Illustration of two hands shaking

Hearing Loss & Accidental Injury: More Connected Than You May Think

From slips and spills to collisions, machine mishaps and more, accidents befall us all, but did you know that hearing loss might contribute to the risk of injury? In fact, one investigation found that those with hearing difficulties may have a doubled chance of suffering an accidental injury at work or play.

The study, published in a 2018 edition of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and involving data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, noted that the greater the degree of self-perceived hearing difficulty, the greater the overall accidental-injury risk.

This dovetails with other research that points to links between hearing loss and the increased risk of falling, for example. One study even showed that people with mild hearing loss had a tripled chance of reporting a fall in the prior year, and every 10-decibel increase in hearing loss …

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Illustration of an ear with graphics representing noise surrounding it

Three Cheers for Earwax!

Let’s talk earwax. From its texture to its appearance, it gets a bad name. We suspect the yellow-brown goo might be down a friend or two, so we want to give credit where credit is due.

Here are five reasons we think you should give earwax a second chance.

Earwax Protects Your Ear Canal and Eardrum

Like many things that seem pointless (eyelashes and nose hair, for example), earwax is actually important. It keeps dust, bacteria, and other microorganisms out of your body. A natural antimicrobial, earwax also keeps infection at bay should your ear canal sustain a scrape. Finally, it keeps your ear canal lubricated so it doesn’t become dry and itchy.  

Earwax Is Self-Cleaning

Your ear canal has a slight incline. Your jaw’s motion during chewing and talking keeps your earwax from settling into your skin. Put the two together, and you have the perfect self-cleaning …

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COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus) Response

There is no higher priority for Spencer Audiology Clinic than the health and well-being of our patients and employees. We are closely following guidance on COVID-19 (coronavirus) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health to stay on top of all developments. We fully recognize that many of the population we serve are among the most vulnerable to diseases like COVID-19 and the flu.

We have always had a strong commitment to infection control at Spencer Audiology Clinic. All of our staff and providers wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds before and after cleaning hearing aids and interacting with patients. We have hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes with 60% or more alcohol placed throughout the office for patients and employees to use. We are also taking additional measures to further strengthen our protocols and safeguard our patients’ health:

We have removed magazines in the waiting room …

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Illustration of a woman chatting with her husband and granddaughter in the garden outside her house

Home Safety for People With Hearing Loss

So many things around the house are designed to alert you using noise. But what if a hearing loss means you miss when the smoke detector or alarm clock sounds?   The following alerting devices are ideal methods for helping your home — or the home of a loved one — feel even safer.

Smoke Alarms

A smoke alarm-based alert uses a bright, blinking light to indicate the smoke alarm is going off. You can buy an adapter for your existing smoke alarm, or you can buy a whole new battery-powered or hardwired smoke alarm with an alert built right in. When paired with a central alert system, you can also include a vibrating shaker to put under your pillow.  

Doorbells

A doorbell alert sends a signal to a receiver that flashes a light, increases the volume of the doorbell, activates a shaker under your pillow or couch …

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Illustration of a black cat with perked ears on a background of other kitties frolicking

Four Animal Facts: Hearing Edition

Do Cats Enjoy Cat Music?

The answer is yes, cats do enjoy cat music! Read on for details and to learn more quirky facts about hearing in the animal kingdom.

Katydids Have Ears on Their Knees

But not so fast: If you were knee high to a long-horn grasshopper, the type known as a katydid, you would not see human ears perched on tiny katydid kneecaps. But the “ears” used by one type of katydid (Copiphora gorgonensis) are remarkably similar to ours.

In our case, an internal eardrum captures sound waves, causing faint vibrations. This makes three tiny bones in the inner ear vibrate strongly. The result is waves in the fluid of the cochlea, and these waves are turned into neural impulses for the brain to interpret.

Similarly, the katydid’s external eardrum captures sound waves, causing faint vibrations. This makes a tiny plate vibrate …

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