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Coronavirus

Coronavirus' Top Targets: Men, Seniors, Smokers

Early data suggested that men were more vulnerable, as they accounted for just more than half the cases, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Infected men died twice as often as infected women.
web md - 6 hours ago
Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families - harvard

Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families

Establishing a legal relationship between parents and their children allows both parents to make care decisions. For LGBTQ+ families, this can be especially important. In some states, co-parent adoption, which offers broader protection than a state birth certificate, is available. The post Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 day ago
With New Hotspots, Coronavirus on Verge of Pandemic  - web md

With New Hotspots, Coronavirus on Verge of Pandemic

Pandemics are more severe than outbreaks or epidemics. It’s a term that signals that a disease is a threat to the entire world.  While public health officials seemed to downplay the significance of attaching the word to COVID-19, there’s no doubt about its importance in public messaging.
web md - 2 days ago
Hands or feet asleep? What to do - harvard

Hands or feet asleep? What to do

It’s happened to all of us: a hand or leg temporarily “falls asleep,” usually from being in one position for too long. Why does it happen? Are there times when you should be concerned about it? The post Hands or feet asleep? What to do appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 5 days ago
C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat - harvard

C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat

The bacteria known as C. diff has become a leading cause of infection among hospitalized patients. The infection is more common following antibiotic therapy, and it is challenging to treat because of a high relapse rate. The post C. difficile (C. diff): An urgent threat appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder? - harvard

Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder?

One approach to treating bipolar disorders is manipulation of the body’s circadian rhythms. A recent review of research found that such therapies may help, often in combination with medications and psychotherapy. The post Can light therapies help with bipolar disorder? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters - harvard

Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters

Lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event, but can they also help those with diabetes? A recent study found a positive association between healthy lifestyle choices and reduced cardiovascular risk for those with type 2 diabetes. The post Good news for those with type 2 diabetes: Healthy lifestyle matters appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Rethinking Milk: Science Takes On the Dairy Dilemma  - web md

Rethinking Milk: Science Takes On the Dairy Dilemma

Dairy products are rich in calcium and protein, and they have long been promoted as important for helping kids grow and helping kids and adults build and maintain strong bones. Now a new study questions whether diary deserves its health halo.
web md - 1 week ago
What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia? - harvard

What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia?

When people with dementia start exhibiting agitated behaviors, doctors often prescribe medications, but these have risks of serious side effects. A new study found that nondrug interventions were more effective than medications in reducing agitation. The post What’s the best way to manage agitation related to dementia? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Good for your teeth, bad for your bones? - harvard

Good for your teeth, bad for your bones?

Could an ingredient in toothpaste be harmful to your bones? Triclosan, an antibacterial agent, has been banned from soaps and hand sanitizers by the FDA, and researchers have found that women with the highest levels of triclosan in their urine had low bone density measurements. The post Good for your teeth, bad for your bones? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
When is a heavy period too heavy? - harvard

When is a heavy period too heavy?

Girls and their parents often wonder when bleeding with a period is too heavy. It's normal for periods to be irregular and occasionally heavy in the first few years after menstruation starts, but some signs of heavy bleeding merit a call to your child’s doctor. The post When is a heavy period too heavy? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use - harvard

Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use

Researchers looking for ways to help people manage pain without drugs found that the practice of mind-body therapies was associated with reduced pain intensity, and may also assist some people in reducing their use of opioid medications. The post Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind - harvard

Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind

Because skin color affects the presentation of skin conditions, dermatologists must consider skin color in making diagnoses. Because of this, people of color may want to seek out a dermatologist who understands their specific needs and concerns. The post Skin care shouldn’t be colorblind appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US - harvard

What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US

Between 1959 and 2014, average life expectancy in the United States rose astoundingly by nearly a decade. Then it began declining. A recent report examining this situation raises tough questions about that unexpected change. The post What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
More Patients Turning to

More Patients Turning to 'Direct Primary Care'

DPC Frontier, which tracks the number of direct primary care practices nationally, estimates there are 1,219 practices in 48 states and Washington, D.C. They range in size from solo practitioners to corporate, multisite direct primary care organizations with thousands of doctors.
web md - 2 weeks ago
With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice - harvard

With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice

There is ample evidence to support the healthfulness of a vegan diet. However, those who choose vegan eating may not get enough of some nutrients unless they pay careful attention to their food intake, or choose to take supplements. The post With a little planning, vegan diets can be a healthful choice appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Coronavirus: What parents should know and do - harvard

Coronavirus: What parents should know and do

It’s natural for parents to be worried about whether their children could be at risk from the novel coronavirus. While there is much that is still not known, common sense and simple public health precautions will help protect everyone. The post Coronavirus: What parents should know and do appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Infertility the second time around - harvard

