Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors

Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors

Be prepared to tackle your outdoor summer activities safely

Hearing Loss and the Great Outdoors: Human hearing is remarkable. It can detect frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz and is highly adept at distinguishing familiar sounds from unfamiliar ones, alerting you to potential danger, and decoding important information about your environment. These abilities are especially crucial when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Whether hunting, hiking, camping, or even just birdwatching, being able to hear the snap of a twig or the babbling of a brook isn’t simply pleasant — it could also save your life.

Wildlife Safety

Ask any avid hiker and they’ll tell you that a quiet forest is a reason to be alert. When birds and other small animals fall silent, it’s often because there’s a predator nearby. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you may need to be on the lookout for bears or mountain lions. Hearing the change in your environment can clue you in to what could be lurking in the bushes nearby. It’s not uncommon to hear an animal before you see it, or to never see it at all. Keen hearing will help keep you one step ahead of dangerous wildlife and ensure nothing unexpected takes you by surprise.

The Hearing Hazards of Hunting

When discussing firearm safety, hearing protection is often a neglected topic. In addition to proper gun use and storage, protecting yourself from the earsplitting noise of a gunshot is very, very important. Depending on the gun, even a single shot can permanently damage your hearing, and not just any type of hearing protection will do. Because hunters rely on their sense of hearing to track prey, it’s important to choose a type of hearing protection that muffles loud sounds while allowing the softer sounds of the forest to reach the ears. Custom earplugs are a great option — ask your hearing care provider about getting fitted for a pair.

Camping With Hearing Aids

If you’re already a hearing aid user, you may be wondering how to safely camp or backpack with your technology. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your hearing aids. Here are some tips to keep your devices working well in the wilderness:

  • Keep them dry
    • Make sure to pack your cleaning cloth, dehumidifier, and a hat or headband to wear over your ears if it’s chilly, wet, or windy out. Ziploc bags are a handy way to store these items.
  • Keep them cool
    • While exposure to cold can take a toll on any electronic device, heat poses a greater risk to your hearing aids. Remember to remove them if you’ll be sitting close to a blazing campfire, shield them from direct sunlight, and don’t forget them in a hot car.
  • Get a tune-up
    • Before you hit the trails, make an appointment for a thorough clean and check with your hearing care provider. Let them know you’ll be camping and may need some adjustments to account for the difference in environmental noise.
  • Bring extra batteries
    • Traveling always requires additional preparedness, and that goes double when you’re far from civilization. Have a couple of extra packs of batteries just in case and store them in different places to insure you against loss or damage.
  • Use the buddy system
    • Any time you venture into a remote area you should let someone know where you’re going and when to expect your return, even if you’re heading out with a companion. Don’t wander off to gather firewood or scout campsites alone, especially in the dark.

Let us help you make the most of your outdoor excursions. Contact us today to schedule a hearing evaluation or clean and check of your hearing aids.

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, PSAPS & More. What’s the Difference?

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, PSAPS & More. What’s the Difference?

Together, Let’s Cut Through the Confusion

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, PSAPS & More. What’s the Difference?
Q: It sounds like over-the-counter hearing instruments are going to be available soon, but aren’t they already here? I’ve seen various devices advertised, so I’m confused. Help!

A: From over-the-counter hearing aids and personal sound amplification products to self-fitting and direct-to-consumer devices, the growing categories of hearing technology can feel overwhelming. Let’s explore the differences to help you sort fact from fiction and secure the best care for your hearing health.

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

These devices, often simply called “OTCs,” are specific to the United States. They’re an upcoming new class of hearing instruments to be approved and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are aimed to potentially help adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss.

The regulations are still being finalized but are expected in the not-too-distant future. Though their availability may spur more people to get needed hearing help, OTCs have some potential downsides beyond being limited only to adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss:

  • OTCs may not always yield a successful fit — more of a trial-and-error process.
  • They might not align with one’s actual degree of hearing loss, which could be greater than perceived.
  • The self-treating aspect potentially omits a professional diagnostic evaluation that can pinpoint the problem and yield a critical solution.

Personal Sound Amplification Products

Also known as “PSAPs,” personal sound amplification products are wearable electronic devices used only to make a sound louder. Unlike traditional hearing aids or even OTCs, they’re not considered actual medical devices.

