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Ear Research Foundation

In 1979, the Ear Research Foundation was established in Sarasota, Florida by President and Founder, Dr. Herbert Silverstein. The Foundation was created out of his desire to continue research and development, and to contribute to medical education in a private setting in the field of Otolaryngology. The non-profit, 501C-3 organization, is registered through the state of Florida.

A board of volunteer Trustees drawn from the community governs the Foundation. A medical advisory board of specialists from around the world lends guidance and support.

Please click here to view a Video about the Ear Research Foundation.

BOARD OF TRUSTEE MEMBERS
Herbert Silverstein, MD, FACS, President
Seth Rosenberg, MD, FACS, Vice President
Geoffrey Frazier, CFP, CLU
T. Raymond Suplee, CPA, Treasurer
Jack J. Wazen, MD, FACS, VP/Director of Research
Barbara Corbett
Charles Desenberg
Geoffrey Frazier
Charles Githler III
Eileen Hampshire
Brad Lerner, MD
Edward Ogiba
Robert Tufts
Jennifer Moss, APR, CPRC, Executive Director

The Ear Research Foundation Has Three Functional Goals:

Research and Development: Under the auspices of the Foundation, research continues advancements in microsurgery of the ear, the testing of new drugs and therapies for hearing loss and balance disorders, and new understanding of otologic disease processes.

Education: In addition to publications and lectures resulting from research initiatives, the Foundation maintains a complete microsurgical laboratory, and an audiovisual and scientific library for ear physicians and surgeons. Annual professional symposia and public lectures are offered covering a variety of common and unusual ear conditions. The Foundation also produces numerous free brochures and other informational media (such as this website).

Thirty-seven doctors have been trained in a one-year, post residency, fellowship training program. Many of the graduates are in academic medicine and leaders in the field of Otology and Neurotology. Also, fifteen residents from the University of Pennsylvania have trained through sponsorship from the Ear Research Foundation at Florida Ear and Sinus Center. One of these residents, Todd Rowan, M.D., advanced to the post-graduate fellowship program.

Treatment: Free and Sliding Scale Clinic for those in need. The Foundation provides free and sliding scale clinic rates to help low-income children and individuals gain treatment with verifiable financial need. Each patient is reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine ability to pay. Many patients are referred through agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Children's Medical Services, County Health Departments and others. Physicians donate their time treating patients and providing quality care. The Ear Research Foundation, Inc., has partnered with the SERTOMA Speech & Hearing Foundation to provide hearing aids to individuals who have hearing loss and cannot afford hearing aids. The Ear Research Foundation also raises special focus funds to assist in financing care for specific needs.

You Can Become a Part of This Worthy Organization

The Ear Research Foundation exists through the generosity of many individuals following the example of its founder. Tax-deductible donations underwrite the work of the Foundation and allow it to expand its important outreach. Donations are welcomed in any denomination, and opportunities for special recognition exist.

If you would like to acknowledge the value of the information made available to you through this free media, you may make a tax-exempt donation to:

Ear Research Foundation
1901 Floyd Street
Sarasota, Florida 34239
941-365-0367

By donating $25 or more you qualify to receive a free CD of light Jazz produced by Dr. Herbert Silverstein. Click here to see a list his CDs, read reviews, and listen to individual tracks
You can become a part of this worthy organization.

The Ear Research Foundation, Inc. (ERF) exists through the generosity of many individuals. Tax-deductible donations underwrite the work of the Foundation which allow it to expand its important outreach. All gifts qualify the donor to receive the Foundation's Annual Report as well as other mailings. See "Giving Options" below for a list of ways to donate.

Donations are welcomed in any denomination. You may make a secure, online, tax-deductible donation to the Ear Research Foundation, Inc. on this website or if you prefer, you may donate by mail to:

Ear Research Foundation
1901 Floyd Street
Sarasota, FL 34239 USA

You may also contact Jennifer Moss, APR, Executive Director of the Ear Research Foundation at (941)365-0367 or jmoss@earsinus.com. Another option is to visit www.herbsilverstein.com to obtain a free jazz CD and make a SECURE ONLINE donation benefitting the Ear Research Foundation.

