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Eat Chocolate And Hear Better For It

Chocolate and hearing health

Ah, chocolate. That sweet mixture of cocoa paste, cocoa butter, and sugar is a genuinely magical concoction consumed throughout the world. With National Chocolate Day approaching this month, it is a great time to discuss chocolate and the health benefits associated with it. Yes, chocolate is full of calories, but it also has proven health benefits! Here are a few benefits associated with chocolate particularly the dark variety:
 

  • Nutritious

 

  • Source of antioxidants
  • May enhance the flow of blood and lower blood pressure
  • Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation
  • May reduce heart disease risk
  • Protects skin from the sun
  • May improve brain function

 
 
Of course, these health benefits does not mean you should go out and binge on chocolate every day. Because chocolate is full of calories, it is very easy to over-indulge in this treat. Do your homework too as some chocolate on the market is better for you than others. There is more good news about chocolate as it can help your hearing ability also! That is right; if you have impaired hearing, you might now have a great new reason to indulge in that beautiful, sugary concoction.

Chocolate And Hearing Aids

Research supports the idea that chocolate consumption while using hearing aids can likely slow cognitive decline associated with aging. The study involved over 1000 people over the past few decades. The researchers conclude that people with hearing aids who eat chocolate at least once a week tend to perform better cognitively. It improves everyday tasks such as remembering phone numbers, a shopping list, and driving and talking at the same time. As people with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia over time, this is welcome news. Additional studies are ongoing to hopefully provide more specific information regarding this hearing aid and chocolate connection.

Dark Chocolate Is Good For Your Ears

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and high levels of zinc. These two do an exceptional job of boosting your immune system and fighting infections in your body. Because ear infections can potentially lead to hearing loss, the nutrients found in chocolate might protect you against infections while keeping your hearing intact. Moreover, chocolate is also good for your heart because it improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. One particular study finds that eating chocolate five or more times per week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent! Considering that poor heart health has ties to poor hearing, anything to benefit your heart can also possibly help you hear better too.

Eat More Chocolate

Yes, there are negative aspects associated with the consumption of chocolate, but there are definite health benefits as well. The key is consuming chocolate in moderation. When you consume a piece of chocolate, you might not have to feel as bad about it especially if you have trouble hearing. Just remember that although chocolate has a bad reputation for causing one to gain weight, there are many health benefits associated with the consumption of it.

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Windy Weather And Hearing Aids

Hearing aids in windy weather

Sometimes wearing a hearing aid can be a challenge even despite all of the technological developments recently. While the sound quality and ease of use have significantly improved in hearing aids, there are still elements of the environment that have their way of making it harder to hear.
Hearing aids work excellently in optimal environments no matter if they are behind the ear, partially in the ear, or completely hidden within the ear canal. They do wonders in keying in on the sounds you want and need to hear, and minimizing all the background noise that just doesn’t matter. Living with a hearing aid does wonders to combat all of the negative feelings and struggles that come with sensorineural hearing loss.
But wind, rain, and warm weather will present a challenge to your hearing aid wearing experience at times. Rain, water, and sweat each can seep into your hearing aid and cause functional damage. Protecting your hearing aid when you’re exposed to rain, intending to take a plunge in the water or find yourself getting a little sweaty is the best way to make sure your hearing aid stays intact.
Wind And Hearing Aids
Although wind may not pose the same kind of threat to the integrity of your hearing aid like water, rain, or sweat can, it can significantly impact your ability to hear. To someone wearing a hearing aid, wind can sound just like someone blowing on a microphone to see if it’s working.
This noise can be extremely aggravating to a hearing aid wearer and it can make hearing anything else very difficult. Some hearing aids do a better job of blocking out the wind noise, but they may block out other sounds the wearer needs to hear as well, thus becoming significantly less effective.
Dealing With The Wind
You could remove your hearing aids in windy situations, but then you’re struggling with missing out on important conversations and sounds and signals in the auditory environment. Instead, the easiest thing you can do to protect your hearing aids in windy situations is to wear a cap that covers your ears. This will block out the wind and improve your sound quality greatly. It’s an inexpensive fix and it works most of the time.
You can also invest a small amount into hearing aid covers. They are little sock-like structures that cover your behind-the-ear hearing aid. These little covers have the same effect as wearing a hat. They protect the hearing aid from wind and block out all of that annoying wind noise without blocking out the essential sounds.
You can also look into upgrading your hearing aid. Older hearing aid models are less effective against wind compared to newer models. Of course, models that fit completely within the ear canal are even better.
With a little planning combating the wind can become quite simple. Check the weather forecast for wind conditions before you go out and always carry a cap around with you to have handy in windy situations.

