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DEFEAT DIZZINESS – It’s Balance Awareness Week

At The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, we’re kicking off Balance Awareness Week! A whole week dedicated to defeating dizziness.

Top Ten Facts about Vestibular Disorders

1. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.

2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.

3. Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.

4. Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.

5. Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

6. There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.

7. Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.

8. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine.

9. In the US, medical care for patients with chronic balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per year.

10.The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide. (For more information click HERE)

If you or a loved one suffers from dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, instability or vestibular dysfunction, please feel free to contact our office to find out how we can help! (519) 961-9285

Don't worry, be happy

Hearing Loss & Depression

A new study by the American Psychological Association has shown that adults with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aids are 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression.

Of course we see the effects of hearing loss all the time, except it’s not always the person with hearing loss complaining. Its usually family and friends who complain that ‘Mum doesn’t want to go out anymore‘.

Those with hearing loss – at any age, tend to socially isolate themselves. They feel that other people will often get frustrated or angry with repeating themselves and so they avoid social contact.

So the question begs, Why are there so many  people with hearing impairment not wearing hearing aids?

Most of the those with a hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids say “my hearing is not bad enough” or “I can get along without one.” Cost is also a large factor. Many times we hear the explanation that “it would make me feel old,” or “I’m too embarrassed to wear one,” or even “my mother wore one and it didn’t help her.”

In mid-September we are offering a Hearing Aid Test Drive. If you or a friend or family member have been contemplating giving a hearing aid a try, THIS IS FOR YOU! This is a 2 week trial of hearing aids at no cost or obligation. The only commitment from you is to wear them for two weeks.

What have you got to lose?

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The Importance of Back to School Hearing Assessments

It’s back to school time! That means more than new sneakers and stationary, it means its time to have your child’s hearing tested with our Doctors of Audiology!

As you know, hearing loss and auditory processing problems are not uncommon in children and these issues can greatly affect a child’s ability to learn and participate in classroom activities.

Reports that undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to a longer learning curve, speech and language delays, and even behavioral problems due to the child not hearing or understanding instructions.

Children are also susceptible to chronic ear infections which can potentially lead to hearing loss. If your child suffers from frequent ear infections, it is important to monitor his or her hearing thresholds.

Before the school year begins, it may be a good idea to:

  1. Schedule a full diagnostic hearing test before the school year starts
  2. Monitor your child’s learning progress and look for signs of hearing loss. Not sure what to look for? Does your child turn up the volume of the TV excessively highRespond inappropriately to questions you ask? Not reply when you call him/her? Watch others to copy what they are doing? Have articulation problems or speech/language delays? Have problems academically? Complain of earaches, ear pain or head noises? Have difficulty understanding what people are saying? Seem to speak differently from other children his or her age?
  3. If your child wears a hearing instrument or has any special hearing needs, notify the child’s teacher before school starts. Provide the teacher with extra batteries for hearing devices if needed an outline any special needs the child may have to ensure they are able to participate in classroom activities.
  4. Remember to check volume limits on toys, video games, iPads and computers. Even an hour a day of volume over 80dB can cause permanent damage to your child’s little ears and noise induced hearing loss is on the rise.

By Scheduling a hearing test prior to the start of classes, parents can avoid potential learning setbacks. As always, we’re here to help. If you would like to book a hearing test for your child, please call our Doctors of Audiology today at (519) 961-9285.

 

GN Resound LiNX², made for iPhone

Who needs Beats when you have these?

It’s estimated that half of baby boomers have some degree of hearing loss, caused by everything from rock music to lawn mowers or just aging. (It happens.) Yet only a quarter of those who need hearing aids actually get them. As one study notes, “For many people a hearing aid is an unwelcome reminder of the aging process, one that they simply cannot accept.”

Screw that. When I explain what my hearables can do, the kids are envious.

We love this article on the Mother Nature Network, and the vigor with which Lloyd Alter writes about his ‘hearables‘. We wish that everyone had the appreciation for the raw power of these tiny little devices that sit in our ears. So much more than a hearing aid, hearables help control the life around us and connect us to family, friends and the rest of the world in a way that leaves “kids envious”. Who needs Beats when you have these?

Forget wearables; let’s talk hearables, the devices formerly known as hearing aids. The hearing aid/hearables market is $5.4 billion worldwide, compared to the $2 billion headphone market. Apple buying Beats may have made headlines, but Apple building Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and an accessibility app into the iPhone 5 and 6 is much more newsworthy. Why? Because this opens up the hearables market so wide that the $3 billion Beats purchase will look like small change — and make Google Glass look like a toy.

We think it’s pretty cool too! If you’d like to try a set of ‘hearables‘, please give us a call and we’d be happy to demonstrate this new realm of hearing technology on you! Call to arrange an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists. (519) 961-9285

 

Osteoporosis-bone

Osteoporosis linked to hearing loss

What do Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Smoking, Obesity, Noise Exposure and now Osteoporosis have in common?

An increased risk for sensorineural hearing loss. *

Researchers at the Hormone Health Network / Endocrine Society have recently discovered that those with osteoporosis, a progressive disorder that weakens the bones putting those with the disorder at risk for breaks and fractures – also increases the risk of developing a sudden sensorineural hearing loss nearly twofold.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), also called sudden deafness, is an unexplained, rapid loss of hearing that typically happens in one ear, It can happen all at once or over the course of several days. About half of the people who develop SSHL will spontaneously regain their hearing, but it is important to seek treatment immediately. About 85 percent of those who are treated for the condition recover some hearing.

 

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is important to have a baseline hearing test and also to be aware that you are at risk. If you or someone you know has suffered a sudden hearing loss, it is imperative to seek medical help immediately.

* http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150416132017.htm

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Why do we have earwax?

We stumbled across this video today:

Earwax is another of our body’s mundane, under-appreciated, yet totally amazing protective devices. Like eyelashes and nose hair, earwax shields our body from outside invaders, including dust, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that can get in and irritate, inflame, or infect. Earwax lubricates our ears, in much the same way as tears lubricate our eyes. Without adequate amounts of earwax, our ears would feel dry and itchy.

Since our ears are self-cleaning, we should never, ever stick anything in them! Hence the old adage that you shouldn’t put anything in your ears smaller than your elbow and YES! that includes Q-Tips, even though they seem perfectly designed to fit inside the narrow ear canal. Keep these swabs and any other objects – including your fingers – out of your ears. When you put something in your ear – to scratch an itch or to attempt to remove wax – you risk pushing wax further into the ear, where it can block sound from meeting your eardrum.

If you feel your earwax may be affecting your hearing, contact your doctor for an appointment, it may be useful to instill a few drops of oil daily into your ears for a couple of days before your appointment. And of course, afterward come to see us at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic to have your hearing tested.

 

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Meniere’s Disease – Do you have it?

Do you have other symptoms with your hearing loss?

How about dizziness? Vertigo, or imbalance? Tinnitus or ringing in your ears? Fullness in your ears?

When the three occur together – Hearing Loss, Tinnitus & Dizziness – as Audiologists, this triad of symptoms is a red flag for a disease called Meniere’s Disease.

There is no quick and easy test for Meniere’s Disease. Diagnosis is based on a detailed case history, hearing tests and balance assessment. Your Doctor may send you for a CT scan or an MRI to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.

The disease itself is no fun, but with ongoing research and new treatments, people with Meniere’s are finding success in managing their various symptoms. And one day there may even be cure as researchers continue to learn more.

If you are experiencing Meniere’s like symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have Meniere’s Disease. Contact The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic to have your  hearing and balance tested today!