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Horseback riding helps man with COPD

We recently received this story from Don Foreman, of Kent City. 

Don Foreman, though afflicted with COPD, is shown doing what he loves.

Don Foreman, though afflicted with COPD, is shown doing what he loves.

It all began in 1975 when I married a woman with two horses and we bought a hobby farm in northern Kent County. I have been adventerous all my life and love the west. For many years, I have hunted and camped in the mountains of Colorado and the Dakotas. I’ve even crossed the Great Divide on horseback.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).
In March of 2012, we were approached by Sue to board her horses at our barn. Having the horses around again rekindled my urge to ride again. I thought I could handle a quiet, older horse such as a Tennessee Walker or a Morgan.

In the spring of 2013, we were told by Sue’s farrier about a black Morgan mother and daughter for sale. We looked at them, Sue test rode the daughter; liked her way of going and I bought them. All my life I had dreamed of owning a black stallion, and now I had two black mares! After buying a saddle, bridle, boots and saddlebags, I was ready to ride again.

I have two small portable air tanks; each one is good for about two hours, so I put one in each of the saddlebags and off we go when the weather is good.
My doctor has said this is a good form of exercising for me as it helps my breathing and gets me outdoors.
So here I am—an 81-year-old man with COPD, who is back doing what he loves—being outdoors and riding a horse.

So don’t stop living because of age or physical limitations. The moral is, if you think you might like to do something, don’t hesitate to go for it even if others disagree. You only live once.

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Coping with Grief at the Holidays

While the holidays may be challenging for those who have recently lost a loved one, Hospice of Michigan provides techniques to help the bereaved handle grief and find comfort.

While the holidays may be challenging for those who have recently lost a loved one, Hospice of Michigan provides techniques to help the bereaved handle grief and find comfort.

Pat Chambers was a wife, mother of five and grandmother of 12. She loved to garden and enjoyed the beauty of nature. But when Chambers was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, little pieces of her slipped away each day, until she died just over a year ago.

Her daughter, Janene Engelhard, knows firsthand that no matter how prepared you are for the death of a loved one, the grief can still be overwhelming — especially during the holidays.

“Grief doesn’t just happen in your head; it happens in your heart,” Engelhard says. “I knew my mom wasn’t going to get better, and I felt like I lost a little more of her each time I saw her. While part of me was prepared for her death, it’s still difficult, especially when holiday traditions trigger grief.”

Janene Engelhard

Janene Engelhard

Engelhard explains that her mother was the pie baker. She recalls the first Thanksgiving without her mom, when it occurred to the family that Mom didn’t do the baking. She also notes how making her mom’s cut-out Christmas cookies is now a bittersweet tradition. While recalling fond memories helps, they also serve as a reminder that her mom is no longer there.

“For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays often elicit emotions of grief and sadness,” said Karen Monts, practice manager of counseling services at Hospice of Michigan. “Though it may be a difficult time for those grieving, it can also be a wonderful time to remember a loved one’s memory. At Hospice of Michigan, we focus on providing the bereaved with the tools they need to once again enjoy this special time of year.”

Monts explains that the holidays may be challenging but there are techniques to help handle grief and find comfort, such as:

Giving yourself grace. Allow yourself to feel whatever way you feel; there is no right or wrong way. Be honest about your feelings and don’t force yourself to do anything you are not up to.

Surround yourself with support. Plan to be around people you enjoy, who are supportive or are a good listener. Negative voices can make the day worse.

Donate your time or treasure. Volunteering at or donating to an organization that was near to your loved one’s heart is a great way to honor them during the holidays. Or pick an organization that’s important to you and could use some assistance.

Remember your loved one. Set a place at the table for your loved one or hang a stocking in which you and others can fill with notes and mementos. Spend time talking about your loved one and sharing stories. If it brings you comfort, look through photos or listen to music that serves as a reminder.

Give a gift. Buy something that you think your loved one would have enjoyed and give it to someone else. You can either share the meaning behind the gift or simply enjoy bringing joy to someone’s life.

