Castillo and his wife, Christy, own and operate two local hearing aid specialty clinics in the Albuquerque: SoundChoice Hearing, located at 4811 Hardware Drive NE, Suite C-2, which they founded in 2009; and HearMart (1820 San Pedro Blvd. NE, Suite 5), which they bought in July. Both locations offer free hearing tests, free consultations, and a free one-week trial on any device, says Castillo.
SoundChoice sells just about every kind of hearing aid on the market, including custom fit and extended wear devices. "The idea is to find the right fit for each individual based on comfort, under which conditions the hearing aid will be used and budget," says Castillo.
One of the most popular models of hearing aid devices is the Lyric, says Castillo, which fits entirely inside the ear canal. "It's completely invisible from the outside, stays put for up to four months before needing to be replaced and requires no batteries or daily maintenance," he adds.
About 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SoundChoice's clients range in age from 18 to more than 100 years old, with most having hearing problems caused by extended exposure to loud noises, natural aging, an injury, genetics, or even the combination of certain medications, explains Castillo.
Castillo can relate to his clients' hearing difficulties. He wears a hearing aid in one ear to correct partial hearing loss he believes might have been caused by early childhood ear infections. "Not being able to hear well can affect many parts of your life," he says. "It's the best thing you can give people is their hearing back."
"A lot of people have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia when their real problem is that they can't hear," continues Castillo. "When people can't hear or understand what everyone around them is saying, they tend to disconnect. That can easily be misinterpreted as a sign of other illnesses. It's important to get your hearing tested as soon as you believe you're having problems."
Castillo says treating hearing loss early can often slow the process before it gets worse, adding that customers at SoundChoice can get same-day or next-day appointments and usually leave with their new hearing aids installed.
Eddie Roebuck recently accompanied his elderly parents to SoundChoice Hearing. "My family and I were impressed with the Damian's compassion for client needs and the speed at which they provided service," says Roebuck.
"Damian is very personable," continues Roebuck. "Every time I call him, he calls me right back. He even called me back after hours on a Friday when I had a question about my parents' hearing aids."
Since 2009, Castillo has been licensed by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences, an independent nonprofit credentialing organization. The agency was established to promote continuing competency assurance of hearing health professionals and to provide a standard of excellence in hearing health care for the consumer.
Castillo's aunt Tommie, now deceased, would be proud of her nephew. She inspired him to become a hearing specialist. "When I was a kid, she had a lot of issues with her hearing," says Castillo. "I always saw her struggle with not being able to communicate with our family and that sparked my interest in this profession. She missed out on a lot of things in life --; like most people who suffer from hearing loss. They become socially disconnected from their families and they don't want to join in conversations anymore. But with today's technology, it doesn't have to be that way."
For more information, call SoundChoice Hearing at 341-1300 or HearMart at 255-8000, or visit soundchoiceofabq.com to schedule your free hearing test and consultation. SoundChoice Hearing and HearMart both offer no-interest/low-payment options and trade-in credit for previously worn hearing aids.
4811 Hardware Drive NE, Suite C-2
Homeowners who are serious about boosting their home's energy efficiency should consider working with a certified Home Energy Rater. These professionals conduct a series of tests to assess a home's energy efficiency to provide an overall efficiency rating in much the same way that appliances are rated. Armed with this information, homeowners can make home improvement decisions that further boost their home's energy efficiency.
According to the U.S Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. While using smart thermostats can help correct daily energy use, homeowners should consider how thoroughly sealed their home truly is.
Why does this matter? Escaping air means the furnace or air-conditioner must work overtime to compensate and maintain a comfortable living temperature.
Understanding the factors that contributes to air leakage is essential for improving efficiency and lowering monthly bills. One of the key areas to consider is the home's insulation. While some homeowners may think simply layering more insulation on top of existing insulation may do the trick, typically these traditional insulation types are unable to provide a thorough air seal or promote better heating and cooling efficiency.
One effective consideration is replacing traditional insulation with a high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation both air-seals and insulates to stop air leakage from occurring, allowing homeowners to reduce energy consumption, effectively control their indoor environments and live greener.]]>
However, you'll need to replace the door completely, once you have the time and the finances. Most bathroom doors are hollow, which is common for interior doors. It will be less expensive to replace than a solid wood door. Also on the plus side, you can replace it with the door of your choice.
Another option is to replace the entire frame, allowing you to purchase a prehung door.
Replacing the door properly will take a little bit of skill. If you've done some basic carpentry before (using power tools, etc.) you can handle a door replacement. Otherwise, you may want to hire a contractor to do the entire door replacement. Ask for a written quote before agreeing to any work.
Before heading to your local home-improvement store for a replacement, measure the height and width of the door and take those measurements with you. You'll need the new door plus --; if you want to completely replace the hardware --; new hinges and a lockset (which includes the doorknob and latch). You also can use the old hardware to save money.
