10 Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss

Adapted from:
Hearing Loss:
A permanent condition in a “temporary” culture

by Kirsten Falcone, RN 
Hilbert College Wellness Center

Click here to download the full article


Hearing loss. You think it inflicts only elderly people, right? Think again. Recent research reveals that more young people are developing permanent hearing loss, and they may not even realize it. According to the CDC, 20% of people aged 20-29 already have noise-induced hearing loss.

Why is this such a concern? Because, unlike many other ailments, hearing loss is permanent. Over time, a loss of hearing in someone young will accumulate and exacerbate that person’s eventual age-related hearing loss. Experts predict hearing-related issues will be even more pronounced for the current younger generation when they reach retirement age.

Which noises cause hearing loss? Anything over 85 decibels for an extended period of time, or much louder and shorter bursts of noise for a shorter period of time, are both damaging.

Which noises are higher than 85 decibels? According to a Purdue University Website:

  • Garbage disposals
  • Factories
  • Freight trains (50 feet away)
  • Diesel trucks traveling at 40mph (50 feet away)
  • Food blenders

In the 90 to 110 decibel category:

  • Jet planes taking off (at 1,000 feet)
  • Lawn mowers
  • Motorcycles (at 25 feet)
  • Outboard motors
  • Car horns (at 3 feet)
  • Live rock music
  • Public bathroom hand dryers
  • Thunderclaps

At 150 decibels, such as what occurs at 80 feet away from a jet taking off, your eardrums will rupture.

Wearing ear buds, as many people do, can intensify noise because they are put directly into the ear canal. This can raise noise levels by nine decibels. At maximum volume, ear buds can reach 105 decibels! 

What can you do to prevent hearing loss?

  1. When listening to electronic devices, wear “noise-canceling” headphones that cover the whole ear. Ear buds (which sit in the ear canal) tend to let other sounds in, thus making it necessary to turn up the volume.
  2. If you insist on wearing ear buds, invest in custom ear buds that fit your ears. They have a tighter fit, and you won’t have to turn up the volume to hear with them.
  3. Follow the 60/60 Rule: Limit your ear-bud/ear-phone listening to under 60 minutes per day, and keep the volume under 60 percent.
  4. Wear ear plugs at concerts.
  5. Plug your ears with your fingers when an ambulance passes, during traditional gun salutes, or when the fire trucks blast their sirens at parades.
  6. Don’t sit right under the annual fireworks without ear protection.
  7. Wear ear protection when you know you will be exposed to loud noises for long periods of time, such as mowing the lawn.
  8. Use paper towels in public bathrooms instead of the hand dryers.
  9. In traffic, keep the windows rolled up.
  10. Get your ears tested to find your baseline. Start taking precautions from now on.

Here’s your takeaway: There are many health conditions that are temporary and improvable by changing your lifestyle or by taking medicine. But, hearing isn’t one of them. When it’s gone, it’s gone.


If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send an email with a brief description of what you learned, to wellnesscenter@hilbert.edu.

9 Tips to Eat Healthy In The Winter

Adapted from:
Tips on Eating Healthfully in the Winter
by Kirsten Falcone, RN 
Hilbert College Wellness Center

Click here to download the full article


Have you found a little extra padding around your middle lately? You are not alone!

Many people find that wintertime eating is tricky when it comes to maintaining weight. The holidays and their fattening menus have passed, New Year’s resolutions are almost forgotten, and we are back to our old habits.

Here are 9 tips that can help you reach the warmer days with your waistline intact and a healthy spring in your step:

  1. Drink more water. The dry winter air tends to dehydrate us, and what we mistake for hunger is often just thirst. Drinking a glass of water before you eat will hydrate you, help curb your appetite, and aid digestion.
  2. Eat fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to make sure half your plate is fruits and vegetables. Try to pass up anything with fat or sugar added, such as fruit compote or au gratin potatoes. Eat your vegetables and fruit before you eat your main course, so that you acquire the nutrients you need and do not overdo it with the more high calorie entree. (No, French fries and potato chips do not count as vegetables!)
  3. Opt for lean meats. If given a choice between a hot dog, cheeseburger, or a chicken breast, choose the chicken breast more often.
  4. Focus on whole grains.  The fiber in a true whole grain product is better for your heart and digestion, and whole grain products contain more nutrients. Try to choose whole wheat or whole grain products instead of white bread.
  5. Avoid processed food. Try to avoid quick fix solutions, like cereal bars, protein bars, and other foods in prepackaged containers. Whole foods are better and have fewer additives.
  6. Eat just half. It’s okay to eat only half of the food on your plate, or simply use a smaller plate to control your portions. Do not let your conscience guilt you into retaining your membership in the Clean Plate Club.
  7. Sample the fattening choices. Yes, it is okay to “treat yourself” to more fattening items. Just limit it to a spoonful or two!
  8. Stay away from junk food. Keep away from the bags of chips, cookies, popcorn, and other temptations. This is a good time to “just say no.” If you need something to munch on, go for the carrots, almonds, apples, bananas, and other easily tote-able foods.
  9. Skip dessert more often. Save dessert for one day per week. You can curb your cravings and satisfy a sweet tooth by substituting fresh fruit for dessert after a meal.

