Are people always warning you to turn your music down? They may be right! Hearing loss isn’t just for the aging – more than 1.1 billion young adults are at risk of premature hearing loss, due in part to listening to loud music with earbuds. Audiologist Diane Nens from hi HealthInnovations, part of UnitedHealth Group, was a recent guest on Community Health Matters to discuss hearing health care and hearing loss prevention, view her segment here.

Nens revealed that hearing loss can affect anyone, regardless of age. Slowly creeping up over time, the invisible damage is cumulative and, unlike a broken arm, it’s permanent. So prevention is key. Signs an individual’s hearing might be fading include:

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Turning up the volume louder than is comfortable for others
  • Experiencing difficulty talking on the phone

If you notice these symptoms in yourself or others, get a hearing test. Losing your ability to hear clearly can negatively impact other aspects of your health as well. Linked to anxiety and depression, untreated hearing loss can cause people to withdraw from social situations and feel easily frustrated and irritable. Inner ear health is also vital to balance and a healthy awareness of your surroundings. A study by Johns Hopkins showed that with even mild hearing loss, people are three times more likely to fall than someone with perfect hearing.

If you’re an earbud user, follow the 60-60 rule to protect your hearing: limit use of ear buds to no more than 60 minutes at a time with your device at no more than 60 percent of maximum volume. Even if you are practicing safe listening, experts recommend adults be screened at least every decade through age 50, and every three years thereafter.

If you find your hearing has begun to suffer – don’t fret, it’s an exciting time in the hearing aid industry. Your grandfather’s hearing aid is a thing of the past. Today’s hearing aids are more affordable and cosmetically appealing in sleek and innovative designs.

hi HealthInnovations offers custom-programmed, digital hearing aids at significant discounts to the 48 million U.S. consumers with hearing loss. For more information, visit or call their toll-free number at 1-855-523-9355.

Did you know audiologists are seeing hearing loss at younger ages, due in part to the growing popularity of earbud headphones?

To help preserve your hearing follow the 60/60 rule – use portable music devices for no more than 60 minutes at a time, and at no higher than 60 percent of the player’s maximum volume.

Or try over-the-ear headphones – they deliver lower noise levels than ear buds

A hearing test is recommended for all adults age 35 and over. Don’t suffer with hearing loss – have your hearing tested regularly, and use hearing aids when recommended.

Did you know hearing loss affects not just the person with the hearing impairment? It also affects friends and family, and hearing loss can result in social isolation or withdrawal, frustration or depression.

If you’re having trouble hearing people on the other end of the phone, have to ask people to repeat themselves often, or find yourself cupping your hand or leaning in to hear, have your hearing checked.

If you do have hearing loss:

  • Don’t try to hide it – hearing loss is a medical condition that is treatable
  • Wear your hearing aids
  • Plan for noisy environments. Position yourself where most of the noise is behind you, such as sitting in the front row at a movie or church
  • And be patient with yourself

To learn more about hearing health, visit

Audiologist Diane Nens discusses the importance of hearing health care and how hi HealthInnovations is providing access and affordability to help more people with hearing loss.

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. On the show today, Dr. Lorien Sites from Saint Thomas Health and Nashville Skin & Cancer talks about preventing and detecting skin cancer. Kirk Pion  from the UnitedHealthcare Innovation Centers of Excellence talks about tips and resources for caregivers. Audiologist Diane Nens discusses the importance of hearing health care and how hi HealthInnovations is providing access and affordability to help more people with hearing loss.