Illustration of two hands; one holding a green puzzle piece and the other holding a yellow puzzle piece.

5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Mood This Winter

Hearing health and mental health have a clear connection.

In fact, untreated hearing loss increases your risk of depression, anxiety, social isolation, and more. Winter is also a prime time for seasonal blahs. If you could use a little mental-health boost, here are some simple ways to get started.

Express Gratitude

Gratitude improves happiness, well-being, and mental health. The best-researched method is keeping a gratitude journal. Once or twice a week, choose one act or person you’re grateful for and write a few sentences detailing why. In daily life, you’ll begin to seek out the positive — rather than the negative — and writing it down allows you to really savor that positive emotion.  

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, which relieve stress and boost your mood. You can even use small things that add more activity to your day, like skipping …

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5 Tips to Hear Better in Virtual Meetings + Gatherings

Working remotely with hearing loss can be a big challenge.

Whether you’re conducting business online or just want to virtually connect with family and friends, these listening strategies and tactics can go a long way toward helping you stay engaged.

Explore the conferencing platform well before the online meeting or gathering — including reading a little about it or checking out a few quick instructional videos from other users — to build familiarity and confidence. Encourage everyone to use the video function — not just the audio option — to aid in lipreading and interpreting facial expressions. Also, try to keep your eye as much as possible on the person speaking rather than on your own camera image. Turn on the closed-captioning option, which can help take a big load off. In addition, consider using the real-time chat function, when available, to get clarification if you missed a point …

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Illustration of pills for ototoxicity and hearing health

The Silent Hearing Danger

Can Aspirin Hurt Your Hearing?

What Is Ototoxicity?

The definition of ototoxicity, in its simplest form, is ear poisoning (“oto” = ear, “toxicity” = poisoning). A substance is considered ototoxic if it is known to cause hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus after being ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. The drug, chemical, or other agent damages the inner ear or vestibulo-cochlear nerve, which sends balance and hearing information to the brain from the inner ear.  

What Causes Ototoxicity?

Medications Today there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market. These include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease. Some common medications that can cause temporary ototoxicity are aspirin, quinine (to treat malaria), and loop diuretics (to treat specific hearing and kidney conditions).

Pregnant women may be at risk of exposing their unborn child to ototoxic substances, such as Accutane, Dilantin, alcohol, …

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Hear Your Best On The Go

6 Tips to Keep Your Hearing Aids at Their Best

Whether you’re on the town or out of town, you depend on your hearing technology to keep you consistently connected. Don’t miss a moment when you’re on the go with these tips for maximizing your hearing.

  Protect Your Tech Hearing aids are tiny computers — keep them safe! If you’re in warmer climes, invest in hearing aid accessories such as a splashguard, a wind protector, or a sport clip. For those of you in less toasty towns, a hat, a scarf, or earmuffs can provide protection.

Use Geotags Many hearing aids now come with a smartphone app that can assign a geographical “bookmark” — or geotag — to your favorite locations. Simply optimize your hearing aid settings for a location (for example, a coffee shop) and apply a geotag. Every time you return to that spot, the app …

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You Need Hearing Aids. Now What?

Q: It turns out I need hearing aids. What’s my next step?

A: Hearing aids aren’t one-size-fits-all devices, so your question is a good sign you’re approaching this with the right mindset. Your first step is to confirm you’ve had a complete audiological evaluation.

An online “hearing test” can’t determine whether you need hearing aids — it simply reports whether you’re hearing certain sounds. Only an audiological evaluation can determine if you have hearing loss that requires hearing aids. If you haven’t had one, this is your next step. If you have, it’s time to schedule your hearing aid consultation.

Choose Your Provider Any hearing aid is simply a tool. It has to be selected, customized, and fit to your ear by an experienced professional in order treat your specific hearing loss. Then it’s your key to a better quality of life.

A clinical audiologist or doctor of audiology has …

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