East Tennessee Audiology September 2019

SEPT 2019



Everyone knows the importance of their hearing and perhaps has their hearing checked from time to time. However, the proper ways to protect and maintain hearing are often overlooked. Knowing some of the best ways to protect your hearing and recognizing subtle signs of hearing loss may help you better maintain optimal hearing health. CleanYour Ears Regularly Cleaning your ears is essential. I’ve seen clients come in after six months and their ears are already packed. A clean ear is a happy ear. I always recommend heavily cleaning your ears at least two times a month. Never use Q-tips; they will only push the content deeper into your ear and block the ear canal. Instead, consider using an over-the-counter solution and leaving it in for approximately 20–30 minutes rather than the recommended 10–15, or ask your physician’s office to clean them 3–4 times a year on average. ProtectYour Hearing Anytime you’re working with power tools—or any loud equipment — I recommend using a full hearing-protection headset. Even a riding lawnmower can reduce your hearing over time. While a convenient way tomow, this machine can emit anywhere from 85–96 decibels of noise; add 7 decibels with the blades running. So, depending on the size of the yard, you could be spending anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours with 100 decibels bombarding your hearing system. GetYour Checkups Just like any other part of the body, the ears need to be taken care of. If your age range is around 50 or older, it’s recommended you have your hearing evaluated approximately every two years, much like eye exams. It’s also a good time to address any changes you’ve noticed in your hearing or maintain any treatments or hearing aid youmay be using. The sooner you get your ears checked, the better. The stigma of having hearing aids is long gone these days; people of all ages are proactively getting hearing help for a variety of conditions. Prolonging getting your hearing system evaluated can and will contribute to further hearing loss and potential cognitive decline. Recent studies have shown that 24.2 million Americans ages 20–69 who need hearing help avoid getting checked. We want our patients to understand that NOT treating hearing loss can lead to levels of auditory deprivation which is essentially losing one’s understanding of

words. Hearing, as with all of our sensory inputs, is processed by our brains and not the organs themselves. We can treat hearing loss early andmore easily; however, treating this condition in later progressed states can become very challenging for patients. Remember, as the old saying goes, “Either use it or lose it.”

Know the Signs If you have difficulty differentiating between words like“scope”and“soap,”or if you continuously feel like people are mumbling or talking softly, it could be an early sign of hearing deficiency. If you turn up the volume of the radio or TV or withdraw from conversations because you can’t understand people, you should get your hearing evaluated. It’s much easier for us to treat the onset of hearing loss early, but, when a patient has allowed their condition to progress to severe or even profound level of auditory deprivation, the help that could have been provided at an earlier stage is now no longer available or possible. HowHearing Loss AffectsYou Your brain loves information and input, and this includes the soft sounds we may take for granted. For example, when I move around the office, my slacks make a sound. I can even hear the change of the ground I’mwalking on. As you lose your hearing, you won’t hear those kinds of sounds. You’ll also have a hard time hearingmore obvious sounds, like the TV, and you’ll end up increasing the volume again and again, making others uncomfortable. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect your hearing, though. Social engagement becomes more difficult, which is risky because social isolation has long been recognized as a risk factor for cognitive decline. In fact, studies have shown a connection between hearing loss and development of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect YOU; your condition is most often harder on the spouses and loved ones around you. So, if you have questions about the signs of hearing loss or the best ways tominimize it, call us at 865-271-9721 or visit our website anytime at EastTNAudiology.com. —Shayne Harrell


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THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO Honoring the Canines of 9/11

If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. STAYING CONNECTED Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World REMEMBER YOUR RITUALS

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and

rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.


As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half-hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship.

After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies

examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re


Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!

looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org.

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STOP THE SPREAD Prevent Colds and the Flu With Kid-Friendly Teaching Tools

School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips.

sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let


them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer

Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future.

containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health.

AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO!

As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent

Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as …well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about germs that are spread through just one

the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov.



Inspired by Bon Appétit


6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini

3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano

3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided

1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste


1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.

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730 Highway 321, Ste. 101 Lenoir City, TN 37771 865-271-9721 EastTNAudiology.com


The Do’s and Don’ts of Hearing Health


Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World Honoring the Canines of 9/11


Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention Cacio e Pepe


The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks


Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn

colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!

leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the

changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing.

Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the

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