How Older Adults Can Protect Their Hearing

How Older Adults Can Protect Their Hearing

Hearing loss is expected to become a major public health issue. As the aging population grows, there are more and more people experiencing issues with their hearing, which can be damaged by loud noises, or just by age. Although this concern is only a speculation at the moment, it’s still a good idea to take a proactive focus on preventing hearing loss. Here are a few strategies that you can use in order to protect your hearing, well into old age, and help maintain your independence

Be Aware Of Noise

We live in a pretty noisy world, and unfortunately, that means that it is very easy to get so used to excessive levels of noise that you aren’t always aware of when you are exposing your ears with too much noise, at too high a volume. The first step to protecting your hearing is to focus on becoming more aware of the sounds around you, so you can make good decisions about how best to protect your ears. 

Look at a decibel loudness comparison chart to get some context about how loud things actually are. A whisper registers at around 30 dB, a typical conversation is around 60 dB, a kitchen blender is about 80 to 90 dB, a lawn mower is around 160 dB, and a jackhammer is 130 dB. Understanding how loud something is means you can better stay away from noises that are too loud. 

Limit Noise At Home

Limit the amount of loud noise that you experience at home by buying quieter products. For example, if you are planning to buy a new dishwasher, then check the decibel ratings before you decide which one you want to buy. The lower the number is, the quieter the model is. The decibel rating matters. If the dishwasher is even just one decibel louder than another model, then this an increase of 30 per cent in noise level. 

Make sure you carefully monitor how loud you play music at home as well, especially if you use a personal listening device with earphones or headphones that play the music directly into your ears. You should give your ears a break for five minutes every hour when you’re using earphones to let your ears recover from the noise. 

Wear Hearing Protection Whenever Necessary

Loud noise causes hearing loss and this includes noises like loud machinery. It also includes lots of other loud sources of noise, such as power tools, firecrackers, loud music at concerts, and much more. 

Excessive levels of loud noise cause damage to your inner ear’s delicate hair cells, which can cause permanent hearing loss, as well as conditions like tinnitus (learn more here). When you have to be around lots of loud noise, like a concert, make sure you wear earplugs or earmuffs. If you still work and are exposed to loud noises at work, such as on a construction site, you should speak to your employer if you are concerned about the level of protection that is provided for your hearing. If you are given ear protection at work, make sure you wear it. 

Have Routine Hearing Tests

Make sure you have regular hearing tests and compare the results from year to year. This will help you to detect any changes in your ability to hear as soon as possible, giving you time to get help before the problem gets worse. If you experience symptoms like buzzing or ringing in your ears after being exposed to very loud noise, or if you notice you are having difficulty understanding people when they talk after you have been exposed to noise, then you need to speak to your doctor and arrange a test as soon as possible. 

Leave Earwax Alone

When you put a cotton swab or other small object like this into your ears to try to clean out the wax, this can cause some serious damage to your eardrum or your ear canal. You might also accidentally achieve the opposite of what you’re trying to do, and actually push the earwax deeper into the canal. Both of these things can diminish your ability to hear and cause unpleasant ear infections. Your ear is self-cleaning, so you don’t need to use any kind of cleaning tool inside your ear. Nothing smaller than your own finger should ever be put into your ear. You can use cotton swabs to clear the outer portion of your ear if you want to though. If you’re worried about ear wax build-up, your doctor can clear it out safely for you. 

How to Stay Feeling Great Throughout the Holidays

How to Stay Feeling Great Throughout the Holidays

The holidays are the most magical time of the year, a time to get together with family and friends, to create special memories, and share tasty food. But, to fully enjoy the festive season, it is essential to stay feeling at your best. Missing out on all the celebrations because you are unwell is something that you want to avoid this Christmas, so taking extra care of your health is crucial. There is no doubt that as well as being a lot of fun, the holidays are also one of the busiest times of the year for most people. So, if you are to make sure that you are brimming with enough energy to keep up with your grandkids, you are going to need to start preparing yourself for the festive season in advance. Here are some top tips to keep you healthy and to make sure that you don’t miss out on even a second of holiday fun:

Boost Your Immune System

Unfortunately, the holidays are not only a time of year for fun, but they also coincide with cold and flu season. This year, matters are complicated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, so staying as healthy as you can is more important than ever. 

