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!

Sudden Hearing Loss

A few times a year I will get a phone call from a patients wanting to be seen right away because they woke up and could not hear out of one ear. Sometimes these people will complain about tinnitus, dizziness or a plugged up feeling. Sometimes the only symptom is hearing loss.

Sudden hearing loss is something you want to get checked right away. Here are some steps for you to follow:

(1) You will want to have your ears checked for wax by either your local independent audiologist, your family physician or nurse practitioner.

(2) If wax is not the culprit, you will want a full audiometric evaluation performed by an audiologist.

(3) Your audiologist will determine the degree and type of hearing loss that you have and then recommend the appropriate next steps. You may have to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon (Otolaryngologist), and having a hearing test will help the audiologist come up with recommendations.

 If you woke up with decreased vision you would book an eye exam right away. Do not ignore sudden hearing loss, book a test with our local independent audiologist. Residents of Amherstburg, Harrow, LaSalle, McGregor, Essex and Windsor can call our office to be tested by our Doctor of Audiology.

A blood test for your hearing loss or vertigo?

I recently came across this article: Detecting Hearing Loss, Vertigo Via Blood Tests

University of Connecticut Health physician-scientist Dr. Kourosh Parham has discovered two ear proteins that circulate in the blood whose presence and quantities correlate with ear disorders. As a result he has developed the first blood test to identify ear disorders. 

Does that mean the end of hearing tests? NOPE! This means that one day your Doctor may be able to accurately run a blood test that shows you have an ear disorder to expedite a referral to an audiologist or otolaryngologist!

So while this isn’t the end of sitting in a sound proof booth, this is scientific progress!

 

 

Protect your ears this summer

The summer season is fast upon us, and so are all the fun summer activities! We’d like to take a minute to remind you of how important it is to remember that some of the fun things you do could have an irreversible effect of your hearing.

  1. Yard Work: A well groomed yard shouldn’t lead to hearing loss as you age. Protect your hearing from lawn mowers, weed whippers, chain saws and leaf blowers!
  2. Fireworks: The beautiful displays of fireworks can damage your hearing. Ringing in at up to 125dB, that’s enough to permanently cause a threshold shift. Remember your children’s ears as well at fireworks time.
  3. Sporting Events & Concerts: The loud cheers at your favorite ballpark (Go Tigers!) and summer concerts can last up to 3 hours. On average, the sound levels can reach 95dB+. That duration and intensity of sound may result in tinnitus the next day – that’s your ears’ way of telling you they were overexposed to sound.
  4. Boats and Motorcycles: Its not just the engine noise that can harm your hearing – wind noise can be the culprit! Consult our audiologists for custom hearing protection that will still allow you to hear the important sounds around you while riding and boating safely.

Make sure you get outside and enjoy all of the super activities that are part of summer traditions, but please – PROTECT THOSE EARS! If you are experiencing ringing, buzzing or fullness in your ears this summer, consult our Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists!

 

Vertigo and “Ear Crystals”

We have a large number of patients who call us to inform us that their Doctor has told them that they have “Ear Crystals” and that they should come to see us; that we may be able to help them. Everyone has ear crystals, but when they migrate or move away from where they are supposed to be, most often, YES, we can help them! But how?

Trouble with “Ear Crystals’ is another way of describing BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Benign: the condition almost always goes away with proper treatment Paroxysmal: the condition may return causing vertigo without warning Positional: it is brought on by specific type of head movement Vertigo: the sensation is that of spinning that may be mild or violent.

These crystals normally lie in a gel layer inside the utricle in our vestibular systems. A common symptom of migrated crystals is that there is dizziness or vertigo when you wake up, nausea and vomiting. The vertigo may stop when the position of your head is held still. The common reasons that these crystals migrate can be: head injury, aging, or idiopathic (the cause is not known). Some studies show there may be a correlation between allergies and respiratory infections and BPPV.

