February is Heart Health Month.

 Hearing health and heart health are linked!

Hearing health and heart health are linked!

The inner ear is really remarkable!  The human ear responds to 10 octaves of sound, from the softest rustling of a leaf, to a jet engine at take off.  This amazing range comes through specialized cells that are very susceptible to changes in the blood supply.  If there are concerns about the health of your cardiovascular system, there could also be changes to your hearing. 

In 1965, Rosen and Olin discovered the first links between hearing health and cardiovascular health.  In the intervening years, the link between the hearing and heart have been shown to be stronger and stronger.   

The American Academy of Audiology published an important study showing the influence of cardiovascular health on hearing.  A causal link between hasn't been identified, but there is a definitive relationship between the two.  The ear is supplied by several small arteries and requires a sufficient and rich blood flow to maintain proper function.  It is believed that cardiovascular disease can reduce blood flow to the ear and in turn cause damage to different parts of the auditory system. This damage typically results in a sensorineural hearing loss which is permanent and often managed with amplification.

This article, written by Dr. Hamlett, ENT, explains the relationship in the USA Today.  

Our office recommends that you have your hearing screened every 5 years, after the age of 18.  At age 40, a complete hearing evaluation should be performed to establish a baseline.  We care about your overall health and wellness, and work as part of your healthcare team to help you live life to the fullest.

New Year...New Ears!


New Year...New Ears!

What are your goals for 2018?

It's hard to believe that 2017 is almost over.  Do you make resolutions or set goals?  I'll have to admit that many of my goals were left undone this year due to health challenges and then new opportunities that came across my path this fall.  

I have learned one important thing from these "derailments".  If you don't look after yourself, how can you care for others?  

Self Care and Hearing Healthcare

My most important goal for the coming year is to make my loved ones a greater priority.  For me, this means being a better listener, and taking more time to act on the things my family shares with me.  The key to this is making sure I am healthy enough to do so.  

The same principle works for each of us.  If you are not feeling well or not hearing well, you cannot devote the attention that good communication requires.  Active listening requires your full attention, your concern, and your emotional support.  

It's ok to make yourself a priority.

Have you noticed when you get the safety talk on the airplane, they always teach you to put your oxygen mask on first, and then help others?  There is wisdom in that.  When you take care of yourself, you have more to give. 

Hearing loss creates an often unacknowledged drain on attention and memory as it causes you to put more resources towards decoding a message, rather than understanding it.  

Consider what the real cost of untreated hearing loss is on your life, and resolve to be a better listener.  Treating hearing loss may be as simple as aural rehabilitation, hearing amplification, or a combination of both.  Make yourself and your relationships a higher priority.  It's a new year, a new beginning.  Take care of your hearing in 2018.  


November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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Diabetes is the inability of a the body to process carbohydrates. 

This can be due to insulin resistance, (type 2 diabetes), or due to lack of insulin production, (type 1 diabetes).  When the body cannot remove sugar from the blood stream, it can cause damage to both the circulatory system and also the nervous system.  

As some of you may know, I have type 1 diabetes.  I live with the day to day, relentless toll that living with diabetes can play on both physical and emotional well being. 

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Diabetes is linked with an increased risk of hearing loss.

One of the less talked about side effects of diabetes is an increased risk for hearing loss, which has been verified in multiple studies.  You can read more about these studies here:

American Diabetes Association


American Speech Language Hearing Association

How can you prevent hearing loss when you also deal with diabetes? 

Do you best to keep your blood sugars in a normal range.  Exercise, reduce carbohydrate intake, and stay hydrated.  Avoid loud noise.  Keep your regular appointments with your physician and follow their counsel.  GET YOUR HEARING CHECKED!!!  Along with annual eye examinations for nerve damage, you should also have annual hearing evaluations to determine if changes are occurring in your hearing.  

There is always hope.

Don't let diabetes break you down.  Be sure to visit with someone who knows what you are facing, and can be a listening ear.  Your local audiologist is someone who understands, and can help you communicate with your loved ones.  Although both diabetes and hearing loss don't have a "cure", they are manageable, and you can live a full life.  It takes patience with yourself, and a willingness to learn management skills.  



Fall in the air, reflection, and hope.


Fall in the air...

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  The crisp morning air, the colors of the leaves changing, the warmth of the late autumn light make my heart peaceful.  I also love watching the busy harvest activities happening all around.  It's a time to enjoy the fruits of spring and summer's labor.  


It's also the time we prepare for the holidays.  November and December are coming fast.  Have you considered how your hearing may affect your enjoyment of holiday parties?  What about hearing important conversations?  Are you finding that you avoid activities you once enjoyed?


Now is the time to have your hearing evaluated, and treatment options considered.  Hearing technology, assistive listening tools, and listening therapy are available and (better than ever) to help you navigate the holidays with confidence.  

Our clinic's thorough diagnostic and unique fitting protocols ensure a better experience than you may have had anywhere else.  Education and experience make a difference in your long term success.  

I hope you'll call today and take the first step to a happier holiday season!

Sounds of Summer Scavenger Hunt 2017

Our office is sponsoring a sound scavenger hunt this summer!  Drop in, and pick up your contest card.  Our hope is to encourage you to experience all that our beautiful area has to offer.  The rules are as follows:

Visit at least one county fair, one fine arts theatre event, one outdoor event, and one place of beauty.  Turn in your card, (along with proof of attendance such as a ticket stub, program copy or photo) for a chance to win.  

All entries must be returned to our office before September 30, 2017.  Winners will be announced on our Facebook page.  

Grand prize will be $500 off a pair of mid level or premium hearing aids.   There will be other prizes, including a date night for two!

We're grateful to be able to serve this beautiful community, and hope you'll get out there and enjoy it!  

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