a parent sits by a Christmas tree with their childrenChances are that your holiday schedule is jam-packed with celebrations right now. Unfortunately, all of our favorite festive traditions can be quite hard on the ears. From noisy gifts to explosive light shows, the holiday season is full of noisy revelry. So whether you've been diagnosed with a hearing problem or not, good ear care is an essential part of your holiday plans.

Our team at Francis Audiology wants you to celebrate the season in a way that protects your ears and hearing health, while still letting you partake in your favorite holiday traditions. To that end, we've gathered some helpful hearing care tips that will guide you into a new year:

Choose Hearing-Friendly Gifts For Children

Did you know many toys designed for infants and toddlers may be noisy enough to cause hearing damage? Not only are some toys loud in general; but young children often hold objects close to their face or ears, increasing their exposure to harmful soundwaves. 

Because of this, if you're shopping for any children in your life, it's important to check the annual Sight & Hearing Association's Noisy Toys list before shopping. This will allow you to skip the worst products on the market outright. While shopping, you can also test a toy’s sounds in the store and skip your purchase if you have concerns. 

Alternatively, you can make small modifications to protect children’s hearing and ear health after your purchase is made. One easy way to reduce noise levels is to put a piece of tape over a speaker. Alternatively, you can remove the batteries - and just like that, your child gets a quiet but still coveted toy!

Model Safe Listening Habits For Yourself & For Children

These days, people of all ages tend to enjoy a great tech gift. But there's a catch: tech can be loud! As a result, more than 1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of developing hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices involving noisy technology, especially personal audio devices. And that's just younger individuals; anyone at any age could suffer from this serious ear health issue. 

The solution? Always keep the volume on your tech down, specifically at 50% of its maximum sound level. Hourly listening breaks are also important, as this will give your ears a chance to 'recover' from a device. Both adults and children should learn and follow these safety tips.

Control Your Noise Exposure At Events

From holiday parties to concerts to firework displays, noisy gatherings are the norm right now. There are, however, things you can do to control the noise while attending your favorite outings. Earplugs, for example, are a simple way to enjoy a fireworks show or concert while also protecting your ears. Not standing near speakers at a party can further control your exposure to music; and ultimately, putting a time limit on your attendance or just leaving an event when the noise overwhelms you is perfectly acceptable.

Take Care Of Your Hearing Devices

If you use hearing aids, good device care is as essential as good ear care right now. Hearing aids are very vulnerable to the season’s cold temperatures; so it's important to keep your devices in proper storage when they're not in use. Snow is a hearing aid's worst enemy; so if your device falls into the snow, you'll need to let it dry after being dropped. And since the holidays also tend to involve busy gatherings, it's also important to keep your hearing aids safe during said gatherings. Otherwise, children or pets may get ahold of them!

These basic hearing health care guidelines can make your festivities and little more ear-friendly. However, a little TLC and maintenance may also be necessary, especially if you use hearing aids and other listening devices. From purchasing new batteries to scheduling a professional cleaning, our team is here to help with this important part of your auditory health care. To set up a visit or discuss your hearing aid coverage and needs, you can request an appointment from us online or contact us at 412-123-3456. We’ll help you head into the new year with your hearing and devices in the best shape possible!

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