More Than Just Hearing Aids

Comment to Win! What’s your favorite sound?

Kittens Purring.  Waves Crashing.  Thunderstorms!  Cards Shuffling.  Bonfires.  Laughing Babies.  Engines Humming.  Skates on Ice.  Snow Falling.  Favorite Song.  Dogs Barking.

Visit us on Facebook  and simply tell us about your favorite sound to be entered to win 4 tickets to an upcoming Windsor Spitfires home game with VIP Parking and Crown Royal Lounge access!

One winner will be selected randomly Wednesday September 30, 2015, no purchase necessary, simply comment with your favorite sound on our Facebook post.

So do tell us: What’s your favorite sound?

[av_video src=’https://www.youtube.com/embed/1eL4AHWok0Y ‘ format=’16-9′ width=’16’ height=’9′]

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.

[av_image src=’http://hearinganddizzy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/TinnitusRackInfo-473×1030.jpg’ attachment=’547′ attachment_size=’large’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=’av-hover-grow’ link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

Adventures in Dizziness – What does ‘Dizzy’ feel like to you?

Continuing with the theme of Balance Awareness Week, I sat and thought what would be interesting for our followers to read. As I think about the dizzy, vertigo and imbalance patients that we’ve been lucky enough to see at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, their stories came to mind.

The moment that they got dizzy, felt the world spin or that they were spinning.

I stumbled upon this blog post by blogger Mysocalleddizzylife and was amazed at the clarity with which she described her symptoms.

My Dizziness is sometimes more like a little ripple of vertigo, this weird uncomfortable sensation: like if I turn my head, it feels like my head hasn’t caught up to where I am.  My head feels unsteady.  I feel unsteady.  When I’m dizzy I can feel nauseous.  I feel it if I turn around too quickly or when I’m practicing some of my vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises.  And like butterflies in your stomach when you feel naseous, I also feel the butterflies in my head, spinning around, making me feel woozy.  When this happens, I want nothing more than to close my eyes and pray for the tranquility of stillness.  When I’m really dizzy, I have no balance.  I’m more than clumsy.  If I walk, I look like I’m drunk.  Unsteady and stumbling.

The other night I felt so dizzy; it was like there was a violent sea in my head, waves sloshing around so that I couldn’t find my balance.

Emily’s blog describes the beginning of her symptoms, tests, treatments, vestibular rehabilitation and her life after her dizzies. How many of our readers have shared their dizzy stories with family and friends and learned that they too have had some vestibular dysfunction?

Balance Awareness Week isn’t just learning about imbalance, but about knowing that you aren’t alone.

DEFEAT DIZZINESS – It’s Balance Awareness Week

At The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, we’re kicking off Balance Awareness Week! A whole week dedicated to defeating dizziness.

Top Ten Facts about Vestibular Disorders

1. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.

2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.

3. Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.

4. Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.

5. Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

6. There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.

7. Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.

8. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine.

9. In the US, medical care for patients with chronic balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per year.

10.The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide. (For more information click HERE)

If you or a loved one suffers from dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, instability or vestibular dysfunction, please feel free to contact our office to find out how we can help! (519) 961-9285

Hearing Loss & Depression

A new study by the American Psychological Association has shown that adults with hearing loss who don’t wear their hearing aids are 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression.

Of course we see the effects of hearing loss all the time, except it’s not always the person with hearing loss complaining. Its usually family and friends who complain that ‘Mum doesn’t want to go out anymore‘.

Those with hearing loss – at any age, tend to socially isolate themselves. They feel that other people will often get frustrated or angry with repeating themselves and so they avoid social contact.

So the question begs, Why are there so many  people with hearing impairment not wearing hearing aids?

Most of the those with a hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids say “my hearing is not bad enough” or “I can get along without one.” Cost is also a large factor. Many times we hear the explanation that “it would make me feel old,” or “I’m too embarrassed to wear one,” or even “my mother wore one and it didn’t help her.”

In mid-September we are offering a Hearing Aid Test Drive. If you or a friend or family member have been contemplating giving a hearing aid a try, THIS IS FOR YOU! This is a 2 week trial of hearing aids at no cost or obligation. The only commitment from you is to wear them for two weeks.

What have you got to lose?

