More Than Just Hearing Aids

COVID 19 Appointment Precautions

As an additional way to protect our patients and staff, we are observing specific protocols to minimize the chance of exposure.  This post outlines our guidelines and our request for you to observe them.

PRIOR TO THE APPOINTMENT

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then we should postpone or wait an additional two weeks before having you come in as a “voluntary quarantine” measure.

  1. Do you have a history of any recent travel outside of Ontario within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you had a fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath?
  3. Have you had close contact with any person who has been confirmed as contracting Covid-19?
  4. Have you had close contact with any healthcare worker who’s primary purpose recently has been working directly with people who have contracted Covid-19?
  • You must wear a mask for your appointment.  
  • If you are being dropped off by someone else, please let us know when you schedule the appointment so we can make appropriate accommodations in our office for you, as we are attempting to minimize any waiting room time as much as possible.

AT THE APPOINTMENT

  • Whether you come by yourself or are dropped off, when you arrive, remain in your car and call the phone number for the appropriate location to notify us of your arrival.  The phone number will be posted outside of the respective office. If you do not have a cellphone, use the white intercom at the office door (Amherstburg & Essex locations)
  • If you have any paperwork to be filled out, we will bring it to you to fill out in your vehicle.  
  • When paperwork (if any) is completed, your provider will take you to the appropriate room where you will be for the majority, if not all, of your appointment.
  • Our staff will wear gloves and masks whenever appropriate, as much as possible.

AFTER THE APPOINTMENT

  • Our staff will disinfect all surfaces you contacted in any room you visited.  We are telling you about this so that you are reassured that this has been done for any patient seen prior to your arrival, for your safety and for everyone else.

Hearing Protection

When people think of hearing protection, they automatically think about factory workers. Although we do sell hearing protection for factory workers, we also sell hearing protection for children, musicians and hunters. We can also order electronic hearing protection.

MUSICIANS PLUGS

ER9, ER15 or ER25. (Cost $220.00 plus tax)

A cast is taken of your ears and sent to the factory. The molds have special filters specific to they type of instrument that you play. We can order ER9, ER15 or ER25. 

 

HEARING PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN

BABY BANZ
Baby Banz Infant (Cost $42.00 plus tax)

  • Earmuffs designed for infants; ages 0-2
  • Adjustable
  • Foam filled cushions and padded headband ensure comfort
  • Available Colour: pink or blue
  • NRR 31
  • One (1) year warranty

Baby Banz Junior (Cost $42.00 plus tax)

  • Earmuffs designed for youth and smaller ears
  • Adjustable and padded headband
  • Soft cushion cups ensure comfort
  • Available Colour: blue, pink or black
  • NRR 31
  • Earmuffs measure 4 inches long by 3 & 1/8 inches across
  • One (1) year warranty

 

HEAR MUFFS

HearMuffs Passive Infant Toddler (Cost $30.00 plus tax)

  • Advanced infant and baby ear protection
  • Patented GrowBand™ adjusts and fits a wide range of head sizes
  • Made with non-toxic kid friendly materials 
  • Available colours: pastel blue, pink, spa green, orange or white
  • NRR 22
  • Two year warranty 

Hear Muffs Kids (Cost $30.00 plus tax)

  • Advanced hearing protection for kids
  • Made with non-toxic kid friendly materials 
  • Designed for children from 5 to 10 years of age
  • Available Colours: Blue, Green, Red or White
  • NRR 22
  • Two year warranty 

HearMuffs Active Toddler & Infant (Cost $75.00 plus tax)

  • Advanced infant and baby ear protection plus four soothing sounds
  • Sounds Mode lets child enjoy four soothing sounds – Lullaby, White Noise, Babbling Creek, and Heartbeat
  • Soothe Mode allows voices to be heard while compressing potentially harmful noises to comfortable levels
  • Maximum volume: 60 dB
  • Available Colour: White
  • Patented GrowBand™ adjusts and fits a wide range of head sizes
  • Made with non-toxic kid friendly materials
  • Designed for children from birth to 4 years
  • NRR 22
  • Two year warranty

 

ELECTRONIC HEARING PROTECTION

SoundGear Custom Fit Silver (Cost $600.00 plus tax)

These electronic hearing protection and enhancement products are for the hunter or shooter that refuses to compromise when it comes to performance and personalization. This product is custom molded to each wearer’s ear and features the most advanced 100% digital electronic hearing protection and enhancement technology on the market. Visit their website for more information.

