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Mental health and COVID-19: Why it’s time to consider your hearing health and how to test it from home

Why staying in touch is a key part of self-care.
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We all know what we should do: eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. These habits keep us healthy and have the added benefit of helping to manage stress and anxiety. 

For optimal health, we also need to stay connected. But we tend to take for granted one important aspect of wellness—being able to communicate effectively. Though we may be on our own, to connect with others, good hearing health goes a long way, plain and simple.

“When you are forced to isolate from the world, it becomes pretty apparent just how important communication, contact, and being connected to people is,” says Jillian Price, chief audiologist at HearingLife Canada. “When you can’t physically connect to people you rely on other forms of communication.”

If you are someone who is struggling with your hearing, you’d quickly realize how much of an effect it’s having on your life at a time like this. It can make day-to-day living that much more difficult. 

“Hearing loss is already tied to feeling socially isolated, depressed, and anxious, and we want to try to reduce those feelings as much as possible. We’re dealing with enough of that right now,” says Price. 

Because hearing is something we automatically do—you don’t have to tell yourself to listen or hear—we tend to give less thought to it. Yet, imagine if you couldn’t communicate with your loved ones right now. You can’t physically go out so it’s essential that you can seek help in other ways. 

“Whether it be over the internet or video chat, all we can do right now is talk to each other,” says Price.

Maintaining good hearing health is one way to ensure you can continue to connect. And now is a good time to make this a priority and part of your self-care routine. 

There’s no need to wait to get your hearing tested. 

During self-isolation, take the time to complete a simple, fast, and free online hearing test to help identify how well you hear from the comfort of your own home. It only takes a few minutes.

Take the test now

Here are other simple measures you can take from your home to promote your overall health:

  • Find ways to create a sense of achievement in your day – whether this is learning something new, completing a home renovation project or reorganizing your space.
  • Maintain a healthy diet (potassium-rich foods are good for your hearing health as they boost blood the supply to the vessels in the ear).
  • Engage with nature to stay stimulated, if possible.
  • Maintain a healthy daily routine that balances, sleep, work, physical activity and eating habits.
  • Don’t sit in front of a screen – if you can, vary your activities throughout the day.
  • Stay connected with people to avoid feeling isolated.

“I think the key is to not let the isolation get to you,” says Price. “I know it’s easier said than done, but try to stay positive and keep some sort of routine in your life where you are still being healthy—whether that is a workout 20 minutes a day, trying to eat healthier, reading, meditating, or journaling.” Stay connected to people, use some good strategies if you’re struggling, and put an online hearing assessment on your list of things to do.”