The Role Of Nutrition In Healthy Hearing

You are what you eat. If you are suffering from hearing loss it could be caused by your diet. Studies have confirmed that hearing loss and poor nutrition go hand in hand. Diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates don’t just give you bad long-term health, they can negatively impact your hearing. High cholesterol is another cause of hearing loss. So a healthy body leads to healthy hearing, so the doctors tell us. But are you listening? Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States, but few people are aware that changing their nutrition can help guard against it.

Listen to your body

Most people are concerned about their weight. Being slim makes you feel good. Listen to those compliments like, “Looks like you lost some weight.” If you are not able to hear these compliments well then it’s another warning sign that your diet may be affecting your hearing. So if you want to kill several birds with one stone, watch what you eat. Also watch what you don’t eat. Studies have found that deficiencies in certain nutrients can impair hearing by as much as 39% while increasing these nutrients can protect your hearing by as much as 20%. Research has shown that folic acid deficiency specifically has been linked with high-frequency hearing loss.

Diet protects your hearing

Free radicals are toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism. They can cause significant damage to living cells. The vitamins and minerals your body uses to counteract this ‘oxidative stress’ are called antioxidants. Free radicals are everywhere and cannot be avoided, but the damage they cause to you increases with poor nutrition and stress. So combating free radicals with antioxidants not only protects hearing but has many other health benefits.

An antioxidant rich diet can also help fight against toxicity, and prevent damage to your inner ear. Antioxidants are found in high quantities in healthy leafy greens and other foods; lentils, some beans and certain fruits. Substituting high sugar and high cholesterol foods with these nutritious foods can contribute significantly to preserving your hearing and fighting off free radicals. Other foods that cause inflammation include the usual suspects; fatty meats, processed foods, etc.

Ensuring proper nutrition to protect and preserve hearing can be helped easily by visiting a nutritionist along with your annual checkup with your audiologist, at Clarisound.

A healthy diet is an important part of your life, whether you are suffering from hearing loss or not. Good nutrition helps good hearing. Both will improve your quality of life.

 

Does the early fitting of hearing aid(s) result in increased patient benefit and/or improved cost-effectiveness of the service?

The benefits to you of wearing a hearing aid is the difference between your life with or without one. A good hearing care consultant will demonstrate to you the changes you will experience when you start to wear a hearing aid. Then it’s up to you to decide if the benefits are enough to buy a hearing aid.

Are you sure you are losing your hearing?

If you keep thinking that you have one illness or another you will spend your whole life running to see a doctor. It’s the same with hearing loss. Don’t waste your time, or the time of a hearing care consultant. If you think you really are suffering from even mild hearing loss get a check up. At Clarisound it’s free, quick and will make positive differences to your quality of life.

The earlier the better

Several studies have documented the impact of untreated hearing loss; significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other psychosocial disorders for people with hearing loss who were not wearing hearing aids. A study by the US government found that people identified early had greater benefit through additional years of use as well as better adaptation to use than those of the same age and hearing impairment who were fitted with hearing aids later.

Systematic screening for hearing loss

Health professionals in general and audiologists in particular, are faced with unprecedented pressures to demonstrate the efficacy of the services they are providing. A good audiologist will assess the effectiveness for a patient who starts to wear hearing aids. This is done in at least two different directions; functional impact and the impact on the quality of your life. Functional impact restores your hearing to it’s previous norm. This means that the quality of your conversations and ability to enjoy every day experiences will also be restored.

Costs effective hearing

The costs of hearing loss to you include loss of productivity. This can lead to unemployment and premature retirement among people. Then there is the societal cost resulting from social isolation, communication difficulties and stigma. These costs are calculated on the basis of the monetary value attached to avoidance of a year lived with hearing loss. Think about it. A small spend on a good quality hearing aid can have significant cost savings for you.

Hearing aids range in price and quality. Finding the right hearing aid, or hearing aids, for you depends on realisation and acceptance of hearing loss. The sooner you get your hearing checked the better, for you.

 

 

 

Hearing On Holiday!

Holidays should be enjoyed. If you are suffering from hearing loss then this may affect your holiday experience. Whether you are working or retired a holiday is a break somewhere else. Traditionally, holidays were for relaxing. Nowadays holidays can take the form of adventures, sports or other activities. If you wear a hearing aid or hearing aids don’t forget to pack them when you travel. Plugs, batteries, charger and adapter too!

