Tag: hearing loss

Playing to Win Could Mean Hearing Loss

Contact Sports and Hearing Loss

Playing to Win Could Mean Hearing Loss

Soccer is winding down. Hockey and basketball are revving up. College and NFL football are in full swing. Must mean summer is in the rearview mirror.

It also means pickup games galore, such as basketball, flag football, and street hockey — and more debates over concussions in contact sports.

But two symptoms of concussion that don’t get much press are hearing loss and tinnitus.

 

Sports and Concussions

Sports-related concussions are not rare — 1.6 million to 3.8 million occur annually in the U.S. And in the age range 5–19 years, there were around 46,000 diagnosed concussions in 2016 and 2017 in hospital emergency departments in Canada.

A concussion is serious business. Consider its other definition: The least severe type of TBI — short for traumatic brain injury. The CDC explains TBI as “an injury that affects how the brain works.”

 

Concussions and Your Hearing System

Your hearing system’s setup makes it susceptible to damage by a concussion, especially in contact sports. The part of your brain that processes sound is located at the side of your head, about ear level. Prime real estate for an impact.

The force necessary for a concussion can damage or break any of the tiny bones in your middle ear or inner ear.

Plus, there are more nerves connecting your ear and brain than there are for your other senses. It’s a dense net traveling between your ear, brainstem, midbrain, and cortex. These nerves take quite a pounding when your head suffers an impact — the force jostles your brain, stretching, shearing, or possibly destroying your nerve fibers.

Sound processing is demanding on your nervous system. It’s also very fast — things happen in microseconds. If a concussion damages your nerve fibers or causes inflammation and bruising, your hearing suffers.

 

How Concussions Affect Your Hearing

It’s common for those with sports-related concussions to hear quiet noises just fine, but then have trouble understanding speech in a noisy environment like, at a restaurant or a game.

Other possible problems include:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Hearing loss
  • Sound sensitivity
  • A feeling like your ears need to pop but can’t
  • Problems understanding speech despite passing a hearing test

 

Symptoms of Concussion

After a head injury, concussion symptoms might appear right away or not for hours or days. They usually improve over time — often you’ll feel better within a couple of weeks.

Symptoms are different for each person and might change during recovery. For example, your symptoms might be physical early on, only to become more emotional a week or two after your injury.

Common symptoms include:

  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Trouble with thinking or memory
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Mood swings

 

If You Suspect a Concussion

Unfortunately, contact sports and head injuries are a natural fit. Even a helmet or some other type of head protection only goes so far.

If you think a head injury has led to a concussion, see a physician right away. You’ll receive a neurological evaluation that measures your vision, hearing, balance, and coordination responses. You’ll also receive cognitive tests to ensure your thinking hasn’t been affected.

You might also get imaging tests such as cranial computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These identify any physical injury or bleeding inside your skull.

You need to be supervised for 24 hours, possibly in the hospital but most likely by a loved one in the comfort of your own home. This is to ensure the symptoms don’t worsen. The most common treatment for a concussion is rest and avoiding strenuous activity.

 


 

If you’ve had a concussion and suspect you’ve developed hearing loss or tinnitus, contact us to schedule a hearing consultation.

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!

This Mask Supports Effective Communication

This Mask Supports Effective Communication

Which Mask Can Help You Be Heard?

You probably chose your go-to masks based on safety and comfort. However, communicating while wearing a mask can be tricky — so how do you know which type of mask is best for helping others understand you?

A team at Washington University conducted a study to answer just that question. But before we look at the study, let’s try to understand why your choice of mask would even matter.

 

How Masks Affect Communication

Muffling your voice

Singing in the shower sounds different than singing in the living room. Your voice bounces off mirrors, porcelain, tile, and glass differently than it does off carpet, upholstery, electronics, and your pets’ fur.

Speaking into a mask is no different. Woven cloth interacts with the sound of your voice one way, and the material in surgical masks affects your voice in a different way.

They all, however, muffle sounds at high frequencies. You can start mistaking one word for another; “cat” sounds like “hat,” and “top” sounds like “pop.” What sets one type of mask apart from another is how often this happens.

 

Covering up nonverbal cues

Your face gives many nonverbal cues as you talk or react to what others say. But when you wear a mask, your eyes and eyebrows are the only source for these cues. One type of mask tries to solve that problem by using a large transparent panel so that others can see your mouth as you speak.

 

The Findings of the Mask Study

The study setup

The team at Washington University studied speech understanding using four kinds of masks: surgical, cloth with an inserted filter, cloth without an inserted filter, and transparent.

