Great Things to Hear This Holiday Season in Cincinnati

Great Things to Hear This Holiday Season in Cincinnati

Take some time during the hustle and bustle of the holidays to meet with family and friends and enjoy the season. Its not all about presents – its about making lovely memories. At Hearing Consultants, we want you to stay connected to family, friends and the sights and sounds of the season – which is the reason you should take care of your hearing health. Here are some of our favorite activities to consider this holiday season.

Santaland – Holiday in Lights

various performances and events – Dec. 1 – Dec. 23
Sharon Woods/Sharon Centre
First, there’s more than a mile of spectacular holiday lights including 120 moving holiday themed figures from Jolly Saint Nick to depictions of the 12 days of Christmas. Drop in to the Sharon Centre where Santa’s elves have created a winter wonderland including lots of family friendly entertainment, a holiday train display, sweets, a selfie holiday photo-op area and, of course, gift options. Check out Everette Green, the talking Christmas tree, enjoy performances of the Dickens Carolers and there will also be performances of Ebenezer Scrooge.

PNC Festival of Lights

Dec. 1- Jan. 1
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Voted Best Zoo Lights in the USA, this year the zoo tries to outdo last year’s set up. Enjoy the “Wild Wonderland” which includes 3 million (yes, you read that right – 3 million) LED lights, and a black-light puppet show. There’s a Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake, you can ride the BB&T Toyland Express Train Ride, hear a story from Mrs. Claus, write Santa a letter at the Holiday Post office and find the hidden fairies in Fairyland. All this in addition to the 22 larger than life Animal Lanterns throughout the zoo AND the new indoor Gorilla World exhibit is open!

The Nutcracker

Dec. 13 – 24
Music Hall
Recognized by the community as one of Cincinnati’s favorite traditions, the Cincinnati Ballet once again presents the charming Christmas tale set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved musical score. Take a journey with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets where the Sugar Plum fairy will shower you with treats and celebrations. Gorgeous sets, memorable costumes and a chance for photo opportunities with the Snow Queen and Nutcracker 35 minutes prior to the start of each evening show in Corbett Tower.

A Christmas Carol

Dec. 13 – 29
Marx Theatre
Hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects make this one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions. A Christmas Carol is the story of ultimate redemption. Four ghosts show Ebenezer Scrooge its never too late to change your miserly ways – just in time for Christmas.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)

Dec. 14 – 30
The Otto Budig Theater
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company brings back their holiday smash hit by Michael Carleton, James Fitzgerald and john K. Alvarez. Directed by Jeremy Dubin, this begins as an annual production of “A Christmas Carol” and evolves – or devolves as the case may be – into an irreverent look at all the beloved holiday classics including “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Dec. 14
US Bank Arena
Here’s to a rock ‘n roll holiday. Enjoy this production which revolves around a runaway who finds shelter in an abandoned theater on Christmas Eve. She experiences ghostly musical performances from the theater’s past. Powerful storytelling interlaced with presentations of Christmas favorites including “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Holy Night” along with some original Christmas songs.

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Dec. 21 – 23
Xavier University – Gallagher Student Center Theater
Music, miracles and some mischief all come together in the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Christmas chamber opera Amal and the Night Visitors. This is the tale of the shepherd boy Amahl, his mother and their life-changing encounter with the Three Wise Men. We’ve got opera singers, Pones Inc. dancers, Madcap puppet and a full choir.

Winterfest

Dec. 1 – 31
Kings Island
Holiday shows, carolers in traditional costumes, shops with holiday gifts and decorations. The park is transformed into a land of enchanting productions and events including ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the transformation of the Eiffel Tower into a truly magical 314 foot Christmas tree, millions of lights and dozens of holiday characters including Jack Frost, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Candy Cane. Listen to Blitzen’s Brass Band, go to a Build-A-Bear workshop, check out the Peanuts characters in Charlie Brown’s Christmas Town and attend one of the performances of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Spectacular. It’s an upbeat Broadway style show that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Visit us at Hearing Consultants

We wish you a happy and joyous holiday season. Enjoy your time with family and friends and make some spectacular memories. And don’t miss a minute of the sights and sounds – we’re here for you so schedule your hearing evaluation and stay connected to the sounds of the holidays.

 

Huey Lewis Cancels 2018 Shows due to Hearing Loss

Huey Lewis Cancels 2018 Shows due to Hearing Loss

Have you heard the news about Huey Lewis? One of America’s most beloved musicians has cancelled his upcoming performances due to hearing loss. Lewis, who introduced the idea that it’s “Hip to Be Square” all the way back in 1986 falls into a demographic of aging Americans confronting hearing loss in record numbers. At age 67, the rock star is one of millions of Baby Boomers now finding themselves faced with the question of how to treat and intervene in hearing loss.

Hearing loss and age

Age is one of the great predictors of hearing loss. One third of Americans over the age of 65 report some degree of hearing loss. That number jumps considerably once we reach 75, with half of folks in that demographic suffering from hearing loss. It’s not an accident, just like the rest of the systems of the human body, our hearing structures deteriorate over time.

Despite being one of the major public health issues in the country, we haven’t culturally caught up with the protection and maintenance yet. We’re urged to drink milk from a young age to build healthy bones to last us into our old age. We’re also now conditioned to integrate exercise into our daily routines in order to preserve our cardiovascular systems and maintain healthy joints. But rarely are we reminded to avoid too-noisy situations or use hearing protection in order to protect our hearing.