Do you have helpful, healthful tips to share? Comment below!


If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at wellnesscenter@hilbert.edu.

Unity with Our Community – Rescheduled

On Friday, March 15th, Hilbert College students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in our rescheduled Unity with Our Community event, a service day devoted to carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in our community. This day is an opportunity for us at Hilbert to connect with the work Dr. King advocated for and to understand the importance of taking action to promote equality, justice, respect, and compassion.

Current community partners for the day include:

716 MinistriesA community development organization that stabilizes neighborhoods by restoring neglected housing stock. The organization sells these rehabilitated homes at a low cost, to community members and first-time homebuyers, largely thanks to the faithful volunteers that serve with the agency.

Compass HouseProvides runaway, homeless, and street youth with safe shelter and services. Compass House stands as one of the nation’s oldest shelter and service providers for youth of all gender identities, offering shelter, counseling, and so much more.

Food Bank of WNYThe primary hunger-relief organization in Western New York. The agency obtains nutritious food and distributes support to our community members throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Counties.

Little Portion Friary: A volunteer-run organization that brings forth the mission of the Catholic Church to provide food for the hungry, clothing for the undressed, and shelter for the homeless.

Salvation Army in Buffalo: Provides a variety of programs and services that annually benefit over 30,000 economically disadvantaged people. The Salvation Army is an integral part of the local human service network, providing housing, clothing, nutritional, social, and spiritual assistance through a wide range of separate but interrelated programs and services.

S.S. Columba Brigid: A neighborhood, multicultural Catholic church where all are welcome.

Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY, Inc.: a nonprofit corporation offering U.S. Veterans and their families the convenience of a one-stop, barrier-free location in which to access a holistic range of social and health services in the comfort of a “home base” environment that is always welcoming, affirming and responsive to their needs.

PLEASE NOTE:
If you registered for the original date for Unity with Our Community, you will need to re-register online prior to the event. Please complete the registration form online at hilbert.edu/UWOC.

4 Methods To Break Your Cell Phone Addiction

Put Down the Phone!
Health Consequences of Using Cell Phones
From the Hilbert College Wellness Center
by Kirsten Falcone, RN

The topic of cell phones and courtesy frequently comes up in conversation these days. Generally, the sentiment is that cell phone users do not follow polite protocol regarding the use of their phones. In fact, many users are becoming less aware of just how obtrusive, interrupting, and just plain rude the use of cell phones is these days.

All social etiquette aside, if you know anyone like this (or if this is you), it might help to break the habit by learning the health consequences of too much cell phone use.

According to several reliable sources, these are just a few of the possible health consequences cell phone abuse can cause:

1.     Injury or death in a car accident (25 percent of car accidents in the U.S. are caused by cell phone distraction)

2.     Addiction involving dopamine and serotonin, with physical withdrawal symptoms

3.     Anxiety and depression

4.     Brain alteration

5.     Eye diseases (including retinal damage leading to macular degeneration)

6.     Nerve damage to eyes (occipital neuralgia)

7.     Finger, neck, back and other musculoskeletal problems

8.     Carpal tunnel syndrome

9.     Physical inactivity, leading to obesity-related diseases

10.     Slow reaction time, caused by distraction

11.     Increased likelihood of falls/accidents, also caused by distraction

12.     Stress

13.     Disturbed sleep

14.     Bacterial infection/reinfection from the unsanitized surface of the phone

15.     Decreased attention span

16.     Social isolation

17.     Hearing damage (if listening to headphones above 85 decibels)

18.     Possibility of carcinogenic radiation

YIKES!

So What are some solutions? The logical solution is to decrease the amount of time spent on your phone, and this can be accomplished by putting restrictions and boundaries around your own phone use. One way to do that is to change your mindset.