 Before your holidays

If you are a hearing aid user, make sure you go for regular check-ups with your hearing healthcare professional, Clarisound. It’s important to make sure your hearing devices are clean and working properly before you travel.  Ask our consultants at Clarisound about:

  • Hearing aid features: your hearing aids minimize background noise so you can focus on the different sounds in a foreign environment. These can range from airport announcements to tour guides with a strong accent. Our expert hearing care consultants can show you how to adjust the settings to maximise your holiday listening environments.
  • Proper accessories: Whether you’re a skier, mountaineer or a trekker, you’ll need to have the right gear to protect your hearing aids from wind, temperature and moisture. Other accessories, such as Bluetooth streaming devices and assistive listening devices, can maximise your hearing experience.

Traveling to your destination

If you have recently started wearing a hearing aid or hearing aids and you are getting ready to travel, these questions might pop up in your mind:

  • Is it alright to wear hearing aids while I am flying?
  • Will they hurt my ears on the plane?
  • Will they set the security scanners off at the airport?

Hearing aids generally don’t set off security scanners and work well on aeroplanes but remember not to drop or lose them whilst you are in transit.

Foreign Languages

If you are losing your hearing then listening to someone speaking with a foreign accent may be even more challenging. Holding a simple conversation with a foreigner with a strong accent can cause misunderstandings. You could be ordering a drink or asking a tour guide a question, buying a ticket or asking for directions. Hearing loss can lead to dissatisfaction on holiday.

Hearing properly on holiday is as important as hearing at home. You go on holiday to relax and enjoy yourself in a different place. Don’ t let hearing loss ruin a perfectly good holiday. Drop into Clarisound for some hearing advice for your next holiday.

Hearing loss and cognitive function

If you are losing your hearing, you could be losing your memory too. Recent research adds to a growing body of knowledge that links hearing loss with cognitive decline, which is a hallmark of dementia and often precedes the disease. So if you want to continue to have a happy and healthy life, get your hearing checked. It may prevent the onset of other disabilities.

Poor hearing could lead to poor memory

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related decline.

Studies have found that people with hearing loss have a significantly higher risk of MCI. Hearing loss and cognitive decline have some features in common. Their causes involve several factors and often both get worse over time. Experts in the US attributed these common features point to a buildup of “auditory and neurodegenerative damage” over a lifetime. Their research found that:

Further analysis revealed that participants with severe hearing loss who did use hearing aids had a lower (37 percent) risk of subsequent subjective cognitive decline. This means that hearing aids and hearing care not only improves your current quality of life, they lower the risk of future disabilities.

Hearing aids and prevention

A study published this year in The Hearing Review suggests that improving prevention, identification, and treatment of hearing impairment may help to delay the onset of cognitive impairment and reduce the impending dementia. Good hearing health may be critical for good cognitive health. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified dementia as a public health priority that requires more research, especially into its causes and risk factors. There are around 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, and this figure is set to rise.

So if you or your loved ones are losing your memory think about getting your hearing checked. You may be able to solve two problems with one hearing aid. Drop in to Clarisound for a free, quick hearing check up or make an appointment through the web or by phone. It may help you to remember your later years with enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

Hearing Care For Your Children

We all try to do the best for our children. Good education, fun and excitement, spending time with them are all important parts of raising a child. So what happens if they start to have hearing problems? According to research conducted in the USA, hearing loss, in varying degrees, affects two in every 100 children under the age of 18.

A family history of hearing loss does put a newborn at higher risk for having hearing loss.

Even if your newborn appears healthy, watch for signs that he or she is hearing well. Hearing milestones that should be reached in the first year of life include:

  • Most newborns startle or jump at sudden loud noises
  • By 3 months old a baby usually recognises a parent’s voice
  • By 6 months babies can usually turn their eyes or head toward a sound
  • By 12 months babies can usually imitate some sounds and produce a few words, such as “Daddy” or “bye-bye”

Your child may be at higher risk for hearing loss if he or she:

  • was born prematurely
  • had complications at birth
  • has frequent ear infections

If a hearing care consultant recommends hearing aids for your child, it’s important that he or she wears them continuously. This is because;

  • from birth to three years old, children’s brains are in a period of rapid development. Consistent sound input is critical for developing normal brain pathways for hearing, speech and cognitive functions
  • early listening and speaking are vital for language development
  • consistent hearing is important for children in bonding with their parents. It builds trust and deeper emotional links

Tips for Parents

It can be difficult to keep hearing aids on your child, especially toddlers. If your child resists hearing aids or frequently pulls them off, try;

  • developing a routine each day for putting your infant or child’s hearing aids on
  • putting the hearing aids on your child while you’re working on a fun activity together
  • a soft headband that you can secure over the hearing aids, but make sure the microphone isn’t covered
  • using special clips to keep the hearing aids attached to your child’s clothes so you won’t lose the expensive devices

Children, just like adults, should have their hearing evaluated at regular checkups. Hearing tests usually are done between 4 to 6 years old then every 2 years or so until 18 years old. When you come to Clarisound for a free, quick hearing check, bring your son or daughter with you. Or get yourself checked if you are bringing your child for an appointment at Clarisound.