Help Us Hear Campaign

HUHsmallIn March 2012, ERF unveiled the "Help Us Hear" Campaign with a mission to educate the public on the various treatment options for hearing loss and to provide funds for hearing aids and implants for those who cannot afford them. This is a collaborative initiative bringing together the resources of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota, Audiology Management Group, and various leaders in the hearing equipment industry along with generous and caring individuals in our community. Approximately 16.1% of the population in Sarasota and Manatee counties has hearing loss. While senior citizens are affected the most, recent national studies show that hearing loss among teens and college students is on the increase. 4 out of 5 hearing impaired individuals who need treatment and support do not get it.

The goal of the Help Us Hear Campaign is to raise funds to:
1. Educate the public on the incidence & impact of hearing loss on the individual, the family & society.
2. Educate the public on the prevention of & then treatment options for hearing loss. Because with today’s advanced technologies & the numerous options for help, living with deafness is a personal choice & not a must anymore.
3. Provide financially eligible candidates with hearing aids, surgical reconstructions, or implants, because the gift of hearing should be made available to all, not only to those who can afford it.

We hope that you will help us to provide the gift of hearing. We thank you, and the hearing impaired community thanks you. To make a donation to the Help Us Hear Campaign click on the donate button to the right of this page or call 941-365-0367.
 

Joseph William Godbout (1929-2013) Memorial Fund

Joseph GodboutBorn in Chicago, Illinois, Joseph William Godbout was the 7th of thirteen children. Just over 62 years ago, he and his wife Margaret (Marge) were married. Joe was an integral business owner in Calumet Park, Illinois where his EZ Go Service Station was known as the place to go for a fair deal and a helping hand. Joe and Marge retired to Bonita Springs, FL in 1991 where they became contributors to the Ear Research Foundation. After Joe's recent passing, the family (including their daughter Donna and son-in-law Steve), designated this fund to continue Joe's desire to help those who cannot hear and thank you for your donations.



Jeffrey Russell Memorial Fund

Russell_Jeffrey

This fund was establilshed to honor long time ERF Board Chairman, Jeffrey Russell. Jeff had been instrumental in assisting Dr. Silverstein with the establishment of the Ear Research Foundation in 1979. He prepared and filed all of the legal documents necessary to incorporate and obtain 501c3 non-profit status for ERF. He then served as board chairman for the subsequent 33 years. Jeff's leadership and insight will be greatly missed. In his honor, this fund will help support the continuing mission of the Ear Research Foundation—Research, Education and Community Outreach.



Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program

Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program

  The Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program began in December 2004 with a generous donation to the Ear Research Foundation from Gloria and Louis Flanzer. The Flanzers donated a $50,000 for the purpose of providing free hearing tests for children in Sarasota County. The Ear Research Foundation recognizes that hearing issues present challenges during a child’s development. Vital years of learning are jeopardized if a child’s hearing loss goes undetected. We are firm believers in early intervention. The ultimate goal is to identify the hearing loss early, so that the child’s development is not interrupted or delayed. We now partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County to ensure that all Pre-K children are screened prior to entering Kindergarten. The hearing tests are provided on-site at day-care facilities, preschools, and charter schools. The test itself consists of an oto-acoustic emissions test where the audiologist holds a hand-held piece of equipment (similar to an ear thermometer) to the child’s ear. Thirty seconds later, the machine provides a print-out of the function of the cochlea. The audiologist will also perform a tympanometry test to measure middle ear pressure and detect if fluid is present. A standard audiogram is performed on older children. The Ear Research Foundation brings state of the art equipment to the facility. If a child fails a hearing test, that child is referred to their Pediatrician, ENT or the Ear Research Foundation clinic for further testing and treatment. The Ear Research Foundation is also available to nonprofit organizations for free hearing tests. The Ear Research Foundation is the non-profit division of the Silverstein Institute whose mission is to perform research, and to provide education and community service. For more information or to schedule a group hearing test for your center, please contact Jennifer Moss at (941) 365-0367.  