SoundGear Custom Fit Platinum (Cost $650.00 plus tax)

These products are for the more avid hunter or professional shooter. They come with 4 distinct memory modes (Normal, High-Frequency Boost, Telecoil, and Mute). We also offer SoundGear Custom Fit Silver products as our base model for those who may not shoot as often or professionally. Silver is just as effective as our Platinum models, but includes only one memory mode. Visit their website for more information.

Swimming Accessories

Pool season is just around the corner, and we want to remind you that we do sell a different variety of swimming accessories for your ears. Swim molds should be considered if you have a perforated eardrum, are prone to “swimmer’s ear,” or have tubes placed in your eardrum. 

BIONIX AFTER SWIM WATER REMOVAL STRIPS (20/PK): Cost $8.00 plus tax

Safe, fast and alcohol-free drying strips designed to absorb water inside the ear canal

Flared tip design eliminates the risk of over insertion

No risk of damage to the eardrum; will never directly or indirectly come in contact with eardrum

Only needs to be inserted far enough into the ear to break the surface level of the water

Wicking action of the product will remove the water on its own

Can absorb over 5x the amount of liquid an average ear canal can hold

One strip can be used on both ears

 

 

Putty Buddies Floatable (3 pairs): Cost $10.00 plus tax

Soft, colored, silicone ear plugs that help keep water out of ears

For use with the Ear Band-It

Available in combinations of red, white and blue OR green, yellow and blue

Triple the size of most other kid’s plugs

Bright colors are easy to find in the pool or bath

They float!

This is a special order item, we place orders for it every two weeks.

 

Doc’s Pro Plugs (unvented one pair): Costs:$14.00 plus tax or Leash version $16.50 plus tax

Doc’s ProPlugs are inexpensive, long-lasting, ready-to-wear earplugs designed to keep water out of an individual’s ear canal    

For use with the Ear Band-It

Made of soft, hypo-allergenic Kraton with memory that provides a watertight seal        

Quickly and easily fitted             

Designed for patients with P.E. tubes or middle ear fluid to keep water and bacteria out of the ear canal       

Perfect for swimming, bathing, concerts, recreational and light industrial use 

This is a special order item, we place orders for it every two weeks.

Ear Band It Ultra: Cost $16.50 plus tax

 

Keeps water out of ears and holds earplugs in

For use with Putty Buddies or Doc’s Pro Plugs

Ultra version has better grip, comfort, and strength than the original Ear Band-It

Made of 100% super soft neoprene with Grip-Tek™ neoprene inner lining

Helps prevent swimmer’s ear

Ideal for those with Ear Tubes and Ear Perforations

Ultra version is NOT reversible

This is a special order item, we place orders for it every two weeks.

 

 

Custom Floatable Swim Molds: Cost starting at $180.00 plus tax

These molds are made just for you. We take a cast of your ears and send it to the manufacturer where they will create custom swim earmolds. These molds completely block the ear and ear canal to ensure no water will enter. It is made from a material that is able to float above water so you will not lose them while swimming. Perfect for children and adults to protect their ears from water while swimming or in the shower. Although suitable for children, remember children are growing and these may only fit their ears for a few months.

A lot has changed in ten years

Ten years ago I decided to go into private practice. I was contemplating moving to Amherstburg and did not want to commute to work. Many of you might remember my first office location at 206 Sandwich Street South, in the blue house next to Naples. When I first opened, it was just me. My goal was to see one patient a day, then two a day. Bit by bit the office got busier and we had to move.

Our first move was to 535 Sandwich St South, in the plaza with the Drive Thru Tim Hortons. I hired Cory to help me because I could not handle the walk in patients and the scheduled patients. We got busier. I hired our communication disorders assistant Emily to lighten my case load.

