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Health & Wellness

Routine is Key to Holiday Health

Cochlear Implants—Not Just for Children

BY ANGELINA CAIN, M.D.

BY MARK B. VAN DEUSEN, M.D.

Turkey, stuffing, eggnog—these are a few dishes I love. While many people look forward to holiday treats this time of year, they also dread expanding waistlines. Sugar cookies don’t have to cause this internal battle! I’ll share ideas on maintaining your health while making the most of the season. Most importantly, stick to your routine. The way we eat, sleep and exercise is a result of our Dr. Angelina Cain is the routines, which, if followed, can medical director of bariatric medicine for WellStar save us from unhealthy habits. Comprehensive Bariatric For example, people often Services. She earned her skip lunch to save calories for bachelor’s degree from a holiday party, but our bodies Florida State University don’t work that way. We process and medical degree from the Ross University School calories differently when eating of Medicine in Dominica, is paced throughout the day as West Indies. opposed to processing thousands of calories at once. Instead, follow your routine and eat healthy meals throughout the day. Holiday foods are significantly higher in calories than everyday meals. I don’t recommend forgoing your grandma’s pumpkin pie, but I do recommend filling up on a healthy plate before heading to that holiday party. You’ll have stronger willpower and will approach calorie-packed foods as small snacks rather than meals. Don’t allow exercise to take a backseat to the festivities. Exercise allows us to maintain our weight without starving ourselves. It helps us care for ourselves and prevent disease. I recommend pedometers to stay accountable, despite a full calendar. If you’re counting steps, take that neighborhood walk or do an extra lap around the mall. Stay moving by planning quality time with your family and friends, since that’s what the holidays are really about. Plan a hike, play a pickup game of basketball or take the kids to the playground. Plan fun activities and get away from making eating an all-day event. Finally, if you’re burning the midnight oil more often, you’re producing ghrelin—the hunger hormone—at higher levels. It’s your body’s way of getting more energy from food since it didn’t get energy from sleep. Stick to your sleep routine to help avoid cravings that lead to binge eating. As an Italian who comes from a family of volume pasta eaters, I know the temptation of food well. It is possible and rewarding to maintain a healthy routine with well-balanced nutrition and exercise while enjoying rich foods in small packages. Most importantly, enjoy your family and friends this holiday season!

Many people have seen the heart-warming videos of infants hearing for the first time as a result of a cochlear implant. What not everyone realizes is that cochlear implants are also placed in adults. In infants, implants are typically performed for congenital sensorineural hearing loss, meaning that the child is born with an inability to hear. In adults, cochlear implants are performed Dr. Mark B. Van Deusen enjoys treating patients for acquired sensorineural with sinus disease, nasal hearing loss, which can obstruction and allergies occur from noise exposure, at Northwest ENT and autoimmune disease, Allergy Center. He also infections, or as part of the practices head and neck surgical oncology, otologic normal aging process. surgery, and pediatric Sensorineural hearing loss otolaryngology. He can be is typically due to the loss reached at (770) 427-0368. of small hair cells located in the cochlea in the inner ear. When sound waves hit the eardrum, they are amplified and transmitted to the fluid in the cochlea by the hearing bones. The fluid wave then bends small hair cells within the cochlea. These hair cells are responsible for converting sound energy to electrical energy, which is then carried by the nerves of hearing to the brain. Initially, hearing loss can be improved with hearing aids. If hearing further declines, hearing aids are no longer beneficial, particularly when word understanding becomes more difficult. Simply increasing the amplification of sounds does not always improve the ability to understand the words. In these patients, a cochlear implant evaluation is the next step in hearing rehabilitation. If a patient meets cochlear implant criteria, the procedure is discussed between the patient and implant surgeon. Surgery is performed as an outpatient and takes approximately one to two hours. During the procedure, a small electrode is placed inside the cochlea from behind the ear, where it can directly stimulate the nerves of hearing. When the implant is activated three to four weeks later, sounds are sent to the implant via a magnetized external sound processor. Patients then work with the audiologist for individualized programming and rehabilitation. If you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss and is no longer benefiting from hearing aids, it might be time for a cochlear implant evaluation.

SIXES LIVING | December 2014

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