Jane Malesardi Memorial Fund

"The Ear Research Foundation is a wonderful organization that provides vital services to the local community. The Jane Malesardi Memorial Fund will help them expand the good work that is being done!" Barbara Corbett: Realtor-Associate with Michael Saunders and Company, a licensed real estate broker, has established the Jane Malesardi Memorial Fund for the Ear Research Foundation. Barbara and her husband, David, have been contributors and friends of the Ear Research Foundation for a number of years. Donations to the Fund will support the Hearing Outreach Program as well as the Foundation's many other children's hearing programs including the free and sliding scale ear treatment clinic. Welcoming the Millennium - A New Era, New Facilities The Foundation Board of Trustees have moved into the Ear Research Foundation wing of the state-of-the-art research facility on the campus of the Silverstein Institute. The 20,000 square-foot Silverstein Institute building, designed by architect David Tichenor, AIA, houses a laboratory, multi-media library, conference room, administrative office space and a spacious meeting room/theater. Opportunities are still available to sponsor or endow technical furnishings for the building. Financial or equipment gifts will receive prominent acknowledgment in the building.  Click here to request additional information!  

Support ERF by Ordering Jazz Tapes and CD’S!

Available through the Ear Research Foundation are numerous CDs of light Jazz produced by Dr. Herbert Silverstein. Enjoy our gift of any one of the titles with your tax-deductible contribution of $25 to the ERF.  Click here to learn more!  

Giving Options

A variety of giving options are provided below which help meet the Ear Research Foundation's goals and provide tax savings for you, as the donor. The information provided is basic and we encourage you to discuss details with your legal and financial advisors.

Cash
A gift of cash is the simplest way to support ERF. A cash gift is fully tax deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income for the year in which the gift is made and provides immediate support to ERF.

Securities
Gifts of securities are tax deductible at their fair market value up to 20% of your adjusted gross income for the year in which the gift is made. In addition, if a gift is made of appreciated securities, no tax is paid on the capital gain.

Bequest
A bequest to ERF is as simple as a codicil to your will. This is a common planned gift and it may provide you with valuable estate tax savings.
BEQUESTS CAN BE IN THE FORM OF:
  • Stated dollar amount or specific property;
  • Percentage of the estate tax;
  • Portion or all of the residue

Life Insurance
One of the simplest ways to make a significant contribution is to give a life insurance policy to ERF. This may be accomplished by donating a policy no longer needed, taking out a new policy or naming ERF as a beneficiary of an existing policy. A gift of life insurance may provide valuable income and estate tax savings.

Charitable Gift Annuity
A charitable gift annuity allows you to contribute assets to ERF and receive an income tax charitable deducation. In turn, we will provide you with a guaranteed income for life (the payout varies depending upon your age and other factors). This vehicle can ease the worries of outliving financial resources by providing a high income coupled with numerous tax advantages.

Charitable Remainder Trust
A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) allows you to establish a trust for the ultimate benefit of ERF, while retaining the income generated by the assets given. A CRT may help you eliminate capital gains taxes, reduce or eliminate estate taxes, improve lifetime cash flow, and when coupled with an asset replacement trust, will provide for heirs as well.

Pooled Income Fund
A pooled income fund works much like a mutual fund. You receive a variable amount of income each year and these assets go ultimately to ERF. This type of fund is especially attractive if you would like to contribute less than $50,000, receive a variable annual income and still receive all of the tax benefits of a charitable donation.

Retirement Accounts
Qualified retirement plan accounts are subjected to layers of taxation (i.e., estate tax, federal income tax and state income tax). For some accounts, the combination of these taxes can be as high as 75-85 percent. The 25-15 percent your heirs would have received may be replaced with an asset replacement trust. Numerous other innovative retirement planning giving opportunities exist, and we would be happy to provide additional assistance upon request.

Charitable Lead Trust
This trust allows you to provide income to ERF for a fixed number of years. The remainder is then returned to you or to your named beneficiary - your heirs, for example.

Life Estate
If you own valuable property that you would like to use during your lifetime, but make arrangement to give it to ERF upon death, you may receive a current income tax deduction and future estate tax deduction.

