Take a Break
GINA’S GREEK ORZO SALAD
Patient Care Coordinator (and chef) Gina
Can Working Out Delay the Progression of Age-Related Hearing Loss?
• ½ pound orzo • 1 small red onion, chopped • ½ cup cucumber, diced • ½ cup parsley, chopped • 2 tomatoes, diced • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled • ¼ cup black olives, sliced • Juice of 1 lemon
Everybody knows that regular physical exercise lowers your risk for cardiovascular diseases, sidelines weight gain, and rewards you with a longer life expectancy. But what most people probably don’t realize is that the benefits of exercise likely reduce your risk of age-related hearing loss, as well. Almost two-thirds of elderly people over the age of 70 develop significant hearing loss late in life, which, as many of our patients know, can present significant challenges to effective communication. People want to know how they can prevent or slow hearing loss, and these new discoveries show promise. Though the research is fairly preliminary, studies are beginning to show the links between reduced age-related hearing loss and frequent exercise. One study, published in November 2016 in the Journal of Neuroscience, measured indicators of age-related hearing loss in mice that ran on an exercise wheel. They compared that data to the information collected from mice on a nonwheel-running control group.
After 24 months, the wheel-running mice showed not only significantly less cochlear hair cell and spiral ganglion neuron loss (principal factors in the onset of age-related hearing loss), but better auditory brainstem response times when compared to the control group. This resulted in an almost 20 percent loss of hearing in the sedentary mice, compared to only a 5 percent loss in the runners. As lead study author Shinichi Someya writes, “The cochlear, or inner ear, is a high-energy-demanding organ. The auditory system is always on and always processing sound. To process sound, it needs a huge amount of energy molecules.” Exercise naturally facilitates blood flow and high energy levels, so it makes sense that working out regularly could lead to decreased hearing loss. Although the research is just starting in earnest, this study and others like it offer valuable insights. Perhaps exercise can play a significant role in staving off hearing loss. Coupled with innovations in hearing aids, the future looks bright for those seeking improved hearing.
• ¼ cup olive oil • Salt and pepper Instructions
1. Cook pasta, drain, and let cool. 2. Add onion, parsley, cucumber, diced tomatoes, and black olives. 3. Add juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 4. Mix well, add feta cheese, and refrigerate.
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