Advanced Audiology Concepts shares how to take care of your ears

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Advanced Audiology Concepts The Hearing Center in Mentor notes there is a link between certain diseases and poor health choices and our ability to hear.

By Patricia Nugent

Although most of us associate hearing loss with ripe old age, more and more studies are uncovering a connection between common diseases and your quality of hearing at any age.

“The ear is an organ like any other organ, and its delicate structure can be easily damaged when something goes wrong with the other systems of the body,” says Dr. Jane Kukula, founder of Advanced Audiology Concepts The Hearing Center in Mentor.

“For instance, people who suffer from diabetes are two times more likely to suffer from hearing loss due to the high sugar levels in the blood, which harm the inner ear. It is recommended for anyone diagnosed with diabetes to have a baseline assessment.”

Kidney disease is also associated with an increased risk—54 percent of those affected by this disease have impaired hearing caused by a buildup of toxins in the blood, which damages the ear’s nerves.

“Additionally, many of my patients are surprised to find out that another well-established risk factor for hearing loss is smoking,” says Dr. Jane. “If you don’t get enough oxygen through your lungs, it cannot reach the vascular system, which feeds the tiny sensitive hair cells in the inner ear. Smoking also interferes with the neurotransmitters in the auditory nerve that ‘tell’ the brain the sounds you are hearing. In addition to hearing loss, smoking has conclusively been linked to to tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.”

On the flip side, hearing loss also negatively impacts certain conditions, such as cognitive decline.

“A study that just came out showed that people with dementia who suffer from hearing loss and start wearing aids can significantly slow the rate of decline,” she says. “And another recent study indicated that people in middle age with only mild hearing loss are more apt to suffer from cognitive decline as they age, which is pretty scary.”

On a more positive note, she says that you can help prevent hearing loss by following a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

“Proper nutrition feeds the body to perform at its best,” she says. “All of our systems are related. They rely on each other.”

Advanced Audiology Concepts is located at 8897 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. Call the office to set up an audiogram to see how healthy your hearing is, 440-205-8848, or visit for more information.