Have your hearing needs changed

Has Your Hearing Changed During The National Stay-At-Home Order?

by | Oct 27, 2021 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Hearing Test, Patient Resources

This pandemic has seen us make a lot of changes and sacrifices. In the blink of an eye, our priorities and routines were changed entirely, and we have been forced to adapt.

Your hearing is no different. Most of us have been secluded and unable to attend our usual activities. It’s these activities that keep our hearing healthy and robust.

Your hearing is just like a muscle; if you don’t use it, it becomes weak. We want to make sure that everyone in Maryland is prepared for the upcoming months as we move closer to getting our regular routines back.

For those wearing hearing aids, this may mean a slight adjustment to your aids. You may need them fine-tuned, as your ears have become more sensitive to louder noises.

For those without hearing aids, you may feel more sensitive to loud music when attending concerts. This is not to say that your hearing is damaged but different after 18 months of very little exposure.

I have written this article to prepare you and others in the Maryland communities for any hearing surprises you may encounter as you emerge from national stay-at-home orders. We are all excited to get back to our old lifestyles, but we need our hearing to be in top form to enjoy them like we used to.

Give Your Hearing Time To Adjust

If you are someone who goes to the gym often, imagine if you took 18 months off. What do you think your first workout back would look like? Do you think you could immediately lift the same weight as before? Or spend as much time on the treadmill as you used to? Probably not. Your hearing is no different.

If you usually went to concerts and now haven’t been to one in a year and a half, your ears are not prepared for the volume level that a stadium provides.

It’s healthy to reintroduce your hearing to the things you love slowly. Give your ears a grace period as you reacclimate them back into society. Start by going to restaurants or a movie. If you are to attend a concert or loud stadium event, be sure to use hearing protection.

To find out more about the custom hearing protection available to you, click here to request a callback from one of our friendly audiologists.

This goes for anyone, whether you have hearing aids or not. If you do have hearing aids, then chances are you have been staying indoors during COVID-19, so you weren’t using your hearing aids as much.

We recommend coming in for a check-up to make any adjustments that may be needed. These minor adjustments could be the difference between hearing your favorite band or doing more damage to your ears.

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Prevention Is Better Than Cure

A lot of patients are now returning to work, and this can be an exciting time. You have been preparing for this day for a long time now. However, your first day back will be a shock for your hearing if you work in a busy environment.

Suppose you work in a factory, mechanic shop, or military field. These loud noises will be unfamiliar to your ears after time away from them – not to mention, an estimated 24% of hearing loss in the United States has been attributed to workplace exposure.

I highly recommend wearing earplugs to protect your hearing if you work in a noisy environment. Hearing protection doesn’t have to be large earmuffs. It can be discreet earplugs that comfortably fit into your ear canal. They form to the shape of your ear, so you won’t even notice them. Your employer should supply these if this is the case.

We also offer custom earplugs/molds for people who attend music concerts, musicians, and even swim plugs for those who need them for vacation.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure a long and happy life of listening.

Get The Most From Your Hearing Aids

If you have hearing aids, then the transition back to everyday life could be easier for you. Your hearing aids are advanced pieces of technology and can be finely tuned to suit your exact needs.

If you know you will be visiting louder environments or taking a vacation soon, then please bring them to us to discuss the challenges you will face. With this knowledge, we can format the settings to address your exact needs.

We want to make sure you are getting the full benefit of your investment. If they are programmed too loud, it could cause hearing to get worse. If they aren’t meeting their prescription, then you’re not getting the full benefit of a hearing aid.

We always offer our patients a drop-off program so one of our audiologists can take a look if you don’t have time for an actual appointment.

Did COVID-19 Affect Your Hearing?

There have been many hearing aids lost due to the mask mandate. This has caused financial hardship on people who might have lost their jobs during this pandemic.

There’s a lot of patients that have not seen their loved ones because of the risk of giving it to one another, causing a lot of loneliness as well. Especially those that may need help because they are hard of hearing.

Whether you have hearing aids or not, we all rely on lip reading and facial cues to understand people. With masks being a part of our lives now, it’s essential to recognize this shift in the world and make sure we can adapt to it.

COVID-19 has affected everyone’s hearing in one way or another. As we get back to our regular routines, now is the best time to come and get your hearing tested.

We offer comprehensive hearing assessments that will pinpoint any problem areas you have. If you already have hearing aids, we can see the status of your hearing and determine if it has declined at all or by how much.

If any of this is a concern, please give us a call with all your questions. Our team is standing by and ready to assist in any way we can.

Don’t let your hearing get away from you. Prevention is still the best cure we have against hearing loss.

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Briana Bruno Holtan, Au.D. , F.A.A.A.

Dr. Bruno Holtan is the co-owner of Audiology Associates, Inc. and received her Master’s degree (M.S.) in Audiology from Towson State University and Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. She hails from Norfolk, Virginia. She grew fond of the Baltimore area due in large part to the late Dr. Craig Johnson, an advocate for autonomy in audiology, when she joined the Audiology Associates, Inc. team in 1997 and was mentored by Dr. Johnson throughout her early career. She has extensive knowledge of and experience in the evaluation and fitting of advanced state-of-the-art hearing aid technologies. Dr. Bruno Holtan uniquely combines this knowledge and experience with the ability to understand patient needs and concerns. She feels that understanding each patient’s life experiences and lifestyle is not only important but is also critical to improving their hearing needs. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Bruno Holtan has served as the Treasurer and President of the Maryland Academy of Audiology. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of audiologists and consumers on both the state and federal legislative fronts. She is co-author of “Institutionalizing Patient’s Freedom of Choice”, a published article in “Audiology Today.” Dr. Bruno Holtan is married. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Golden Retriever, and immediate and extended families. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, and fishing.

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