Thursday, March 16, 2017

I heard that the ringing in my ear can be fixed with surgery. Is that true?

Excellent question.  Ringing in the ears, ear noise, head noise or tinnitus is not all that uncommon.  It is estimated that about 15% of the US population has tinnitus to some degree.  That translates to roughly 20 million Americans.  Tinnitus cannot be cured by surgery.  In some cases where tinnitus is a secondary effect to a conductive loss, such otosclerosis (fusion of middle ear bone) or fluid behind the eardrum, then yes, potentially surgery could help alleviate the tinnitus.  Only because it can fix components of the hearing loss.  In the case of otosclerosis, the surgeons replace pieces of bones in the middle ear.  In the case of fluid behind the eardrum, the surgeons will place a pressure equalizing tube through the eardrum to remove the fluid.  In both of these cases, the surgeon is “curing” the hearing loss and by extension then helping with the tinnitus likely caused by the hearing loss.  However, surgery for tinnitus does not exist.  There have been cases where surgeons have actually cut the auditory nerve rendering the patient completely deaf and still the patient could hear their tinnitus.  Although there is no cure for tinnitus at this time, there are treatment plans or management options available. At Advanced Audiology Concepts, we offer the Progressive Tinnitus Management approach to our patients.  If you experience bothersome tinnitus and you are curious about Progressive Tinnitus Management, call and make an appointment 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, March 2, 2017

Can hearing aids affect relationships?

This is a great question! How can hearing instruments affect your relationships? Typically people will experience a positive change in their relationships once they begin to wear hearing aids.  When a hearing loss goes for years without any intervention or without addressing the issue, it can take its toll on a relationship.  Loved ones can often become frustrated with untreated hearing loss because they have to repeat themselves numerous time, and even then their communication partner still didn’t understand.  Hearing aids can help you maintain your speech understanding capabilities and they can help you communicate with your partner more effectively.  The person trying to hear is less tired from all the effort put towards understanding, less frustrated being they don’t have to ask people to repeat as often and less apt to avoid social situations out of fear of not understanding.  The person communicating with the person with hearing loss is less frustrated and less resentful of their partners because they have taken a positive step toward trying to help themselves hear better.  If you are considering hearing instruments and would like to make an appointment, call 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




The ringing in my ear stopped when the doctor removed earwax from my ear. What can I do to clean my ears?

The ear secretes oils from two different glands which mix together to produce earwax (or cerumen).  It is healthy and normal to have some earwax.  It cleans and protects your ears by collecting dirt, dust and other matter in the ear canal and moving them out of the ear.   Jaw movement whether from chewing or talking, helps to push earwax to the ear opening where it can be washed off with the wipe of a cloth. This is a normal process, but sometimes this self-cleaning process fails resulting in a buildup of earwax. When cerumen builds up it can block the ear canal and can cause a temporary decrease in hearing and when on the eardrum it can cause ringing in the ear.
Often, when someone attempts to “clean” the ear canals, earwax is pushed on the eardrum or deep into the ear canal. We DO NOT recommend using cotton swabs, paper clips, keys, ear candles, or other items which can push the wax deeper in the canal or harm the ear canal.  The American Academy of Otolaryngology recently published guidelines for cleaning your ear canals. Following these guidelines can help protect your ears:
·         Don't overdo it when cleaning your ears. Over cleaning can irritate the ear canal and possibly cause an infection.
·         Don't stick things in your ear. Cotton swabs, hair pins, toothpicks or other such objects can cause a cut in the ear canal, a hole in the eardrum, and/or dislocation of the hearing bones, causing problems including bleeding, hearing loss, dizziness and ringing.
·         Never use "ear candles." The guidelines say there is no evidence that this alternative medicine practice can remove impacted earwax. And so-called candling might cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum.

First and foremost, check with your audiologist or physician on whether or not you should clean your ears. Also, seek medical attention if you have ear drainage, bleeding or pain. Call 440-205-8848 to schedule an ear inspection and cerumen removal.  


