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Hearing Loss: No, it’s not just you.

You’re experiencing hearing loss, and you assume it’s just you. But it’s not just you. One out of every nine of us have hearing loss, that’s nearly 4 million Canadians.

That’s important for you to know if you are experiencing hearing issues. It can help to know that you are not alone. 

Hearing loss occurs naturally as people get older, but it’s not just seniors who are affected. Changes to your hearing can begin to occur for many when they reach their 20s, 30s and 40s, and while approximately 30 percent of people over the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss, more than 65 percent of those who experience hearing loss do so before retirement age.

About 15 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 41-59) and 7 percent of Generation Xers (ages 29-34) already have significant issues with their hearing.

Because hearing loss occurs gradually, its effects are sometimes not immediately obvious, especially when it comes to recognizing a change in one’s own hearing. Often it’s a friend, family member or co-worker that points it out, and even then it can be hard to believe that it’s happening to you.

Taking care of your hearing is your responsibility. It’s up to you to be alert to the signs and have your hearing checked if you suspect that your hearing may be changing.

These signs may include: Turning the TV louder, requiring others to repeat themselves, thinking that others are mumbling, having ringing (tinnitus) in your ears, feeling tired or exhausted after strenuous listening activities or have a family history of hearing loss.

For a limited time, there is no cost to have your hearing assessed by our Doctors of Audiology if you are an adult aged 18+. We simply ask for a donation to the Essex Area Food Bank. A hearing assessment takes but an hour and will help alleviate your concerns. We are able to arrange an appointment for you Monday through Friday, from 9am until 5pm. Call today to arrange your appointment! (519) 961-9285.

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What do William Shatner, Beethoven, Will.I.am & Ronald Reagan have in common?

William Shatner, Beethoven, Will.I.am & Ronald Reagan seem likely to have nothing in common. An actor, a classical composer, a rapper and a former American President – they seemingly couldn’t be more different. But according to an article by stoptheringing.org they all (and many others) suffer from Tinnitus.

Tinnitus is commonly referred to as a ringing or buzzing in the ears, and it is the perception of sound when there is no external sound present.

The British Tinnitus Association recently released a Top Ten List about Tinnitus for Physicians.

 

Ten Top Tinnitus Tips 

1 At any point in time around 10% of the population experience tinnitus – both sexes are equally affected and although tinnitus is more common in the elderly it can occur at any age, including childhood. The perceived sound can have virtually any quality – ringing, whistling and buzzing are common – but more complex sounds can also be described.

2 Most tinnitus is mild in fact it is relatively rare for it to develop into a chronic problem of life-altering severity, but it does happen. The natural history of tinnitus in most patients is of an acute phase of distress when the problem begins, followed by improvement over time. But for a minority of patients the distress is ongoing and very significant, and they will require specialist support.

3 Tinnitus is more common in people with hearing loss tinnitus prevalence is greater among people with hearing impairment but the severity of the tinnitus correlates poorly with the degree of hearing loss. It is also quite possible to have tinnitus with a completely normal pure tone audiogram.

4 Tinnitus can be associated with a blocked sensation for reasons that are not clear tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss can give rise to a blocked feeling in the ears despite normal middle ear pressure and eardrum mobility. Otoscopy and, if available, tympanometry can exclude Eustachian tube dysfunction. Decongestants and antibiotics are rarely helpful.

5 Giving a negative prognosis is actively harmful it is all too common to hear that patients have been told nothing can be done about tinnitus. Such negative statements are not only unhelpful but also tend to focus the patient’s attention on their tinnitus and exacerbate the distress. A positive attitude is generally helpful and there are many constructive statements that can be made about tinnitus, such as: most tinnitus lessens or disappears with time; most tinnitus is mild; tinnitus is not a precursor of hearing loss.

6 Enriching the sound environment is helpful useful sources of sound to reduce the starkness of tinnitus include quiet uneventful music, a fan or a water feature. There are inexpensive devices that produce environmental sounds, and these are particularly useful at bedtime.

