Month: February 2015 (page 1 of 2)

4 Oscar Winners With Hearing Loss

Academy Award  aka "Oscar"

Academy Award aka “Oscar”

In honor of Oscar and the Academy Awards which aired on television recently, here is a list of actors who have received an Oscar (or two) who also have hearing loss. These professionals have made quite an achievement despite their hearing loss….just as ordinary people do every day.  Hearing loss is manageable with supportive care from your local audiologist.

Halle Berry and Oscar

Halle Berry and Oscar

Halle Berry

Halle Berry won an Oscar in 2001 for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball where she played the wife of an executed death-row prisoner. In real life, she was a victim of domestic violence which left her with an 80 percent hearing loss in her left ear. She often speaks about her hearing loss to raise awareness and help other women break the cycle of violence.

Robert Redford and Oscar

Robert Redford and Oscar

Robert Redford

Robert Redford has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has received one in 1980 for Best Director for the film Ordinary People. His other nominations were: 1973, Best Actor, The Sting; 1994, Best Picture, Quiz Show; 1994, Best Director, Quiz Show. At 78, Redford performed his own stunts while filming his critically acclaimed 2013 movie, All Is Lost. Playing a solo sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, he was submerged in a massive water tank day after day and pelted with water from an off-camera hose. He sustained a severe ear infection that permanently robbed him of 60 percent of his hearing in his left ear.

Holly Hunter and Oscar

Holly Hunter and Oscar

Holly Hunter

Holly Hunter has received several award nominations but she won a Best Actress Academy Award in 1994 for work in The Piano. A childhood bout with mumps left Hunter deaf in her left ear. But this Academy Award winner known for her edgy roles and acute attention to detail told CNN that her disability has been a boon to her career: “I’ve had to listen so intently to what people are saying,” she said — and she transfers that attention to detail to her roles.

Jodie Foster and Oscar number one

Jodie Foster and Oscar number one

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster has been in the entertainment industry since she was an infant and she has amassed an amazing body of work including two Academy Awards for Best Actress. The first in 1988 for The Accused and again in 1991 for The Silence Of The Lambs. Foster confessed to a Chicago Tribune reporter that she’s not very good about taking care of her own health needs, especially “this hearing-loss thing” and her mysterious attacks of vertigo. She has been spotted wearing a hearing aid.

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Zinc For Hearing Health & A Zinc Centered Recipe

Years ago, folks used to say “you are what you eat”. Then it became “you are what you eat that you don’t excrete” meaning you are the nutrients that your body hangs on to and uses. These days, it’s just as important to think about what you AREN’T putting in your body as much as it is what you ARE putting in your body. With supermarket shelves filled with pre-packaged convenience foods and every other street corner housing a fast food restaurant (not to mention the ‘food’ sold at family restaurants, convenience stores, and gas stations), it’s no wonder that people are deficient in critical nutrients not just for hearing health but for overall health and well-being. Let’s not even talk about industrial food production methods.

There ARE things you can do to increase your nutrient intake that will benefit not only your hearing health but promote better overall health in body and mind. Make sure you are getting these nutrients in your diet in a healthy way. For example, if you add blueberries (which are high in antioxidants that fight free radicals) to your brownies you are defeating the purpose since the brownies are probably made with a lot of flour (which contains phytates that inhibit zinc absorption) and sugar (that causes a myriad of issues inside the body) neither of which contributes to your health in a positive way. At this point, the benefits of the blueberries is lost.

Since nutrition is such a large topic, we’ll tackle a little bit at a time. Today, let’s focus on zinc. In addition to being an important mineral for the immune and central nervous systems, studies have shown zinc deficiency can greatly increase your risk of suffering from sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Research indicates zinc has immune-boosting properties, which can help reduce stress on the cochlea in SSNHL. The highest levels of zinc are found in seafood* (oysters, crab, lobster), and meat* (beef, pork & chicken). Zinc is also found in plant foods such as nuts (cashews, almonds), legumes (chick peas, lentils), and vegetables (peas, broccoli) but in very small quantities. Making nuts and legumes bio-available is a topic for another day.

All About Zinc

Zinc (Zn) is a transition metal belonging to group 12 of the periodic table. As an “essential trace element” zinc has substantial biological importance for plants and animals.

Zinc is responsible for many functions in the human body and it helps to stimulate the activity of 100 different enzymes.

zinc foods

Only a very small intake of Zinc is necessary to reap the benefits. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for zinc in the US is: 8/mg for women and 11/mg for men. This means a woman would need to eat either 3 ounces of beef or almost 2 cups of almonds to get your RDA (personally, even though I love almonds, I’d choose the beef over than many almonds).

Read more about zinc here

Try this recipe for oysters with walnuts:


photo courtesy of

oysters recipe

Save this picture file for the recipe

*Remember, if you are going to eat seafood or meat choose a) wild-caught sea food and b) high-welfare meat from smaller ranches with a reverence for the lives of the animals they raise. Feed lot animals are bad news no matter how you look at it.

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Get The Most From Your Hearing Aid Batteries

The batteries for the average hearing aid will last anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the type of hearing aid, the type of battery and it’s relative capacity, and the amount of time the hearing aid is actually in use and turned on. The unused batteries have a shelf life of about one year.

Hearing aid batteries

Hearing aid batteries

Treat your batteries with care:

  • DO NOT remove the pull-tab on the battery until you are ready to insert it into the hearing aid; they are activated by air when the pull-tab is removed
  • When the hearing instrument is not in use, disengage the battery
  • When you go to bed, open the battery compartment fully and set the device in a safe place that is convenient but accessible
  • Store batteries in a cool, dry place (not in your refrigerator or freezer).

Change your batteries when:

  • sounds become distorted or you keep having to turn up the volume
  • you hear the small beeping sound that alerts you to a low battery (not on all models)
  • you suddenly lose power

Hearing aids batteries lose their power very suddenly so it is a good idea to keep an extra set of batteries handy, especially when you are away from home. Also, try keeping your batteries away from keys, coins, or other metal objects that could cause the batteries to discharge.

Minimize battery drain by:

  • turning off your hearing aid (or open the battery door) when you aren’t using it and it is not in your ear
  • remove the battery if you won’t be using the hearing aid for an extended period of time
  • try not to store the batteries in areas of extreme temperature, either hot or cold

Help your hearing aid by:

  • washing your hands thoroughly before changing the batteries as dirt and grease on your fingers can transfer to the battery and then to your hearing aid which may cause damage to the hearing aid
  • leaving the battery compartment open at night so any accumulated moisture can escape and not be cause corrosion on the battery which can lead to damage of the hearing aid
  • removing dead batteries immediately as a completely discharged battery may swell and be much harder to remove

Flat side +, beveled side –

Are your batteries installed correctly:

  • Insert the batteries properly with the + polarity symbol on the battery matching the + polarity symbol on the hearing aid door
  • For ease in finding the + polarity and the – polarity you will note that batteries are perfectly flat on one side (the + or positive polarity) and beveled on the other side (the – or negative polarity)
  • If your battery door will not close easily, check the batteries…they are probably in upside down

At ihearingaids, we are here to serve. We love connecting with people so give us a call or use our contact page to ask your questions…who know, you might be featured right here on our blog page!

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