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Your hearing: Use it or lose it!

Your hearing: Use it or lose it!

By Christopher Coyne

Maybe you chopped wood for the first time, or played tennis for the first time in years-and you feel pain in muscles you didn't know you had? The unexercised muscles are telling you that they've been neglected. For a lot of people, hearing loss happens when they neglect their own built-in hearing instruments. But unfortunately, your ears can't always signal their deterioration to you with something as tangible as pain, and when your hearing goes-you can't get it back. Healthy Life talked to Steve Mann, a NYS Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser at Ear to Hear in Elmira about the causes of hearing loss, what we can do to protect our hearing and the future of hearing aid technology.

For most people, hearing loss is gradual enough that it goes undetected. It's only when someone else tells us that we should get our hearing checked that we realize that...maybe we should get our hearing checked, and Mr. Mann says that men tend to put off getting checked longer than women. You can't get your hearing back once you lose it, but if you detect loss early enough, there are things you can do to protect what hearing you do have.

Much hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noises in work environments or anywhere else. So obviously, if that's the case, a person should do what they can to reduce exposure to those noises, but, interestingly Mr. Mann says the solution is NOT silence. The nerves that give us our ability to hear need to be stimulated, otherwise they'll wither like those unused muscles we spoke of earlier. We need to be exposed to some sounds to keep our hearing sharp. Keep your brain healthy as well. Your hearing is a function of the brain, and continued stimulation of the brain will keep all portions strong, including the part of your grey matter that controls the sense of hearing. Stay active, play word games, do puzzles- anything that works out your brain will help preserve your hearing.

But if it does come time to look into getting a hearing aid, Mr. Mann says that today's hearing instruments are worlds away from the hearing aids of old! Hearing instrument technology allows for some amazing options to those with hearing loss. They are smaller, more precise and more customizable than ever before. With blue-tooth and wi-fi capability, hearing aids can now be linked directly to telephones, televisions, computers and more. But remember, even if you don't think you're losing your hearing, it's worth the peace-of-mind to have your hearing checked. Preserve your hearing while you can and, use it or lose it!

Contributor:
Steve Mann NYS Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser
Ear to Hear
2064 Lake Road in Elmira, NY: (607)734-3329

People who live successfully with hearing loss must develop the ability to laugh at their mistakes. This helps to make family friends and coworkers feel more at ease. Using self-deprecating humor to relieve tension and laughing with others is an expression of kinship and social bonding.

When you're losing your hearing:

You find you don't hear what you used to pretend you didn't hear.

Your friends will trust you with a secret. But, you probably didn't hear it in the first place.

People appreciate that they don't have to talk about you behind your back; as long as they keep smiling while they face you.

You can't hear your partner snoring anymore.

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were taking a walk one fine March day. One remarked to the other, "Windy, ain't it.?" "No," the second man replied, "it's Thursday." And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's get a soda."

Jeffrey Katz and Steve Mann are NYS Licensed Hearing Aid Dispensers. Their office is located at 2064 Lake Road in Elmira, NY: (607)734-3329.