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Using headphones while walking,
running or cycling can be dangerous.
It’s important to be aware of your
surroundings and to be able to hear
vehicles and other people. Women,
especially, should be aware of their
surroundings, as they can be more
vulnerable to attack.
Hearing tests are a covered benefit,
although, depending upon your
policy, hearing aids may or may not
be covered. Please consult your policy
to determine your level of coverage
and financial responsibility. Of course,
all hearing tests must be provided by a
HAP-affiliated audiologist or specialist.
To find a specialist near you,
log in at, then click on
Find a Doctor/Facility
, or consult
your HAP provider directory.
To learn about your specific benefits,
log in at, then select
and Riders
Wise Health
Wise Advice
Your teen’s not listening to you? It may be the earbuds. And if you’re
using headphones or earbuds during your workout or to drown out
background noise at work, it may be time to reconsider. As iPods®,
MP3 players and Bluetooth® devices have risen to the level of fashion
statements, the
Journal of the American Medical Association
reports that
one in five American teens already has slight hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss – the kind our moms may have warned us
about when we attended rock concerts – is today being blamed on
headphones. And, unlike rock concerts, headphones blast the music all
day. A 2008 European study shows headphone users who listen to music
at high volumes for more than an hour a day risk permanent hearing loss
after five years.
Too Loud
“There is a complicated formula which takes into account the volume
and the length of time you use headphones,” explains Virginia
Ramachandran, Au.D., Senior Staff Audiologist & Research Coordinator
at Henry Ford Hospital. “There’s an intensity level you could listen to
forever, and it would never damage your hearing. But in general, if you
can hear somebody’s headphones, their volume is too loud. And if you’re
using headphones while you do jobs like mowing the lawn and turn up
the volume to drown out the lawnmower, the volume is
too loud.”
Earbuds, in particular, are worse than ordinary headphones. They don’t
cancel as much outside noise as headphones that cover the ear, so users
turn up the volume to compensate.
Dr. Ramachandran points out, there is also some good news. “In
general, as a society, we don’t have as much hearing loss as we used
to. People working in factories were subjected to a lot of loud noise
before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was
established. Plus, hearing aids have gotten much better in terms of
sound quality and cosmetics, so people with hearing loss who have been
reluctant to get help, may want to check into it.”
What’s Safe?
How can we avoid exchanging headphones for hearing aids? “If you
speak louder to someone while you’re wearing headphones – because
you can’t hear your own voice, your headphones are too loud,” says Dr.
Ramachandran. “And if you can’t hear somebody talking to you from a
few feet away, you need to turn the volume down.”
Hearing Loss – A Budding Problem
You may want to earn more or achieve more in your
career … or start a new one. You may want to save
more … or live debt-free. You may want to earn a
degree, learn a new skill or hobby, or be a better
parent. You may want to lose
weight, reduce stress, eat better,
exercise more. Whatever your
goal, the secret to success lies in
discovering things about yourself
you may not have realized, says
Renee Aboona, Certified Intrinsic
Health Coach – Henry Ford Health
Step 1: Find the goal behind the goal.
“Discover your
ultimate want or goal,” advises Renee. “You may say
I want to lose a few pounds or reduce stress or eat
healthier, but what’s behind that? You think, ‘I want to
be healthier,’ but what you truly want is more energy.
You think you want to be more organized. The reason
behind that? Peace of mind. Discovering your true want
behind the goal you’re setting is the first step, because
that is your driving force.”
Step 2: Find
Once you’ve identified
your goal, create a strategy that will work for you.
This may be a trial-and-error process, says Renee.
“Different people require different strategies. Someone
could come in and organize my house and tell me
labeled containers will keep things organized. But
once that person leaves, I’ll go back to my old habits.
I need to find what will work for me. Keep trying, and
eventually you’ll say, ‘This is it. This is doable for me.’
For example, I know a woman who said, ‘I don’t want
to exercise anymore. I just want to play.’ She started
riding her bike, snowshoeing in the winter and finding
activities she enjoyed. Health professionals would call
that exercise, but to her it was play. It didn’t feel like
exercise. A successful strategy comes from within.
Finding what works for you is part of the self-discovery
Step 3: Break it down.
“Break your large goals into
small sub-goals,” Renee advises. “If you want your
house completely organized in three months, do one
section at a time – organize a bedroom one week and
the basement over the next two weeks. If you don’t get
it done, don’t beat yourself up. Keep going.”
Step 4: Enjoy the journey.
“Take time to recognize the
progress you’re making, even if it’s just eating one
more fruit a day,” adds Renee. “People tend to get
too focused on the numbers, and they forget to praise
themselves for small changes and adjustments they’ve
made that are making them healthier.”
To Discover Your
Plan for Success …
Discover Yourself
“Whatever your goal, the secret to success lies in discovering
things about yourself you may not have realized.”
Renee Aboona, Certified Intrinsic Health Coach – Henry Ford Health System
Renee Aboona