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Help protect your hearing

More than 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, according to the American Academy of Audiology, making it the third most common health problem in the United States. More than half of those with hearing loss are under the age of 65.

Hearing loss can affect your ability to understand speech, which can lead to social and emotional issues, decreasing your quality of life.

Signs you may have hearing loss:

  • Difficulty hearing people talk in noisy environments such as restaurants, shopping malls, cars or movie theaters.
  • People seem to mumble all the time.
  • Family, friends or colleagues often have to repeat themselves when speaking to you.
  • You have trouble hearing people when they are not facing you or are in another room.
  • You have trouble following conversations.
  • You have ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in your ears.

Hearing loss can be caused by:

  • Exposure to loud noises.
  • Ear infections, traums or ear disease.
  • Damage to the inner ear and ear drum from contact with a foreign object (such as cotton swabs, bobby pins, etc.).
  • Illness or certain medications.
  • Deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process.

Ways to protect your hearing:

  • Wear hearing protection when around loud sounds for a long period of time. This includes foam earplugs, earmuffs or custom hearing protection devices. Contact an audiologist for more information.
  • Turn down the volume when listening to the TV, MP3 player or anything through ear buds or headphones.
  • Do not put anything in your ear.