Hearing Loss

Signs of Hearing Loss

It is not always easy to identify a hearing loss in yourself, which is why it is common to learn of your diminished hearing from those closest to you. By the time your family and friends bring up the issue of your hearing, it may have been deteriorating for years without you realizing. We often hear from patients who believed that other people were mumbling when speaking, rather than identifying that they are experiencing a hearing loss.

Recognizing a hearing loss in yourself or someone you know is the first step toward improving the situation.


Signs of hearing loss include:

  • Asking people to repeat themselves during conversation

  • Misinterpreting a spoken message

  • Needing to turn up the volume on the television or radio

  • Difficulty hearing while speaking on the telephone

  • Difficulty hearing in public gatherings where sound sources are far away from the audience such as concert halls, theaters, houses of worship

  • Difficulty understanding conversations within a group of people

  • Avoiding group situations, where listening may be difficult or where one may feel embarrassed about misunderstanding what is being said

Over 10% of the Canadian population reports difficulty hearing. If you are among these millions of people with hearing loss, you certainly are not alone. Consider these statistics reported by Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Better Hearing Institute:

  • 3 in 10 people over age 60 have hearing loss

  • 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59), or 14.6%, have a hearing problem

  • 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40), or 7.4%, already have hearing loss

  • It is estimated that 3 in 1,000 infants are born with serious to profound hearing loss

Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions. These include: impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks; reduced alertness; an increased risk to personal safety; irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress and depression; and diminished psychological and overall health, as well as economic disadvantages. Fortunately, there is a solution. Hearing aids can help the majority of people with hearing loss to regain some of their hearing. Recent studies showed that nine out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.

A conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear. A conductive hearing loss can potentially be corrected with surgery or with hearing aids.


A sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve. Damage can be caused by:

  • The natural aging process

  • Exposure to loud or constant noise

  • Ototoxic medications

  • Illness or birth defects

  • Hereditary

  • Traumatic injury

A sensorineural hearing loss is typically a permanent type of hearing loss that usually can be helped with hearing aids.


A mixed hearing loss occurs when someone has a combination of a sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss.

Outer Ear

Outer Ear

Middle Ear

Middle Ear

Inner Ear

Inner Ear

Types of Hearing Loss

If you suspect that you have a hearing loss, please book an appointment to see an Audiologist. Dr. Chaves can perform a comprehensive hearing test where you are prompted to respond when you hear different frequencies presented at different volume levels. This test will produce a profile of your hearing, called an audiogram. Dr. Chaves will use the audiogram to determine whether you have a hearing loss, as well as the type and severity of your hearing loss. He will also assess the outer and middle ear and determine if your hearing loss is best treated medically or with hearing aids.


Individuals over 50 years of age are advised to have their hearing checked regularly.

What Happens During a Hearing Test?

When you arrive for your exam, you will be greeted by the front office staff who will ask you to complete some medical forms which record your personal information and health history.

As your exam begins, your audiologist will review your personal information with you and ask you questions about the types of environments in which you experience difficulty with hearing.

Next, the audiologist will look into your ears using a video otoscope. This instrument is used to see the ear canal and ear drum and whether or not there is ear wax obstructing the canal.

The first test that is conducted is the pure tone hearing test. This is conducted in a soundproof booth. Dr. Chaves will place earphones in your ears. The audiometer transmits a series of tones at a variety of volumes into your ears to determine the exact point or "threshold" at which you can hear various frequencies of sounds. When you hear a sound, you will be asked to press a button.

Next is speech testing, where you will listen to a series of one and two syllable words at different volumes and be asked to repeat them. This will determine the level at which you can detect and understand speech. Another test that may be conducted is a speech in noise test which will determine how well you hear sentences in noisy environments. 


The results of your tests will be recorded on a form called an audiogram which reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. The audiogram also shows the type, pattern and degree of hearing loss. Dr. Chaves will explain your results and address your concerns about your hearing. The next step is to consider treatment options.

Noise in the Ears? Maybe Tinnitus Is to Blame

Do you often hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, or hissing sound in your ears? Is this noise beginning to affect your quality of life? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have tinnitus.


Tinnitus is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Hearing loss. Most people who have tinnitus also have some level of hearing loss.


Loud noises. Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss get worse.

Medication. More than 200 medicines, including Aspirin, can cause tinnitus.

Other potential causes. Allergies, tumors, problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.

What to Do If You Have Tinnitus

If you have been diagnosed with Tinnitus by an audiologist, Dr. Chaves will perform a hearing test to determine the most likely causes and best treatment for your tinnitus. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist to complete the diagnosis.

How Is Tinnitus Treated?

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are several treatments available that may give you some relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so you may need to try several to find the ones that help.


Tinnitus treatment can include:

Hearing Aids

Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids create a dual benefit of enhancing hearing and masking or covering up the tinnitus. The majority of patients with tinnitus receive partial or complete relief from their tinnitus with the use of hearing aids.

Maskers

Tinnitus maskers are small electronic devices that look like hearing aids and are tuned to generate a sound that masks or covers up the tinnitus. Like hearing aids, they may provide relief from the tinnitus, but will not enhance hearing and may interfere with understanding speech.


