Things are getting busier. Many of our northern friends are back and enjoying the sunshine. If they aren’t all back yet, they will be soon because the snow seems to be flying everywhere.

Not only does our office get a little busier, so do most other places. The restaurants have more people and therefore the noise meter goes higher. The clubhouses get a bit more crowded as the laughter increases from all the friends and neighbors reuniting. It’s just fun to have new people to smile and laugh with.

As you go about the daily activities in your life, make sure and pay attention to your health. Remember to get enough physical activity and mental stimulation. Anything you can do to increase the time you spend being physical will provide your body with added benefits. Maybe you are not real physical, so try just walking down your street or around the block.

The increased blood flow helps to protect your inner ear and your hearing. While you are walking, grab a bottle of water and take with you. Being hydrated properly also helps to protect the hearing hairs in your inner ear.

Pay attention to your communication abilities and to others as well.

If you are having difficulty understanding people, either one on one or in a group situation, then it is time to get your hearing tested. If being at the clubhouse drives you nuts because it is crowded and busy, it is time to get your hearing tested. If others are telling you that you are not hearing them or insinuating that you have a hearing loss, then it is time to get your hearing tested.

Hearing loss causes problems and concerns for the person with the hearing deficit and also the people who are close to them. Family, friends, co-workers and associates have to figure out how to communicate and have a meaningful relationship with them.

Hearing loss causes people to not participate in activities. Most people will not come right out and say that they don’t want to go somewhere because they can’t hear. There is usually some other excuse.

Most people enjoy being social. Pay attention ... if slowly your loved one or friend starts to find other activities that are less group oriented that may be a sign that they are struggling with their hearing and speech understanding. People with hearing loss often feel isolated.

Isolation is two-fold. It starts with the person being present in the situation or group activity but because speech understanding is poor they feel left out of the conversation. This “feeling of isolation” can then escalate into a different level of isolation when the person just starts to withdraw from any type of social interaction in which they feel it will be to frustrating or even painful to participate.

This can lead to depression and anxiety. This turns a sunny Florida lifestyle into a gray lonely winter. Why? Help is as easy as a hearing test and hearing instruments. When you have a vision problem and can’t see properly, you are fit with glasses. So, if you can’t hear and understand properly then you should be fit with hearing instruments. With such a wide variety of styles and technology levels available, there is really no reason for anyone to walk around in a stupor. Call your hearing health care provider and schedule your hearing test today. Life is for the living ... for everyone. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!

Roseann B. Kiefer, B.A., BC-HIS, is owner of Lampe and Kiefer Hearing Aid Center, Sebring. This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure your condition. Always talk to your doctor before following any medical advice or starting a diet or exercise program.^p