Friday, March 31, 2017

More Hearing Loss, Tinnitus in Coming Generations

This article has a lot of stats, but not a lot about prevention about the upcoming  demographic increase in hearing loss (emphasis mine)

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore predict that 44 million — or 15 percent of U.S. adults — will have some hearing loss by 2020. That will increase to 23 percent of all adults 20 and older by 2060....The rise in Americans with hearing loss will be especially pronounced among the 70 and older set. In 2020, 55 percent of all adults with hearing loss will be 70 or older. In 2060 — 67 percent.
Like eyesight, there is age-related hearing loss for which there is not a lot someone can do.  What people can do is for people to take common sense approaches to protecting their ears.  I see all sorts of activities every day which can lead to hearing loss (plus tinnitus) in later years:
  • Extremely loud music in the car - If I can hear your music through both your closed window and mine, you are putting too much pressure on your ears.  This goes double with loud concerts.  Go to Tinnitus Talk and just a brief browsing of people show dozens of young people who got permanent tinnitus or hearing problems after being at a loud concert.
  • Extremely loud musing with headphones - This more than anything is why there will be an upward trend in hearing problems for the next few decades.  Smartphons, ipods, tablets and the like have people with earphones in for days at a time.  I have sit next to people on airplanes where I can hear their music quite clearly - even though I have my own earphones on.  The key is to keep it at a reasonable level.
  • No use of ear protection around heavy equipment (including chain saws, lawn mowers, etc).  I am seeing better use by professional lawn crews (but not always).
  • No use of ear protection when hunting or shooting with friends.  Gun ranges require ear protection, but people on their often skip this.  Several people in Tinnitus Talk have "T" because they did not take gun safety (which includes ear protection) seriously.  Also, if you having a hunting dog, get him protection as well - they sell ear protection specifically for gun dogs.
  • Skipping the Dentist (who can often see signs of bruxism) - This is the one that got me.  The dentist noted I had early signs of bruxism, but then I didn't go back for two years.  If had gone back and she had noticed increased signs, she might have gotten me into a biteplate before my TMJ got further deteriorated.
I now carry earplugs with me for things like sporting events and surprise situations that I might find myself in, like being near heavy equipment.  Much hearing loss (and the tinnitus that comes with a lot of it) is preventable with some pretty easy precautions. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some American Beer Taste Like it Is from P#@$, This One Really Is

Enter this into the category of taking recycling way too far: San Diego Brewery Uses Recycled Toilet Water to Make Beer
I like Stone Brewery, but come on guys.  Coors advertises its pristine Rocky Mountain water, and this is sort of the opposite.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Yoga and TMJ Tinnitus

I have covered before my now eight-month ordeal with tinnitus, caused by TMJ disorder.  It has been a slow recovery, and it could be one without an end since there is no guarantee that my "T" will ever get to zero.
However, I have gone from a 7/10 to a steady 2/10, and now with increasing incidences of 1/10.  And at a 1, the ringing is well below ambient noise level in a restaurant or bar.  I don't hear it at all in those situations.
Like most recoveries the improvement has been asymptotic.  I was stuck at a steady "2" it seems for months, but I finally started hearing more days of "1" after I started yoga.  It could be a coincidence, but I think there is something to it since TMJ disorder is related to tendons, joints and musculature.  It makes sense that stretching and strengthening would have some benefits.
The pose that I think helps the most: Standing Separate Leg, Head to Knee Pose (they have an Indian name for it that sounds like all of them: blablabla-strassena).  Having to twist my forehead to touch my knee seems to do all sorts of stuff in my ear area (and my knee is way bent unlike the model in the link).  Maybe it increases blood flow, maybe it is stretching the tendon, but something definitely happens in my TMJ area with that pose.
Here is a summary of my T improvement curve and the tools I have used.  The question is will I ever get to a 0?



Monday, March 13, 2017

The Restaurant Experience is Declining in California

But my guess is that California restaurant revenues are up due to inflation and steady traffic at very high-end restaurants that serve the upper-crust in LA and SF.  But I think the mid and low-end of the spectrum is flat to down as this segment massively makes cuts to offset increases in wages. 
I have watched over the past two years as an ever increasing number of restaurants become  "countertop ordering" where customers order at the register.  You then get a number and someone brings you your food, or even worse, they call your name and you have to make your way up and fetch the food yourself.  This is fine for a pizza joint or fast food, but the problem is that this is happening everywhere at places that are supposed to be family or casual dining.  At a mall close to my house there are over a dozen places to eat, but only one has wait-staff.
Outside of pizza or lunch I simply refuse to eat at a place like that.  There are a couple of mom and pops that I frequent that have wait-staff, but they are not exactly cheap to eat at any more. 
I think counter-top dining and $8 beers seem to be the future of most California dining.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Democrats Hate Americans?

I watched the President's speech last night, and I can't find any reason anyone would find it objectable.  I was quite angry, however, watching the democrats sit on their hands when the president said his job was to advocate for the American people.
After eight years of Obama the democrats are that far gone - democrats hate Americans and think their job is to promote the interests of someone from Guatemala over some poor American from Middle America.
I am especially surprised that blacks would continue to support democrats as mass immigration has taken away the vast majority of low-end jobs typically occupied by their constituency.  But maybe I shouldn't be surprised  - the majority of democrats don't worry about their constituents, but rather are more concerned about their own power and how to maintain it.