A Sudden Change in Hearing

A sudden change in hearing is never normal and it must be addressed immediately. Any patients reporting a sudden hearing loss will typically be seen the same day. If we are not able to see you on the same day our clinic staff will make a recommendation for you to attend another facility as soon as possible. It is imperative that this situation be treated as a medical emergency because of the possible causes.

Sudden onset hearing loss can be caused by a range of factors, including wax build-up closing off the ear canal, a viral infection or, in the worst-case scenario, a brain tumor. A brain tumor is rare in these instances, but it is a possibility that should not be ignored.

When patients attend the clinic for hearing tests in these circumstances they will be evaluated for wax build up. If there is no wax build-up the hearing test proceeds as usual. If wax is presenting an issue, it can typically be removed with ease. If the hearing has returned to normal levels, there is no further cause for concern.

If upon conclusion of the hearing test a hearing loss is present, I typically advise patients that they should immediately follow up with a physician. The physician will assess the patient for further treatment, including a likely referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, steroid/anti-viral medications and/or an MRI.

As I said, sudden onset hearing loss is very serious and must be addressed immediately. Patients should not assume that wax build up is the cause in any case. Patients should consider sudden changes in hearing an emergency medical situation and address it accordingly.

Anyone experiencing a sudden change in hearing should call the clinic at (416) 792-9400 and request a same-day appointment. We will do everything possible to rearrange our schedule for you to attend immediately.

-Mahsa


Holiday Hearing Aid Trials

With the holidays around the corner it’s likely you’ll be spending a lot more time with friends and family. It’s in these social settings where hearing aids can make a remarkable difference in your life. If you find you are struggling to follow a conversation around the dinner table or at a busy holiday party, hearing aids may be able to help you in a meaningful way. Around this time of year I strongly encourage my patients who are considering hearing aids to take them for a trial period.

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What can an Audiologist do for you?

Dear readers,

Often taken for granted, the ability to hear plays a crucial role in the way we interact with each other and our surroundings. Yet, for more than one million Ontarians, hearing loss can have serious consequences, negatively affecting daily living. Untreated or mismanaged hearing loss has a profound impact at any age. For example, hearing loss can result in compromised speech, language, and social development in toddlers, poor academic performance in children, behavioural issues in teenagers, and isolation, reduced independence, diminished cognitive function, and depression in adults. Knowing where to turn for help is an important first step – your audiologist can help.

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Hearing Aids – Make an Informed Decision

Dear readers,

If you find conversations hard to follow and frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves, you may have hearing loss that can be treated with a hearing aid. However, before any decisions can be made about whether you are a candidate for a hearing aid, it is crucial to undergo a comprehensive audiologic evaluation. Hearing aids, especially those developed in recent years, are very sophisticated electronic devices that amplify sound to compensate for an individual’s hearing loss. While hearing aids are not a cure, they often can minimize the consequences of hearing loss, and can lead to an enhanced quality of life. However, just as is the case with eyeglasses or medicine, if hearing aids are not properly prescribed, serious harm can result. This is why hearing aid prescription is controlled under the Regulated Health Professions Act.

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May is Better Hearing Month – Protect your ears!

Dear Readers,

An estimated 3 million Canadians have hearing loss. One in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise.What’s worse: Noise-induced hearing loss is the only preventable cause of permanent hearing loss! Remember how your mom always told you to “take a sweater” to prevent catching a cold? Well, your audiologist will always tell you “wear your hearing protection” to prevent permanent hearing loss. We all know mom knows best, but why don’t we listen?

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World Hearing Day 2016

 

Dear Readers,

For the past few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been raising awareness for hearing care through their annual advocacy event: World Hearing Day. Last year, their theme was “Make Listening Safe”. Last March, we shared with you some of the posters, infographics and learning tools the WHO published on their website aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of excessive noise and preventing noise-induced hearing loss.

A startling statistic shared by the WHO suggests over 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss. As a result, they are promoting the following as ways to make listening safe:

1- Keep the volume down

2- Limit time spent engaged in noisy activities

3- Heed the warning sings of hearing loss

4- Monitor safe listening levels through the use of smartphone apps

5- Get regular hearing check-ups Read More



Auditory Brainstem Response (ABRs)

Dear Readers,

Have you ever wondered how audiologists can diagnose or rule out hearing loss in patients who are difficult to test? How does an audiologist know how loud they need to set hearing aids for someone who can’t provide feedback? Take for example, infants, very young children, people with significant developmental disorders or other imparements – they can’t always acknowledge when they hear tones during a routine hearing test, nor can they always provide accurate feedback to the audiologist when programming their hearing aids. In these cases, audiologists need to employ alternative testing methods, and this is where auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing comes in.

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Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)

Dear Readers,

I mention in my website that I can provide otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing in my clinic. In fact, I am one of very few private audiology clinics in the GTA with this capability. This is an area of practice that I am very excited about because it is so unique.

An otoacoustic emission (OAE) is a very soft sound that is generated by the inner ear. It can happen on its own or in response to a sound that we present to the ear through testing. If you have a healthy inner ear, then chances are your are producing OAEs.

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The Basics of your Hearing Health

Dear Readers,

As an Audiologist I feel it is my responsibility to help the public better understand their hearing health. I started this blog to educate people about hearing health and what an Audiologist can do for them. I will focus my first post on the basics: 1) protect the hearing you have, and 2) deal with a hearing loss when one is identified.

 

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