Author: Dr. Stephanie Moore

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

Celebrate by Protecting Your Hearing

Spring has sprung, and so has the annual cornucopia of sounds: birds singing, children laughing, neighbors chatting — and lawn equipment.


Your Loud Lawn

Maintaining your burgeoning plant life is a noisy affair. Once you’ve used the mower, leaf blower, chain saw, and string trimmer, your ears have put up with quite a racket.

In fact, around 40 million U.S. adults aged 20–69 years (about one in four) have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) — and more than half of those don’t have a noisy job. So how noisy is lawn care, exactly?


Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing happens when the hair cells in your inner ear convert sound signals to electrical signals, and these electrical signals get sent to your brain to be interpreted as sounds.

Every hair cell that gets damaged, then, means less hearing ability. NIHL is hearing damage caused by exposure to loud noise, which damages your hair cells.


How Loud Is Too Loud?

You might be thinking, “OK, but how loud can all my lawn gear actually be?”

Your hedge trimmer alone can damage your hearing after seven or eight minutes of unprotected exposure.

The key to navigating your loud lawn is decibels, the basic unit of sound intensity. Sounds below 85 decibels (dB) are safe for unprotected human ears. At 85 dB and above, you’re in the action zone: Take steps to protect your ears or risk hearing damage.


The Decibel Levels of Lawn Care

Let’s take a look at some common yard-care machines and the decibel outputs they inflict on your unprotected ears. For comparison, a typical indoor conversation is about 60 dB.

  • Push or riding lawn mower. At 90 dB, hearing damage can occur in 2.5 hours.
  • Edger/string trimmer. At 96 dB, hearing damage can occur in 38 minutes.
  • Leaf blower. At 99 dB, hearing damage can occur in 19 minutes.
  • Pressure washer. At 100 dB — just one more decibel than a leaf blower — hearing damage can occur in 15 minutes rather than 19 minutes.
  • Hedge trimmer. At 103 dB, hearing damage can occur in 7.5 minutes.
  • Chain saw. At a whopping 110 dB, hearing damage starts after 1.5 minutes.


Hearing Protection

With output like that, it’s no wonder NIHL is so common. But that prevalence hides an important fact: NIHL can be easily and inexpensively prevented with hearing protection.

Hearing protection is a proven, effective way to minimize the risk of hearing damage, and it doesn’t have to mean a muffled, plugged experience for the wearer. You can get earplugs for as little as a few dollars for 20 pairs at a pharmacy, but there are also over-the-counter options that allow conversation to come through but block loud noises. You can even buy custom-fit earplugs that match the contours of your ears for maximum comfort.

Lawn care doesn’t have to hurt your hearing — contact us to set up a hearing protection consultation!

hearing and balance

Q&A: Does Caffeine Affect Hearing and Balance?

Q&A: Does Caffeine Affect Hearing and Balance?

Q: Is caffeine harmful?

A: This is one of the most loaded questions about everyday health. Many studies have been conducted on the effects of caffeine on the body. Some of these effects are positive and some are negative. Some studies suggest a correlation between moderate caffeine consumption and lower risks of some diseases, while others have shown the opposite. Different lifestyle and genetic factors determine whether caffeine is a healthful substance for you personally, so always check in with your physician before making decisions about which drugs to ingest and how much to use. Caffeine can also interact with certain medications and supplements, so it’s always a good idea to discuss your intake with a doctor if you have questions or concerns.


Q: How does caffeine impact hearing?

A: Frustratingly, the jury is still out on this, but here’s what we know so far:

One animal model study demonstrated that caffeine may impair the body’s ability to recover from acoustic trauma. Typically, the effects of acoustic trauma are temporary and resolve days or weeks after exposure, but test subjects given daily doses of caffeine and subsequently exposed to loud noise recovered their hearing more slowly than those without caffeine. These findings are important to consider, because if the same results are observed in humans, it could change how we approach hearing safety in a variety of environments.

Another study using data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey discovered that tinnitus was less prevalent in daily coffee drinkers in the 19–39 and 40–64 age groups than in their peers who rarely drink coffee. It also suggested that brewed coffee may have preventative effects on hearing loss and tinnitus, but that other coffee preparations may induce tinnitus in some age groups.

A UK study found that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of disabling hearing loss in men. It is thought that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee are responsible, rather than caffeine content, since the result held true for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees. Interestingly, female coffee drinkers did not receive the same benefit.


