Monthly Archives

January 2019

Another reason to quit smoking

By | News | No Comments

This time of year, lots of people are trying to form good habits in honor of the New Year. But there is a habit that you should consider kicking to save on your hard-earned cash, but your overall health, too.

We usually associate smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke with diseases such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.

But did you know that smoking and secondhand smoke are correlated with an increased chance of hearing loss?

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, smokers are 70 percent more likely than non-smokers to suffer hearing loss, and those exposed to secondhand smoke nearly 2 times more likely to suffer hearing loss compared to non-smokers.

Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals that cause damage to the auditory nerve. These chemicals also affect the blood vessels all over your body, including those in your inner ear, reducing the flow of oxygen to those cells, thereby causing damage.  

The good news is that further damage can be reduced by quitting.

If you or a loved one currently smoke, have smoked in the past, or have been exposed to secondhand smoke, consider having your hearing evaluated by a hearing health care provider.

Today is the perfect day to quit smoking. Some resources to help are:

Eating better can help you hear better, too

By | News | No Comments

You heard that right.

Not only will you feel better eating all of your fruits and veggies, you’re setting yourself up for better hearing, too.

That’s according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Nutrition that found women who maintain a healthy diet can lower their risk of hearing loss by 30 percent.

For 22 years, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed nearly 71,000 women on three different diets.

What they found is that the women who ate the Alternate Mediterranean diet (AMED) and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) were at a lower risk for hearing loss.

The AMED diet contains foods like extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and moderate intake of alcohol, while the DASH is high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, and low in sodium.

“Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” said Sharon Curhan, MD, an epidemiologist in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, and first author of the study.

“Eating well contributes to overall good health, and it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”

While researchers say more studies are needed, eating healthy has a wide range of other benefits.

Ears and Exercise: Hearing Aid Care for Active Lifestyles

By | News | No Comments

Are you thinking about getting in shape after New Years? Don’t let these common fears about hearing aids get in the way.

Quite often, patients say they don’t wear their hearing aids while they are working out, playing golf, riding a bike, playing tennis, and other physical activities. Why? I’ll tell you their reasons and explain how to overcome these perceptions.

1) I don’t wear my hearing aids when I go to the gym because I sweat a lot.

Most hearing aids have high Ingress Protection (IP) ratings. This rates the sealing effective of the device against the intrusion of moisture, dust, and dirt. Hearing aids have high IP ratings because they are made for all day, every day use. This means wearing them when you’re sweating is OK! The best tip I have for “preventative maintenance” is using a dehumidifier. Place your hearing aids in a dehumidifier overnight to remove excess moisture and prolong the components of your hearing device.

For people with extreme moisture problems (runners, football players, etc.) we recommend a Zephyr unit with a fan and dehumidifier that dries the hearing aids for 6 hours while you sleep. There is also a version with a disinfectant light if you are concerned about germs or infections (swimmers’ ear).

2) I don’t wear my hearing aids when I play golf because I can’t stand the wind noise.

Great news! There’s a program for that. Hearing aids are smart! The built-in computer chip knows how to adjust automatically in noisy or windy environments, but sometimes an audiologist needs to create a program for your specific need. With the new programming, simply push a button on your hearing aid and, the irritating wind noise is no longer an issue.

3) I don’t wear my hearing aids when I play tennis, basketball, or go running because I’m worried it will fall off my ear.

Hearing aids are meant to have a secure/snug fit and not go flying off or falling out of your ears. This should be the case whether you are sitting, running or jumping around. Proper fit is crucial to ensure the devices stay in place. If you are still concerned about losing your hearing aid, then an easy option is wearing a headband or try OtoClips. This lightweight lanyard attaches easily to the hearing aid then clips securely to your clothing. Available for behind the ear (BTE) or in the ear (ITE) models, binaural or monaural.

It is important that your hearing aids stay in your ears while enjoying an active lifestyle. If you need help ensuring your hearing aids are meeting your listening needs and fit securely, see your audiologist. We’re here for you!