“getting over getting old,” laughing helps…a lot!

You want more laughs? You’ve got it! The usual instigator being my Brit friend with the wicked sense of humor…Sylvia.¬† ūüôā

 
 
 
Questions and Answers from AARP Forum
Q: Where can men over the age 
of 60 find younger, sexy 
women who are interested 
in them?
A: Try a bookstore, under fiction.
Q: What can a man do while his 
wife is going through 
menopause?
A:¬†Keep busy. If you’re handy with¬†
tools, you can finish the basement. 
When you’re done you’ll have a¬†
place to live.
Q: Someone has told me that 
menopause is mentioned in 
the bible. Is
 that true? 
Where can
 it be  found?
A: Yes. Matthew 14:92: 
“And Mary rode Joseph’s ass¬†
all the way to¬† Egypt …”
Q: How can you increase the 
heart rate of your 60-plus 
year old husband?
A:¬†Tell him you’re pregnant.
Q: How can you avoid that 
terrible curse of the elderly 
wrinkles?
A: Take off your glasses.
Q:¬†Seriously! What can I do for¬†these Crow’s feet and all¬†those wrinkles on my face?
A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out.
Q: Why should 60-plus year old people use valet parking?
A:¬†Valets don’t forget where they¬†park your car.
Q: Is it common for 60-plus year olds to have problems with  short term memory storage?
A:¬†Storing memory is not a problem–¬†Retrieving it is the problem.
Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.
Q: Where should 60-plus year olds look for eye glasses?
A: On their foreheads.
Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus year olds when they enter  antique stores?
A:¬†“Gosh, I remember these!”
SMILE, You’ve still got your sense of humor, RIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

     

    

just in the nick of time to help me reach my goal…hugmamma. (gotta love my friend Sylvia!)¬†¬†

 

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“ringing in the ear,” not just a senior problem

I¬†THINK I’ve experienced tinnitus, “ringing” in the ear, but I can’t be certain, because I tried to ignore whatever it was. My mom often spoke of it, so I thought only elderly people heard “ringing” in their ears. And, of course, I was trying really hard not to get older. Looks like my reaction was the right thing to do.

According¬†to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, “A Most Annoying Ringtone,”¬†many causes can be blamed for tinnitus. It can result from “hearing¬† loss-due to aging, exposure to loud noise, accidents, illnesses, auditory nerve tumors, wax buildup, drug side effects, history of ear infections, brain injuries from explosive devices, head and neck trauma, TMJ¬†(temporomandibular joint disorder), or hormonal balances.”¬†

Tinnitus, from the Latin¬†root word¬†for “jingle,” is the perception of¬†an external sound when none is there. It varies for people. Some hear¬†a high-pitched¬†buzzing, others hear a¬†“ringing, roaring, hissing, chirping, whooshing or wheezing. It can be high or low, single or multi-toned, an occasional mild annoyance or a constant personal din.”¬†Experts surmise that when hearing is lost in certain frequencies, the brain attempts to fill the void with noise that’s imagined or remembered. Audiologist Rebecca Price, who treats tinnitus in Durham, N.C., at Duke University’s Health Systems, says “Those auditory centers are just craving input.”

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control, estimated that 16 million American adults experienced frequent bouts of tinnitus in 2009. An estimated 2 million are unable to function normally when sleeping, working, concentrating, and interacting with family.¬†Thanks to baby boomers, the¬†elderly population¬†is rising in numbers, as are the incidents of tinnitus. Remarkably 12-year-olds are also complaining of the ailment, according to Jennifer Born, speaking on behalf of the American Tinnitus Association, a nonprofit education and advocacy group. The culprit it seems might be “personal music players cranked up high.” Vets from Afghanistan and Iraq also suffer tinnitus, the “No. 1 service-related disability,” as a result of brain injuries from explosive devices.

Treatment for tinnutis¬†runs the gamut from hearing aids to antidepressants. “The first step in treating tinnutis¬†is usually to determine if a patient¬†has hearing loss and to identify the cause…ear-wax buildup…infections, accidents, aging, medication side effects and noise exposure.” If loss of hearing is reduced, chances are it also dramatically reduces tinnitus, or at least makes it more tolerable for the sufferer, according to Sujana¬†Chandraskhar, a otolaryngologist¬†in New York and chairman-elect of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Surgery can help as in the case of 42-year-old, New York,¬†pipefitter¬†Frank Scalera, who’s suffered tinnutis¬†since age 15, when a firecracker blew out his eardrum. After 10 surgeries his hearing is restored, and the ringing he’s experienced for 30 years has lessened. Hearing aids¬†help about 40% of patients because they restore “sound in lost frequencies, so the brain doesn’t need to fill in the void. But some also have hyperacusis–in which normal sounds seem unbearably loud–so a hearing aid may be uncomfortable.”