The Importance of Back to School Hearing Assessments

It’s back to school time! That means more than new sneakers and stationary, it means its time to have your child’s hearing tested with our Doctors of Audiology!

As you know, hearing loss and auditory processing problems are not uncommon in children and these issues can greatly affect a child’s ability to learn and participate in classroom activities.

Reports that undiagnosed hearing loss can lead to a longer learning curve, speech and language delays, and even behavioral problems due to the child not hearing or understanding instructions.

Children are also susceptible to chronic ear infections which can potentially lead to hearing loss. If your child suffers from frequent ear infections, it is important to monitor his or her hearing thresholds.

Before the school year begins, it may be a good idea to:

  1. Schedule a full diagnostic hearing test before the school year starts
  2. Monitor your child’s learning progress and look for signs of hearing loss. Not sure what to look for? Does your child turn up the volume of the TV excessively highRespond inappropriately to questions you ask? Not reply when you call him/her? Watch others to copy what they are doing? Have articulation problems or speech/language delays? Have problems academically? Complain of earaches, ear pain or head noises? Have difficulty understanding what people are saying? Seem to speak differently from other children his or her age?
  3. If your child wears a hearing instrument or has any special hearing needs, notify the child’s teacher before school starts. Provide the teacher with extra batteries for hearing devices if needed an outline any special needs the child may have to ensure they are able to participate in classroom activities.
  4. Remember to check volume limits on toys, video games, iPads and computers. Even an hour a day of volume over 80dB can cause permanent damage to your child’s little ears and noise induced hearing loss is on the rise.

By Scheduling a hearing test prior to the start of classes, parents can avoid potential learning setbacks. As always, we’re here to help. If you would like to book a hearing test for your child, please call our Doctors of Audiology today at (519) 961-9285.

 

Who needs Beats when you have these?

It’s estimated that half of baby boomers have some degree of hearing loss, caused by everything from rock music to lawn mowers or just aging. (It happens.) Yet only a quarter of those who need hearing aids actually get them. As one study notes, “For many people a hearing aid is an unwelcome reminder of the aging process, one that they simply cannot accept.”

Screw that. When I explain what my hearables can do, the kids are envious.

We love this article on the Mother Nature Network, and the vigor with which Lloyd Alter writes about his ‘hearables‘. We wish that everyone had the appreciation for the raw power of these tiny little devices that sit in our ears. So much more than a hearing aid, hearables help control the life around us and connect us to family, friends and the rest of the world in a way that leaves “kids envious”. Who needs Beats when you have these?

Forget wearables; let’s talk hearables, the devices formerly known as hearing aids. The hearing aid/hearables market is $5.4 billion worldwide, compared to the $2 billion headphone market. Apple buying Beats may have made headlines, but Apple building Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and an accessibility app into the iPhone 5 and 6 is much more newsworthy. Why? Because this opens up the hearables market so wide that the $3 billion Beats purchase will look like small change — and make Google Glass look like a toy.

We think it’s pretty cool too! If you’d like to try a set of ‘hearables‘, please give us a call and we’d be happy to demonstrate this new realm of hearing technology on you! Call to arrange an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists. (519) 961-9285

 

Osteoporosis linked to hearing loss

What do Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Smoking, Obesity, Noise Exposure and now Osteoporosis have in common?

An increased risk for sensorineural hearing loss. *

Researchers at the Hormone Health Network / Endocrine Society have recently discovered that those with osteoporosis, a progressive disorder that weakens the bones putting those with the disorder at risk for breaks and fractures – also increases the risk of developing a sudden sensorineural hearing loss nearly twofold.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), also called sudden deafness, is an unexplained, rapid loss of hearing that typically happens in one ear, It can happen all at once or over the course of several days. About half of the people who develop SSHL will spontaneously regain their hearing, but it is important to seek treatment immediately. About 85 percent of those who are treated for the condition recover some hearing.

 

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it is important to have a baseline hearing test and also to be aware that you are at risk. If you or someone you know has suffered a sudden hearing loss, it is imperative to seek medical help immediately.

* http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150416132017.htm

Why do we have earwax?

We stumbled across this video today:

Earwax is another of our body’s mundane, under-appreciated, yet totally amazing protective devices. Like eyelashes and nose hair, earwax shields our body from outside invaders, including dust, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that can get in and irritate, inflame, or infect. Earwax lubricates our ears, in much the same way as tears lubricate our eyes. Without adequate amounts of earwax, our ears would feel dry and itchy.