If you plan to replace the door yourself, plan ahead. Online videos can give a great visual overview of the task.]]>
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Draft dodgers, or door snakes, are easy to make and provide reasonable protection against drafts. To make one, you'll need a pair of thick tights, fabric scraps cut into inch-wide strips and a big bag of rice. Cut the tights off into two long leg portions. Stuff them with fabric scraps and then add rice to give weight and fill in the holes. When the long "socks" are full, tie them off. Lay them out along the threshold, pushing them tight against the door.
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To save on prescription costs, ask if your health insurance participates in a mail-order service where you can get three months of a drug for a discounted cost. Mine costs less for three months than it does for one month in my local drugstore.
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Heavy drapes can be a great investment to draft-proof your windows. The best are insulation-lined, but you can double-hang some good, quality curtains to get a similar effect.]]>
He's acted in 54 films, written 48 films and directed 45 films. His most recent film, "Blue Jasmine," with Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay, has grossed close to $60 million. That film was his return to shooting in the United States, in New York and San Francisco, but he's back to cost-cutting, shooting an untitled film in France, with Emma Stone, Colin Firth and Marcia Gay Harden.
"Entourage" fans rejoice! Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Adrien Grenier, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven are set for the movie version of the former HBO series shooting in January. Piven asked for and got more money than the others, and when they found out, they refused to sign until they got bigger paychecks.
The next time the networks cry poverty, just look at what they're getting for 30-second commercials. Football commands the most: NBC Sunday Night Football costs $628,000 a spot, followed by "The OT" (a post-game show on Fox) for $440,000 and "Football Night in America" with $169,700. Among TV series, "The Walking Dead" commands $326,000, "The Big Bang Theory" gets $317,000, "The Following" brings in $264,300, "Grey's Anatomy" gets $209,542, "Scandal" earns $186,202, "Two and a Half Men" makes $181,988, "The Blacklist" rakes in $174,943, "The Crazy Ones" charges $173,727 and "How I Met Your Mother" commands $169,364. Among reality shows, "American Idol" gets $281,600; "The Voice" (Tuesday), $273,714; "The Voice" (Monday), $259,240; "X-Factor," $166,601; and "Dancing With the Stars," which trails the pack with $102,851. Small wonder they pack those shows with 30-second spots. And you thought The Super Bowl was the only cash cow ... Moo!
Why all the hubbub over "50 Shades of Grey" casting? The book was a good read for women who needed a jolt to their sex lives. The fact that it borders on pornography seems to be what made it a best seller. Even before Charlie Hunnam was cast opposite Dakota Johnson, speculation was wild. Reporters assumed Charlie bowed out because hardcore fans of the book couldn't see him as Christian Grey.
Inside sources have revealed that Charlie didn't care about that; what he was concerned about was the script, which he felt was unplayable as it was. Charlie is also a writer, and he was submitting suggestions to producers on a regular basis. He wasn't worried he couldn't handle the role; he was concerned the screenplay as written would be a disappointment. Universal Pictures told him--flat out--that he didn't have script approval. Add to that the insult of a mere $125,000 paycheck for a major film of this size. Charlie, who starred in "Pacific Rim" (which cost $190 million and grossed $407.5 million), would have finished shooting "Sons of Anarchy" before starting "50 Shades."
Now Dakota Johnson isn't sure she wants to move forward unless the script is improved. At press time, all kinds of actors were named to replace Hunnam, among them "White Collar" star Matt Bomer. Bomer is hot and sexy enough for the role, but producers are worried an "out" actor might not be accepted as Christian Grey. "The Vampire Diaries" Ian Somerhalder and "True Blood's" Alexander Skarsgard also were considered, as were newcomers Jamie Dornan, (of "Once Upon a Time") and Christian Cooke (Mercutio in the just released "Romeo & Juliet").
Sources say the dark horse is actually Ryan Gosling. It's going to take a powerful actor, with smoldering looks and a hot body, to do Grey justice, and Gosling is all those things. But, if they thought Hunnam gave them grief over the script, imagine what Gosling, who writes, directs and acts, will do! Whoever wins the role will have to avoid 50 shades of embarrassment if he can't pull it off!]]>
To help combat this, the American Medical Association (AMA), recently voted to adopt policy recognizing obesity as a disease, requiring a range of medical interventions to advance treatment and prevention.
"Changing the way we label obesity from a major public health problem to a chronic disease may help encourage more proactive discussions between physicians and patients," says Dr. Holly Lofton, director of the Medical Weight Management Program at New York University Langone Medical Center. "Patients struggling with obesity, who are motivated to lose weight but have been unsuccessful with diet and exercise alone, should discuss a range of medical interventions with their physician including prescription weight loss medications, to help them lose weight and maintain it."
Individuals living with obesity should not feel alone or overwhelmed when trying to lose weight. Modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, is associated with improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Losing weight and maintaining it is a long-term commitment. Here's some advice to help you with your weight loss.
• Every step counts --; walk a few laps around the office instead of sitting at your desk all day.
• Eat in --; home-cooked meals might be healthier than most restaurant meal choices.
• Talk to your doctor to identify a weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle.