Allow yourself to be happy. There is nothing wrong with celebrating or feeling joy.

One of the ways Engelhard coped with grief during the first Christmas without her mother was by creating memorial gifts for her father and siblings.

“My mom loved nature and would press flowers and leaves,” she recalls. “After she died, I found several phone books in her house with her pressed clippings still inside. I used these to create shadow boxes for family members. I also included a photo of my mom, pearls from her favorite necklace, pieces of the measuring tape she had for sewing and swatches from the pastry cloth she had used since we were kids.”

Engelhard explains that creating the memorial gifts was not only a way for her to cope with her grief, but it helped keep her mother’s memory alive—something important to her and her family.

“While everyone copes with grief in their own unique way, over time those grieving will learn to live with the loss and once again find joy—not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year,” Monts adds.

Hospice of Michigan offers a variety of grief support and educational services, including holiday grief programs. Its services are available to all families involved with Hospice of Michigan, as well as the community at large. For more information on any of the services we offer, visit www.hom.org.

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Vinegar can help control blood sugar levels

A variety of vinegar flavors can dress your salad while helping to keep your glucose levels low.

A variety of vinegar flavors can dress your salad while helping to keep your glucose levels low.

(NAPS)—During November, National Diabetes Month, or at any time, there could be sweet news for the 29.1 million people the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates have diabetes.

According to Dr. Carol S. Johnston, professor and associate director of the Nutrition Program in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, vinegar can be part of a diet strategy to manage blood glucose.

Why Vinegar

Here’s why: Eating foods that are high in starch, such as bread and rice, causes surges in blood glucose levels, Dr. Johnston explains. These high levels of blood glucose have been linked to higher or increased cardiovascular disease risk in healthy populations and can also increase complications among those with type 2 diabetes.

Consuming small amounts of vinegar—one to two tablespoons— before your meal, however, can reduce these high levels of glucose, she says.

In fact, for individuals with type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that consuming vinegar prior to meals on a daily basis can significantly reduce blood levels of A1c, a key indicator of average blood glucose concentrations.

In addition to consuming vinegar alone, consuming foods high in vinegar is an option. Vinegar is found in pickled products and salad dressings and can also be consumed before a meal on a salad.

Why it’s Important

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most food you eat gets turned into glucose, or sugar, for your body to use for energy. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can have serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, but you don’t have to be in such statistics. The International Life Sciences Institute reports that “Several studies have demonstrated that vinegar can help reduce hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia and obesity.”

What else to do

In addition to adding vinegar to your diet, other helpful changes can include:

•Eat smaller portions. Learn what a serving size is for different foods and how many servings you need in a meal.

•Eat less fat. Choose fewer high-fat foods and use less fat for cooking.

•Exercise for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week.

•Follow your doctor’s advice about any health issues you experience.

Learn more

For more information on vinegar, including studies, recipes and more, visit www.versatilevinegar.org.

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Redefining good days while living with breast cancer 

Left to right: Models of Courage Laurie Tennent, Cati Diamond Stone, and Aimee Bariteau join together in a group painting session as part of Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project. To learn more, visit Fordcares.com.

Left to right: Models of Courage Laurie Tennent, Cati Diamond Stone, and Aimee Bariteau join together in a group painting session as part of Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project. To learn more, visit Fordcares.com.

(BPT) – When facing bad news—like something as serious as a cancer diagnosis—it can be difficult to imagine that any day of the coming journey would be “good.” But for many of the millions of men and women in the U.S. who have been affected by the disease, the experience has transformed their understanding of support and redefined their sense of normalcy.

Survivor Karen Martinez was prepared to go through chemotherapy alone, but was thankful to have two friends who insisted they be at her side for every appointment, which sometimes lasted five to six hours.

“They just sat there, and we were either joking, reading or talking,” says Martinez. “For a bad experience—which it was—I still looked forward to it. Not the treatment, but the friendship.”

Other survivors found peace in solitude.

