Here is a look at how practice helps improve hearing health.

Practice ear protection.

One of the best things we can do at any age is to make ear protection a priority. Start small and add simple disposable ear plugs to your purse or jacket pocket when you know you will be heading to a noisy event – a concert or fireworks. Be consistent and soon wearing ear protection will become routine. Protecting your ears from noise goes a long way to preventing noise-induced hearing loss down the road.

Practice turning the volume down.

Using ear buds to listen to music or watch a movie on our mobile devices today is very common. It is important to be mindful of volume and listening duration. First always make sure your volume is low. Many audiologists recommend listening at 60% volume. Next, duration matters – your ears need a break. Depending on the volume level audiologists recommend listening for no more than 60 to 90 minutes at a time and then giving your ears proper rest.

Practice using your hearing aids.

Some might believe that hearing aids magically cure hearing loss on day-one, but actually wearing hearing aids to hear better takes practice. In fact, most audiologists say that it takes up to six months to adjust. You will need to practice wearing your hearing aids to get used to the feel and to determine fit adjustments at follow up appointments. Practicing wearing your hearing aids in different locations is also important. You need to expose yourself to your normal listening environments, so you gain experience again with the sounds and also evaluate what is working and what is not to talk over with your audiologist. If you have a smart hearing aid, you will also want to practice with the mobile phone app functionality. Finally, your hearing aids will bring back sounds to you that were previously lost, your brain will need to practice evaluating and prioritizing these re-discovered sounds.