Hearing Loss ~ Ways to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind. #AtoZ

I have a next door neighbor who insists he has no hearing problem, yet every now and then I overhear him saying in a loud voice to his mother, “Hey? What did you say? You need to speak up!”

As we get older, all too often we start saying, “What did you say?” Yet we don’t like to admit we have a hearing problem. Somehow there seems to be a stigma attached to hearing loss. How silly, when there’s a rough estimate that around 60% of people over 60 have some kind of hearing loss!

How to tell you have a hearing problem

  • If you’re aware people aren’t speaking clearly,
  • or you’re having problems following a conversation when several people are talking
  • or other family members (or neighbors!) keep complaining the TV is too loud,

consider this. Just maybe, it’s your hearing! Get your hearing checked.

My grandmother of eighty was forever complaining that “no one ever tells me anything!” . . . Until she learned she was almost completely deaf and needed a hearing aid. (One that used to whistle and crackle regularly!)

In favor of hearing aids:

Hearing aids are tiny and unobtrusive now. They’re no longer the crackly whistly types like my granny used.

Problems caused by hearing loss:

  • The obvious disadvantage is your social life that will suffer. 
  • Hearing loss left untreated also links to health issues like heart disease, dementia and depression.

A few tips to improve or protect your hearing:

  • Avoid ultra-loud music!
    • We live on a street frequented by taxis which drive down our road at all times of the day or night. Do you know that sometimes we feel the vibration of the beat of their music before we see the taxi?
    • We also often have students walking past outside our fence with their earphones in their ears. Wait for it! Sometimes we can HEAR their music from where we sit on our veranda. This is crazy. In another few years we’re going to have a generation of deaf people.
  • Avoid Cotton Buds
    • Your ears are built to clean themselves. If they get too waxed up, they might need a professional clean. But do not use ear buds! It’s impossible to tell how far you’re pushing, and you could cause severe damage.
  • Use Ear Plugs
    • To protect your hearing from noisy work places, rowdy concerts, even the lawnmower and certainly your electric drill!
  • Stay away from loud noises like loudspeakers or anything that makes your ears ring.
  • Keep Your Ears Dry
    • Too much moisture may allow bacteria to cause infections which can impact your hearing.
  • Report Tinnitus to the doctor and get it checked out.
    • This is a constant ringing in the ears. As the noise gets louder, we become deafer and deafer!
    • It can be caused by stress or anxiety so try and keep calm.
    • Try meditation, going for walks, get your blood pumping through various activities. Who would have thought that could help your hearing?

Get Checked Out

Here’s a quick three-minute hearing test by the same people who make and service my husband’s hearing aids.
It must be good! I did the test and it assured me I had very good hearing.

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Genetics ~ A Death Sentence or a Wake-up Call? #AtoZ


My father-in-law knew he would die when he reached 74. His father had died at 74, and so had his father before him. Dad died at 94, and only because he fell and broke his hip! People know they will go blind because one of their parents went blind and the disease was hereditary. Others know they have a strong likelihood of Alzheimer’s in their future because several of their previous generation had Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s for the same reason.   

So what is the answer? Are genes a death sentence? Or should they be a wake-up call? Watch this very short clip of two women on an active railway bridge in Ohio, 80 feet in the air. And then we’ll reconsider the question.

read more

Fitbit Helps to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind. #atoz

Yesterday, we saw the importance of regular exercise if we want to improve our lives and our minds. 

If you’re anything like me, you don’t find it easy to make exercise part of your routine.

We need to select a time, or preferably more than one time in the day when we’ll be able to do exercise, and then stick to it. This is where I always failed, as I couldn’t afford the time I thought I required.

Enter the fitbit!

read more

Exercise to Improve your Life and your Mind


My Exercise Regime

A few months ago, I considered myself as well-exercised. Thanks to the persistent training of our little Jack Russell terrier, we knew that 5 pm meant a brisk walk down to the beach! But then she got old, and my left knee had to be replaced, and we both agreed a short stroll round the blog was all the exercise we needed.

Zoe died, but the discipline of exercise continued. (She had trained us well.)

Then enter the fitbit which we’ll look at tomorrow. And I discovered I did nothing like enough exercise. If I wanted to improve my health, my mind, and my all round life, I needed to increase my exercise regime drastically.  read more

Dopamine – Do you Drip or do you Drown?

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Welcome to the next post in the theme for the A to Z Blogging theme, Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

Today we’re looking at a topic that I knew nothing about a couple of weeks ago! 

