Arizona Hearing May 2020

2627 North Third Street, Ste. 100, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 14418 West Meeker Blvd., Bldg B, Ste. 102, Sun City West, AZ 85375

MAY 2020

602-277-4327 |

America Needs to ‘Listen Up!’

Why I Decided to Write a Book on Hearing

I’ve had a book stewing around in my head for years. In my work both as a clinician and consultant, I’ve been able to see the way we treat hearing loss in this country from all angles. At this point, I basically have a mental Rolodex of stories, facts, perspectives, and anything else you can think of relating to hearing loss. Over the past year or so, I’ve been shaping that knowledge into a book, “Listen Up! A Physician’s Guide to Effectively Treating Your Hearing Loss,” which is just about to be published. The book is aimed at patients, the people most in need of a fresh analysis of hearing loss and its treatment.

the numbers of patients I’d be able to help as a surgeon. If I have a 20-year career and do roughly 500 surgeries per year, that’s 10,000 people treated. That’s not a number to scoff at. As a clinician, being able to say I helped 10,000 people would be incredibly satisfying. However, that number doesn’t tell the whole story. For one, only about 2%–3% of patients who suffer from hearing loss require surgical intervention. These patients are already undergoing a radically different care experience than the bulk of the population. The vast majority of hearing loss sufferers will never step foot in an office like mine. Most of them buy their hearing aids from the same place they buy meat, trash bags, and toilet paper. I wasn’t reaching these people at all. Second, many of the patients I was treating weren’t getting the most out of their surgeries. There was no single incident that led me to this conclusion — more like death by a million paper cuts. Time and again, I’d perform a successful surgery on a patient. From my perspective, the mission had been accomplished. During their recovery, I’d say, “Your surgery went very well. You need to get a pair of well-fitted hearing aids, and you’ll be all set.” When I saw those patients at their follow-up appointments after their surgery, way too many of them didn’t have hearing aids. It wasn’t because

To receive a copy of “Listen Up!” text ListenUp! to 602-899-2260.

they lacked the diligence or willpower to find a solution for their hearing loss. I mean, they had gone so far as to have me perform an operation on their ear. Clearly, they wanted to get better. Many had tried multiple sets of hearing aids and did not pursue treatment. Fundamentally, my patients were not able to obtain satisfactory rehabilitation with hearing aids. The disparate system of care was holding them back. From that experience, I created my practice with the aim of reinventing the way we treat hearing loss. The book, in a sense, is a culmination of what I’ve been doing in my practice. I want to educate people about why the system for treating hearing loss has let them down, how we can build a better way, and how to get the most from

Honestly, I never envisioned myself as an author. When I became an ear surgeon, my primary goal

was to focus on operative

procedures. And at the outset of my career, that’s exactly what I did.

I never questioned the way the system worked, but rather tried to excel within it. The same way my dad, a physician, felt great about helping his patients, I felt great about helping mine. People came to me with a serious medical problem, and I helped resolve it. What more could a doctor ask for?

their treatment. I hope that you will share this newsletter with any patients who may benefit from this knowledge.

Eventually, I developed an inkling that I wasn’t doing enough. I thought about

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Picture the distance between Oregon and Virginia on a U.S. map. Now, picture crossing that distance on a bicycle. Odds are you either can’t imagine it, or you conjured up a monthslong slog, but in 2016, ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox crossed that distance in just 18 days and 10 minutes — the second- fastest time in the history of the Trans Am Bike Race. As hard as it is to believe, the 4,200 mile stretch from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, is actually a racecourse. Every June, roughly 50–100 cyclists undertake the journey, pedaling through a total of 10 states. It’s an insane obstacle course of cars, mountains, and weather events that riders go through alone, without required checkpoints or designated rest periods. When Wilcox won the Trans Am in 2016, she became the first woman and the first American ever to do so. According to NPR, the victory came down to a combination of endurance and luck. In the final days of the race, she was in second place behind Steffan Streich when exhaustion sent him pedaling out of Bumpass, Virginia, in the wrong direction. When the two met on the road at 3 a.m., a panicked Streich turned around and sprinted neck and neck with Wilcox toward the finish. After a few miles, she pulled ahead and won. In response to those who said a woman could never win the Trans Am, Wilcox told NPR, “If you beat 'em, you beat 'em. That's what happens. And then everybody has to change the way they think." Perhaps the most impressive thing about Wilcox, even more than her 2016 win, is that she didn’t start cycling until she was 20 years old, when her boyfriend at the time gave her a bike. Since then, she’s competed all over the world, logging a total of 100,000 miles in 35 countries. When she’s isn’t racing, Wilcox encourages teenage girls to try cycling with scholarships and group events. In November 2019, she even starred in “I Just Want to Ride,” a 38-minute film following her quest to win the 2019 Tour Divide Race. To learn more about the film and what makes Wilcox tick, visit The Woman Who Raced 4,200 Miles in 18 Days and Won MEET CYCLING LEGEND LAEL WILCOX