Meniere’s disease

Lewis himself reports that his doctors believe he may be suffering from Meniere’s disease, the symptoms of which include vertigo, hearing loss and a sensation of fullness in the affected ear. These come on in the form of ‘episodes’ typically lasting from 20 minutes to four hours. Unfortunately, the disease progressively transmutates these brief periods of hearing loss into permanent hearing loss. The cause of this disease is unknown, but it likely results from inner ear fluid abnormalities. There is no cure, though the symptoms can be treated.

Professional musicians and hearing loss

However, perhaps what is most surprising is that more of our beloved musicians and rock bands don’t report hearing loss as they age. It’s quite a common profession in which noise induced hearing loss occurs. In fact, professional musicians are almost four times more likely to develop noise induced hearing loss than the general public.

Noise induced hearing loss

Noise induced hearing loss is a permanent hearing impairment that comes from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, damaging the delicate cells of the inner ear. In the case of musicians specifically, noise induced hearing loss occurs because they are in too-loud environments for substantial amounts of time, say for the average duration of a concert multiplied by the length of your career. Rock concerts can register between 100-120 decibels when any sound over 85 decibels is considered potentially harmful.

Protecting your ears at concerts

You don’t have to be a professional musician to damage your hearing at a concert, performance or any loud event. It can happen to anyone, and the risk is particularly high now as our culture seems to just get louder every day.

Pay attention to how your ears feel in a noisy environment. If there is any pain or discomfort, seek relief by giving your ears a break. Invest in a pair of earplugs to keep in the car or on hand for those times you have to be in a loud listening scenario. Don’t worry about looking cool at the expense of your ears. Remember, it’s hip to be square!

Check in on your own hearing

Years spent enjoying concerts without paying attention to the damage that too-loud noises can do over time may have impacted your own hearing. Shouldering your way to the best spot in the audience usually meant close to the speakers near the stage. However, you don’t have to be stuck with poor hearing.

Instead, schedule a visit with us at Hearing Consultants to review the current condition of your hearing and diagnose any established hearing loss. From there, we can begin the conversation to review next steps in hearing loss treatment and intervention. Hearing aids can inject an ease into communication that allows you to live your fullest and most vibrant life.

 

This Fourth of July, Protect Your Family’s Hearing

This Fourth of July, Protect Your Family’s Hearing

 

It’s almost time to celebrate the red, white and blue! The Fourth of July is a wonderful time for us in the United States. It’s a time for us to honor those who gave their lives for the freedom and independence we enjoy today. July fourth is also an opportunity for us to gather with friends and family to enjoy pool time, sunshine, barbeque, and of course, awesome fireworks.

The festive, fun, and patriotic celebration of Independence Day also brings with it a real danger – one most of us likely have not considered. This danger is noise induced hearing loss, and those wonderful fireworks we look forward to each year may be to blame. Before the celebration this year, it is important to take some time to consider how you can protect your family’s hearing to enjoy a safe and healthy holiday.

How can fireworks cause hearing loss?

Excess exposure to any noise, regardless of its source, has the potential to cause hearing loss. This type of impairment is called Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and can affect anyone at any age. In fact, it is estimated that about one in four young adults aged 20-69 do have an identifiable hearing loss and this number is only set to grow. Rates of noise induced hearing loss have been on the rise for quite some time, with an estimated 1.1 billion youth between the ages of 12-35 being at risk for developing a noise induced hearing impairment caused by recreational activities (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss). Once acquired, noise induced hearing loss is rarely temporary and cannot be reinstated or cured. Once your hearing has been damaged by noise and is gone, its gone. This is why it is so important to remain educated about common dangers to your hearing, and how you can protect it.

Are fireworks really that loud?

Yes. Surprisingly enough, fireworks really are loud enough to cause damage to hearing, especially fireworks purchased for home use. When fired nearby, fireworks can ring in at a deafening 150-175 decibels – which is loud enough to cause instant hearing damage (https://www.boystownhospital.org/knowledgeCenter/articles/hearing/Pages/Fireworks.aspx). As perspective, an ambulance siren driving past rings in at only 120 decibels – quite a bit quieter than nearby fireworks. Fireworks are not only a sight for sore eyes, but can also be a sound to cause sore ears, too!

How do I protect my family’s hearing?

Just because fireworks have the potential to damage hearing, doesn’t mean you and your loved ones can’t participate in all the fun. There are some very easy and inexpensive steps you can take to ensure your family enjoys the festivities and protects their hearing.

 

Make plans for hearing protection.

There are many options when it comes to protecting your hearing. The best and most effective choice is custom-made earplugs designed for the purpose, however, these are not readily available to everyone. Disposable earplugs can also be effective. Disposable earplugs should have a clearly marked Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), which will indicate how many decibels of sound are blocked by the plugs. It may be smart to purchase your family’s earplugs in advance to allow everyone an opportunity to test them for comfort. Smaller children’s earplugs can improve comfort for the littlest ears amongst us. Pack enough earplugs for the whole family (not just the kids!) and be sure to include a few extras.

 

Take location into consideration.

The further you are from where the fireworks are launched, the lower the noise level will be. Finding a spot that is a little bit away from the heart of the action can help to protect your family’s hearing. Being “away from it all” may also be a breath of fresh air, allowing you the room and peace to really enjoy the time with your loved ones.

 

Make adjustments as needed.

Even with hearing protection and location in mind, it is important to still be cognizant of how the sounds are affecting you and your family. If at any time you notice yourself or one of your family members covering their ears, or expressing ear pain or buzzing or ringing in the ears, it’s a sign the environment is too loud. It may be time to find a spot even more set apart or maybe even enjoy the view from indoors.

Chances are, your family won’t lose their hearing over one night of fireworks, though it is important to teach healthy hearing habits as early as possible. From our family to yours, we truly wish you a very happy, safe, fun and healthy Independence Day this year!