Infertility the second time around

If you have a child and wish for more but are struggling with fertility issues, you may have many feelings and concerns. Here are some steps and strategies you may find helpful. The post Infertility the second time around appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma - harvard

Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma

Though only about 1% of skin cancers are melanomas, they are responsible for 90% of skin cancer deaths. Recent advances in treatment options have improved survival rates for melanoma, but it’s still best to take preventive steps to protect your skin. The post Newer skin cancer treatments improve prognosis for those with cutaneous melanoma appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus - harvard

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus

New information about the spread of coronavirus is coming at us seemingly every minute from many sources. But how much of this information is trustworthy? And which sources should you believe? The post Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
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harvard
Hearing loss may affect brain health

Hearing loss may affect brain health

harvard - 3 weeks ago

Hearing is a complex sense that provides us with awareness of environmental sounds and, more importantly, the ability to communicate. The ear is the organ responsible for perceiving sound, but it may not be so obvious that the brain is responsible for processing the sound. It is necessary that both organs work properly for hearing to occur.

The link between hearing loss and cognition is not fully understood

In recent years, there has been extensive research examining how age-related hearing loss and brain function (cognition) are associated. There are some general concepts that might contribute to the association between hearing loss and cognition. One theory is that hearing loss leads to a decreased input to the brain, so there is less processing that occurs, which contributes to cognitive decline (a bottom-up approach). Another theory is that early cognitive deficits may impact a persons ability to process sound, and thus contribute to hearing loss (a top-down approach). Irrespective of which theory is correct, it is clear that the association between hearing and cognition is very real. This association emphasizes the need to improve our approach to testing and treating hearing loss.

How is hearing loss measured, and whats considered a deficit?

Most audiologists and otolaryngologists define normal hearing as someone being able to hear any level above 25 decibels. This value is somewhat liberally designated, and largely based on the average range below which most people in a population experience hearing trouble. Most clinicians who manage patients with hearing loss will admit that conventional hearing tests are imperfect, despite the important information they provide. The imperfections in conventional hearing tests are due to the fact that it is a simple measure that is trying to quantify a complex process. For example, hearing tests present simple tones and words, but hearing in real-life situations involves sentences, speech, and language, which is much more complicated to hear and would require more complicated testing to evaluate.

Researchers and clinicians who specialize in hearing loss have considered that the current standard for normal hearing may be too liberal. Additionally, research suggests there may be a role for new definitions of normal hearing that account for people who are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, but are considered to have normal hearing by current standards. These people might be considered as having borderline hearing loss or subclinical hearing loss.

New research highlights the need to improve our approach to subclinical hearing loss

A recent article in JAMA Otolaryngology highlights this need. In this article, researchers reviewed two large population databases of 6,451 people who had had hearing and cognitive testing. The research showed that those who were 50 or older had cognitive scores that seemingly declined even before they reached clinically defined hearing loss (subclinical hearing loss). The research also noted that the association between hearing and cognition is stronger among subjects with normal hearing compared to those with hearing loss. For example, in the population they analyzed, cognition scores dropped in the normal hearing population faster than in the population with hearing loss. This result is somewhat counterintuitive, and suggests that maybe what we currently define as normal hearing may in fact include some people with hearing deficits. It also challenges what clinicians have accepted as standard classifications for hearing loss on hearing tests.

What does this mean if you are concerned about hearing loss?

First, it is worth clarifying that the new research does not in any way suggest that hearing loss is going to lead to cognitive decline. Just because these things are associated, does not mean they are causally related. Next, what these findings make clear is that it is important to have hearing tested if you notice problems with your hearing, such as challenges hearing when in social settings, requiring the radio or television at higher volumes, or constantly requiring people to repeat themselves.

The coordinated functions of the ear and the brain place a new priority on addressing hearing loss

Do not ignore symptoms of hearing loss, because you do not want to miss an opportunity to address hearing deficits. In addition, do not hesitate to ask your provider specific details about your hearing results. Often patients can be afraid to ask for details about their results because they do not want to admit that they do not understand the result, and it is important to raise concerns about your hearing even if your hearing test is normal. By taking care of your hearing, you are addressing an obvious issue (hearing loss) with not-so-obvious consequences (cognition).

Unfortunately, hearing aid use is very low despite the high incidence of hearing loss. Ask your provider about options to rehabilitate your hearing with hearing aids. Depending on the type of hearing loss you have, other options may be available to you as well, such as procedures to improve the hearing.

The post Hearing loss may affect brain health appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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