A researcher read sentences unmasked and then while wearing each of the four mask types. The participants, none of whom had hearing loss, wrote down what they heard and how hard they had to work to hear it. Then they heard the sentences spoken with three different levels of background noise.

 

General results

When there was no background noise, participants understood every sentence. It didn’t make a difference if the speaker wore a mask or not.

When background noise entered the picture, however, the differences between the masks were clear. Communication was easiest through a surgical mask. A cloth mask (no filter) was second-best. Tied for last place were the transparent mask and the cloth mask with a filter.

 

The unexpected result

The big surprise was the transparent mask. When background noise was at its peak, only about 30% of what was said was understood. The plastic panel affected speech more than the other mask materials. But it also obscured nonverbal cues and lip-reading — because fog developed on the panel.

In fact, the researcher who read the sentences aloud had this to say about transparent masks: “They’re super uncomfortable and wet. They’re pretty gross.”

 

The winner

The surgical mask came out on top. It provided more than 50% accuracy of understanding in loud noise, and it took less effort to achieve that level of understanding.

It should come as no surprise that surgical masks won — they’ve been used for decades in settings requiring a sterile environment and clear communication, such as operating rooms and dentist chairs.

 


 

Have you been having more trouble than usual navigating the world of mask wearers? Contact us to schedule a hearing consultation!

Communication Tips

5 Ways to Help Others With Hearing Loss

5 Ways to Help Others With Hearing Loss

Getting treated for hearing loss can be such a life-changing experience that it’s only natural to want to share the sense of independence, reconnection, and other positive outcomes that can go hand in hand with improved hearing. These five tips can help you pay your better-hearing success forward, inspiring others living with hearing difficulties to get the help they need.

 

1. Share Your Story

Research indicates hearing-aid wearers on average waited over a decade after a hearing loss diagnosis before getting the proper hearing technology. That’s a lot of time spent potentially missing out on important moments in life — not to mention the physical, mental, social, and even financial consequences linked to untreated hearing issues.

What if sharing your experience could motivate others to walk their own better-hearing path a lot sooner? Consider telling your inspiring story — whether virtually or in person — to neighborhood groups, senior-living gatherings, community sports teams, and other audiences eager to learn. Moving even one person with hearing loss to take action is time well spent.

 

2. Be the Companion  

Seeking hearing help is a big, empowering step, made even easier with the support of friends and family who not only want the best for the people they care about but who are also affected when those loved ones have unaddressed hearing loss.

If you’ve had a companion at hearing care appointments, you may already appreciate the power of having that emotional support, an additional perspective on your hearing needs, or a familiar voice for test-driving hearing technology. Imagine the satisfaction of being that companion for someone else.

 

3. Lend Your Skills

Whether streaming from media devices, connecting to hearing loops, interfacing with smart-home technology, providing fall detection, or translating other languages, today’s cutting-edge hearing aids bring their A-game, but knowing how to work them is key.

As hearing care professionals, we love helping patients get the most out of their hearing devices, but sharing your own tips, tricks, favorite apps, and compatible smartphone settings can also go a long way. If you know someone who might benefit from your helpful discoveries, consider offering a hand today.

 

4. Donate Your Hearing Aids

Ever wondered whether your used hearing aids could help someone else in need? They sure can! An estimated 466 million children and adults around the globe have disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization, and some have benefited from pre-owned hearing technology.

If you have an old set of hearing aids taking up space in a drawer or are thinking of upgrading your current ones to newer technology, please let us know. We may be running periodic donation drives or can help connect you with charitable organizations seeking used devices.

 

5. Remember Self-Care

In the excitement of a new year, you might forget to keep your own hearing health at its best. But as you plan upcoming adventures and begin working on your New Year’s resolutions, it’s a perfect reason to get your hearing — and your hearing technology — checked.

Not only do adults treated for hearing loss report significant improvements in relationships, mental health, social engagement, and other crucial areas, but their loved ones report improvements, too. So take care of yourself — for them and for you.

 

What if sharing your experiences could motivate others to walk their own better-hearing path? Consider telling your story to neighborhood groups and other audiences eager to learn.

 


 

Has it been a while since your last hearing evaluation? Do you have a loved one experiencing listening difficulties of their own? Don’t wait. Please contact our caring team today. We’re here to help!

6 Inspirational Latinos and Hispanics With Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Affects More Than Your Ears

Did you know there’s a high prevalence of hearing loss in the Hispanic and Latino population in the U.S.? Untreated hearing loss is linked to decreased cognitive function in this same population, so breaking down barriers to seeking treatment is crucial. And a good place to start is inspiring stories.

