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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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October is Audiology Awareness Month! What is an Audiologist?

October is right at the doorstep: the trees are starting to change, the weather has taken a turn and of course: We’re about to kick off Audiology Awareness Month!

What is an Audiologist?

Well according to Google, we are health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders in newborn, children, and adults. Audiology is a well-respected and highly recognized profession. However, we think we do much, much more!

We act as marriage counselors, miracle workers, a shoulder to cry on, community members, hearing aid mechanics, friends and trusted allies.

Why should you choose an Audiologist?

An Audiologist has extensive education, training and experience in your auditory system. We are not just here to sell and service hearing aids, our scope of practice is much larger. Audiologists are taught the foundations of how sound works, the underpinnings of hearing aid fitting algorithms, and the best ways to identify not only hearing loss, but also any underlying conditions that may need medical attention. Audiologists in Ontario are governed by CASLPO – College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario which sets the the gold standards of practice.

If you have questions about whether or not you should see an Audiologist, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time! We can be reached at (519) 961-9285, Monday through Friday.

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

 

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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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Summertime activities could lead to permanent hearing loss

Ahhh… the warmer weather is in the air! The birds, the breeze, the flowers, the loud noises!

We at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic would like to take a minute to remind you that your exposure to loud noises can permanently affect your hearing!

Research shows that prolonged exposure to noises over 85dB can cause permanent hearing loss. We expect to see you wear your hearing protection when engaging in the following dangerously LOUD summer activities:

  • The LAWNMOWER – (100dB) – this one seems like a no-brainer, but my neighbor laughs at my hearing protection! Your lawn mower is not the only enemy, your Weed Trimmer (130dB), and leaf blower (75dB) are suspect too.
  • FIREWORKS – (175dB) – Every year people complain about buzzing in their ears after watching a particularly fantastic fireworks show. That’s your ears crying out for hearing protection! Bringing your children? Protect their ears too!
  • BOATING/WATER SPORTS – (105dB) – A fun day out on the water wouldn’t be less fun with hearing protection. Your loud outboard motor or Sea Doo can cause hearing loss.
  • MOTORCYCLES – (100dB) – The drum of the road and the feel of the wind on your face could be causing a hearing loss. While we want you to use hearing protection, its important to continue to hear normal traffic noises, so we recommend custom hearing protection with a filter to block only the noises that are dangerous to your ears and hearing.

There are many other activities that are in the dangerous range (my neighbor’s a/c unit is ridiculously loud and they sit right next to it on the patio)  – use your best judgement, and protect your ears now so you don’t need us later! 

And of course, if you are experiencing ringing in your ears after a particularly spirited concert or day on the boat… call us and have your hearing tested. (519) 961-9285. Our Audiologists can give you tips and pointers and even make custom hearing protection specifically for YOUR ears!

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Custom hearing protection comes in many colors and sizes!

Make a hearing test part of your health routine!

Many Canadians have their eyesight tested every 2-3 years, and yet Statistics Canada reveals that about 70% of adults with measured hearing loss did not report any diagnosis by a health care professional. That is, they noticed they had a hearing loss, but didn’t see an Audiologist or Physician about their problem.

Our Doctors of Audiology recommend a hearing test before the age of 40 for a “baseline“, and a hearing test every 2-3 years after to monitor changes.

Other factors that may affect your hearing: obesity, exposure to loud noise (industrial or leisure), diabetes, kidney disease. Are you a smoker? The chemicals in cigarettes are ototoxic (that is, they can impair your hearing, cause tinnitus or affect your balance).

It only takes one hour to have your hearing tested with our Doctors of Audiology. What better time to have your hearing tested than Better Hearing Month? Call to arrange an appointment at (519) 961-9285.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/more/wellness/1283596-hearing-tests-part-of-%E2%80%98overall-health-routine%E2%80%99

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!

 

Happy Friday!

With March Break upon us, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that the silence of your child wearing headphones or earbuds while listen to music or video games is NOT always golden.

An iPod’s maximum volume is more than 10 times as loud as the recommended listening setting & the sensory damage caused by prolonged listening is irreversible.

With hearing loss on the rise in teens in the last decade, we urge you to implement some simple – but effective safe listening rules for your child.

1. Never allow listening through headphones for longer than 4 hours per day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being exposed to more than 85 decibels (about the level that teens listen to their music today) of sound for eight hours can damage your hearing.*

2. Provide your child with cool – but safe – listening gear. Such as these headphones which control the volume through filters which caps the output of sound.

3. Have your child’s hearing tested. If he or she listens to a lot of music or plays a lot of video games with headphones on, we recommend a hearing test every 2nd year. Call The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic at (519) 961-9285 today to have your child’s hearing tested!

Have a safe and fun March Break! We’ll keep our fingers crossed for nice weather!

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*Read more HERE

 

 

The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic

Can Hearing Aids Help People With Tinnitus?

As we are leading up to our Tinnitus Lunch & Learn on Monday March 23, we thought we would try to shed a little bit of light on how hearing aids can help those who suffer with tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or chirping sound, perceived when there is no external sound present. Research shows that aging, exposure to loud sounds, earwax accumulation and ear bone changes (otosclerosis) contribute to the cause of tinnitus.

Many factors affect a person’s tinnitus such as: anxiety, stress and blood pressure.  There are many studies show that of the 20% of the world’s population suffers from tinnitus & many also have a hearing loss.

Which bring us to the question: Can Hearing Aids Help People With Tinnitus?

The short answer is: YES!

Studies* show that of those who complain of hearing loss (from the most mild loss to the most severe) together with tinnitus, hearing aids in both ears alleviated tinnitus perception in 69% of users!

Can tinnitus be alleviated by Hearing Aids?

Why do they help? Hearing aids provide a diversion for our brains. They tell our brain “hear this instead” and those sounds which would be lost by our hearing loss now act to stimulate the areas that were previously the source of our tinnitus. Hearing aids also make our sound range much larger, giving us more things outside of ourselves to listen to. Hearing aids reduce anxiety caused by troubled communications and help reduce stress while also having the added benefit of an improved social life. Hearing aids reduce the fatigue brought upon us by always listening closely. Hearing aids can also be programmed to mask the tinnitus with a sound that is more pleasant than the tinnitus itself.

Our Doctors of Audiology can help you with your tinnitus.  Just because there is not a cure for tinnitus, it does not mean there is no hope/help.  At The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic we are able to perform tinnitus testing and provide treatment, counselling and management. Call (519) 961-9285 to book your appointment today!

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Winter is Ear Infection Season!

Acute ear infections occur most often in the winter. You cannot catch an ear infection from someone else, but a cold may spread among children and cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors for acute ear infections include:

  • Children Attending daycare
  • Changes in altitude or climate
  • Cold climate
  • Exposure to smoke
  • Genetic factors (susceptibility to infection may run in families)
  • Not being breastfed
  • Pacifier use
  • Recent or Previous ear infection
  • Recent illness of any type (lowers resistance of the body to infection)

We like these tips to help prevent ear infections, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/basics/prevention/con-20014260

See your Doctor if you are experiencing any pain in your ears for more than a day, if the pain is severe or if there is any discharge from the ears.

While its common to experience some mild hearing loss or a feeling of wearing ear plugs while the ear infection is active, once treated, the hearing should return to normal. Chronic ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss. Its important to keep those ears healthy!

If you or your child experience recurrent ear infections, call our Doctors of Audiology to arrange a hearing test!