Frequently Asked Questions

Sound Waves

What is considered “too loud”?

A relatively simple method to determine whether the noise around you is “too loud” is to determine whether you have to should when you are talking to someone who is within 4 to 5 feet away from you. If you do, the sound around you is likely loud enough to be at a damaging level. If your ears are hurting, ringing after exposure, or leaving a sense of muffled hearing, the sound you were exposed to was loud enough to be at a permanently damaging level.

In terms of decibels (the unit of measurement for sound), short bursts of sound at 120db or higher can be permanently damaging to hearing. Things such as fireworks and firearms can easily create blasts of noise that go above this limit, and extreme hearing care should be taken when around them.

What can cause hearing loss?

Hearing loss has a few key and common causes including aging, infection, injury, genetics and exposure to loud noise.

How common is hearing loss?

In Canada, it is approximated that over 3 million people suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Of that number, half are under the age of 65.

Can earwax lead to hearing issues?

Earwax can cause a decrease in hearing for both users with and without hearing aids. While earwax can decrease hearing from individuals without hearing aids, it is common for people with hearing aids to be particularly susceptible to earwax blockage, negatively impacting hearing.

What are the signs of hearing loss? When should I seek help?

The signs of hearing loss can vary among different age groups, and its important to consider the fact that hearing loss is often both gradual and extremely common.

Infants:

  • Lack of reflex to loud and sudden sounds, or sound in general.
  • Imitating familiar sounds by the age of 12 months.

Children:

  • Weak speech.
  • Trouble with learning.
  • Lack of response in conversations, or when prompted.

Adults:

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
  • A sense of mumbling when others speak.
  • Tendency to avoid difficult listening scenarios.
  • Complaints from others that you are listening to TV / Music too loud.
  • Difficulty hearing people specifically when they are turned away from you.

What is an audiologist?

Audiologists are healthcare professionals that are highly trained to identify, diagnose and treat auditory and vestibular disorders in the ear. They are responsible for dispensing and tuning hearing aids and other hearing assistance devices, as well as tinnitus and balance problems.

What is a hearing aid?

Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices that are worn in or behind the ear. Their main purpose is to amplify the noise in the environment in which they are in. They do this through the use of a tiny microphone, amplifier and speaker.

Are hearing aids easy to hide?

Hearing aids are small enough that they can look and feel virtually invisible. While it can be stressful having others notice a hearing device, it is often more stressful trying to hide hearing loss. When you meet with the audiologist you can review the different options to find one that best fits your situation and lifestyle.

Can hearing aids help manage tinnitus?

Yes. Evidence suggests that hearing aids can be effective at masking the ringing caused by tinnitus, and help improve communication and reduce stress for people suffering from tinnitus. Hearing aids increase the amount of information sent to the brain, which can create the effect of tinnitus being less audible.

Is it possible to purchase one hearing aid?

While purchasing one hearing aid is indeed possible, two hearing aids are preferred for balanced hearing and better communication.

Do I need a referral from my doctor to have a hearing test?

Referrals are not required to have a hearing test.

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