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.

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.

HEARING CARE TIPS: PROTECTING YOUR EARS IN A NOISY WORKPLACE

Hearing loss is a part of growing older for most people and can’t be prevented. However, the other form of hearing loss which is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, can be avoided with a little consideration and care.

Of all the physical health ailments faced by factory workers, hearing issues remain the most common. In fact, an estimated 1 billion workers in Australia are exposed to hazardous levels of noise at work.

Though people working in manufacturing factories or construction sites may get used to the loud and invasive noise over time, continuous exposure to the dangerous levels of noises while working in such environments can impair the quality of your hearing or lead to hearing loss.

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That said, stated below are some hearing protection tips for people exposed to a noisy work environment.

Carry your hearing protection to work daily

If loud noises are a regular occurrence at your workplace, equip yourself with specialised industrial earplugs or ear muffs to protect your hearing.

If you already have a hearing loss or are at risk of it, it is advisable to consult with a hearing professional to find a high quality, effective hearing protection solution that fits your work environment and your specific needs.

When it comes to hearing protection, there is a diverse range of assistive hearing devices out there including in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear, behind-the-ear and invisible hearing aids. Your hearing specialist will help you find the right solution based on the degree and type of your hearing loss and your workplace setting.

Get your hearing tested regularly

Factory and industry workers are always advised to visit their hearing specialist for regular hearing checks to assess their hearing.

Even if you don’t incur any potent signs indicating that your hearing is impaired, you want to consider having your hearing tested by a professional once in a while.

The earlier hearing issues are detected, the easier it is to control damage and prevent the condition from getting worse.

Be careful with listening to music

Many workers avoid ear plugs and put on iPods or other music devices to drown out loud noises in the background. This hearing protection practice can actually backfire.

Instead of listening to your favourite tunes through headphones or earphones at high volume to cover up the background noise, use noise-cancelling earphones, which reduce the overall strain on your hearing due to loud noise.

Do not insert anything inside your canal

Many factory workers stick cotton swabs or stick-like object into their ears to avoid loud noise without knowing that it can damage their hearing instead of protecting it.

Sometimes, such objects can go too far into the canal and puncture your ear drum or may create a build-up of ear wax and debris by pushing them further inside your canal. So, avoid putting anything in your canal and use only a protection suggested by your hearing professional.

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Remember that damage from noise-induced hearing impairment can’t be reversed. Adhere to the above-mentioned guidelines to protect your hearing in a noisy workplace and communicate and engage fully in your life.

Don’t Fake that You Can Hear; Accept Your Hearing Loss

Coping with a little hearing impairment seems a lot easier than something significant like vision impairment. That said, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people with impaired hearing choose to hide their condition.

But let’s get it clear. Though people may manage to get by a partial inability to hear without being open about their problem, hearing loss doesn’t necessarily have to be severe or profound to affect one’s life.

If overlooked or left untreated, even a mild hearing loss can impact on your day-to-day life, professional career, relationships and most importantly mental health.

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Hiding is not worth it

Asking someone to repeat themselves once or twice while talking over the phone might not seem like a big deal. Neither might be missing out on a few words in a family conversation.

But you can’t overlook significant consequences like low self-esteem, depression and affected job performance and relationships, which hearing loss contribute to over time.

Ask yourself, “Is hiding your hearing condition worth missing your favourite music and sounds or isolating yourself from people and social world?” “Is putting off getting your hearing treated worth the negative impact it leaves on the quality of life?”

NO.

Most people who stress about the stigma associated with hearing impairment and hearing aids, fail to realise that untreated hearing loss is actually more noticeable than hearing aids.

If you respond inappropriately in a conversation or miss a punch line of a joke, people might suspect your attention span, mental acuity or your ability to communicate effectively. The symptoms of hearing loss combined with consequences of “untreated hearing loss” can be life altering.

Acceptance is the first step toward improving your hearing

While you can’t completely restore your natural hearing ability with hearing aids, there are several hearing loss solutions that can significantly improve your hearing and quality of life.

But to benefit from a hearing solution, you need to first accept your condition.  Here’s how to accept your hearing loss.

A: Allow yourself to recognise the loss of hearing and the consequences you’re dealing with.

C: Communicate to others about your problem to seek their support and assistance.  

C: Commit to improving your quality of life by getting your hearing assessed and finding the right hearing solution.

E: Explore different practices and exercises to boost your hearing abilities.  

P: Partner with hearing loss community and interact with other people with hearing impairment.  

T: Treat your condition. There are several choices when it comes to hearing aids such as Phonak, Starkey and Siemens hearing aids. To seek the optimal solution and expert assistance and advice, turn to an experienced audiologist.

A: Assist yourself. Let people you meet for the first time know you have a hearing problem. Remind them to be a bit louder and face you when speaking to you. Make a strategic seating arrangement for yourself when visiting a restaurant or someone’s house.

N: Never pull yourself away from social gatherings and activities because of your hearing loss or hearing aids. Most people get supportive once you tell them about your problem.

C: Connect with your hearing professional if you feel any discomfort while wearing your hearing aids.

E: Expect difficulties along the way even with your hearing solution. Keep a positive attitude towards difficulties to drive a seamless hearing experience.

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If you’re dealing with a hearing loss, don’t wait. Get your hearing treated today!

 

How to Make the Most Out of Your Holidays with Hearing Loss

Holidays are about family gathering, dinners and parties. But for the hearing impaired, it can be the most stressful and challenging time of the year.

Typically, any festive ambience would have a noisy background that can create challenging listening situations for the hearing impaired.

However, with the following tips, you can make your holidays less demanding and more pleasurable.

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Be strategic with your seating arrangement

When at a holiday event you can expect the noise levels to be very high, making it difficult to communicate. To facilitate your hearing:

  • Try to sit at the end of the table so you don’t have to focus on multiple group conversations going on either side of you and can enjoy your conversation as well as meal.
  • When in home, try to avoid the kitchen area and spaces near the TV while in a restaurant setting, sit away from the bar or kitchen.
  • Always try to pick a corner or a booth when a loud music is playing in the background.
  • Move to a quiet spot in the house if you think the background is too overwhelming to carry out a one-on-one conversation with an individual.
  • When going out to attend a party, arrive early to find a spot from where you can see people’s faces and interpret their facial expressions and cues.

How about a holiday buddy?

Having a companion to accompany you to a holiday gathering or party can help you keep up in conversation and have an enjoyable experience.

  • If you are at a sit-down dinner, buddy up with a family member who you share a good bond with.
  • Make sure you pick someone whose speech is clear and easy for you to understand in a loud setting.

Additional Considerations

  • Don’t be shy about your condition. Remind your family, friends and new people you interact with that you have a hearing difficulty. They will try to be more attentive when you speak and speak in a way that helps you understand easily.
  • Notify your host of your hearing and seating arrangement needs which will make it convenient for your to socialise.
  • Though you are certain to have a music playing on in a holiday setting, don’t hesitate to ask your host to turn the volume down during your meal so that you can enjoy conversations on the table better.
  • Schedule an appointment with one of the Adelaide Hearing providers to get your hearing aid checked. A professional will assess everything from your hearing aid batteries to device settings to optimise your hearing aid for the best holiday hearing experience.

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Don’t let another holiday season be affected by your hearing loss. Follow these considerations and tips to get the most out of your hearing and make a holiday experience to cherish for a lifetime.