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Can I be frank about something?

I’ve recently had the worst summer cold ever, which started as a sore throat (for which my doctor gave me antibiotics), which worsened and then proceeded to make me bed ridden the entire long weekend +1. In this midst of all the this fun and excitement (ugh I felt like a bag of sand) both of my eardrums perforated. Ruptured. Tore.

I’ve now been without a significant portion of my hearing for 3 days. This is what’s called a conductive hearing loss.

con·duc·tive
kənˈdəktiv/
adjective
adjective: conductive
  1. having the property of conducting something (especially heat or electricity or sound).
    “to induce currents in conductive coils”
    • of or relating to conduction.

My hearing will gradually find its way back to me with the help of my Doctor’s magic drops and time, as my eardrums heal I should get my hearing back. It can take 8+ weeks to heal on its own. If it doesn’t, I need a referral to see an Otolaryngologist if my ear drums don’t heal on their own and I still have a significant hearing loss.

Here are the things that I have noticed since I’ve been for all tense and purposes placed in a sound proof bubble:

  1. Everything makes noise. My pen on the desk, my dogs’ nails on the floor. The neighbor’s car door, my car, my phone. I never really noticed how noisy the world was before – now that its gone the silence is deafening. Poof. Gone. The most bizarre sensation in the world is standing in the shower (with my ears protected from water) and not hearing the water fall. Bizarre. Like, I laughed out loud about it. I can’t hear the keys right now as I type, but I know they are making noise. So if a tree falls in a forest, it does make a sound.
  2. People suck at communication skills. I like to think that because of where I work, I may be an exception… But in general, when you tell people that you can’t hear them, they continue talking at the same volume and pitch they were speaking before, they make no greater effort for you to hear them out. i.e. my Doctor yesterday kept turning away from me when she was talking. And I would have to ask her repeat herself. Over. And Over. And Over. Look at me, because the pieces of the puzzle that I can’t hear can be filled in by my looking at your beautiful face!
  3. There’s a lot of noise in my head. Every inhale, every exhale. Every bite I chew. Every hair I comb, every time I move my head or jaw. Clearing my throat is loud. My stomach growling woke me out of a cold and sinus drug addled sleep. This is all a symptom of conductive hearing loss, and it is obnoxious that I can’t hear much that goes on on the outside of my own head. Everything on the inside… LOUD. Part of it of course is because I don’t hear anything else, its not drowning out the sound of my swallowing.
  4. I’m exhausted. Now that the general malaise is gone from my illness and it took some hearing with it, everything I do is a struggle and I’m exhausted trying to read people, struggle on the phone with all the fantastic people who call me (that’s you!) and it makes me tired. My brain is working too hard to compensate.
  5. Tinnitus is real. My particular tinnitus is pulsatile tinnitus, I can hear my heartbeat. Its not a sound that anyone else can hear, every heartbeat I hear loud and clear in my head. Every last one. Over. And Over. And Over. I wake up and its there. I try to sleep and its there. I can’t mask this with another sound, because I can’t hear that either. This will go away when my hearing comes back and I hear other things than what is happening in my head. I hope.

So that’s that. The first thing I said to Bernice and Paige when my hearing hopped a train was ‘I can’t understand why hearing aids don’t sell themselves’. So if I might be frank, this not hearing all the sounds is no joke. My hearing loss happened suddenly and traumatically so of course, I noticed all the sounds gone at once, not gradually like everyone else. None the less, this has been a real eye opener. I can’t imagine why anyone would not want to hear the sounds of life.

I’m frantic to get a piece of those sounds back. 8+ weeks seems so far away.

~melissa

 

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Protect your ears this summer

The summer season is fast upon us, and so are all the fun summer activities! We’d like to take a minute to remind you of how important it is to remember that some of the fun things you do could have an irreversible effect of your hearing.

  1. Yard Work: A well groomed yard shouldn’t lead to hearing loss as you age. Protect your hearing from lawn mowers, weed whippers, chain saws and leaf blowers!
  2. Fireworks: The beautiful displays of fireworks can damage your hearing. Ringing in at up to 125dB, that’s enough to permanently cause a threshold shift. Remember your children’s ears as well at fireworks time.
  3. Sporting Events & Concerts: The loud cheers at your favorite ballpark (Go Tigers!) and summer concerts can last up to 3 hours. On average, the sound levels can reach 95dB+. That duration and intensity of sound may result in tinnitus the next day – that’s your ears’ way of telling you they were overexposed to sound.
  4. Boats and Motorcycles: Its not just the engine noise that can harm your hearing – wind noise can be the culprit! Consult our audiologists for custom hearing protection that will still allow you to hear the important sounds around you while riding and boating safely.

Make sure you get outside and enjoy all of the super activities that are part of summer traditions, but please – PROTECT THOSE EARS! If you are experiencing ringing, buzzing or fullness in your ears this summer, consult our Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists!

 

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Thank you Essex for your Support!

It’s Food Bank day at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic!

THANK YOU Essex County for your support of our non-perishable food donations to The Essex Area Food Bank.

