March 23, 2015 Tinnitus Lunch & Learn!

Thank you to all who attended our Tinnitus Lunch & Learn Seminar. We had 20 fantastic, eager to learn participants!

We hope we gave you all some ‘food for thought’.

If you were unable to attend today, keep an eye out and an ear open, we will post our upcoming events here on our website as well as on our facebook!

If you would like to talk to our Audiologists about your tinnitus, please do not hesitate to contact us! (519) 961-9285.

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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!

____

*Read more HERE

 

 

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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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

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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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!

How your hearing loss affects your whole family

Many times when asked,  we hear that men are in our clinic at the prodding of their wife, and wives visit because their husbands or children asked them to come in.

Often, our patients don’t fully appreciate the affects their hearing loss has on the people that love them most, the frustration, the fatigue, the patience that is needed for better communication with their loved one.

This Family Day, do your family a favor and come on in for a Hearing Test. If your loved one is having trouble hearing, give them our number.

We’d love to have the opportunity to help.

Don’t waste another minute NOT hearing your loved ones!

We love how this video talks about the different ways a hearing loss can affect the way you communicate with your close family:  http://www.today.com/video/today/38932880#38932880

 

10 Signs YOU May Have Hearing Loss

Hello! We hope this entry finds you warm and well!

We got to talking about how Melissa’s Grandmother says she mumbles, and Paige’s Dad commonly mishears parts of a conversation.

The article below illustrates the 10 signs that you may have  a hearing loss. How many apply to you? To your loved ones? If YES was answered to any of these, then you should call us at (519) 961-9285 to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment!

Click  here  for the article.

 

Auditory Processing & Your Child

Concerned that your child may have an Auditory Processing Disorder? Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises? Does your child have reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-language difficulties? Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a visit to The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic is in order! Only an Audiologist can test for an Auditory Processing Disorder. Call today to schedule an appointment with Paige or Bernice! (519) 961-9285

Read more here:  www.deafness.about.com/od/Auditory-Processing-Disorders/fl/Why-Cant-My-Child-Listen.htm

Hearing Aids May Improve Balance

Hearing Aids May Improve Balance
by Julia Evangelou Strait

Timothy Hullar, MD, (right) and medical student Miranda Colletta help patient Audrey Miller prepare for a balance test. Older adults with hearing loss appeared to perform better on balance tests with both hearing aids on, according to Hullar’s research. Credit: Robert Boston

Enhancing hearing appears to improve balance in older adults with hearing loss, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Patients with hearing aids in both ears performed better on standard balance tests when their hearing aids were turned on compared with when they were off.

The small study, which appears in the journal The Laryngoscope, involved only 14 people ages 65 to 91 but is the first to demonstrate that sound information, separate from the balance system of the inner ear, contributes to maintaining the body’s stability. The study lends support to the idea that improving hearing through hearing aids or cochlear implants may help reduce the risk of falls in older people.

“We don’t think it’s just that wearing hearing aids makes the person more alert,” said senior author Timothy E. Hullar, MD, professor of otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. “The participants appeared to be using the sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance. It’s a bit like using your eyes to tell where you are in space. If we turn out the lights, people sway a little bit—more than they would if they could see. This study suggests that opening your ears also gives you information about balance.”
All participants served as their own controls, performing the balance tests with and without their hearing aids turned on. Since the researchers were interested in examining the effect of hearing, all tests were conducted in the presence of a sound source producing white noise, similar to the sound of radio static.
In one test, subjects’ eyes were covered as they stood with their feet together on a thick foam pad. In a second, more difficult task, patients stood on the floor with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, also with no visual cues for balance. Patients were timed to see how long they could stand in these positions without moving their arms or feet, or requiring the aid of another person to maintain balance.
Several of the participants could maintain stability on the foam pad for at least 30 seconds (which is the considered normal), whether their hearing aids were on or not. But those having more difficulty with balance in this test performed better when their hearing aids were on. And the improvement in performance was even more apparent in the more challenging balance test.
“We wanted to see if we could detect an improvement even in people who did very well on the foam test,” Hullar said. “And we found, indeed, their balance improved during the harder test with their hearing aids on.”

For the foam pad test, patients maintained balance an average of 17 seconds with hearing aids off. With hearing aids on, this average increased to almost 26 seconds. And in the more difficult heel-to-toe test, patients remained stable an average of 5 seconds with hearing aids off. With them on, this time increased to an average of 10 seconds. Even with the small number of patients in the trial, both time differences were statistically significant.
Although patients could tell whether their hearing aids were on or off, the researchers randomized the order of the conditions in which each patient performed these tests, so that some performed the tests with hearing aids on first and some started with them off.
Hullar pointed out that many of the study patients did not report being consciously aware that they had performed better on these tests when their hearing aids were working. But he said he has heard anecdotal evidence that some people notice a difference.
“Many of my patients say their balance is better when they’re wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants,” Hullar said. “We wanted to find out if improved hearing really has a measurable effect on balance. And the metric that we use—how many seconds can you stand on a piece of foam—has a well-documented relationship to risk of falling.
“This is a small study,” Hullar added. “Obviously it needs to be repeated in a much larger study, and we’re seeking funding to do that.”

More information: “The effect of hearing aids on postural stability.” Laryngoscope. 2014 Oct 24. DOI: 10.1002/lary.24974. [Epub ahead of print] Journal reference: Laryngoscope
Provided by Washington University in St. Louis

 

 

Hunting and Hearing Loss

Hello again!

