Arizona Hearing Center - March 2020

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

March 2020

602-277-4327 |

The Scoop on Cochlear Implants

Incredible Technology, but Not a Cure-All

I would say most people — or at least, most people with hearing loss — have heard of cochlear implants. These devices, which are an alternative to traditional hearing aids, are an incredible piece of technology. They allow us to address hearing loss in patients for whom it would be impossible otherwise, increasing the number of patients who can be treated effectively. However, they are not a magic solution akin to flipping a light switch for hearing. It’s important for patients to understand the true nature of cochlear implants rather than expect a miracle. By some quirk of medical terminology, the cells within the cochlea that receive and transmit sound to the brain are called hair cells. These hair cells, which have no relation to the follicular hair, are the conduits from the hearing apparatus to the nerves and brain. When these cells are ruptured and don’t work, traditional hearing aids will not provide the patient with any restoration. We can drive the sound to the cochlea, either acoustically or via electromagnetic conduction, but it’s all for naught if the hairs don’t relay the message. Rather than trying to interact with the hair cells at all, a cochlear implant bypasses them entirely. A cochlear implant sends electrical signals directly to the auditory nerve. Somebody’s hearing organ could be entirely compromised, and

a cochlear implant could still be a viable option to restore sound. These devices come in two parts, an outside component, which is normally worn on the back of the head, and the actual implant itself, which is placed under general anesthesia and has a visible component about half the size of a dime. While the surgery to implant a device is routine and minimally invasive, it is not a cure-all in itself. Like a traditional hearing aids, a cochlear implant requires education At first glance, a cochlear implant can sound like a silver bullet. You mean my hearing loss, no matter how severe, can be treated? You’re telling me we can stimulate the auditory nerve directly, thereby eliminating the need for amplification? Sign me up, right? Well, yes and no. A cochlear implant is a remarkable piece of technology, but it doesn’t work miracles. The doctor providing a cochlear implant needs to educate the candidate on the challenges they will face. When someone first wears a cochlear implant, they have to learn to hear in an entirely new way. They’re going from acoustical hearing, which they’ve done their entire life, to electrical hearing, an entirely new cognitive process. Learning this new process is difficult, causing people new to cochlear implants to complain of disorientation and difficulty comprehending speech. and diligence on the part of the patient in order to be effective.

These difficulties are perfectly normal, but if the patient doesn’t expect them, they can be extremely discouraging. In a process not dissimilar to physical therapy, cochlear implant patients have to “work out” their new hearing system. Cochlear implant candidates should go into the process with complete awareness of the challenges they’ll face after surgery. They are not going to wake up with the volume turned back up and the clarity tuned to perfection. If they expect that, they’re in for a very rude awakening. When patients expect a cochlear implant to do something it cannot, frustration and disillusionment can mount. I like to tell patients that the day they get their implant is akin to their wedding day. The day you become a candidate and decide to go forward, you’re engaged to that implant. Before the wedding day, you should get to know that implant as well as you can. And like a marriage, the success of your relationship doesn’t depend on what happens on your wedding day. Success comes from the work you

put in day in, day out to ensure your relationship lasts.

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What Is ‘Decentralization’ and How Will It Change Social Media? BREAKING DOWN FACEBOOK

FACT VS. FICTION: THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET An Easy Way to Eat Healthier for Your Heart

Nowadays, getting locked out of your Facebook account often means losing access to your Spotify, Tinder, or any of the other sites you can sign into through Facebook. The amount of personal data social media has access to grows all the time, and it can affect your private and professional network. Thankfully, a few tech CEOs, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, believe social media decentralization could give users greater control over their personal information. Social media decentralization was once a pipe dream for activists, but Dorsey has recently revealed his hopes for redesigning his social media software to put the power back in the users’ hands. Zuckerberg also admitted in a Harvard interview that decentralized software is “quite attractive.” Currently, Facebook and Twitter live in relative anarchy. Their sheer size makes them nearly impossible to audit or manage, which makes falsified information and propaganda infamously easy to pass around. This anarchy also makes it much easier to conceal illegal activity. In an age where identity theft, financial fraud, and selling user information are more digital than ever, it’s important that users and businesses alike have full confidence in the security of their online pages where clients interact with them — especially if information, goods, or services are exchanged. A decentralized system could split the massive, unregulated wilderness of Facebook and Twitter into user-managed “neighborhoods.” Rather than relying on one centralized server that holds over 2.45 billion users, businesses and individuals could host their information on their own computer. This would give businesses and individuals much greater control over their information and how they share it. That’s not to say there aren’t risks associated with decentralization. If unprepared, private hosts could be left defenseless against hackers. Some critics even suggest that a push to decentralize could just be an attempt by Twitter and Facebook to dodge responsibility by moving data off of their own servers.