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, February 23, 2017

Can hearing aids affect relationships?

This is a great question! How can hearing instruments affect your relationships? Typically people will experience a positive change in their relationships once they begin to wear hearing aids.  When a hearing loss goes for years without any intervention or without addressing the issue, it can take its toll on a relationship.  Loved ones can often become frustrated with untreated hearing loss because they have to repeat themselves numerous time, and even then their communication partner still didn’t understand.  Hearing aids can help you maintain your speech understanding capabilities and they can help you communicate with your partner more effectively.  The person trying to hear is less tired from all the effort put towards understanding, less frustrated being they don’t have to ask people to repeat as often and less apt to avoid social situations out of fear of not understanding.  The person communicating with the person with hearing loss is less frustrated and less resentful of their partners because they have taken a positive step toward trying to help themselves hear better.  If you are considering hearing instruments and would like to make an appointment, call 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, February 16, 2017

How are heart disease and hearing loss related?

This is a great question and with Valentine’s Day coming, a great time to talk about matters of the heart.  It was a group of Harvard University researchers who discovered a relation between heart disease and hearing loss.  They found that hearing loss occurred 54% more often in people with heart disease then in the general population.  At this time we are not sure what causes this link, but they have a theory.

Cardiovascular disease reduces blood flow through veins and arteries, and it is the blood that brings oxygen to the body’s organs. This lack of oxygen can damage the heart and other organs including the hearing nerves (hair cells) deep in the inner ear.  Hair cell damage is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss.

The researchers also believe the hearing nerves are so fragile that the ear is likely the first organ to be damaged by cardiovascular disease.  There are those who feel that one day hearing loss may be used to predict heart disease.

The good news is, a healthy cardiovascular system has a positive effect on hearing.  Eating right and exercising helps your hearing too!  Exercising once a week reduces the risk of heart disease by 32%. 


Have regular hearing checks and use hearing aids when recommended. Taking care of your hearing is part of taking care of your health.  Those who use hearing aids report greater overall health, a physically more active lifestyle and a more active social life.  And it’s a physically active life that can help reduce heart disease.  

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, February 2, 2017

You mentioned using Sound Therapy as a means of tinnitus management. What is Sound Therapy?

Tinnitus is the presence of sound in the ears or head.  Commonly, people report ringing, humming, buzzing even clicking sounds and at times, there may be multiple sounds.  Tinnitus can present in various degrees and can be constant or intermittent.  When severe, it can cause stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation.  Often there is no cure for it.  Sound Therapy is a means for you to change your perception of it and decrease its interference with your life.
Many times people are able to just ignore tinnitus.  While others’ can’t seem to take their focus off it.  We know that those who shift their attention to other things are much less bothered by it.  Progressive Tinnitus management including Sound Therapy, is a method for triaging, assessing and managing tinnitus on an individual basis.  It provides you with tools to aid you in changing your perceptions of your tinnitus and shift your attention away from your tinnitus.
Sound Therapy is a corner stone of tinnitus management.  It uses three types of sound, interesting sounds, soothing sound and background sound.  Soothing sound can reduce anxiety and stress.  Background sound reduces the contrast of tinnitus to the room noises, reducing perceived intensity of the tinnitus. Interesting sound shifts attention from the tinnitus to other sounds.
If your tinnitus interferes with your life, causing anxiety, stress and or sleep deprivation, call for an appointment.  It will start with an evaluation of your hearing and tinnitus.  From there we will assess your candidacy for sound therapy and work with you to design and implement a personal management plan including Sound Therapy.  

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, January 26, 2017

Is there anything you can do for ringing in the 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.
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, 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.  Treatment really becomes a matter of managing your reactions to it.
One of the newest approaches for managing 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 constant ringing or humming.

At Advanced Audiology Concepts we use a progressive tinnitus management strategy which begins with a hearing and tinnitus evaluation.  From there we assess the degree of the problem and work with you to design and implement a personal management plan including 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