17730 Leslie St, Unit 108, Newmarket, ON L3Y 3E4

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More About Hearing Loss and Hearing Solutions

 

Hearing Loss

Are some types of hearing loss easier to treat?

Hearing loss is a puzzle that our professionals love to solve, and it is based on your individual experiences, lifestyle, and severity of impairment. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment method for hearing loss — it’s based on the sounds that you can’t hear, which vary greatly, and the sounds that you want to be able to hear. A quality hearing system from a reputable manufacturer isn’t effective until an experienced, qualified hearing care professional programs the technology properly based on your unique hearing needs.

Are there any health downsides to not treating hearing loss?

Research has established a relationship between hearing loss and dementia. There is strong evidence that hearing loss accelerates brain-tissue atrophy, particularly in areas of the brain that auditory nerves would stimulate but can’t because they aren’t receiving a signal (due to a hearing loss). These areas of the brain are also related to memory and speech. Individuals with a mild hearing loss are three times as likely to fall down than those without, and the likelihood of falls increases as degree of hearing loss increases. Hearing loss has also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle-cell anemia, and other circulatory conditions.

At what age do people normally start getting hearing loss?

Since hearing loss is cumulative, hearing loss begins as an infant and continues throughout life. Most individuals don’t begin to experience symptoms until their late 20s or early 30s, and by age 45 a yearly hearing check becomes of greater importance. One-third of people beyond the age of 65 have some degree of hearing loss, however mild or severe, and that share of the elderly population increases as they age.

How can I improve my hearing?

Unfortunately, many forms of hearing loss are permanent because there is no cure. Treatment methods that feature amplification fit to your specific hearing loss by a hearing care professional typically have the highest user satisfaction for improved hearing and improved quality of life.

How can I prevent hearing loss?

Protecting your hearing from noise levels greater than 85 decibels at work and during leisurely activities will greatly reduce your chances of noise-induced hearing loss. Many manufacturing jobs require hearing protection in loud environments, but hearing protection is also recommended while ATV riding, hunting, attending concerts and sporting events, and playing music — all situations where your hearing is vulnerable.

Is hearing loss hereditary?

Though it is difficult to say what genetic factors predispose individuals to hearing loss, there seems to be a connection. Some genetic disorders present at birth cause a hearing loss, but in the absence of a disease, hearing loss can still have a basis in your genetics

What should I do if I get sudden hearing loss?

See your physician immediately; sudden hearing loss is considered a medical emergency. Sudden hearing loss typically resolves on its own within two weeks, but it might not — meaning your hearing might be gone for good. Seeking medical assistance within 72 hours of the onset of sudden hearing loss greatly improves the chances that your hearing will recover.

 

Hearing Aid Repairs

Are hearing aids easily broken?

Because of how small and light today’s hearing aids are — and because of how delicate the internal components are — any excessive force applied to the device may crack the outer shell, which is likely to compromise its function permanently. Internal components might be moisture resistant, but submersion can still permanently damage the unit.

Are hearing aids waterproof?

A few hearing aid brands are waterproof, but by and large, most hearing aids are not. Some internal components in some hearing aids are water resistant, meaning they’ll protect against humidity or condensation to a degree. Direct contact with liquid, or submersion, should be avoided.

Does insurance cover my hearing aid repairs?

Contact your insurer’s customer service line to find out for sure, but typically, insurance does not cover the cost of hearing aid repairs. Please call our office to learn more about protecting your investment in better hearing!

How do I know if my hearing aids are broken?

Only device diagnostics by a professional can determine that, but your devices might be broken if you have tried to troubleshoot them using the tips above, but are still experiencing difficulties getting them to work correctly.

What activities can damage hearing aids?

If you aren’t using hearing aids that are tightly secured, any intense physical activity might jar them loose. Swimming or showering without first removing your devices can also cause damage, as most hearing aids are not rated to withstand water.

Where can I repair my hearing aids?

Our practice can help diagnose the problem with your technology, and we will offer a repair if fixing the device is possible. In many cases, when you’ve purchased your technology at York Hearing Clinic, repairs for devices that are still under warranty carry a minimal charge, if any at all.

 

Hearing Protection

Are there advantages to earmuffs or earplugs?

Heavy-duty earmuffs can create a seal around the ear that cuts out noise to the same level as many earplugs. The main disadvantages of a larger headset are the possibility for less mobility, and the possibility that they may fall off, leaving the ears exposed for some period of time. Earplugs may also fall out, but custom-fit earplugs are likely to stay sealed comfortably in the ear for as long as you’d like to wear them.

How can I tell if a noise is dangerous?

If you must raise your voice in order to be heard over the sound, you’re probably experiencing a dangerous amount of noise. Do what you can to move out of harm’s way, or cover your ears if possible until the noise passes.

How do I protect my ears from loud noise?

Earplugs that fit snugly and seal tightly in your ear canal typically offer protection for a variety of situations. Custom-fit hearing protection offered by York Hearing Clinic can protect your ears from harmful noise levels while still allowing you to enjoy the activities you love.

How long can I be exposed to loud noises before it affects my hearing?