Other
ERF can devise a philanthropic plan that may include various gift assets, such as closely held stock (private or restricted stock), qualified or non-qualified stock options, or family limited partnership interests.

Program Related links:


The Ear Research Foundation (ERF) established one of the first Clinical Fellowship's in the field of Otolaryngology in the United States. The Fellowship is in its 28th successful year and is a one-year program for board eligible Otolaryngologists. The post-graduate Fellows gain specialized training and cutting edge experience in the field of Otolaryngology.

The ERF Fellowship is a very active program with a great deal of "hands-on" training. Under the auspices of Dr. Herbert Silverstein, Dr. Seth Rosenberg and Dr. Jack Wazen, each Fellow treats private patients in the Florida Ear and Sinus Center and indigent patients referred by the Ear Research Foundation. They also assist in surgeries. Fellows take emergency room call on a rotating basis with other ENTphysicians in Sarasota and for Dr. Silverstein. Each Fellow also conducts research and documentation for several research papers during their tenure.

Fellows have access through the ERF to a complete microsurgical laboratory.  They also have access to an audiovisual and scientific library for ear physicians and surgeons.

The History of the Ear Research Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Herbert Silverstein founded the Ear Research Foundation (ERF) in 1979 with three main goals: research, education and treatment through community service. As part of the education commitment, the fellowship program was established in 1983.

Dr. Jack Wazen, the first fellow, was sent by the late Dr. Max Abramson of Columbia University to be trained for an academic position at Columbia Medical Center. Upon the completion of his fellowship, Dr. Wazen went on to become the director of Otology/Neurotology at Columbia for a period of ten years.  Dr. Wazen has since returned to Sarasota and joined the Silverstein Institute as a partner in 2006.

As of 2011, 37 fellows have graduated the one-year program. Some years, two fellows would be in training at the same time.  During the last few years the program has remained booked two years in advance.

In the last few years, certain fellowships have become certified and require a two-year commitment. These fellowships are essentially an extension of the residency program. The Ear Research Foundation decided not to apply for certification and will remain a one-year program.

The SERF’s Up group was formed in 1985. This acronymn stands for the Society of Ear Research Foundation Fellows. Honorary members include, Dr. John Shea Jr and the recently deceased Dr. Jean Bernard Causse. SERFs Up tries to meet twice a year; at the AAO and in another place for a weekend of educational interchange and fellowship.

The ERF Clinical Fellowship is a very didactic year and provides the fellows with a great deal of hands-on surgery under the supervision Dr’s Silverstein, Rosenberg and Wazen. The fellow also has his own clinic several days a week during which time he sees both private and indigent patients.

One evening per week there is a fellow teaching conference during which we discuss difficult cases and various research projects. There is open communication with the teaching staff. Research is both encouraged and performed by each fellow in the form of record review and writing as well as presenting their project at a national meeting. At times, prospective studies are being conducted.

Since the inception of this program, over 200 scientific papers have been published by the fellows and staff.

All the fellows have graduated to become contributing members of the medical community.

Eight are in the Triological Society, 5 are in the American Otological Society. One is writing his thesis now. Ten are in academic medicine. Many are in private practice with a University affiliation.

Many of the graduates give teaching courses at the AAO. Some of them have achieved national recognition. Dr. Raleigh Jones has been Chairman of Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Kentucky since he graduated the fellowship in 1988. Dr’s Jack Wazen, Tom Haberkamp, Michael Seidman, Michael Hoffer, Eric Smouha, Hayes Wanamaker, and Seth Rosenberg are all well-known nationally.

In the early days of the fellowship, 15 to 20 vestibular neurectomies were being performed a year. About the same number of acoustic neuroma resections were also being done.

Now, with the changes in managed care that emphasize cost effectiveness and both minimal and conservative surgery, fewer skull base cases are being performed. Chronic ear surgery, stapes surgery, minimally invasive office surgery, and inner ear perfusions with gentamicin and dexamethasone make up the majority of cases now.

In summary, the ERF program has been very successful in fulfilling its mission and will continue to offer the program as long as there is an interest in a non-certified one-year fellowship program.