20 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors join Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project to share their stories and give more good days to others affected by breast cancer.

20 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors join Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project to share their stories and give more good days to others affected by breast cancer.

“There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. I knew I had my family,” says survivor Marisol Rodriguez, a 50-year-old teacher from Portland, Oregon, who, after initially being accompanied by her husband to chemotherapy, eventually chose to go alone. “When your friends want to visit you, in my [Latino] culture, you have to entertain them. While it was greatly appreciated, it did take a lot of energy, so I chose to just relax during this time.”

Both experiences underscore the complexity of support. While many people want to help, they’re unsure of the best way and what comforts one person might not work for another.

“The worst thing you can say to someone going through this experience is, ‘Well, let me know what you need’ or ‘Let me know what I can do,’” says survivor Tracy Nicole. “No one said that to me because they knew that I wasn’t going to ask for anything.”

Instead, Tracy Nicole’s family and friends helped with things like organizing meals, childcare and other household errands. Through the online platform Meal Train, Jenny Price, Tracy Nicole’s friend, organized a calendar and identified specific errands that friends could help with on certain days and times, including ironing her daughters’ school uniform or preparing meals for the day.

Insights like these from breast cancer survivors and co-survivors inspired Ford “Warriors in Pink” to launch The Good Day Project, an initiative to help friends and family take small, actionable steps that will bring more good days to breast cancer patients.

Free access to Meal Train’s premium service, Meal Train Plus, is offered as part of the program. Warriors in Pink also provides patients with free rides to and from appointments at select cancer treatment centers via the ride-sharing service Lyft. On its website, Warriors in Pink offers a variety of resources and tips for giving “good days.”

Here are some of their “good day” tips for others living with breast cancer and their supporters:

For those diagnosed, in treatment, or in recovery:

  • Celebrate small victories: Aimee Bariteau recalls the simple joy she got from being able to walk to the park for the first time after treatment. “Rather than being annoyed that I couldn’t do it before, I was happy when I could do it. It’s a long haul, so when something good happens, be sure to acknowledge and enjoy it.” Fellow survivor Camari Olson documented her surgeries and hair regrowth after chemotherapy in a photo project that she looks back at to remind herself how far she’s come.
  • Let others know how they can help by simply listening: “People know they can’t take the disease away from you,” added Olson. “There were times I needed to express my fears about dying or the sadness at having my body forever changed, and my friends and family helped by simply listening and not denying me those fears and feelings.”
  • Share your experience and advice with others: Steve Del Gardo says this is especially important for men with breast cancer, as there are fewer support resources dedicated to the male experience. He volunteers as a Peer Support Navigator through the Friend for Life Network to support other men affected by the disease.

For supporters:

  • Think about how you can help others affected by someone’s diagnosis, such as their children or partners: Carrie Vieceli was living more than 3,000 miles from her close friends and family when she was diagnosed. Despite her own challenges and day-to-day care needs, she worried about the responsibilities that her husband handled on his own. “He could have used so much support—in caring for me as well as emotional support for himself.”
  • Remind your loved one that you’re thinking about them: Take five minutes to send a postcard. Survivor Cati Diamond Stone enjoyed receiving random cards from her friend on a weekly basis. Free Warriors in Pink postcards are available at fordcares.com or at their website.
  • Remember your loved one’s interests are probably still the same: While help with physically taxing tasks (laundry, driving, groceries) are much appreciated, don’t assume your friend or loved one doesn’t want to be invited to something they can’t fully participate in. If they love hiking, for example, consider a route that allows them to enjoy a scenic break.

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Don’t wait for professionals to help a cardiac victim


By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

Help from a bystander is often the difference between whether a person suffering from cardiac arrest will live or die.

Kelli Sears with the American Heart Association (AHA) says while there are some minor changes in the organization’s guidelines, the most significant emphasis for the public remains to take action even if you’re not formally trained in CPR.