Permissible noise exposure levels vary. Hearing loss is cumulative, meaning that the less time you’re exposed to loud noises over the course of your life, the better your hearing health is likely to be. The point at which sound begins to damage hearing is 85 dB, for which the permissible continuous exposure period is about eight hours. For each 3 dB increase in noise pressure, the permissible exposure time before hearing damage can occur is cut in half. For example, permissible exposure to 88 dB would be four hours, 91 dB would be two hours, 94 dB would be one hour, etc.

My ears hurt after being exposed to loud noise. What should I do?

Do whatever you can to get away from that noise immediately. When a noise is painful, it’s likely that damage is being done to your hearing. Noises loud enough to cause pain are also typically loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage almost immediately. If the pain persists, please see a medical professional.

What are some common loud noises I should avoid?

Perhaps the most common loud noise you’ll encounter is freeway traffic, which can be loud enough to damage hearing (85 dB) when it’s heavy. Lawn mowers, chain saws, ambulances, garbage trucks, and motorcycles are all fairly common neighborhood or street sounds that can damage hearing. During certain times of the year, firecrackers, jackhammers, snowmobiles, or outdoor sporting equipment (guns included) might make themselves known. And of course loud music — whether it’s through earbuds and a loud iPod or in person at a concert — is one of the most common culprits of hearing loss today.

Where can I get custom hearing protection?

York Hearing Clinic can fit you with custom hearing protection that defends the delicate inner ear against harmful noise levels.

 

Tinnitus

Are there medications for tinnitus?

Almost all of the “surefire” remedies for tinnitus found on the Internet are based on pseudo-science, case studies, or no real evidence at all. But there are some things you can try to help lessen symptoms, including:

  • Limiting exposure to loud noises
  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Ingesting less salt
  • Limiting exposure to alcohol

Can tinnitus be cured?

Current research by neurologists suggests that altering certain areas of the brain that respond to sound — or a lack thereof — may provide relief.

Experiments to regrow broken hair cells have also been performed. Regrowth of hair cells means that hearing is restored, which prevents the brain from attempting to fill the void left by a lack of hair cells, ultimately ending tinnitus.

Both theories are likely years away from clinical trials, which means a greater period of time until any possible cure hits the market. Curing tinnitus may be possible, but likely not in the near future.

Can tinnitus be directly measured?

Rarely. There is a form of tinnitus referred to as “objective tinnitus” that your doctor can hear. This is typically the result of a blood vessel problem, an inner ear bone condition, or muscle contractions.

Does tinnitus cause hearing loss?

No. Tinnitus is a symptom of any number of conditions, including hearing loss.

Why is tinnitus worse at night?

In our daily lives, sounds around us typically mask tinnitus to some degree. At night, when things are quiet, there’s less noise and fewer mental distractions. If your tinnitus is stress-related, it’s also possible that the cumulative stress of your day has made your symptoms worse.

 

Hearing Tests

How long does a hearing test take?

Approximately 20-30 minutes. While an entire consultation appointment takes up to 90 minutes.

How often should I get my hearing tested?

This depends on lifestyle as well as age. Typically, we recommend an annual hearing test, whether there are signs of hearing loss or not, particularly if you are exposed to noise consistently through work or play. If you are exhibiting signs and symptoms of hearing loss, please call today to schedule an appointment. Signs include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling that people mumble
  • Having to turn up the volume on television, telephone, or personal listening devices
  • Trouble following conversations in busy venues (concerts, restaurants)

 

Financing Options

Does my insurance offer any hearing benefits?

York Hearing Clinic is a preferred provider for most medical insurance plans, some of which carry a hearing aid benefit. It is important that you check with your insurance provider for information regarding hearing benefit coverage, which you can typically find by contacting your insurer’s customer service line. Although we can provide some assistance with this process, your individual insurer will have more details.

Does OHIP cover hearing aids?

OHIP does not cover the cost of HA’s however, The Assistive Devices Program of the ministry of health does cover a portion towards hearing aids. Please see clinic for details.

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

The cost of hearing aids is usually the result of a few things: the quality of sound that the unit produces, the features included that help the user hear better, the quality of the components of the unit, and the custom fitting and follow-up care by the specialist who fits your hearing aids. Although inexpensive hearing aids do exist, they are typically made with low-quality components, are not correctly fit to treat your specific hearing loss, and do not include any professional care by a highly trained provider who will help you get the most out of your investment.

 

Hearing Aid Batteries

How much do hearing aid batteries cost?

Some hearing care providers include, in the costs of hearing aids, a litany of perks, like follow-up care, refittings, warranties that cover damage, and free hearing aid batteries—so you may not actually have to pay for them. Free batteries are sometimes offered for the same term as the warranty, and sometimes for a fixed amount of time.

Packs of hearing aid batteries typically cost $6 for an 8 pack.

How often do I have to change my hearing aid batteries?

How often you change your hearing aid batteries will depend mostly on two things: the style of hearing aid you use and how often you use it. Many of the smaller units — the invisible units, for instance — require smaller batteries that have less power. Using these units for most hours of the day might yield only three to five days of use per set of batteries.

Batteries for larger styles, however, like behind-the-ear units, can last for weeks if used for only a handful of hours each day. Wearers of these units can typically expect their batteries to last for five to seven days if used regularly.

If you cannot find the questions and answer you are looking for, check out the York Hearing Clinic Blog or ask our specialists a question.

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