EAR RESEARCH FOUNDATION - CURRENT RESEARCH STUDIES AND PROJECTS

1. Dr. Herbert Silverstein

Reinforcement of the round window membrane and/or oval window to reduce perilymph motion in Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS)

2. Dr. Herbert Silverstein

Otonomy Study - FDA Trial: Treatment of Unilateral Meniere's Disease

3. Dr. Herbert Silverstein & Dr. Jack Wazen

Clinical Trial of the Vibrant Soundbridge as a treatment for Conductive and Mixed hearing losses, using Direct Round Window Cochlear Stimulation

4. Dr. Herbert Silverstein and Dr. Jack Wazen

Chronic Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Survey

5. Dr. Jack Wazen

Clinical Evaluation of the Nucleus 5 Cochlear Implant

6. Dr. Jack Wazen

BI300 Implant System: Three Week Loading Study

7. Dr. Jack Wazen

Patient Satisfaction and Complications in Patients who have undergone implantation of a Bone Anchored Hearing Apparatus (BAHA)

8. Dr. Jack Wazen

Clinical Study of the Oticon Medical Ponto 4.5mm Wide Implant

9. Dr. Jack Wazen

Evaluation of the Oticon Bone Conduction Bone Anchored Hearing System for patients with Single-Sided Deafness (SSD)

10. Dr. Jack Wazen

Fully implantable MET (Middle Ear Transducer) Ossicular Stimulator Clinical Trial (Otologics LLC)

11. Dr. Jack Wazen

Evaluation of the benefits of bimodal hearing in patients with severe sensorineural hearing loss, wearing a cochlear implant on the one side and the MAXUM System on the other

12. Dr. Jack Wazen

Bone Anchored Hearing Devices and Tinnitus Control in patients with Single-Sided Deafness (SSD)

13.Dr. Jack Wazen

BA400-Hydroxy Apatile Coated Abutment

14. Dr. Jack Wazen

CI 422 - Wider indications for Cochlear Implants

15. Dr. Jack Wazen

Auris Study - FDA Study: Treatment of Acute Peripheral Tinnitus

16. Dr. Seth Rosenberg

Acclarent Study - FDA trial for Balloon Dilatation of Eustachian Tube for patients with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Ear Research Foundation is the 501c3 nonprofit division of the Silverstein Institute. Here are some of the many programs we support to give back to the community:

Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program

  • Providing free hearing screenings to Sarasota County Pre-K children in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
  • ECHCOS Ear Clinic and Hearing Center of Sarasota -Providing free and sliding scale ear care for children with little or no insurance

 

Help Us Hear Campaign

In March 2012, ERF unveiled the new “Help Us Hear” Campaign with a mission to educate the public on the various treatment options for hearing loss and to provide funds for hearing aids and implants for those who cannot afford them.

This is a collaborative initiative bringing together the resources of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota, Audiology Management Group, and various leaders in the hearing equipment industry along with generous and caring individuals in our community.

Approximately 16.1% of the population in Sarasota and Manatee counties has hearing loss. While senior citizens are affected the most, recent national studies show that hearing loss among teens and college students is on the increase. 4 out of 5 hearing impaired individuals who need treatment and support do not get it.

 

SERTOMA Speech & Hearing Foundation

  • Providing Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids as payor of last resort to those meeting financial eligibility
  • www.familyhearinghelp.org

 

Free Community Lecture Series

  • Meniere's Disease
  • Balance & Dizziness Disorders
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Tinnitus
  • New Technology & Hearing Devices

 

ERF Fellowship Training Program

  • Minimally Invasive Otologic Surgery Course
  • BAHA Hands-On Workshop

 

Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program

The Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program began in December 2004 with a generous donation to the Ear Research Foundation from Gloria and Louis Flanzer. The Flanzers donated a $50,000 for the purpose of providing free hearing tests for children in Sarasota County. This program was supplemented in 2005 with a $10,000 grant from the Bank of America Client Foundation through our local Selby Foundation.  We currently partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County to ensure that all pre-K children are screened prior to entering Kindergarten.

