HEARING HEALTH AND YOUR HEART: A FEW RECIPES

Did you know that heart health and hearing health are related? Every function in the body is dependent on the heart, so heart health is important to overall health, as well as hearing health!

Your Heart and Hearing Health

Heart health and hearing health have an inextricable connection. Both cardiovascular function and blood circulation are essential to hearing health.

As we’ve all heard before, a diet rich in unprocessed whole foods can keep our bodies working well and also prevent hearing issues. Processed foods can increase the risk of heart disease and raise “bad” cholesterol levels. Dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss were also connected with elevated blood lipids.

Great news, however: the earth bears an abundance of healthy whole foods that protect heart as well as hearing health. Some examples of heart-healthy wholesome foods are coffee, spinach, dark chocolate, almonds, red wine, blueberries, wild-caught fish and many other tasty foods.

Try out this easy one-day example of heart-healthy meals that may help provide ideas for how to eat for heart and hearing health.

Breakfast

• Omelette with veggies, berries and coffee

Scramble 2 eggs and pour a heated, oiled pan. Use a good fat like coconut oil or butter if possible. After it cooks a couple minutes, add cooked vegetables and cheese in the middle, and roll the egg up around the filling. Veggies such as avocado, onions, spinach, mushrooms, and even salsa are great! Omelets are great topped with sour cream and some green onions or chives!

Coffee and berries furnish nutrients and antioxidants that help you have a great day!

Lunch

• Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato: B.L.A.T. salad and water

A carb-free alternative to the BLT, this salad adds great flavor and good fats with avocado, which is heart-healthy. This lunch is delicious and satisfying:it won’t make you sluggish in the afternoon. Use organic greens to be sure to include a good mixture of nutrients.

You can also make your own salad dressing! Inexpensive and easy, it’s a healthier choice when you compare them to commercial dressings, which often include  artificial flavors, unhealthy oils, preservatives and colors. A simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar with a spoonful of mustard makes a tasty mustard vinaigrette!

Snack

• Make your own trail mix!

Store-bought trail mix is delicious but can be expensive and contain ingredients you don’t prefer. Luckily, trail mix is so easy to make and can be less expensive than pre-made. Fill a zip lock bag with dark chocolate pieces, nuts and dried fruit like raisins or cranberries. Your healthy trail mix is customized and complete, not to mention very filling!

Dinner

• Wild-caught salmon filet with salt, pepper and lemon juice

• Red wine

Wild-caught fish is the best choice, because it is more heart-healthy than farmed. Wild-caught salmon has a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and other great nutrients. lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, make a great marinade and dressing for salmon.

Red wine is full of heart-healthy antioxidants, so feel free to indulge in one serving!

Dessert

• Brazil Nuts and Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is amazing–it includes magnesium to relieve stress as well as other nutrients and antioxidants. Be sure to get high quality dark chocolate, choosing organic if possible, with a high percentage of cacao (70 or above is ideal).

Brazil nuts also contain magnesium and are heart-healthy–and they go great with chocolate!

Heart Healthy is Hearing Healthy!

Heart health and hearing health are connected, so we have to be aware of our overall health. Exercise at least a little every day (just a walk around the block will do!) and eat whole, unprocessed foods–these steps can make a big difference in overall health and also protect your hearing.

FREE Hearing Screening Celebrating Better Hearing Month

California Hearing Center invites you to come in for your Free Hearing Screening. When it comes to your hearing health, prevention is still the best medicine! No-obligation. Every Friday during the month for May 4, 11, 18 & 25 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pmAll ages welcome – No appointment necessary

Drop by at 88 N. San Mateo Dr. San Mateo, CA 94401  (650) 342-9449 www.calhearing.com

WELCOME SPRING – PREPARE YOUR EARS!

Spring is in the air! The weather is changing and we are already starting to enjoy blooming flowers and warmer! With the changing of seasons, we also get rainy weather, seasonal allergies, and erratic temperatures. Along with hearing aids, these changes can affect us, but we can downplay those effects.

The Weather is Changing

With changing weather, some people have a feeling of fullness in their ears. Barometric pressure changes with changes in the weather and causes this sensation of fullness, and makes the fluid in the inner ear sensitive to the weather. Seasonal allergy sufferers can experience this even more intensely.

Meniere’s disease can make the irritating symptoms even worse in the Springtime. The chambers of the inner ear can bulge and the fluid may back up. Difficulty hearing and discomfort as well as vertigo or tinnitus may sometimes result from this build-up.

Seasonal Allergies

Sinus pressure and sneezing can also result from seasonal allergies and add pressure to the inner ear. Seasonal allergies affect 40 percent of children and between 10 and 30 percent of adults. Up to 60 million Americans experience sneezing, ear pressure, sinus pressure, and itchy, watery eyes. Each of these symptoms can affect hearing temporarily.