While Amherstburg Audiology was growing, I had a second clinic in Essex. I tried to call it “Amherstburg Audiology & Hearing Aids – Essex Location”, but that name just never took off. In fact, people were confused and rightfully so. As we got busier in Amherstburg, Tim Hortons also got busier. Eventually we had to move again because there just was not enough parking for our patients.

It was time for a change in Amherstburg and in Essex. We then moved to our current location at 503 Sandwich St South. Better parking and new additions. I hired Marlene to handle the insurance billings and answer phone calls. I hired Celina to help our hearing aid patients. When I moved to a larger location in Essex the clinic was rebranded as “The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic”. Many changes. I hired Melissa to take on the duties of Office Manager. Sonia came on to rehabilitate our dizzy patients, Jenniffer was hired to assist Sonia and we are blessed to have Teresa and Sandra testing and treating our kid and adult hearing loss patients in Essex.

Ten years and many changes. We now have a satellite location in LaSalle. The next change will occur in Amherstburg. I am rebranding Amherstburg to be “The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic”. I’m so attached to the name “Amherstburg Audiology & Hearing Aids”, but it’s time to have a single name that represents all three clinic locations. Don’t worry, the same friendly smiles will still be there to greet you, but the name on the sign will change.

Thank you for supporting my small business. Ten years and still going. Here’s to ten more years.

 

bernice

Sudden Hearing Loss (SHL)

What is sudden hearing loss? You would know, it comes on suddenly, often over night. You will notice that you can not hear out of one ear, and usually have accompanying ringing or dizziness.

Who should you see if you have a sudden hearing loss? Make an appointment with your audiologist or family physician right away. You want someone to look into your ears to rule out a conductive hearing loss such as wax or an ear infection. If it is not a conductive hearing loss, you need to get a diagnostic hearing test with an audiologist to determine the type of hearing loss (sensorineural, conductive or mixed) and the severity of the hearing loss. Based on the audiologists test, a recommendation will be made for you to see an ear. nose and throat specialist or your family physician or nurse.

Will my hearing come back? About 50% of cases the hearing will return in part of in full. It’s imperative that you are treated appropriately within the first few days in order for medical intervention to help. The longer you wait, the lower your odds that your hearing will return. 

For more information about Sudden Hearing Loss visit the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery website.

Patient Handout Sudden Hearing Loss

Physician Handout Sudden Hearing Loss

Temporary closure due to COVID-19

Effective immediately, our clinics and staff are have NO DIRECT CONTACT with any patient or their caregivers.

We have been issued a directive by The Chief Medical Officer of Health. Click here to read the directive.

We have been issued a directive by the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists. Click here to read the directive.

If you need batteries or supplies we will mail them out to you. Please call the Amherstburg (519) 730-1030 or Essex (519) 961-9285 locations and leave a message. We will check the messages once a day.

You can also email us if you have any questions or concerns  info@youhear.ca

We will update our website once we re-open.

Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance Video Links

Celina Dijkhuizen
Hearing Instrument Specialist

Below are videos direct from the manufacturer websites that will help you with the basic care and maintenance of your hearing aid(s) from home. Click on the links below to be sent to the manufacturer websites where the videos are posted. All the information, videos and trademarks are that of the manufacturer or what is otherwise stated. Unsure of the manufacturer of your hearing aid(s)? Check your invoices, accessories or the boxes given to you and there should be a logo or a name somewhere visible.

For hearing aid(s) that are Unitron or Phonak: https://www.unitron.com/content/unitron/id/en/consumer/help/tutorial-videos.html

For hearing aid(s) that are Starkey: https://www.starkey.com/support/how-to-videos

For hearing aid(s) that are Signia: https://www.signia-hearing.com/how-to-videos/

For hearing aid(s) that are Oticon or Bernafon: https://www.oticon.com/support https://www.bernafon.ca/support

For hearing aid(s) that are Widex: https://global.widex.com/en/support/maintenance

For hearing aid(s) that are GN ReSound: https://www.resound.com/en-ca/help/hearing-aids/other/videos

