Hear At Home Mobile Hearing Clinic LTD

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Increased risk of age-related hearing loss with those with a high glycemic load diet

My aunt sent me this interesting article via email. I'm not sure where she got it and who to reference but I thought I would share it with all of you.

In a recent study of adults over 50 years old, those with a high glycemic load diet had a significantly increased risk of age-related hearing loss

Age-related hearing loss is a common disability in older adults, and nutrition may play a role in the development of this condition. Carbohydrate nutrition is thought to possibly relate to age-related hearing loss.

In a recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition, researchers sought to determine the association between glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) and age-related hearing loss.

Hearing loss was measured in 2956 participants aged 50 years or older enrolled in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study. Food frequency questionnaires were used to document intakes of carbohydrates, sugar, starch, cereal and total fiber. Australian GI values were used to calculate average GI and GL values of the diets.

A higher average dietary GI was associated with a 59% increased prevalence of any hearing loss. Participants in the highest 25% of average dietary GL intake compared with those in the lowest 25% had a 76% greater risk of developing hearing loss. Higher carbohydrate and sugar intakes were also associated with occurrence of hearing loss.

In this study group, a high-GL diet was a predictor of hearing loss, as was higher intake of total carbohydrates. It is possible that prolonged high blood glucose levels after a meal may be an underlying biological mechanism in
the development of age-related hearing loss.

Gopinath B, et al. Dietary Glycemic Load Is a Predictor of Age-Related Hearing Loss in Older Adults. 2010. J Nutr 140(12):2207-12.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When should ear wax be removed?

Under ideal circumstances, a person should never have to clean their ear canals. However, we all know that this isn't always the case and sometimes removal of ear wax is necessary.

When wax has accumulated so much that it blocks the ear canal (and interferes with hearing), a physician or hearing healthcare professional may have to wash it out, vacuum it, or remove it with special instruments. Alternatively, a person may be prescribed ear drops that are designed to soften the wax.

Putting ear wax softeners in the ear in the presence of a perforated eardrum may cause an infection in the middle ear. Similarly, simply washing one's ear in the presence of a perforation may start an infection. If a person is uncertain whether or not he or she has a perforation (hole) in the eardrum, consult a physician or your hearing healthcare professional. Some individuals may also be hypersensitive to products designed to soften ear wax. Therefore, if pain, tenderness or a local skin rash develops, the use of these drops should be discontinued.

Never ever try ear candling! Hearing healthcare professionals warn against it as well as Health Canada!

Thursday, September 30, 2010



Keep Well has donated $300.00 to keep the ‘Go Bus’ on the road for one more day. This donation is a no-brainer says Heather Dunsford, who is speaking on behalf of the Keep Well society. It took the Board of Directors no time at all to reach the decision to support the ‘Go Bus’ as they recognize it is a vital resource in enabling seniors to access our programs. This decision was made despite the limited funds that are available to Keep Well.

Keep Well calls on the rest of the organizations who provide programs for seniors as well as members of the public whose clients and families make use of the ‘Go Bus’, to meet the challenge and keep the bus going for one more day.

North Shore Keep Well provides weekly exercise and wellness classes for seniors in 7 different locations across the North Shore, from Deep Cove to Gleneagles.

Annwen Loverin, Executive Director for Silver Harbour said she is delighted with this initiative and thinks it is a very creative way to bring about more support from the community for the ‘Go Bus’. For more information on how you can help, please contact Silver Harbour Seniors Activity Centre @ 604-980-2474.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP)

Location: Capilano Community Services
600 West Queens Road, North Vancouver
(North Building of the Delbrook RecCentre)

This program offers the North Shore community a free short-term loan (three month) of medical equipment such as mobility and bath aids (crutches, walkers, canes, wheelchairs, raised toilet seats, commodes, bath chairs, stools and bath transfer benches.) The Red Cross supplies the medical equipment and Cap Services staff and volunteers manage the program. Last year, over 5500 items of equipment were loaned to the North Shore community. There is no charge but the program relies on donations. A referral from a health care professional is required for all equipment. For further information, please call us at the above number or visit www.redcross.ca/help

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Vancouver's first annual Consumer Show & Lifestyle Expo for men and women 45+ will happen November 27th & November 28th, 2010 in Hall A of the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place).

