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From dropping tobacco to tapping technology, I’m taking New Year’s resolutions to the next level with five tips to help you kick off 2018 on the path to better hearing.

These are of course very popular resolutions but perhaps you’ve never considered them with a hearing-health twist. It’s about supporting one of the most important senses that connects people.

Get Fit

It’s no secret that obesity can raise the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems, but it’s linked to hearing impairment, too. Getting healthier and fit in 2018 helps reduce the risk of excess weight, a problem that can impact your hearing and overall wellness.

Ditch Tobacco

Smoking, the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S. and the culprit behind most lung cancer cases, can also increase the chances of developing a hearing impairment. Living tobacco-free puts you ahead of the pack for your hearing, your lungs, your heart, and your general good health.

Try Something New

Having trouble hearing phone conversations? You may qualify for a captioning telephone, a landline phone that shows the spoken words of the other party. It’s free if a qualified hearing care professional certifies your hearing loss and need for the phone, and it works with hearing aids.

Maximize Your Money

Don’t let hearing difficulties come between you and your money. Untreated hearing impairment can reduce annual household earnings by as much as $30,000, according to a Better Hearing Institute study, but using hearing aids can curb the chance of income loss by up to 100 percent.

Live Life to the Fullest

A majority of hearing-aid users in one study by the National Council on Aging credited treatment for better relationships at home, and a half or nearly half reported improvement in feelings about themselves and improvement in life overall. Just another reminder of how better hearing helps you live your best.