“If you’ve taken a CPR class and have been taught how to give breaths, then the breaths are still recommended,” she says. “If you don’t know CPR and you haven’t taken a class, then we just recommend hands-only CPR or compression-only CPR. Push hard and push fast and do something.”

Sears says the chest compressions should be done at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute, with the beat of the Bee Gees’ classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” a perfect match for the timing. A quick demonstration of hands-only CPR can be found online at the American Heart Association website.

Sears notes that bystanders getting involved—calling 911, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator if one is available—is  especially critical in rural areas where it can take time for emergency crews to respond.

“Having people who can initiate CPR before an ambulance can arrive or before first responders can arrive is vital in giving a patient any chance of survival in a cardiac arrest situation,” she says.

Sears says bystander CPR can double or even triple the odds of survival for those with cardiac arrest but less than half receive such help.

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Rethinking breast cancer treatment: One woman’s story

Amy Thigpen

Amy Thigpen

(BPT) – In the United States, one in five new breast cancer cases is stage 0 disease, but for Amy Thigpen, a mother of three who works in an oncology clinic, breast cancer is not a statistic; it is personal. After all, her mother is a breast cancer survivor, and later, she too faced-off with a similar diagnosis.

After Amy’s mother was diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer, Amy was determined to be proactive about her breast health. She had a feeling something was not right and requested a mammogram from her doctors at the age of 34, even though clinical practice guidelines do not recommend screening before the age of 50. The mammogram found a small tumor that was confined to the milk ducts; fortunately, it had not spread to the surrounding tissue. At that point, Amy faced her diagnosis—stage 0 breast cancer, known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.

An oncology nurse in the hematology oncology department at Physicians East in Greenville, North Carolina, Amy worked alongside a breast cancer specialist and had seen many patients battle the disease and struggle with the many decisions that had to be made – including whether or not to pursue post-surgery treatment. After caring for so many cancer patients over the years, Amy now was speaking with her doctors about a difficult decision of her own, as it was not clear whether her cancer would come back and if she needed radiation therapy.

Amy was familiar with genomic testing and a tool doctors sometimes used to guide treatment decisions. Her mother had received the Oncotype DX test for her invasive breast cancer and used the test results to help inform her decision of whether she needed chemotherapy. Inspired by her mother’s experience, Amy talked to her doctor about genomic testing, and since the Oncotype DX test was now available and validated to provide the 10-year risk of an invasive or a DCIS local recurrence in DCIS patients, they decided to move forward. The Oncotype DX DCIS Score result has been shown to change treatment recommendations in 30 percent of patients and doctors rank it as the most important factor in treatment planning for DCIS patients.

When Thigpen received her Oncotype DX test results, her DCIS Score result was zero. “I was so excited, I carried the results to my doctor and knew we had our answer. I wouldn’t have radiation. The test probably saved me from having to go through six weeks of radiation that my body really did not need, as well as the side effects that it can cause.”

“When a woman is diagnosed with DCIS, my goal as a physician is to accurately assess her individual risk for cancer returning so we can define and personalize an appropriate treatment plan with greater confidence,” said Michael Alvarado, M.D., breast cancer surgeon, the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Reflecting on a UCSF-led study of the clinical utility of the Oncotype DX test for DCIS, Dr. Alvarado added that that test was “an objective biomarker that provides independent information beyond what has been available to physicians before, which can be seen as the biggest advancement in the management of DCIS in more than a decade.”

To encourage other women to pursue personalized treatment, Amy decided to share her story on www.MyBreastCancerTreatment.org, a patient education resource providing information around breast cancer and the benefits of genomic testing. The tools, resources and eligibility quiz offered on this website enable patients and their loved ones to empower themselves with information about their specific cancer and work with their doctor to confidently select a treatment plan that can guide personalized treatment decisions based on their individual tumor.

“You have to be your own advocate and push for what you truly feel in your heart is right, because when the day is over, you have to be 100 percent comfortable with your treatment plan.”