CARP members get in FREE!

Click here for tickets!

Get the inside scoop and latest news on the 2010 ZoomerShow by signing up for the newsletter!


~ Body of a 65 year-old
~ Mind of a 45 year-old
~ Libido of a 25 year-old
~ Heart of a teenager

Did you know?
Zoomers encompass both the Baby Boomers (in Canada, 44-62) and those who are older - It's a vast group of more than 14.5 million and accounts for 44 percent of the population, while controlling more than 70 percent of Canadian wealth

• Zoomers control 77% of all Canadian wealth
• Over 14 Million Zoomers in Canada alone
• Zoomer = Boomers with Zip*
• Znaimer + Boomer = Zoomer

What is a Zoomer?
"The population bubble that was the youth market 30 years ago is today, the market I've defined as Zoomers. They were a dominant generation then ... they remain a dominant generation today. Zoomers are a growing, vibrant and affluent community. They look at the world with optimism; they are engaged and aspire to enrich their lives and their communities".

Zoomer Media founder, Moses Znaimer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Can You Hair Me Now?

A couple who sued the heavy metal band Whitesnake claiming that one of them suffered hearing problems after seeing the band at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre will have to be content with a $40,000 settlement, the Appeals Court has ruled.

Maryellen and Kevin Burns filed the suit against the band, the promoter and the venue owner after attending a 2003 show during the band’s “Mmmm … Nice Package” tour, which also featured heavy metal groups, the Scorpions and Dokken.

The couple said a piece of staging equipment blocked the view from their original seats, so theater staff moved them to a new location closer to the stage. The new seats were also closer to a large tower of speakers which had the potential to blast music at a volume anywhere from 2 to 22 times what is considered “acceptable exposure” to the human ear, a hearing loss expert said in a statement filed with the court. The plaintiffs claimed lead singer David Coverdale even looked at the speakers and joked “Is this safe?” before launching into his 80’s hair metal hits like “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love.”

Maryellen Burns claimed she suffered long-term hearing loss following the concert that included the shearing of the nerve cells of the cochlea inside her ear.

She said a mediation session started on an awkward note when an attorney for Whitesnake handed Burns what she thought was a document relating to the case. It turned out to be an envelope containing a glossy autographed photo of Coverdale.

The plaintiffs, who appeared pro se, objected in their Appeals Court briefs to the classification of Whitesnake as a heavy metal band, arguing that such a term pigeonholed “Mr. Coverdale’s talented voice …[and] classic rock & blues sound.”

The Appeals Court found the plaintiff had “not provided any coherent reason” why the $40,000 settlement should not be enforced and did not comment on whether Whitesnake should be called a heavy metal band.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fraud is the number one crime against older Canadians. Though people of all ages can be victims of fraud, older people get targeted more than others. Some of the reasons are that they are often home during the day to answer the door or phone, they can be more trusting and they may not have family or friends close by to ask for a second opinion.

People who commit frauds and scams are commonly called con artists. Con artists don't just target people who have a lot of money. A con artist may steal a small amount from many people. They use a variety of ways to reach people, including the Internet, phone calls and even door-to-door visits.


1. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. When it comes to a "now or never" opportunity, choose "never."

3. Keep account numbers, codes and passwords private.

4. Shred bills, junk mail and receipts when discarding them.

5. Don't be afraid to report your experiences. If you feel uncomfortable, tell someone.

Download the RCMP Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Abbotsford International Airshow - August 13th, 14th, & 15th

Are you planning on taking your children to the Abbotsford International Airshow this year? Airshows are LOUD and especially hard on young ears, and you must protect them to prevent damage.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Buy ear plugs that fit the child's ears. Choose a pair that are inserted into the ear and connected to a string so that the kids won't lose them when they play or run.