The best way to help yourself stay feeling fit and healthy this Christmas is to boost your immune system. Getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need in the foods that you eat is the best way to stay healthy, but you may want to include a vitamin supplement too. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see if they think that a supplement could benefit you over this winter.

Get Prepared

Sometimes it can be hard to avoid feeling unwell over the holidays. But, if you do start to feel a little off, then it is helpful to have everything that you need to feel better at hand. 

Headaches are a common issue over the festive season, so having help readily available is an excellent way to get rid of your headache faster. If you are looking for a tablet-free alternative for headaches, you could use this discount on Aculief instead.

Needing to go outside in the cold weather over the holidays when feeling unwell is not ideal and is likely to make you feel even worse. Having remedies already at home is a great way to prevent any last-minute visits to the pharmacy and will get back to feeling at your best faster.

Take Care

Taking care of yourself is vital, especially when you are busy. While you probably have tonnes of Christmas shopping to do and people to visit, it is still essential to make sure that you get plenty of time to rest. Being busy can leave you feeling run down and leave you more susceptible to becoming ill. Slowing down your pace a little so that you don’t push yourself too hard will help ensure that you are feeling full of energy and ready for your holiday celebrations.

What To Know When You Adopt A Pair Of Kittens

What To Know When You Adopt A Pair Of Kittens

Kittens are regarded as some of the most beloved domestic animals in the world, and along with puppies make everyone in the vicinity collectively go 

‘Awww’

If you are looking to adopt a pet this year and you believe that a kitten is the right choice for you and your lifestyle – now is the time to take a look and consider what you are to expect if you do adopt a kitten this Christmas. 

They are crazy 

If you have seen pictures and videos of kittens calmly sleeping for hours on end, this is accurate – however what you don’t see is the hours between these short naps where a kitten is running around the house like a crazy person. Kittens are incredibly playful and curious, and when you bring one into your home they will spend a lot of their time exploring and running around playing with anything they can find. Be aware that in the first few months of kitten ownership you need to be all hands on deck! 

They sleep a lot 

As well as running around and playing, it is not unusual for a kitten to sleep for between 16 and 20 hours everyday. Kittens are still babies, and until they are around 1 year old they will be very much like having a baby or toddler in your home. Be sure to place lots of beds and blankets around the house for them to curl up and take a nap. 

They love to chew 

Just like babies, at around 16 weeks old your kitten will start to teeth. Teething in kittens is thankfully not as traumatic as a child; but a kitten will chew anything from toys to furniture to cables, and even sometimes you. Be aware to stock up on hard toys for their teething stage and make sure there is always a toy in view for your kitten to teeth with. And don’t be alarmed if you find a tooth on the floor now and again! 

They need their own space 

Like all cats, kittens need their own space as well as space with you. When you first bring a kitten home you should have a room set up in the house which has a bed, food and water, and litter box in easy reach. Your young kitten needs to know where everything is in their new home because if they don’t it could cause anxiety as well as a little accident. Leave this room as their main room, but also bring kitten toys and beds into the rest of the house so that when they are ready to explore, they feel like this is their home as much as yours.

They have sensitive tummies 

You can’t feed a kitten the same things as a fully grown cat – and if kittens eat things that are inedible whole playing they will get an upset tummy. It is a good idea to stock up on vitamins and supplements on petness.com to ensure that you can give your kitten everything they need in their diet to stay healthy and solid.

Practical Tips To Help You Prepare For Your Bundle Of Joy

Practical Tips To Help You Prepare For Your Bundle Of Joy

Are you expecting a precious little baby? Congratulations! Pregnancy is always a special moment that certainly changes you in more ways than one. Now, what next? Many questions race through every expectant mother’s mind when it is their first pregnancy, which is normal. However, this period of anticipation is an excellent time to receive (and follow) clear medical guidance from your doctor. Although each pregnancy experience may differ from mother to mother, there are some things you should know to be fully prepared for the journey ahead. So, are you wondering what your next step is after finding out that you’re pregnant? Did you just find out that your partner is pregnant? Here are a few things you should know. 