Footnotes Unitron.(2020). How to care for your Unitron hearing aids. Retrieved from https://www.unitron.com/content/unitron/id/en/consumer/help/tutorial-videos.html, accessed on March 18, 2020 Starkey.(2020). How to videos. Retrieved from https://www.starkey.com/support/how-to-videos, , accessed on March 18, 2020 Oticon.(2020). Oticon hearing aid support. Retrieved from https://www.oticon.com/support, accessed on March 18, 2020 Bernafon.(2020). Support: tips for new users. Retrieved from https://www.bernafon.ca/support, accessed on March 18, 2020 Widex.(2020). Hearing aid maintenance. Retrieved from https://global.widex.com/en/support/maintenance GN Hearing.(2020). Hearing aid support videos. Retrieved from https://www.resound.com/en-ca/help/hearing-aids/other/videos, accessed on March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Update 18-MAR-2020

Our Amherstburg and Essex offices will be open Wednesday March 18, 2020, but the front doors will be locked.

We have cancelled all non-emergent appointments. All speech therapy, hearing tests, hearing aid cleanings, vestibular testing, and vestibular rehabilitation appointments have already been cancelled. We will call and reschedule our patients once the office is back up and running.

We are currently only seeing patients with emergencies. Emergencies include:

  • Lost hearing aids and can not hear
  • Hearing aids are broken

Please do not come in to check on us, or to say hello. 

Please call for an appointment as we are only allowing one patient into the clinic at a time.

If you are sick, or have recently returned from abroad please advise our staff.

If you need batteries or supplies please call, we will mail them out to you.

We are taking this day by day, and will update this website. Thank you for your understanding.

COVID-19 Preventative Measures

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES BEING TAKEN AT OUR CLINICS
(1) No staff or provider has been outside of the country within the last two weeks.
(2) Staff and patients are asked to sanitize their hands prior to entering the clinic area.
(3) Patients are kindly asked to reschedule appointments if they have recently travelled, have been exposed to someone who has recently travelled, if they do not feel well, or have a common cold of flu symptoms.
(4) Furniture, surfaces and equipment are being sanitized regularly and after every use.
(5) Providing hand sanitizer in multiple locations throughout the clinic and ensuring staff are practicing proper hand hygiene and washing their hands regularly.
Our procedures for maintaining a clean environment meet or exceed those of The Ontario Ministry of Health.
We thank you for your patience as we work through the COVID-19 outbreak and we will keep you posted on any changes that may arise.
UPDATE Sunday 15-MAR-2020: We are suspending all speech and language pathology appointments effective immediately. We will tentatively resume this service 04-APR-2020.

Sandra DeKok joins The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic

 

 

We are pleased to announce that audiologist Sandra DeKok has joined our staff at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic.

Sandra will be working with newborns, infants, children and adults at our Essex location.

To schedule an appointment with Sandra please call Melissa at (519) 961-9285 or email melissa@youhear.ca

Group Workshops

We are excited to be offering group workshops at our Essex and Amherstburg locations! There is a lot of information given to you at your hearing aid fitting appointment, which can make it a little overwhelming at times. A group workshop is an hour long session where our hearing health professionals go over details about your hearing loss, your new hearing aids and aural rehabilitation or retraining your brain to understand speech.

So what does a group workshop look like? The groups are small – usually between 3 and 4 participants, which allows us to support each person and answer any questions throughout. The hour is broken up into three sections:

1. Hearing Loss

2. Hearing Aids

3. Aural Rehabilitation

Hearing Loss

We give participants detailed information regarding how our ears work, what the participants’ hearing test results indicate, fun facts about hearing and our ears and more information about hearing loss overall. This portion of the workshop gives participants answers to the questions that they may have been pondering regarding their own hearing loss.

Hearing Aids

When people come in to pick up their hearing aids, the amount of information presented in that appointment can feel quite overwhelming. Participating in the group workshop allows hearing aid users to gain more knowledge on the care, use, features and functions of their hearing aids. Having only 3-4 participants allows us to go over information regarding each person’s hearing aids, in order to help them better understand their use.