Ear pressure can be temporarily relieved with non-prescription medications such as antihistamines and decongestants. Moderate exercise and a sensible diet of whole foods often improve these symptoms. Vegetables and fruits, like bell peppers, grapes, asparagus, watermelon, and celery serve as diuretics and promote fluid drainage.

Spring-time and Hearing Aids

Warmer, wetter weather may also affect the functionality of your hearing aids. Your hearing aids’ maintenance and care of during this time of year may also require more attention. The microphone ports can sometimes get obstructed by matter such as bee pollen. Proper cleaning of your hearing aids is important, and be sure to replace the mic port covers when needed.

Moisture from the heat, rain and humidity of spring and summer can also be introduced to your hearing aids, building up in the tubing and causing static in the receiver or microphone. Ensuring your hearing aids stay dry when going out in wet or humid weather can prevent issues.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

RETIREMENT AND (HEARING) HEALTHCARE

If you plan to retire soon, it’s time to think about expenses and how everything will be covered. Healthcare costs, including hearing healthcare, should be factored in. Estimates from HealthView Insights show that an American couple retiring this year can expect just over $400,000 in healthcare costs over the course of retirement, with about 4% of that being out of pocket (and most of it covered by insurance or Medicare).

These numbers are estimates and averages, so actual expenses can vary with gender, age and location. What we can be sure of is that medical expenses will probably make up a significant amount of your total budget. Housing or mortgage costs will probably be the biggest expense, with healthcare costs coming in second. If you are using Medicare, there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered, including hearing aids.

Being Prepared Before You Retire

There are a few things you can do to prepare and save for retirement medical expenses while you are still working. For example, if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) set up while you are still working, before-tax dollars can be used on all of your medical expenses for that year, and you can buy things that aren’t going to be covered when you are retired (like those hearing aids!). Sometimes employers contribute to FSA accounts as well, beefing up the total amount of money you have to spend on such medical expenses, and saving you out-of-pocket costs.

Even if you are not working, make things easier by portioning out money in a separate account for medical expenses so you have easy access when you need it. HealthView has estimated that the average American couple at age 65 will incur about $950 in medical expenses per month, and this number will increase with age.

Keep Yourself Healthy!

It goes without saying the better your health is, the less medical expenses you should expect to pay. Adopting healthy habits is a good rule of preventative care at any age, but can significantly reduce costs during retirement.

Not smoking, losing weight, eating right and exercising regularly are all obvious ways to improve overall health, and they also improve hearing health and reduce the risk of hearing damage.

Get moving! Blood circulation increases with regular movement, even if it’s just a walk around the block once or twice per day. Every organ in your body benefits from better blood circulation, including your ears! The delicate hair cells in your inner ear, which help to translate sound for your brain, are dependent on proper circulation for healthy function–so get that heart pumping!

We all look forward to retirement to enjoy more activities that we love–and some of those are noisy! Be sure to wear adequate hearing protection, such as ear plugs, when you are in a noisy environment, like at a concert, fireworks or in the proximity of machinery like an electric saw or lawnmower.

Hearing Health is Important!

Many Americans over 65 suffer from some degree of hearing loss, which can typically be treated easily with hearing aids. Regular screenings are key to measuring the severity of any existing hearing loss and stopping it in its tracks.

Not treating hearing loss can cost you much more than catching it early and doing something about it. If left untreated, hearing loss can worsen, causing bigger problems down the road such as dementia, anxiety and depression.

There’s good news! An annual hearing screening is painless and easy, and can save you a lot of trouble down the road!

Make a commitment today to improve your overall health by cleaning up your diet and being more active every day.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

THIS YEAR MAKE A RESOLUTION THAT IS EASY TO KEEP

What is your New Year’s Resolution? If you’re like most people, it probably has something to do with  generally being healthier: eating better, exercising more, or losing weight. Did you know that overall health also plays a vital role in hearing health?

Since many resolutions don’t survive the month of January, we think it’s important to take steps to ensure our health, and our hearing health, early in the year. So why not make a quick call to California Hearing Center to schedule your yearly hearing exam? This one little move will ensure you have a hearing-healthy 2018 by heading off any potential hearing issues that may be developing.

People overwhelmingly think of health as something they could improve. Following closely to health is finances, relationships, hobbies, and career. Luckily preventing and treating hearing loss can impact all of these areas of your life. People who treat hearing loss by wearing hearing devices often make more money and report higher quality of life than those with untreated hearing loss.

A Resolution with Staying Power

When asked, people generally have little confidence that they will keep the New Years Resolutions they make. So why not start off 2018 on the right foot by making and keeping a resolution with staying power: preventing and treating hearing loss.

Because changes in hearing can sometimes portend other serious issues, such as heart disease and diabetes, and because hearing loss also increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease, social isolation, anxiety and depression, it is definitely worth being pro-active about your hearing health, even if you think everything is fine.

Happy New Year!