To mark National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., which begins in September, and Latin American Heritage Month in Canada, which is in October, let’s look at some important Hispanics and Latinos with hearing loss.

Alex Lacamoire

Musical director of Hamilton, In the Heights, and Wicked

This Cuban American musical natural began studying classical piano at the age of 4 — around the same time his family started speculating that he had hearing loss. At age 13, he performed at the largest concert hall in Mérida, at the Autonomous University of Yucatán in Mexico. By the time he was in high school, he had hearing aids but wouldn’t wear them (he eventually came around). The Berklee College of Music graduate would go on to earn Kennedy Center Honors and win multiple Tonys, several Grammys, and other notable awards.Francisco Goya

Influential painter and printmaker

Goya is considered the most influential Spanish artist of the late 1700s and early 1800s. His body of work reflects the shift to a more modern approach in art. In fact, he paved the way for the likes of Édouard Manet and Pablo Picasso. It was in 1792 or 1793, during his time as a court painter in the royal household, that he suffered an undiagnosed illness that left him permanently deaf. Within a few years, he would assume the title of first court painter under King Charles IV in 1799.

Luis Miguel

Wildly popular singer and performer

Luis Miguel, a Puerto Rican-born Mexican singer who is often called El Sol de México, is widely considered the most successful musical artist in Latin American history. He’s the only Latin-music singer of his generation who did not become a crossover sensation for English-speaking audiences in the 1990s. Decades of performing took its toll, and he now experiences tinnitus, a condition in which a ringing, buzzing, pulsing, or other noise is heard with no external source.

Natália Martins

Professional volleyball player

Brazilian Natália Martins was only 6 years old when she was first fitted with hearing aids to correct her 70% hearing loss. Now, 30 years later, she is Brazil’s first-ever volleyball player with hearing loss to play professionally or to make it on her country’s national team. She played on several leading Brazilian teams before recently deciding to join a premier league in Romania. She is a brand ambassador for Sonova, which in 2020 released a short film about her life.

Stephanie Nogueras

Actor, mentor, and consultant

This Puerto Rican American actor was born profoundly deaf. Right after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology, she headed to Hollywood and, within six months, had landed a recurring role as Natalie Pierce on the TV show Switched at Birth and a role on one episode of Grimm. Since then, acting has kept her busy. She also teaches American Sign Language (ASL), mentors families of deaf children in Los Angeles County, and serves as a consultant and ASL coach for TV and film.

Dr. Robert Davila

Former Gallaudet University president (2007–2009)

As a young boy, Robert Davila, who was born in California to Mexican-American parents, had a sporadic education, as his family moved with the seasons. When he was 8, however, a severe case of spinal meningitis left him deaf, and he was sent north to the California School for the Deaf (CSD), where he thrived. He learned both English and ASL, graduated with honors, and went on to earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. He became president of Gallaudet University, a premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing, after a lifetime of education in both teaching and administration.

Feeling inspired to take that first step to better hearing? Contact us today!

6 Ways to Keep Your Hearing Loss From Getting Worse

6 Ways to Keep Your Hearing Loss From Getting Worse

6 Ways to Keep Your Hearing Loss From Getting Worse

Looking Out for Your Hearing Health Is Even Easier Than You Think

If you have hearing loss, you’re not alone. With an estimated 466 million children and adults living with disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization, it’s one of the most common chronic physical conditions around the globe.

Though most types of hearing loss cannot be reversed, they can often be successfully managed with today’s innovative technology. And there are empowering ways you can keep your hearing loss from getting worse. Read on for six tips to do just that.

  • Avoid Noisy Environments

Among the most preventable causes of hearing loss, harmful noise levels — especially those reaching 85 decibels or higher — can do a number on your ears. The damage could be temporary or permanent. And it can worsen with greater noise exposure. When possible, avoiding harmful noise levels altogether is the best bet.

  • Wear Hearing Protection

Of course, avoiding excess noise isn’t always practical — especially if it’s part of your occupation. Whether you’re working around jet engines, calling games amid the whistles and cheers of a packed arena, or operating machinery at a farm, workplaces can be loud. That’s where hearing protection comes in. We recommend custom protection for even more effectiveness and a secure fit.

  • Address Earwax Buildup

Excess cerumen, or earwax buildup, can also be the culprit in worsening hearing loss. Typically your ears naturally push out excess wax, but sometimes the accumulation can form a blockage. To remove an earwax plug, gently soften it with drops of warmed olive oil, almond oil water, or a commercial solution — as long as you don’t have an eardrum perforation.