2. Bring a set of noise reduction ear muffs. Contact Hear at Home to order a pair. They come in blue, pink and silver.

3. Insist that your children wear the hearing protection throughout the air show. Take them off only when the announcer lets you know there won't be any large, loud aircraft performing. When the noise level is below 75 decibels, give the kids a break.

4. Sit near the back center of the air show. The loudest spots are along the fences or barriers in the front. Planes take off and land in the same location. Avoid sitting near engine noise.

Remember that children learn best through example so make sure you protect your hearing as well. You can contact Hear at Home to have custom fit ear plugs made.

Enjoy the show!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

How to Care for Hearing Aids

Hearing aids play a very important role in the lives of those who are hard of hearing. If you have recently gotten hearing aids, it is important to ask your hearing instrument practitioner about how to care for hearing aids. However, here are some of the most basic things that you should know about how to properly care for your hearing aids in order to get the longest life out of them.


- Never wear hearing aids when you take a shower, go swimming or in the rain without anything to cover your head. Moisture is known to cause damage to hearing aids. Although there may be situations in which moisture damage is unavoidable, it is often almost always preventable.

- Find out from your hearing instrument practitioner how your hearing aids need to be cleaned internally. It will really depend on the specific hearing aid model that you have chosen. Although you can find basic information online about how to do it, you should not attempt to clean a hearing aid internally until you have asked your hearing instrument practitioner about how to do it.

- Never forget to clean your hearing aids externally. You will do this by wiping off the hearing aids. A dry tissue or soft cloth are the best things to use. The best time to clean the exterior of your hearing aids is in the morning. The reason that you will want to wipe your hearing aids off every day is to get rid of any wax or oils from your body that may have collected on the outside of the hearing aids.

- Clean the ear mold of the hearing aid. The best time to do this is at night. All that you need to do is wipe it off with a dry tissue or soft cloth. Keep in mind that ear molds need to be matched up to the correct hearing aid, so it is best to only clean one at a time. Sometimes, you may find that wax or oils enter the ear mold of the hearing aid. If you have any questions about how to clean the ear mold, ask the hearing instrument practitioner.

- Ask your hearing instrument practitioner about a Dry Aid Kit. It is known to be one of the best ways to keep hearing aids protected from wax and moisture in the air.

Feel free to contact me if you would like some more information about your hearing aids!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hear at Home will be at the Diversity Health Fair!


A combination of fun and educational activities, the Diversity Health Fair is a free community event that takes place each Spring. The first Diversity Health Fair took place in 2005 and it has since became the largest event of its kind in Canada. The 2010 Diversity Health Fair will focus on the theme of Healthy Living and Healthy Weight.

When visiting the Diversity Health Fair, you and your family will have access to a great deal of information in different languages about what is and how to adopt a healthy or balanced diet, how to control your weight, and strategies to enjoy daily physical activities. All of these are considered to be the best steps to prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


- A VIP opening ceremony for all to enjoy
- Over 50 exhibitors (including Hear at Home)
- Health and dental screenings
- Cooking demonstrations
- Fitness demonstrations
- Live entertainment
- Kid's Activity Area
- Fabulous draw prizes
- and more!


- To promote healthy living and initiatives to BC’s diverse communities.
- To support and empower people to make changes in the way they eat and live.
- To provide health organizations with an opportunity to demonstrate to immigrant-serving agencies and the culturally - diverse public the programs they have in place which promote access to their health services.
-Enable Health Organizations and Community Service Agencies to meet one another and establish linkages to inform & promote current and future health care initiatives and needs.

Free Admission!

Saturday, May 29. 2010
10:00am - 4:00pm
Croation Cultural Center
3250 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

I hope to see you there!

