Hearing Aid Batteries

I had one of my staff members go to the local stores to check out the price of hearing aid batteries. Shockingly, our prices were lower than Walmart, Shoppers and Rexall. Having three locations, we order a lot of batteries and can now get them at a lower price.

The cost of our private label batteries:

  • 40 cells for $25.00. 
  • 60 cells for $35.00.  
  • 80 cells for $45.00 (not available in size 675).

You can still buy PowerOne batteries go for $40.00 (forty battery cells).

We do not charge tax on hearing aid batteries.

Unfortunately, due to COVID19, we are not allowing customers to just walk in and purchase batteries. Please call our office to schedule a time to come in. We will bring your batteries and our debit machine to your vehicle. 

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

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 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.

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!

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

Speech & Language Pathologist in Essex and Amherstburg

Dragana Vuletic, Speech & Language Pathologist

She’s here!! No, we’re not announcing a baby. Our new Speech and Language Pathologist has been treating patient’s out of our Essex location since November. It took some time to transfer her license from Michigan to Ontario, but it was worth the wait.

Dragana will start taking on a caseload in Amherstburg at the beginning of January. If you, your child or your parent require the services of a speech and language pathologist, call us today to book an appointment with Dragana (we call her “Dee”).

Dragana graduated with her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has clinical experience in schools, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Dragana has treated clients in early language intervention, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, infants and children with cochlear implants, and adults with communication disorders. She has her initial registration with the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and is a Clinical Fellow with the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has recently received training for the PROMPT technique and is always looking forward to expanding her knowledge in the field of speech-language pathology.

 

Emily Ellard, Communicate Disorders Assistant

Dragana will be providing services with the help of our Communicative Disorders Assistant Emily. What is a communicative disorders assistant? “[A]ny individual employed in a role supporting the delivery of speech-language pathology and/or audiology services AND receiving supervision in those duties by a qualified speech-language pathologist or audiologist”.

Emily graduated from the Communicative Disorders Assistant program at Lambton College in 2016 and completed the Audiologist’s Assistant program at Nova Southeastern University shortly after. She will assist Dragana at our Essex and Amherstburg locations.

For an appointment in Essex, call Melissa at (519) 961-9285 or email Melissa@YouHear.ca

For an appointment in Amherstburg, call Marlene at (519) 730-1030 or email Marlene@YouHear.ca

 

Aural Rehabilitation Program

People are shocked when I tell them that their hearing aids are not going to solve all of their listening problems. Hearing aids give you back the sounds that you’ve been missing, but they do not train your brain to hear, especially in noisy situations. I recommend that my patient’s complete rehabilitation when they get hearing aids or a cochlear implant. When you break a leg, you often go to therapy with physiotherapy to regain function. Function will never be 100%, but if you want the best outcome therapy will increase your function. The same can be said for your hearing. You will never hear 100%, but the therapy will improve how you function in quiet and noisy situations.

We offer two different programs that can be completed in our office under the supervision of our audiologist or speech-language pathologist, or if you prefer, once we’ve set you up, you can complete the program from the comfort of your own home.

The basic program consists of 11 classes. The objective is to increase your hearing and speech understanding in difficult listening situations. The total cost of the program is $500.00 ($300.00 if you purchased your hearing aids from one of our clinics), but if you will be completing the program on your own at home the cost is $100.00.

Our advanced program consists of 24 sessions. The objective is to increase your hearing and speech understanding in difficult listening situations, but instead of using the pre-recorded voice for training, we can use the voice of a loved one, the person in your life that you have the most difficulty hearing. The total cost of the advance program is $1,070.00, but if you will be completing the program on your own at home the cost is $150.00.  If you want us to help you customize the program by adding the voice of a loved one, there is an extra cost. The cost for customized voice will vary based on the number of sessions it takes for us to complete the recordings.

These classes are perfect for:

  • individuals with normal hearing but suffer from auditory processing disorders,
  • individuals with normal hearing but have trouble hearing in noise,
  • first time hearing aid users,
  • long term hearing aid users who struggle in noise and
  • cochlear implant users

You can take these courses, even if you purchased your hearing aids elsewhere. We do not want to sell you hearing aids, we want to help you hear at your best.

If you have insurance that covers speech-language pathology or audiology, part or all of the above charges may be covered by your insurance plan. If you do not have insurance, you can claim the cost of the course as a medical expense when you do your taxes.

If you would like for us to check your coverage with your insurance plan on your behalf, please contact:

Essex: Melissa at (519) 961-9285 or email Melissa@YouHear.ca

Amherstburg: Marlene at (519) 730-1030 or email Marlene@YouHear.ca

Buying Hearing Aids from independent clinic versus a big box store

I will start off by saying that I will always recommend an independent private practice audiologist over a chain. Part of the reason being because I am in private practice. There are of course other reasons:

(1) Locally owned and operated: we support local charities, events, sports teams. Our small audiology clinics are the ones supporting events in Amherstburg, Essex,  LaSalle, Harrow and McGregor.

(2) Not directly, or indirectly, owned by a hearing aid manufacturer. You will always be prescribed that is best for you, not what is best for our shareholders in Europe.

(3) You are guaranteed to see a regulated health care provider. Many chins do not have audiologists on staff, therefore may not be seeing an audiologist and may not realize it. Many audiologists in our region are in private practice. If you live in Amherstburg, LaSalle, Harrow or McGregor and want to be seen by a regulated hearing healthcare professional, then you need to visit a private practice.

