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I’ve been coming to Johnson’s for years. I know I am getting the best hearing aids out there and their service is great. I know if I ever have a problem that they will stand behind their product and that means a lot to me.

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7 Steps to Avoid Hearing Loss

Seven healthy habits that may help prevent or delay the onset of hearing loss.

1. Noise
Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common yet preventable cause of hearing loss. Exposure to dangerous levels of noise can occur at work, home and in many recreational activities. Wear ear plugs or muffs when operating loud equipment (i.e. lawn mowers, power saws, leaf blower, etc.) or when using firearms. Buy quieter products (compare dB ratings advertised on the products - the smaller the better).

2. iPod/MP3 Players
Listening to MP3 players at dangerous levels can cause permanent hearing loss. You can download apps to ensure noise exposure through your iPod does not exceed dangerous decibel levels. "Volume Limit" is an option in the "Settings" section of your iPhone or iPod to make sure that your hearing is protected. This allows you to set a maximum level for the volume output of the media player and even put a 4-digit code on it to keep it fixed.

3. Diabetes
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has found that hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Furthermore, of the 79 million adults with pre-diabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than in those with normal blood sugar levels. Moderate weight loss, eating healthy and exercise can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes among adults at-risk for diabetes.

4. Smoking
Smoking is a risk factor for hearing loss. Smokers are nearly 70 percent more likely than nonsmokers to suffer hearing loss. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke almost doubles the risk of hearing loss among adolescents. Studies show that smoking, age and noise exposure together increase the risk for hearing loss more than each of these factors alone.

5. Cardiovascular disease
Not only does exercise help to prevent type 2 diabetes, but cardiovascular health and hearing health appear associated. Growing evidence suggests a link between hearing loss and poor cardiovascular health.

6. Earwax (Cerumen)
Don't swab your ear canals. Cerumen cleans and lubricates the skin of the ear canal and provides protection from bacteria, fungi, insects and water. Attempting to remove cerumen or cleaning the ear canal with a cotton swab tends to push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Excess or impacted cerumen can press against the eardrum and/or occlude the external auditory canal resulting in hearing loss.

7. Visit a hearing professional
Relying on your family physician to point out a hearing loss is not realistic. Only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in a quiet environment like a doctor's office, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training, and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to even realize that you have a hearing problem. Plus, if you do have a hearing loss, it is better to receive treatment sooner than later.

Source: The Better Hearing Institute