Here are four methods to break your cell phone addiction:

  1. Think privacy. Whenever possible, do not text or talk on the phone if someone else is there to see or hear you. Most phone conversations can wait until you are safely out of sight of other humans.
  2. Think courtesy. Is there someone physically in front of you waiting for your attention, and you are using your phone? This is not considered polite. Always give physical people priority. While we’re on the topic of courtesy, make it a habit to turn off your phone in worship services, at work, in theaters, and while eating with family, friends and/or colleagues.
  3. Think safety. Are you walking, driving, or operating machinery? Put your phone away until you can safely pick it up again! A great suggestion is to keep your phone in the back seat of your car, out of arm’s reach, so you will not be tempted to use it while driving.
  4. Think necessity. Do you really need your phone at all times? Couldn’t you leave it in your room or the back seat of your car? Do you need to keep social media or games on it? Or, could you delete those apps in favor of instead using your computer later, after homework is done? (Just kidding! Homework is never done.) If you do not live in a residence hall, is it necessary to keep the phone next to your bed while you sleep? Probably not. That is why alarm clocks were invented!

So, the next time you are in a group of people, just put down the phone, encourage them to do the same, and engage with them. You just might gain a bit of old-fashioned connectedness, which we all need for our good health!


If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at wellnesscenter@hilbert.edu.


For more information on cell phone usage and physical health, and cell phone usage tips, visit the following sites:

Health.com

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Natural Living Ideas

Reader’s Digest

Hilbert’s Criminal Justice Ranked in Top 35 in the Nation

It’s an exciting time for the Hilbert Criminal Justice department! Our program was recently ranked #17 (out of 35) for the Top Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degrees in the nation. The list was published by College Choice and features 35 colleges that offer full undergraduate degree programs in Criminal Justice.

According to College Choice,

To determine the best Criminal Justice programs we started first with the academic reputation of each school nationwide that offers the degree. We then examined retention rates, as it reflects student satisfaction. And we then took into account the affordability of the program and the early salaries of its graduates.

After our extensive research, we found those programs that are the country’s absolute best at training leaders in law enforcement and criminology. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Take a look at the image below for more on Hilbert’s ranking, and head here to read the full article from collegechoice.net!

Save the Date for Brand Hack 2019

Hilbert is proud to be the location for Buffalo’s design “Hack-a-thon” on January 26, 2019, where professionals and students from the advertising and design community will work together in teams to help build a branded campaign from scratch in 5 hours for a local non-profit.

This event is a great way for students to gain real world experience in a fun and competitive setting, while networking with peers and professionals from Buffalo’s creative community.

Here’s how it works:

Professional team captains will work with teams of 3-5 students with an even disbursement of talent types (design, copywriting, marketing, etc.). Each team will be presented with a real-life non-profit organization in need of assets for a branded campaign. This will include a logo, tagline, and one marketing piece. Teams will have five hours to put together their branded campaign and will present their finished products to the judges, non-profit representatives, and other BrandHack participants.

You can register to get involved with this exciting event on the AAFBuffalo website here. Stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram for more information, and mark your calendars for more exciting Communication Career Week events happening at Hilbert from January 22-26, brought to you by the Hilbert College Digital Media and Communication Department in conjunction with the Hilbert Career Development & Community Engagement Center!

 

11 Ways to Stay Healthy During Winter Break

Keeping it “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
How to Stay Healthy on Winter Break!
From the Hilbert College Wellness Center
by Kirsten Falcone, RN

It’s mid-December, and you finally made it to winter break. Congratulations! While you’ve earned the right to celebrate after cramming for finals, there’s one more fact you should learn: Students are often more susceptible to illness during the holidays because of the considerable amount of stress they endure during the end-of-semester rush. Bummer, right? No one wants to be sick during the “most wonderful time of the year”. Luckily, there are some ways that can help you avoid feeling down and out during break.

Here are 11 tips to help you fight off holiday illness:

1.     Maintain proper hygiene by washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and covering your sneezes and coughs.

2.     Drink enough water. Try to drink at least 64 to 96 ounces (or more) per day or the equivalent of four to six 16-ounce bottles of water, or eight to 12 8-ounce glasses of water. Another way to measure is to drink 50 to 100 percent of your weight number in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 to 150 ounces of water every day.

3.     Manage your stress by not over-scheduling, sticking to a budget for gifts and entertainment, and avoiding negativity. (e.g., watching too much TV news, letting a negative relative influence you, negative self-talk)

4.     Catch up on your sleep by going to bed at the same time each night. After all, you will not have to study for any tests! Try to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

5.     Stay warm and dry, and dress in layers.

6.     Eat healthfully, and avoid too many sweets. It is possible to take only one cookie or to save room for your favorite dessert, and forego having a slice of each one. Also, when you are consuming a large meal, eat your veggies first.

7.     Exercise wisely. Even in the winter months, exercise is important to maintain a healthy body and brain, and it keeps your immune system strong. It might be safe to go for a walk each day, but then again, there could be ice or snow in your way. Use proper footwear or exercise indoors if possible.