  • Beware of Ototoxicity

Some medications, including certain drugs used to fight cancer, can be ototoxic, or damaging to the inner ear, potentially leading to hearing loss or worsening of existing hearing difficulties. Rather than stopping the medication if prescribed, talk to your doctor or another provider about the risks, potential alternatives, and possible ways to mitigate any threats to your hearing.

  • Think Total Wellness

It’s easy to think of hearing loss as just an isolated challenge, but it can go hand in hand with other conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, dementia, and other health problems. Though cause and effect aren’t necessarily conclusive in all cases of hearing loss, staying dedicated to total wellness can potentially go a long way toward helping preserve your current hearing levels.

  • Lean Into Technology

As mentioned early in this story, today’s exciting, advanced technology plays a big role in successfully managing hearing loss. With the help of a licensed hearing care professional and solutions tailored to your needs, you can discover a whole new world of sound. Using hearing technology also helps you preserve the hearing you have.

So don’t wait. Take steps to preserve your hearing today. If it’s been a while since your last hearing check, or your current hearing devices don’t seem to help as much as they used to, contact us for an evaluation. We’re committed to helping you hear your best!

Illustration of people adding app blocks to a larger than life smartphone

6 Smartphone Apps to Help Boost Your Communication

Want to feel even more connected to the world around you through the power of sound? There’s an app for that!

Actually, we’ve compiled a list of six apps that can help support your communication wellness.

    • 1. Live Transcribe

      This Google app for Android-powered smartphones doesn’t translate but does transcribe in-person conversations in real time. The program — developed with Gallaudet University, the renowned U.S. school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students — can turn speech from more than 70 languages and dialects into text on your phone’s screen in a matter of seconds, facilitating communication with quick, helpful captions. It even supports bilingual chats, letting you toggle between languages, and allows you to type your responses rather than speak them if so desired. Bonus: The app can also notify you of important sounds — the beep of a smoke alarm, for example — in your home.

 

    • 2. NIOSH Sound Level Meter

      Though it can’t replace professional instruments or expert opinion, this app uses your compatible mobile device’s built-in microphone to measure the sound level in your environment. On a global scale, some researchers estimate that 16 to 24 percent of hearing loss is associated with occupational noise. Excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss, making it important to know the sound levels where you potentially spend a lot of time — at work — so you can curb your risk. The app can also help approximate noise at stores, restaurants, or anywhere else you may need to protect your hearing.

 

    • 3. SoundWatch

      How does artificial intelligence right at your wrist sound? This exciting smartwatch-based application can alert you to the sounds around you, making daily life even easier. The application, developed especially for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, uses machine learning to alert the user to certain types of sounds they can preselect — a car honk, a cat’s meow, a baby cry, or running water, for example. It’s not for emergencies or other high-risk situations but could help enhance general awareness of your environment.

 

    • 4. Marlee Signs

      This app for children and adults teaches basic American Sign Language (ASL) with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf. ASL, common in the U.S. and Canada, offers a way to connect with others regardless of their hearing ability but can be especially useful for those who are or have friends or loved ones who are deaf or have a severe to profound hearing loss. Other ASL-instruction apps are also available, so consider using a few different ones to explore finger-spelling, conversational signing, building vocabulary, helping babies communicate, and more.

 

    • 5. SoundPrint

      This app takes noise measurement to a whole other level with its decibel meter coupled with the ability to upload results to the user community via a searchable database. Users can look for restaurants, gyms, subways, and other spots by categories such as “quiet,” “moderate,” “loud,” or “very loud” sound-level ratings. Like the NIOSH Sound Level Meter, SoundPrint doesn’t replace a professional device, but it may help approximate noise levels in a given space.

 

  • 6. AGX® Online Hearing Quiz

    OK, this one isn’t an app, but it’s just as convenient. The AGX Online Hearing Quiz — developed with audiology experts — takes only two minutes and provides a quick snapshot of your general hearing ability based on three broad aspects: the listening environment, the different tones you can hear, and your ability to hear speech amid noise. It doesn’t replace a true diagnostic hearing exam, but it will indicate if you can benefit from further testing.

As with any app, availability, functionality, and cost can change. The mobile apps listed above are free as of this writing, but compatibility with iOS- or Android- powered phones, tablets, or watches can vary per program, so be sure to read about them in the relevant online app store for more details.

