• Audiology - Hearing

    The ear is a very complex structure, and hearing problems may include tinnitus, noise-induced hearing and balance issues. Find local ear, nose and throat specialists who can help with testing and treatment for hearing loss.

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    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist, discusses the process for the assessment and treatment of hearing and how it is a a multi step process..
    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist, discusses the process for the assessment and treatment of hearing and how it is a a multi step process..
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    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist discusses hearing protection, devices available for hearing protection such as silicone ear plugs.
    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist discusses hearing protection, devices available for hearing protection such as silicone ear plugs.
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    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist, discusses the wide variety,style and technology level of different types of hearing aids.
    Dr. Mark Hansen, MS, Au.D. Audiologist, discusses the wide variety,style and technology level of different types of hearing aids.
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    Dr. Jane Lea, MD, FRCSC, Paediatric Otolaryngologist discusses diagnosis and symptoms of the types of hearing loss.
    Dr. Jane Lea, MD, FRCSC, Paediatric Otolaryngologist discusses diagnosis and symptoms of the types of hearing loss.
  • Evaluating Hearing Loss

    he process for the assessment and treatment of hearing and hearing loss is a multistep process. It begins with an interview phase. We collect information about medical history. Following that we do a physical examination of the ear. We want to make sure, of course, that there’s no wax blocking the ear canal which may cause the hearing loss.

                            

    Following that we do diagnostics, and following that we discuss solutions that would be appropriate for you.

    The results that we hope to obtain from a hearing assessment vary by individual. If a hearing loss is identified, treatment exists typically of use of hearing instruments as well as effective listening strategies. One of the identifiers of hearing loss before an assessment may be difficulty following speech in the presence of loud noise such as you’re going to your favorite restaurant and not being able to follow your partner across the table. When you come in for your hearing assessment, you’ll be taken into a sound treated booth where you will go through physiologic measures which require no participation from you whatsoever.

    You’ll also go through conventional audiometry procedures which do require you to respond to different clicking sounds. Following that we talk about solutions for your hearing loss if hearing loss is found. And if you proceed with hearing instruments, the assessment and the treatment of hearing loss with the use of hearing instruments entails a number of different verification procedures.

    One is the use of realer measures, which is using a little probe tube placed into the ear canal collecting sound both with and without hearing instruments in place. We also want to ensure that hearing instruments continue to function like they are expected to, which is why we do electrocoustic verification on them periodically. There’s a variety of different hearing instruments available to treat hearing loss. There are behind the ear hearing instruments. There are receiver in the canal instruments, in-the-ear hearing aids, canal hearing aids, completely in the canal hearing aids, and invisible in the canal hearing aids.

    There is also a cyst of listening devices such as FM systems, systems to use with your television, as well as systems to use – that allow you to hear better on the telephone.Hearing instruments will help people hear better. That is the goal of hearing instruments. They will also help people feel better about themselves by overcoming obstacles with communication. Hearing instruments can reduce social isolation by again allowing someone to participate in family get-togethers, going out to their favorite restaurant with a friend or a family member, and enjoying life.  So if you feel that you have a hearing loss or are having communication difficulties, you should contact your audiologist for an assessment.    Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.    

    Presenter: Dr. Mark Hansen, Audiologist, Vancouver, BC

    Local Practitioners: Audiologist

  • Types of Hearing Loss

    So there's three main causes of hearing loss.The first is conductive hearing loss. Then there's also a sensorineural hearing loss.  And then there's a combination of both, which is called a mixed hearing loss. A conductive hearing loss implies that there's a problem or a roadblock getting sound to the organ of hearing. So it usually happens in the outer or the middle ear; whereas, a sensorineural hearing loss is usually a problem within the cochlea or the organ of hearing itself. A mixed hearing loss is a combination of both of those.

    So, unfortunately, there isn't a surgical procedure for every type of hearing loss. We usually do hearing loss for a conductive hearing loss, which is when there's a problem getting sound to the organ of hearing. So, typically, that's when there's a problem with the outer ear, so it could be simple things like cerumen or wax blocking it. So we can typically just remove that in a clinic. 

    Sometimes, there's a problem with the eardrum itself. Either there's a hole in the eardrum, and there's lots of scarring, so we can do surgery for that.  And the third problem is when there's a problem with the bones of hearing that sit in the middle ear. Either they're not connected, or some of them are stiff. So, typically, surgery is geared towards that type of hearing loss, as opposed to a type of hearing loss in the organ of hearing itself, such as a sensorineural hearing loss.  

    Having said that, you can do surgery for people who are considered to have a severe or a profound hearing loss on both sides of their ears. Those people typically really struggle with hearing aids, and we can do something called a cochlear implant. But, for the most part, most of our surgery is done for conductive hearing loss problems.  

    Surgery can't help everyone that has a hearing loss. You have to have a certain type of hearing loss. And, even if you had that type of hearing loss, typically, we would recommend hearing aids as a first line of treatment because surgery comes with risks.  Hearing aids are typically an option for most people with hearing loss, whether it's a conductive hearing loss or a sensorineural hearing loss.  Hearing loss is one of the most important senses we have. It allows us to interact with our environment and with other people. So, if people do have hearing loss, you know, they often are finding that they're not interacting with others. They're really isolating themselves. 
    And, if you do think you have a hearing loss, you should consult your local audiologist or physician.     

    Presenter: Dr. Jane Lea, Otolaryngologist, Vancouver, BC

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Otolaryngologist

     

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