Sound therapy is another treatment option. Soothing external sounds are used to drown out the internal ringing. Some people¬† are relieved by running a fan, a humidifier, or a machine that emits the sound of waves or waterfalls. At night when tinnitus is most noticeable, thereby disrupting sleep, some even prefer to listen to the static on a radio. Hearing aids also intermix soft “shhhsssing” tones to mask the ringing. But these are not usually covered by insurance and are expensive at $2,500+ per ear.

More sophisticated, and costlier at $4,500, ¬†is the Oasis by Neuromonics¬†Inc. A device that is similar to an MP3 player, it “plays baroque and new age music customized to provide more auditory stimulation in patients’ lost frequencies as well as a ‘shower’ sound to relieve the tinnitus.” According to the company, the brain is gradually trained to filter out the internal noise. “Users listen to the program for two hours daily for two months, then the shower sound is withdrawn for four more months of treatment.” Duke University political science professor Michael Gillespie, claimed the device helped him after he got tinnitus from an ear infection. He says he became accustomed to hearing the music, and then his brain filled in with¬†less irritating sounds.

Some people find¬†tinnutis¬†a¬†cause for anxiety. As¬†mentioned earlier, I identified the “ringing” in my ears with¬†old age.¬†I would’ve¬†dwelt upon other¬†illnesses associated with the elderly, making me a captive of my own fears. Luckily my bouts of tinnitus¬†only last¬†several seconds. “Researchers long theorized–and have now seen on brain scans–that the limbic system, the brain’s primitive fight-or-flight response, is highly activated in some tinnitus sufferers. Patients often have generalized anxiety disorder or depression and¬†a few become suicidal; but its unclear which came first.”¬† Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication can bring relief for some. Stress can bring on tinnutis, so that alternative health practices can be helpful, like yoga, acupuncture, deep breathing, biofeedback or exercise.¬† Supplements such as ginkgo, zinc, magnesium, as well as other over-the-counter remedies are advertised to relieve tinnutis, but are not supported by scientific research.

RTMS, repetitive Transcranial¬†Magnetic Stimulation, a new magnetic pulse treatment has served to treat severely depressed patients for years. Some found that it also stopped the ringing in their ears.¬†Patients feel the treatment is “like a mild tapping on the head and brings no harmful¬†effects.” Brain scans are done to identify tinnutis. Those with severe cases are found to¬†suffer abnormal¬†“communication between parts of the brain responsible for hearing and maintaining attention.” Dr. Jay Piccirillo, a otolaryngologist¬†at Washington University in St. Louis, likens¬†rTMS to “shaking an Etch-a-Sketch to erase an old picture.” Pulses are sent through the skull by a magnetic coil that is placed over the auditory cortex outside the head, to disrupt the faulty communications.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for tinnutis. Patients are treated for their emotional reactions to the ailment, not the noise itself. ” ‘The goal is to make your tinnitus like your socks and shoes–you’re wearing them, but you’re not actively thinking about them,’ says Dr. Chandrasekhar.” Or as one patient, Mark Church, an entrepreneur and investor,¬†put it ” ‘It’s like living near an airport. After you’ve lived there for a while, you don’t pay attention to the planes…’ ” Having lived with tinnutis¬†for 11 years, Church favors being in his shower, where the water drowns out the noise. Duke University Medical¬†Center psychologist Michelle Pearce, begins therapy by having her patients identify “the automatic negative thoughts they have about tinnutis.” One claimed no one would marry her, while others¬†felt¬†their lives were over. Working with them, Dr. Pearce helped them realize that their lives didn’t revolve around tinnutis, that it was only¬†one aspect which¬†could be managed.

The local, evening news ran a segment¬†about the growing effects of¬†tinnutis, especially amongst youngsters. At fault it seems is¬†the ramping up of noise levels¬†with the invention of¬† iPods and the like.¬†Looks like what use to be an old age issue is now open to all ages. It’s not something I want for myself at 61,¬†so it’s unfortunate that 12 year olds can now¬†suffer¬†“ringing” in their ears as well. It took me 50 years to experience what¬†can affect them¬†in their youth… if they’re not careful.

before their time, here’s hoping¬†youngsters don’t get old…hugmamma.