Though potentially helpful in normal hearing to amplify sounds in situations such as watching TV, listening for animals during outdoor recreation, or hearing a presenter who’s speaking some distance away, PSAPs can’t take the place of properly fit hearing aids.

In fact, PSAPS:

  • Aren’t recommended to treat actual hearing loss
  • Could cause hearing damage or aggravate existing damage with misuse or overuse
  • Can amplify sounds but typically can’t adjust to the user’s specific hearing loss
  • Bypass the crucial steps of professional testing, programming, fitting, and follow-up

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids

Industry definitions may vary, but self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs) are essentially sound-amplifying devices designed to let the user measure their own hearing loss, install the devices in their ears, and program them without the prescription or assistance of an audiologist, medical doctor, or other specially trained professional.

As a relatively newer product category without a lot of market presence, self-fitting hearing aids have a ways to go in matching the effectiveness and satisfaction of clinician-fitted hearing devices. One study comparing user-driven and provider-driven fittings of a single self-fitting product found no significant hearing-aid-performance differences between the two groups but saw that cognition plays a big role.

In the study, those “with poorer cognitive function consistently exhibited more difficulty in handling the” self-fitting devices. SFHAs require access to, familiarity with, and the ability to understand how to operate and adjust the devices, which could prove challenging for some users struggling with manual dexterity, visual acuity, cognitive issues, or inability to navigate or access computers or apps.

Seeking professional assistance could make all the difference in user satisfaction with SFHAs.

Direct-to-Consumer Devices

Direct-to-consumer instruments or DTCs are largely synonymous with the impending category of over-the-counter hearing aids FDA-approved in the U.S. and are considered medical devices to help address mild to moderate hearing loss among adults.

Sometimes, however, DTCs may simply refer to sound amplifiers available for purchase without a hearing care professional’s prescription. They’re more like PSAPs and aren’t considered medical devices. Clarifying with the source who’s using the term can shed light on the intended definition.

Hearables

This loose category of products also defies a single definition but may best be described as representing wireless in-ear microcomputers. Some hearables are as simple as earbuds that enhance your music-listening experience. Others are hearing aids that double as sophisticated wellness trackers.

Some features you’ll commonly find in different hearables.

  • Connectivity — sync to a smartphone, tablet, or smart-home device.
  • Biometric tracking — track your steps, your heart rate, or even your running pace with sensors embedded in the device.
  • Improved sound quality — benefit from some of the technology driving today’s sophisticated hearing aids, including noise-canceling capabilities.
  • Translation — have another language translated to your own language in real time.

With so many potential self-serve options, you might wonder, “Why choose professional hearing care?” One big reason is the importance of identifying and addressing hearing problems in a way that ensures an appropriate targeted solution for your specific needs.

Self-treating for hearing problems could result in missing key steps, such as a physical exam of your ears. Hearing difficulties can stem from severe earwax buildup, medication, a tumor, or other causes that a professional examination might uncover. Though it may seem convenient, simply buying an OTC might not solve the problem that spurred your search for hearing help.

Are hearing difficulties getting in the way of what matters in your life? Do you need support navigating the plethora of better-hearing options? We’re here to help, so don’t wait.  Contact our highly trained team to schedule an appointment day!

Enjoying the Sand and Waves? Protect Your Hearing Aids!: 8 Simple Do’s & Don’ts

Enjoying the Sand and Waves? Protect Your Hearing Aids!: 8 Simple Do’s & Don’ts

A Little TLC for Your Devices Helps You Seize the Season

Enjoying the Sand and Waves? Protect Your Hearing Aids!: 8 Simple Do’s & Don’ts: Want to help your hearing aids stay in top shape throughout the season? Whether your summer includes playing Marco Polo, setting sail, or just catching some sun on the sand, dive into these quick maintenance tips to keep the fun at hand.

DO

consider using a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier, which not only dries and sanitizes your devices as you sleep but can also double as their regular storage container. Convenient and easy!

DON’T

swim wearing hearing aids or allow water and sand on them. Along with using a dehumidifier, wipe your devices daily with a dry cloth to help clear moisture and debris and reduce the risk of damage.

