Music To Your Ears

June 24, 2019

Some say that listening to music spurs creativity. While many people like to work with background music, others prefer quiet environments. To find out which of the listening environments works best, researchers investigated the effect of listening to music on people’s ability to complete word tasks that call for creativity. The study involved use of the “CRAT verbal creativity test,”  which shows a person three words and asks him or her to think of a fourth word that can be added either to the front or the end of each of the three words to make three new words or phrases. In the final analysis, researchers concluded that music can “significantly impair” one’s ability to solve tasks involving verbal creativity.

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The 24/7 Hearing Instrument

June 17, 2019

       Hearing-impaired people with active lifestyles want a hearing instrument that will not inhibit activity or get in the way of sports performance. With these and other factors in mind, there is a hearing instrument that is not only 100% invisible, but it is also the world’s first 24/7 hearing instrument. Moreover, with no need to change a battery, this hearing instrument can be worn and replaced every four months. In the meantime, the 24/7 hearing instrument utilizes the ear’s natural sound-gathering ability to direct incoming sounds to its position deep in the ear canal, next to the eardrum. While not “waterproof,” the 24/7 hearing instrument is sufficiently “water-resistant” to be worn while exercising, showering, talking on the phone, and sleeping.

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How Much Is Too Much

June 10, 2019

Each of us responds to noise differently, which makes it difficult to gauge what is considered to be too loud. By some standards, a safe level of noise is no higher than 85 decibels (dB) over an eight-hour period. As a point of reference, heavy city traffic is approximately equal to 85 decibels. Some research indicates that health problems such as heart disease begin to develop at prolonged noise levels of only 50 dB (light traffic). By comparison, a blender or vacuum cleaner produces about 90 dB, while a garbage truck creates about 100 dB of noise, and a jet or siren produces about 120 dB. The louder the noise is, the less time it takes to produce hearing damage.

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The Cost Of Not Treating Hearing Loss

June 03, 2019

While some hearing-impaired individuals might cite cost as the reason not to purchase a hearing instrument, it should be noted that the initial cost is likely to be offset by the financial advantages that often come with wearing a hearing instrument. According to one recent study, older adults with untreated hearing loss had more and longer hospital stays and spent an additional $2,030 out of pocket over ten years compared with other people. Reasons for this higher cost may be because hearing loss leads to more falls, increases the risk of dementia, and blocks communication. Untreated hearing loss can also lead to social isolation and failure to advance or succeed at work, which have their own emotional and financial setbacks.

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Noise and Obesity

May 27, 2019

Not only does exposure to excessively loud and/or prolonged noise harm hearing, but it can also be the cause of a number of adverse health outcomes, including obesity. A 2018 study examined nearly 3,800 adults and compared their health data (including weight, waist size, and abdominal fat) to their estimated exposure to traffic noise over a five-year period. The participants exposed to the highest levels of traffic noise were more likely to become overweight and obese. Higher stress levels and poor sleep were cited as the possible reasons for the link between noise and obesity. Whatever the cause, it behooves us all to have our hearing tested, assess any degree of hearing loss, seek treatment, and protect our hearing from further damage.  

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