Loud noises can strike in almost any environment. And the louder the sound, the quicker it can damage your hearing. But noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is preventable. Below, we’ll share three ways you can protect your hearing at any age. Plus, for members who might already be experiencing hearing loss, Meritain Health® proudly offers a discount program for savings on hearing aids, batteries, exams and more. Adding this is a simple way for employers to provide hearing support to a benefits plan. Keep reading to see what steps you can take to protect this important and sometimes overlooked one of the five senses.
Why is hearing important to your health?
Hearing well improves how we communicate, understand others and can add to quality of life. It’s an essential part of maintaining our relationships, participating in group activities and holding our own in conversations. In addition, hearing and listening make it possible to enjoy sounds around you, like birds chirping, your favorite music or simple laughter. It can also keep you safe, allowing you to hear alarms, traffic noise and visitors at your door.
As your hearing starts to go, it affects each of these areas of your life. Not being able to hear well makes it difficult to communicate. This sometimes leads people to withdraw or isolate, increasing rates of loneliness, depression or other mental health struggles. Hearing loss also affects how the brain functions, impacting memory, cognitive thinking and even our balance. So, hearing is really important to our physical health, mental health, plus how we engage with the world around us.
Three ways to protect your hearing
Though some hearing loss may simply come with age, protecting against noise-induced hearing loss is in our control. Here are three ways to protect your hearing at any age:
- Lower the volume. This can include anything from turning down the TV, lowering the music on your stereo or headphones or using quieter power tools.
- Move away from the noise. Whenever possible, try to move as far away from the noisiest spots you encounter, like loudspeakers or blaring music at concerts or sporting events. Sounds get quieter as you move further from the source.
- Wear hearing protectors, such as earplugs or protective earmuffs. If you can’t skip noisy activities altogether, use hearing protection. Just be sure to wear these correctly so they block out noise and minimize sound getting in.
Learning more about hearing loss
If you’d like to learn more about protecting your hearing, you can visit resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Or check out It’s a Noisy Planet, a program from the National Institutes of Health. They just wrapped up National Protect Your Hearing Month in October and have plenty of helpful tips and information all year round.
Helping our members hear loud and clear
Our discount program lets members access a variety of discounts on products and services, such as hearing aids, batteries, routine cleaning and repairs, plus cleaning and follow-ups. Offers are provided through Hearing Care Solutions and Amplifon Hearing Health Care.
Check for information in your open enrollment packets or log in to view your member materials to learn more. If you’re an employer or plan sponsor interested in finding out more, contact your Meritain Health representative.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice.