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S. Conley asks in regards to Hearing Aids:
My mom (89) has some minor hearing loss - but enough that she arranged to have her hearing tested. She actually thought it might be a wax build-up. She was assessed by the company that sells them and of course needs them. The cost is likely to be $4,000.00. She is willing to go ahead with the purchase, but how do we know if this is a scam/legit. Is there any regulation of these operators? etc. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
May 31, 2017, 9:41 am

Dr. Joanne Deluzio answers:

Hi:

I know you are from Ontario, so this helps me to answer your questions. All of the provinces do not have the same system for hearing aid delivery.

The vast majority of hearing health care professionals in Ontario are ethical and responsible people. If the person your Mom is seeing is an Audiologist, they must be registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-language pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO). As well, before purchasing hearing aids, your Mom should be seen by a medical doctor to remove any wax, and just to ensure that there are no medical reasons why she should not wear hearing aids.

All residents of Ontario are eligible for $1000 towards the cost of 2 hearing aids through the Assistive Devices Program of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Whoever your Mom purchases the hearing aids from should have the capacity to receive this funding directly. If they do not, she should not purchase from them. Your mother will most likely have to pay for the hearing aids (less the $1000) upfront. However, she should be offered a minimum of a 30 day trial period. During that time, it would be reasonable to require some changes to the hearing aid programming (most people do). However, if she cannot adjust to the hearing aids, she should be able to return them, and receive the majority (but not all) of her money back. This information should be clearly communicated to her, and you should get it in writing.

$4000 is well within the range of what hearing aids cost. Having said that, your Mom is entitled to seek a second opinion and she should do so if you are not feeling comfortable with the person that she saw.

Another point to consider is that wearing hearing aids is a skill. It takes an adjustment period for people to learn to listen through them. Your Mom will not hear "perfectly" even with the hearing aids. They should be a big help, but she will likely still have difficulty understanding speech in some listening situations. Whoever she decides to purchase hearing aids from, should explain the benefits and limitations of hearing aids to her. Your Mom and your family should discuss together whether or not obtaining hearing aids is the right decision for her. There are other options. For example, if her main difficulty is with the television, she can get a device to be used with the television, such as an infrared device, and if she can read English, and has good enough sight, she can use the Captioning. Again, her hearing health care professional should be providing her with this information.

I wish you Mom the best of luck!

Jo(anne) DeLuzio, PhD
Audiologist, reg. CASLPO



Jun 6, 2017, 7:13 pm


A. Haakman asks in regards to Living with Hearing Loss:
I am slowly being left behind as my hearing gets worse. Where can I go in Sydney, Nova Scotia area to learn ASL, and will it cost me because I am on social assistance and funds are nil as I understand.
Mar 23, 2017, 10:06 am

CHHA National answers:

The Society for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians recommends a woman who is Deaf that teaches in the Sydney area, you're welcome to contact her to ask about her courses via text message at 902-304-9993 or by email at vanessacapebretoner@hotmail.com.

If this doesn't work out as a good option for you, CHHA offers the Sound Ideas DVD and Booklet - it teaches the basics of speechreading (also known as lip reading) and communication strategies over the course of ten modules. To learn more about this resource, visit our website: http://www.chha.ca/chha/publications-speechreading.php

I hope this helps!
Mar 24, 2017, 9:56 am


J. Miller asks in regards to All Other Issues:
What is the criteria for winning the Marilyn Dahl Achievement Award?
Jul 27, 2016, 3:21 pm

CHHA National answers:

The Marilyn Dahl Award of Merit recognizes a hard of hearing member of CHHA who has contributed outstanding service to the work of the association at the National, Chapter or Branch level.

The requirements for this award are as follows:

The nominee would need either a minimum of ten years of membership service to CHHA, or, if possible, have five years of Executive or Board experience within the National, Chapter or Branch level

This is not mandatory, however it is encouraged that the nominee continue to contribute extraordinary service for hard of hearing persons, such as being a founding or continuing President for a group, create a program for hard of hearing persons, etc.

There are also additional documents required to complete the nomination process (a pertinent biological sketch, a complete description of the nominee's activity to be awarded, a nomination form filled in by the nominator and support by two additional CHHA members).

For more information on the Marilyn Dahl Award of Merit please visit
http://www.chha.ca/chha/awards-marilyn.php

Aug 16, 2016, 12:52 pm


J. Reid asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
A local business is installing a loop system. Does CHHA recommend a specific type of sign that should identify this ALD (e.g. broken ear)? Thank you.
Jul 27, 2016, 3:20 pm

Lee Ramsdell answers:

All manufacturers of induction hearing loops that I have seen include signage in different sizes with the T symbol to alert patrons of the availability of a loop system at that location. To see the different kinds of signs advertising hearing loops, you can visit the following webpage:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=induction+hearing+loop+signage&biw=1280&bih=593&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwr5yl_Z3OAhXk6YMKHdrDCrMQ_AUIBigB

It is very important that the loop system installed conforms to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60118-4 standard; a Certificate of Conformity should be issued at the time when the system is installed. The system should then be checked once a year to ensure this standard is met as time goes on.

Aug 3, 2016, 10:53 am


I. Ryan asks in regards to All Other Issues:
I am interested in "Lip-reading" I would like to know if you know if a program for that is offered any where besides Newfoundland?
Jul 27, 2016, 3:15 pm

CHHA National answers:

Certainly, CHHA National has trained several lip-reading (also known as speechreading) instructors across Canada and you are welcome to view a complete listing of these instructors through this link: http://www.chha.ca/sren/instructors.php

Simply scroll down the listing to find your province, and you will see the contact information available for each instructor and the area they are holding courses.

If there are no instructors offering classes in your area, you can also learn the basics of lip-reading at home with CHHA's Sound Ideas DVD and Booklet. You can find this on our publications website here: http://www.chha.ca/chha/publications-speechreading.php

I hope this information helps!
Jul 28, 2016, 1:54 pm


R. Stelmack asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
Are performing theatres (604 seats) required to provide assitive listening devices (i.e. radio frequency or infrared light) to patrons that require hearing assistance and are there any programs available that could provide funding to install? This is in British Columbia. Thanks

Jun 6, 2016, 11:12 am

Dr. Charles Laszlo answers:

In Canada we have the National Building Code and each province has its own Building Code. Most provinces incorporate some, but not necessarily all, provisions of the National Building Code.

Clause 3.8.3.7 in the National Building code applies to Assistive Listening Systems and states:

“In a building of assembly occupancy, all classrooms, auditoria, meeting rooms and theatres with an area of more than 100 m2 shall comply with Sentence (2). Except as permitted by Sentence (2), rooms described in Sentence (1) in a building of assembly occupancy, all classrooms, auditoria, meeting rooms and theatres with an area of more than 100 m2 shall be equipped with an assistive listening system encompassing the entire seating area. If the assistive listening system required by Sentence (1) is an induction loop system, only half the seating area in the room need be encompassed.”

The British Columbia Building Code is based on the National Building Code, and has a special section on accessibility. This is available on-line:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/building-codes-standards/accessibility

This section of the BC Building Code specifically states:

"3.8.2.4.
Assistive Listening Systems
1) In assembly occupancies, all auditoria and theatres with an area of more than 100m2
shall have an assistive listening system conforming to Article 3.8.3.20. [p.76]"

If you require more information, the complete BC Building Code book is available for reference free of charge at public libraries.

So the answer to your question is yes, there is a requirement to provide hearing accessibility depending on the size and type of building space. I have no information on how well these requirements are enforced in practice.

However, there is no specific source of funding to fulfil this requirement, and it is up to the builder/operator to ensure that this accessibility requirement is satisfied.

Jun 9, 2016, 3:00 pm


K. Phair asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
I am deaf in one ear and am looking to get information on SSD tools that may work for me. A cochlear implant in my one ear is not an option. I have heard of the BAHA (a bone anchored hearing device) and the CROS or BiCROS hearing aid systems. I would like more information on my options going forward.

