Woman holding her face in pain from an ear ache

Shingles of the ear?

Often a celebrity will unintentionally bring a medical condition to the public eye. Singer Cher introduced many fans to Epstein-Barr Syndrome. Serena Williams has Sjogren’s Syndrome. Selena Gomez had people talking about Lupus and auto-immune disease, and Magic Johnson made HIV more real to millions of basketball fans. In recent news, singer Justin Bieber has caused a rise in internet …

Man with sudden hearing loss

Dealing with Sudden Loss of Hearing

You wake up one morning and something is different. Your ear feels plugged. Perhaps you switched ears on your phone and cannot hear out of one side. You need more volume to hear the news report. Your ear buds only work on one side. Is this normal? What could it be? What can be done? Sudden loss of hearing affects …

Ear plugs

A Plug for Ear Plugs

It is well known that loud sounds damage hearing. Many adults are at risk. Ear infections resulting in tubes are common in young children through adulthood. What do these facts have in common? Both result in ears that need protection, from loud noises or from water in the ears. There are now several styles of ear plugs designed to protect …

Graphic of a head

Hearing and Brain Health

A recent “hot topic” in hearing research is the link between hearing ability and cognition. “Cognition” refers to the brain’s ability to gather information, store it, make sense of it and solve problems. The National Institute of Aging sponsored research that found adults with hearing loss were more likely to have dementia and other signs of cognitive decline. Adults with …

man plugging his ears

How loud is too loud?

When we meet a new patient, we look for risk factors. One of our questions involves past exposure to loud sounds. Most people are aware loudness damages hearing. Naturally, it is good for people to be cautious about what they expose their ears to. What causes the damage? How does the damage happen? Is it normal to have this damage? …

Military parents holding child

A Unique Disability

Recently a patient told us a story that was intended as humor but carried a sad undertone. He has been dealing with hearing loss since leaving the military. Over the years his hearing has decreased slowly. His wife and family have been with him over 40 years. The patient said, “You know, hearing loss is supposed to be a disability, …

a woman having her ears checked by an audiologist

Sudden Loss of Hearing. What Should You Do?

You wake up one day, and something has changed. You sense you can’t hear out of one ear. It feels plugged, and you’re only really hearing from one side. Perhaps it bothers you a whole day. You reassure yourself it will pass. But will it? Is this normal? Should you take action? How long should you wait? Sudden loss of …

doctor-examining-ear-of-senior-man

Is there a link between COVID/vaccines and tinnitus?

Any time a new medical treatment arrives, researchers look for side effects. We are all familiar with the term. We may research side effects when we begin something new or feel ill. Many people substitute medications if they are feeling bad effects of their current regimen. The drug commercials remind us daily of the risks involved in taking medications. Over …

sounds waves entering an ear illustration

Can phase cancellation treat tinnitus?

Tinnitus is phantom noise perception. It is a sound that is heard without coming from the outside world. It can be a ring, buzz, hiss, hum, chirp, music or other sounds. It is experienced by at least 50 million Americans. Patients’ reactions to tinnitus range from a minor nuisance to a major disruption in daily life and severe distress. Is …

boy at an audiologist having ear wax removed

Managing Earwax

A recent hot topic in our field is ear wax. What is this mysterious substance? Is it normal? How do we manage it? Our ear canals provide a path for sound to reach our eardrums. This is how we receive sounds. Anything that could block this pathway can make it harder to hear. It can also cause our ears to …