Q: Does caffeine affect balance?

A: Possibly. According to a study from 2021, consumption of caffeinated beverages may enhance postural stability and voluntary motor control. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases attention, which can have an effect on a person’s balance. We’re not yet sure if caffeine affects the vestibular system directly, or if caffeine’s effect on the central nervous system is responsible for observed improvements in the posture and balance of the test subjects. More research is needed to understand these results.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance problems, please don’t wait. Contact us today to get your questions answered or to schedule an exam. We’re HEAR to help!

7 Poets With Hearing Loss

7 Poets With Hearing Loss

7 Poets With Hearing Loss

Take in Some Stanzas for National Poetry Month in April

It’s April, and that means poetry! Make it official, outspoken (#NationalPoetryMonth), or under the radar, but whatever you do, celebrate these poets with hearing loss and singular voices.


Gael Hannan

A renowned humorist, author, and passionate advocate for hearing loss issues, Gael Hannan grew up with progressive hearing loss. She teaches speechreading, holds hearing awareness workshops, and conducts sensitivity training for organizations large and small. She was honored with the Consumer Advocacy Award from Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.

Her poem “Those Things on the Side of Our Head” concludes this article featuring three other poems by authors with hearing loss, including the next person on our list!


Shanna Groves

Shanna has progressive hearing loss and is a speaker, author, and advocate for hearing loss issues. She has a popular blog, Lipreading Mom, is a finalist in the Oticon 2022 Focus on People Awards, and launched an awareness campaign, Show Me Your Ears.

Here’s that link again. This time, catch Shanna’s poem, “A Different Kind of Beauty.”


Camisha L. Jones

Camisha served as managing director of Split This Rock, a national poetry nonprofit centering social engagement, from November 2013 through August 2022. She competed at the 2013 National Poetry Slam on behalf of Slam Richmond, is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology of disability poetry, and lives with fibromyalgia and Ménière’s Disease.

Her poem “Ode to My Hearing Aids” is from her chapbook Flare, which focuses on her experiences with hearing loss and chronic pain.


Noah Baldino

Noah is a writer and editor with middle-frequency hearing loss whose poems have appeared in POETRY, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of the 2019 Academy of American Poets Prize, Noah has also received support from numerous organizations, including Bread Loaf, Poetry Foundation, and The Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts.

Head here to check out Noah’s poem “Hearing Loss.”


Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus MBE FRSL is an East London-born poet, performer, and hearing aid user. His poems have appeared in magazines and literary journals, he has read and performed his poetry at prestigious festivals and universities, and he is co-curator of popular London poetry events Chill Pill and Keats House Poets.

Enjoy this spoken-word performance of his two-minute piece “The First Time I Wore Hearing Aids.”


Willard J. Madsen

Any article on poetry and hearing loss wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the classic “You Have to Be Deaf to Understand.” Willard J. Madsen’s 1971 poem became so popular it was eventually translated into seven different languages, was reprinted in numerous publications, and is considered a classic of Deaf culture. Madsen became deaf at age two because of scarlet fever and taught at Gallaudet University for almost 40 years.


Clayton Valli

Clayton Valli pioneered the concept of using a curriculum for deaf children focusing on ASL as a first language. He was also the first person to earn a doctorate in ASL poetry, from the Union Institute in Ohio. His original works of ASL poetry garnered international recognition, for example, “Dandelion,” which suggests ASL persists despite intentional efforts to weed it out.

Whether poetry or K-pop, we’d love to help you hear your passion better — contact us today to schedule a hearing consultation!

What Causes Itching Sensations in the Ear?

What Causes Itching Sensations in the Ear?

What Causes Itching Sensations in the Ear?

Next to pain, itching is probably the most uncomfortable physical sensation we experience. It is annoying, distracting, and in some cases, absolutely maddening. When that itching occurs in a place we can’t reach, it can be difficult to find relief, and our ear canals are the most common place unreachable itching occurs. Fortunately, most causes of deep ear itching are understood, and there are things we can do to alleviate or even prevent it.



One of the most common culprits of inner ear itching is allergies. The same histamine response that causes itchy hives on the skin, watery eyes, and sneezing can also cause the eustachian tube to become inflamed. Most of us will press on our tragus (that small flap of cartilaginous skin near the ear’s opening) and wiggle it vigorously to relieve the sensation, but the best home remedy is to take an antihistamine.