Jan 7, 2016, 8:46 am

Dr. Joanne Deluzio answers:

Hi there:

Living with single-sided deafness can be difficult because it makes it impossible to localize sound and filter out speech from background noise. (If someone calls you from another place in the house, you will likely have absolutely no idea which room they are in or even which floor they are on.) To add to this, other people are often dismissive of the challenges you face because they assume everything is fine since you hear in one ear.

A CROS hearing aid (contralateral routing of signal) works well for many people. This is a device that picks up sound on the deaf side and sends it wirelessly into the ear that hears. You will still not be able to localize sound, but if someone is sitting on that side you will hear them. You do have to wear a device on both ears.

A BICROS is similar to a CROS, but it is designed for people who also have hearing loss on the other side. It picks up sound from the deaf side and sends it into an actual hearing aid worn on the "better" side. If you have single-sided deafness only (and no hearing loss on the better side), you would not be a candidate for this device.

A BAHA works by stimulating hearing by bone conduction. (It was actually designed for people whose cause of hearing loss is a problem in the outer and/or middle ear but they have a completely functioning cochlea and hearing nerve.) In the case of single-sided deafness, it would pick up sound on the deaf side but this sound would actually be perceived in the better ear. A BAHA snaps on to a small titanium screw which has been implanted behind the ear on the head, so it does require surgery.

People with single-sided deafness often benefit from using FM or Infra red systems at the theatre or in auditoriums. This cuts out the background noise by bringing the sound from the stage directly into an earphone that the person wears.

Non-technical suggestions such as strategic sitting, having people walk or sit on your "hearing" side, and telling people that you have single-sided deafness can also help.

Definitely education and awareness is really important around single-sided deafness. Assumptions that these people are exaggerating their issues are discriminatory and cruel, and create additional barriers to the very real challenges these people face.

I wish you the best of luck!
Jan 11, 2016, 10:26 am


J. Peck asks in regards to Legal Issues and Human Rights:
Hello are there any Canadian restrictions on selling PSAP's?
Oct 15, 2015, 4:48 pm

Carole Willans answers:

I assume you are referring to "personal sound amplification products"?(It took a bit of research to figure that out.) I am assuming these would be equivalent to what in Canada are usually called "personal assistive listening devices" and might include such items as personal FM or infra-red listening devices, personal alerting devices (whether visual or vibrating), etc. Yes, there may be restrictions at different levels. If you are exporting from another country into Canada, there may be some federal restrictions. And when you come to sell to a Canadian consumer, there may be provincial/territorial laws that must be respected, depending of the province where the consumer is located. So if you plan to sell PSAPs in Canada, you have some research homework today. The experts you should be consulting are the federal/provincial/territorial governments.
Oct 16, 2015, 12:34 pm


J. Mackenzie asks in regards to All Other Issues:
Hello, recently I have had a mini stroke which caused symptoms similar to Meniere's disease. I have lost hearing in my left ear, and have vertigo. Can you suggest the best way to apply for financial assistance? I can not work in the industry (construction) as a result.
Oct 15, 2015, 12:43 pm

Gael Hannan answers:

We are sorry to hear of your health issues. You will need to check with your provincial government for information and followup for social services support. There are many factors involved, and your doctor and audiologist may provide some guidance on who to contact at the appropriate social ministries. Good luck.
Oct 15, 2015, 1:45 pm


P. Manderson-Wood asks in regards to Hearing Aids:
Can you recommend an audiologist or clinic that has experiencing dealing with reverse slope hearing loss? I have struggled for years & have almost given up on wearing hearing aids. I would be willing to drive out of my area as I have only been to specialists close by.

I need hearing aids to keep my school bus job.

Jul 9, 2015, 2:12 pm

Dr. Joanne Deluzio answers:

Hi there:

You did not indicate what area of the Country you reside, and I don't think either myself or CHHA should be endorsing one clinic over another.

The only advice I have is to phone or email various clinics to enquire about their expertise fitting low frequency hearing losses. Make sure that they will give you a long trial period, and all charges are in writing ahead of time, and completely transparent.

Please don't give up!

Aug 3, 2015, 10:53 am


C. Wheeler asks in regards to Hearing Aids:
I was charged a $390 re-stock fee in order to return my aids - I was dissatisfied. They had no molds so the tips and filters were the only things to dispose. Was that reasonable?
Jul 9, 2015, 1:31 pm

Dr. Joanne Deluzio answers:

Hi there:

That's a tough question because I don't now where you live and what kind of hearing aids you returned. Perhaps the "restocking" fee included remuneration for time spent? I can only speculate, which is never a good idea!

I will say that you should have been provided with written information about what expenses would be incurred should you return your hearing aids during the trial period.

I am sorry that the hearing aids did not work out for you!

Jo DeLuzio

Jul 9, 2015, 10:35 pm


Barbara L asks in regards to All Other Issues:
My mother has hearing aids and it is getting increasingly worse to talk to her on the phone as she can't hear me. Is there any telephone device that can be amplified so she could hear better?
Jul 9, 2015, 1:31 pm

Hugh Hetherington answers:

To this question there is no one answer fits all. It depends very much on your mother's hearing loss and the type of hearing aids she wears. There are so many phones on the market with different options available. Some people do well with a phone that has a loud speakerphone option. The sound can be loud enough to be heard with both ears. Others do better when their hearing aids have a telecoil. This allows the hearing aids to pick up the sound by magnetic induction. Also, many of the latest model hearing aids send the sound to both ears when the phone is held up to one ear. I would suggest you talk to an audiologist to find out the capabilities of your mother's hearing aids (ie. Do they have a telecoil?) Otherwise, find a store that will allow you to try out different phones with the option to return them if they don't work out. Speech discrimination is always better when both ears are involved so, if possible try one of the options that allow the telephone to be heard in both ears.
Jul 9, 2015, 4:34 pm


J. King asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
I have a student who is hearing impaired and wears two hearing aids at all times. She will be starting work experience in her program next semester and will need a special phone to meet her needs. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as where to find one. She presently uses a FM System in the classroom.
Jul 9, 2015, 1:24 pm

Dr. Charles Laszlo answers:

The first thing to do is to ask your student how she uses the phone in her private life. That will give you some idea of the types of phones that may work for her.

If she has T-switches installed in her hearing aids, then she can make use of one of the 'compatible' telephones which are available for T-switch users.

T-switch is a setting on a hearing aid that can be used with a hearing aid-compatible telephone, as well as with other assistive listening devices and systems. The T-switch activates the induction telecoil (the technical name for the “T” switch), allowing the hearing aid to pick up the magnetic field generated by the “hearing aid-compatible” telephone or other assistive devices that are used.

For a more thorough explanation of the telecoil or T-switch see
http://www.nchearingloss.org/telecoil.htm?fromncshhh

There is a large selection of hearing aid-compatible land-line telephones on the market. A Web-search for 'hearing aid-compatible phones' will give you the information on what is available. Most can be ordered through the Web, but you may find that some are available retail in your area.

If she needs a cell phone for her job, I would recommend that the student's hearing aid audiologist or dispenser be consulted for a recommendation.

In any case, it is essential that the student try out the phone under realistic conditions. Most vendors have a return policy for situations where the phone-hearing aid combination does not work out.

If the student does not have a T-switch in her hearing aids, then the situation is much more difficult and there is no specific recommendation that I can give.

Jul 9, 2015, 3:41 pm


D. Marry asks in regards to Living with Hearing Loss:
I feel that my employer has become hostile toward my lack of hearing issues. I have what is referred to as 'single sided deafness'. I have been deaf in my left ear since birth. I am hearing impaired due to a birth defect. I have always struggled with my impairment to some degree especially in high school and later after I entered the workforce. My current employer was well aware of my hearing impairment when I was initially hired but in the last few years some of my managers have been unwilling to work through issues regarding my hearing impairment to better facilitate my needs and assist me in doing my job effectively. There are co-workers I also currently work with who cannot or will not assist me when I haven't heard things properly. Much of the time I don't even realize I have missed important information due to the fact that having a deaf ear doesn't look impaired and managers seem to regularly and selectively forget that I have an impairment and they do not take measures to effectively convey information that directly affects me in my job responsibilities. I feel more and more helpless each day.
Jul 9, 2015, 1:24 pm