Have questions about using apps with your hearing device? We’re here to help. Contact our caring team today!


Find Your Favorites

A whole world of apps awaits, so don’t hesitate to build your own list of healthy-hearing faves. Get started with these simple tips:

  • Search by keyword, developer name, app title, or product category to turn up results you may want to check out.
  • Carefully read the app description and system requirements. Some apps might also offer a demo you can preview before buying or downloading.
  • Learn what others think of the app by reading users’ comments and professional reviews that may be available online.
Illustrations of scientists in white coats checking beakers full of fluid

Today’s Hearing Research Offers Hope for the Future

Scientists. They’re just like us: always looking for ways to help people hear and live their best. It starts with uncovering the mysteries of hearing loss, which can require a lot of resources. That’s why we love seeing important research initiatives get the funding needed to move forward.

Check out these three exciting developments:

AUDITORY PROCESSING

Can stress early in life affect children’s ability to make sense of what they hear? A $2.3 million grant awarded by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health will help Northeast Ohio Medical University explore just that. The funding will help power an investigation into the role of early-life stress on auditory processing — especially among children with conductive hearing loss. Per the school’s website, the research in part “will provide a focus for future experiments to determine how best to remediate these perceptual problems in children.”

HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS

Certain chemotherapy drugs can be life-saving for patients but potentially harmful to the ears. A $5.7 million U.S. National Cancer Institute grant will help researcher Lois B. Travis, M.D., Sc.D., at the Indiana University School of Medicine continue an ongoing investigation. The study, aimed to “evaluate long-term health outcomes for cancer patients who receive platinum-based chemotherapies,” may help provide some important answers regarding potential links between the cancer treatment and conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus. It eventually could help experts identify not only those at greater risk of the harmful side effects but also ways to reduce such risks.

HEARING HEALTH & COVID-19

Amid increasing reports of potential links between COVID-19 and hearing loss, the U.K.’s University of Manchester is taking a deeper look. With support from donors, the school’s Manchester Centre for Audiology and Deafness is exploring the disease’s long-term effect on hearing ability among adults. More than 10% of respondents treated for COVID-19 had reported tinnitus or decreased hearing in a previous study by one of the investigators. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the current research, which might offer additional solutions for protecting and preserving hearing health.


Did you know? Today’s better-hearing solutions are a testament to the tireless research that has helped make them possible. Discover the benefits firsthand by scheduling a hearing evaluation with our highly trained team. We can’t wait to see you!

Illustration of holiday table full of treats

Diabetes and Your Hearing | Diabetes-Friendly Recipe

Diabetes and Your Hearing

Did you know hearing loss and diabetes have something surprising in common?

Sure, they’re both health issues affecting millions of people around the world: Hearing loss affects 466 million worldwide, and diabetes affects 422 million people worldwide, per the World Health Organization. But they have even more in common.

Hearing Loss Is Linked to Diabetes

Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes. Even among adults with prediabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30 percent higher than those with normal blood-sugar levels. What’s the connection? Researchers are always fine-tuning their knowledge, but poor blood flow to the inner ear does play a role.

Diabetes-related hearing loss can affect one or both ears, may occur gradually or suddenly, and may or may not have related balance problems.

How You Can Fight Back

You don’t have to let diabetes get the best of your hearing — fight back by reducing your overall risk of hearing loss:

  • Keep up the good work managing your diabetes in collaboration with your medical doctor.
  • Avoid loud noise. Use hearing protection if that’s not possible. Excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.
  • Avoid using tobacco, which increases the risk of hearing loss.
  • Stay physically active, because excess weight affects your hearing.
  • Have your hearing evaluated by a licensed audiologist at least once a year — just like regular eye and teeth care — for early testing, detection, and treatment of any problems.

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet, which is crucial for managing diabetes, is also crucial for optimal ear functioning. During the autumn and winter, when we’re all a little more prone to snacking on sweets, is a prime time for this peanut butter and banana oat bite recipe from the American Diabetes Association.

Peanut Butter & Banana Oat Bites

Ingredients
1 egg
1 ripe banana (mashed)
1/2 cups peanut butter (heated in microwave for 30 seconds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar blend
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together wet ingredients and Splenda Brown Sugar blend.
  • In a small bowl mix together remaining dry ingredients.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well.
  • Scoop batter into 1 Tbsp. balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack.

Head to the recipe page on their website for nutrition information. Plus, there are plenty of additions, substitutions, and raves below the recipe in their Reviews section!

Take control of your overall health and wellness with an annual hearing exam. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!