For the outer ear, itching is rarely a notable issue, since we can easily rub or scratch that itch away. It is usually caused by dry skin or irritants that come into contact with the skin. It is no different from itching on any other exposed part of the body, but if it becomes a nuisance, applying a bit of mineral oil or Vaseline to the affected area with a cotton swab can help rehydrate the skin and protect it from further irritation.



In addition to the superficial irritation from substances you come in contact with, two of the most common benign skin diseases, eczema and psoriasis, can also affect your ears. If scaling of the skin is present, one of these conditions will be suspected as the cause of your itching. Your hearing care provider and dermatologist can provide solutions.



Almost everyone has suffered an ear infection at some point in their lives, and when we think back on this experience, it is usually the pain that we remember the most, but itching can also be an important indicator of bacterial buildup in the middle ear. If the itching you feel is persistent and intense or accompanied by a throbbing sensation, schedule an appointment with your audiologist or ENT. Treating an infection at this
stage can save you from further discomfort down the road.



You may be surprised to learn this, but simply being nervous, stressed, or feeling on edge can cause itching in any area of the body, including the ears!


What Can I Do to Relieve Itching?

As mentioned above, medication is usually the best method to relieve persistent itching deep in the ear, but there are also some over-the-counter remedies you can try. Commercial eardrops that dissolve wax can clear the ear of buildup and debris and relieve itching. Taking a hot shower or sipping a hot cup of tea may also help, as the heat dilates blood vessels and improves circulation to the ears. An added benefit of
this approach is that it is likely to relax you, which will reduce nervous itching.


Can I Prevent Itchy Ears?

The best way to prevent itching in any part of the ear is topractice good ear hygiene and avoid allergy triggers. While we are all tempted to clean our ears at home, this often does more harm than good. No foreign object should ever be inserted into the ear. This pushes wax deeper into the canal, which can cause everything from
painful blockages to that persistent itching we’re trying to avoid. Wax is actually a very important component of ear health; it keeps the inner ear waterproof and resistant to microbes. Gently washing the outer ear with a soft washcloth and warm water will rinse away any excess wax or debris and help keep dermatitis at bay. Click here for more information.

If you wear earrings, make sure they are made of a hypoallergenic metal
such as pure gold, sterling silver, or titanium, as some other metals (chiefly nickel) can react with the skin and cause itching. This is especially important for cartilage piercings.

Avoid getting excess water in your ears whenever possible. Swim with your head above the surface and consider wearing a shower cap while bathing. Switching to a shampoo formulated for sensitive skin can also cut down on ear irritation.

Steer clear of allergens whenever possible, and follow your allergy treatment plan.

And finally, when inserting hearing aids, earbuds, or any other device that fits into the ear, do sogently and carefully, and ensure the device is clean. It may seem like a small gesture, but anytime we place something in or near the ear canal, we’re potentially disrupting the ear’s natural biome.

If you’re dealing with itchy ears this spring, don’t hesitate to call our caring team for a consultation. We’re here to help!

Erectile Dysfunction and Hearing Loss

Erectile Dysfunction and Hearing Loss

Quality of life is something that’s on everyone’s minds these days. How to live better, feel better, and make the most of the relationships and activities we enjoy. It’s no secret that health concerns can present challenges that affect our quality of life, and hearing loss and erectile dysfunction are two of them. These conditions are relatively easy to treat, but few people realize they’re linked.


What the research says

A study conducted by the Department of Otolaryngology at Taipei Medical University Hospital found that men who experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) were about twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction as their peers with normal hearing. This held true across different age groups. No conclusions have been drawn about the reason behind the correlation, but researchers strongly suspect it may be of a vascular nature, as subjects with hypertension and chronic renal disease were found to be at an even greater risk of ED. Hearing loss is also known to be exacerbated by vascular diseases.

SSHL is defined as a partial or total hearing loss that occurs rapidly over the course of hours or days. This is considered a medical emergency and should be investigated by a doctor right away. Only a small percentage of diagnosed cases of SSHL have an identifiable cause, but the most common triggers include:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Trauma, such as a head injury
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as Cogan’s syndrome
  • Ototoxic drugs (drugs that harm the sensory cells in the inner ear)
  • Blood circulation problems
  • A tumor on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain
  • Neurologic diseases and disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
  • Disorders of the inner ear, such as Ménière’s disease

Men living with a hearing loss that occurred suddenly should be aware that they have an increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction.


The effects of ED medication on hearing

Unfortunately, the connection between sudden hearing loss and erectile dysfunction also goes in the other direction. Sometimes ED precedes SSHL, and it’s the medications used to treat the former that lead to the latter.

In the United States, the FDA relabeled phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor erectile-dysfunction drugs after finding over 30 reports of sudden hearing loss in male patients taking Viagra. Since then, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered that men over 40 taking PDE5 drugs (which include Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra) have double the risk of developing hearing loss compared to men who do not.

The FDA reports that some incidents of sudden hearing loss also included vestibular problems such as tinnitus, vertigo, or dizziness, and that the hearing loss was temporary in about a third of cases. There is some evidence that cessation of ototoxic medications can reverse the hearing damage they cause, but patients are advised to consult their doctor before stopping a medication. Click here for more information about ototoxicity and what to do if you experience it.

If you or someone you love is currently being treated for erectile dysfunction, be on the lookout for hearing issues and contact an audiologist or ENT for an evaluation!



Hsu, Hsin-Te, et al. Increased Risk of Erectile Dysfunction in Patients with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Otology & Neurotology.  Accessed November 2, 2022.

McGwin, Gerald Jr. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor use and hearing impairment. Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Accessed November 4, 2022.

Medical News Today. FDA Reports Hearing Loss Linked To Viagra And Other PDE5 Inhibitors. Accessed November 8, 2022.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Sudden Deafness. Accessed November 8, 2022.

How Loud Is It?

How Loud Is It?

How Loud Is It?

When Breaking Out the Power Tools, Protect Your Ears

Since childhood, you’ve probably heard the warnings about loud noises and hearing loss. Maybe you’ve even experienced the sensation of ear pain, ringing in the ears, a headache, or a moment of hearing difficulty after the piercing bang of a firecracker, a blast from an MP3 player on high volume, or an ice-crushing blender whirring at the fastest speed.

But how loud is too loud? As power tools get pulled out of storage for spring projects, let’s take a look at the level of noise they generate and what you can do. After all, hearing is one of the most important senses. Understanding the dangers of excess noise exposure — and how you can protect your ears — can go a long way toward preserving your hearing.


What’s the Problem?

It’s rather fascinating that sound can affect your health, but it’s also a fact. Your ears and brain work together to perceive and process sound. The cochlea, an organ within the inner ear, contains tiny hair cells that detect sound and send signals to the brain through the auditory nerve. Excess noise can damage the hair cells, leading to temporary or even permanent hearing loss.

Hearing loss not only might impact communication but can also:

  • Lead to withdrawal from social situations
  • Play a role in increased risk of balance issues and falls
  • Go hand in hand with dementia and other cognitive problems
  • Appear alongside tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears or head)


When Is It Too Loud?

As a measure of loudness, decibels play a critical role. Your own perception also matters, but sometimes unsafe volumes aren’t perceived to be as loud as they truly are. If you already have hearing loss, the sounds may not seem as loud but can still do damage. Generally, sounds that are 85 decibels or higher can be especially harmful. The louder the sound and the longer it lasts, the more dangerous it can be for your ears.

Consider these decibel estimates for some common power tools as well as other familiar sounds:

  • Whisper — 30 decibels
  • Typical conversations — 65 to 80 decibels
  • Lawnmowers — 80 to 100 decibels
  • Gas leaf blower — over 100 decibels
  • Sports games — 94 to 110 decibels
  • Hand drill — 98 decibels
  • Personal listening devices at highest volumes — 105 to 110 decibels
  • Chain saw — 110 decibels
  • Jet at takeoff — 140 decibels
  • Fireworks — 140 to 160 decibels


What Can You Do?

Power tools can be hard on the ears, making it all the more important to take control of your listening environment. Where to start? Look for equipment that’s rated for being quieter while still ticking all the performance boxes. With no power parts, reel mowers can do the job with a lot less noise, but electric, battery-operated, and even some quieter gas mowers might fit the bill, too.

Lowering the “volume” on your equipment can make a difference as well. You won’t find a volume knob, but a reduced speed setting — when appropriate for the job — might bring the noise level down. In addition, the user manual may provide options on limiting noise. And remember to take periodic breaks from using the equipment altogether, giving your ears a breather.

