shutterstock_1220700022_z6Qq0hL.jpeg (shutterstock_1220700022.webp)Happy New Year! Every January, a lot of people celebrating the new year make resolutions, or promises to themselves about what they'll accomplish over the next 365 days. At Francis Audiology, we have some suggestions for what your resolution should be; namely, resolutions that have to do with your hearing.

Protect Your Hearing

Whether you have perfect hearing or some level of hearing loss, protecting your hearing is important. Hearing loss most often occurs as a person ages, with the tiny hairs in the inner ear breaking and bending over time, inhibiting their ability to send signals to the brain correctly. Exposure to loud noises can also cause hearing loss, especially if this exposure is repeated. Luckily, there are measures you can take to prevent this and protect your hearing, like:

  • Using earplugs, earmuffs, or other hearing protection devices (HPDs). Regardless of which kind you choose, these HPDs should provide 25- to 28-decibel protection and should be well-fitted. Foam earplugs from the store may suffice (if worn correctly), but more specialized devices are also available.
  • Avoiding loud noises. Considering how damaging loud noises can be to our hearing, they’re worth avoiding when possible. Generally, the way to know if a noise is loud enough to be damaging is if it hurts your ears, makes you have to raise your voice to talk to others, or makes it difficult to hear what the people around you are saying.
  • Giving yourself time to recover. However, if this level of noise is unavoidable, like at a concert or other event, try to find a quiet spot every 15 minutes or so. Moreover, after the event, take 18 hours to allow your ears to recover.

Have Your Hearing Tested

Another great way to protect your hearing, as well as another great goal for the year, is to schedule a hearing evaluation. Because hearing loss tends to happen gradually, a lot of people don’t notice that they’re losing their hearing. That’s what makes hearing tests so important—even if a person hasn’t noticed that their hearing has gotten bad enough to warrant hearing aids, a test, as well as the experts conducting it, will.

At Francis Audiology, we use a series of tests to determine the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, and conditions of the ear canal and middle ear. This thoroughness allows us to get the most accurate understanding of your hearing loss, and in turn, allows us to treat it the most effectively. Once we’ve tested your hearing, we’ll help you with another resolution:

Get Hearing Aids

If your hearing evaluation reveals that you have hearing loss, worry not; our experts at Francis Audiology can also help with selecting the best hearing aid for you. Choosing the right hearing aid can be intimidating, given the amount of information out there, as well as how many there are to choose from. Luckily, a great audiologist can help. Using information from your hearing evaluation, as well as information regarding your specific needs and lifestyle, our experts can help you narrow down your decision—there are literally thousands of hearing aids to choose from, after all. Ultimately, though, the choice will be up to you!

It’s important to know that while hearing aids can go a long way in helping you hear and understand the world around you better, they won’t give you “perfect” hearing. However, research has shown that people with a more positive attitude tend to do better with hearing aids. Plus, if you find that using a hearing aid has become too difficult, we also offer hearing rehabilitation that can help.

Visit Your Audiologist

If there’s one resolution you should definitely make, it’s this one. Whether you’ve never visited an audiologist before, or you’re a long-time patient of ours, having your hearing checked every three to five years (or any time you notice a change in your hearing) is a great habit to get into.

The audiologists near you at Francis Audiology are here to help with all your hearing needs this new year! Schedule an appointment today with your favorite audiologists in the Pittsburgh area, or call (724)-441-8695 for more information.