Whatever the reason that caused those crystals to migrate, the treatment is same: Particle or crystal re-positioning – getting those crystals back into the utricle. Our Doctors of Audiology are well versed in this. We often hear that people have tried these maneuvers at home, without success – we do not recommend this, as if completed improperly may cause more harm than good.

So what should you expect of your appointment with us? Well, we always ask you to fill out a case history and those documents will be reviewed with the audiologist. Then a few very precise head and body maneuvers will determine if you could be helped by the crystal re-positioning. The entire appointment takes but 1 hour and symptoms may disappear entirely with one treatment.

If you are tired of feeling dizzy or imbalanced when changing positions, simply call us to arrange an appointment with the audiologist at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic.

Thank you Essex for your Support!

It’s Food Bank day at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic!

THANK YOU Essex County for your support of our non-perishable food donations to The Essex Area Food Bank.

We had set a goal of 500lbs to collect for those in our community who are in need of our help, doing hearing tests in exchange for non-perishable food items. We are happy to report that we have SMASHED that goal with at least twice what we had hoped! You brought everything from noodles to beans, rice to corn meal and cereal and baby food.

Please call if you are in need of your annual hearing screening. For a limited time, our Doctors of Audiology will provide complimentary adult hearing screenings for a canned food donation. Call today to arrange your appointment at (519) 961-9285

The Holidays & Hearing Loss

For many people with hearing loss, the holidays can be especially challenging. While large family gatherings offer a great chance to catch up with friends and family, holiday parties can lead to challenging listening situations for people with hearing loss.

Here are some tips for people with hearing loss to better enjoy holiday gatherings from our friends at Widex.

Holidays and hearing loss: The tips

  1. Find a quiet corner – Stand away from loudspeakers and noisy kitchens and position yourself in the quietest area of the room. This way you can hear conversation rather than noise.
  2. Pick your seat – If you’re having a sit-down dinner, pick a seat at the center of the table nearest to a close friend or relative. This way you have a better chance of hearing conversation and enjoying your meal.
  3. Pick your drink – A glass of wine can make you more relaxed – or it can confuse you and make your level of understanding worse. Be aware of what you are drinking and your own level of tolerance.
  4. Buddy up – Find a friend or relative with whom you can hang out at the party. This person can help you to feel more included in conversation and can repeat things you may not understand.

Holidays and hearing aids

If you have hearing aids, it’s important that you wear them to holiday events. You may think that with so much noise at a party or family dinner, hearing aids would just make things louder, but modern digital hearing aids aren’t simple sound amplifiers. They are designed to filter out all the unwanted noise – like the clanging of dishes in the kitchen or the background music – and help you focus on speech.

Two hearing aid features in particular are put to work in crowds:

  • The Speech Enhancer – Widex hearing aids reduce noise by using a speech enhancer. This technology works to reduce background noise and helps you focus on what you need to hear.
  • Directional Microphones – Directional microphones work to reduce the amount of noise allowed to enter your hearing aids. In noisy environments, like at a holiday party, the system will work to pick up the least amount of noise.If the noise is located behind you, your directional microphones will adapt to pick up sound from in front of you and dampen noise from behind you. According to a 2004 study, directional microphones are proven to improve speech understanding in noise.

Have the “hearing loss” conversation

Holiday gatherings are a good time to have “the conversation” with friends and loved ones. We’re talking about the conversation about hearing loss and getting hearing aids. If you think your loved one is unable to hear correctly, take out your phone or tablet and encourage them to take an online hearing test. This is a great first step to help someone realize he has a hearing loss. And don’t forget, our complimentary hearing screening continues until January 15, 2016. 