DO

keep your hearing aids away from the summer heat, which can do a number on them. Pick a cool, dry area for storage, and avoid leaving the devices in a sunny spot or hot car.

DON’T

forget your hearing-aid covers (for behind-the-ear devices), which can help protect against excess moisture when summer heat and activities lead to sweating. The covers help keep out dust and dirt, too.

DO

give your hearing aid batteries a break. Remember at night to remove them from your devices and leave the battery door open, helping reduce moisture and maximize battery life.

DON’T

prematurely pull the stay-fresh tab that helps keep new hearing aid batteries from discharging early. Once the batteries activate, they can’t be deactivated, so first be sure you’re ready to use them.

DO

regularly change the wax guard, helping protect your devices from damaging buildup of wax, skin particles, and other debris. Putting this task on at least a monthly schedule — or when needed — makes for a timely reminder.

DON’T

fit the wrong wax guard to your device. Wax guards come in diverse sizes and types, but not every version is right for your hearing aids. We can provide or help you choose a compatible product.

Summer fun is for everyone, so maximize each day by getting the most from your hearing aids. Think of them as you would your smartphone, keeping them safe from harm’s way, and enjoy your best season yet. For more tips, contact us today!

How to Deal with Earwax

How to Deal with Earwax

When it comes to ear cleaning, be gentle and consider leaving it to the professionals.

How to Deal with Earwax: The general consensus that we shouldn’t insert objects like cotton swabs into the ear canal is good advice, but many people disregard it because they feel they have to clean their ears somehow. So how should you do it? Read on to find out.

Earwax: what it does and where it comes from

The human ear is divided into three sections: the outer, middle, and inner ear.  The main parts of the outer ear are the pinna and canal. Within the canal is the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum. Beyond the eardrum is the middle ear, a small area containing the ossicles that transmit sound vibrations to the inner ear, and the inner ear is home to the snail-shaped organ (cochlea) that sends sound information to the brain.

Earwax is excreted by special glands on the outer part of the ear canal. Its job is to trap debris and microbes before they can travel deeper into the ear. It keeps the skin hydrated and healthy, prevents itching, and repels water. Anyone who has ever had swimmer’s ear can appreciate the protective effects of earwax!

Should you clean your ears?

Because earwax is produced in the outer part of the ear, there is no need to deep clean your ear canals at all. When a blockage does occur and puts pressure on the eardrum, it’s usually because a cotton swab or other object has forced it in deeper than it should be. Earwax naturally travels outward due to the motion of the jaw when talking and eating. It can then be easily washed off with a warm cloth in the shower. As tempting as it may be to dig out the wax before this happens, resist the temptation to swab. You’ll be glad you did.

Some unlucky people do experience an overproduction of earwax and can feel plugged up or experience partial hearing loss due to buildup. In that case, there are a few different solutions.

Place a few drops of a body-safe oil in the ear canal to soften the wax and make it easier to remove. Suitable oils are:

  • Baby
  • Mineral
  • Almond
  • Olive
  • Coconut
  • Jojoba

Disinfectants such as rubbing alcohol and hydrogen/carbamide peroxide can also help remove wax, but be very careful with these because they can have harsh side effects. Alcohol dries out the skin and exacerbates itching, while peroxide can leave the ears wet, which encourages bacterial growth. If any of these substances cause pain, make an appointment with your doctor right away, as this may indicate a perforated eardrum or other injury.

Over-the-counter earwax removal drops are another option, but be advised that many of these are simply repackaged oils or peroxide solutions. It is often cheaper and more practical to make your own.

When is it time to consult a professional?

Anytime you suspect an injury or health condition involving the ears you should make an appointment with an audiologist or ENT. Hearing loss, tinnitus, pain, and fullness in the ears all warrant an investigation. Doctors use a special instrument called a curette to gently remove earwax (also known as cerumen). This may be necessary if the buildup is due to a physical condition such as a narrow ear canal. It’s important that a professional do this for you. Don’t be tempted by digital otoscopes, irrigation kits, or ear candles. They are easy to misuse and can lead to injury.