Hear at Home

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apple Wins in Lawsuit on IPod Hearing Loss

In one of the dumbest lawsuits since the McDonald’s coffee spill felt ’round the world, Apple has won an appeals case relating to iPod-induced hearing loss. The Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a district court’s ruling that the plaintiffs in the case failed to prove that the iPod presents serious risk of hearing loss.

The case was brought by plaintiffs Joseph Birdsong and Bruce Waggoner who attempted to make the argument that Apple’s iconic MP3 player lacks adequate volume meters and noise isolation. They also argued that ear buds are designed to be stuck deep into the ear, increasing the risk of hearing damage.

So how bad are these guys’ hearing to inspire such a lawsuit? Not too bad at all, since their argument had nothing to do with their own hearing loss, just with the perceived potential for hearing loss. That minor detail didn’t stop them from making a run at a little Apple green, but it did stop the court from ruling in their favor. The appeals court found that the argument essentially belonged in an Apple suggestion box rather than court.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Understanding your Audiogram

The results of a hearing test are recorded on a chart called an audiogram. An audiogram is a graph with red O’s and blue X’s connected with little lines. The O’s represent the right ear and the X’s indicate the left. Marks near the top of the graph are an indication of better hearing while marks further down the graph denote worse hearing. Located across the top or bottom of the audiogram are frequency numbers ranging from 125 Hz, a very low tone, to 8000 Hz, a very high tone.

Along the side the graph a series of decibel (dB) numbers indicate loudness. Very soft sounds are at the top (-10 or 0 dB) and loud sounds (110 db) are located at the bottom. Zero dB does not mean that there is no sound. This level is merely the softest sound a person with normal hearing ability can perceive 50% of the time. A normal conversation usually occurs at about 55 dB on the decibel scale.

Looking at your audiogram you can tell which ear you hear better in, as well as how mild or severe your hearing loss is. You can also determine the frequencies at which you hear best and worst. The word tests will indicate test reliability and/or where in the hearing system you may have problems.

If you have any further questions please call Hear at Home at 778.840.7203

Thursday, May 20, 2010


1. Fish do not have ears, but they can hear pressure changes through ridges on their body.

2. The ear’s malleus, incus and stapes (otherwise known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup) are the smallest bones in the human body. All three together could fit together on a penny.

3. The ear continues to hear sounds, even while you sleep.

4. Sound travels at the speed of 1,130 feet per second, or 770 miles per hour.

5. Dogs can hear much higher frequencies than humans.

6. Ears not only help you hear, but also aid in balance.

7. Snakes hear through the jaw bone and through a traditional inner ear. In essence, snakes have two distinct hearing mechanisms, which helps them hear and catch prey.

8. Sitting in front of the speakers at a rock concert can expose you to 120 decibels, which will begin to damage hearing in only
7 1/2 minutes.

9. Thirty-seven percent of children with only minimal hearing loss fail at least one grade.

10.Male mosquitoes hear with thousands of tiny hairs growing on their antennae.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The Facts on Tinnitus

Tinnitus (or "ringing in the ears") is sound or noise that no one but the person with the condition can hear. The noise can be constant or come in short bursts, lasting for long periods of time or just briefly. The sound can be loud or soft, can change in pitch and can be heard in either one or both ears. Each person who has tinnitus can probably describe it in a different way.

The causes of tinnitus aren't completely known or understood and reasons can't always be found. In many cases, though, the sounds can be caused by illnesses or injuries such as:

- Heart disease or high blood pressure
- Infections in the ear or sinuses
- Drug side effects
- Blows to the head
- Hearing trauma such as exposure to loud noises
- Hearing loss
- Objects lodged in the ear canal or a build up of ear wax
- Dental problems
- Certain types of tumors

Symptoms and Complications of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is, by definition, a subjective ringing or tingling in the ear that can only be heard by the person experiencing it. The noise can be described in many ways: a humming, buzzing, ringing, whistling, clicking, throbbing, or roaring.