Help guests with hearing loss

You might not have hearing loss – but one of your guests might. Here are some tips on helping your guests with hearing loss enjoy your party”

  • Background music – Everyone loves a good Christmas carol, but when those carols are in the background of the conversations of 20+ people, no one can hear them anyways. Consider turning down the background music – or turning it off completely when several guests are socializing at once. People tend to speak louder to be heard over the music, so your music may in fact make the party louder.
  • Dish Duty – Hold off on cleaning the dishes until after your guests have left. For people with hearing loss, the clatter of kitchen dishes can distract from dinnertime conversation. Take time to enjoy your guests rather than worrying about the clean-up!
  • Seating – If you know that one of your guests has a hearing loss, seat that person at the center of the table closest to those with the quietest voices. It may also help if you sit next to that person, so you can help him or her to better understand the conversation.

Please note that we are OPEN every day except Christmas Eve, Closed Christmas Day and on Monday December 28 for Boxing Day. Should you need our services this holiday, please do not hesitate to come on in or call us! 

We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ~Paige, Bernice & Melissa

Shop Small: Small Business Saturday!

This weekend is Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2015). We are very proud to be a small, locally owned independent business.

Small businesses (like ours!) depend heavily on their local communities for support. As local customers ourselves, this weekend, we’re going to “pay it forward” and support small business in the way it matters most to them — through our wallet.

Studies show that for every $100 you spend locally, $48 stays local to support the community through other businesses and employment opportunities. Whereas for every $100 spent at a chain or big box store, only $13 stays local. 

Choose to support our community this year by shopping local, at the holidays and all year through! You can find local businesses by clicking here.

sm

 

Don’t forget that we are right now offering complimentary hearing screenings in exchange for a canned food donation for The Essex Area Food Bank, call today (519) 961-9285 to schedule your hearing screening and take advantage of our BOGO Hearing aid sale! Buy one, get the second for 1/2 Off!

The Hurdles to Getting Hearing Aids

A New York Times blog posted this morning struck a cord with us here at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic. (Click here to read it.)

Jane Brody writes that

Hearing loss is usually gradual, and people often fail to recognize when it becomes severe enough to warrant hearing aids. Some deny that they have a problem, and instead accuse others of mumbling when they know people are talking but can’t understand what is being said. Still others regard hearing aids as unattractive devices that make them feel and look old in a society that prizes youthfulness.

We see this every day. Mostly those who could benefit from a hearing aid value their vanity over communication with family and friends.

What many people with hearing loss don’t realize is that the signs of the untreated hearing loss are more noticeable to others than hearing aids.

If you feel you are having trouble communicating or are isolating yourself socially because of your hearing trouble, give us a call. We would be happy to walk you over perceived hurdles. Our Doctors of Audiology are here to help. (519) 961-9285

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Facts About Positional Vertigo (BPPV)- Balance Awareness Week

Is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)  a rare and exotic disease? No, on most clinic days, I see at least one person with BPPV, and often, I see several. For some, BPPV is a minor annoyance. For others, it’s a nightmare of dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, and inability to work or participate in family activities. — Gregory T. Whitman, M.D. (otoneurology)

Here are the Top 10 things you should know about Positional Vertigo (BPPV), with thanks to the Vestibular Disorders Association

1. If you woke up with vertigo, it is likely you have BPPV.

2. If you have vertigo that comes on when you lie down, it is likely you have BPPV.

3. If you have had more than 2 episodes of severe vertigo, there’s a strong possibility you have BPPV .

4. If you have BPPV in both ears, it will almost certainly throw off your balance.

5. If you have a past history of migraine and develop BPPV, you may notice an increase in headaches or light sensitivity. These symptoms will likely decrease after the BPPV has been successfully treated.

6. After BPPV has been treated, it’s a good idea for the doctor to ensure that dizziness, imbalance and related symptoms resolve.

7. If your vertigo makes you nauseated, and you do not have any vestibular tests planned, you may want to ask your audiologist if it would be all right to take a medication for vertigo before the Epley Maneuver. This can make BPPV treatment much more comfortable.

