MINERAL-RICH FOODS TO ADD TO YOUR DIET FOR BETTER HEARING HEALTH

No wonder food is the first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about health awareness. Because the food we consume has the power to nourish our body and remove all dangerous toxins that are affecting our health in one way or another. While the wholesome food improves our health, consumption of unhealthy dishes (alert: they might look too scrumptious to avoid) can affect our body in a major way.

We as an individual constantly search the internet for articles on food items that improve our health. However, did any one of us ever wonder what specific nutrients one should take in order to stay healthy?

Our body needs vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to keep our organs working efficiently. Many studies have revealed varied minerals and foods containing them as specifically good for our hearing health.

Let us take a look at this list of essential minerals and related foods that contribute to hearing health and also lower the risk of hearing loss.

POTASSIUM

If you want to regulate the amount of fluid in your body, then go for foods high in potassium. This is important because as you start ageing, the fluid in your inner ear naturally decreases and might lead to a type of hearing loss, called presbycusis.

Inner ear is the most essential part of our ear as it converts sound signals into electrical impulses and ultimately transit them to our brain through the auditory nerve. That said, potassium is an important element to be included in your diet to make sure your ears function well.

Potassium rich foods: potatoes, spinach, broccoli, tomato, orange, banana, lemon, yogurt and low-fat milk.

FOLIC ACID

Folic Acid is one of the elements that help your body to generate new cells and also promotes good blood circulation throughout the body. But how does folic acid improve hearing? It is used by the body to break down an amino acid known as homocysteine which hinders blood circulation. By keeping hair cells and the inner ear in good working condition, folic acid promoted good hearing.

Folic acid rich foods: spinach, broccoli, organ meats

MAGNESIUM

If you include magnesium along with Vitamin A, C & E in your diet than you are more protected from being exposed to loud decibels of noise from the inner ear. It is mainly because when you are exposed to loud music, magnesium acts as a shield to protect your hair cells in the inner ear. Lack of magnesium may cause shrunken blood vessels and oxygen deprivation.

Magnesium rich foods: Potatoes, Spinach, Broccoli, Tomato, Banana, Artichoke, Fortified breakfast cereal

ZINC

Zinc helps in improving the body’s immunisation and healing power. Zinc is needed for body to fight against germs which might cause common cold and ear infection. Studies indicate that zinc is not only effective in hearing loss treatment but also cures tinnitus problem which is common in individuals with normal hearing. However, it is advised to consult your physician if you are taking any antibiotics and diuretics before taking any zinc rich foods or supplements.

Zinc rich foods: Dark meats and chocolates. Peas, pork, oyster, nuts like almonds, peanuts and cashews

Final Thought

In a nutshell, instead of neglecting your hearing health and being obliged to go for any kind of hearing loss treatment later on, implement a nutritious diet containing the above-mentioned minerals from an early age, to keep your hearing in check.

If you are someone who is suffering from partial or full hearing loss and do not wish to wear boring, clumsy beige hearing aids, get in touch with a hearing professional who can treat your hearing impairment with advanced and aesthetically fine solutions such as Phonak hearing aids that are designed to amplify sounds by enhancing speech clarity.
Happy hearing!

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What happens when you wear Earphones for too long?

Whether going to college or on a solo road trip, the one thing that accompanies us throughout our journey is our EARPHONES. Listening to songs while travelling is quite a good way to relax your mind and escape from reality for a while. Isn’t it?

But have you ever wondered what happens when you use the device for prolonged hours? Ever thought how they are affecting your health? Well if not, then we are here to familiarise you with some facts and information that you need to care for your hearing.

Though we cannot deny the fact that earphones or headphones have made our life a bit more convenient, we can’t deny the fact that overuse of such devices can be harmful for our hearing health.

Studies have shown that listening to music at high volumes through headphones/earphones over time can cause permanent damage to one’s hearing.

Here, we have outlined some adverse effects of using earphones for longer periods.

Hearing loss: Listening to music at higher volumes for a long continuous period can increase your chances of losing your hearing at an early age. People who listen to music at volume exceeding 90 decibels can suffer temporary loss of hearing.

It is advised to use earphones for short periods of time while taking breaks in between and keeping the volume at a moderate volume.