Many people with tinnitus also have lost some or most of their hearing. In some cases, it's the hearing loss that ends up causing the problem.

The worst part of tinnitus is that it can be very annoying and difficult to live with. A soft ringing sound might not be too bothersome to most, but some people hear very loud sounds over long periods of time or sounds that go away, only to return just as they get used to the silence again. This can affect sleep, concentration, and quality of life.

Diagnosing Tinnitus

If you think you have tinnitus, your doctor may send you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) to be assessed. You'll probably undergo a hearing test and might be sent for CT or MRI scans of the head to see if the source of the noise can be traced.

You'll be questioned on your medical history, medications you take, any history of head trauma, whether you're exposed to loud sounds, and even whether you smoke. Your doctor may ask if you're under more stress than usual, because sometimes depression or stress can bring on these episodes. It's also possible that a visit to the dentist may be recommended to see if a problem with your jaw is contributing to the situation.

Treating and Preventing Tinnitus

Treatment of tinnitus depends very much on the cause. Because tinnitus is usually a symptom rather than an illness, treating the initial cause should help get rid of, or at least lessen, the sounds. Treatment could be one of the following:

- Antibiotics for infections
- Removing obstructions or wax from the ear canal
- Changing drugs or dosages
- Treating certain neurological illnesses
- Surgery to correct joint problems
- Counseling for stress or depression
- Dental work

For the most part, tinnitus usually goes away by itself, without treatment, and is permanent in only 25% of all cases.

When the cause of tinnitus can't be found, or if the cause is something that can't be fixed, there are some things that can be done to try to live with it. Whether or not this is necessary will depend on how loud and persistent the sound is, how annoying it is to the person, and if it's disturbing their daily life.

Some people with severe tinnitus use a technique called masking, in which a device is worn, much like a hearing aid, which provides a soothing or pleasing sound. This hides the annoying ringing or humming. The sounds can be different for each person. For example, some people may prefer to listen to the outdoors - bird calls, falling rain, or waterfalls. In some cases, masking can "train" the brain not to hear the annoying noises and, after a while, the device might not be needed all the time.

Other people don't need constant masking but use this technique when they're trying to fall asleep, concentrate, or rest. For this, they might use radios, CD players, or even household appliances like fans or air conditioners (this type of background masking is called "white noise").

Sometimes tinnitus is caused by hearing loss. A hearing test can determine if this is the case and whether a hearing aid might help. Often the aid will sharpen what's supposed to be heard and end up drowning out or hiding the unwanted sounds.

If you suffer from tinnitus, it's important to stay out of situations that can make it worse. This means avoiding noisy places and keeping music at a reasonable level. Some doctors recommend staying away from caffeine and smoke, as these can irritate tinnitus.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Community Group Program of North Shore Neighbourhood House

This brainbody stimulation program assists seniors in our community to be active and involved for improving health and overall wellbeing.

Trained Volunteer Mentors (active seniors) act as one-to-one support buddies of seniors in our community programs, currently held at John Braithwaite Community Centre, and North Shore Neighborhood House.

Qualified instructors lead the groups in doing specialized Brain Gym exercises that are adapted for seniors stimulating Brain activities to enhance memory, thinking skills, and learning of self-management tools for release of tension due to stress.

Enjoyable interaction is encouraged along with monitoring of individual abilities and needs.