Earwax is one of the body’s most underappreciated defense mechanisms. Take care of your hearing by being gentle with your ears and letting earwax do its job. If you’re experiencing symptoms of buildup, call now to schedule a consultation and cleaning. We’re here to help!

Are over-the-counter hearing solutions a safe and effective alternative to dedicated hearing care from an audiologist? Let’s find out.

The Importance of Dedicated Hearing Care

The real differences between audiology and over-the-counter solutions

Now that more people are becoming aware of how prevalent hearing loss is, technological solutions are multiplying.

The Importance of Dedicated Hearing Care: Last July, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter. This measure was aimed at lowering the cost of hearing care and, at a glance, it appears to be a good strategy to ensure everyone is covered. But can OTC products ever compete with the knowledge and expertise of a specialist? Additionally, are home solutions even safe? Because you deserve the best hearing care available, here are six reasons to make an appointment with an audiologist instead:

1. Expertise

Both audiologists and hearing aid specialists are licensed to sell hearing aids, but audiologists possess master’s or doctorate degrees in hearing health. Because individuals develop hearing loss in a variety of ways and have unique communication needs, accurately diagnosing hearing loss and selecting the right hearing aids will ensure successful treatment.

2. Fit

To maximize comfort and functionality, hearing aids must be custom fitted to each individual and programmed to support their listening lifestyle. Only a trained audiologist or hearing aid specialist can do this. Additionally, audiologists can monitor your progress over time and make adjustments when necessary. Wearing hearing technology is not a one-and-done solution; it takes time for the body and mind to adjust, and there might be a period of discomfort that requires professional support.

3. Patient-Provider Relationship

Hearing loss is a complex condition. It has many different causes, including simple age-related decline, disorders like Ménière’s disease, and exposure to ototoxic chemicals. There are also many comorbidities associated with hearing loss. An audiologist can diagnose and treat many of these, forming a long-lasting relationship with you that goes beyond simply fitting you with hearing aids.

4. Tinnitus and Balance Support

Hearing loss often occurs alongside tinnitus, which is a persistent ringing, buzzing, or clicking sound in the ear. While the condition is still being researched and is not yet fully understood, what we know about tinnitus so far falls under the expertise of audiologists. And because the inner ear governs the body’s equilibrium, balance issues are often diagnosed and treated by audiologists. Providing support for these conditions is part of our commitment to our patients’ total hearing health.

5. Safety

Aside from the benefits of achieving a better fit and receiving professional support from an audiologist, there is evidence that programming your own hearing technology or choosing a one-size-fits-all solution can actually be harmful. An audiologist will perform a series of tests to assess your hearing loss and ensure your hearing aids meet your needs without being too loud. Hearing technology that amplifies sound too much can further damage your hearing, and an ill-fitting hearing aid can create uncomfortable wax buildup, which might lead to ear infections.

6. Investment

While purchasing an OTC hearing aid may provide considerable savings on upfront costs, seeking treatment through a licensed audiologist is a better investment. From warranty protection to professional cleanings and advice on upgrades, nothing compares to our guarantee of quality. We also know hearing aids can be expensive, so we always do our best to provide affordable solutions, which may include coupons, specials, and financing options. Once you’ve purchased your hearing aids, your treatment plan is put into effect — we will be with you every step of the way on your journey to better hearing and better health.

Whether you are a longtime user of hearing aids or considering them for the first time, there is no better decision you can make for your hearing health than choosing a local audiology practice to perform a hearing evaluation. It’s the right choice for you to be sure that you’re pursuing the very best solution for your hearing loss. Contact us!

Q&A: Is My Dizziness Normal?

Q&A: Is My Dizziness Normal?

Q: Why am I dizzy?

Q&A: Is My Dizziness Normal? A: We receive this question often. Dizziness is a very common symptom that can spontaneously occur and resolve without any underlying conditions. When there is an underlying condition, it can be as simple as hunger or as serious as a stroke. This is why looking up your symptoms online can lead to a heap of unnecessary anxiety! Luckily, there are some additional symptoms to watch for when determining what’s really going on. These are the most common causes of dizziness:

Vestibular Disorders

According to Johns Hopkins, 85% of dizziness and vertigo episodes are caused by physiological dysfunction within the inner ear. This typically occurs because there has been an unexpected shift in the fluid of the semicircular canals above the cochlea, making you feel off-balance or as if you’re in motion. One major clue that you’re dealing with a vestibular disorder is if your dizziness is accompanied by hearing loss or ringing in the ears. Fortunately, these disorders are highly treatable. Audiologists and ENTs can run a battery of tests to determine the exact cause of your dizziness and provide an effective treatment plan, so don’t hesitate to get it checked out.

