Call us today 705-527-0940

952 Jones Road, Suite B3
Midland, ON L4R 0G1

What is Hearing Rehabilitation?

Helen Keller once said that blindness separates people from objects, but hearing loss separates people from other people.

Untreated hearing loss affects not only the person with the hearing loss, but also their closest family members. Communication that was once easy can become difficult, or even exasperating.

Hearing loss is one of the three most common chronic health conditions in Canada. Yet very few people know how to cope with hearing loss. Many people may assume (incorrectly) that a hearing loss can be ‘fixed’ by putting on a hearing aid or by talking loudly to the person.

Our ability to hear (and more importantly, to UNDERSTAND) conversation depends on many factors. Hearing aids allow the hearing-impaired person to HEAR sounds. Then they must re-learn how to cope with ‘background noise’. In addition, families must learn new strategies to ease communication and reduce frustration.

Hearing Rehabilitation is a comprehensive approach to hearing care. It is not a ‘quick fix’ to a hearing problem, since history has shown that such an approach is not usually successful for the patient.

At The Hearing Rehab Centre, we believe that living successfully with a hearing loss is possible. We will provide a full hearing assessment. We will explain YOUR hearing loss. We will provide you with up-to date hearing instruments and/or assistive listening devices. We will provide you AND your family the tools you need to once again enjoy conversation. This is ‘hearing rehabilitation’.

PS: We can now assess your ability to hear in background noise. This allows us to fine-tune your prescription and rehabilitation to your individual needs.

Hearing & Cholesterol

High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels interfere with our inner ear function, which can result in hearing loss (1,2,3). Some researchers have also found correlations between high cholesterol levels and other inner ear disorders (1).

NOISE EXPOSURE AND CHOLESTEROL

High blood lipid levels (including cholesterol) places us at even greater risk than usual for noise-induced hearing loss (1). High lipid levels in the blood are more common in patients with noise-related hearing loss than in people with normal hearing (4). The relationship between noise exposure and cholesterol may ‘work both ways’, as noise exposure can actually increase cholesterol levels! (1)

The good news is, keeping your blood lipid levels ‘in check’ can reduce your risk of hearing loss and tinnitus(ear noises) (1,4).

PREVENTION IS THE GOAL!

Audiologists monitor ear health, not just ‘hearing loss’. Talk to your Audiologist about prevention of hearing loss.

References

(1) Campbell K.C.M., Rybak L.P. and Khardori
R. (1996). Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Dyslipidemia.
American Journal of Audiology, 5(3),
11-13.

(2) Rajogopalan L., Greeson J.N., Xia A., Liu H.,
Sturm A., Raphael R.M., Davidson A.L., Oghalai
J.S., Pereira F.A., Brownell W.E. (2007). Tuning
Of the Outer Hair Cell Motor By Membrane
Cholesterol. Journal of Biological Chemistry,
282(50), 36659-70.

(3) Cranis M., Schmid J., Olzowy B., Jahn K.,
Strupp M. Berghaus A. Suckfuell M. (2009).
The Influence Of Cholesterol On the Motility Of
Cochlear Outer Hair Cells and the Motor Protein
Prestin. Acta Otolarynoglogica, Jan 19 2009:
1-6.

(4) Sutbas ., Yetiser S., Satar B., Akcam T., Karahatay
S., Saglam K. (2007). Low-Cholesterol
Diet and Antilipid Therapy in Managing Tinnitus
and Hearing Loss In Patients With Noise-induced Hearing Loss and Hyperlipidemia.
International Tinnitus Journal 13(2), 143-149.

Understanding Digital Hearing Instruments

Most Hearing Instruments are now “Digital”. This means that their circuit converts incoming sound to a digital signal before presenting it to your ear. Up until the mid-1990’s, Hearing Instruments were non-Digital, or “Analog”.

What advantages do digital Hearing Instruments offer over analog instruments?

1. Feedback Reduction

“Whistling” or “Feedback” from a Hearing Instrument can be annoying and embarrassing. Digital Hearing Instruments can monitor themselves for Feedback. Often, today’s technology can eliminate these sounds.

2. Self-Adjustment

Digital Hearing Instruments can be programmed by your Audiologist to monitor your environment, and to automatically respond accordingly. This means less “fiddling” or adjusting of the Hearing Instrument for you! In fact, some people now report that with today’s digital technology, they can put their Hearing Instruments on in the morning, and not Touch

3. Learning your preferences

Some very advanced digital Hearing Instruments can actually “learn” your listening preferences in specific situations. These Hearing Instruments allow you to “teach” them how you would prefer them to respond in a cocktail party, a restaurant, or on the golf course. The next time you are in that situation, the Hearing Instrument automatically responds accordingly.

4. One size does NOT fit all!

Digital Hearing Instrument technology allows us to customize your Hearing Instrument to your Hearing Loss AND to the situations in which YOU need to hear. We can set up a specialized response in the Hearing Instrument that you can select when you are in a particularly difficult listening situation (for example, when you use the phone, or when you are attending a classical music concert, or when you are in a reverberant gymnasium). Since your lifestyle may be different from anyone else’s, this ability to customize your Hearing Instruments is very important!

Hearing & Diabetes

PEOPLE WITH DIABETES ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK FOR HEARING LOSS

Diabetics are more likely than non-diabetics to develop hearing loss at younger ages (1,2,3). Unfortunately, Hearing Loss seems to progress as the disease of diabetes becomes worse (3).

Hearing Loss in diabetes may be due to damage to the blood supply of the inner ear (4). Any sudden change in hearing should be considered an emergency, with an immediate audiogram (Hearing Test) and medical followup.

CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN!

Diabetics know that management of their disease is important for many areas of overall health. All diabetics should also be made aware of the importance of reducing their risk factors for hearing loss. This includes managing their diabetes and reducing activities that could contribute to hearing loss (such as smoking or exposure to loud sound).

KNOWLEDGE IS KEY!!

Dr. Keiko Hirose at Washington University in St. Louis notes: “Screening for hearing loss in individuals at risk could lead to interventions that would affect their ability to communicate, their productivity, and their safety” (5). Regular Audiological check-ups are important for people with diabetes.

References

(1) Ann Intern Med.
2008 Jul 1; 149(1) 1-10.
The Abstract for this article can be found at
www.pubmed.gov

(2) Otolaryngol Pol.
2002; 56(5): 607-10.
(ISSN: 0030-6657)
The Abstract for this article is available at
www.medscape.com/

(3) Otol Neurotol.
2006; 27(6): 802-8.
(ISSN: 1531-7129)
The Abstract for this article is available at
www.medscape.com/

(4) Diabet Med.
2006; 23(12): 1339-43.
(ISSN: 0742-3071)
The Abstract for this article is available at
www.medscape.com/

(5) Hearing Impairment Common In Adults
With Diabetes.
Reuters Health Information.
Available at:
www.medscape.com/medscapetoday


The Hearing Rehab Centre | 705 527 0940
952 Jones Road, Suite B3, Midland L4R 0G1 (In the same Parking Lot as North Simcoe Family Medicine)
www.hearingrehab.goldbook.ca