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Hearing Loss

Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Hearing Loss?

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Hearing Assessment

Why bring someone to a hearing test?

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Hearing Aids

Do’s And Don’ts With Your Hearing Aid

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Can Stress and Hearing Loss Be Related?

Stress is a natural part of life. Between family, job, and social obligations, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. It can impact your health in very profound ways, including impacting your hearing. Being mindful of the degree and duration of stress is an important way to monitor your overall health.

Acute vs. Long-term Stress

During acute stress responses, your heart rate and breathing may increase as a result of your adrenaline flowing. After the threat triggering this “fight or flight” response is neutralized, the body typically returns to neutral to recover from the surge of adrenaline.

However, there are times when stress continues for an extended period, thereby causing the body to keep releasing adrenaline without much (or any) rest and recovery time. This type of long-term stress is harmful to your health and can affect your immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems.

Chronic Stress and Hearing Loss

Stress is often not an isolated condition. Its interrelationship with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking can have significant health consequences. These conditions impact and restrict your circulation, which in turn can affect your hearing.

The small sensory hairs of your inner ear need good blood circulation to survive and thrive in doing their job of interpreting sound. With poor circulation, these inner ear hairs can be damaged or die and result in hearing loss.

4 Tips for Managing Stress

More stress causes more health complications. Therefore, proactively managing it is a crucial way to protect yourself. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) publishes a stress index to help…

  1. Exercise regularly. Maintaining a regular flow of physical activity boosts cardiovascular health. Commit to even 15-20 minutes a day of getting your heart pumping and worry less about your heart health.
  2. Talk to someone. Finding a therapist or counselor to talk to during difficult periods can be a big help to reduce and process stress.
  3. Get a checkup. Visit your doctor, naturopath, or other healthcare professional to get a clearer picture of the impact stress is having on your body. They may be able to prescribe additional medications, supplements, or strategies to help your body recover.
  4. Get your hearing checked. If you’ve noticed a change in your hearing or have concerns about circulatory conditions, book an assessment with your hearing healthcare professional.

Concerned about the effects of stress on your hearing health? Talk to us today.

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4 Reasons to Keep a Backup Hearing Aid

While today’s hearing aids are quite technologically advanced, it can be all too easy to forget about contingency planning against them failing. Here are four reasons to keep a backup hearing aid.

Crucial Communication
You don’t need a big yellow taxi to know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Finding yourself without a functional hearing aid has immediate impact on your ability to communicate with others comfortably. For people who suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid is a crucial connection to the world around them.

Safety
A non-functioning hearing aid can increase the risk of accident or injury, affecting the ability to hear or anticipate dangers or distractions. Taking the precaution to care for a hearing aid diligently will go a long way to ensuring that you’re not left without one unexpectedly. Having an old device or basic model as a backup are sure-fire ways to put safety first.

Travel Prep
Hearing aids sit in some pretty hostile territory–between sweat, ear wax, dirt, and dead skin, a lot going on in there. An unfortunate time for a hearing aid to stop working is when you’re furthest from home (and your audiologist). Whether it’s a business trip or your bucket list vacation, finding yourself without a hearing aid can spell disaster for your travels (and a hefty bill to try to scramble a rush replacement).

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Hearing aid technology changes every few years. So, if you’ve upgraded your hearing aid, why not keep the old pair as your backup? Be mindful of any significant changes that could impact your ability to get spare parts or repairs done on your old device and be sure to be proactive with cleaning and storing it properly.

Like a spare pair of eyeglasses, a spare hearing aid can save you from a hairy situation. Keeping a backup hearing aid stands to protect you from the inconvenience and irritation should an unexpected failure occur. If you’d like to learn more about how to retire your old hearing aid as your spare, contact us.