Gael Hannan answers:

Thank you for writing. Sensitivity to hearing loss issues is a major concern in the workplace. Ask for a meeting with your employer to discuss your hearing loss and the accommodation you need in order to do your job effectively. As you have been in the job for some time, there may have been management turnover, or managers may not be aware of the issue, or how to communicate effectively. Because I don't know the nature of your work, I can't offer specific strategies, but good communication does depend on your ability to express your needs assertively (but not aggressively). Our organization has an excellent resource which is availabe as a free download, which i have provided here. http://chha.ca/documents/Working_With_Hearing_Loss.pdf Please read through it and you may want to use it with your employer as a resource. Good luck. Gael Hannan
Jul 9, 2015, 3:35 pm


P. Norton-Harris asks in regards to Living with Hearing Loss:
At one time CHHA sold buttons that said something like "I am hard of hearing. Please speak loudly." I have someone who is very keen to purchase one. Can you tell me if they are still available and if so how to purchase them?

Jul 9, 2015, 1:29 pm

CHHA National answers:

Hi P. Norton-Harris,

Thank you for contacting CHHA about hard of hearing buttons, unfortunately, we do not sell them now.

We do sell buttons with the international hearing access symbol (feel free to check out the following link for more information http://www.chha.ca/chha/publications-other.php), but I don't think this is what you're looking for.

I know that the kind of buttons you're asking about are available online from a variety of businesses, and I think a Google search for this will yield many good options for your interested friend – I recommend you shop around for something that shows an image of the product you want to buy, is offered for a good price with low shipping costs and a return policy (just in case).

As a tip, I think that a good button would include the phrase “Please face me, I lip read” or "I am hard of hearing, please speak clearly", or something to that affect.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your search!

Jul 9, 2015, 3:32 pm


T. Casey asks in regards to Noise:
Where can my school order hush ups?
Jul 9, 2015, 1:20 pm

CHHA National answers:

You can order Hushhups from this website.

http://www.hushhups.com/Canada/index.htm
Jul 9, 2015, 1:53 pm


Ellen asks in regards to All Other Issues:
Hi my daughter wears hearing aids and has since she was 2 without them she has severe hearing loss in the middle hearing loss spectrum, in other words she can hear high and very low sounds, so she is heading off to university this year and I was wondering what are the things she should ask for as far as a room etc, I understand they will offer her what they offered her at high school fm system, longer time for tests, but what new things are out there? She will be living in residence, and away from home for the first time, and I was wondering if you had any insight.

Jan 7, 2015, 2:52 pm

Ruth Warick answers:

Hi,
Sorry for the delay in responding. If you can provide your email address to me I can send you a page that provide some of this information; my email is ruth.warick@ubc.ca.

Best regards,
Ruth Warick
Feb 9, 2015, 7:22 pm


Debbie asks in regards to Television Captioning:
Is there a site that I can get free closed captioning through my blu ray player as the hdmi cord seems to be the problem with reading the captioning. My blu ray is WiFi. Thank-you.


Jan 7, 2015, 2:15 pm

CHHA National answers:

Hi Debbie,

That's a very good question; with a little research I've seen on many websites and forums that this is an issue with Blu Ray systems.

Unfortunately, HDMI has no support for closed captioning coding included on DVD's. Blu-Ray discs and players do support English subtitles, but this is not the same as closed captioning. The main drawback of using subtitles instead, is that subtitles only provide captioning for dialogue - not for other information from the soundtrack (some of which can help provide information about what's happening in the movie, EG: sirens in the background, alarms or other sounds that do not include speaking parts).

Some people have gotten around this issue by connecting their player to their TV via RCA cables to let the TV's decoder translate the closed captioning on DVD's.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any websites that provide HDMI friendly alternatives for closed caption coding of movies and tv shows, and I have not been able to find any sites that provide them in my searches.