Steering clear of excess noise isn’t always possible, but hearing protection has your back. Earmolds with a variety of filter systems that help keep louder sounds at a safer, more reasonable level can help you tackle spring projects with confidence. The best part? They can be customized to the contours of your ear for an effective, snug, and comfortable fit.


Measuring Noise: Easy App

Did you know? The free NIOSH Sound Level Meter app, compatible with iOS-based mobile devices, can measure the sound level in your environment — at home, work, or play.

Using your phone or tablet’s built-in microphone, the easy-to-use app offers an instant decibel rating. It doesn’t replace professional instruments or expert opinion, but it can help approximate noise.

Check it out!

Count on us to help you seize the season. Have questions about noise-induced hearing loss or options for hearing protection? Reach out to our knowledgeable team today!

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

The Answer Hinges on a Few Variables

A: It depends! Cleaning or replacing parts like tubes and filters keeps your technology in good shape for several years. Same for coming to see us for regular clean and checks.

But that’s not the whole story. Your hearing aids do a lot for you — you might be surprised just how much. And each task needs to meet your unique listening lifestyle.


Directional Microphones

These help you focus on sounds in front of you, so you more easily understand speech in background noise. For example, this feature keeps you focused on Aunt Gretchen’s voice amid the other conversations at the family dinner table.


Noise Reduction

This technology analyzes the sound input and decreases unwanted noise. For example, if you work at a farmer’s market, this feature dampens environmental noises so you can maintain awareness of customers seeking your attention. Some models even have a specialized wind-reduction feature for those who love the outdoors.


Feedback Management

When the microphone and amplifier in your hearing aid are too close, it can result in feedback. Yes, just like the feedback at a rock concert — but right in your ear canal. This feature combats that feedback, so even if it does happen, it’s canceled out before you hear it.


Artificial Intelligence

Many hearing aids can learn your preferences and adjust automatically based on environmental cues. For example, your hearing aid learns about the voices you speak with most often. When you encounter those people, the hearing aid recognizes their voices and adjusts settings accordingly to prioritize them.


Bluetooth Compatibility

Today’s hearing aids can connect wirelessly to your smartphone or any other devices that use Bluetooth. For example, you can listen to the TV at your preferred volume (streamed directly to your hearing aids) while everyone else in the room listens to the TV at a different volume.


Do They Meet Your Needs?

Manufacturers constantly innovate to make these features even better. And they’re always inventing new features to meet demand. A better question would be, “How long will my hearing aids meet my needs?”

It’s a lot like how you might approach your car. If your second child is about to arrive, you probably need to swap your perfectly good sedan for a minivan.

Similarly, with hearing aids, if your quiet office job now requires you to walk the shop floor twice a day, you’ll need better noise reduction. And odds are, if your hearing aids are four years old, the models available right now have far better noise reduction.

That’s why I say, “It depends.” Well-maintained devices last a long time — but as your needs change, the technology you need might change, too.

Has it been a while since your last clean and check? Call now to get one on the books so we can ensure you’re hearing your best!

Celebrating Black History Month: 10 Notables With Hearing Loss

Celebrating Black History Month: 10 Notables With Hearing Loss

Time to Get Inspired

With more than 1.5 billion people touched by hearing loss – including some 3.6 million in Canada
alone – many icons in pop culture, politics, academics, and beyond have experienced this issue in their own lives. For Black History Month, we’re showcasing 10 inspiring people with hearing loss.


1. Nakia Smith

Every culture has language, and Canadian TikTok influencer Nakia Smith is helping ensure Black American Sign Language (BASL) is acknowledged and amplified. Developed during segregation when Black students were barred from attending the first U.S. school for deaf people, BASL is an expressive source of community and connection that Smith is working to share with more people in the world.


2. Whoopi Goldberg

Oscar-winning actress, comedian, activist, producer, writer, and “The View” moderator, Goldberg cites longtime exposure to loud music as the reason for her hearing loss, according to published reports. The Sister Act and Ghost star, who has collaborated with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, wears hearing aids and has advised others to take care of their hearing health.


3. Tamika Catchings

The four-time Olympic gold medalist and retired WNBA great of Indiana Fever fame was born with a hearing loss, using the experience to help fuel her drive to win. “In the classroom, kids could make fun of me for being different,” wrote Catchings in a
2011 ESPN profile. “On the soccer field (my first sport) and eventually the basketball court, they couldn’t. I outworked them, plain and simple.”