Constant technology use can leave us feeling drained, so it’s good to do a digital detox by unplugging periodically. Digital detoxes have become very popular, but for most managers and business owners, cutting technology out of their lives isn’t just difficult — it can be irresponsible! You can’t throw your smartphone in the sea and expect to have a job next week. While completely quitting tech isn’t realistic, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a digital detox while sticking to your responsibilities. Here’s how a few successful entrepreneurs manage this balancing act. Arianna Huffington puts her phone ‘to bed.’ HuffPost founder and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington says the first part of her nightly routine is “escorting my phone out of the bedroom.” Huffington doesn’t allow digital devices in her bedroom and relies on an analog alarm clock. “Charging your phone away from your bed makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone,” she says. Erich Joiner has a hobby separate from his work. Running a content creation company that caters to big brands means Erich Joiner, founder and director at Tool of North America, is plugged in most of the time. To get away from the demands, he races cars on the weekend. During that time, Joiner puts his phone away in order to focus on the race. “While it takes a lot of focus, which can be strenuous, it also mentally cleanses, or 'digitally detoxes,' me during the weekend,” Joiner says. “By Monday, I can go into work with a clear mindset, ready to take on my week.”

Celia Francis tracks her online activity. Sometimes technology can help you cut down on

technology. Celia Francis, CEO of online marketplace Rated People, downloaded the app Moment to monitor how much time she spends on social media. This data helped her build healthier habits. “It helps you understand how you use your phone, establish usage goals, and disconnect at the right times,” Francis explains. “My phone is always off by 9 p.m. and isn’t switched back on until after the morning routine.” You don’t have to completely abandon technology to enjoy a successful digital detox. Instead, look for times when you can put your devices away and focus on something else. Even if it’s just for an hour before bed, you’ll reap the benefits.


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Why Do Businesspeople Wear Ties? The Storied History Behind Our Favorite Power Accessory

In his 1975 book “Dress for Success,” John T. Molloy wrote, "Show me a man's ties and I'll tell you who he is or who he is trying to be.” A necktie is just a strip of fabric, but Molloy was right about its symbolic power. For centuries, putting on a tie has meant the wearer is getting down to business, and that sentiment lingers despite Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and Mark Zuckerberg’s gray T-shirt. Though just 6% of men wear ties to work daily according to a Gallup poll, neckties are still an accessory of choice for lawyers, politicians, bankers, and executives — regardless of gender. Plus, many formal occasions require them. But why did people start wearing neckties in the first place, and why do neckties have staying power? As it turns out, answers to both questions are up for debate.

origin stories. One tale credits Chinese soldiers from the third century B.C., who were immortalized in terra cotta wearing neck scarves to protect “the source of their strength, their Adam's apples.” Another story gives the nod to Roman legionaries, who wrapped cloths around their necks to stave off wind and rain in the second century. But the most popular version dates the tie back to 1636 when King Louis XIV of France hired a group of Croatian mercenaries who wore neck wraps to protect their throats from weather and sword slashes. Over the years, those protective strips of cloth became suave status symbols.

subdued, skinny ties of the ‘50s to the 6-inch-wide psychedelic prints of the ‘60s. Today, ties can be knit, leather, or even rubber. Increasingly, though, they’re left sitting in the back of the closet, forgotten along with their fascinating history. If you want to learn more about ties and even how to tie one, check out

The Why Behind the Tie

No one knows for certain why ties stuck around. Maybe yesterday’s soldiers have become today’s CEOs battling in the boardroom, or perhaps wearing a tie is one of the few chances for a businessperson to show off their unique style. Over the years, tie fashion has ranged from the

The Who Behind the Debut

According to The Washington Post, the modern necktie has three different

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602-277-4327 | 2627 N. Third Street, Ste. 100 Phoenix, AZ 85004

2627 N. Thi rd St . , Ste 100 Phoenix, AZ 85004

14418 W. Meeker Blvd. , Bldg B, Ste 102 Sun Ci ty West , AZ 85375

Inside This Edition

1. 2.

Dr. Syms’ New Book for Patients

Meet the Woman Who Biked 4,200 Miles in 18 Days

How Entrepreneurs Digitally Detox


Why Do Businesspeople Wear Ties?

Have a Laugh


Should You Skip Your Workout if You’re Sick? Should You Skip Your Workout if You Don’t Feel Well? Why Some Exercise Is Beneficial When You’re Sick

Getting sick is terrible, especially if you’re trying to stick to a consistent workout routine. You may think sickness means more rest days — but in fact, depending on your symptoms, continuing to exercise could be a good thing. While it may seem like common sense to avoid exerting yourself too much when you’re feeling under the weather, the effects of exercising while you’re sick are a bit more nuanced than you think. If you’re sick and trying to decide if you should try to get a workout in, assess where you feel your symptoms. Are they only above the neck? Or are they above and below the neck? Symptoms of a head cold, such as a runny nose, a mildly sore throat, and some congestion, shouldn’t keep you from exercising. At the very worst, you might just have to cut back the intensity of your workout. If you usually go for a run, try decreasing the time of your run or going for a walk instead. There’s actually evidence that exercise can help alleviate symptoms located above the neck when you’re sick. For instance, walking and jogging can help clear up congested nasal passages. Many runners will attest to the fact that their workout actually helps them feel better when they’re sick. There’s also evidence that yoga can boost your

immune system and ease aches related to sinus issues. Saying “om” might even help too, as one study found humming could actually aid in opening clogged sinuses. If you have a fever or any type of stomach problem, however, you should skip your workout altogether. And if your workouts seem to exacerbate your sickness, take a break until the sickness subsides. That said, it’s nice to know that it takes more than a little case of the sniffles to throw off your workout routine!


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