For yourself or someone you think would benefit call : Lori Wall, Program Coordinator
Phone: 604.987.8138 Ext 211

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hear at Home in Lynn Valley

The Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge is one of Lynn Valley's best kept secrets. The 50 meter high bridge stretches accross a beautiful canyon boasting raging waters, waterfalls and deep pools below. The bridge is a popular attraction among tourists and locals alike, the best part is that it is free of charge for all to see.
If you are driving, take upper levels Trans Canada Highway 1 until you reach exit 19. Follow Lynn Valley Road North East past the Mountain Highway intersection, and then continue to Lynn Valley Road. Watch for Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre sign on the right hand side of the road. Turn right onto Peters Road, and you will find the main entrance at the end.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seniors Busters Program

SeniorBusters Program

SeniorBusters presently consists of more than 60 volunteer members over the age of 50. These volunteer members come from diverse backgrounds and will bring many different skills to SeniorBusters in its attempt to reduce the level of fraudulent telemarketing against seniors. SeniorBusters will contact family members, local police agencies, elder abuse committees, and will provide the seniors with the necessary tools to effectively fight this crime.

Why Seniors?

Seniors are targeted for many different reasons that include loneliness, lack of family support, age, vulnerability, and for health-related reasons such as Alzheimer's. Seniors are particularly susceptible to telephone fraud because their generation tends to be more trusting and less likely to hang up the telephone on someone who appears to be very friendly. The effects of this brutal crime has resulted in ruined family lives, great financial losses and suicides.

SeniorBusters helps by…

relating personal experiences, wisdom and expertise
providing strength to the victims
providing emotional and moral support
being sensitive to the needs of the senior
contacting them as often as necessary
developing personal relationships with victims
ensuring that the senior will have a place to turn to if they need assistance
helping the senior regain their personal dignity

In Vancouver:

BC Coalition to Eliminate Abuse of Seniors
Third Floor - 411 Dunsmuir St
Vancouver, BC V6B 1X4
Telephone: (604) 437-1940
Attention: Mary Martin Sharma

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hearing & Balance

How Hearing Aids Work

Hearing aids are fairly simple devices, consisting of four basic parts:

A microphone picks up sound from the environment and converts it into an electrical signal, which it sends to the amplifier.

An amplifier increases the volume of the sound and sends it to the receiver.

A receiver/speaker changes the electrical signal back into sound and sends it into the ear. Then those impulses are sent to the brain.

A battery provides power to the hearing aid.

Hearing aids aren't effective for everyone. Hair cells in the inner ear must pick up the vibrations that the hearing aid sends and convert those vibrations into nerve signals. So, you need to have at least some hair cells in the inner ear for it to work. And, even if some hair cells remain, a hearing aid won't completely restore normal hearing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why do young children tend to have ear infections?

The Eustachian tube, a canal that runs from the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat, is shorter and more horizontal in young children than in older children and adults. This allows easier entry into the middle ear for the microorganisms that cause infection and lead to otitis media. The result is that children are at greater risk of acquiring ear infections than adults.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pink Shirt Day!

“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.
‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’
So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.
As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.
The bullies were never heard from again.”
Will you join in by wearing pink on April 14th?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hear at Home is participating in Earth Hour

Hear at Home is participating in Earth Hour and we encourage you to do the same! Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet. Let’s make 2010 the biggest Earth Hour yet!.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Curious about Sound Waves???

Sound travels through the air as vibrations in air pressure. To hear sound, your ear has to do 3 basic things:

1. Direct the sound waves into the hearing part of the ear
2. Sense the fluctuations in air pressure
3. Translate these fluctuations into an electrical signal that your brain can understand

The outer part of your ear, serves to "catch" the sound waves. Your outer ear is pointed forward and it has a number of curves. This structure helps you determine the direction of a sound. If a sound is coming from behind you or above you, it will bounce off the ear in a different way than if it is coming from in front of you or below you. This sound reflection alters the pattern of the sound wave. Your brain recognizes distinctive patterns and determines whether the sound is in front of you, behind you, above you or below you.

Your brain determines the horizontal position of a sound by comparing the information coming from your two ears. If the sound is to your left, it will arrive at your left ear a little bit sooner than it arrives at your right ear. It will also be a little bit louder in your left ear than your right ear.

