Illustration of two white birds flying towards each other with two others faded into the mustard-yellow background holding olive branches

Gardening for Bird-Watchers: What to Plant

Our Favorite Plants for Bringing Sounds to the Yard!

From chirping, tweeting, and trilling to whistling, hooting, and cooing, birds can turn the quietest garden into a symphony of sounds that brighten any morning and enliven the day. We’ve put together a list of our eight favorite plants for beckoning birds or, in some cases, butterflies, which together not only bring beauty and pollinating power to the garden, but provide a wondrous treat for the ears.  

1. Purple Coneflower

This reliable, full-sun, purple or pink perennial not only blooms long in summertime but also offers up seeds that birds love. The plant reaches up to about 3 feet high and comes back year after year with minimal care.  

2. Fuchsia

A hummingbird favorite, this flowering plant comes in shrubs and small trees and sports intricately artful blooms. As if the gorgeous petals ranging from pink, blue, or …

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Illustration of two hands shaking

Hearing Loss & Accidental Injury: More Connected Than You May Think

From slips and spills to collisions, machine mishaps and more, accidents befall us all, but did you know that hearing loss might contribute to the risk of injury? In fact, one investigation found that those with hearing difficulties may have a doubled chance of suffering an accidental injury at work or play.

The study, published in a 2018 edition of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and involving data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, noted that the greater the degree of self-perceived hearing difficulty, the greater the overall accidental-injury risk.

This dovetails with other research that points to links between hearing loss and the increased risk of falling, for example. One study even showed that people with mild hearing loss had a tripled chance of reporting a fall in the prior year, and every 10-decibel increase in hearing loss …

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Illustration of an ear with graphics representing noise surrounding it

Three Cheers for Earwax!

Let’s talk earwax. From its texture to its appearance, it gets a bad name. We suspect the yellow-brown goo might be down a friend or two, so we want to give credit where credit is due.

Here are five reasons we think you should give earwax a second chance.

Earwax Protects Your Ear Canal and Eardrum Earwax Is Self-Cleaning Earwax Isn’t Even Wax Earwax Is a Good Sign Cotton Swabs Are Not the Answer

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Illustration of a woman chatting with her husband and granddaughter in the garden outside her house

Home Safety for People With Hearing Loss

So many things around the house are designed to alert you using noise. But what if a hearing loss means you miss when the smoke detector or alarm clock sounds?   The following alerting devices are ideal methods for helping your home — or the home of a loved one — feel even safer.

Smoke Alarms

A smoke alarm-based alert uses a bright, blinking light to indicate the smoke alarm is going off. You can buy an adapter for your existing smoke alarm, or you can buy a whole new battery-powered or hardwired smoke alarm with an alert built right in. When paired with a central alert system, you can also include a vibrating shaker to put under your pillow.  

Doorbells

A doorbell alert sends a signal to a receiver that flashes a light, increases the volume of the doorbell, activates a shaker under your pillow or …

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Illustration of a black cat with perked ears on a background of other kitties frolicking

Four Animal Facts: Hearing Edition

Do Cats Enjoy Cat Music?

The answer is yes, cats do enjoy cat music! Read on for details and to learn more quirky facts about hearing in the animal kingdom.

Katydids Have Ears on Their Knees

But not so fast: If you were knee high to a long-horn grasshopper, the type known as a katydid, you would not see human ears perched on tiny katydid kneecaps. But the “ears” used by one type of katydid (Copiphora gorgonensis) are remarkably similar to ours.

In our case, an internal eardrum captures sound waves, causing faint vibrations. This makes three tiny bones in the inner ear vibrate strongly. The result is waves in the fluid of the cochlea, and these waves are turned into neural impulses for the brain to interpret.

Similarly, the katydid’s external eardrum captures sound waves, causing faint vibrations. This makes a tiny plate …

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