Aural Rehabilitation

Hearing aids are only one piece of the puzzle. In order to maximize the benefit of new hearing aids, we have to work on retraining our brains to hear in difficult listening situations. Typically, we lose our hearing slowly over time and while hearing aids give us back the sounds we are missing, we still have to do therapy to retrain our brains how to process and understand these new sounds. In our group workshop, we provide a demonstration of one of the computer-based training programs that we offer. The program is called LACE and it stands for Listening and communication enhancement. We’ll go over what the program entails and how the program can benefit everyone – regardless of what type of hearing loss they may have.

Group workshops allow our patients to learn more about their hearing loss, hearing aids and different communication strategies, as well as meet other people who also have new hearing aids.

Bernice McKenzie is an approved Dr.CliffAud provider

We’re please to announce that Bernice McKenzie is part of the DrCliffAud Approved Provider Network!!

If you’ve researched hearing aids during the last few year’s you’ve most likely seen videos posted by Dr. Cliff Olson on his youtube channel. If it is ear related, he probably has a video talking about it. You can check out his youtube channel by clicking here.

Kid Hearing Tests

We have been getting a lot of phone calls lately asking if we test children. YES we test children.Children are tested at our Essex location.

Our services are not funded under OHIP, so there is a $100.00 fee for the testing. The testing may be covered under your extended healthcare plan (GreenShield, SunLife, Manulife, Blue Cross, etc…). Since our testing is performed by an audiologist, it is a medical expense and can be claimed as such when you do our taxes. 

To schedule an appointment call Melissa at (519) 961-9285.

2019 Hear For The Holidays!

 

Do you know someone who’s life would be improved by improved hearing? WE WANT TO KNOW!

The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic and Amherstburg Audiology & Hearing Aids are in search of members of our communities (Essex, Amherstburg and LaSalle) who’s hearing impairment is holding them back – so we can gift them US! One lucky winner from each clinic will receive a set of hearing aids and the gift of our services for 3 years.

Simply click the gift below and fill out our short online form.

All applicants must make themselves available for an audiometric evaluation. Entries will be received until November 29, 2019 at 11:59pm, so that we can have some time to have our winners hearing by the holiday! If you have questions, please feel free to contact us any time!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

AM800 Saturday August 17 at 10am

Do you or someone you know have issues with hearing or speaking. Tune into AM800 at 10am this Saturday August 17, to hear our staff talk about the services we provide at our clinics. We will discuss tinnitus testing, vertigo testing, hearing tests (for kids and adults) and speech therapy (for kids and adults).

Email info@youhear.ca or call (519) 96109285 for more information.

 

Ways to “Spring Clean” Your Hearing Aids

Spring cleaning is not just applicable to your house! With our theme being “Spring Cleaning” this newsletter, we will talk about the importance of keeping your hearing aids clean. Here are some ways that you can freshen up your hearing aids every day:

Tip #1: When you got your hearing aids you should have been given a little brush. The brush is likely black in colour, with bristles on one end. Use that brush once a day to break away any wax or debris that is on your hearing aids! Tip #2: Check your wax guard! This is the most important cleaning task. The little white piece on your hearing aid is there for a reason. Check this piece and see if it is filled with wax, if it is it will look plugged. If this piece is plugged, it will need to be changed. You simply use the “empty side”, which is the end with no white piece, to pull out the piece by poking in the middle. Then you flip it over and push the “full side”, which is the white end, into the existing opening. Voila! A changed wax guard.

Tip #3: Use your cleaning cloth. When you got your hearing aids, you should have been given a cloth. This cloth is important! Think of it like cleaning your glasses. Once a day, you should run the cloth over your hearing aids to wipe off any wax or debris! Tip #4: If you have a dri-aid kit, use it! What is a dri-aid kit? The small jar with the orange puck on the inside. If you place your hearing aids in the jar overnight (with the battery doors open) this will pull moisture from them and keep them working tip top! Tip #5: Come in for your scheduled clean and checks. If you are due soon for a clean and check, which are done every six months, come on in to see us! We complete a full cleaning and help keep your hearing aids at their best. Think of it like taking your car in for scheduled servicing. Things work best when we maintain them!