Since your ears face forward, you can hear sounds in front of you better than you can hear sounds behind you. Many mammals, such as dogs, have large, movable ears that let them focus on sounds from a particular direction. Human ears are not so adept at focusing on sound. They lay fairly flat against the head and don't have the necessary muscles for significant movement. But you can easily supplement your natural ears by cupping your hands behind your ears. By doing this, you create a larger surface area that can capture sound waves better.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Types of Hearing Loss

Types of Hearing Loss

There are a few different types of hearing loss: conductive, sensory, mixed (conductive and sensory combined), and neural.

Conductive hearing loss. This happens when there is a problem with a part of the outer or middle ear. In most cases medical treatment can help.

Sensory hearing loss. This happens when the cochlea is not working correctly because the tiny hair cells are damaged or destroyed. Depending on the loss, a person may be able to hear most sounds (although they would be muffled); may be able to hear in quiet but not in noise; only some sounds; or no sounds at all. Sensory hearing impairment is almost always permanent.

Neural hearing loss. This happens when there is a problem with the connection from the cochlea to the brain. Neural means related to nerve, so neural hearing loss means the nerve that carries the messages from the cochlea to the brain is damaged.

Friday, March 19, 2010

How do we hear?

When something makes a noise, it sends vibrations, or sound waves, through the air.

The human eardrum is a stretched membrane, like the skin of a drum. When the sound waves hit your eardrum, it vibrates and the brain interprets these vibrations as sound.

Actually, as most things having to do with the human body, it is a little more complicated than that.

After the vibrations hit your eardrum, a chain reaction is set off. Your eardrum, which is smaller and thinner than the nail on your pinky finger, sends the vibrations to the three smallest bones in your body. First the hammer, then the anvil, and finally, the stirrup. The stirrup passes those vibrations along a coiled tube in the inner ear called the cochlea.

Inside the cochlea there are thousands of hair like nerve endings, cilia. When the Cochlea vibrates, the cilia move. Your brain is sent these messages (translated from vibrations by the cilia) through the auditory nerve.

Your brain then translates all that and tells you what you are hearing.

Did you know?

- Your ears aren't just good for helping you hear. They help you keep your balance as well. Near the top of the cochlea are three loops called the semi-circular canals. These canals are full of fluid that moves when you move your head. It pushes up against the cilia and sends messages to your brain that tells it how your body is moving.

You know that feeling of dizziness after you have been spinning around? Well, the fluid in you ears spun as well. That makes the cilia move in all different directions and confused your brain.

- Children have more sensitive ears than adults. They can hear a larger variety of sounds.

- Dolphins have the best sense of hearing amongst all the animals. They are able to hear 14 times better than humans.

-Too much fluid putting pressure on your eardrums causes earaches. They are often a result of infection, allergies, or a virus.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Newborn Hearing Tests

Photos - My daughter Emma born in Dubai in 2003 and now in Grade 1

One of the most amazing and important events of infancy and early childhood is the development of language. Babies start to say their first words around one year of age and by preschool age they usually know more than 1500 words and begin telling stories. The language skills developed during the preschool years serve as a wonderful foundation for learning in school.

When a baby is born with a hearing loss, this process of developing language can be delayed. Early screening helps reduce the delay in language development a child with hearing loss may experience, by ensuring the child and their family receives the support and professional care they need.

Your child is never too young to have a hearing check. The BC Early Hearing Program provides simple and safe screening tests to check hearing after birth. Newborn hearing tests are important for families, because much can be done if hearing loss is caught early in a baby’s life.

About 1 of every 300 babies in BC is born with hearing loss. This number rises to 1 in 50 for babies born in Special Care Nurseries. There are no obvious signs to tell us which infant has hearing loss, and without early screening, many babies with hearing loss go undetected until they are young children or school age.

Over half of all infants diagnosed with hearing loss are healthy and have no hearing loss in the family or other risk factors for hearing loss.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hear the World is a global initiative by Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss – a problem that affects more than 16% of the world’s population. The initiative addresses the social and psychological effects of hearing loss, and provides information on prevention and solutions. Our ability to hear is a fundamental part of our lives, and yet most people take it for granted.

