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Athlete gets ears screened during a break at Fall Classic.   Laura Baysinger rewards an athlete with a Subway card. 

Athletes, parents and coaches learned a few simple, but important, lessons on ear health during a visit to Wellness Park at Fall Classic; lessons that could improve - and eventually save - their hearing.

Laura Baysinger, audiologist and Healthy Hearing Clinical Director for Texas, said, "We don't recommend using Q-tips because it can push wax further into the ear or create more wax because it can stimulate wax growth.  We've seen a lot of wax impaction, which is the main reason for not passing [the screenings].  It can completely block the ear canal."

Baysinger suggests keeping your ears clean by wiping the outer part of the ear with a small towel after showering.  She said any wax that's in the ear should move out on its own.

"The saying is 'never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear'," she said. 

There were four Healthy Hearing stations at Wellness Park.  Athletes that didn't pass the first station moved on to the other stations for a variety of other screenings, including a peer tone screening and pressure tests.  Athletes that appeared to have hearing problems or damage to the ear were advised to see their physician for a more thorough screening.

The Healthy Athletes staff screened about 120 athletes during the two-day competition.  Each athlete screened received a Subway gift card.

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