I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying the transition to winter.

Can anyone see what is wrong with the picture above???

NO ONE IS WEARING HEARING PROTECTION!!!!!!

It is that time of year where I cannot stress enough the importance of wearing hearing protection while hunting!  Why are only half of you hunters wearing ear plugs/muffs??!?!! Did you know that a single gun shot can cause a permanent threshold shift, also known as a permanent hearing loss???  That buzzing sound or ringing in your ears you may be hearing after shooting a rifle without the use of hearing protection is your ears screaming out in pain; the hair cells in your cochlea have experienced acoustic trauma.  That ringing in your ears might become permanent too.

If you have a history of recreational/hunting noise exposure, ringing in  your ears (tinnitus) and/or hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with myself for a hearing assessment.  Let’s monitor your hearing stability and discuss hearing protection options that will protect your ears, but will benefit you by enhancing your ability to carry on conversations, detect game and hearing your surroundings all while protecting your ears!

Wishing everyone a safe hunting season filled with hearing protection!

Paige

Please read the article below from Michael Stewart discussing recreational firearm noise exposure.

Recreational Firearm Noise Exposure
Michael Stewart, PhD, CCC-A, Professor of Audiology, Central Michigan University

Firearms Are Loud
Exposure to noise greater than 140 dB can permanently damage hearing. Almost all firearms create noise that is over the 140-dB level. A small .22-caliber rifle can produce noise around 140 dB, while big-bore rifles and pistols can produce sound over 175 dB. Firing guns in a place where sounds can reverberate, or bounce off walls and other structures, can make noises louder and increase the risk of hearing loss. Also, adding muzzle brakes or other modifications can make the firearm louder. People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot, if the conditions are right. Audiologists see this often, especially during hunting season when hunters and bystanders may be exposed to rapid fire from big-bore rifles, shotguns, or pistols.

Hearing Loss Due To Firearm Noise
People who use firearms are more likely to develop hearing loss than those who do not. Firearm users tend to have high-frequency permanent hearing loss, which means that they may have trouble hearing speech sounds like “s,” “th,” or “v” and other high-pitched sounds. The left ear (in right-handed shooters) often suffers more damage than the right ear because it is closer to, and directly in line with, the muzzle of the firearm. Also, the right ear is partially protected by head shadow. People with high-frequency hearing loss may say that they can hear what is said but that it is not clear, and they may accuse others of mumbling. They may not get their hearing tested because they don’t think they have a problem. They may also have ringing in their ears, called tinnitus. The ringing, like the hearing loss, can be permanent.

Protecting Your Hearing From Firearm Noise
The good news is that people can prevent hearing loss by using appropriate hearing protective devices (HPDs), such as earmuffs or earplugs. However, studies have shown that only about half of shooters wear hearing protection all the time when target practicing. Hunters are even less likely to wear hearing protection because they say they cannot hear approaching game or other noises. While some HPDs do limit what a person can hear, there are many products that allow shooters to hear softer sounds while still protecting them from loud sounds like firearm noise.

Two types of HPDs designed for shooting sports are electronic HPDs and nonlinear HPDs. Electronic HPDs make softer sounds louder but shut off when there is a loud noise. The device then becomes hearing protection. Electronic HPD styles include earmuffs, custom-made in-the-ear devices, one-size-fits-all plugs, and behind-the-ear devices.

Nonlinear HPDs are not electronic and are designed to allow soft and moderate sounds to pass through, while still reducing loud sounds. Nonlinear HPDs can be either earplugs that are inserted into the ear or custom-made earmolds. Nonlinear HPDs that have filters are the best choice. They are better than those that use mechanical valves. This is because the valves may not close fast enough to protect hearing from loud noise.

The U.S. military uses both electronic and nonlinear HPDs to protect soldiers’ hearing during combat and weapons training. Electronic HPDs cost from less than $100 for earmuffs to over $1,000 for high-technology custom-made devices. Insert plug-type nonlinear HPDs cost around $10–$20, while custom-made nonlinear devices cost around $100–$150 per pair. Talk with your audiologist to choose the type of hearing protection that is right for you.

Tips To Protect Your Hearing:

  • Always use some type of hearing protection any time you fire a gun.
  • Always have disposable HPDs handy—make them part of your gear.
  • Double-protect your ears, like putting muffs over plugs, when shooting big-bore firearms.
  • Choose smaller caliber firearms for target practice and hunting.
  • Choose single-shot firearms instead of lever action, pump, or semi-automatic guns.
  • Avoid shooting in groups or in reverberant environments.
  • Use electronic or nonlinear HPDs for hunting.

 

Help Us Help Essex Families!

“Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!”
~Dr. Seuss

In the spirit of the Christmas season, The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic is happy to partner with the Essex Area Food Bank to help local families.

From now until December 23, 2014, we are accepting your kind donations of canned foods and/or new children’s toys to donate to the Essex Area Food Bank.

To show our gratitude for your contributions, we are pleased to offer a complimentary hearing screening or hearing aid cleaning if you have existing hearing aids.

Please contact 519.961.9285 to schedule your screening or cleaning today!

Hear for the Holidays!

Paige

Christmas Promo

Fall Special 2014

For a limited time only, receive up to 3 free accessories with the purchase of two Resound hearing aids.

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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