Healthy hearing habits you can add to your COVID-19 self-quarantine regime
Updated: Apr 2
As we are all huddled in our homes during this time of uncertainty, we're getting advice from the experts of how to maintain our overall health. Our doctors have repeatedly advised us to wash our hands thoroughly. Our fitness instructors have encouraged us to maintain heart health through some easy at-home workouts. Even our favorite chefs have launched some fun ways to spruce up our kitchen skills.
So when thinking about our overall health, it's important to think about our hearing health, too.
Research from the National Institute on Deafness states that one in eight people in the United States aged 12 years or older has some level of hearing loss in one or both ears. With these statistics, and this time on our hands, here is some advice from the experts that can help you take care of, exercise, and evaluate your hearing.
Eat right, now!
In one of our previous blogs we identified the four major vitamins and minerals that can directly impact our hearing health - potassium, folic acid, magnesium and zinc. In knowing and understanding their importance to our hearing health, we have compiled a list of the food that are high in each for your next shopping trip. If your grocery store is as bare as ours you may need to have some substitutes on hand to fill your fridge and pantries.
Foods high in potassium
Fruits: Apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, oranges and dried fruits (prunes, raisins, and dates)
Vegetables: Broccoli, leafy greens, zucchini, peas, cucumbers, eggplant, pumpkin, mushrooms, postaoes/sweet potatoes
Foods high in folic acid
Grains: Bread (whole wheat), cereal, rice, pasta
Foods high in magnesium
Fish (salmon, halibut, mackerel, pollock)
Leafy greens (kale, collared greens, spinach, swiss chard)
Potato with skin
Foods high in zinc
Meat (beef, lamb, pork)
Shellfish (crab, shrimp, oysters, mussels)
Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans)
Seeds (hemp, squash, pumpkin, sesame) & nuts (pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds)
Dairy (milk and cheese) & eggs
Whole grains (wheat, quinoa, rice, oats)
Dark chocolate (70-85%)
It may be prudent to meditate now more than ever. Self-isolation and mandated quarantines have left people feeling trapped, and like the days have all just mashed together, and what day is it? While there is not one all-encompassing way of 'getting out of ourselves', meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-awareness and mindfulness. Additionally, in a study from the Hearing Review - "those who meditated have an increased thickness of gray matter in parts of the brain responsible for attention compared to those who do not meditate".
Meditation takes practice! Work on thickening your gray matter by trying out one of these free guided meditation sessions.
If you have children, we understand the difficulty in getting them to sit still for even a moment. Cosmic Kids Yoga has an outstanding guided meditation to practice with your little ones. Enjoy!
Measure sound decibels
Getting the whole family involved in understanding the negative effects of loud sound levels is important. Not only can it be a proactive way to highlight any noise issues in the home, it also creates awareness about hearing and hearing health. Plus, it's a nice departure from playing Candyland!
People of all ages could use these interesting and eye-opening apps to measure things around the house (TVs, appliances, tools, other people talking, etc). When we finally get to go back to restaurants, these apps can be used there too! We often overlook just how noisy our world actually is, even at home.
Keep in mind that a quiet room measures about 30 dB, a normal conversation measures 60 dB, a lawn mower is about 90 dB, and a loud concert is about 120 dB. These apps will tell you what range to stay in to maintain healthy hearing levels, but any sound that you think is too loud and lasts long enough can cause damage to your hearing.
DECIBEL X - for iPhone
effective sound level meter (measuring up to 130dB)
intuitive app that you can leave on while performing everyday activities
Sound Meter - for Android
popular decibel meter, sound level meter, noise detector (measuring up to 120 dB)
app provides accurate measurements for users to detect any subtle sound changes
See you soon, neighbor
In the state of Massachusetts, we have a tentative date for when we will be able to return to our regularly scheduled programming. We cannot overlook that this pandemic has changed our world and our lives forever. We can joke about having cleaned every spot in our homes - twice, and how we've binged too many shows on Netflix, and how we haven't worn pants in days, but we must be diligent in taking care our ourselves and our loved ones. When all is done, our communities will not be the same. Lets be there for each other.
As per Governor Charlie Baker's stay-at-home order, we will have to extend our tentative reopen date to May 4th - we will update you with any changes. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for an upcoming email with information regarding your options in having your hearing aids serviced.
If you have any additional questions, please call one of our offices at 508-385-5222 (Yarmouth Port) or 508-539-9780 (Mashpee). We will be checking our voicemail periodically, and do our best to get back to you.
Please stay safe and healthy.