December, 2016 newsletter

‘Ears to You’ Newsletter

December, 2016

                                                                                                                                                         Volume 11, Issue 3

                                                                                                                                    Editor- Trish Kaminski

         (574) 243-7766              

Notes from the Editor

  The 10th Anniversary/Patient Appreciation Cook-out in August was a huge success!   Our thanks to everyone for joining us and allowing us to show you how special you are to us!   We couldn’t have accomplished this without our wonderful patients!  Thank you so much to those that pitched in to help out – especially Terry & Deb!  You two were amazing!!  



For those of you who have not had the pleasure yet….  We have a new staff member!!   Everyone join us in welcoming Cassie Connor.  Cassie is Chuck’s Audiology Assistant.  We are so very excited to have her join us here and believe that you will come to appreciate her as we do!



I am excited to introduce myself to everyone!  My name is Cassie and I am your new Audiology Assistant.  I am currently in ‘full training mode’ with Chuck.

For the past 10 years I have had the pleasure of working in the Emergency Medical Service field as a Certified Emergency Medical Technician. BUT – that does not mean you have permission to test my skills!!!  LOL.  

I find it an absolute pleasure to help anyone in need and I love being a problem solver. 

On a more personal note, I love trying exotic and spicy food dishes (i.e. Thai and Spanish). 

I am the youngest of 3 siblings and grew up on the northeast side of South Bend.

I look forward to meeting and working with each and every one of you!

The Benefits of Exercise for Hearing Loss

It seems like there is an endless list of benefits that come from exercise, and that list certainly does not exclude your hearing. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help with weight loss, prevent a cornucopia of diseases, boost your mood, boost your energy, promote better sleep and… it can be FUN! OK, so, the list doesn’t directly include hearing loss, but exercise can and will impact your hearing health in a variety of ways.

The study found that those who were more active had a 15% lower risk of hearing loss than those who were less active. Now before you break a hip, don’t take up any fitness regimen that your body can’t handle. Those considered more active in the study just walked at least 2 hours every week. That’s under 20 minutes per day! Those who only walked 1 hour or less each week were considered less active and did not see this benefit. So put on your walkin’ shoes and get out there!

Regular exercise has been shown to prevent many diseases, the most commonly discussed being heart disease and diabetes. Obviously this is a huge benefit in and of itself, but there’s an added bonus. Many diseases, such as diabetes, come with a side helping of an increased risk of hearing loss. So, when you exercise to avoid these health issues, you’re also exercising to decrease your risk of hearing loss. Cheers to that!

It’s nothing new that there’s a strong link between hearing loss and depression. Well – research shows that exercise is an effective but underused treatment for mild to moderate depression. That’s because exercising causes your brain to release feel-good endorphins which automatically boost your mood. In short – exercise can help combat some unpleasant side effects of hearing loss. So make like Hans and Franz on State Farm (or SNL) and pump that iron to pump YOU up!

The benefits of exercise are numerous, and helping your hearing is just one of many more reasons to start, RE-start, or continue living an active lifestyle.

By Alice Stejskal/AUDICUS/January, 2015




Don’t forget about the annual holiday gift drive the children at the YWCA and the elderly shut-ins of St. Joseph County.   I will be collecting items until Friday the 16th. Let’s out-do ourselves from last year and warm the hearts of these children and the elderly shut-ins.    Even the smallest of gifts means so very much to them.  Don’t forget – items must be unwrapped.



Don’t forget that a ‘Dry & Store’ would be a great gift!  It will help extend the life of your hearing instruments


5 Surprising Things That Can Cause Hearing Loss
Over 40 million Americans have hearing loss. And though most people assume hearing loss is related to aging or to noise there are many different ways to get hearing loss, some you might not have considered. In fact, we can think of at least five things that cause hearing loss that might surprise you.
Lyme Disease: File this under bad news on top of bad news. But ticks are not your friends. As warm weather starts to increase across the country, so too does the population of ticks. This increase in ticks, specifically deer ticks, can lead to an increase in Lyme disease; which, in addition to its many other symptoms, can lead to sudden hearing loss and tinnitus.
Osteoporosis: This one surprised us too. New research indicates that people who have osteoporosis have a greater chance of having an incident of sudden hearing loss. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones decline in strength and can be more easily broken.
Sleep Apnea: Don’t let this keep you up at night. Recent studies have linked lack of sleep with hearing loss, and now new studies support the theory that interrupted sleep and hearing problems are related. A study involving nearly 14,000 individuals has found that people with untreated sleep apnea were more likely to have hearing loss.
Antibiotics: They do a lot of good, but there is a down side to antibiotics. In 1928 Richard Flemming discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic. Since then a whole range of antibiotics have been developed to treat bacterial infections and generally make our lives easier. That’s not to say antibiotics haven’t created their own set of problems. Some antibiotics can cause permanent hearing loss.
Stress: The fight or flight response to stressors in the environment played an essential role in the survival of our species. It increased chemicals in the body that allowed for greater speed and strength. But that once necessary reaction to immediate stress is not as beneficial for a modern society that may produce stressors on a daily or hourly basis. This exposure to chronic stress can play a big part in the deterioration of the body. And, as it turns out, chronic stress can actually cause or worsen hearing loss and tinnitus.
It’s true even stress can cause hearing loss. But don’t stress about it. There’s something you can do to keep your ears and hearing at their healthiest and that is to make regular visits to your hearing health provider.


Hearing Impairment Linked To Type 2 Diabetes

A review of studies of possible linkages between type 2 diabetes and hearing impairment concludes there is compelling evidence that diabetes can damage the auditory system, and that clinicians should include hearing testing in managing type 2 diabetes. The survey results were published in an article titled, “Type 2 Diabetes and Hearing Impairment” in the journal, Current Diabetes Reports.

Elizabeth Helzner, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said, “An association between diabetes and hearing impairment in human subjects has been shown in many, but not all, studies. Direct comparison of these studies is complicated due to a lack of consistency in defining hearing impairment and other factors.”

“However, the association between diabetes and hearing impairment tends to be stronger in studies that included younger participants, perhaps because in older samples, other causes of age-related hearing impairment may mask the contribution of diabetes to the impairment. This factor in itself lends weight to the notion that type 2 diabetes can damage hearing.”

Dr. Helzner and her co-author note in the article that the epidemiologic study of the relationship between diabetes and hearing impairment is relatively new. They add that additional studies are needed to see if patients with diabetes are at increased risk of early-onset hearing loss.  These additional studies could also look at whether the progression of hearing loss varies based on diabetes status, as well as certain disease management factors.

Hearing impairment is one of the most pervasive disabling conditions, affecting 16.1 % of adults in the United States. Two thirds of adults have clinically significant hearing impairment by age 70. Hearing impairment has been associated with social isolation and depression, cognitive decline and incident dementia, a higher propensity for falls and hospitalizations, and increased mortality.