Audiologists are allied health professionals that have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Science in Audiology. In order to stay in good standing with the College of Audiologist’s and Speech Language Pathologist’s of Ontario, we must meet specific practise guidelines. Our knowledge and training in the field of hearing sciences is quite extensive, which allows us to have a broad scope of practise and interpret the results of a hearing test and hearing aid fitting extremely rigorously. To learn more please visit:
When you arrive for your visit, the audiologist will discuss your hearing history, in order to understand the factors that have potentially changed your hearing. She will also get more information on your personal hearing needs. In addition, a hearing test will be performed. After the audiologist collects the results from your hearing assessment, she will explain the results to you clearly. The visit may also include trying on various types of hearing aids when appropriate. Before you leave the clinic, the audiologist will develop a plan for the next steps. If you have a hearing loss, hearing aids may be recommended.
BRING SOMEONE WITH YOU. Most people find it helpful to bring a spouse, family member or friend to this visit. You will typically get more out of your visit if someone close to you can share in the experience.
Audiologist will perform a series of tests in order to thoroughly evaluate your hearing health. During a diagnostic hearing assessment you will receive the following services after a case history has been performed:
Otoscopy: The audiologist will look into both of your ears to check for any abnormalities of the external ear, ear canal, and ear drum. This will include checking for earwax. Earwax removal will be completed if the audiologist feels as though the wax will interfere with the results of the test.
Tympanometry: This is an assessment of middle ear function. Audiologists will perform this test prior to the hearing test because they want to ensure that your middle ear health is within normal limits. This test can also be used to evaluate the health of your auditory nerve.
Audiometry: This test is done in a sound booth, typically using insert earphones and a small bone conduction device. The audiologist will test your hearing thresholds at various pitches using air conduction methods, with insert earphones and bone conduction methods, using the small bone conductor placed behind the ear.
South Oakville Hearing and Audiology Clinic offers in house demos as well as a two week trial period with the hearing devices that are selected for you based on your listening needs.
Here are some signs to look for:
- you notice that people are mumbling
- you are asking people to repeat themselves more often
- you hear but you cant understand what people are saying
- you have difficulties hearing the TV, radio, or phone
- you listen to the TV at a louder volume than your friends/family
- your loved ones or close friends are telling you that you should get your hearing tested
A real ear measurement system is a tool that audiologists use to evaluate the appropriateness of a hearing aid fitting. It will give the audiologist live feedback about how well the hearing aid is fit in real time. Real-ear testing enables measurement of the sound delivered by a hearing aid in the ear canal of a specific individual. It is the most accurate procedure for measuring how well the hearing aid is matching user targets. If you are interested in having a satisfactory hearing aid experience, real-ear measurement is imperative.
This is a sign of potential hearing loss! It is time to book a hearing test.
Many different variables can cause hearing loss, but the most common causes of hearing loss are aging, noise exposure, genetics, ear infection, viral infection, certain medications, and some diseases.
It is often a misconception that degree of hearing loss is measured as a percentage but it is not. When you receive the results from your hearing test (audiogram) you will see a graph. Pitch, going from low to high, like keys on a piano, can be found on the x axis, and volume (in dBHL), can be found on the y axis starting from soft sounds, moving to loud sounds. Audiologists categorize hearing levels using the following values:
- Normal hearing (0 to 25 dB HL)
- Mild hearing loss (26 to 40 dB HL)
- Moderate hearing loss (41 to 70 dB HL)
- Severe hearing loss (71 to 90 dB HL)
- Profound hearing loss (greater than 91 dB HL)
Sensorineural: when hearing loss is due to problems of the inner ear (hair cells responsible for hearing) or auditory nerve.
Conductive: when hearing loss is due to problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its little bones (the malleus, incus, and stapes).
