an african american man smiles as he touches his wine glass to that of his wife as they dine free of hearing difficulties

Noise Impacts Hearing—and Food Choices

How’s this for a New Year’s resolution twofer: Dialing down loud sounds could help an individual’s hearing health and their waistline!

Excess noise can lead to ear pain, ringing or other unwanted head sounds, and even permanent hearing impairment. It’s one of the leading — and most preventable — causes of hearing loss, with populations such as noise-exposed workers, power-tool users, and a growing number of young people affected.

Now researchers have also reported a link between hearing loud music and choosing more calorie-heavy menu options that can, ahem, expand one’s girth. Scientists published their results in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science earlier this spring.

The study, “Ambient Music and Food Choices: Can Music Volume Level Nudge Healthier Choices?” involved a series of field and lab investigations that turned up some interesting findings:

Lower-volume music, which can have a relaxing effect, leads to healthier …

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an elderly asian couple stand atop a mountain surrounded by fog, proud of overcoming hearing loss

Myth Busting: 5 Facts About Your Hearing Health

Is hearing loss an isolated issue that doesn’t affect my overall health? Can a simple sound amplifier take the place of hearing aids? Is there nothing I can do about that ringing in my ears?

Nearly all hearing problems can be effectively managed, but misconceptions can get in the way of continuing the journey to better hearing health. We’re busting five myths with facts to help you stay on track!   Myth: Hearing impairment simply comes with aging. Fact: “Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss” for 20- to 69-year-olds, per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, but did you know that about two to three of every 1,000 U.S. kids enter the world with a detectable impairment? In Canada, an estimated 4 out of 1,000 children are born with some form of hearing loss or will develop it early. Plus, noise-related hearing damage — …

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a woman's hand signing a check to her favorite charity

Think Outside the Box With These 7 Hearing Loss Charities

Giving a donation in someone’s name is a popular form of gift giving. If you’ve been considering which charities to donate to this year, or if loved ones have hinted that they need gift ideas for you, look no further. We’ve put together a list of hearing-related charities.

 

Hearing Charities of America

Through awareness, volunteerism, and philanthropy, Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) provides resources to hearing professionals and those with hearing loss. Notable programs supported by HCOA include:

Scholarship programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students SAFEEars!, which raises awareness among young people about hearing and hearing loss The Hearing Aid Project, which helps organizations come together to provide hearing-assistive devices to low-income individuals

 

Hearing Loss Association of America

Per the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) stated intent, the “HLAA seeks to enable people with hearing loss to live life fully and without …

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Are Portable Music Players Putting Your Ears at Risk?

Turn the Music Up, Dude — But Not Past 85 Decibels

You probably use your tablet or smartphone often to stream music, TV shows, or movies. In fact, many websites these days auto-play videos regardless of whether you want them to.

Smartphones, tablets, and other types of portable music players (PMPs) are now commonplace, as are earbuds and headphones. But if your PMP is turned up too loud while wearing earbuds or headphones, you can damage your hearing quickly. Let’s look at why.

NIHL

This isn’t some new sports league — NIHL stands for noise-induced hearing loss, and it’s the second-largest cause of hearing loss worldwide.

You’re able to hear because of hair cells in your inner ear. These cells convert sound signals to electrical signals and send them to your brain, where they’re interpreted as sounds. But loud sounds can actually damage or destroy your hair cells.

Every time a hair cell gets damaged, you lose a little bit …

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Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection?

To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell.

The Hair Cell

Your brain doesn’t understand sound waves. Tiny, hair-like structures in your inner ear, called hair cells, translate sound waves into a language — electrical signals — your brain understands. It sends those signals to your brain through the auditory nerve, and your brain interprets the signals as sound information.

Care and Feeding of Your Hair Cells

Hair cells need plenty of oxygen, which they get from strong, rich blood flow. …

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