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Spotlight:  Hearing & Balance in the News

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August 5, 2022

Some people who have migraines are more sensitive to changes in the weather.  Does the heat and humidity of summer trigger your migraine? If so, you aren't alone.   Read more.

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Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minnesota

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September 14, 2022

If a Child's Grades Falter,   Consider Hearing Loss

While some may think of hearing loss as something that happens with age, it can also happen to kids.  Consider hearing loss if a child's academic performance declines.  Read more.

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HealthDay

Norwalk, Connecticut

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August 17, 2022

"Stop Drinking, Keep Reading, and Look After Your Hearing"

When does forgetfulness become something more serious?  And how can we delay or prevent that change?  A neuroscientist and brain expert shares his thoughts.  Read more.

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The Guardian

New York, New York

 

Mayo Clinic  |  Rochester Minnesota

Posted here August 5, 2022

Published June 22, 2021

So how and why does summer weather sometimes trigger these headaches?  "That is a great question," says Dr. Rashmi Halker Singh, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "Patients ask me that all the time. We don’t have a great answer."

For some people, extreme weather conditions may cause imbalances in brain chemicals, which eventually can lead to the severe throbbing pain of a migraine.  "A lot of people with migraines feel that sunlight glare is a trigger," Dr. Halker Singh says.

Other weather triggers include high humidity, extreme heat and dry air. Dr. Halker Singh says these conditions may lead to another migraine creator.  "In the summertime, when it’s really hot outside, a lot of people forget to maintain adequate hydration," she explains. "And dehydration can certainly be a risk for migraine attacks to happen."

Dr. Halker Singh’s advice to people with migraines is to avoid extremes – in summer weather and everyday schedules.

"Be consistent with your eating habits; be consistent with your sleep," she stresses. "Sometimes skipping meals can be a migraine trigger. Sometimes not sleeping enough or sleeping too much can also be a trigger. So maintaining consistency with that is important."

To read more about this regulatory change, click here.

 

If a Child's Grades Falter, Consider Hearing Loss

HealthDay  |  Norwalk, Connecticut

Posted here September 14, 2022

Published August 16, 2022

While some may think of hearing loss as something that happens with age, it can also happen to kids.

Parents and teachers should consider hearing loss if a child's academic performance declines or he or she develops behavioral issues, lack of focus and depression, the American Academy of Audiology advises.

"Because children often don't realize they are missing information and may not communicate hearing difficulties, issues with auditory accessibility may go undetected," said academy president Sarah Sydlowski, who is audiology director of the Hearing Implant Program at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio.

Babies typically have their hearing tested shortly after birth, but hearing loss can start in early childhood, too. In the United States, about two to three of every 1,000 babies are born with detectable hearing loss, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

It's not known how many children have hearing loss because many cases may be undiagnosed. Illness, ear infections and exposure to loud sounds can all affect children's hearing.

And hearing loss can impact a child's education. Children with untreated hearing loss use more mental energy to understand what is being said, according to the academy. It may appear they are not paying attention when they actually are missing what was said.

"A child with minimal hearing loss may be missing a significant amount of the classroom discussion," Sydlowski said in an academy news release.

Unfortunately, she added, children may be identified as having a learning disability when they actually have untreated hearing loss.

"Hearing loss should always be ruled out when there are academic and speech and language issues," Sydlowski said. "We want to treat the hearing loss first since untreated hearing loss can disrupt all aspects of educational success."

Among the signs to look for are difficulty following through on assignments, not understanding the questions or not responding appropriately to them.

The academy also suggests watching for speech that is different from that of other children the same age, including struggling to pronounce simple words, being unable to repeat a phrase or having language delays.

A child with hearing loss may often ask you to repeat what you say and watch your face intently while you talk. The child may have trouble hearing on the phone, speak loudly when not warranted, have chronic ear pain or complain of loud noises that he or she cannot identify.

The child may appear more weary than is typical at the end of the school day. A child with hearing loss may also turn up the volume on the TV, computer or headphones, and may favor one ear over the other when using the phone, choosing a seat or responding to questions.

"Parents and teachers don't always realize that a child's behavior may be a sign of hearing loss," Sydlowski said.

Parents who suspect a problem should have their child evaluated by an audiologist, she advised.

"Audiologists have the tools and training to identify hearing loss, degrees of hearing loss, and can recommend solutions for children of any age," Sydlowski said.

For further information, click here.

 

"Stop Drinking, Keep Reading, and Look After Your Hearing"

The Guardian  |  New York, New York

Posted here August 19, 2022

Published August 17, 2022

You walk into a room, but can’t remember what you came in for. Or you bump into an old acquaintance at work, and forget their name. Most of us have had momentary memory lapses like this, but in middle age they can start to feel more ominous. Do they make us look unprofessional, or past it? Could this even be a sign of impending dementia? The good news for the increasingly forgetful, however, is that not only can memory be improved with practice, but that it looks increasingly as if some cases of Alzheimer’s may be preventable too.

 

Neuroscientist Dr. Richard Restak is a past president of the American Neuropsychiatric Association, who has lectured on the brain and behavior everywhere from the Pentagon to Nasa, and written more than 20 books on the human brain.   At 80, Dr. Restak is still a practicing clinical professor at George Washington Hospital University School of Medicine and Health.  He advises his patients to quit alcohol by 70 at the latest. Over 65, he writes, you typically have fewer brain neurons than when you were younger, so why risk them? “Alcohol is a very, very weak neurotoxin – it’s not good for nerve cells.”

He’s also an advocate of the short afternoon nap, since getting enough sleep helps brain function (which may help explain why sleep-deprived new mothers, and menopausal women suffering from night sweats and insomnia, often complain of brain fog).

More unexpectedly, he recommends tackling hearing or vision problems promptly, because they make it harder to engage in conversations and hobbies that keep the cogs turning. “You have to have a certain level of vision to read comfortably, and if that’s missing then you are going to read less. As a result of that, you’re going to learn less and be a less interesting person to other people. All of these things really come down to socialization, which is the most important part of keeping away Alzheimer’s and dementia, and keeping your memory.”

To read more, click here.