Understanding Tinnitus

If you’ve ever stepped out of a concert and have had a ringing or buzzing in your ears, you’ve heard a sound similar to the sound people with tinnitus experience. With tinnitus, only the person can hear the sound that is being produced. It’s common for people with this condition to hear sounds like whooshing, crickets, hissing, or clicking. The condition is often associated with hearing loss from excessive noise exposure, ear disease, damage to middle or inner ear, head, neck or brain injuries, or stress. Hearing loss due to aging (known technically as presbycusis) is another common cause of tinnitus. You may not notice a change in hearing as it happens so gradually, but tinnitus can be the warning sign that it is there.

If you or someone you love believes they have tinnitus, read on as we outline everything you need to know.


What to Do First

If you are having symptoms of tinnitus then you should get a hearing test done with an audiologist right away. An audiologist can assess factors like case history and ear health and perform tests of hearing acuity and speech understanding to zero in on the issue.


Ways to Reduce the Symptoms

For most people with tinnitus, there is no cure. The repetitive sounds one hears can be both uncomfortable and frustrating, but you can learn to tune out the sounds. To help reduce symptoms, you can:

  • Avoid loud sound exposure, such as areas with loud music, and turn down the volume on your devices.

  • Use a white noise machine at night, as silence can make the symptoms more noticeable.

  • If you have a stressful work environment, take the time to relax through meditation or deep breathing exercise to help you enter a more tranquil mind frame.

  • Pump up your intake of vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc – these have been shown to help reduce tinnitus symptoms.

  • If it is presbycusis, hearing aids are shown to help.

  • Tinnitus “maskers” can be integrated into hearing aids to distract from the ringing sound.


Treatment Methods

There are a couple of different treatment methods your audiologist may recommend for that can help decrease the overall awareness of tinnitus. One popular method is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, which is used to teach patients to change their negative way of thinking about tinnitus to help them reduce any feelings of anguish or distress. There is also Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), a program that involves counselling and sound therapy to help reduce the brain's ability to detect tinnitus.

For those seeking a more customized approach, there is Progressive Tinnitus Management or PMT, a specialized care program based on the patient’s level of tinnitus. For some patients, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction or MSBR course is a useful program that teaches you how to live in the moment and change how you respond to what is happening to and around you.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of tinnitus, schedule a consultation with an audiologist. The earlier you address hearing damage, the more likely you are to avoid future symptoms.

5 Bad Reasons to Delay Hearing Aids

Your hearing helps you to process information and communicate with others. When you lose your hearing, your normal daily functions become a struggle, impacting your life in negative ways. Still, most of us take our hearing for granted and choose to ignore the early signs of hearing loss. Anyone with hearing damage will tell you that delaying hearing aids is a bad decision that can result in more permanent damage. If you’re one of those people who keep telling yourself a number of excuses, read on as we lay out all the bad reasons to delay hearing aids.


You’re in Denial

Most people are in complete denial when it comes to hearing loss. Many people tell themselves that their hearing is fine, and because hearing loss is gradual they may not even really notice it until it’s too late. Having a hearing test can tell a completely different story and identify any early signs of hearing loss that you can’t identify yourself. If you haven’t had your hearing checked in the past two years, book your free hearing test with an audiologist.


You Believe They’re Expensive

Cost should never stop you from getting a hearing aid. Many healthcare plans cover some of the cost of hearing aids, and your provincial government may also offer a grant. Plus, some social service organizations may also offer discounts to their members. You can always talk to your audiologist about potential financing options that are available to you. When it comes to improving the quality of your life, it’s worth it.


You Think They’re for Old People

This is just simply untrue. Hearing aids are worn by people of all ages - children, teens, and adults alike. With all the latest technology, most of the hearing aids today are very discreet; most people won’t even notice you’re even wearing them.


You Don’t Think They Will Work

If one thing is for sure, it’s that hearing device technology has greatly evolved over in the last decade. Today, hearing devices can distinguish speech from background noise, come with Bluetooth capability so you can listen to your favourite devices from the hearing aids, and can even notify you of incoming texts and messages.


You’re Positive You Will Eventually Lose Them

If you’re one of those people who lose their keys every day, then you probably fear that you will also lose your hearing aids. If they’re been worn the majority of the time then there’s little time left to really misplace them. All you need to do is get in a habit of placing them beside your bed each night so that they’re there when you wake up. Hearing aids also come with loss and damage insurance in case you lose them. A small deductible fee may apply.

Telling yourself excuses to delay getting hearing aids will only cause you more grief down the road. Loss of hearing has been associated with other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. By addressing your hearing now, it can help prevent future health problems. Book your hearing test with Hear Fine to learn about all your hearing aid options.


Why Visit an Audiologist for Hearing Aids?

Why Visit an Audiologist for Hearing Aids?

Are you fed up with struggling to hear what people say? If you’re ready to take control of your hearing and are wondering if a visit with an audiologist for hearing aids is necessary, the answer is yes. Hearing is very complex in the sense that is deeply connected to our mental and physical health. Beyond that, it affects virtually every aspect of life, from our relationships with family and friends to our ability to enjoy entertainment or even navigate the world safely. Having a hearing professional assess and assist you with regaining the ability to hear is essential. Read on to learn why visiting an audiologist for hearing aids is important and how it can benefit you.