Hearing Loss Affects Friends and Family

Resound.com has an excellent page on how hearing loss affects your friends and family. You can find it here.

A quote from the website that I witness almost daily is, “The older we get, the more likely we are to experience a hearing loss. In fact, more than 5% of the world’s population experience some degree of hearing loss. Oddly enough, the person with hearing loss is often the last one to realize. This why I try and ask new patients to bring friends or family along to their visits. This provides positive reinforcement and outside validation that the hearing aids are making a difference… (Some people don’t trust their own ears!)

There is a link within the Friends and Family page to another page discussing smart hearing. More and more people are telling me how impressed they are with the new technologies that link their hearing aids to their electronics, such as smart phones and smart watches. As I previously discussed here, smart apps, Multi Mics and TV streamers can further enhances the advantages of adding hearing aids to your life.

Hearing aids are much smarter than they used to be. Smart technology can allow the aids to change between pre-programmed settings on their own, adapting to the situation at hand. Some clients choose upgrades just because they want their hearing aid experience to be completely hands free.

Check out the page at Resound.com. Please give me a call with questions. I currently use some of the smart technology in my personal life so I can give you the scoop on how it works!

Smart phone image borrowed from Resound.com

Nutrition Awareness Week is March 13-17

This week is Nutrition Awareness Week which is part of March being National Nutrition Month. Who knew?

Last week I told you about a few over the counter drugs that are known to affect your hearing. Did you know that there are foods that can affect your hearing too?

According to Audicus, high levels of omega 3 fats and Vitamin D generally found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout or sardines, can have highly positive effects on hearing loss. A regular intake of antioxidants, especially in the form of folic acid commonly found in spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, liver or nuts, can reduce the risk of hearing loss by up to 20%. Magnesium, commonly found in bananas, potatoes, artichokes or broccoli, has been shown to provide additional protection against noise induced hearing loss. You can increase your inner ear’s resistance to the boon of age related hearing loss by keeping a healthy dose of Zinc which can be found in dark chocolate or oysters. Similar to antioxidants, Vitamin C/E  act as hearing loss supplements that keep free radicals in check and strengthen your overall immune system, thus reducing the risk of ear infections. The source is easy to find: vegetables (e.g. oranges) and fruits (e.g. bell peppers).

According to Hearingwellnessctr.com, studies confirm that hearing loss and poor nutrition go hand and hand. An Australian study reported on in the Journal of Nutrition, has shown that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates detrimentally impacts hearing. A similar study showed that diets high in cholesterol also contribute to hearing loss normally associated with aging. Cutting out sugary and cholesterol rich foods would be a good start to a hearing fitness plan, but good hearing nutrition doesn’t only take into account what a diet includes, but also what is lacking.

And according to tinnitisjournal.com, gluten sensitivity may contribute to the pathogenesis of tinnitus, though further research is needed to determine the exact role of gluten in this condition.

What does all this mean? There’s a delicate balance of fluids in your inner ear which, like the rest of your organs, can be affected by what you eat. In general, better nutrition is good for your body… which includes your ears!

Nutrition Month Image borrowed from the Gastrointestinal Society.

 

Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Hearing

There are a myriad of things that can adversely affect your hearing. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are just a couple of over the counter drugs that may affect your hearing. Another being Aspirin which which is linked to Tinnitus. Always check the side effects and discuss them with your doctor or Audiologist if there is any indication that the drug may be Ototoxic. So you can be on the look out, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has provided a list of ototoxic drugs here.

Thanks to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen for the article on the effects of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen below. You can read more of their work at their website here. Also thanks to The Pilot News where I originally saw this article.

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Can you hear me now?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on
Paul Marcarelli, Verizon’s former “Can you hear me now?” guy, heard the call and decided to switch to another phone company. Well, for folks who are experiencing or are at risk for hearing loss, switching brands might be a smart move, too.Reviewing data on almost 56,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that using some over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, twice a week or more may up your risk of hearing loss by as much as 24 percent. The longer you take those OTCs, the more hazardous it is. So maybe it’s time for you to switch to another kind of pain relief.

But how do these seemingly harmless meds cause hearing loss? Well, ibuprofen can reduce blood flow to the small, snail-shaped organ in the inner ear called the cochlea. It translates sound into nerve impulses and filters out background noise. A reduced blood flow can kill off cells that help you perceive sound. Acetaminophen may deplete the body of an antioxidant called glutathione, which protects the cochlea from damage by blocking oxidative stress. Aspirin wasn’t associated with such problems.

Ibuprofen also can damage your stomach and gastrointestinal system, raise blood pressure and reduce the benefits of aspirin, which decreases cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. Acetaminophen also can trigger liver problems! So use these pain relievers sparingly. Your alternatives? Meditation, acupuncture, massage, stretching, exercise, a new mattress or cognitive behavioral therapy. Can you hear us now?

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.