Blocking Air Passage: What happens when you insert your earphones directly into your ear to feel the music right in there? Well, you might expect a great music-listening experience, but it may also block the ear passage, exposing your ears to the risk of infection. Also, you may suffer from tinnitus-a sensation of buzzing in the ear, when there is no sound, which is caused by excessive ear wax.

Cause Ear Infection: One rule that everyone should follow; never share your earphones with anyone. Since earphones are made for two ears, it possible for people to share them with their loved ones or lend it to a friend or borrow theirs. Remember, it is also one of the easiest ways to transfer bacterial infection from one ear to another. Sharing earphones allows non-native harmful bacteria (bacteria of someone else’s ears) to reside in your ears.

In case you must share with others, ensure you sanitise them after use.

Damage Brain Cells: Turning the volume up too high on your earphone may damage your nerve cells. The electromagnetic waves produced by earphones can create problems for the brain.

The inner part of our ear is connected to the brain, so any activity done in the ear may affect the brain as well.

Prone to Accidents: When people insert earphones while jogging or travelling, they become isolate form the rest of the world. As a result, they are unable to hear continuous honking of a vehicle and put others’ as well as their life at risk.

Here are some tips to enjoy your music through earphones without causing any damage to your ear.

• Follow the 60:60 rule, which means to set the volume at 60% rather than 100% and play it for not more than 60 minutes at one go.

• Change the rubber cover of your earphones regularly.

• Its important to sanitise your earphones regularly as when skin, sweat and bacteria come in direct contact with each other at the same place, the risk of ear infection is high.

• Avoid using earphones that cover your ear canal completely. Use over-the-ear headphones instead as these earphones remain outside your ears.

Besides, if you feel any discomfort or problem in your ear, it is advised to seek immediate medical assistance or get in touch with a hearing aid specialist. If you are diagnosed with any type of hearing loss, the specialist will suggest you a suitable hearing aid to treat your condition. You can also buy the suggested hearing aids online that are affordable and very much handy and can also be customised to meet your needs.

Buying your first pair of Hearing Aids? Here’s What You Need to Know

Don’t let your life be affected with hearing loss. Make a difference by turning your hearing aids on. This electronic device makes communication for a person suffering from hearing loss easy. It has been designed mainly to improve your hearing by making sounds louder.

How Hearing Aids Work?

A hearing aid is a strong battery-powered device comprising three vital parts; a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker. The microphone receives sounds and convert them into electrical signals. Increasing the power of the signals is the function of the amplifier. It is the purpose of the speaker to send these signals finally to the ear.

A person’s life can be improved to a great extent with a hearing aid. This small battery-powered device comes with several benefits which are clinically proven. Let’s learn about these benefits:

Reduced Cognitive Issues
A detailed study has pointed out that treating hearing loss with a hearing aid can reduce cognitive problems. Hearing loss may affect the brain by accelerating atrophy in some of its auditory areas. This results in difficulty in understanding speech.

Better Job Performance
Hearing loss affects an individual’s professional life badly. Hearing aids help make communications and interactions in the workplace convenient. It has also been noted that the rate of unemployment has reduced as more and more hearing-impaired people are adopting the innovative hearing technology at work.

Improved Social Communications
With hearing aid technology, hearing loss is no more a stressful experience. The research has shown that the advanced device can improve social health of a person. The impact of hearing aids on the social lives of the hearing impaired is huge and positive.

Enhanced Confidence
A hearing aid works as a confidence booster. It helps you to hear better and thus, develop a positive outlook towards even the most challenging situations. The device facilitates effective social, personal and professional communication while boosting up your overall confidence.

Better quality of life
Treat hearing loss with a quality hearing aid to enjoy your life better. The electronic device ensures a better quality of life by enhancing your social communications, professional interactions and personal relationships.

Several studies have shown the positive affect of hearing aids in the social, mental and physical condition of the users. Besides, you can choose from a variety of styles and designs to find one that goes with your needs and preferences. Have a glance at these common types:

• Behind-the-ear (BTE): These are small and open-fit hearing aids that fit perfectly behind the ear. The hearing aid is connected to the ear canal through a narrow plastic tube which carries the amplified sound to the earbud fitted inside the ear canal.
• In-the-air (ITE): This style of hearing aid has been customised to fit in the outer ear canal. ITE aids are mainly used to treat mild hearing loss.
• In-the-Canal: It comes in two different styles; in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-canal (CIC). ITC hearing devices are designed to fit perfectly in the ear canal of a person.

