Healthy Hearing This Summer
The sun has arrived, and with it some of the best, freshest food of the year. From red, juicy tomatoes to tangy cherries and berries, the food you eat has a profound impact on your hearing and your health. Here’s how you can take advantage of the season’s delicious produce to give your ears the nutrients they need.

MUNCH ON MAGNESIUM: Research has shown that this mineral can help protect our ears from damage caused by loud noises. This power punching mineral is found in tasty treats like whole grains, spinach, quinoa, almonds, dark chocolate and avocado.

UP YOUR POTASSIUM: Potassium helps regulate the fluid in our blood and tissues. Potassium levels in our inner ear drop as we age, which can impact our ability to convert sound into nerve impulses that get sent to the brain. In addition to the infamous banana, white beans, sweet potatoes, beets, oranges and yogurt can help you up your potassium intake.

SLIP IN SOME ZINC: This zany nutrient is best known for its immune-boosting power that helps us fight off colds. Zinc helps activate and produce T-cells, the body’s bacteria, and virus fighting cells. Fueling up on this micronutrient may recover and improve hearing for those experiencing sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Get your daily intake of Zinc in meat, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.

FEED YOURSELF FOLATES: Folate helps the body metabolize homocysteine, an amino acid that can otherwise reduce and impair blood flow to the inner ear and cause hearing damage. Legumes, asparagus, eggs, leafy greens and beef liver are among the foods high in folate.

GET YOUR VITAMIN D: This well-known vitamin is essential for bone health, including the trio of tiny, yet crucial bones in our middle ear. Without vitamin D, these bones can soften and weaken, which can impact hearing. In addition to spending time in the sun this summer, you can get this vitamin from eating fish, milk and eggs.
The Hard of Hearing
For the roughly 48 million Americans with hearing loss, communication is challenging enough under the best of circumstances. The global coronavirus pandemic has created additional unexpected obstacles.

Many hard of hearing individuals rely on lip reading in order to communicate with others. With the CDC recommending people wear face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s extremely difficult for these individuals to follow conversations. Even those who are well-versed in American Sign Language are having trouble, as facial expressions play a key role in communicating.

Furthermore, those who have some degree of hearing ability and don’t need to read lips still struggle to understand the muffled speech that masks create. And for people who wear hearing aids, simply putting on a face mask can be difficult; the most popular styles have loops that circle the ears, but these can easily dislodge hearing devices. The best face mask for hearing aid wearers is the type that is tied around the back of the head.

Six-foot social distancing requirements further exacerbate the problem. Old school methods such as writing down questions on a pad of paper and passing them back and forth are no longer permitted.

Another barrier involves interpreters. With most hospitals refusing to allow visitors, people who have relied on interpreters to communicate with medical staff suddenly find themselves alone.

Medical experts recommend certain strategies for the hearing impaired, such as downloading speech-to-text apps for their smartphones and leaving home with a written script prepared in advance.

One solution might involve the very source of the problem: face masks. Some manufacturers have introduced transparent see through masks that offer full-face visibility via a protective plastic panel, and have even gone so far as to include anti fogging properties that prevent heat and moisture from fogging up the covering.
Hearing Devices
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. But outdoor activities can lead to noise-induced hearing loss if you are not careful. People of all ages should take extra precautions to protect their hearing during the summer months.

Many popular summer activities can be hazardous to our ears due to high decibel levels. Prolonged exposure to the sounds of lawnmowers, power tools, motorized vehicles, sporting events, concerts and fireworks can all lead to irreversible hearing damage.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your ears safe and prevent
long-term damage:

Use earplugs. When you are going to be exposed to loud sounds, wear earplugs to prevent damage to your hearing. Disposable earplugs made of foam or silicone are readily available and will allow you to hear music and conversations while blocking dangerously loud sounds. Custom ear protection crafted from earmolds will perfectly fit the unique contours of your ears, guaranteeing a snug, proper fit and dependable protection.

Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks are an extreme noise hazard and should be restricted to professionals. The bang from a single firecracker at close range can cause immediate and permanent hearing damage. When watching fireworks, enjoy them from a distance Earplugs will provide an extra level of hearing protection without detracting from the festivities.

Take measures to protect against swimmer’s ear. There’s nothing more
refreshing than a cool swim on a hot day, but when water enters the ear canals it can lead to a painful infection known as swimmer’s ear. To protect against this, invest in a pair of swimmer’s plugs. Dry your ears thoroughly afters swimming, and make sure to tilt your head to the side to drain any residual water from your ear canals. Avoid swimming in water where bacterial counts are high (look for signs posted at the local beach).