Thursday, September 21, 2017

I have ringing in my ears, is there any technology that can help?

Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, can be helped in a variety of ways.  Technology wise, it’s a questions of what could work for you.  Tinnitus often accompanies hearing loss, but not all the time. The first thing we would want to do is test you to see if we can identify any hearing loss.  If hearing loss is identified, often times hearing aids can help.  Hearing aids alone can stimulate your brain enough that your tinnitus because less noticeable.  We can also add tinnitus options to hearing instruments and make them ear level tinnitus maskers.  We can add anything from white noise to chimes in the instruments to help alleviate the ringing.  If no hearing loss is identified, we can considered desktop making devices, pillow-top maskers or even suggest an app that may help.  If you’re experiencing tinnitus, it’s worth coming in for an evaluation.  We also offer a tinnitus management program to help patients experiencing tinnitus manage their reactions to the tinnitus.  If you’re experiencing tinnitus don’t wait!  

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

What’s new in hearing aids?

The hearing industry is always striving to help people with hearing difficulties to hear better.   48 million Americans have hearing loss, and most of them have trouble in noisy places because of the deterioration of the hearing nerves called haircells.
Research with hearing instruments centers on how best to compensate for the damaged nerves in noisy places.  Today’s devices have many features that can switch on and off as needed, often automatically. These features include noise reduction, noise cancelling, noise block, whistle block etc.  While these do not make background noise go away, their main goal is to help you hear and have a conversation in the presence of noise.
Rechargeable hearing aids are another recent advancement and are being well received.  We are finding these to be a great option for people with dexterity problems and low vision, and for those who simply want a more convenient option. 
We’ve recently talked about the deep fitting in-the-canal hearing instrument with a titanium shell. Titanium is thin and hard, making the device smaller for a deeper fit and more durable.  We expect to have a good life span with these devices.

Hearing instruments that connect directly to an iPhone have been on the market for several years and are always being updated.  Plus there are now devices that directly contact to Android phones.  If some of these sound like options for you, call 440-205-8848 to get started.  

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, June 8, 2017

Why do I have more trouble hearing in restaurants then I do at home?

Hearing in noisy places can be difficult and frustrating.  The first and best thing you can do hear in noisy places is to keep both ears hearing.  It is necessary for the ears to work together to hear well inn noisy places.  Be sure to wear two hearing aids when you have difficulty hearing in both ears. Second, studies show that those who use hearing aids with directional microphones hear better in noise.  Directional microphone help you focus on the person you’re talking with and reduces the impact of the background sound.  Third, the restaurant you choose and where you sit in the restaurant affect how well you hear in noise. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1.       Choose a quiet restaurant.
2.       Go to restaurants at less busy times.  For example, have lunch at 1:00 instead of noon.
3.       When you are being seated, ask to be seated along the wall or in a corner away and from the kitchen.
  1. Avoid dark restaurants.  You will be better able to pick up lip clues and facial expressions in a lighted restaurant.
  2. Go to restaurants with carpeting, drapes and tablecloths. These all absorb sound and create a quieter atmosphere.
  3. If the music is too loud, ask to have it turned down.
  4. Pick restaurants that don’t have a bar, or those where the bar is in a separate room.  This too will reduce the background noise.
  5. Last but not least, simply ask for a quiet table! There’s bound to be at least one.

Planning ahead and carefully choosing where to go will help ensure a pleasant evening.  

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, May 25, 2017

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a disease in and of itself.  It’s a symptom of something else.  The American Tinnitus Association reports that there are over 200 different health disorders that can generate tinnitus as a symptom. 
For most people tinnitus is related to the collapse of the hearing nerves and hearing loss.  It is commonly seen with age related hearing loss called presbycusis and with noise induced hearing loss.  Obstructions of the outer and middle ears can cause pressure to build up in the inner ear. This affects the function of the eardrum and at time the hearing nerves causing noises in the ears. This can include ear wax build up, head congestion and dirt or foreign objects in the ear canal.  An injury to the head or neck can reduce the blood flow to ears or put stress in the cervical disks causing the perception of tinnitus.  Tinnitus can be caused by dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is where the lower jaw connects to the skull in front of the ears.  The TMJ shares some of its muscles and ligaments with the ears, stress on these muscle and ligaments can impact the ears. Sinus pressure or barometric pressure changes such as seen with scuba diving, flying and concussive explosive blast can cause ringing.  Other causes include traumatic brain injury, ototoxtic drugs often used in chemotherapy, diseases of the ears, even a brain tumor.  Tinnitus has also been related to hypothyroidism, anemia, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and stress.