The CIC style is a modified version of ITC which seems to be hidden in the ear canal.
Hearing aids have emerged as an effective and convenient treatment for the hearing impaired. A good quality hearing device helps the user to live a better, healthier life.

Moreover, finding a company offering discount hearing aids is a smart way to cut down costs on your hearing treatment. There are clinics and audiologists that offer hearing assessments and screenings at zero cost. You can also invest in a health insurance plan to save money on a quality hearing aid. Shopping around can help you not only save money but also find the best possible solution for your hearing condition.

Five Impactful Technological advances in Hearing Aid Technology

Nothing is constant. In an ever-evolving world we live in, technological development is happening at such a fast pace that is it extremely difficult to keep a track of all the advances. Amongst several medical sectors that have incurred significant technological advancements, the hearing aid department remains common.

Providing you a glimpse of what has changed over the years in the hearing aid industry, we have listed out five major hearing aid innovations that we could not have imagined a few years back.

Automatic processing of sound

As the name suggests, such a technology automatically adjusts sounds such that unwanted noises become unimpactful and softer sounds are simultaneously amplified to make them clearer. Hands-free automation makes this technology very convenient and user friendly.

Wind noise reduction

While indoors are still manageable, outdoor areas cause problems to those using outdated hearing aids. Newer technologies have taken into account the uncomforting noises of the wind and developed hearings aids that cancel or reduce them. Now users can enjoy a trouble-free outdoor experience.

Resistance to Moisture

Technological advancements have succeeded in making water-proof and water-resistant hearing aids. Consumers can choose from a wide range of water-proof aids or comparatively affordable water-resistant options that help reduce or prevent the damage due to excessive sweating or moisture, which can affect the device’s functioning.

Connecting to Apps

Nowadays, hearing aids can be linked to smartphones, computers, or TVs, just like earphones, only more sophisticated. They can be, therefore, used to stream audio directly to the hearing aid. Linking and syncing the hearing aid with smartphones and computers also allows customisation of hearing settings that can be controlled via various apps. These apps allow scanning the environment to detect various sounds and adjust them as by one’s own liking.

Fashion and comfort

Technological advancements focus on making existing devices more and more compact, light, and mobile. Hearing aid devices are now available in various shapes, sizes, colours, designs, etc. So, one can choose to hide them, or alternatively flaunt them. Moreover, in this panorama of choice, comfort is not sacrificed. Companies understand that comfort comes first and many even offer customised mould to prepare aids that fits your ear like skin.

This is obviously not the end. There are many existing and evolving technologies, but for now, we hope getting acquainted with these advancements will help your decision when buying hearing aids.

Companies are increasingly employing newer technological developments to serve their customers and provide them with highly efficient yet affordable hearing aids including the likes of Oticon hearing aids. Some Adelaide hearing clinics also provide free assessments and sometimes devices to specific age groups like seniors in order to contribute towards community spirit, support as well as technological development.

How Free and Low-Cost Hearing Solutions are Helping the Hearing Impaired Improve Their Life

Our five biological senses have a crucial role to play in our daily life which is to help our body operate properly. Unfortunately, however, at times some of us are faced with difficulties in fully utilising our senses and are left with no choice but to use some kind of aid.

Of them all, weakening of the ears is the most common. Hearing loss or impairment may be caused by birth or due to some accident, but either way the sufferer must rely on aids for improved hearing. Every day we pass through people in subways, restaurants, or work, who wear hearing aids.

While hearing aid technology is increasingly becoming a popular and preferred choice of treatment for the hard of hearing, many hearing-impaired people still avoid hearing aids and a chance to improve their hearing health and quality of life considering the high costs of the innovative solution.

How the community is joining hands to help the needy

For a large proportion of the population, hearing aids are expensive and not widely available. However, the good news is there are some companies that provide free hearing aids to veterans and pensioners. Some of them also offer free hearing tests for adults to get their hearing assessed.