Since our ears are self-cleaning, we should never, ever stick anything in them! Hence the old adage that you shouldn’t put anything in your ears smaller than your elbow and YES! that includes Q-Tips, even though they seem perfectly designed to fit inside the narrow ear canal. Keep these swabs and any other objects – including your fingers – out of your ears. When you put something in your ear – to scratch an itch or to attempt to remove wax – you risk pushing wax further into the ear, where it can block sound from meeting your eardrum.

If you feel your earwax may be affecting your hearing, contact your doctor for an appointment, it may be useful to instill a few drops of oil daily into your ears for a couple of days before your appointment. And of course, afterward come to see us at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic to have your hearing tested.

 

Meniere’s Disease – Do you have it?

Do you have other symptoms with your hearing loss?

How about dizziness? Vertigo, or imbalance? Tinnitus or ringing in your ears? Fullness in your ears?

When the three occur together – Hearing Loss, Tinnitus & Dizziness – as Audiologists, this triad of symptoms is a red flag for a disease called Meniere’s Disease.

There is no quick and easy test for Meniere’s Disease. Diagnosis is based on a detailed case history, hearing tests and balance assessment. Your Doctor may send you for a CT scan or an MRI to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.

The disease itself is no fun, but with ongoing research and new treatments, people with Meniere’s are finding success in managing their various symptoms. And one day there may even be cure as researchers continue to learn more.

If you are experiencing Meniere’s like symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have Meniere’s Disease. Contact The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic to have your  hearing and balance tested today!

Hearing Loss linked to Dementia in the Elderly

As if we needed ANOTHER reason to have a hearing test, new studies have come to show that the social isolation and lack of stimulation to the brain that stem from untreated hearing loss accelerate the onset and progression of Dementia.

Out of 639 participants, researchers found that those with hearing loss at the beginning of the study were significantly more likely to develop dementia by the end. In fact, the risk of developing dementia over time was believed to increase by as much as five-fold.

Read the whole article here: http://www.free-alzheimers-support.com/wordpress/hearing-loss-can-lead-to-dementia/

Summertime activities could lead to permanent hearing loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

custom_ear_plugs
Custom hearing protection comes in many colors and sizes!

Today is epic!

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] Capture

I recently stumbled upon this post on the WUWT climate change blog. Its just sort of story that I love to read (its not about climate change!) – people who were previously unhappy with their hearing aids who years later try again. What I love most about Anthony’s story is all of the small things that he mentioned, things that those with a very gradual hearing loss probably don’t even realize are missing. -ordering food through the drive thru, ordering coffee at Starbucks.

…She then asked me if I wanted to order something to eat and asked me if I wanted to hear the specials for today. For decades I’ve never heard what the specials have been in restaurants – they are just something that I waited for it to be over, but this time I heard them all.

I wish that anyone who has previously experienced displeasure with their hearing aids would come in and try out the new technology. Its incredibly rewarding to have them hear better with something new; something that wasn’t available 20 years ago.

We know how rewarding improved hearing is to the person who wasn’t hearing. But we love how he touches on how his family was affected. It is extremely frustrating for family members of the hearing impaired to attempt communication with their loved one.

…it made me frustrated and angry all the time. This affected people around me and especially the people I hold most dear; my own family. Now all of that is gone and I’m like an entirely new person because of this transformation.

Remember, May is Better Hearing Month, come in to see our Audiologists, and try the newest hearing solutions out on the market. They are incredible little gadgets that have come a long way! Just one hour could make tomorrow EPIC!
[/av_textblock]

Focus on hearing, balance

Did you see our spotlight in The Windsor Star this week?

We’re so proud to have received so much support from the local community!

Do you know someone who could benefit from our services? Be sure to share our Windsor Star article with them!

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/special-features/focus-on-your-hearing-balance

And as always, if you have questions for us about what we do, or how we can help you – Please call us! (519) 961-9285

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.

[av_image src=’http://hearinganddizzy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MayMonthAd1-1030×1022.jpg’ attachment=’658′ attachment_size=’large’ align=’center’ animation=’no-animation’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’][/av_image]

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