The Ear Research Foundation recognizes that hearing issues present challenges during a child’s development. Vital years of learning are jeopardized if a child’s hearing loss goes undetected. We are firm believers in early intervention. The ultimate goal is to identify any hearing loss early so that the child’s development is not interrupted or delayed.

The hearing test is provided on-site at day-care facilities, preschools, and charter schools. The test itself consists of an oto-acoustic emissions test where the audiologist holds a hand-held piece of equipment (similar to an ear thermometer) to the child’s ear. Thirty seconds later, the machine provides a print-out of the function of the cochlea. The audiologist will also perform a tympanometry test to measure middle ear pressure and detect if fluid is present. A standard audiogram is performed on older children.

The Ear Research Foundation brings state of the art equipment to the facility. If a child fails a hearing test, that child is referred to their physician or can contact the Ear Research Foundation clinic for further testing and treatment.

Ear Research Foundation is also available to any nonprofit organization to provide free hearing tests. The Ear Research Foundation is the non-profit division of the Silverstein Institute whose mission is to perform research and to provide education and community service.

For more information or to schedule a group hearing test for your center, please contact Jennifer Moss, Executive Director, at 941-365-0367.

 

Hearing Aid Recycling

The ERF works with the SERTOMA Speech and Hearing Foundation of Florida to recycle your old hearing aids and receive credits toward new devices for local children and adults in need. Although the credits help, there is still more demand for assistance then credited new hearing aids to provide.  Please contact us if you would like to contribute hearing aids, or make a financial contribution to provide a world of sound to those faced with a hearing impairment.

 

Hearing Screening

The ERF provides free hearing screening in cooperation with health fairs, civic and non-profit organizations. Over 35,000 children and adults have been screened for hearing problems since the inception of the program. Senior centers, daycare centers, Boys and Girls clubs, schools and others have worked with the ERF to deliver the screenings. Qualified physicians, medical personnel and audiologists donate their time to help identify any potential problems early. An annual hearing screening is a recommended as a continuing practice to maintain good hearing health.

 

Meniere's Symposium

This symposium on Ménière's disease, dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders is held several times a year in Sarasota, FL.  A myriad of experts share information on the disease process, treatments and surgeries to combat the debilitating effects of Ménière's and its related symptoms. Speakers and a patient panel interact with the audience to answer questions and share experiences. If you are interested in attending the Ménière's Symposium, call 941-365-0367. The Symposium is free to the public. Please make your reservations early, as space fills quickly.

 

Speakers Bureau

The ERF maintains a speakers bureau to provide information about the Foundation. If you would like a foundation representative to present to your group, please contact us.