Celina Dijkhuizen
Hearing Instrument Dispenser

Communication Strategies for Valentines Day

How to effectively communicate with your loved one this Valentines Day
by Emily Ellard and Celina Dijkhuizen
  1. Always face your partner when you are talking to them. Humans use non-verbal communication strategies, like lip reading and facial expressions to communicate. It becomes increasingly difficult for your partner to understand you if you are facing away from them.
    Emily Ellard
    Comminication Disorders Assistant
  2. Don’t just repeat – rephrase! Sometimes, we find ourselves repeating the same phrase over and over again when our partner doesn’t understand us. Instead, try rephrasing. Certain words may be more difficult to understand, so rewording what you are saying can save time and frustration.
  3. Remember that volume is not the same as clarity. Speak clearly, rather than loudly. A lot of people with hearing loss struggle with understanding. They can hear you, but they may not understand you.
    Celina Dijkhuizen
    Hearing Instrument Dispenser
  4. Slow your tempo! It is difficult to understand people who speak very quickly. This is especially true for those who are hard of hearing. By speaking at a pace that works for both you and your loved one, your conversation will flow and there will be less confusion over what was said.
  5. Keep your mouth visible. While facing your partner, try to avoid putting your hand over your mouth or blocking it in another way. Speech-reading is an effective tool for those who are hard of hearing. This is only possible if they can see your lips moving and can watch your expressions.

Hearing Aid Rentals

A patient recently asked me if he could rent hearing aids from me for six months or a year. I’ve never really given that much thought. Yes, it is common for audiologists to rent out hearing aids to those in hospice, but to rent them out to the Average Joe is virtually unheard of. I talked to a few American audiologists about it, and some of them are actually doing this in their clinics. After time and research I believe that I’ve come up with something that may appeal to some patients.

Who would benefit from this type of program?

  • The person with a non-permanent hearing loss, whose hearing is expected to return within a few months.
  • The person with cancer who only has a few months left to live and wants to “hear every word” before they leave
  • The person who believes that they are too old for hearing aids, and does not want to commit to such a large purchase
  • The person who knows they need hearing aids, but are unsure if they will truly use them, so they want to give it a honest try before they fully commit

What are the cons?

  • Some insurance plans will not allow you to use your hearing aid benefit, as you are not purchasing a hearing aid
  • You are not eligible for the government grant, as you are not purchasing a hearing aid
  • You must come in once a month to make your payment, and for us to re-activate your devices. The devices “self destruct” after a set period of time. If you do not return, they will continually beep non-stop in your ear making them useless
  • You must purchase your own batteries and supplies
  • This is a pay per service relationship. You are allowed one follow-up appointment within 14 days of the setup appointment. All other appointments are $25 per 15 minutes. Should you require reprogramming due to a change in your hearing, you will be charged for the hearing test, reprogramming and verification (currently $320.00)
  • You can only rent behind the ear devices. In order to get a molded device, you would have to purchase your own hearing aids.
  • You only have a limited color selection.

What are the pros?

  • There is no long-term commitment. You can rent the devices for 2 months or 2 years. You are not locked in. If you no longer want to rent them, just bring them back to our office and you will not be charge for the following month.
  • If a newer model is released, you can upgrade to that version for no extra cost.

What are the setup costs?

This cost is based on us setting up the devices for you. It includes a diagnostic hearing test, programming and fine tuning with real ear measures. I need to ensure that the hearing aids are giving you the right amount of volume, and will not give you any additional hearing loss. When you do a demo at our office, we do not do any fine tuning, it’s just a first fit, and the hearing aids are not programmed to their full potential.

One Device Two Devices
Setup Fee $420.00 $520.00

How much will it cost to rent the hearing aids?

There are 5 technology levels, 5 different monthly rates. You can rent one or two devices, that is totally up to you. The monthly costs are as follows:

One Device Two Devices
500 Level $40.00 $50.00
600 Level $50.00 $60.00
700 Level $60.00 $70.00
800 Level $70.00 $80.00
PRO Level $80.00 $90.00

Are there any other costs involved?

If you require a custom earmold or Bluetooth accessory, you would need to purchase those items. These items are non-refundable.

As I said, this program is not suitable for everyone, but there are a few people out there who would love to use this program. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our office manager Melissa at Melissa@youhear.ca or you can call her at our Essex location (519) 961-9285