In 2018, starting with New Year’s Eve, make sure to protect your hearing when in noisy environments, like fireworks shows, concerts, or loud parties. Cheap earplugs from the drug store can protect your hearing now and in the future–carry a pair whenever you go out to ensure you are always protected.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

HOW MINERALS CAN PROTECT YOUR HEARING

You’ve heard it before: be sure to get all your vitamins and minerals! Some people swear by a multi-vitamin supplement and some like to get all the needed nutrients from food. Either way, most people understand that getting enough vitamins and minerals is important for optimal health. It’s common knowledge that Vitamin C and zinc can boost immunity and calcium can benefit bones and teeth. But did you know that there are minerals that are important to maintain healthy hearing as well?

Why do we need minerals?

Minerals are inorganic elements that are found in rock and soil; they are essential, meaning the body needs them and does not manufacture them on its own. We get minerals by eating vegetables that absorb them from the soil in which they are grown, as well as from the meat of animals that have grazed on vegetation.

A few important minerals for hearing health are potassium, folate, magnesium and zinc.

Potassium helps to regulate the fluids in our blood and tissues. Our inner ears contain fluid that is crucial to helping our bodies translate noise into understandable sounds. Thus our brains are dependent on this fluid, and a rich supply of potassium, to hear and understand the world around us.

Fortunately, potassium is easily found in common foods such as tomatoes, bananas, yogurt, spinach, potatoes, raisins, lima beans, melons, milk and oranges. Getting a healthy variety of fresh, whole foods in your diet and “eating the rainbow” can assure you get plenty of potassium.

Folate is an important nutrient for new cell growth in the body. Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is also available in supplement form, though it is best to try to get folate from food such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and organ meats.

Magnesium is another important mineral that has been shown in studies to protect against hearing loss. Magnesium can help to combat free radicals that are produced when exposed to very loud noises, protecting the hair cells of the inner ear. Magnesium also contributes to healthy blood vessels, which deliver valuable oxygen to the ear, crucial to hearing health.

Magnesium can be found in a variety of delicious foods, including artichokes, bananas, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and broccoli.

Zinc is an immune-booster for the body, as you may know from some supplements on the market that contain zinc and claim to ward off cold and flu viruses. Zinc also assists with cell growth and wound healing. Some studies have found zinc effective in treating tinnitus and ear infections as well, though it can sometimes interact with pharmaceutical antibiotics and diuretics.

Zinc is found in foods such as pork, dark-meat chicken and pork, cashews, almonds, lentils, split peas, beans, peanuts, oysters and dark chocolate. Good news for nutty dark chocolate lovers!

The great news is that as long as you’re getting a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods, you are probably getting a good balance of these minerals and other nutrients that contribute to hearing health.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

EXERCISE MAY BE GOOD FOR YOUR EARS, TOO!

How much exercise do you get in a typical week? Whether it’s a run around the block, a long walk around the mall or a trip to the gym, we all know that movement is good for our bodies, but did you know it may be good for your hearing as well?

Studies now show that as many as 20% of Americans, and 33% of Americans over the age of 65, suffer from hearing loss. We have also learned that hearing loss can affect much more than just hearing: studies have shown increased risk of depression, dementia and social isolation when hearing loss is a factor. Hearing loss can also make it more difficult to work, which results in income loss for hearing loss sufferers. And since hearing loss is not reversible, anything we can do to prevent or slow hearing loss will be a positive.

The various structures of the ear breaking down as we age contribute to different types of hearing loss. It was found, however, that mice who exercised experienced an average of 5% hearing loss as they aged, while sedentary mice experienced 20% hearing loss.

Exercise increases circulation, which preserves necessary capillaries that deliver blood and oxygen to the ear to preserve the cochlea and other surrounding structures. Elevating your heart rate at least a few times a week is ideal, though taking a daily walk around the neighborhood is also beneficial.

The CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control), 20% of Americans do not get adequate amounts of exercise. Exercise has so many proven health benefits that hearing loss prevention is just one more added onto a long list of positive things resulting from a less sedentary lifestyle.

Aerobic activity slows the aging process by increasing energy and oxygen to every cell of your body, contributes to faster recovery from chronic illness, improves your skin by increasing circulation, improves your mood by inducing a natural calm state, boosts brain health by reducing age-related loss of brain tissue, and gives you more energy throughout the day to do other activities and chores.

Exercising for only 16 minutes three times per week has been shown to improve health and contribute to all of these benefits. And of course, exercising also contributes to a healthy body weight and positive overall body image. In fact, many have found better results by short bursts of exercise rather than long, drawn out cardiovascular sessions. Staying in motion as much as possible during the day is an easy way to get the most benefit possible. Many people set 10,000 steps per day as a goal to motivate them to stay moving, utilizing tools such as fitness trackers and even health apps on smartphones.

Other ways to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss are a healthy diet (avoid processed foods whenever possible and eat whole foods to maximize nutrient absorption), avoid loud noises and practice listening skills to train your brain to distinguish sound more effectively.

Because hearing loss can progress slowly, annual hearing screenings are crucial. We may not notice these gradual changes in hearing ability on our own until damage is done.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.