4. Andrew Foster

Being the first African American to hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gallaudet University, the renowned school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, was one of many pioneering moments for Foster, who then earned two master’s degrees at other institutions and eventually launched more than 30 schools for the deaf in over a dozen African nations.


5. Halle Berry

An alleged domestic violence incident led to Berry’s hearing loss, but the Oscar-winning actress, activist, beauty brand partner, and X-Men megastar didn’t let that setback torpedo her goals. Berry, also a producer, has around 60 movie and television acting roles under her belt and debuted as a director in 2021 with the film Bruised.



This Emmy- and Grammy-winning recording artist, who is also a tech visionary, producer, DJ, designer, and education philanthropist, is best known for his Black Eyed Peas hits. Many people may not know that the global entertainer experiences tinnitus, which he has described as a constant ringing in his ears.


7. Jenelle Rouse

A Canadian educator, applied linguistics researcher, consultant, and professional dancer, Dr. Jenelle Rouse brings a firsthand experience with deafness to her work. The sought-after speaker not only advocates for greater empowerment among deaf citizens but is also leading a team investigating the lack of documented information about the lives of Black Deaf Canadians.


8. Claudia Gordon

After losing her hearing at age 8 and migrating to the United States from Jamaica with her mother at age 11, Gordon defied the naysayers to not only reportedly become the first Black and deaf female attorney in the U.S. but also to help enforce the rights of those with disabilities, as she worked as a lawyer in the executive branch under former President Barack Obama.


9. Connie Briscoe

A New York Times bestselling author, Briscoe, who has a cochlear implant, was born with a hearing loss, but she never let it slow her down. The Money Can’t Buy Love and Big Girls Don’t Cry writer has sold more than 600,000 hardcover and paperback copies of her first novel, Sisters and Lovers, per an onlinebio, and credits tackling hearing loss with helping her grow “stronger, more resilient and more determined to reach [her] goals.”


10. Tank

Grammy- and Soul Train Music-nominated R&B singer Tank, known for his solo work and acclaim in former supergroup TGT, announced in 2021 that he had hearing loss. The songwriter and producer with several acting credits under his name didn’t let that stop him. He crafted the 17-trackR&B Money, released in August 2022. Though Tank says it’s his final album as acting roles become more of a focus, don’t count this American Music Award nominee out.

Don’t let hearing loss get in the way of reaching your dreams – not even a little bit! Be a hero to the people who count on you by keeping your hearing in top shape. Contact us to schedule a hearing exam or a clean and check of your hearing aids today.



  • American Sign Language (ASL), widely used in Canada, is among the federally recognized primary languages in the country, along with Quebec Sign Language and Indigenous sign languages.
  • Though not federally recognized, Black American Sign Language – an ASL relative – is also used, and some citizens would like to see it further researched as well as officially acknowledged.
  • Advocates, such as Black Deaf Canada, are emerging to help foster community and close the representation
    gap experienced by Black, deaf citizens when it comes to accessibility.
National Heart Month: Are Your Ears & Cardio Health Connected?

National Heart Month: Are Your Ears & Cardio Health Connected?

National Heart Month: Are Your Ears & Cardio Health Connected?

Take a Closer Look With These 5 Facts

What do hearing and your heart have in common? They both help you experience the world in your own unique way. And with National Heart Month celebrated in February, it’s a great time to talk about the importance of taking care of cardiovascular and ear health. They’re even more connected than you might think!

Check out these five facts:


1. Global Issue

Like hearing loss, which affects more than 1.5 billion children and adults, per the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease — including heart disease and stroke — is a global challenge affecting people of all walks of life. It’s the No. 1 killer worldwide, with nearly 18 million deaths annually, according to public-health estimates.


2. Higher Risk

A study reviewing national health surveys found that the majority of older adult respondents who had heart failure were also experiencing hearing loss, per a Harvard news report on the investigation. A separate study discovered that a history of heart attack could mean at least a two-fold chance of hearing loss for women.


3. Increased Mortality

Hearing loss alone is linked to a respective 13% and 28% increase in the odds of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. When hearing loss is paired with vision loss, the increase jumps to 40% and 80%, respectively. The reasons aren’t fully known, but ties between hearing loss and other conditions that contribute to physical frailty — cognitive decline, for example — are suspected factors.