Hear the World raises awareness about the importance of hearing, educates the public about the consequences of hearing loss and informs about how people can benefit from the solutions that are available.
The initiative focuses on three key areas: prevention, support, and solutions.


Prevention is key and research encouragingly proves that hearing loss is the world’s most preventable impairment. We live in an extremely noisy world, with sound levels that threaten our hearing over long periods of time. Even seemingly harmless things like children’s toys and garden tools can cause significant damage.
Hear the World educates the public about these risks and teaches them how to avoid them – such as reducing volume levels or wearing hearing protection where appropriate.


Support for those affected is a major step on the path to obtain a solution. Despite all the drawbacks of not being able to hear well, the average person with hearing loss waits 10 years before taking action. Not only does this reduce their quality of life, it can also result in their brain losing capacity to recognize everyday sounds, along with psychological difficulties associated with isolation.
Hear the World calls for a dialog to lead people who are affected, and the world they live in, out of isolation, and to point them toward possible solutions.


Solutions for people affected by hearing loss come in the form of high-tech hearing devices that incorporate virtually invisible, intelligent mini-computers. These are tiny in size yet enormous in impact. Overwhelming evidence shows that the use of a hearing aid brings major improvement to the quality of life of its users. These individuals enjoy overall health better than non-users with hearing loss, gain self-confidence, play a more active role in family, social and business activities and even have greater earning power.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Protecting Your Child's Hearing

In the first years of life, a child's hearing is particularly sensitive to loud noise, be it intermittently or frequently. And since hearing damage is permanent, it's necessary to take every possible precaution to ensure that your child's hearing is protected when in noisy environments.

When attending sporting events, car races, concerts or any other loud environment be sure your child wears ear protection.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hearing Aid Batteries Sizes and Colours

A few years ago, the hearing aid battery industry standardized battery sizes and came up with a color code to help you remember your battery size.

On the back of each battery is a tab that you pull off to "activate" the battery. Each color corresponds to a different size. Now the numbers and colors for each size are all standard. Sometimes you may see other letters after the numbers, but those are arbitrary letters. The most important thing to remember is size and color as noted in the table below.

Orange Tab Size 13
Brown Tab Size 312
Yellow Tab Size 10
Blue Tab Size 675

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marketing Hearing Aids in the 1950's

The 1950s was the golden era in the marketing of hearing devices. Marketing for hearing aids was focused on dispelling the perception of bulky hearing aids. With the technological advancement of the transistor in the late 1940s and the subsequent miniaturization of batteries, hearing aids became smaller and more powerful – enabling many hearing impaired individuals to potentially benefit from the newer hearing aids.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If your bed partner snores, you have five choices: 1)Suffer with it. 2) Change your sleeping arrangements.3) Try to make the snorer stop.4) Use ear plugs yourself.5) Try white noise masking.

Another option is to have custom made sleep earplugs made by your local hearing professional. These are popular with spouses of snorers, and people sleeping with traffic noise nearby. Custom fitted sleep molds are useful for people that have trouble keeping the traditional foam or wax plugs in their ear canals.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Terence Parkin

Terence Parkin is a Deaf swimmer from South Africa, who won the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the 200 metres breaststroke. He was born Deaf and uses sign language to communicate with his swimming coach. Parkin also competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2005 Deaflympics in which he took home two gold medals.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ear Candling = False Hope

People are seeking alternative solutions for issues that can’t be handled by modern medicine and they want solutions to their problems – preferably simple solutions. Ear candling is not a solution. It’s a dangerous false solution. If you do have an excessive build up of ear wax, learn more about safe ear wax removal and discuss the issue with your family physician.

In other words, ear candling is dangerous and it doesn’t work. Seeing your family physician when you have an excessive amount of ear wax does work.