Acoustic Nerve The eighth cranial nerve, the nerve concerned with hearing and balance.
Amplitude The height of a sound wave, as associated with the loudness of a sound.
Ampulla The swelling at the base of each semicircular canal, containing sensory cells which detect movement of the fluid within the canals.
Anvil One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also called the incus.
Assistive Device Any device other than a hearing aid which helps the hearing impaired.
Audiogram Agraph depicting the ability to hear sounds at different frequencies.
Audiologist Aperson trained in the science of hearing and hearing impairments, who can administer tests and help in the rehabilitation of hearing-impaired people.
Audiometry The measurement of hearing acuity.
Auditory Nerve The nerve carrying electrical signals from the inner ear to the base of the brain.
Auricle Outer flap of the ear. Also called the pinna.
Basilar Membrane Thin sheet of material which vibrates in response to movements in the liquid that fills the cochlea.
Bony Labyrinth The cavity in the skull which contains the inner ear mechanism.
Brainstem Testing Measures hearing sensitivity without requiring responses from very young patients or persons who are unable to communicate.
Bone Conduction The conduction of sound waves through reverberations of the mastoid bone to the inner ear.
CC (Closed Captioned) Abroadcast television program that includes a signal which produces descriptive subtitles on the screen. Requires CC converter.
Cerumen Ear wax.
Cochlea Shaped like a snail's shell, this organ of the inner ear contains the Organ of Corti, from which eighth nerve fibers send hearing signals to the brain.
Cochlear Implant Replacement of part or all of the function of the inner ear.
Conductive Hearing Loss Hearing loss caused by a problem of the outer or middle ear, resulting in the inability of sound to be conducted to the inner ear.
Congenital Hearing Loss Hearing loss that is present from birth which may or may not be hereditary.
Cortex That surface of the brain where sensory information is processed.
Crista Sensory cells within the semicircular canals which detect fluid movement.
Cupola Jelly-like covering of the sensory hairs in the ampullae of the semicircular canals which responds to movement in the surrounding fluid and assists in maintaining balance .
Cycles (per second) Measurement of frequency, or a sound's pitch.
Decibel Measurement of the volume or loudness of a sound.
Ear Canal The short tube which conducts sound from the outer ear to the eardrum.
Eardrum Membrane separating outer ear from middle ear: the tympanum.
Eustachian Tube Tube running from the nasal cavity to the middle ear. Helps maintain sinus and middle ear pressure, protecting the ear drum.
Frequency The number of vibrations per second of a sound.
Hammer One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also called the malleus.
Impedance Audiometry Test for measuring the ability to hear sound waves transmitted through bone.
Incus One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer to the cochlea. Also called the anvil.
Inner Ear The portion of the ear, beginning at the oval window, which transmits sound signals the brain and helps maintain balance. Consists of the cochlea and vestibular apparatus.
Labyrinthitis Aviral infection in the vestibular canal which may cause vertigo.
Macula Within the organs of balance, area containing sensory cells which measure head position.
Malleus One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also called the hammer.
Mastoid The bone in which the entire ear mechanism is housed. Part of the larger temporal bone.
Meniere's Disease Acondition resulting from fluid buildup in the inner ear, leading to episodes of hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo.
Middle Ear The portion of the ear between the eardrum and the oval window which transmits sound to the inner ear. Consists of the hammer, anvil and stirrup.
Nerve Loss Deafness Aterm used to differentiate inner-ear problems from those of the middle ear.
Organ of Corti The organ, located in the cochlea, which contains the hair cells that actually transmit sound waves from the ear through the auditory nerve to the brain.
Ossicles Collective name for the three bones of the middle ear: hammer, anvil and stirrup.
Otoliths Stone-like particles in the macula which aid in our awareness of gravity and movement.
Otosclerosis Aconductive hearing loss caused when the middle ear no longer transmits sound properly from the eardrum to the inner ear.
Otitis Media Infection of the middle ear.
Otology Branch of medicine concentrating on diseases of the ear.
Outer Ear The external portion of the ear which collects sound waves and directs them into the ear. Consists of the pinna (auricle) and the ear canal and is separated from the middle ear by the eardrum.
Oval Window Membrane that vibrates, transmitting sound into the cochlea. Separates the middle ear from the inner ear.
Perilymph Watery liquid that fills the outer tubes running through the cochlea.
Pinna The outer, visible part of the ear, also called the auricle.
Presbycusis Ahereditary sensorineural hearing loss that comes with aging.
Saccule Inner ear area which contains some of the organs that measure position and gravity .
Semicircular Canals Curved tubes containing fluid, movement of which makes us aware of turning sensations as the head moves.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss Hearing loss resulting from an inner ear problem.
Sound Wave Alternating low and high pressure areas, moving through the air which are interpreted as sound when collected in the ear.
Stapes One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also called the stirrup.
Stirrup One of three bones of the middle ear that help transmit sound waves from the outer ear to the cochlea. Also called the stapes.
Tectorial Membrane Thin strip of membrane in contact with sensory hairs which sound vibrations move producing nerve impulses. In the Organ of Corti.
Tinnitus Ringing or buzzing in the ears.
TTY (phone device) Dialog is achieved at any distance as words, typed into a TTY, are converted to phone signals and appear, or are printed, as words on a receiving TTY machine.
Tympanum Membrane separating outer ear from middle ear: the eardrum.
Vertigo The sensation of moving or spinning while actually sitting or lying still.
Vestibular Apparatus Part of the cochlea concerned with maintaining balance.
Wave Length Distance between the peaks of successive sound waves.
White Noise Asound, such as running water, which masks all speech sounds.

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