4. Mitigating Factor

Both hypertension — a major contributor to development of heart disease — and hearing loss may play a significant role in curbing dementia globally. The UK-based Lancet Commission identified hypertension and hearing loss among 12 potentially modifiable risk factors that, when addressed, could prevent or delay 40% of dementia cases worldwide.


5. Blood Flow

Exactly how heart issues and hearing loss are connected isn’t yet conclusive in all cases. Cardiovascular disease, however, can cause decreased hearing sensitivity by actually restricting blood flow to the structures of the inner ear. These structures require blood flow for nourishment.

As you can see, taking care of both your heart and your hearing supports overall health in more ways than one. Some risk factors such as age and family history can’t be helped, but healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco, choosing a nutritious diet, taking up physical activities, and scheduling regular health checkups can make a difference in helping prevent either condition.

If you have or suspect heart-health issues, see your cardiologist and make sure professional hearing help is also part of your wellness plan. Our knowledgeable team can evaluate any hearing problems and provide solutions that help keep you healthy and connected to what you love. Contact us today!

The 4 Different Types of Tinnitus

The 4 Different Types of Tinnitus

The 4 Different Types of Tinnitus

Tinnitus: Common, Constant, Treatable, and Manageable

Do you hear a phantom ringing, whooshing, or buzzing noise – but no one else hears it? You’re not alone. It’s a common condition known as tinnitus.

For some people, tinnitus is a simple fact of life. For others, it’s a minor inconvenience. But for many, the condition is debilitating. Currently there is no cure. Thankfully, relief can come from a variety of treatments.


What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus usually indicates an inner ear problem, but the mechanisms involved in tinnitus aren’t clear. There are many things, however, that result in tinnitus, such as hearing loss. Your provider will most likely look for:

  • Hearing loss
  • Damage to your auditory system
  • Jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Chronic neck muscle strain
  • Excessive noise exposure
  • Certain medications
  • Wax buildup
  • Cardiovascular issues

Research is ongoing, and the mechanisms that create tinnitus in the brain and inner ear are being more closely studied all the time.


What Are the Different Types of Tinnitus?

Subjective tinnitus

This is the most common form of tinnitus, and exposure to excessive noise is often the culprit. The sound is only heard by the affected person. This type can appear and disappear suddenly. It can last a day or two, several weeks, months, or indefinitely.


Sensory tinnitus

This common type of tinnitus is usually a symptom of a disorder such as Meniere’s disease. These health problems affect the way your brain processes sound.


Somatic tinnitus

This type of tinnitus is related to movement and touch. Muscle spasms, a twist of the neck, and dental issues are all examples of somatic causes of tinnitus.


Objective tinnitus

This is a rare form of tinnitus caused by the circulatory or musculoskeletal system. This is the only form of tinnitus that can be heard by others. If the cause can be treated, the tinnitus usually stops entirely.


Notable Subtypes

  • Musical tinnitus: This type is less common. It’s also called musical hallucinations or auditory imagery. Simple tones or layers of tones join to recreate a melody or composition. Musical tinnitus is more prevalent in those with long-term hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Pulsatile tinnitus: This is a rhythmic tinnitus that syncs up with the beat of your heart. It usually indicates a change of blood flow near your ear.
  • Low-frequency tinnitus: Perhaps the most confusing type of tinnitus – those with this type can’t tell whether the sound is being produced internally or externally. Often, the tones correspond to the two lowest octaves on a piano and are described as a humming, murmuring, rumbling, or deep droning. This type of noise seems to affect people most strongly.


What Are Some Common Tinnitus Treatments?

There are numerous treatment options, but effectiveness varies depending upon the type of tinnitus. Your provider will usually help you manage your tinnitus with strategies to make it less bothersome.

No single approach works for everyone, and there is no FDA-approved drug treatment, supplement, or herb proven to be any more effective than a placebo.

Behavioral strategies and sound-generating devices offer the best treatment results. Some of the most effective methods are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Tinnitus-retraining therapy
  • Masking
  • Biofeedback
  • Hearing aids

Hearing loss is very often accompanied by tinnitus. In fact, some researchers believe subjective tinnitus can only happen in the presence of hearing damage.

Hearing aids do ease tinnitus symptoms, but they’re not the only method. That’s why it’s essential to see a professional with years of experience creating solutions for tinnitus sufferers.

If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus, contact us today. We’ll be able to help you determine the next steps toward relief.