Your due date

Only a handful of women ever deliver their babies on the precise due date given by the doctor! But once it’s assigned, your due date on paper always remains the same – unless your ultrasound scan reveals a large discrepancy with the assigned due date. Beyond knowing your due date, you should also learn as many facts as possible about your condition. Fortunately, there are many websites and blogs that you can rely on for information like pregnancy belly shape and size guide, as well as specific symptoms you can expect to experience. However, you need to ensure that you visit recommended websites and blogs from other mums for all your research to get the right information.

Not everything will go according to plan

One thing many expecting moms must realize is that things may not always go according to plan. You may spend a lot of time planning every step of the process, considering every detail, but childbirth is more than enough to send your plans flying through the window. Every expecting mother needs to have a well-prepared birth plan in place. However, do not obsess about perfecting every detail, as that can be enough to put you under a lot of stress, especially when things do not go your way. Make room for unexpected circumstances, and accept that things will get a little crazy sometimes. The great thing about allowing for flexibility in your plan is that it will make you more open to alternative ideas, and thus, more flexible to handle each surprising turn of events. 

Self-care is essential 

Ensuring that you take excellent care of yourself isn’t only about you but also about your unborn child. It helps to promote your well-being and that of your child at the same time. Proper self-care means that you only consume the right food, stay away from the ones that can be harmful to your child, and exercise as much as you possibly can. Self-care goes beyond making you feel good; it also helps you maintain a sense of self-worth, which is essential whenever you feel too stressed or tired to go through another day. Some expecting mothers have said that they lost their sense of self-worth during pregnancy and let their health and bodies go. Taking good care of yourself helps you to remain healthy, both mentally and physically. 

Expect to do nothing sometimes

There will be times when you cannot bring yourself to do anything around the house, especially after giving birth. Childbirth is one of the most challenging things to do, even when you have previous experience. Therefore, your body needs to get all the time it needs to recover. During this period especially, expect to do nothing. Also, during the latter stages of your pregnancy, you may be in the right condition to complete as many daily activities as you used to. That is why it is essential to have as much care and support as you can from your partner, family members, and loved ones.

Bonding with your baby may take time

There’s nothing like a mother’s bond with her unborn baby – an unexplainable feeling of joy that takes over most mothers during the months of pregnancy. Although mothers bond with their little angels from day one, on the other hand, not every new mother will feel that jolt of excitement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; it may take some new mothers weeks or even months after delivery to start building that mother-child bond, and different reasons may account for this. The most important thing is to make sure that you do not allow yourself to be stung by guilt if this happens to you. Just commit yourself to your little angel, shower, then with all the love you can muster, give the process some time.

You may need to eat more than you did before

Every breastfeeding mother needs 500 additional calories every day. When you start bottle-feeding your child, you should give your body enough healthy food to recover. Unfortunately, when you are busy taking care of your little one, it is quite easy to lose track of your own needs and forget to eat regularly. Therefore, it is best to stock up on some healthy snacks that you can munch on with one hand while your other hand is busy. Doing this will keep you from starving yourself without realizing it, as it is not suitable for your health or baby. You should also expect your newborn to have quite an appetite, especially when you’re breastfeeding them. You might only require a small amount of regular bottle-feeding. However, breastfed babies will need to eat a lot more often. So, don’t be tempted to make a breastfeeding timetable; let your baby alert you. 

Pregnancy tests your relationship

It is vital to get as much assistance as you can from trusted friends, family, and loved ones, especially during the first couple of months after giving birth. That is because raising a child is one of the most challenging jobs (albeit one of the most rewarding), even when you are fortunate enough to have supportive spouses or partners. If you have a supportive partner beside you throughout the process, tension may still arise between you two. Your partnership will be tested during your time of expectancy, but the most important thing is to ensure that you do not allow such times to impact your relationship negatively.

