile device usage if you spend a lot of the day using it to listen to music.

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(4) Reach Out

Don’t let your ego get in the way of your health! It can be considered rude to ask people to speak louder or repeat themselves. However, it may be the only way you can connect with your loved ones. If you let your hearing loss silence you, you may become another statistic of the loneliness epidemic that's occurring due to COVID. Your support network is likely much smaller due to social distancing restrictions. This is rough, but it’s even worse when you can’t hear the people you are able to interact with. Therefore, it’s essential to put your ego aside and reach out. If you’re self conscious, explain why you need those in your inner circle to repeat themselves. Not only will they understand, but they’ll likely be understanding, patient, and appreciative of your request.

You shouldn’t underestimate the impacts of hearing loss during an ongoing health pandemic like we're currently experiencing worldwide. If in doubt, contact a hearing specialist via remote channels to discuss your available treatment options.

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