To be able to hear is a necessity for humans to perceive the world, and services that offer free hearing assessments and screening tests very well recognise this fact. With an aim to help the hearing-impaired lead an improved quality of life, such companies offer both introductory hearing check-ups as well as full hearing assessments.

An introductory assessment is quick testing of ears which requires the patient to listen to a series of sounds via headphones and respond to them appropriately. This helps in evaluating the hearing range of a person, whether it is normal or requires treatment.
A full-blown hearing assessment, on the other hand, is conducted in various stages. It requires the person to give a detailed account of their lifestyle, health, habits, and hearing history. Different parts of the ear and their functions are checked to assess if the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, the cause of the problem, etc. These procedures are followed by a detailed assessment by an audiologist who also advises and suggests a suitable aid to the patient.

Why are hearing problems so important to attend to?

Imagine if you did not have one of your five fingers. Will you be able to perform all the tasks like you are used to? Probably the first thing that will come to your mind is that ‘I will feel paralysed!’ This is exactly how people who lose their hearing feel like. On being distracted or preoccupied, being unable to respond during one-on-one or group conversations, asking people around to repeat their sentences over and over again can make one feel embarrassed and eventual isolate themselves from social gatherings and activities.

Hearing impairment adversely affects a person’s self-esteem and their ability to express themselves clearly or communicate with others. In a world where offense is easily taken, and patience is a rare quality, people with hearing impairment have to struggle to fit-in.
Hearing aids are their only saving grace, and it is remarkable that many hearing aid providers are understanding the gravity of the situation and joining hands to make a difference, to channelise resources to help those in need, and offering free or low-cost solutions.

Simple Activities You Can Do to Improve Your Hearing Health

Though hearing loss is a natural part of ageing for many people, you don’t have to accept it as it comes to you and give up on activities you once enjoyed with your normal hearing.

Thank God for hearing aids. The advanced hearing device amplifies sounds to make hearing and communication easier for those with impaired hearing. It is important to realise, however, that hearing aids can’t restore your natural hearing.

But there are certain ways to improve your hearing aids experience and minimise worsening of your condition.

Yoga Poses

Rapidly growing as a form of physical exercise, yoga has been considered an effective therapy when it comes to treating mental and physical health issues.

Those who already practise yoga, must be well aware of its health benefits. But, many of you might not know that yoga can do good to your hearing, too.

Yoga poses like cobra pose, lotus pose, triangle pose and tree pose help increase blood circulation through the ear and the brain while removing toxins, thus improving your nerve functions. Yoga also helps improve your overall immunity while protecting your ears against infections and allergies.

In addition, yoga poses like big toe pose, fish pose, camel pose and plow pose tend to relax the muscles around the shoulders and the neck. This opens up your ears, reducing the ringing sounds (tinnitus).

Fun brain games

Your brain is responsible for processing the sounds you receive through your ears. Also, studies have linked hearing loss with mental conditions like anxiety and depression.

So, it is important to keep your brain fit in order to maintain your hearing health. A regular brain workout can help maintain healthy brain tissues and cognitive function necessary to process sensory information.

There are a variety of games and challenges such as Sudoku, crossword puzzle, Rubik’s cube, word searches and more that are designed to train your mind and help you memorise and concentrate better.

Digital apps

Hearing aids are the most widely used and effective treatment for hearing loss. However, when you start using hearing aids for the first time, your brain needs to retain its ability to hear sounds since it hasn’t processed sounds for a long while.

Fortunately, there’s a wide range of mobile apps and online games that are developed to help hearing aid users to practise listening and communicating in noisy settings on their computer systems, iPads, iPhones and android devices. There are also apps that are specifically designed for children with hearing loss to develop their listening and language skills through fun exercises.

At-home exercises

While mobile apps and online games are sure a fun way to train your hearing, you don’t necessarily need the internet and digital devices to exercise your ears.

All you need is a cooperative partner and you can try out these exercises at the comfort of your home:

• Simulate a noisy environment by turning on the radio or TV and practise having a conversation with your partner while focusing on his/her speech and tuning out other sounds in the background.

• Keep your eyes closed and have your partner move to a different area of the room or a different room itself. Ask them to utter some words and try to repeat your partner’s words and locate where they are speaking from.

