Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why can I hear the prayers at church but not the sermon?


This a great question!  You hear the prayers because they are familiar to you.  Your brain takes in everything it hears, sees, and knows, putting it all together to make sense out of what you hear.  When listening to something familiar such as the regular prayers at the Sunday service, your brain knows what is said allowing you to “hear it clearly”.  The problem arises with the sermon.  Since you don’t know what is about to be said, the brain cannot anticipate it.  One solution would be to ask your minister to provide copies of the sermon before the service starts.  Then you can read along, you’ll be surprised by how well you “hear”.  Even something as simple as an outline of the sermon will be helpful.
Further, it can be particularly challenging to hear in a church due to the echo.  High ceilings and hard surfaces such as bare walls or walls with little on them, windows without drapes, hard wood floors etc. create an echo.  You can reduce the echo by using drapes, carpeting and fabric wall hangings but this isn’t always practical for churches.  That is why some churches use a special amplifying system with headphones for people with hearing loss.  If your church has this type of system, give it a try.  It will also reduce the echo making it easier for you to hear.
Have regular check-ups with an audiologist.  Periodic hearing checks and routine hearing aid care will ensure your hearing aids are programmed to maximize your hearing and keep then running well. 



Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818















Image obtained 9-15-15 at: https://www.google.com/search?q=images+church&biw=1022&bih=907&tbm=isch&imgil=NYRxIaKZ2ro9hM%253A%253BRVhJhF0ZoNXwEM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Ffbcocoee.com%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=NYRxIaKZ2ro9hM%253A%252CRVhJhF0ZoNXwEM%252C_&usg=__gL8IQFKfJSZuT7966ObP2aPoMDA%3D&ved=0CCsQyjdqFQoTCM7ctMWa-ccCFYM6Pgod5PsP8A&ei=ZiX4Vc6RFoP1-AHk97-ADw#imgrc=3MujLA-6YP4RoM%3A&usg=__gL8IQFKfJSZuT7966ObP2aPoMDA%3D

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Can falling be related to hearing loss?

Yes, it can be related if your father has difficulty hearing.  New research shows a link between hearing and falling.  A study at Johns Hopkins hospital looked at over 2,000 people between ages of 40-69.  They were assessed based on hearing ability and the number of falls over a period of one year.  Their findings showed that people with a mild loss of hearing were nearly 3 times more likely to fall.  They also found that for every 10 dB (a measure of sound intensity) increase in hearing loss, the chances of falling increased by 1.4.  They discovered on the average those

                With 25 dB loss were 3 times more likely to fall
                With 35 dB loss were 4.4 times more likely to fall
                With 45 dB loss were 5.8 times more likely to fall
                With 55 dB loss were 7.2 times more likely to fall
                With 65 dB loss were 8.6 times more likely to fall

This was true even when age, cardiovascular and vestibular health were taken into account.  One reason for is people with difficulty hearing are less aware of their environment, making tripping and falling more likely.  Another cause was the brain becomes be overwhelmed by the work load needed for hearing when hearing loss is untreated. 

This is startling information and another great reason to seek hearing help.  If you, or another loved one is experiencing changes in hearing or experiencing falls, call to schedule a hearing evaluation.  

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818


Thursday, September 24, 2015

My husband plays in a rock band and doesn't use hearing protection. Can this hurt his hearing?

Yes, loud sound, even loud music, can harm hearing. Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sound is called noise induced hearing loss.  Using hearing protection can help him preserve his hearing.  If he has played in the band for many years, it may already have had a negative impact on his hearing. But that doesn’t mean hearing protection would not help, it can help prevent increased hearing loss when used properly.

There are many types of earplugs and muffs available.  Custom fit musician’s earplugs were designed for musicians. They have filters which do not distort the sound allowing maintaining the quality of music.

Musicians’ monitors can be custom fit to provide clear hearing, eliminate feedback and lower noise levels so that one can reduce the volume on the monitor.  Your audiologist can help find the best solution for your husband.

By raising awareness of noise induced hearing loss we hope to help people maintain healthy hearing.  Part of our commitment to our community is to provide disposable ear plugs at no charge.  Just stop in this month to pick up a pair.  


Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Myths about hearing loss

The American Academy of Audiology Reported the following Myths about hearing loss.