The best first step in the diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus is to have a hearing and tinnitus evaluation.  At advanced Audiology Concepts we use a Progressive Tinnitus Management strategy to see that you receive the appropriate care and intervention. 

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, May 18, 2017

Why do I hear people better sometimes and then not as well at other times?

As you know, hearing devices can be life changing but they do not restore normal hearing.  How well you hear even with the devices is dependent on more than the hearing instruments.  Here are three factors to consider when you miss hear. 
The first factor is you, the listener.  Are you hearing the best that you can hear?  Wear your hearing aids all the time, from morning till night.  Better yet, extended wear devices can have you hearing even while you sleep.  Have regular visits to your audiologist’s office to keep the hearing aids in good condition.  Your ability to hear also depends on how well you pay attention to the speaker.  Are you well rested?  When you’re well rested you have more energy to pay attention.  When tired or ill, you won’t hear as well.  Another important factor for the speaker is to get your attention prior to talking.  This gives you time to pay attention.
The second factor is the person talking, the speaker.  Did the speaker get your attention prior to 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 can decrease your ability to hear words clearly.  Loud background sound, as in a noisy restaurant, also interferes with your ability to catch the words. 

These are just a few of the things that 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’re hearing the best you can. 

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





Friday, May 12, 2017

What can I do for the ringing in my ears?

Ringing in the ears is called tinnitus.  Sometimes people hear more of a buzzing or humming sound, regardless of the quality of the sound, it is all called tinnitus.  There are many causes, sometimes it’s as simple as ear wax on the eardrum. If this is the case, the tinnitus will stop when the wax is removed.  But for millions of people this is not the case.  Most often tinnitus is caused by decreased function in the hearing nerves called haircells.  When these haircells malfunction, they cause decreased hearing ability and at times, they tell the brain there is sound when there is no sound.  When this happens, there is no medicine or surgical procedure that can cure it. 
For most people treatment becomes a matter of minimizing the impact of the tinnitus and managing your reactions to it.  Typically, when someone has hearing loss with their tinnitus hearing aids are recommended.  When sound is amplified, it can minimize tinnitus.  One of the newest approaches for managing reactions to tinnitus is Sound Therapy.  The goal with Sound Therapy is to shift your awareness and focus away from the tinnitus to other things.  Sound Therapy can provide relief from the tinnitus and reduce stress related to the ringing.
At Advanced Audiology Concepts we use a Progressive Tinnitus Management strategy which begins with a hearing assessment and tinnitus evaluation.  From there we assess the degree of the problem caused by tinnitus and design and implement a personal management plan which may include Sound Therapy.  Call today to schedule your appointment.  

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, May 11, 2017

Hearing loss runs in my family, is there anything I can do to prevent it?

Yes, there are a few things you can do to help prevent hearing loss.  Interestingly, the healthier your diet, the less likely you will have hearing loss, especially high frequency hearing loss. A University of Florida study looked at eating habits and the hearing ability of 2366 people.  They found that the healthier a person ate, the better his or her hearing.  While eating well helped offset the potential for hearing loss, it could not restore or reverse pre-existing hearing problems.  
Hearing is also linked to general health.  Other studies have found that our auditory system is linked to cardiovascular, neural and metabolic health.  So the things that help keep you healthy such as exercise, also help keep your hearing in good shape. 
Of course, protect your ears from loud sound.  Use hearing protection when in noisy environments and pay attention to the volume when using head phones.  With a family predisposition to hearing loss you don’t want to also cause damage by over using volume.

Have a baseline Audiologic assessment.  This will allow us to monitor your hearing over time. 

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