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Barakat Optical
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Available in stores Summer Fashion '18 collections
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7/15/18
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What is Synesthesia?

Hearing is a complicated process, involving soundwaves, tiny bones, tinier nerve cells, and various neurological pathways through the brain. These various components work together so we can hear diverse sounds, whether a whisper or a helicopter flying overhead. However, for some people with the condition of synesthesia, their ability to hear goes beyond picking up sounds.

Hearing in color
According to Psychology Today, synesthesia is “a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (e.g., hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (e.g., vision).”

Although synesthesia can be experienced in different forms, one of the most common involves people “hearing” color. For such individuals, sounds like a door opening or musical notes cause them to see flashes of color, specific to each unique noise. Other, less common forms of synesthesia result in people feeling physical sensations based on sounds or even sensing distinct tastes in their mouths based on what they hear.

The connection between synesthesia and hearing loss
While synesthesia may seem unbelievable, those with hearing loss or total deafness have long relied on their other senses, whether visual or tactile cues, to understand and experience the world around them. Just consider how smoke detectors can use strobe lights to alert you to danger if you can’t hear the alarm. Multisensory experiences can help you experience sounds in other ways—essentially hacking your brain so, just like those with synesthesia, the stimulation of one sense leads you to experience another.

The best example of using other senses to hear involves music, and studies show how your brain can help bypass your ears to help you experience it. This occurs through the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sound. When people with total deafness were exposed to vibrations from music, their auditory cortex showed activity, which doesn’t happen to those with normal hearing. Since the vibrations are picked up in the same way the brain picks up sound, a hard of hearing person can have an enhanced listening experience, and it can help deaf people perform music themselves.

But that’s not the only way to experience music. Combined with flashing lights, speakers with visualizations, and closed captioning or sign language interpreters to translate lyrics, those with hearing loss can feel, appreciate, and understand music. Multiple companies use these methods to create concerts for those with hearing loss.

Experiencing sound without hearing
People with synesthesia may seem as though they have supernatural powers, experiencing multiple sensory perceptions at once. But if you have hearing loss, you are just as capable of using your other senses to fill in soundscape gaps. As a result, you can enjoy music—and other sounds—without hearing in the traditional sense of the word.


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Zeiss Sun Eye-wear Model No. ZS-94003 and ZS-94004
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How Obesity May Contribute to Hearing Loss

While some of the causes of hearing loss are obvious, such as long-term exposure to loud sounds, other factors are not as apparent. These can include genetics, your heart health, and even your weight. Numerous studies show that obesity can increase the likelihood of developing hearing loss, demonstrating how your hearing is connected to your overall health and highlighting the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

When poor health leads to poor hearing
How can your weight influence how you hear? Well, the tiny hair cells (stereocilia) that detect sound in your inner ear rely on a steady blood flow and oxygen supply to function properly. Obesity requires the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, making it more difficult for the arteries and capillaries to transport blood and oxygen to fragile hair cells. Without sufficient blood and oxygen, they can suffer damage and no longer work properly. Once impaired, hair cells can’t be restored or regenerated, leading to permanent hearing loss.

Still, obesity doesn’t necessarily cause hearing loss directly. Being overweight can contribute to other diseases that may damage your hearing. Diabetes is one example. Overall, 90 percent of patients with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, and individuals with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss. Another example is heart disease, which further limits circulation and thus your heart’s ability to supply enough blood and oxygen to your inner ears.

Obesity is also a factor in the staggering number of young people with hearing loss. As today’s youth often get less exercise and eat bigger portions than in years past, more adolescents are becoming obese. One study found that more than 15 percent of obese adolescents also had hearing loss, compared to less than 8 percent of their non-obese peers.

Healthy body, healthy hearing
Eating well and maintaining an active lifestyle are the keys to good health. And given the link between obesity and hearing loss, you have even more reason to strive to be healthy. In fact, one study on the link between obesity and hearing loss found that women who were physically active had a 17 percent lower risk of developing hearing loss than participants who were the least physically active.

If you’re looking to get into shape, talk to your doctor first so they can recommend the proper diet and exercise routine for your unique circumstances. Doing so is the first step to improving your overall health, while protecting against hearing loss.


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The Dubai Summer Surprises is on in Barakat Optical Outlets in Dubai (Jumeirah Park Pavilion, Jumaira Plaza, Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City and Madina Mall) from 22-Jun-2018 to 04-Aug-2018. Customers will avail from 30%-50% on selected items.
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The Dubai Summer Surpises is here! Barakat Optical Outlets in Jumaira Plaza, The Dubai Mall, and Dubai Festival City having a promotions. Customers will avail 30% Discounts on hearing aids.
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Zeiss Eyewear Model No. ZS-40021 and ZS-10012

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