With age, lots of things change, and many of our abilities come and, unfortunately, go. Getting up those stairs can take a little bit longer than it used to. Reading the fine print on packaging can require a closer look. Remembering where we put our glasses can take a few minutes or require a pretty long search (which may even end with us finding them right on top of our heads).

Yes, age can take its toll. This is true in many areas, including that of hearing. Hearing problems become more prevalent with age as a result of both use and the simple passage of time. And with hearing loss come adjustments. Some of these adjustments are conscious, like sitting a bit closer to the stage at a play. Other of these adjustments are unconscious and, frankly, can become quite annoying.

Bad habits related to hearing can be rather bothersome to both the sufferer of hearing loss and those who surround him or her. Take note of these three bad hearing-related habits you may have developed, and make a change today.

1. Speaking Loudly

While you may feel as though you are speaking at a very reasonable level of volume, those around you might not always agree. Those who are hard of hearing often compensate for their own problems and disabilities by speaking at an extremely high volume even when it is not appropriate. Think of the people who listen to mp3 players and hold a conversation – have you heard how loud they speak? You may be doing the same. Make sure to hold the volume of your speaking voice in check and lower your voice whenever you feel it may be necessary.

2. Turning Up the Volume of the Television

The volume of the television should only be so high that those watching it can hear it. There is no reason that someone in another room should be able to hear what’s happening on the TV, let along listen to and understand the conversations that are being held. If you can hear and understand what’s being said on your favorite program, the volume is high enough. If you have a hard time gauging, try simply turning down the volume until you can no longer hear what’s going on. Turn it up a little, but as soon as you can understand, stop. You shouldn’t have to shout to speak over the television.

3. Listening to Loud Music

In the age of the mp3 player and the iPod, many of us spend several hours a day listening to our favorite songs. We listen to music while at the gym or on the train – often at extremely loud levels. These levels can be so high, in fact, that others can hear exactly what we’re listening to. Make an effort to turn down the volume on your mp3 player. Make sacrifices where you can – if you absolutely love to crank up the volume while you’re at the gym, invest in quality headphones so that only you will have to listen in.

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