Mixed: A combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
South Oakville Hearing and Audiology Clinic will help you to select the hearing aid style that is right for your personal needs. We will consider the following factors when selecting a style:
- Severity of hearing loss
- Ear canal shape and size
- Ability to use your hands to insert the hearing aid and take it out
- Personal preference and budget
An assistive listening device (ALD) is a device that can be used with or without a hearing aid to improve listening in daily life. Some examples are:
- Amplified Telephones
- Television Listening Systems
- Alarm Clocks
Some of these devices will work wirelessly with your hearing aids. ALDs are very discreet and can be hidden behind your television or on the wall next to your telephone.
Tinnitus is the perception of sounds which are not produced by a source outside of the body. Tinnitus is an auditory perception generated somewhere in the auditory pathways. It can take a variety of forms: buzzing, humming, whistling. It can be constant, or come and go. It may be experienced in one ear or both. Tinnitus originates inside the head and the onset may be gradual or sudden.
Although we do not understand the exact mechanisms of tinnitus and how it is caused, we know that there are certain factors that can trigger the onset of tinnitus.
Age-related hearing loss, including damage to hair cells and nerves in the inner ear, is very common. Noise-related damage is also common. This is due to exposure to loud sounds such as fireworks, loud music, etc. The result of both is permanent hearing loss, often accompanied by tinnitus.
Certain medications can cause tinnitus either temporarily or permanently. Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs can trigger the tinnitus or make it appear louder. These medications include:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- quinine-based medication
- certain antibiotics
- cancer drugs
It is important to visit with your doctor if you think a drug may be causing your tinnitus. DO NOT stop taking any medication without talking to your physician first.
Damage to these areas can result in tinnitus that is temporary or permanent.
Tinnitus can be triggered by an emotionally difficult event in life such as the death of a loved one or severe stress. In these cases, the cause is not damage to the hair cells, but rather poorly understood emotional mechanisms in the brain.
Although the trigger for tinnitus can most often be found in the inner ear where damage to hair cells has occurred, we sometimes run into onset of tinnitus that we cannot explain and where other parts of the hearing mechanism and/or different parts of the brain can be involved.
There is no magic pill to cure tinnitus but just because there is no pill doesn’t mean there is no hope to manage the tinnitus.
Tinnitus treatment involves giving the patient the best set of tools to manage their tinnitus so that it goes from being a negative and emotionally charged sound to being a neutral presence.
The goal of tinnitus treatment is to help the patient “habituate” to their tinnitus sound. The term habituation essentially means reaching a state where the patient no longer has a negative emotional response to tinnitus.
We habituate (or adapt) to many things, that is a natural part of our daily life. For example, the feeling of wearing clothes/shoes, the noises from our environment (e.g. traffic, ventilation systems etc.).
All hearing aids use batteries. There are two types of batteries currently found inside of hearing aids:
- Rechargeable: Silver Zinc or Lithium Ion
- Non- Rechargeable Zinc Air
|Lithium Ion||Silver Zinc|
|Battery is encased in the hearing aid (no removal)||Battery can be removed and replaced|
|Cannot be interchanged with non- rechargeable battery||Can be replaced with regular battery|
|Lasts for 1500 charging cycles (4 years)||Lasts for 400 charging cycles (replace yearly)|
|4 years of expected battery life||1 year of expected battery life|
|3 hours until fully charged||6 hours until fully charged|
We will repair any hearing aid at no charge within the warranty period. Outside of the warranty period we will repair the hearing aids for a cost that is dependent on the damage.
Do you wear a monocle on one eye or do you wear glasses on both eyes? Most people have vision loss in both of their eyes and therefore wear glasses for both eyes. So, the answer is, if you have a hearing loss in both of your ears you should be wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids will allow you to locate where sound is coming from. The faster you can turn and locate a speaker the better your chances are of understanding them. Also, wearing two hearing aids significantly improves your ability to hear speech in difficult listening situations. Finally, you get a fuller and richer sound quality when listening through two hearing aids as opposed to one.