Streaming from your smartphone to your hearing aid

Hearing loss doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy your life. If you get a lot of enjoyment out of chatting with friends, listening to music or watching movies then hearing loss affects this. Don’t worry. New technology in hearing aids means that you can stream your phone calls, music and other media directly into your hearing aids.

Streaming

Direct streaming is the ability to transmit live audio from a mobile device to your hearing aids. There are many advantages to streaming over traditionally downloaded media. Sound and visual quality of the media is greatly improved by streaming media, so long as you have good internet speed. The quality and type of streaming varies greatly from one manufacturer to another. Some high quality hearing aids are able to provide hassle-free music streaming in high quality stereo, while other hearing aids only support mono, or no streaming at all.

Hearing aids made for iPhone

Signia ‘made for iPhone’ hearing aids connect directly to your iPhone, iPad or iPod. This allows you to stream directly into your hearing aids. With easy pairing, intuitive usage and high energy efficiency via their special ‘Bluetooth Low Energy’ protocol, your hearing aids become wireless stereo headphones. Sounds good? Accompanied by the specially designed myControl App, these new hearing aids offer you great connectivity for audio streaming, with remote control, all at your fingertips. If you have an android phone then you can use Bluetooth functionality for audio streaming by using the StreamLine Mic accessory too.

Good sound quality and functionality

If you get a phone call while you are streaming music or watching TV, then you will hear the ringtone of the phone call and the music streaming will be paused automatically. As soon as your call ends the music, or other sound, streaming continues from where it left off. This technology also allows you to adjust your hearing aids’ microphone input level  to help you get the right balance of audio and outside noise. During streamed phone calls, the hearing aid can still pick up sounds in the environment, but at a lower volume. It’s the same when watching you are watching TV or listening to music. So you can hear if someone is calling you or needs your attention.

If the quality of your life depends on your favourite TV show or chatting with your family or close friends then streaming to your hearing aid will restore your quality of life if you are suffering from hearing loss. Ask our experienced consultants at Clarisound for more information.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common problem

If you didn’t set your alarm clock but you still wake up hearing ringing you may have tinnitus.

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in your ears. It’s a common affliction. Don’t worry, it’s not serious. Tinnitus affects about 20 percent of people. The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside your head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating. Tinnitus in most cases requires “management” rather than treatment.

Causes of Tinnitus

A number of health conditions can cause or worsen tinnitus but, in many cases, the exact cause is hard to find. Common causes of tinnitus include;

  • Inner ear hair cell damage. If these hairs become bent or broken they send random electrical impulses to your brain.
  • Age-related hearing loss. For many people, hearing worsens with age, usually starting around the 50’s
  • Exposure to loud noise. This ranges from loud noises at work to portable music devices, such as MP3 players or iPods
  • Earwax blockage.
  • Ear bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition tends to run in families

Symptoms of Tinnitus

If you are suffering from tinnitus you may be experiencing these symptoms in your ears;

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Humming

Tinnitus caused by short-term noise exposure, such as attending a rock concert, usually goes away. However both short- and long-term exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent damage.

Hearing aids for tinnitus

According to a survey by the American Tinnitus Association, approximately 60% of tinnitus sufferers found some relief with hearing aids. Since most people with tinnitus also have hearing loss, many tinnitus sufferers are already using hearing aids. The benefits of hearing aids include;

  • Hearing aids allow wearers to hear sound they might be missing. This can be effective for ‘masking’ a lot of the tinnitus ringing. When you’re able to hear everything going on around you the tinnitus doesn’t sound so loud
  • Hearing aids also increase stimulation between the brain and the auditory pathways. This may help reduce tinnitus symptoms
  • Hearing aids also have volume controls which allow you to make external sounds louder than your tinnitus

Make sure you let our professional consultants at Clarisound know that you may be suffering from tinnitus. We will check if hearing aids could be an effective treatment for you.