Myth: Portable music and video devices do not affect your hearing.
Fact
: 1.1 billion people are at risk for hearing loss due to unsafe personal use of portable music devices.
What to do: Limit your use of portable devices and keep the volume at the half-way point or under.  If you have to take out your ear buds to hear someone speaking at an arm’s length away, the volume is too high.

Myth:  Everyone who has hearing loss is older than age 65. 
Fact: Half of those with hearing loss are under the age of 65.
What to do: If you suspect a hearing loss or have ringing in the ears, visit an audiologist.

Myth: Hearing loss does not affect newborn babies.
Fact: About 6 out of 1,000 babies have a significant hearing problem at birth.  And, more than 4,000 babies are born with a hearing loss each year.
What to do: Make sure your newborn’s hearing is screened before leaving the hospital or within the first a couple weeks of life.  If he or she does not pass the screening, schedule an appointment with an audiologist.

Myth: Everyday loud activities do not affect you hearing.
Fact: Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by lawn/farm equipment, concerts, sporting events, fireworks, hair driers, firearms, and alarm clocks.  A single exposure to excessive noise can also cause permanent hearing loss
What to do: Noise-induced hearing loss almost always preventable!  Wear hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 dB (about the volume of a vacuum sweeper).

Myth: Hearing loss does not affect your day-to-day life.
Fact: Individuals with untreated hearing loss are often excluded from communication and often have feelings of loneliness, isolation, depression, and frustration.
What to do: If you suspect a hearing loss, visit with an audiologist to evaluate your hearing and provide treatment when needed. 

FACT: Audiologists are the primary health-care professionals who provide evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for hearing loss. 

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818

Thursday, September 10, 2015

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.  Wear two hearing aids when you have difficulty hearing in both ears.
Second, studies show that those who use hearing aids with directional microphones do better in noisy places then those who use hearing aids without them.

Third, the restaurant you choose and where you sit affects how well you hear in noise. Her are a few suggestions  from the Better Hearing Institute for dinning out.

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.
  2. Restaurants with carpeting, drapes and tablecloths 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.
  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, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818


Friday, September 4, 2015

Why does someone resist getting hearing aids?

There are many reasons why people resist seeking help for their hearing difficulties.  Often, hearing loss is perceived as a sign of aging or weakness.  Wearing hearing aids is often viewed as less attractive or less competent.  Putting off using hearing aids may be based on what appears to be valid logic, i.e., “I’m too young!”, It’s not bad enough yet!”, No one I know likes their hearing aids.”, We just can’t afford it now!”, My brother has a hearing loss and doesn’t wear hearing aids and he gets along just fine!”.  In reality, none of these excuses amount to anything but procrastination, minimizing the problem in order to justify not pursuing treatment. 

Sadly, only 20 percent of people who have hearing loss seek treatment through the use of hearing aids.  This statistic alone, speaks volumes about what a spouse and families endure.  It not only means louder TV, repeating throughout the day, filling in important parts of conversations, it raises the anxiety levels of everyone in the family.  Struggling to communicate under these circumstances is exhausting.
 

The real tragedy of untreated hearing loss is the isolation that results from avoiding all the situations that make hearing a challenge.   The natural progression of this is giving up more and more activities in order to operate within a “comfort zone”.   Coming to terms with hearing loss is not an easy task.  Continue to be supportive and encourage your loved ones to begin to accept hearing loss and to seek treatment.  A complete Hearing Evaluation is the first step.  Call an audiologist today.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Can playing in a band hurt hearing?


Yes, loud sound, even loud music, can harm hearing. Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sound is called noise induced hearing loss.  Using hearing protection can help preserve hearing.  If someone has played in the band for many years, it may already have had a negative impact on hearing. But that doesn’t mean hearing protection would not help, it can help prevent increased hearing loss when used properly.
There are many types of earplugs and muffs available.  Ear muffs can distort the quality of the music.  I recommend musician earplugs.  Custom fit musician’s earplugs are designed for musicians. They have filters which do not distort the sound maintaining the quality of music. See an audiologist to have ear impressions taken so that they fit comfortably.
Musicians’ monitors are also custom fit.  They provide clear hearing, eliminate feedback and lower noise levels so that one can reduce the volume on the monitor. 

See an audiologist to find the best solution best fit to your personal needs.
Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, Au.D. and Paula Webster, M.A.
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060
440-205-8848
Fax: 440-205-9818