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June 11, 2018

Hearing loss can be something that happens suddenly if you’re exposed to a loud sound or bang. It can also happen slowly over a long period of time, which is often the case with age-related hearing loss. Understanding hearing loss is an important first step towards doing something about it.

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss means you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds.  Maybe you can no longer hear high-pitched tones, like the voices of women or children. Or maybe you can’t pick out a single voice if there is a lot of conversation in the background.
Sometimes hearing loss is temporary, like a ringing in your ears after a noisy concert. Most often, it is permanent because the mechanisms that help you hear have been damaged.

Levels of hearing loss

Hearing loss can be divided into four categories depending on the level of hearing loss*: mild, moderate, severe and profound. Watch the video to understand these four levels better.

*World Health Organization, 2016

Get a feel for what’s it like to live with a hearing loss

Click below to hear what everyday situations such as going to the restaurant and listening to music sounds like with different levels of hearing loss.

Click here to take our free online ReSound hearing loss test.

What is an audiogram?

When your specialist describes your hearing loss, he or she will always refer to the severity of the loss and its “configuration”, which means the pitches or frequencies you are unable to hear.
These tones will be placed on a graph called an audiogram.
An audiogram shows which frequencies you are able to hear, and at what volume. The audiogram gives your hearing professional a good idea of how severe your hearing loss is, and helps your professional select the best treatment options for you.

Parts of the ear and hearing loss types

The ear is made up of three parts:

  • the outer ear
  • the middle ear
  • the inner ear

Knowing how the ear works is important for understanding hearing loss. Hearing loss can be divided into three types depending on which part of the ear is affected.

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March 8, 2018

Here’s more evidence that regular exercise really is the best medicine: avid cyclists as old as 79 had healthy muscle and immune function as good as people 30 years younger who did not exercise.

British researchers tested the muscles and immune systems of a group of middle-aged and elderly cyclists and compared them to younger people who do not exercise regularly.

The cyclists were healthier, both in terms of their muscles and their immune systems, than middle-aged couchpotatoes. That’s no surprise.But they also looked as healthy, biologically, as a group of people aged 20 to 36 who did not exercise, the team reported in the journal Aging Cell.

By some measures, their bodies had not aged at all.

“It really tells us that staying physically active all of your adult life can prevent much of what we think of as aging, including immune aging,” said Janet Lord, who directs the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham.

The team did two experiments taking muscle samples from their volunteers and also analyzing their immune systems at a very detailed level.

They worked with a group of 125 male and female cyclists aged 55 to 79, who regularly cycled long distances — 35 to 60 miles in a day at a fairly rapid clip.

They compared them to 75 people their own age who did not exercise and also to 55 young adults aged 20 to 36 who didn’t exercise.

The older cyclists did not lose muscle mass, their cholesterol levels stayed healthy, they did not gain as much body fat as the inactive adults and their immune systems looked 30 or more years younger, the team found.

Usually people start losing some immune function by the time they are 20. But the cyclists had not lost any at all.

“What we predict is that our cyclists should be able to respond really well to their annual flu vaccination and have a lower incidence of infections,” Lord said.

The study suggests that what has come to be an expected loss of immune protection may be caused by a lack of exercise, not by simply getting older.

“We conclude that maintained physical activity in to middle and old age protects against many aspects of immune aging which are in large part lifestyle-driven,” the researchers wrote.

“Our findings debunk the assumption that aging automatically makes us more frail,” Lord said in a statement.

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February 14, 2018

Cancer represents a major worldwide burden, with 14.1 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.1 According to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, about a third of the most common neoplasms could be avoided by changing lifestyle and dietary habits in developed countries.2 Therefore, reaching a balanced and diversified diet (along with avoidance of tobacco use and reduction in alcohol intake) should be considered one of the most important modifiable risk factors in the primary prevention of cancer.3

At the same time, during the past decades, diets in many countries have shifted towards a dramatic increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods.45678 After undergoing multiple physical, biological, and/or chemical processes, these food products are conceived to be microbiologically safe, convenient, highly palatable, and affordable.910 Several surveys (in Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Brazil) assessing individual food intake, household food expenses, or supermarket sales have suggested that ultra-processed food products contribute to between 25% and 50% of total daily energy intake.101112131415161718

This dietary trend may be concerning and deserves investigation. Several characteristics of ultra-processed foods may be involved in causing disease, particularly cancer. Firstly, ultra-processed foods often have a higher content of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt, along with a lower fibre and vitamin density.101112131415161719Beyond nutritional composition, neoformed contaminants, some of which have carcinogenic properties (such as acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), are present in heat treated processed food products as a result of the Maillard reaction.20 Secondly, the packaging of ultra-processed foods may contain some materials in contact with food for which carcinogenic and endocrine disruptor properties have been postulated, such as bisphenol A.21 Finally, ultra-processed foods contain authorised,22 but controversial, food additives such as sodium nitrite in processed meat or titanium dioxide (TiO2, white food pigment), for which carcinogenicity has been suggested in animal or cellular models.2324

Studying potential effects on health of ultra-processed foods is a very recent field of research, facilitated by the development of the NOVA classification of products according to their degree of food processing.9 Nevertheless, epidemiological evidence linking intake of ultra-processed food to risk of disease is still very scarce and mostly based on cross sectional and ecological studies.252627 The few studies performed observed that ultra-processed food intake was associated with a higher incidence of dyslipidaemia in Brazilian children and higher risks of overweight, obesity, and hypertension in a prospective cohort of Spanish university students.282930

To our knowledge, this prospective study was the first to evaluate the association between the consumption of ultra-processed food products and the incidence of cancer, based on a large cohort study with detailed and up to date assessment of dietary intake.

 

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March 2, 20170

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February 3, 20170

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January 4, 20170

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