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Health and Lifestyle

Exercises for Your Hearing

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Is Your Diet Impacting Your Hearing Loss?

We all know how important a good diet is in maintaining good health. As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”. A good diet can improve your physical well being, improve your mood, and help our bodies heal. But it turns out that your diet actually impacts much, much more, including your hearing.

In recent years, studies have increasingly shown that a diet rich in minerals and vitamins can influence your quality of hearing.

Load up on Your Vitamins & Minerals

Many adults will take a daily multivitamin as part of their daily routine. Vitamins can also help to ensure your auditory system is working as it should be. A diet rich in certain vitamins will help maintain your overall health, but also help reduce your susceptibility to acquired hearing loss.

Your diet should be rich in:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B

In addition to vitamins, minerals also play an important role in your overall hearing health. A mineral is a naturally occurring chemical compound, and are found in the earth.

The most important minerals for your ears include:

  • Zinc
  • Folic Acid
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

What Food Should You Eat?

When it comes to deciding on the foods that will protect your hearing, opt for a diet rich in nuts legumes, fruit and vegetables. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals are:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Peanuts, almonds, cashews
  • Beans and lentils
  • Apricots and oranges
  • Milk and yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Peas

A rainbow of colorful food on your dinner plate is one of the many ways to help protect your hearing. Find out more about how you can protect your hearing and help prevent hearing loss, call us on(507) 208-7002 to make an appointment to speak to one of our hearing care professionals today.

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What Your Hearing Care Provider Can Do For You

What prevents individuals from achieving better hearing? There are several answers. For many people, hearing loss seems to just sneak up slowly over time. Many do not even realize they have an issue until it becomes significant. And because it isn’t noticed, it isn’t mentioned at an annual physical, and even more time goes by without seeking help. In fact, on average, it takes a person 7-10 years1 to seek help for hearing loss. By the time a person realizes the full impact of hearing loss, they may just want a quick fix to a complicated problem.

Regrettably, many people with hearing loss are lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting it, either through the purchase of hearing aids online, choosing a personal sound amplifier, or by visiting big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than patient care. In spite of the allure of these seemingly simple fixes, the fact is that a professional hearing care provider is your best resource to address your hearing healthcare.

What the big boxes and online hearing aid retailers aren’t telling you

Maybe you’ve heard that you can buy hearing aids similar to those from hearing care professionals from the big box stores for little money. These stores are only successful because they can sell a large volume of low-priced goods, often very cheaply, to gain larger revenue. They focus on efficiency, which is a polite way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.” Admittedly, this profit-centric model works well for many purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, personalized care to help choose your t-shirts or soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in to these types of purchases. But purchasing hearing aids is more complicated; you need a professional to guide you. Your ears deserve individual attention from trained professionals.

Looks can be deceiving

Beware of hearing aids from online retailers. They are probably not the same quality of product, even if they come from the same manufacturer. Models may differ slightly, making them eligible for discounted pricing, without the features that hearing care professionals can offer.

Hearing care experts use a customer-centric business model

Our hearing care providers are completely different. We are not obsessed with short-term profits because we focus on customer care. Have we identified your individual needs and found a solution that suits you? Are you willing to return to us for your future care? Would you refer us to your friends and neighbors? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we have been successful in our approach to care.

We thrive on providing quality care, which benefits both the person with hearing loss as well as our team.

In contrast, what will happen if the big box stores can’t deliver quality care and happy customers? They will push more advertising to increase their flow of new customers, offering the same “quick and cheap fix” that lured the original customers.

Because individuals experience hearing differently, it’s important to choose your hearing care provider wisely

Hearing is complex; like our fingerprints, everyone’s hearing is unique. So the frequencies your friend may hear well could be the same ones that you can’t hear. In other words, you can’t just take the surrounding sound, make it all louder, pump it into your ears and expect good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers and over-the-counter hearing aid models do.

The truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify — AND the sounds they don’t — must complement the way you, and only you, hear. Hearing care professionals accomplish this through:

  • Assessing* your hearing to learn the EXACT nature of your hearing loss
  • Understanding the variety of hearing aids and their individual capabilities (as well as what they cannot do)
  • Identifying what works for your needs
  • Fitting and programming your hearing aids to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing, while identifying and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise)
  • Providing follow-up care, especially in the first few weeks when the device is new and may need further adjustments

For the hearing care provider, acquiring this knowledge requires a lot of instruction and patient care experience. This is how we can conduct the appropriate assessment* to help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids and provide the coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. We don’t cut corners in providing comprehensive hearing care. That is why the results are well worth your time and effort.

Make the right choice for you

Who do you trust with your hearing? Someone who views you only as a transaction, consumer or a means to reaching sales targets? Or do you trust an experienced hearing professional who cares about the same thing you do — attaining the best hearing possible? We think the decision is easy: relationships are the lifeblood of successful hearing care.

Still have questions?

We welcome you to call (507) 208-7002 to make an appointment today. Hearing starts with a conversation. Our friendly team is there for you throughout the process of identifying your needs, finding the right hearing aid (if that’s right for you), fitting, adjusting and following up with you. Your hearing satisfaction is our goal – and we measure our success through your wellness.

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Preparing for holiday gatherings with hearing loss

Whether you are preparing to host an event this coming holiday season or are attending an impromptu gathering of friends, this is an important time to catch up with loved ones. But what if hearing loss poses a challenge for communicating?

