March is National Kidney Month and 50 percent of patients with kidney disease suffer hearing loss. Why might you ask? The two fist sized kidneys have similar shape to our two ears and there are many other structural and functional similarities between them. Some kidney medications can be toxic to hearing. Poor kidney function increase toxins which transmit to the blood flowing to your ears. The chief Scientific Officer of the National Kidney Foundation, Dr Kerry Willis, has stated “Earlier clinical hearing assessments and fitting of hearing aids in CKD patients can improve quality of life and lead to better management of underlying conditions which could, in turn, potentially preserve hearing function”.
We have found clients with kidney disease and diabetes can also experience more rapid decline in their hearing loss so hearing needs to be re-evaluated at least every two years to keep hearing aids programmed properly for optimal audibility.
A healthy diet has been found to help kidney function and reduce the risk of Acquired Hearing Loss. A study released in October 2019 by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that eating a healthy diet reduced the odds of a low frequency hearing loss by 30% and a high frequency hearing loss by 25%. So, hearing loss as we age is not inevitable.
The healthy diets in their study included the DASH- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension; AMED- Alternate Mediterranean diet; AHEI-2010 Alternate Healthy Index-2010.
Ears feeling stuffy? Sometimes completing some exercises will help you hear and feel better. Samples include:
- Blow your nose 4 times a day (before meals and bedtime). Shut mouth. Don’t hold nose. Blow.
- Balloon blowing
- Inhalations 1-2 time a day of Eucalyptus/ Vicks
- Chewing gum
- Menthol Lozenges
- Antihistamine tablets
- Sleep with the affected ear up
- Nasal rinse
- Use ’Ear Plane’ ear plugs if you are flying
ReSound sent a notice stating at the end of the month, the minimum operating system requirements for the ReSound Smart3D and the ReSound Smart App will change. The minimum is Android 7 or the Apple iOS 12. Requirements help improve connectivity and stability.
To Keep you Marching Toward Better Hearing…
We recommend you wear your hearing devices all day, every day.
Taking breaks from wearing your hearing devices affects how sounds are being processed. Consistent input from the hearing devices help your brain adapt to the sounds around you making them easy to identify. Removing the hearing aids disrupts the process and keeps your brain guessing.
Think about any skill you want to keep… shooting a basketball (yes, it is that time of year) or playing and instrument, interpreting speech, it takes proper practice. Keeping your hearing aids in allows your brain to keep practicing even if you are in a quiet environment when you are home alone. Your brain will get used to the sound of the birds, traffic outside, your refrigerator running and when you go out of the house for something the little “noises” around you won’t be so distracting when you are trying to focus on a conversation in a car, office, or diner.
For some clients, who may have gone longer without hearing help, formal practicing of different speech patterns while wearing their hearing aids may be necessary to understand conversation. The cLear Ear Trains the Brain, on one program which gives you listening games on your computer to help sharpen your skills. The program is $25 a month and usually takes 1-3 months of training to be effective. Contact us for further details.
When Should You Skip the Hearing Aids?
Please remove your hearing aids when you are in loud environments; there are loudness limiters in them but they will not protect your hearing so find some ear muffs! Other times to remove your hearing devices include before a shower, swimming or sleeping
Growth and Development
As, you may know, the staff here at Elkhart Audiology Rehab goes through regular training to help others better cope with hearing loss. Our process is client focused to build relationships to better identify areas of concern and methods to help. This training allows you to be confident that you are receiving optimal results.
Stefanie completed her audiology assistant training and will be seeing more clients for regular cleaning and testing of hearing devices. If you’ve stopped by in the last month, you will have seen our renovation allowing Stefanie to treat you in a separate area.
We are happy as this dedicated space improves workflow, confidentiality and reduces your wait time for hearing aid service. You also get a new station for beverages, snacks and demonstration devices. We are still Looped! We look forward to serving you and want to thank you. You, our clients teach us everyday things we wouldn’t know. Sharing your wisdom, your joys, sorrows, and laughter keeps us connected to why we do what we do for better hearing. We know we are not the least expensive provider in the area but get results and we always hope you receive value for the dollars you spend. We sincerely appreciate your referrals as they help us continue to provide you with the type of care you deserve.