Are you having trouble following others’ conversations, or noticing you keep turning up the TV volume? You may be subject to hearing loss, which affects 15 percent of U.S. adults age 18 and older. Note that males from age 20 to 69 are twice as likely to lose hearing than women in that range.

While age is the biggest predictor of hearing loss, consider these precautions from WebMD:

— Limit your exposure to loud noises such as motorcycles, emergency sirens, movie sound systems, concert speakers, power tools or blaring music from headphones.

— Choose appliances and tools with low noise ratings.

— Earmuffs or foam or rubber earplugs that fit snugly can reduce incoming noise by 15 to 30 decibels.

— Avoid smoking, which is linked with hearing-loss risk.

— Gently remove wax buildup inside the ear.

— Monitor medications that increase risk of hearing loss.


School eye screenings don’t replace a comprehensive exam

Nine out of 10 parents think that school-based vision screenings are all their children need to confirm good eye health, but screenings miss up to 75 percent of dangerous eye conditions in children, according to the American Optometric Association. What’s more, when a vision screening does indicate a possible problem, only 39 percent receive the care they need from an eye doctor.

The AOA offers parents four tips on children’s eye health and safety:

— Most insurance plans cover a pediatric eye exam with a doctor of optometry.

— Covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, short attention spans, headaches and other discomfort are common signs of eye problems in children.

— Limit digital device time using the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.

— Children should use proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities.


Be a voice against food allergy bullying

When a child waves a peanut butter sandwich in the face of a fellow student with a severe peanut allergy, it may seem like just another form of childhood teasing.

But to a child with life-threatening food allergies, incidents like this can make school feel unsafe. When these escalate to physical bullying, it can be life-threatening.

To bring attention to the issue of food allergy bullying, leading allergy advocacy organizations, such as Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), along with kaléo, are launching No Appetite for Bullying.

The campaign aims to make a positive impact on children with food allergies by encouraging them, their parents, teachers and peers to be voices against food allergy bullying.

To learn more, visit www.NoAppetiteForBullying.com.


Fat but fit may be a myth

While many overweight people who exercise would like to believe they’re as healthy as others, recent research suggests even some excess weight (short of obesity) puts subjects at more than 26 percent greater risk of heart disease.

The study in 10 European countries found extra weight risky even if the subject’s blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are all within a normal range. In addition, people with normal weights are twice as likely to incur heart disease if they have large waist sizes combined with two other risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Clogged blood vessels are often the culprits.

“Our findings suggest if a patient is overweight or obese, all efforts should be made to help them get back to a healthy weight, regardless of other factors,” said study co-author Camille Lassale.

— Brandpoint