Dopamine. Do you Drip or do you Drown?

Part of the brain’s information highway includes chemical messengers,  called neurotransmitters. These have different functions that affect the brain and the body. I recently learned that Dopamine is one of the principle “feel good” neurotransmitters. Dopamine improves our motivation and helps us to focus. read more

Care for and Love your Body and Brain!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the next post in the theme for the A to Z Blogging theme, Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

C is for Care for and Love your Body and your Brain!

Doesn’t this sound a strange thing to suggest? Many of us were brought up to not love ourselves lest we be regarded as boastful. Often we heard (or used) the expression, “He so loves himself!” meaning it in the most derogatory fashion. 

And yet, if we don’t love ourselves and appreciate our bodies and minds, we will not care for them properly, and one day we’ll find ourselves in a whole heap of trouble, physically and mentally, because we failed to do so.

And that’s what this series is all about. During the month of April, we will be looking at different ways we can care better for our bodies and our brains! Some of the suggestions are obvious. Many we already know but we’ve disregarded them. Others may even surprise us. 

read more

Brains! Are we stuck with what we have?

Moving on to the next post in the theme:

Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

B is for Brains which run the world!

That’s according to Daniel Amen, an American celebrity doctor who practices as a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist. I only discovered him (mainly on Youtube) recently and he’s fascinating to listen to!

He points out that brains run the stock market, the local markets, huge corporations, governments, schools, churches, families . . . and so it goes on.

Yet when did you last think about caring for your brain? read more

Age – Do our brains always deteriorate as we get older?

We’re at the beginning of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

As described in my previous post, the theme I’m going with this year is, “Improve your Life ~ Improve your Mind.” You can read more at my Theme Reveal.

We commence the month by looking at

A for Aging – and if our brains automatically deteriorate with age.

According to studies, our brains become less and less active as we age. (Most of us in our second half of life don’t need studies! We know our brains are becoming less active on a regular basis.

“Brain aging is much more about our habits than our age”

according to Dr Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and world expert in the area of brain development and damage. Over the next month, we’re going to look at different ways we can improve our lives as well as improve our minds. Obviously, if our minds are sharp, our bodies are likely to improve as well.  read more

A to Z Blogging Challenge ~ 2018. Theme Reveal: Improve Your Life!

Click on the link to sign up!

Welcome to the Theme Reveal, 2018.

Yayy! It’s that time of the year again. And I want to assure you this year is going to be a fascinating and encouraging theme for all those of you who want to make the most of your life!

Throughout the month of April, I will be sharing with you 26 posts—one for each letter of the alphabet, which also equates to every day of the month except for Sundays which we get off for good behavior! (But wait! The 1st April is a Sunday, so that day there will be a post.)

The good thing is I am NOT going to be writing about cancer. (In case you noticed Rise and Soar is a website especially geared to encourage and inspire those in the cancer valley.)

The other good thing is all these posts will be super-helpful to help improve your life, no matter what challenges you face (including cancer!)  read more

Looking at the Crown of Africa – Mt. Kiliminjaro

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” James 1:12 NIV.

Mt Kilimanjaro goodfreephotos
View from a plane.

“Look out the window, Shirley,” my mother urged. “See that mountain? It’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.”

Even at my sceptical age of 12, I caught my breath. Rising serenely through the carpet of clouds on the left of our plane, was a majestic mountain peak, the first real mountain I had ever seen. The snow on its surface caught the rays of the sun and glittered, resembling jewels on the face of a royal crown.

It was one of those “Ah-hah!” moments in my life which I’ve never forgotten. To this day, I can remember the view as if the photograph was projected on the back of my eye forever.

The Crown of Africa

Only many years later did I learn that this majestic extinct volcano, Mt. Kilimanjaro, is the highest mountain in Africa. Situated in Tanzania, East Africa, it is often referred to as the Crown of Africa. It is the highest mountain in Africa as well as the highest freestanding mountain in the world (5,895 meters or 19,341 ft above sea level).

Writer and speaker, Daniel Noll, when writing about his climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro makes some excellent suggestions for those preparing to climb. One is: “Keep your head down if you need to, but don’t forget to look up.” 

Doesn’t that apply wonderfully to our day-to-day walk? How easy it is to get caught up with “life” we forget to look up! To look to God.

You cannot escape looking at your treatment and the decisions you need to make, but don’t forget to look to God. Mt Kilimanjaro Crown of Africa, Goodfreephotos