Thursday, December 1, 2016

How can I optimize hearing over the holidays?

This is a great question.  The holidays are a great time to reconnect family members and friends we haven’t seen in a while.  It is usually a very exciting and busy time of year.  But for those who have hearing loss it can become a very stressful time. Some may even contemplate missing out on gatherings because they can’t hear. So how can you optimize your hearing for the holidays so that you don’t miss out on holiday gatherings? First and foremost, if you have not had an audiologic evaluation in over a year and feel like you are struggling with hearing more than before, you can start with making an appointment for a hearing evaluation.  If you wear hearing instruments, contact your audiologist to discuss situations in which you notice you are struggling more than others to see if anything can be done from a fine tuning aspect.  Lastly, talk to your audiologist about assistive listening technologies that can be added to your hearing aids to help you hear best in the most complex listening environments.  Roger, an assistive technology, that can be added to your hearing aids can help you hear in the most complex listening environments.  In some cases it can help you hear a single person up to 65 feet away as if they were sitting right next to you, even if you’re in a crowded environment.  Let us help you hear the best you can for the holidays, by calling 440-205-8848 to make an appointment today.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!



Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

440-205-8848

Fax: 440-205-9818

Why do I hear some people better than others?

There are three main factors that impact your ability to hear and understand speech.  The first factor is the listener. How well do you hear?  If you have trouble hearing you need to maximize your ability to hear.  Wear hearing aids and use assistive devices when recommended.  Also, the amount of attention and focus you give the speaker will impact how well you hear.
The second factor is the speaker (the person talking).  Does he or she have a familiar voice?  Does the speaker project, and speak slowly and clearly.  Have you noticed it’s more difficult to hear someone with an accent?  The speaker’s expressions, body language, mannerisms and your interest in the subject all play a role in how well you hear.
The third factor is the room.  Does it have high ceilings and hardwood floors? If so, there is likely an echo which decreases your understanding of words.  Loud background noise also interferes with your ability to communicate. Plus, the further the person talking is from you, the less you will hear.

All of these and more, affect your ability to hear and understand. If you feel you are not hearing as well as you would like, make an appointment for an audiologic assessment and hearing aid check.  Ensure you hear the best you can for the holidays.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!



Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

440-205-8848

Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I’m getting ready for the upcoming holidays and I’m finding myself trying to plan where I sit at our dining table because often times I cannot hear well during such a large gathering, even with my hearing aids. Is there anything else I can do, or is there anything else that can help me?

Listening in situations with significant background noise and with multiple conversations happening all at once can be difficult for those with hearing loss.  It can be difficult for those without hearing loss for that matter!  It is especially difficult if you’re trying to follow multiple conversations.  It sounds like you are very proactive with your listening, especially if you’re planning how you can hear best in advanced. Good for you! Taking charge of your hearing and being proactive is a great first step. However you are correct, in some cases even with the best of planning and top of the line hearing instruments, hearing in a complex listening environments can still be a challenge.  There are assistive devices that can help your hearing aids achieve an even better performance in noise.  The assistive accessory technology that comes to mind is what we call Roger.  Roger technology was developed to help speech understanding in the most complex of environments.  The Roger Pen is a nice option as it camouflages well because it looks just like a pen.  It has multiple automatic modes to help you hear the best you can, including pointing mode so that you can point to a conversation and pick it up, up to 17 feet away!  If you are interested in knowing more about assistive technologies that can help you hear for the holidays you can call 440-205-8848 and make an appointment for a consultation.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!





Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

440-205-8848

Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I am interested in that Lyric device but fly planes, can I still do that with the Lyric?