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Mammogram anxiety


Confronting fear of a routine mammogram 

(BPT) Every October, women everywhere are reminded about the importance of early breast cancer detection and annual mammograms. While women know mammograms are key in the fight against the disease, many are plagued with mammogram anxieties that may actually be preventing them from undergoing the test. Here are some tips from WESTMED Medical Center on how these women can confront and deal with mammogram anxiety.

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Five simple time-tested tips for aging well

HEA-Aging-well(BPT) – A health renaissance is taking place in America as more people are embracing aging well and being proactive rather than reactive about their well-being. Prevention has become the focus, and many aging Americans are turning to time-tested methods for keeping their bodies and minds healthy so they can live longer, higher-quality lives.

Kristen Johnson, certified personal trainer, registered dietician and nutrition expert at www.ontargetliving.com points out five time-tested strategies for aging well:

Daily exercise

“Daily movement is the real fountain of youth. It keeps us healthy from the inside out,” says Johnson.

She notes that quality over quantity is what really matters.

“When it comes to improving overall fitness, high-intensity exercise for a short amount of time may be much more beneficial than low intensity for a long amount of time,” Johnson says. “Research suggests that fat-burning hormones like human growth hormones and testosterone are stimulated by high-intensity exercise, while fat-storing hormones like cortisol may be lowered. Try increasing the intensity and frequency of your exercise, while decreasing the time spent.”


The foods you eat influence how you look and feel, from glowing and confident to lethargic and sick. Selecting foods that people have eaten historically as nutritional powerhouses can help boost overall wellness.

“Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats and lean proteins,” says Johnson. “These foods naturally contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all contribute to healthy aging.”

A few to focus on:

  • Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for eye and skin health, thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A.
  • Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables will have an abundant amount of antioxidants, and these help prevent oxidation and cell damage. Examples: raspberries, kale and cabbage.
  • Carbohydrates like healthy grains, beans and potatoes help you produce serotonin, a calming and satiety hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety’s negative effects.


Supplements help fill nutritional gaps, especially as the aging body requires greater amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Johnson points out the importance of omega-3s for aging well.

“Omega-3 fats are essential for getting you healthy from the inside out, all while helping improve hormonal balance, brain health, weight loss and metabolism,” she says. “Omega-3 fats are also extremely helpful for healthy skin, hair and nails.”

Her favorite? Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. “This contains EPA and DHA, both of which contribute to a healthy heart and brain,” she says. “Cod liver oil also helps improve cellular function, energy and mood. Did you know cod liver oil can actually taste good? Try their delicious orange flavor.”


“Chronic lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to age the human body,” Johnson says. “Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on the appearance of skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol.”

She notes that adequate sleep can positively influence cognitive ability, mood, weight loss and skin rejuvenation, so it should be a top priority for an aging-well routine. While the right amount of sleep will vary between individuals, the goal for most adults is around 7 to 8 hours a night.

Social activity

Human interaction can decrease as people age, but it’s more important than ever to form and maintain bonds with others. Participating in social activity is a fun way to enjoy life and reap real health benefits.

“The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause for more than 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases,” says Johnson. ‘”When you are socially active and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you may be less likely to feel lonely, unhappy, or unfulfilled, all of which can cause unwanted stress.”

Finally, there’s no need to become overwhelmed; start an aging-well routine by taking one small step and building healthy habits over time. This is what will lead to long-term success.

“Remember that it’s never too late to start living a healthy and happy life,” Johnson says. “Give yourself more reasons to smile and laugh! Did you know research suggests that happy people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives?”

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Why Water is Your Workout Buddy



Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) If you think drinking water during a workout is just about keeping your mouth from drying out as you pant your way through each set, think again. In addition to keeping you comfortable, staying hydrated is a necessary aspect of any healthy workout.

Your body is composed of 60 percent water, but on average, you lose 2-5 percent of your body weight from water loss every time you work out.

Once you get into your workout groove, you may find it hard to stop, even for a water break. What you may not realize is that water is an essential nutrient that keeps your muscles primed, blood flowing and the nerves in your brain firing. Taking a break to replace what you lose while exercising is actually a good way to keep your workout going.

