Protect hearing from summer dangers

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When we think of summer we conjure up images of sunshine and flowers. The last thing you think of is hearing and hearing aids.

Well, you should, because now is the time to be aware of how you hear what’s around you. As an audiologist, I work to increase your awareness about hearing loss and promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those of you who experience problems with hearing.

Hearing loss is the third most prevalent but treatable condition among seniors in the world. Thirty-six million people in the United States have hearing loss. It doesn’t just affect people over 60. Did you know that 1.4 million children have hearing loss, too?

If everyone around you has to shout at you and you have to strain to hear them, chances are you have hearing loss, whether you admit it or not. Don’t be embarrassed, you aren’t alone! People don’t want to wear hearing aids because they are afraid they’ll look older. Think about it — are you afraid to wear glasses because they make you look too old?

Untreated hearing loss can lead to depression, loneliness and isolation. It can also endanger your safety because you can’t hear or react to sounds, such as fire alarms or oncoming traffic, not to mention missing phone calls or not hearing the doorbell ring.

The new hearing aid styles are small, hardly visible. At Socorro General Hospital Audiology our motto is “We are here to help you hear.”

Hearing loss is a treatable condition, and a hearing test by a licensed audiologist is easy and painless. A thorough hearing evaluation is essential to detect the level of your hearing loss, and necessary for fitting you with the best hearing aids for your ears.

Here are some tips that can help save your hearing:

  • Wear earplugs when you’re exposed to loud noise.
  • For hunters there are special earmuffs that let you hear that elk, but shut down the gunshot noise when you shoot.
  • Turn down your iPod. If other people can hear your music, it’s too loud.
  • If you have young children, check the sounds emitted by their toys. When the sound is too loud for you, it’s too loud for your kids.
  • Call Marianne Cramer, Socorro General Hospital Audiology, for more information at 575-835-8769.