This is an excellent question.  Many people become 
concerned regarding the Lyric device and flying because of its close placement to the eardrum.  Lyric recommends flying in planes with a pressurized cabin.  Most all commercial planes have pressurized cabins.  If you do fly in planes that do not have pressurized cabins, the concern is then a rapid change in pressure.  This is the same concern as scuba diving and sky diving.  You can still wear Lyric if you choose to do these things, the Lyrics simply need to be removed before these events and replaced after the events have occurred.  Lyric may be contraindicated if you did these sort of events on a regular basis, meaning daily, weekly or monthly.  So getting back to the initial question, can you fly with Lyric?  The short answer is yes.  You will experience the same flying symptoms you always experience, no better, no worse.  If you are interested in knowing more about the Lyric device, make an appointment today.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!



Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

440-205-8848

Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What does “looped” mean?

This is a great question.  Some public establishments such as theaters, movie theaters, concert halls, museums etc. will advertise a looped system as an assistive listening technology to their patrons.  This is often particularly helpful to those patrons that wear hearing instruments.  The goal of a looped system is to bring the sound source directly to your ears either via headphone or directly to your hearing device/hearing instruments.  This helps facilitate the listening experience so that patrons can focus on the actual event/performance rather than trying to understand and listen.  How does a loop system work?  The name itself has meaning, a looped system is just that, it means that there is an induction cable that surrounds the area of interest, room, building, hall, etc.  This induction loop generates a magnetic field that can be picked up a hearing instrument with a telecoil or a special handheld loop receiver within that looped area.  The patron, simply switches their hearing instrument into the telecoil program and the induction loop and magnetic field connects and transmits directly to the hearing instrument.  In order to utilize a looped system with your hearing instrument it must have a telecoil or T-coil.  If you are interested in utilizing a public looped system, contact your audiologist, so that they can walk you through the steps using your hearing instruments and program your hearing instruments accordingly. To make an appointment, contact us at 440-205-8848. 

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!





Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

440-205-8848

Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My husband retired from the police force at age 56 without any hearing problems. He wore hearing protection both on the range and when doing loud activities such as mowing the lawn. About three years after retirement he developed significant hearing loss. Why did he have hearing loss at such an early age? Could it be because he used a flip phone on a daily basis?

While many associate hearing loss with the aging process, hearing loss knows no age.  It can happen at any time in life from birth to the later years. Some people are born with it, some develop it over time and others never have hearing trouble.

Hearing loss that happens later in life is usually something that runs in families.  Consider your husband’s parents.  Do they or other siblings have difficulty hearing?  If so, it may be in his genetic makeup to have hearing loss.  Sometimes familial hearing loss can start at an earlier age than expected.

There are many causes of hearing loss, but there are no studies linking hearing loss to cellphone use.  Certainly, exposure to loud sounds is one cause.  Hearing problems are also associated with heart and kidney disease, diabetes and even dementia.  Plus smoking and heavy alcohol use can reduce hearing ability.  Other causes of hearing loss include ear infections, certain medications (some of the chemotherapy drugs), and other ear diseases. 


On the plus side, your husband’s use of hearing protection served him well.  If he had not used it, his hearing would be even more compromised right now.  Encourage him to continue using it with all loud activities.  Plus, he should have regular Audiologic care with an annual hearing check.  Call 440-205-8848 for an appointment if we can help.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!


Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I have a severe loss of hearing. Is there anything new in power hearing aids?

It is not often that a new power aid comes to the market.  It is the most difficult device to design due to power drain, miniaturization and need to minimize feedback among other things.  So it may well have been a while since you’ve been offered new technology. 

A few months ago a new power aid came to the market.  We’ve already had a great deal of success with it.  The Naida V was designed specifically for listeners with severe to profound hearing loss giving more audibility for high frequency sounds than in the past.  It is the high frequency sounds that provide clarity to words. It also has a broad band booster that allows u to 5 dB increase in gain for the mid frequencies.  This helps with a natural sound quality without increased battery consumption.

The device comes in several different versions, even a smaller receiver in the ear canal option is available.  There are several color choices for matching hair, eye glass stems or skin tones.  All of the versions have a glass fiber reinforced material and 60% more robust than its predecessor.  It has an ip68 rating giving some the best protection against moisture and dust. 

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!


Jane Kukula, AuD & Ashley Spisak, AuD
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818