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Why a hearing screening should be part of your wellness check

[vc_section][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hearing loss may be more common than you think. “It’s estimated that nearly 30 million Americans would benefit from the use of hearing aids, but unfortunately, a far smaller number actually get them,” according to Sonus Hearing Care Professionals.
People often put off getting their hearing checked, either thinking it’s unnecessary or assuming hearing loss won’t affect them until they’re older. Here’s why a hearing screening should be a routine part of your yearly wellness check.
 
Hearing loss can occur gradually at any stage of life
You may not realize you’re experiencing hearing loss at first because it can happen so imperceptibly and at any age. One sign that your hearing may be diminishing is if you have a hard time understanding when others talk in a noisy room or on the phone. You may also notice that you have trouble hearing the radio or television at levels that are loud enough for other people.
Hearing loss often stems from one of two sources, though there could be many causes. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affects between 6 and 24 percent of U.S. adults under age 70, according to research reported by the National Institutes of Health. Another study found symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss in up to 17 percent of youths ages 12 to 19.
Major sources of NIHL include doing any of the following without hearing protections: snowmobile riding, listening to loud music through earbuds or headphones, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, target shooting, hunting and attending loud concerts.
Age-induced hearing loss is often a combination of NIHL over the course of a lifetime, changes to the middle and inner ear as people age and changes along nerve pathways that connect the ear to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and certain medications have also been associated with hearing loss.
 
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Hearing loss can affect your family and quality of life

It isn’t just those who experience hearing loss who are affected. It can affect the day-to-day living of family members, as well, as they try to communicate with you. You may notice more arguments between yourself and loved ones or difficulty understanding clients or co-workers, or you may avoid social situations like parties or visiting relatives because of embarrassment and frustration about communication difficulties.
“Family often notices a change in your hearing ability far before you may even be aware of the issue,” say the experts at Sonus. This is why they can also be an important resource when you do visit an audiologist for a hearing screening. Your family members may be able to answer questions about your hearing that you can’t.
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Hearing screenings are free

Many people make a point of getting annual checkups with a primary care physician, but these visits don’t typically include a hearing screening. If you bring up worrisome symptoms with your doctor, he or she can offer a referral to a local audiologist for further testing.
At clinics like Sonus Hearing Care Professionals, although they work closely with most insurances and doctor referrals, they also offer a no referral solution like their free hearing screenings. All you need is an appointment. The screening takes only a few minutes and is a pass/fail test at 25 db 500-4000 Hz. If any hearing loss is detected, Sonus will determine the next course of action. Sonus may recommend additional testing or a complete communication assessment to provide a hearing solution that will work best for the patient.
For more information on hearing loss or to schedule a free hearing screening, contact or visit one of nine San Diego-area Sonus Hearing Care Professionals locations today.
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Keeping Up Communication When Your Loved One Has A Hearing Loss

Communicating with loved one with hearing loss

If your loved one has a hearing loss, you probably understand the frustration that accompanies the communication process. Repeating what you say, turning down radio and television volumes, and struggling to be understood by your family member or friend can be a daunting task. However, it pales in comparison to the struggles faced by an individual with a hearing impairment. The good news is that communication can still be meaningful and productive. Patience and an understanding of how to communicate with a hearing-impaired person can enhance communication and improve the relationship.