Don’t have a buddy to perform these exercises? Don’t worry. Here are a few activities you can practise on your own.

Practise sound isolation to train your brain to recognise sounds better. Find an area to sit and close your eyes. Try to recognise as many sounds in your background as you can. Now focus all your attention on a single sound and isolate it.

• Meditate to improve your overall hearing health. It relaxes your mind while reducing stress and increasing concentration power, which further helps sound recognition that occurs in the brain.

There are different meditation techniques. However, the easiest way is to sit in a busy environment like a public park, close your eyes and take deep breaths while focusing on each sound in the background and trying to locate where it is coming from. Meditating for a few minutes every day will boost your blood circulation while improving your brain’s ability to recognise sounds.

So, that’s it. Go ahead and try these practices to boost your hearing health as well as quality of life.

Besides implemented these practices into your daily life, remember that regular visits to an audiologist can save years of anxiety and inconvenience. You can visit one of the reputed Adelaide hearing clinics to get your hearing tested and find a suitable treatment for your condition.

Understanding and Managing Low-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing loss might not be a fatal health ailment but affects around one in six individuals in Australia.

From daily communication to mental health, professional life and personal relationships, hearing impairment of any degree can take a toll on your life. No matter the extent and type, hiding or ignoring your hearing disability will only make life difficult for you and people around you. So, it is important to identify the type of hearing loss you’re suffering from and find a suitable treatment for your condition.

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Hearing loss is classified into different types based on the severity, time of occurrence and frequency. In this article, we will be discussing low-frequency hearing loss which is often related to conductive hearing loss occurring with some degree of inner or outer ear problem.

What is low-frequency hearing loss?

Low frequency hearing loss, also known as reverse slope audiogram, is the hearing impairment that occurs when inner ear hair cells get damaged. The role of hair cells in the inner ear is to detect and pass it through the auditory nerve to the brain.

An individual suffering from this type of hearing loss will not able to hear sounds with frequencies 2000 HZ or below. However, a person with low frequency hearing loss may still hear high-frequency sounds and thus is able to still communicate better as compared to people with high-degree hearing loss.

What causes low-frequency hearing loss?

A mutation in the Wolfram Syndrome Gene (WFS1) is the most common cause of low-frequency hearing loss. Some other causes of low frequency hearing loss include:

  • Mondini Dysplasia, a malformation in the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s Disease, a disorder of the inner ear causing a feeling of congestion in the ear.
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Renal failure
  • Viral infections
  • Rapid changed in pressure

Why is low-frequency hearing loss difficult to diagnose?

A person with low-frequency hearing loss may not detect the problem easily unless the person undergoes regular hearing tests. This is because the condition manifests no significant symptoms.

The major reason behind being symptom-free is that the low frequency sounds are intense and do not carry as much information as sounds in higher frequencies. So, a person with hearing in moderate and high frequencies can make up for what they are unable to hear in low frequencies, thus concealing their hearing loss.

In addition, a person with low frequency hearing loss usually exhibits no signs of missing speech sounds or abnormal speech production patterns as they develop speech and language just like people with normal hearing.

However, low frequency hearing loss may be manifested in a noisy environment or when the person is conversing in a group. If you already have a family history of hearing loss, we recommend you visit your audiologist for a comprehensive hearing evaluation instead of just relying on free hearing tests. The earlier you seek professional assistance and care for your hearing condition, the lesser the impact of hearing loss on your life.

How can low-frequency hearing loss be treated?

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Once you are diagnosed with low-frequency hearing loss and have assessed the severity of your condition, your audiologist will discuss with you the best course of treatment for your problem.

Treatment may not be necessary in minor cases. However, in severe degree of low frequency hearing loss, your audiologist may suggest hearing aids with noise reduction and sound amplification features that can improve your hearing in noisy background and amplify low frequency sounds that are difficult for you to hear. Moreover, you can get all the information regarding your hearing device like how you can adjust settings, how to take care of your hearing aid batteries and the device etc. from your audiologist.

Though a low frequency hearing loss may not cause as much problem as complete hearing loss, if you suspect you are suffering from this condition, you must get your hearing evaluated immediately. Early detection of hearing loss of any kind can help you seek necessary care and treatment while improving your quality of life.