While the basis of the Mediterranean diet has been a staple in its titular region for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1960s that nutritionists popularized the concept in Western culture. Doctors noticed that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have less heart disease-related deaths than the U.S. and northern Europe. When they looked to regional eating habits for answers, they found a common plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread. However, in modern years, misconceptions plague the popular diet, so let’s clear some up. diet. Instead, it comes with a loose guideline: Eat a plant- based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts, but nutritionists discourage red meat intake whenever possible. To the delight of many Mediterranean dieters, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged! Mediterranean, so don’t swear off avocados just yet. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet. You’ll find that preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. And while buying olives and cheese might be expensive, you can get away with buying small amounts. Try different brands of canned olives for affordable alternatives to bottled ones. Plus, some grocery stores place cheap cuts of their premium cheeses near the deli. diet relies heavily on olive oil instead of butter or lard for cooking. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don’t contribute positively to your heart health, but a diet based on natural fats can improve your overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial for the Mediterranean diet and include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body. If you’re concerned about your heart health, try out this plant- based diet with a focus on foods local to you for long-term health and delicious meals. Your body will thank you! Myth No. 1: It’s rigid. False. There are no defined portion sizes for the Mediterranean Myth No. 2: It’s expensive. False. You don’t have to eat only what’s native to the Myth No. 3: Nutritionally, it’s 30%–40% fat. True. But be careful about which type of fat. The Mediterranean

While decentralization offers solutions to some the problems of social media, it’s

an approach that requires cautious implementation. Only time will tell if decentralization’s benefits outweigh its risks.


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Is That Picture Worth $1,000? How to Avoid Copyright Infringement for Your Business

We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and for businesses, this is especially true. Images used on a website and in marketing materials contribute to a specific vision and encourage customers to buy into a service or product. However, obtaining and using those images requires much more than a quick search on Google. To make the biggest splash while avoiding heavy penalties that can tank your business, follow these tips when searching for images. Presume all images are protected by copyright. Never assume that an image you find while browsing the internet is free to use. It may be easy to download one you like and use it on your website, social media account, or blog, but it can have devastating consequences. Someone who wrongfully uses copyright material worth at least $2,500 may face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines according to federal statute. Play it safe by assuming every image or photograph you find online is protected by copyright law. Always ask permission for use. Even if an image isn’t under copyright, you still might not have permission to use it. Find the source of the image, and inquire about using it for your own business. The image itself may have certain conditions you need to meet before you can use it. For instance, a licensing agreement may HAVE A Laugh

require you to pay a fee, give credit to the original creator, or guarantee the image’s use as-is without further alteration. In other instances, ask the photographer, designer, or artist for permission to use the image and agree to include a watermark or a link to their website. Find and use free images instead. Several websites, such as Pexels, Pixabay, and Morguefile, provide hundreds of photos for businesses to use for free and without worry of copyright infringement. Creative Commons is also a great resource to consult. This nonprofit provides free licenses and tools that make copyright material easy to understand. You may need to meet some agreements under a Creative Commons license, but afterwards, you can access and use numerous photos.


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

2627 N. Third St., Ste 100 Phoenix, AZ 85004

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

Inside This Edition


Cochlear Implants 101


‘Decentralization’ in Social Media

Have You Heard These Myths About the Mediterranean Diet? Avoiding Copyright Infringement for Your Business


Have a Laugh


Get Fit With Fido

Wellness and Whiskers 3 Ways to Work Out With Your Pet

Racking Up the Miles A simple way to get moving with your pet is to go for a walk. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, then try running, biking, or hiking with your pet. Anything beyond a walk may require extra obedience training or equipment — like a specialty tool that prevents your pet from colliding with your bike — but after a few loops around the trail, your pet will be begging to go again. And how can you say no to that face? Plus, this idea isn’t just for dogs. You can find leashes and harnesses for cats, lizards, ferrets, and other pets that love to get fresh air. Going for a Swim If you have a dog that appears to be more fish than canine, swimming might be the workout for you! Swimming is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise that works your entire body. If you’re not one for a dip in the pool, then kayaking,

Creating a healthy lifestyle is often easier with support, but if you’re struggling to find someone to join you on your path to wellness, then look to your furry friends instead. Read on for some ways to get active with your pet, and learn more about their wellness and health at

canoeing, and paddleboarding are great for your arms and core. Meanwhile, your pet can enjoy a relaxing ride or an exciting game of fetch. Just be sure to secure your pet with a life jacket before you and your four-legged friend splash away! Keeping It Traditional If you want a good full-body workout while entertaining your pet, then consider including them in traditional exercises. Entertain your pup with a game of fetch and drop down for a burpee every time it runs away. Balance your bird on your shoulder while you squat and lunge. Mentally and physically stimulate your cat by dragging a string around your body during Russian twists. With a little creativity and a few of your pet’s favorite things, both of you can work up a sweat.


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