Communicating With A Hearing Impaired Loved One

If your loved one has a hearing loss, it is essential that you show respect and patience during communication. Here are tips that can help you communicate more effectively with a hearing-impaired family member or friend:

  • Reduce Background Noise. Turn off the television and the radio, move away from crowds, and if possible find a quiet space. If you and your loved one are at a social gathering, try to find seats away from noisy areas such as the kitchen, serving stations, and the dance floor.
  • Do not block your face. As most people with hearing loss read lips, it is vital to keep your hands or anything else away from your face. Your speech will be more precise, and your companion will be able to read your lips easier.
  • Get your friend’s attention. Be sure to gain your loved one’s attention before you speak. Saying their name, touching them on the hand, arm, or shoulder, or a wave will suffice in beginning a dialogue.
  • Know what works best for them. Ask your companion what works the best for communication. Your loved one will certainly appreciate your consideration.
  • Only one speaker at a time. If you are speaking in a group, try to ensure that only one person at a time is speaking. Multiple voices talking at once can make following a conversation awkward for a hearing-impaired individual.
  • Eye contact. Face a person who has a hearing loss while maintaining eye contact at all times. Facial expressions and body language are essential.
  • Keep a natural tone of voice. Do not shout or exaggerate words as you speak to a hearing impaired person as it may distort your words even further.
  • Rephrase. If you are having trouble with your loved one understanding what you are saying, try rephrasing your words into more straightforward sentences.
  • Be patient. The essential tip is to be patient with your loved one. Show your loved one a significant amount of respect and by staying relaxed and patient throughout the conversation.

Start Improving Communication Today

If you have no problems hearing or understanding speech, it may be difficult for you to understand the obstacles confronted by a hearing-impaired person on a daily basis. A hearing healthcare professional can support you in understanding the challenges faced by your loved one and offer advice for improving communication between the two of you.

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Windy Days And Hearing Aids

Hearing aids in windy weather

For hearing aid wearers, windy days can be a problem. Wind can create a most unpleasant communication experience for the wearer of a hearing aid, and even the most expensive hearing aids are not immune to the noise and feedback that often accompany wind. As the wind is unpredictable and often changes direction, it is a challenge for hearing aid manufacturers to design hearing aids that block excessive wind noise while providing a comfortable hearing aid.

Wind Noise

People who wear hearing aids list wind noise as one of the most significant problems associated with hearing aids. Wind turbulence physically vibrates hearing aid microphones resulting in a loud rushing sound. Hearing aid wearers often describe this sound like the noise you hear when you blow hard into a microphone. This rushing noise makes comprehending speech a challenge. Noise reduction features on hearing aids are an absolute must for people who wear hearing aids and spend time outdoors.

The Challenge For Manufacturers

Hearing aid manufacturers face obstacles in solving the wind noise problem. Wind noise reduction is possible, but it can also reduce the speech signal in the process. Filters often minimize wind noise in certain frequencies which also include the speech signal. So the challenge is minimizing wind noise while maintaining the volume and clarity of speech.

Coping With Wind

When you face windy days as a hearing aid wearer, there are a few measures you can take to reduce the problems caused by wind. Unfortunately, many hearing aid users turn their hearing aids off during windy days and for the hearing impaired this is never a good option. Your hearing aid may have unique features that reduce the wind noise while enhancing the sounds you would like to hear. Solutions may include the strategic placement of a microphone to avoid external noise or a device with programming for windy weather. Due to their size, shape, and installation, invisible hearing aids have a microphone in the ear which decreases external noise.

  • Wear a hat. A simple way to cut down on the irritable noise is to wear a hat. Hats pulled down over the ears can decrease the noise on windy days.
  • Use a hearing aid sock. These covers are a thin elastic piece of material that fits snugly over your hearing aid. You can wear your hearing aid like you usually do and have the benefit of noise reduction.
  • Time for an upgrade? The latest high-tech hearing aids reduce wind noise while allowing clear speech.

Time For An Upgrade?

If you wear hearing aids and love the outdoors, wind noise reduction is a must. The good news is that modern hearing aids have advanced features that detect the impact of wind blowing into hearing aid microphones and then reduce the amplification of the noise thereby increasing speech intelligibility. Try the helpful tips listed here. If you are still undergoing issues, it may be time for a hearing aid upgrade. A hearing healthcare professional can assist you in finding a modern hearing aid with noise reduction features.