Hypoglycemia

Whether you’re taking medications to lower your blood sugar or simply haven’t eaten for a while, a dip in glucose can make you feel surprisingly weak and lightheaded. Hypoglycemia is defined as any blood sugar reading under 70 mg/dl, but many people experience dizziness at levels above that, depending on how their bodies respond to hunger. If your dizziness resolves after having a snack, that’s a good indication that you were low on energy and needed a boost. Patients living with diabetes should pay special attention to their dizziness, as medication adjustments may be needed.

Hypotension

Similar to the previous item on this list, dizziness is one of the top symptoms of low blood pressure. This too can be caused by medication, though dehydration is the likelier culprit. When the body loses too many fluids, blood volume decreases, leading to hypotension. Many people also experience a drop in blood pressure after suddenly changing positions or spending long periods of time on their feet. This condition is known as orthostatic hypotension and is usually mild. Replenishing your fluids and resting in a comfortable position should help.

Anxiety

A keyed-up nervous system can cause pretty severe dizziness and disorientation. It’s even possible to experience fainting spells during an anxiety attack. This may happen because of a frightening event, post-traumatic stress, or an accidental triggering of the body’s fight-or-flight response. Rest assured that many, many people live with chronic anxiety. However, if you suspect your dizziness is the result of emotional distress, it’s important to rule out other causes first. Be sure to discuss testing and treatment options with your physician.

Q: When should I tell a doctor about my dizziness?

A: As soon as you feel it’s more than a passing annoyance. While dizziness is one of the most common patient complaints and is usually nothing to worry about, it can lead to falls. The older you are, the more dangerous falls become, so take dizziness seriously if it occurs often or disrupts your daily life. The bottom line is: You know your body better than anyone else. When in doubt, seeking a professional opinion is never a bad idea. Always get immediate medical attention if your dizziness is severe or accompanied by any of these signs of a stroke or heart attack:

  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Impaired mobility
  • Sudden confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Did You Know?

• Dizziness is the third most common complaint (after headaches and lower back pain) in all age groups.
• Dizziness is the number-one complaint from people who are 70 and older.
• 85% of dizziness & vertigo is caused by inner-ear dysfunction.
• 25% of migraine sufferers report vertigo as a symptom.
• Most patients visit 4 to 5 physicians before a correct diagnosis is made.
• Falls are the leading cause of death for people who are 65 and older.

If you’re suffering from dizziness or think you may be experiencing a vestibular disorder, please don’t wait. Contact us today to get your questions answered or to schedule an exam. We’re HEAR to help!

Traveling? 8 Tips for Better Hearing on the Go

Traveling? 8 Tips for Better Hearing on the Go

From Loops to Batteries, We’re Covering the Bases

Traveling? 8 Tips for Better Hearing on the Go: Hearing devices help you communicate your best no matter where you are, so it’s especially important to lean into them when traveling. Make those unforgettable on-the-go moments even more special with these helpful reminders.

1. Get to Know Your Hearing Devices

Your hearing aids likely come chock-full of features — some you might not have fully explored just yet. Options may include streaming, geotagging, and controlling the devices through your compatible smartphone or tablet. Take time now to get to truly know your hearing technology for a better experience on the road.

2. Pack Extra Batteries

Keeping your hearing aids powered is even easier when you bring an extra supply of batteries — just in case. And be sure to remove batteries from your hearing devices when they’re not in use. If you’re using rechargeable hearing aids, it’s a good idea to have an extra charger on hand specifically for travel.

3. Remember Your Storage Container

Just like at home, your hearing devices need proper storage when not in use. In order to prevent damage or misplacement, protect them from moisture, small pets, and kiddos. Dehumidifiers made especially for the devices will not only dry and sanitize them; they’ll do double duty as convenient storage containers.