We had set a goal of 500lbs to collect for those in our community who are in need of our help, doing hearing tests in exchange for non-perishable food items. We are happy to report that we have SMASHED that goal with at least twice what we had hoped! You brought everything from noodles to beans, rice to corn meal and cereal and baby food.

Please call if you are in need of your annual hearing screening. For a limited time, our Doctors of Audiology will provide complimentary adult hearing screenings for a canned food donation. Call today to arrange your appointment at (519) 961-9285

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The Hurdles to Getting Hearing Aids

A New York Times blog posted this morning struck a cord with us here at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic. (Click here to read it.)

Jane Brody writes that

Hearing loss is usually gradual, and people often fail to recognize when it becomes severe enough to warrant hearing aids. Some deny that they have a problem, and instead accuse others of mumbling when they know people are talking but can’t understand what is being said. Still others regard hearing aids as unattractive devices that make them feel and look old in a society that prizes youthfulness.

We see this every day. Mostly those who could benefit from a hearing aid value their vanity over communication with family and friends.

What many people with hearing loss don’t realize is that the signs of the untreated hearing loss are more noticeable to others than hearing aids.

If you feel you are having trouble communicating or are isolating yourself socially because of your hearing trouble, give us a call. We would be happy to walk you over perceived hurdles. Our Doctors of Audiology are here to help. (519) 961-9285

 

 

 

 

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Did you know that your allergies can harm your hearing?

GESUNDHEIT!

With the beautiful weather comes ALLERGY SEASON!

Did you know that your seasonal allergies can affect your hearing? Histamines can cause inflamed nasal passages – which causes excess mucus production, which in turn can cause a Eustachian tube dysfunction. This can create a conductive hearing loss. For some, this can create a blocked feeling or pressure in their ears. Then its time for a hearing test!

Treating your allergies should reduce these symptoms, but if you feel discomfort in your ears even while taking allergy medication you should see a doctor. The longer you live with the discomfort the more damage you are doing to the structures in your ear!

Allergies have you feeling like your ears are blocked or plugged? Schedule an appointment to see our Audiologist! (519) 961-9285

http://www.hearinglab.com/blog/tag/allergy-season/

Our Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists, Paige Pierozynski & Bernice McKenzie

What is an Audiologist?

Continuing with our post-per-day vow through the month of May for Better Hearing Month, we decided to tell you who and what we are! We’re Audiologists!

At The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, we are happy to have two Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists – Paige Pierozynski & Bernice McKenzie – to help you with your hearing & balance needs.

An Audiologist is a healthcare practitioner with a special interest in your ears. Our expertise includes the prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of auditory and balance disorders; and provide care to all age groups from infants to the elderly.

We like how this Audiologist explains the differences between practitioners that you may see about your ears or hearing and why you should choose an Audiologist.

If you or someone you know has a problem with their hearing, experiences tinnitus, vertigo or imbalance – we’d be glad to offer our services and experience to you. We are open Monday through Friday, and are independently and locally owned.

Please call (519) 961-9285 to schedule an appointment for your hearing or balance with our Audiologists!

 

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May is Better Hearing Month!

Who’s ready to kick off Better Hearing Month?!?

For the entire month of May we will be celebrating…US!  By us, we mean – Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists!

While that may sound a bit self-serving, celebrating US means focusing on what we can do for you!

Through daily blog posts for the month of May, we will show you all of the ways that we can help you, your family members, friends, and co-workers with improved hearing health.

Our main goal is to help you improve your quality of life through better hearing and balance. Your EARS connect you to the people you love and the activities you love to do – it is imperative that we celebrate this!

In the spirit of Us: Doctors of Audiology, we absolutely LOVE —–>  this video  <——  It shows one of the many reasons why we wanted to become Audiologists.

So cheers to us, and Better Hearing Month! #BHSM 

P.S. Best of luck to the #Essex73s taking on Port Hope tonight! We’re rooting for you! Bring home the Schmalz Cup!

 

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Essex Free Press Article about our Tinnitus Lunch & Learn

Happy Thursday!  Hope everyone is staying dry and warm on this “spring” day.

Please see Sylene Argent’s article titled Clinic Shares Information about Tinnitus in the Essex Free Press this week. Sylene reported on our Tinnitus Lunch & Learn that we hosted on March 23, 2015.

If you or a loved one is suffering from tinnitus, or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic at 519.961.9285

Diabetics are twice as likely to have hearing loss

Diabetics – Schedule Your Annual Hearing Test Today

Happy Wednesday!

We all know there are many causes of hearing loss; exposure to loud noise, aging, head trauma, etc. What you may not associate with hearing loss is DIABETES. Studies show that people who are diabetic – even pre-diabetic, were twice as likely to have a hearing loss. Considering there are 2.4 million Canadians who have been diagnosed diabetic, a visit to our Doctors of Audiology at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic for an annual hearing test is a must!

If you or someone you love suffers from Diabetes, call 519.961.9285 today to arrange your diagnostic hearing assessment.

The full article can be found here -> http://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52369-Diabetics-twice-as-likely-to-have-hearing-loss