Many types of devices, such as fans, radios and sound generators can be used as tinnitus maskers to help tinnitus sufferers to fall sleep or get back to sleep.

Medicine or Drug Therapy

Some tinnitus sufferers develop anxiety and other strong emotional responses to their tinnitus. Certain medications may provide relief from these emotional reactions and provide some relief from the tinnitus.

Neuromonics Tinnitus Therapy

This treatment uses a combination of testing, counseling and specialized masking to help you to effectively manage and gradually reduce your response to the tinnitus. This treatment can take six months or more to complete but has a high rate of success.

Counseling

People with tinnitus may experience anxiety, depression and other psychiatric problems. You may be referred to a psychiatrist or counselor if needed.

Relaxing

Learning how to relax is very helpful if the noise in your ears frustrates you. Stress makes tinnitus seem worse. By relaxing, you have a chance to rest and better deal with the sound.

What Can I Do to Help Myself?

Many people find listening to music very helpful. Focusing on music might help you forget about your tinnitus for a while. It can also help to mask the sound. Other people like to listen to recorded nature sounds, like ocean waves, the wind, or even crickets.


Avoid anything that can make your tinnitus worse, such as smoking, alcohol and loud noise. If you are a construction worker, an airport worker, or a hunter, or if you are regularly exposed to loud noise at home or at work, wear ear plugs or special earmuffs to protect your hearing and keep your tinnitus from getting worse.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chaves and his team of hearing professionals at Cambridge Audiology to book a hearing test to evaluate and discuss your hearing loss.

Noise in the Ears? Maybe Tinnitus Is to Blame

Do you often hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, or hissing sound in your ears? Is this noise beginning to affect your quality of life? If you answered yes to these questions, you may have tinnitus.


Tinnitus is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Hearing loss. Most people who have tinnitus also have some level of hearing loss.


Loud noises. Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss get worse.

Medication. More than 200 medicines, including Aspirin, can cause tinnitus.

Other potential causes. Allergies, tumors, problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.

What to Do If You Have Tinnitus

If you have been diagnosed with Tinnitus by an audiologist, Dr. Chaves will perform a hearing test to determine the most likely causes and best treatment for your tinnitus. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist to complete the diagnosis.

How Is Tinnitus Treated?

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are several treatments available that may give you some relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so you may need to try several to find the ones that help.


Tinnitus treatment can include:

Hearing Aids

Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids create a dual benefit of enhancing hearing and masking or covering up the tinnitus. The majority of patients with tinnitus receive partial or complete relief from their tinnitus with the use of hearing aids.

Maskers

Tinnitus maskers are small electronic devices that look like hearing aids and are tuned to generate a sound that masks or covers up the tinnitus. Like hearing aids, they may provide relief from the tinnitus, but will not enhance hearing and may interfere with understanding speech.


Many types of devices, such as fans, radios and sound generators can be used as tinnitus maskers to help tinnitus sufferers to fall sleep or get back to sleep.

Medicine or Drug Therapy

Some tinnitus sufferers develop anxiety and other strong emotional responses to their tinnitus. Certain medications may provide relief from these emotional reactions and provide some relief from the tinnitus.

Neuromonics Tinnitus Therapy

This treatment uses a combination of testing, counseling and specialized masking to help you to effectively manage and gradually reduce your response to the tinnitus. This treatment can take six months or more to complete but has a high rate of success.

Counseling

People with tinnitus may experience anxiety, depression and other psychiatric problems. You may be referred to a psychiatrist or counselor if needed.

Relaxing

Learning how to relax is very helpful if the noise in your ears frustrates you. Stress makes tinnitus seem worse. By relaxing, you have a chance to rest and better deal with the sound.

What Can I Do to Help Myself?

Many people find listening to music very helpful. Focusing on music might help you forget about your tinnitus for a while. It can also help to mask the sound. Other people like to listen to recorded nature sounds, like ocean waves, the wind, or even crickets.


Avoid anything that can make your tinnitus worse, such as smoking, alcohol and loud noise. If you are a construction worker, an airport worker, or a hunter, or if you are regularly exposed to loud noise at home or at work, wear ear plugs or special earmuffs to protect your hearing and keep your tinnitus from getting worse.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chaves and his team of hearing professionals at Cambridge Audiology to book a hearing test to evaluate and discuss your hearing loss.

Online Hearing Test

1. Do you have difficulty hearing in noisy restaurants?

a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

2. Do people sound like they are mumbling?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

3. Do you have difficulty understanding speech on the telephone?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

4. Can you understand men better than women or children?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

5. Do you seem to hear better out of one ear better than the other?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

6. Do you have difficulty hearing someone who is speaking in a whisper?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

7. Do you find yourself turning up the volume on the TV?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

8. Do your family members make comments about your ability to hear?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

9. Do you frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Sometimes

10. Have you been or are you frequently exposed to loud noises?
a. Yes
b. No

c. Sometimes.

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘sometimes’ to any of these questions, you may be suffering from a hearing loss; call Cambridge Audiology today to book an appointment for your hearing evaluation.

Suite 2 - 697 Coronation Blvd,
Cambridge, ON N1R 3G5
Call Now: 519-624-2230

Fax: 519-624-5412
Email: info@hearing.ca

Hours

Monday - Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Saturday - Sunday Closed

Service Area

  • Cambridge

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