When people gather it can be noisy. Especially if many people are speaking at the same time. Add in holiday music, restaurant chatter or a football game on in the background, and even people with excellent hearing may have trouble understanding a conversation with someone standing next to them.

If you follow these tips, it may be easier to catch up with loved ones and enjoy their company.

Pick a good place to hear at holiday events

Whether you are in a home or a restaurant, try to position yourself in a space with less background noise. Follow these tips:

  • Flooring and walls – Carpeting, tablecloths and drapery help to absorb noise.
  • Pick the right room – In a home, try to avoid the kitchen or areas near the TV. If you are in a restaurant, ask for a seat away from the kitchen or bar.
  • Avoid the amplifiers – Although you can’t always get away from blaring music, try to be as far from speakers as possible. Corners or booths can provide some relief.
  • Try for 1:1 conversations – If you really want to catch every word, there is nothing wrong with finding a quieter spot in the hallway, or even outside for one-on-one conversations.

Arrive early to choose the best seat in the house

When choosing your seat, try to be where you can see people’s faces – that way you can pick up on facial cues. Try to sit where there is good lighting. If one ear is stronger than the other, offer the person you wish to speak to the seat on your strong side. You can also ask a relative or friend to help you fill in the gaps if you miss part of the conversation.

Don’t be shy about your hearing loss this holiday season

In noisy situations there is no reason to hide your hearing loss. While it may be easier to pretend that you can hear, nodding along with the others, this is not fair to you (or to the person speaking). If you feel you missed out, there is nothing wrong with asking for a recap afterward.

You can also let people know you are missing some of the conversation with simple visual cues like placing your hand to your ear. This won’t disrupt the flow of conversations but will signal to the speaker to speak up or slow down.

Sometimes a simple reminder for relatives to speak slower works wonders.

Noticed changes in your hearing? There’s still time to get help

Although planning may be underway, the holiday season is still a few weeks away. If you are worried about hearing at Thanksgiving, holiday parties or other gatherings, there’s time to have a no-obligation hearing assessment* to see if hearing aids are an option for you. A hearing specialist can also give you tips on communicating with loved ones. If you are concerned about a loved one’s hearing, offer to bring them for an appointment. We encourage caregivers, friends and family to join our patients for the first appointment.

Let your hearing aids help you

Sometimes the most obvious strategy is the best solution. If you have hearing aids, wear them. Plus, if you forget them and have trouble following along, it may frustrate your family. The newest hearing aids have technical advancements designed for complex hearing environments, where noise is coming from multiple sources. Newer devices make it easier to hear what you want to hear, even in the situations with multiple people speaking.

For best results, try various settings in advance to see which works best for you in noisy environments. If this isn’t enough, you may also want to consider the extra help of a discreet clip-on microphone. If you would like help with your hearing aids’ settings or perhaps reprogramming them, stop in.

It’s your holiday too, so enjoy it!

If you have new hearing aids, go easy on yourself. Take short breaks to give your brain a rest and re-energize when you feel fatigue setting in. If conversation at the table is challenging, focus on the people nearest you. If a group is too noisy or fast-paced, try a smaller and quieter group to join. Social events are for your enjoyment – not a test of your stamina.

Don’t let hearing loss keep you from enjoying the people and things you love. Locate your closest hearing professional and make an appointment with Clear Wave Hearing Center.

Posted by Admin

Do You Have Ear Wax Build Up?

Do you suffer from frequent ear blockages due to ear wax build up? This can be a very pesky issue that leaves many worried! Not only is your hearing affected, but this buildup may cause other stress over health and even hygiene.

“Why do I have excess wax? I eat well, exercise, and am a perfectly healthy person!”

Although, ear wax build up is not always directly related to general health and hygiene. Some people simply just produce more ear wax than others. There is no magic pill that can cure you of this condition. Thus, when you clean your ears, you need to be very careful not to push the wax any further into the ear canal. Which is why Q-Tips are not meant for ear canals and should never be used for this.

Here are some tips so you can become wax free:

• If the ear wax is too hard (enough to cause pain), you can try to soften the wax with a simple over the counter purchase. Try some mineral oil, baby oil, or for the most daring hydrogen peroxide. These can be used in small amounts (eyedropper) to help soften and break up the excess ear wax. Use a cotton swab to gently wipe the outer part of the ear.

• If the buildup is too serious to soften, ear irrigation is the best technique to attempt. You can often buy an ear irrigation kit at a local pharmacy. The process is simple. Make sure you are standing with your head centered (no leaning). Pull your ear gently upward to open it. Use your irrigation kit: take a syringe full of lukewarm water and push a stream into your ear. Lean your waterlogged head over to let the liquid drain.

• Sometimes home remedies will not solve the issue. Go to your local audiologist and ask to have your ears cleaned. If you are worried about tackling this task on your own, simply make an appointment at your local hearing care center. This is the quickest solution to true ear care.

But remember this above all else…

NEVER PUSH ANYTHING INTO YOU EAR CANAL! This includes those harmless cotton swabs that are stereotypically viewed as your ear’s best friend. These foreign objects may alleviate the problem, but they will more likely cause damage to your ear canal. They can also push the wax further in your ear causing unneeded damage to your ear drum.

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