Did You Know? Healthy Eating Can Prevent Hearing Loss

There are many different reasons why one chooses to maintain a healthy diet. Now, you can add good hearing to the list. There have been two different long-term clinical studies which both show how a healthy diet indirectly prevents hearing loss. Since a healthy diet helps improve circulation, reduces inflammation, and can prevent heart disease and diabetes, it also helps prevent hearing loss since those health problems can cause it.

Clinical Studies Present Reasons for Healthy Eating

The clinical studies performed show that healthy eating should start in your youth; but, it is never too late to develop this good habit. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that young adults who had poor nutrition were twice as likely to have hearing loss than other children. The study included 4,765 children who were younger than 5 years old at the baseline visit in 1989. These children were followed in subsequent years and at the conclusion of the study, for participants who did not have healthy eating habits, evidence was found of up to a 2.2-fold increased risk of early-adult hearing loss as a result of early childhood stunting or low BMI, as well as an increased risk of fluid in the ear.

A second study involving women and their dietary patterns was published in the Journal of Nutrition earlier this year. It showed that women whose nutritional intake more closely resembled one of three healthy diets had a 30% lower risk of developing hearing loss. The three diets examined were:

  1. The Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED) featuring extra virgin olive oil, grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and a moderate intake of alcohol.
  2. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) which emphasizes fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy, while restricting salt.
  3. The Alternative Healthy Eating Index – 2010 (AHEI-2010), which measures diet quality to assess how well a set of foods align with key recommendations.

It is important to note that the hearing loss is not directly correlated to eating patterns, but that the health problems associated with poor diet are more likely to be the cause of the hearing loss than the diets themselves. This is just one more reason to load up on fresh foods and make good food choices as often as possible.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us  to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today. We have 6 convenient audiology clinic locations for you in Long Island, NY including: Babylon, Bayside, Bellmore, Great Neck, Jericho, and Rockville.

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Travel Tips for People With Hearing Loss

Whether you travel often or just take the occasional trip, it’s often a hectic race to get to the airport and arrive at your destination. Don’t let hearing loss get in the way of getting to where you need to go. Traveling when you have hearing loss may seem like a daunting proposition, but with proper planning, you will do just fine. Today we have tips to help you feel more confident about traveling with hearing loss or hearing aids.

Planning Ahead for Your Trip

Planning ahead is the key to make sure that everything goes smoothly the day of travel. Remember these tips are not just for leaving, but for your return flight too. When you are booking your flight, if available, opt in for text or email alerts regarding your flight. This way, if you miss an announcement in the crowded and noisy airport, you will still have the information sent to you directly. Arrive to the airport early so that you can be ready for any gate changes or delays. If you have to rush, it makes everything more difficult and you don’t need any extra stress. Also, you should plan ahead what you need to check with your luggage and what you should carry-on.

What to Pack and What to Carry-On

Make a checklist for everything you need to help you hear during your flight and the trip itself once you arrive at your destination.  If you can’t hear well, let your flight attendant know so that he or she can make sure that you heard and understood any important announcements. If you have hearing aids, you are allowed to (and should) wear them during the flight. This applies even if you have wireless hearing aids. Here is your checklist for what to carry-on if you have hearing aids (don’t check anything vital with your luggage just in case it gets lost):

  • Hearing aid case.
  • Spare hearing aid batteries.
  • All the accessories you use with your hearing aids.
  • Any connected devices you use in conjunction with your hearing aids to help you hear.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us  to schedule an appointment  with one of our hearing professionals today.

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June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month: Did You Know That We Hear With Our Brains, Not Our Ears?

Since June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, we are highlighting the connection between Alzheimer’s Disease and hearing loss. Any family who has been touched by Alzheimer’s knows the devastating effects this disease has. While researchers have yet to find a cure, they are learning more all the time through research that is helping them put some puzzle pieces together. One such puzzle piece uncovered through research is that hearing loss is connecting to both Alzheimer’s and some forms of dementia. The reason there is the connection is because we actually hear with our brains, not our ears. However, when hearing is impaired, it causes difficulty for the brain, which is trying to process sounds.

Johns Hopkins Research

In recent years, researchers at Johns Hopkins have been studying how hearing loss might influence cognitive decline. During their research, the tracked a study group of seniors over several years and recorded which ones developed Alzheimer’s disease and also noted how quickly or slowly the disease progressed. In each study performed, people who had hearing loss had higher rates of dementia. Researchers have developed 4 theories as to why this connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline exists:

There is a change in brain function. As a result of hearing and auditory processing in the brain working differently over time, it could be causing a change in how the brain is structured.

  1. Taxing your brain’s cognitive load. When you can’t hear well, your brain is forced to work harder to try to interpret what sounds mean. This extra work might be making it difficult for the brain to concentrate on other functions including memory.
  2. The effects of social isolation. Many people who have hearing loss that goes untreated will suffer from social isolation. This feeling of loneliness and lack of interaction might be a cause of cognitive decline.
  3. Unknown causality. The fourth reason that researchers have hypothesized might be that there is a connection that is yet to be discovered between hearing loss and memory loss in the brain. More research is definitely needed.

If is important to mention that hearing loss itself isn’t believed to be what causes cognitive decline. However, it is the untreated hearing loss that causes the problems. That is why getting treatment for hearing loss is imperative to your overall hearing and cognitive health.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about the treatment of or preventing hearing loss, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing professionals today.

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Higher Education Opportunities for Students with Hearing Loss

According to the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), approximately 77,000 students between ages 3 and 21 have hearing loss severe enough to qualify them for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Consequently, public schoolchildren with disabilities have the right to special accommodations in elementary through secondary school. Sometimes this results in creating an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP. But what happens after high school?

Hearing loss shouldn’t stand in the way of higher education

Picking among colleges may feel like a daunting task. So if you have aspirations for a degree, you have options. To start, most colleges have departments that help students with needs design solutions. This may be similar to the IEP services you received in high school. If you are returning to college as a non-traditional aged student, it may surprise you how much easier it is to access help today. Remember, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public colleges and universities to offer equal access to all students. While support mechanisms may differ from one school to another, hearing loss should not impede getting an education.

Finding the right fit for students with hearing loss

Colleges and universities must provide appropriate academic adjustments to make sure students are not discriminated against based on disability. However, many programs go beyond that help students to get the most out of their learning experiences. And this includes hearing loss.

Prospective students have to face many choices. Is a large university or a small liberal arts college what you want? Or maybe an urban environment seems like a better fit. Perhaps an enclosed campus feels more at home. In addition, if you have hearing loss, maybe you prefer schools with exceptional accommodations for your needs.

While it may be hard to know where to start, here are a few programs. Most of these schools are especially relevant for students with severe or profound hearing loss:

Pursuing hearing-related research and education

Is audiology your passion? Maybe you want to consider a path researching audiology and hearing loss. Across the country, schools offer programs to train tomorrow’s audiologist. One resource is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s online directory of higher educational programs in audiology. Most noteworthy, prospective students may apply for scholarships to study audiology.

A few colleges also offer future educators tailored programs for working in deaf education, including a collaboration between Smith College and the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. In addition, there is the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Center on Deafness. They published a guide for service providers with information that potential students and families might find useful.

Fall is peak season for applying

Most of all, if you are considering programs that start next year, now’s the time to get your ducks in a row. Our staff can discuss the latest in communication-focused technology. Even more, we can advise how to integrate hearing aids in certain learning environments. Finally, contact Hearing Help Associates at (866) 604-8057 today to set up an appointment.

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