The evaporation of sweat helps cool the body during exercise, but this diminishing hydration can lead to poor performance and even possible injury. Make the most of your workout and stay fit with these helpful hydration tips from the Army National Guard’s Guard Your Health campaign:

  • Cool, plain water is the best drink to replace the fluid lost as sweat and help regulate your core body temperature.
  • Plan to drink water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration and help enhance performance. Sip a 16-ounce bottle of water every hour while working out.
  • Outdoor workouts require extra hydration, even during cooler weather. The water content in your skin helps it perform its protective functions, including limiting damage from the sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after any time spent in the sun.
  • Learn to recognize signs of dehydration, so you can take steps to reverse it. Early signs include muscle cramps and fatigue, while a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, slurred speech and confusion all signal advancing dehydration. If your extremities become swollen or you become feverish, medical attention is necessary.
  • Another way to check your hydration level is by monitoring your urination. Urine should be clear or light yellow, and you should urinate every two to four hours.
  • If you find yourself dehydrated and water isn’t available, a melon, orange, celery, cucumber or bell pepper can help replenish your body’s water content.
  • Make it a post-workout practice to replenish electrolytes with a banana, dates or coconut water.
  • It’s important for everyday health to keep well-hydrated away from the gym, too. Staying properly hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, weight and mood. Keep a refillable bottle of water with you wherever you go, and if you need a touch of flavor, add lemon, lime, pineapple or cucumber for a refreshing twist. Aim to drink 50-75 percent of your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay hydrated.

For more health-related tools and information, visit www.guardyourhealth.com.

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Helpful tips to protect your hearing

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features)

Not only can noise distract, disturb and interfere with communication and sleep, it can affect your performance, behavior and hearing.

In many cases, hearing loss can be prevented by recognizing sources of damaging noise levels and using appropriate protective equipment. However, excessive noise exposure can cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be treated with medication, or result in constant ringing in your ears called tinnitus. Impaired hearing can reduce your ability to recognize your surroundings and listen for cues of potential danger.

HEA-Hearing2Learn how to protect yourself from future hearing damage with this advice from Guard Your Health, a health education campaign by the Army National Guard:

  • Know the safe volume limit to protect yourself from future hearing damage. Noise that is 0 to 80 decibels is generally safe, while noise that is 140 to 200 decibels can be dangerous.
  • Noise that exceeds safe parameters, even if it’s under 140 decibels, can still cause damage to your hearing over time. A general rule of thumb is the “three feet rule.” If you have to shout to someone who is three feet away (about an arm’s length), the noise level in that location could be damaging.
  • Be aware that a single exposure to a very loud sound (such as weapon fire) can cause permanent hearing loss.
  • Using proper hearing protection for the environment can help prevent damage to your eardrum and hearing. There are several types of hearing protection devices available including foam earplugs, silicone earplugs and earmuffs. For example, when shooting at the gun range, noise-activated earplugs can help you avoid sudden eardrum rupture.
  • Foam earplugs should be pinched when inserted, allowing the foam to expand in your ear until you achieve a tight, non-painful seal. Silicone earplugs should be inserted only until you feel a slight resistance to avoid damaging your inner ear. To wear ear plugs properly, straighten your ear by gripping the cartilage and stretching it away from your body. Insert the earplug then release your ear. Do a few jumping jacks to test the security of the earplugs; if they fall out, try again or get a smaller size.
  • Earmuffs should rest about two finger widths from your jawbone and completely cover your ears for a tight seal on the side of your face.

If you notice signs of hearing problems, ask your doctor to test your hearing. Common symptoms include a muffled sound in your ears after leaving a noisy area or event such as a car race, concert, wood working or hunting; prolonged ringing or buzzing in your ears after exposure to noise; and difficulty understanding what people are saying although you can hear them talking.

For more health-related tools and information, visit guardyourhealth.com.

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