4. Change the Wax Guard

Your hearing device’s wax guard serves as an important protection against a damaging buildup of wax, skin particles, and other debris. If it’s been close to a month or more since you last changed out the wax guard, take care of this easy maintenance task before you go, and pack a couple of extra guards.

5. Include a Quick-Cleaning Kit

Dust and dirt can make their way onto your hearing devices, but a small cleaning kit is just the thing. Wipe the earmold — if it’s part of your device — with a soft, dry cloth; carefully brush over the microphone and battery contacts with a soft-bristle brush; and use a wax pick to remove earwax from the earmold.

6. Add Your Bluetooth Gear

From table microphones to phone clips, TV streamers, and more, Bluetooth-enabled accessories that work with your hearing devices can go a long way toward enhancing your communication and enjoyment. Make sure they’re part of your checklist.

7. Get Yourself in the Loop

Some museums, theaters, houses of worship, and other spaces have installed hearing loops, letting visitors enjoy enhanced audio by wirelessly connecting through the T-coil setting on their hearing aids. Look for the hearing loop logo, or ask the info desk if they’re a participating venue.

8. Protect Your Hearing

A new environment can mean new or unexpected sounds — some of which may hit the danger zone of 85 decibels or higher, which can harm your hearing. Avoiding excess noise when possible and bringing quality hearing protection that softens loud sounds can help guard your hearing health while on the go.

Taking to the skies? As of this writing, it’s A-OK to bring your hearing devices through airport screening and wear them during your flight. It’s always good to check with relevant authorities in advance, however, if you’re flying out of the U.S. or Canada.

Want more travel tips? Need custom hearing protection or accessories, such as wax guards and a cleaning kit? We’re here to help. Contact our caring team today!

Allergies and Hearing Loss

Allergies and Hearing Loss — What’s the Connection?

A: This is a great question! Let’s start with some allergy basics.

 

Allergies

An allergy is when your body’s defenses overreact to something that is not typically harmful. These are called allergens, and common ones include latex, pet dander, and peanuts.

When you come across an allergen, your immune system goes into defensive mode. Chemicals called histamines flood your body and where you encountered the allergen.

 

The Allergic Response

Histamines are like security guards — once released, they do what’s needed to remove the allergen. Reactions such as inflammation, itchiness, and excess mucus production result. But how does this cause hearing loss?

 

Seasonal Allergies and Hearing Loss

Because the allergic reactions leading to hearing loss so often involve seasonal allergies, that’s where we’ll focus. Other allergies, such as those triggered by mold or pets, would also work as examples.

 

The outer ear

Let’s use pollen as our allergen example. We’ll begin with the effects on the outer ear:

  • Pollen lands in or near your ear canal
  • Histamines kick into high gear and try to remove the allergen
  • Inflammation, itching, and possibly swelling begin
  • A strong enough reaction blocks sound trying to get to your eardrum
  • Hearing loss is the result

 

The middle ear

Continuing with pollen as our allergen example, let’s look at the effects on the middle ear:

  • Pollen lands in your nostril or nasal passage
  • Histamines kick into high gear and try to remove the allergen
  • Inflammation and excessive mucus production begin
  • Mucus builds up in your middle ear
  • Your Eustachian tube, which drains excess mucus from your middle ear, becomes blocked (from inflammation or mucus)
  • Discomfort, hearing loss, or an infection result

 

The inner ear

Finally, continuing with pollen, the effects of allergies on the inner ear are:

  • Pollen lands in your nostril or nasal passage
  • Histamines kick into high gear and try to remove the allergen
  • Inflammation and excessive mucus production begin
  • These have been known to worsen symptoms of other ear-related problems, such as Ménière’s disease, which includes symptoms such as hearing loss, balance issues, and tinnitus

 

As you can see, it’s simple cause and effect — and the cause is usually inflammation, mucus, or a combination of both in the tiny passageways in your ears.

 


Contact us today if you think your hearing issue could be more than the temporary effects of seasonal allergies!

Give Mom the Gift of Better Hearing This Mother’s Day

Give Mom the Gift of Better Hearing This Mother’s Day

Hearing on Her Terms Makes Moments More Special

Moms are a busy bunch.