Thanks for the great question and I wish you the best of luck!
Jan 29, 2015, 3:45 pm


Mona asks in regards to Hearing Aids:
Where can I get a used hearing aid? I am 67 with limited income only OAS. I have been using one for 10 yrs, but it fell out of ear and was lost taking my toque off.


Jan 7, 2015, 1:25 pm

Dr. Joanne Deluzio answers:

Hi Mona:

I am personally unaware of anyone who sells used hearing aids, although I have seen them advertised on the internet. I wouldn't recommend you purchase a hearing aid this way. If it is a custom product such as an in-the-ear or in-the-canal hearing aid there will be significant fit issues. As well, the product will not be programmed for your particular hearing loss and it likely won't have any kind of warranty. You also have no way of determining whether the product is appropriate for your hearing loss, or even whether it is safe for you to use it.

You could ask the hearing health care professionals in your area if they sell "refurbished" hearing aids. You can also ask them if they will permit you to pay for a new hearing aid in small instalments over a longer period of time.

Do you have any family members who might be willing to help you out? "! It doesn't hurt to ask. I also know people who have approached local service clubs as well as their place of worship if they have one for assistance with hearing aids.

You didn't say where you live, but if you are in Toronto, you could check out the hardship fund which is on the City of Toronto Website. They pay for health related devices for people with very limited income. You can check their website to see if you might qualify.

I am truly sorry that you find yourself in this position. Communication is a basic right, not a typically hearing person's privilege.

I do wish you the best of luck!



Jan 12, 2015, 4:47 pm


Oona asks in regards to Living with Hearing Loss:
Hi, I recently had a craniotomy to remove a brain Tumor, during the operation, I lost my right ear, meaning it seems my nerve for the right ear has been cut. I am new to all of this and is overwhelming, my question is, what should I do? I have not yet been referred to an ENT, but I am not sure what to do as I cannot hear 100% with my left ear.


Jan 7, 2015, 2:10 pm

Gael Hannan answers:

Oona, how unfortunate for you, although I hope the tumor was successfully removed. Clearly you need to see an ENT before proceeding any further, to ensure a proper diagnosis and course of care. Let that be your first step. Good luck.
Jan 8, 2015, 3:22 pm


Rheal asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
I know that some companies sell loop systems. Can this device be used on a daily basis? We travel a lot and I'm seeking a device where I could hear the guide when touring various places. Otherwise I'm lost and can't hear what is being said.
Jan 7, 2015, 1:53 pm

Dr. Charles Laszlo answers:

Most loop systems are permanent or semi-permanent installation and not portable as easily as a cell phone, for example. Once installed, loop systems can be used on a daily basis and continuing basis.

However, if you are looking for a device for travel and one that tour guides could use, you need a different approach. Tour guides in some sites already use FM systems that work with a small FM receiver that is handed out to tourists. These FM receivers often use earphones that are not useful for people who wear hearing aids.

For portability people who travel should consider personal FM devices. These consist of a transmitter and receiver units. The transmitter can be handed to the guide to wear. The receivers of these devices have provisions to couple to a personal loop, often called the neck-loop as it is worn around the neck, which then can be used with the T-switch. Some hearing aids have attachments that allow the use of a matching FM system directly.

I would advise that you consult with your hearing sercvice provider and try out the options that are available to you and your hearing aid.
Jan 7, 2015, 6:24 pm


Grace Y asks in regards to Cochlear Implants:
How does one become assessed for possible cochlear implants? Is the procedure covered by the province (Manitoba)? Thank you.
Nov 27, 2014, 11:04 am

Glayds Nielsen answers:

Yes, cochlear implants are covered through Manitoba Health. The assessment is done at the Central Speech and Hearing Clinic and once approved to be a candidate for a CI, the surgery is done at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. Then after healing, appointments for activation, mapping,and follow up are done at the clinic.