• Consider your options --; diet, exercise and prescription weight loss medications might help.]]>
The solution for many is to put in a "sea of gravel." Yuck! Why not create an urban forest? This technique requires the same level of creativity as a plant-oriented landscape, so call a qualified designer to do the design.
Here's the technique: You'll still use all the elements of a good conventional design but without the shrubs and perennials. You'll want to include two types of ground cover like gravel, crusher fines or shredded cedar mulch (not bark). You'll also need a focal point, such as a bench, water feature, bird bath, statuary, group of boulders, pottery (planted or not) or any combination of these elements.
To help draw the eye to your focal point, you'll need a crusher fines path slowly meandering around the yard, ending at the focal point. If you really want to add interest, put in a dry creek with some nice boulders for that "natural look." If you have existing trees for the path to meander around and end at the focal point, that's a huge bonus. Mature piñon trees in the 10-foot range can be bought planted for about $400-$500. Make sure you get a 100-percent guarantee, as many suppliers only guarantee half the cost.
A conventional landscape design includes about $2,000 worth of plants. If you also install a drip irrigation system, add another $1,500. That's about $3,500 tied up in irrigation and plants that need to be pruned, fertilized, watered, and occasionally sprayed for insects and disease.
For $3,500, you could purchase three evergreen trees (that can easily be hand-watered) and still have $2,000 left over to help pay for the gravel, mulch, etc. We just created a beautiful but super low maintenance urban forest, and you won't get thrown out of the neighborhood either!]]>
Keep your household free of the winter blues by following a few simple steps to a successful and fun time with kids in the kitchen.
Establish good habits
Set good habits for your children by teaching them to wash their hands before, during and after cooking. Kid-friendly tools, like a small step stool or high-tech faucet, can help make reinforcing these habits even easier. Let your little sous-chefs know that they should wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, by helping them count or singing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Remember to set a good example by washing your own hands before and after eating and during the cooking process, as needed.
Different stages for different ages
Understanding which tasks your child is capable of doing is important. Children 5 years old and younger enjoy observing how recipes are compiled and can help out with small tasks like setting the table, while school-age children can strengthen their math skills as they help combine ingredients for recipes and practice cooking basics. Tap teenagers for help by encouraging them to choose the menu.
Timing is everything
Instead of involving children in the dinner rush, enlist their help on a weekend afternoon when there is plenty of time for questions, experiments or careful demonstrations. Choose a time when everyone is well-rested and not easily frustrated. Plan ahead when deciding what recipe you will cook together.]]>
• What's up, Doc?: Just as you require regular visits to your doctor and dentist to make sure you stay healthy, so does your new pet. A veterinary visit should be a once-a-year event, minimum, and more frequent check-ups might be needed.
• Healthy eating: Pets shouldn't eat like people. Cats are carnivores; they need plenty of protein in their diets, and they need it in the form of meat, poultry or fish. And while your dog, like you, is an omnivore, that doesn't mean he should share your meals.
• Bathing: Most of us wouldn't dream of letting a day go by without a shower or bath. But daily bathing is unnecessary for pets and can dry out their skin and hair. Most dogs are fine with a bath every three months, unless they get extra dirty or have silky hair. Cats usually keep themselves clean without any help although brushing long-haired cats on a regular basis is advised to keep their fur tangle-free and help prevent hairballs.
• Making a connection: Dogs and cats relate to their owners in different ways. As a pack animal, dogs expect you to lead their pack and give them rules to follow. Dogs make faces --; in fact, it's estimated that they have 100 different facial expressions, thanks to their mobile ears. Cats attach to their people as social partners and use affectionate behaviors, such as purring, kneading and rubbing against you to show their affection. They're also quite vocally expressive and can produce more than 100 different sounds.
• Sleep habits: While cats have a reputation for dozing, both cats and dogs spend more than half their time in slumber. Like babies, puppies and kittens sleep more than adults, although their sleep patterns can be erratic. Keep in mind that excessive sleeping can be a sign of boredom.]]>
Are you ready?
Staying Warm: If you live in your own home, when is the last time you had your furnace inspected? If you can't say it was this season, it's time to call for an appointment. These system checks should be done once a year and generally include a new furnace filter.
Carrying a big blanket from room to room can be a tripping danger. Instead, keep personal-size comforters in various places in your home, especially your favorite chair. Check the bottoms of your slippers to make sure they aren't worn and slippery. Wear a favorite hat for additional warmth, and consider a padded vest to keep your body's trunk warm.
Adequate Lighting: Fading daylight can creep up on us. One of my friends took a yard light and put it in the kitchen window to recharge in the sun each day. When it becomes dark outside, the little light automatically goes on. Another has put tiny automatic nightlights in a few electric outlets. When the lighting is low, the lights automatically come on. These serve as reminders to turn on more lights in the house.
Do you have candles handy for the times when the power goes out? If so, throw them away. It's too easy for lighted candles to fall over or catch clothing on fire. Instead invest in a few flashlights or "dome" lights that you can leave at various places in your home. Don't forget a small one for your pocket.]]>