How Do I Know If I Have Hearing Loss?

Asking others to repeat things often is one major sign of hearing loss. Other signs are having difficulty hearing if there's background noise, requiring the television to be louder than what is wanted by others in the room, and difficulty hearing over the telephone. Hearing loss in one ear results in difficulty finding the direction of sounds, and where they come from. Also, our BC Online Hearing Test could help evaluate whether a consultation at one of our clinics might benefit you with one of our Hearing Professionals.

Your Ear And How It Works

The ear has three parts: outer, middle, and inner. The outer ear is your ear that you can see and also its 2.5 cm long ear canal that ends at the eardrum. The middle ear is an air filled space behind the eardrum and houses the three smallest bones of the body (hammer, anvil and stirrup). The stirrup bone ends at the inner ear. The inner ear is a fluid-filled, snail-shaped organ called the “cochlea.” It is about the size of your pinkie fingernail, and it contains about 15,000 tiny filaments called “hair cells.” When sound hits the eardrum, the vibrations are sent through the middle ear bones, and these vibrations make tiny fluid motions inside the cochlea. The hair cells change these fluid motions into electricity, which is the “language” your brain and nervous system runs on and understands. The electrical message from your inner ear or cochlea is sent up the auditory nerve to the brain where it is heard as “sound!”

Types Of Hearing Loss

The most common type of hearing loss (Presbycusis) is due to age. Presbycusis is a result of hair cell loss inside the cochlea or inner ear. It usually results in more hearing loss for treble than for bass sounds. In speech, the treble sounds are those like /s/, /f/, /th/, /ch/, /sh/, etc. If these are hard to hear, then words that rhyme will be hard to distinguish from each other, and the person is left guessing what might have been said. Think of the words “cat, fat, sat, hat, that.” All of them have the vowel “a,” but it is the high-pitched consonants at the beginning of the words that tell you what the words were. Hearing loss can also be due to exposure to loud noise. In fact, noise is the second most common cause of hearing loss. It too results in hearing loss for treble sounds. Hearing loss can also result from certain medications, ear infections, diseases, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth or prenatal) or hereditary factors. Modern medicine cannot repair damaged hair cells. The only course of action is hearing aids and helpful loved ones.

Another type of hearing loss can result from problems with the middle ear, behind the eardrum. One of the more common examples of this is ear infections that result in earaches. As we all know, hard blowing of one’s nose can be felt in the middle ear behind the eardrum. This is because there is a connection from the throat to the middle ears. Throat infections can creep up into the middle ear through this connection and cause a middle ear infection. Childrens’ faces are shorter and the connection between the throat and middle ear is therefore more horizontal. This is why kids tend to get more ear infections than adults do.

Other types of hearing loss: Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Conductive Hearing Loss and Mixed Hearing Loss

Try out our convenient online hearing test.

Types Of Hearing Aids

There are many styles of hearing aids. Factors that determine the style of the hearing aids that the individual client will use are the degree of the hearing loss, power and options requirements of the hearing aids in question, one’s manual dexterity abilities, and cosmetic concerns.

Digital Hearing Aid Technology

The term DIGITAL is used so often today, it can be confusing. When the term "digital" is used regarding hearing aids, it generally means the hearing aid is 100% digital. Today’s hearing aids are just that: in other words, they are indeed "little computers". Digital hearing aids also can communicate with one’s telephone & television by means of Bluetooth “streaming.” This means you no longer have to try hearing the sound coming from the speaker of your telephone or television. Instead, the sound is fed by Bluetooth technology right into your hearing aids and into your ears!

We Offer A Broad Range Of Services:

  • Hearing aid consultation, programming, fitting & adjustment, repairs, batteries.
  • All hearing aid brands from the leading manufacturers. We can offer you more than one brand and prescribe the most suitable hearing aids for your type and degree of hearing loss as well as your life style.
  • Fast & reliable hearing aid repairs (all brands and models) – some even while you wait.
  • Auditory rehabilitation for training your brain to listen in all hearing situations.
  • Aural rehabilitation to help & educate you, your family, and friends for effective communication techniques in different listening environments.
  • All range of Assistive Listening Devices (ALD).
  • Tinnitus evaluation, consultation, and management.
  • Otoscopic Examination & Wax Removal (if needed).
  • Custom ear plugs – noise, musician, swim, hunting, sleeping, motorbike, IPOD/MP3, Cell phones & Bluetooth devices (Resound Linx).
  • Extended opening hours or Saturday & late nights by appointment only.
  • Accept third party clients from Veteran affairs, Ministry of Housing & Social Developments, First Nation Health and all private extended health insurances.
  • Financing short term through our clinic or long term through a third company (specific conditions apply based on financing terms).
  • Speech evaluation in quiet & noise for Adults and Children (age 5+). We use state of the art equipment.
  • Hearing monitoring for patients going through Chemotherapy or people who work in very noisy environment.
  • House and hospital calls.
  • Convenient online hearing test