Are You Spending Too Much On Your Bills?

Are You Spending Too Much On Your Bills?

Spending too much on your bills is easy to do. Companies try to trick us, we get used to it and think things are more expensive than they need to be, and most of us are just too nervous to even try and haggle! However, once you gain a bit of confidence in handling your finances in this area, you’ll be able to lower your bills more than ever before. So without further ado, here are some things to think about if you’re sick of seeing those bill amounts read higher than the money you make every month. 

The Benefits of Paying in Advance

Right, the first thing to think about is the benefit of paying more than you need to. Of course, this only applies in certain areas, such as credit card debt. If you fork out more than you need to per month, and your credit company will tell you what the minimum payment is, you’ll reduce the interest down to nothing, and ensure your credit score goes up and up as a result. But when it comes to paying bills to keep the lights and the heat on, the principle doesn’t quite apply. 

Work Out the Basics

So you’re going to need to work out the basics here. You’ll need to work out what you actually need to pay for, and what you don’t – a.k.a., what you want and what you need. You need to put food on the table, but that food doesn’t include a bag of donuts every time you visit the shops, for example. 

If you have a budget already, it’s time to revisit it. Work out what’s costing you, and whether or not it needs to cost you. Look at it in terms of monthly expenses and yearly expenses, and match it up to your income. And if you don’t have a budget, you can easily make one right now. If you have internet access, you have access to calculators that’ll help you work out what the biggest expenses are going to cost you, such as your mortgage payments. 

Be Ruthless with Your Providers

Once you’ve worked out the basics, you’ll have the power to be ruthless with your utility providers. Getting on the phone is the most effective move here, but you could also use live chat via websites, and even writing in to the company’s mail office could work too. 

Just remember that your providers don’t want to lose your custom, and if you’re insistent enough, they’ll put you through to the people who can actually cut your bill, by removing features you don’t use, or setting up a payment plan that actually suits you. 

Spending too much on your bills is going to cost you down the line. It’s not fair, and it certainly shouldn’t continue just because you don’t know what to do next! So make sure you keep tips like those above in mind, because you deserve to save some money here.

Focus on Finances:Can You Save Money In These Areas?

Focus on Finances:Can You Save Money In These Areas?

A lot of us are taking a long, hard look at our finances at the moment. The COVID pandemic has hit our finances hard, and many of us are beginning to think about how we can get back on track, and how we can reduce our costs. It can be a lot easier said than done, though. Here are a few ways in which you may be able to save a bit of cash if you are overstretched and need to review your finances.

Debts

Unfortunately, many of us have a debt of some sort, and since they can get you into serious economic situation and impact your credit rating, they need to be prioritised. It could be that if you are struggling, you need to consider extra sources of income or seek specialist financial or debt advice.   

You may also want to think about calling lenders to reduce your repayments or to come up with some kind of payment plan to help get them back under control while leaving you with enough cash to survive on. You could also seek advice on debt forgiveness

Cut Your Outgoings

Take a look at your utility bills (gas, electricity, and water) first and find out whether you are getting the best deal possible. It could be worth calling your provider and seeing if they can give you a better deal, and if not, switch providers. It is reasonably easy to these days. 

Do the same with things like your car, home and health insurance, cell phone provider, internet provider and so on. Even a few dollars saving each month adds up over the course of the year and can make a huge difference.

Look at what you are spending

The odds are you are wasting money. Everyone does it to some degree.  It could be the sneaky grande latte on the way to work or that lunchtime burrito. It could be the bottle of water you grab when you are out or that membership to the gym that you never have the time or energy to use. For a week, keep a list of all your expenses and see what you can leave out. Take a flask of coffee with you to work, a packed lunch and a reusable bottle of water, and take up running or home exercises and cancel the expensive subscription to the gym.

Some of these behaviors can be more difficult to stop than others. They are usually well ingrained into your everyday life and it is easy to think that a few dollars here and a few dollars there will not make a difference. However, when you total them up at the end of the week, you will be surprised.

With some discipline, planning and preparation when it comes to your finances, you can save a significant amount of money to put away for the future.