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Making Better Choices During Better Hearing and Speech Month

It’s no secret, but your hearing health matters! Especially in May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month. It means the difference between hearing the most important parts of the conversation, such as medical information, dates, prices or can’t-miss work-related details and missing vital information. At other times it may mean not hearing every story your grandkids want to tell you about their busy days. Maybe it’s something someone wants to whisper for your ears only. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve to hear well!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Every May the hearing care community gets the word out that it’s important to focus on hearing wellness. This year professionals such as the team at Clear Wave Hearing Center advocate for individuals to get their annual hearing assessment – if only to check against future testing – and to learn about hearing wellness.

Five things you can do to improve your hearing wellness

As part of your overall wellness, it’s important to focus on your hearing. That means much more than just getting your ears checked. It means investing in yourself in other ways. Here are some general dos and don’ts to consider this May:

  1. Use hearing protection – it’s key to preventing hearing loss. Avoid loud noise and if you will be around places with excessive volume, wear earplugs or other protective gear. Especially if your plans include concerts or explosives, such as fireworks. If you are not sure how loud something is, you can download a decibel app on your cellphone.
  2. Eat well and go bananas! Just as carrots are famous for helping vision, did you know that potassium is linked to auditory wellness? Other good things to eat include foods high in folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus – and organ-meats, like liver.
  3. Don’t use Q-tips in your ears. If you grew up hearing “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears,” continue to heed that advice. The inner ear canal is sensitive.
  4. Be active. Exercise helps hearing. There’s a positive link between cardiovascular health and hearing acuity in recent studies.
  5. Know how well you hear! Make sure you have an annual hearing assessment. If you discover you have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. Some 48 million Americans1 have hearing loss. Even more have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Don’t be afraid to address hearing loss

Untreated hearing loss is linked with higher instances of dementia and depression, and it is linked to lower household income, if untreated.1 That’s why it’s important to use hearing aids, if warranted. Hearing well makes communication easier and allows individuals to communicate with confidence.

Can’t make it in May? Hearing wellness matters all year long

While Better Hearing and Speech Month is celebrated in May, we believe your hearing wellness matters all year long. Whether you need your hearing aids cleaned or want to help with handling a loved one’s hearing loss, we’re there to help address your hearing needs. Call (507) 208-7002 to make an appointment to make a no-obligation appointment.

1 Hearing Loss Association of America.

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Summer Vacation Hearing Tips

If you’re planning to check out for a summer vacation, you may want to review your prep checklist and add some things to cover your hearing health. In the excitement of hitting the sand, sea, or mountains, it’s easy to forget that we need more than just sunscreen to protect ourselves. Be sure to follow these hearing tips for summer travel.

Bring ear protection. A backyard BBQ, outdoor concert, or fireworks show are all synonymous with summer. You may experience these types of events both at home and away, in which case it’s essential to make sure that you don’t forget ear protection when you travel. Disposable foam or silicone earplugs help to filter out loud sound and ambient crowd noise while still allowing you to hear safely. Additionally, wearing hearing protection when swimming can help to prevent the annoying (and uncomfortable) condition known as “swimmer’s ear.”

Watch where you sit. Proximity to loud sound is crucial to noise-induced hearing loss. Rather than situate yourself near a speaker or front row, consider hanging out further away from loud sources of sound. For airplane travel, try and book your seats at the front of the cabin to avoid engine noise and consider picking up a pair of high-quality noise-canceling headphones.

Turn down the volume. Playing some tunes while sitting poolside or at the beach is a memorable part of summer but be mindful of the volume level. If you find yourself having to increase the volume (or get complaints from neighbors), this may be a sign that you’re struggling with your hearing. Also, protect your hearing when using headphones by doing things like reducing the volume and taking breaks.

Take breaks. Parties or socializing with new people is often a highlight of a vacation. Proactively taking breaks from noisy chatter and environments can help to reset and re-energize you rather than exhausting you.

Practice makes perfect. If you’ve just gotten a hearing aid or have switched devices, be sure to get the hang of it at home before your vacation. Getting familiar with it and its settings can help to make your holiday all the more stress-free.

To learn more hearing aid tips that can help you to prepare for your summer vacation, book a consultation with us today.

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