I do realize that there is a reason why you would want to buy from a chain. The only real reason I can think of is that you are planning on moving in the near future and want to deal with a company that has a location near your new home. You probably thought I was going to suggest that price would be a reason to buy from a chain. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Hearing aids are regulated medical devices, so there really isn’t a price difference between clinics. If you believe you will get a deal at a chain, book an appointment with an independent audiology clinic to see what they can offer.  You may be surprised that the independent private practice may offer a better deal than the faceless hearing aid chain.

Hearing Aid Batteries

You wouldn’t think I’d have much to say about something as simple as a hearing aid battery. Well, let me prove you wrong.

Battery Sizes

Patients always think that there is only one hearing aid battery size. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are four. Below are the different battery sizes, listed from the smallest to the largest:

  • Size 5 (red sticker): VERY small battery. I don’t think they make this battery anymore.
  • Size 10 (yellow sticker): the smallest battery on the market.
  • Size 312 (brown sticker): medium sized battery
  • Size 13 (orange sticker): larger battery
  • Size 675 (blue sticker): largest battery on the market

How long will my battery last?

The larger the battery, the longer it will last. There are other factors that will dictate how long a battery will last: (1) the number of hours a day you wear your hearing aids, (2) the volume that the hearing aid is set at – the louder the aid, the more current it will drain (3) devices connected to the hearing aids (bluetooth, FM system etc..) will drain more current.

What brand hearing aid battery should I buy?

Many people think that they can put just any battery in their hearing aid. When you invest thousands of dollars into a sophisticated medical device, do you think it’s wise to skimp on the batteries? My self-pay patient’s do not have to worry about purchasing hearing aid batteries, as they get batteries as part of their service plan. I do, however, encounter people who recently moved to town or obtained their hearing aids from another clinic. I cringe whenever I hear someone say that they purchase their hearing aid batteries from a store that “sells items for a dollar”. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bargain, but hearing aid batteries are not an area where you want to cut corners.

I have heard people tell me that the “cheaper” size 312 batteries last a day or two. If that is the case, you may be spending more in the long run if the same size “brand name” battery would last seven to ten days. Another concern with the cheaper batteries is that they have been known to destroy hearing aids. You may save a couple dollars on batteries, but it isn’t worth it if you have to spend thousands of dollars to replace a damaged hearing aid.

For the price conscious individual, we sell a four pack of hearing aid batteries for $2.50. Our private label batteries are a brand name, and we get out logo put on the packaging. I know the local “things for a dollar store” sells two batteries for $1.00. When you do the math, our batteries work out to be $1.25 per package and the brand name company that we get them from guarantees that they will not destroy your hearing aids.

Do I have to pay tax on hearing aid batteries?

Hearing aids are a medical expense. Hearing aid batteries are also a medical expense. You DO NOThave to pay taxes on hearing aid batteries. In fact, you can claim the cost of hearing aid batteries on your taxes.

What is an Audiologist

I have the pleasure to work with new patients everyday. When going over my patients case histories, I ask them the following two questions: “Have you ever had your hearing tested? If yes, by whom?”

I am amazed by the amount of people who tell me that they were tested by an audiologist, but in reality they were tested by the office secretary, the physicians wife, or even the janitor. You may think I’m joking, but unfortunately I’m not. The next time you see your audiologist, ask them about this and I guarantee you that they will tell you something along the same lines.

I’m not going to bash any other profession, but I do think that patients need to know who they are seeing. Obviously, I am biased: if you ask me EVERYONE should see an audiologist.

When getting a hearing test, you may encounter one of the following three different professionals:

Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor:

Also known as E.N.T. or an Otolaryngologist, this is a surgeon. E.N.T.s are medical doctors. Surgeons do surgery, and prescribe medications.  Often, family doctors will refer patient’s who complain of hearing loss to these surgeons. Personally, I believe that this is often a waste of a medical referral. Especially during the cold months when children with chronic ear infections have to wait months before getting an appointment. Just my two cents.

Audiologists:

What can I say, Audiologists are awesome. I just wish the general population knew who we were. When I tell people what I do, people think I work with stereo equipment. If you are one of those people, don’t be ashamed. I went to visit a local family doctor and he had NO CLUE what I did. I wish I was joking, but I am not.

Now you really want to know what an Audiologists do. Audiologist have a Masters or Doctorate level degree in Audiology. After completing undergrad, we complete three to five years of advanced education. Simply put, we diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders. DISCLAIMER: Ohh wait… in Ontario we don’t diagnose (I will save that for a later rant). When you see an Audiologist we will measure you hearing, similar to how an Optometrist (Eye Doctor) measures your visual acuity. An Audiologist will prescribe hearing aids, similar to how an Optometrist will prescribe glasses.  We also see patients with balance disorders, tinnitus (ringing/sounds in the ear), and central auditory processing disorders.

Hearing Aid Dispenser:

If you had a “free hearing test”, you most likely saw a hearing aid dispenser. I hate to use the eye example again but think of them in the same light as an optician. Opticians can dispense (or teach you) how to use your glasses (and possibly contact lenses, I’m not sure about that), hearing aid dispensers are supposed to dispense hearing aids BUT there is a loophole in our Ontario Healthcare system that allows them to “suggest” hearing aids (this will be a topic of a later rant).  Dispensers are non-regulated health care providers who have a college level diploma.

As I said before, I am biased towards Audiologists. I hope I haven’t confused you. If you, or a loved one, have a hearing loss it would be in your best interest to be evaluated by an Audiologist.  Book an appointment to see an Audiologist today!