You may also be interested in a CHHA Manitoba Chapter meeting (open to the public) on Friday, Feb. 20th at 2 pm. The guest speaker is an audiologist, Jacob Sulkers, and his topic will be cochlear implants. More information can be found in the Manitoba Chapter newsletter:

http://www.chha.ca/documents/MB_News.pdf

Jan 7, 2015, 3:14 pm


Ben asks in regards to Noise:
I'm 34 years old, male. I suffer from ringing in the ears and it sounds like my ears are clogged up when I open and close my jaw/yawn. Also, when I'm in large spaces and their is a lot of background noise I struggle to hear people right next to me. My doctor has checked and my ears look clear (i.e. no wax build up) but I want to see a specialist. Who/where would be the best place for me to get referred? I live and work in Toronto.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Nov 27, 2014, 10:54 am

Joanne DeLuzio answers:

Hi Ben:

When there is a change in your ear sensation or hearing with mouth and jaw movement that is frequently a sign of a sluggish Eustachian Tube (ET). The ET connects from behind the eardrum to the back of the nose and the throat. The function of this tube is to equalize pressure. That "pop" people sometimes experience on an airplane is usually the ET opening up to equalize the pressure between the air behind the eardrum and the air around the person.

There are a large number of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists in the Toronto area. You should ask your family doctor to refer you to an ENT who does a lot of otology (ears) as opposed to someone whose specialty is sinuses or dizziness for example. Having said that, any ENT doctor should be comfortable examining you for middle ear fluid, or other medical issues of the ear.

I also encourage you to see a hearing health care professional to have a complete hearing assessment. You could have hearing loss, either temporary or permanent. As I am sure you are aware, It is not possible to assess a person's hearing from looking into the ear.

Good luck!
Dec 3, 2014, 2:32 pm


Nancy asks in regards to Living with Hearing Loss:
I have a flat 70db hearing loss in my left ear and a profound high frequency loss in my right ear. I've tried various hearing aids and BiCros. Is there anything I can do to improve my hearing ability? I have not been eligible for a Baha aid. Is neuroplasticity applicable to a long term adult hearing loss?
Nov 27, 2014, 10:49 am

Joanne DeLuzio answers:

Hi Nancy:

You could try auditory training. There is some evidence that auditory training can work with adults with hearing loss. Usually the focus of the "listening" training is on words and phrases that are used frequently in the person's place of work.

However, the most benefit from Auditory training in adults is usually with those who have had a recent change in their device. So, a new cochlear implant, or a very different amplification arrangement.

You could also try learning or improving your speech-reading skills if you haven't already done so.

The Bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is usually used with people who have a permanent conductive hearing loss, or those who have a profound hearing loss in one ear and quite good hearing in the other ear.

Since you indicate you have a severe hearing loss in your left ear and a profound hearing loss in your right ear, I wonder if you might be a candidate for a cochlear implant on your right side? If this is of interest, you should speak to your local hearing health care professional to see if you might qualify.

Hope this information helps!
Jo DeLuzio


Dec 3, 2014, 2:22 pm


Tristan asks in regards to Assistive Listening Devices:
We are hosting an upcoming event which will include small group discussions, and we are looking for assisted hearing options to enable those who are hard of hearing to be able to participate and be included in the process.
Nov 14, 2014, 12:28 pm

Dr. Charles Laszlo answers:

The options for meetings include assistive listening devices and CART (computerized assisted realtime translation). The situation with small group discussions is more complicated as one system to serve all groups would not serve the purpose.

If the small groups are in different rooms, it would be appropriate to set up small area assistive listening systems, such as loops, or FM systems (each set to a different channel) to serve the participants in each group.

If the small groups are in one room, the same arrangement may be used, but it is more difficult to avoid cross-talk between loops. FM systems would work.

Whatever system is chosen, there should enough microphones so that each speaker will be able to speak directly into a microphone.

These are general recommendations and I would suggest that you consult with an appropriate service provider to the specifics of the arrangement of the small groups.

I commend you for your commitment to ensuring that all participants will be able to be part of the process.
Nov 27, 2014, 2:24 pm


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