8. Curing a bout of BPPV can require persistence. Doctors and Audiologists always talk about the “easy” cases, miraculously cured on the first visit. However, I have seen patients who needed treatment on 10 different days in one month to finally clear the symptoms.

9. Another version of Rule 8: if you’ve “had BPPV for a year” or more, it’s likely you haven’t been treated enough.

10. In some cases, BPPV follows a previous inner ear infection that has damaged the inner ear and/or vestibular nerve. If this is the case, and if you still have symptoms after successful treatment of BPPV, the best treatment may be vestibular physical therapy, intended to train the ear and brain to work well together.

___

If you think that you or someone you may know may benefit from speaking to our Doctors of Audiology, please give us a call! We’re here to help you (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?

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!

The Epley Maneuver – Voodoo Medicine?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver – you’ll know where we’re coming from with this one….

The Epley maneuver is an exercise used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is a disorder arising in the inner ear. Its symptoms are repeated episodes of positional vertigo, that is, of a spinning sensation caused by changes in the position of the head. The maneuver is done with the assistance of an Audiologist or Doctor. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. 

In the 1970’s, John Epley, the U.S. pioneer of cochlear implant surgery found that vertigo attacks were caused by crystals breaking free from the inner ear and settling in the semicircular canals of our vestibular organs. Our brain perceives these crystals as movement, even if we are still.

Our Doctors of Audiology at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic have a special interest in vestibular disorders, whether it be true vertigo, un-diagnosed dizziness or imbalance. And if you ask some of our patients on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver, it sure seems like voodoo medicine. Often these patients get up and walk confidently from our office after just one treatment (sometimes after suffering years with vertigo). For particularly stubborn crystals – it may take two treatments.

Recent studies show that 40% of those admitted to hospital with a head injury have BPPV, and can be helped by the Epley Maneuver.

If you are suffering with vertigo, half an hour with our Audiologists may change your life. Call Melissa and set up an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology. We know it’s no fun to suffer with vertigo, so we’ll do our very best to get you in as quickly as possible. (519) 961-9285.

Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/18/adventures-in-human-being-gavin-francis-review-john-epley-wirvell, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354276&utm_source=Issue_Alert&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=BIM

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!

What I’ve learned about hearing loss

WhatIWishHL

Nothing is more important to us that the thoughts and feedback of the people who wear hearing aids. Starkey recently asked their social media community to share one thing they’ve learned about hearing aids and hearing loss. The responses were so heartfelt and meaningful that we had to share a few!

I wish I would have gotten my hearing aid sooner. I was too vain to get it because I was only in my 40’s but I really missed hearing so much. Please don’t let vanity keep you from missing out on someone’s words.” – Maria S.

“Do we, as a society, value perceived aesthetics over the ability to communicate, connect and understand each other? I think not. We get our eyes checked yearly and should do so with our ears, too. Be deeper than an empty pleasant nod and smile. Don’t settle for being a spectator in life. Be a participant, get tested and if needed, fitted. Be connected with the ones you love. Stop missing important moments.” – Richard B.

“Having a daughter with hearing loss has made my family learn to be better speakers – looking directly at the person you are talking to, speaking clearly and not shouting at someone who has a hearing aid.” – Christy W.

“Hearing loss is all about being open to change. Change your batteries, domes and wax guards often! Change your mind about wearing them in the rain (oh, the sounds of splashing on rooftops!). Change embarrassment to empowerment; stop pretending you can hear or isolating yourself to avoid poor hearing situations, and change your life by admitting you need help. Talk to an audiologist and get some hearing aids to hear what you’ve been missing.” – Lynette T.

“When you lose your hearing you feel isolated and many other feelings. With my  hearing aids I feel like I have recaptured all that I thought I had lost!” – Kevin M.

Read more here.

Don’t forget that May is Better Hearing Month! Have your hearing tested by our Audiologist 519.961.9285!

 

 

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

 

Find us on Facebook