8.     Do not smoke or vape. Smoking exacerbates respiratory illnesses, and it lowers resistance to illness and disease. Even though vaping does not contain the tar in a traditional cigarette, it is still a danger to your health. If you smoke or vape, it is pertinent to your long-term health to quit now. You will never regret that decision!

9.     Be wise when drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol is generally not healthful. In fact, the only alcohol recognized as beneficial is one glass (five ounces) of red wine per day for women (two for men). If you do happen to drink beyond what is considered healthful, here are some guidelines to follow: One drink per hour is all your liver can metabolize. One drink is defined as five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or one ounce of liquor. In order to maintain fluid levels, drink eight ounces of water per hour also. (This will also help ward off a hangover the next day.) Don’t binge drink, which is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as imbibing five or more drinks for men, or four or more drinks for women, in a two-hour period.

10.     Take time for down time. Make certain this involves praying, listening to music you enjoy, thinking positive thoughts, a hobby you love, and/or spending time with someone you enjoy.

11.     Be a blessing to others. Remember, holiday time is not all about you. The more you give of yourself, the more blessed and healthy you will be. Go caroling, visit an old friend or a nursing home, smile at and hug your negative relatives, and go to church. Do something good for someone else. Spiritual health and physical health are not two separate entities; they complement each other!

The Wellness Center wishes you a very healthy and happy Holiday Season and New Year!


If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at wellnesscenter@hilbert.edu.


For more information on managing your health during the holidays, visit these Web sites:

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Activebeat.com

Realsimple.com

9 Ways to Manage Late Semester Stress

Deadlines, Darkness, & Holidays – Oh My!
How to Manage Late Semester Stress
From the Hilbert College Wellness Center
by Kirsten Falcone, RN

It is that time of the year again. School projects are in full swing, finals are on the horizon, and you haven’t even started your holiday shopping! Many students are stressed, and most are losing sleep. Some have caught a “bug” and are now feeling behind. Stress is, according to Dictionary.com, “a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.” But, according to WebMD.com, it is more simply “what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to [handling].” Does that sound familiar? If so, read on.

Certainly, some stress can be a good thing. Some studies show that a little stress may make you more resilient in the long run. The stress of a deadline approaching can also help you to hone all your attention onto that deadline. There is some evidence that short-term stress also provides the motivation to succeed. Once successful, one can reflect upon accomplishments, and this can actually be quite positive due to the reinforcement it provides! There is also some evidence that short-term stress can actually help ward off the common cold.

However, did you know stress also plays a role in most illness? That is because when we experience chronic stress, an overabundance of epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline) and cortisol (stress hormones) prevent many bodily systems, including the immune system, from functioning at full capacity. Even busy college students can take the time to benefit from some key lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy during a stressful time.

Here are 9 ways to lower the negative effects of stress:

  1. Get enough sleep.  Go to bed at the same time every night, and sleep at least seven to nine hours. For example, if you do well on eight hours of sleep per night, stick with that. Do not assume that seven will be enough. (For more information on sleep, read a recent Wellness Center article here.
  2. Make a list each day, and put the most important items at the top. Check them off as you go.
  3. Don’t procrastinate. Get your homework or important tasks done right away, so you won’t prolong the worry and the nagging in the back of your mind. Even just getting started on a long project will lessen the impact of the work that lies ahead.
  4. Don’t skip meals, and keep healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables or low-sugar granola bars in your backpack. Conversely, avoid junk food, caffeine, and added sugar. Give your body the fuel it needs. (Here is the link to the Wellness Center article on what to eat at the campus cafeteria.)
  5. Drink enough water. This can range from eight 8-ounce glasses per day to an ounce for every two pounds you weigh. Drinking enough water will also help drive off the munchies, and it will increase your energy level almost immediately. (More about dehydration here)
  6. Stay away from alcohol and drugs, and stop smoking and/or vapingThese put even more stress on your body by lowering your immune response.
  7. Exercise. Take a brisk walk around campus twice, or work out in the campus recreation center. Do this at least three times per week. Look for any special programs that may be open to all students.
  8. Humor yourself. Find the humor in situations. Subscribe to a joke page on social media. Ask your friends if they know any jokes. There is scientific evidence that making yourself smile actually increases your happiness. It is true that laughter is often the best medicine.
  9. Talk to a good friend or counselor. Bottled-up emotions come out in other ways. Venting with a friend also helps your friend connect with you.

Some other ways to manage stress, in no particular order:


If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at wellnesscenter@hilbert.edu.

 

For more information on stress, check out these sources:

Mayo Clinic, Holiday Stress Management
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
WebMD
Mayo Clinic, Stress Management In-Depth
Psychology Today, Why Some Stress Is Good
Health.com, Ways Stress Can Be Good For You