7 Hearing aids are helpful straining to listen causes increased central auditory gain and this increased sensitivity can allow tinnitus to emerge or, if already present, to worsen. Correcting any associated hearing loss reduces this central auditory gain and thereby reduces the level of the tinnitus. Hearing aids are useful even if the hearing loss is relatively mild and an aid would not normally be considered. Recent Department of Health guidelines have emphasised the value of audiometry in a tinnitus consultation, and this is the definitive basis for decisions about hearing aid candidacy. If in doubt, refer for an audiological opinion. In our view, all people who describe tinnitus deserve an audiological assessment. Decisions on when to start using a hearing aid and what sort to use are up to the individual patient and audiologist.

8 Underlying pathology is rare, but be vigilant in many cases tinnitus is due to heightened awareness of spontaneous electrical activity in the auditory system that is normally not perceived. It can however be a symptom of treatable and significant otological pathology, such as a vestibular schwannoma or otosclerosis. One should be especially vigilant if the tinnitus is unilateral, or if it has a pulsatile quality.

9 There is no direct role for drugs although they can be used to treat associated symptoms such as vertigo, insomnia, anxiety or depression. There is also no conventional or complementary medication that has been shown to have specific tinnitus ameliorating qualities and there is anecdotal suggestion that repeatedly trying unsuccessful therapies worsens tinnitus.

10 Self-help is often effective – Audiologists provide excellent information on tinnitus and common sense advice on managing symptoms. Written by: Dr David Baguley PhD, Head of Audiology

Of course, as Doctors of Audiology, our Audiologists have extensive education and experience with tinnitus. If you or a loved one experience tinnitus, please feel free to call our office for more information about how we can help.

Can tinnitus be alleviated by Hearing Aids?

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

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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

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You’re Invited! To a Tinnitus Lunch & Learn!

The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic is excited to announce our 1st Lunch & Learn!

You & a friend are cordially invited to a FREE Lunch & Learn Seminar about TINNITUS.

Do you hearing ringing, buzzing or crackling in your ears? You are not alone!

Are you intersted in learning more about your tinnitus? The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic’s Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists will cover:

  •  What is Tinnitus?
  •  Causes of Tinnitus
  •  Current Management strategies for tinnitus relief
  •  Any Questions you may have about your tinnitus

Please RSVP as soon as possible, as seating is limited! (519) 961-9285 or paige@hearinganddizzy.ca

RSVP as soon as possible! (519) 961-9285

RSVP as soon as possible! (519) 961-9285

 

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Is There a Cure for Tinnitus???

What does Steve Martin, Vincent van Gogh, Chris Martin, Pete, Townshend, Ozzy Osbourne and Barbra Streisand all have in common??? Famous, sure, but did you know that each of those individuals suffer from tinnitus. They are not alone-the prevalence of tinnitus is estimated to affect as many as 360,000 Canadians, and 150,000 Canadians experience a degree of tinnitus that significantly affects their quality of life.

Let me begin by explaining what tinnitus is. Tinnitus is a ringing, humming, buzzing, or other sound in your head or ears that does not have an outside source. The sound comes from within your head. For most people, tinnitus is a constant sound. Tinnitus is NOT a disease – it is a symptom!

How can a “little noise” be so detrimental to so many people???

  • Some individuals who suffer from tinnitus report:
  • Feeling helpless and frustrated
  •  Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Depressed or anxious
  • Problem concentrating
  • Reduced job performance
  • Decreased productivity
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Suicidal thoughts

You might be reading my blog looking for a cure for tinnitus. Unfortunately research is still being done to find a cure; there is no cure yet. I wish there was a magic pill I could give my patients to silence their tinnitus; unfortunately no pill exists. What about “alternative” methods like acupuncture, hypnosis, vitamins/herbs or homeopathy? None of these methods have been shown by research to help people with tinnitus more than a placebo (a placebo is like a “sugar pill”).

There is help for your tinnitus! Research has shown that even though we cannot change the tinnitus, we can change our reactions to it! Changing the reactions to tinnitus can make it less of a problem. The key is to learn how to manage our reactions to tinnitus. The goal is to feel better even though the tinnitus does not change.

How are reactions to tinnitus managed?
Methods used at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic include:
Sound-based methods (i.e. tinnitus masking, hearing aids)
– Education
– Counseling
EACH OF THESE METHODS HAVE BEEN SHOWN BY RESEARCH TO HELP SOME PEOPLE WITH TINNITUS!

Here at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic we are empathetic to you and your tinnitus. Give our clinic a call if you would like to schedule a tinnitus evaluation with our Doctors of Audiology.
Thanks for reading!
Paige Pierozynski, Au.D