These duty-juggling, many-hats-wearing heroes can be hard-pressed to find time for themselves. So whether they’re hitting the dance floor, perfecting their golf game, catching up with a BFF, or scaling a rock wall, they can enjoy those special moments even more with healthy hearing. And you can help!

 

Recognizing the Signs

Is your mom, or a mom you know, missing out on the sounds of her life? Potential hearing loss has many signs. She may often turn up the TV, say “Huh?” or “What?” in response to clear questions, and have trouble following phone conversations or video calls.

Withdrawal from social situations can also signify a hearing issue. Your mom might not even realize she’s pulling away from her life. And it’s not uncommon for people to put off life-changing hearing help for more than a decade even after a diagnosis of hearing loss.

Mom might need a loving nudge in the right direction.

 

Better Hearing, Better Life

The benefits of seeking hearing care can go far beyond better communication. We love seeing patients reconnect with family, friends, and favorite hobbies thanks to a whole new world of sound in their lives.

And with hearing loss linked to other conditions, including dementia, cardiovascular disease, depression, and falls, it’s encouraging that a growing body of research connects improved hearing to better cognitive health and other benefits.

 

Modern, Invisible Technology

The traditional barriers to seeking hearing care — feeling stigmatized for needing a hearing aid, for example — are things of the past. Today’s technology is not only practically invisible, but it also works seamlessly and continuously with the environment to maximize the wearer’s experience no matter where they go.

 

Some of today’s sophisticated hearing instruments can even work alone or with apps on compatible smartphones and tablets, handling activities such as:

  • Conveniently controlling hearing aid settings through the smartphone or tablet
  • Streaming TV, music, phone calls, and other audio straight to the ears
  • Tracking brain and body health to help with fitness planning
  • Communicating with people of other languages through real-time translation
  • Enjoying remote care — including professional hearing aid adjustments — in the comfort of home

 


Reuniting your mom with the sounds she loves could be just a visit away. Contact us today to schedule a hearing consultation that could change her life. We’re here to help!

Whether you’re new to growing food or it’s been your jam for ages, we can’t wait to tell you about these five superstars for healthy hearing. Gardening For Hearing!

Gardening For Hearing!

Get in the Dirt With These Five Ear-Resistible Plants

Nothing says springtime like seedlings and fresh compost for a bountiful new season in the garden. Planning your homegrown fruits and vegetables? Consider these yard-to-table superstars to help support healthy hearing.

 

Blueberries

Who can resist a batch of berries just waiting to jump into a smoothie, pie, or stack of pancakes? Songbirds love to snack on them, too. And blueberries offer vitamin C, which, when combined with magnesium and vitamins A and E, may help thwart noise-induced hearing loss.

Try This: Simple Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup rinsed, stemmed blueberries from the garden
  • 2 cups dairy, rice, soy, or almond milk, your choice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Sprig of lavender

Mix first 5 ingredients in blender until smooth. Garnish with lavender, and enjoy. Makes about 2 servings.

 

Kale

The always-reliable kale’s versatility — use it solo or in soups, salads, lasagna, and more — is matched only by its hardiness. This timeless leafy green includes folate — which, when ingested frequently, may help reduce the risk of hearing loss in older men.

 

Pumpkins

Direct-sow this favorite no earlier than late May for summer or fall harvesting. Freshly collected pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which supports the immune system and — in an oral-medication form — might help improve tinnitus.

 

Tomatoes

The tomato, a garden staple, has earned its place as a fruit to cultivate. It’s rich in a wealth of nutrients, including potassium, an important mineral for regulating blood and tissue fluid levels — including in the inner ear, which plays an important role in hearing and balance.

 

Asparagus

This vegetable can take time to cultivate — a few years may pass before the first harvest — but, boy, is it worth the wait! It’s delicious, it offers an opportunity to grow a prized veggie that can be a little expensive at the store, and it provides another source of folate, the benefits of which are discussed above.

 

“Asparagus can take time to cultivate, but,
boy, is it worth the wait!”

 


 

Have a gardening tip to share? Want to learn more about eating for healthy hearing? We love sharing healthful ideas that you can use. So contact us today!