Dr. Wright's Blog

Practicing in Integrity

I wanted to share with you one of the hallmark’s of our company’s business philosophy.

What practicing in integrity means to us is that everything we do, is done in the best interest of our patient. This means the following:

1.  Your hearing test, or Audiogram, is comprehensive in every sense.  We dig deep into the Auditory pathway not only to test peripheral hearing, but to assess Auditory Processing, Tinnitus, middle ear function including tympanic membrane health, eustation tube function and acoustic reflex testing.  Inner ear evaluation including assessing for the possibility of acoustic nerve tumours.  We do not cut corners and give you and your family doctor a full picture of your ear health.  We can accomplish this because the professional who will do your hearing assessment is an experienced Audiologist.  Audiologists are the professionals who are most qualified to assess hearing sensitivity.  Why trust your hearing to anyone else?  Practicing in Integrity is why the only people who are hired to work in our business are certified Audiologists.  

2.  Should you require hearing aids, our Audiologists determine your unique needs and recommend the product suited best to your lifestyle, needs for cosmetics, need for connectivity to other devices, and requirements for dexterity.  We are unique in that we truly use and offer any hearing aid that is available in the marketplace. We can do this in integrity because we are independent from any hearing aid manufacturer.  

3.  We work with your budget to ensure that the costs associated with hearing health are understood completely as well as very competitive in the community.  We can do this with integrity because we know and check our pricing regularly comparing to our competition and we are often  $200 -$800 less expensive that other hearing companies in Victoria, BC.  

4.  We provide years of free aftercare.  We will recheck your hearing periodically, clean and check your hearing aids every few months, we provide free batteries in many cases and free supplies in all cases.  This means anything you need to keep the aids clean and working are no extra charge to you for the lifetime of your hearing aids.  If you have used hearing aids before you will know that you develop a long term relationship with your Audiologist just like the one you have with your dentist or family doctor.  We can do this with integrity because we stand by every product we sell.  

5.  We are reliable.  We have 3 Audiologists on staff so there will always be a professional available for you when you need us.  Holidays, Christmas, illness won’t stop us from having someone to be there for you. We open early and close late to accommodate your schedule.  

Practicing in Integrity is why I believe we have such an amazing reputation as the place to get hearing aids in Victoria, BC.

Hearing the TV through your Hearing Aids

Do you still have difficulty understanding speech on TV, even with your hearing aids?

Hearing aids are optimized for close-distance conversational speech (e.g. 5 ft). Usually, you are not this close to your television. As sound waves travel from the TV to your ears, the high frequency sound waves tend to fade away before reaching your ears. High frequency sound waves provide the "clarity" of speech. A device that can send the audio from the TV wirelessly into your hearing aids will significantly reduce the distance the sound waves have to travel and greatly enhance the clarity of speech from your TV. It also allows you to turn the TV volume down so that it’s more comfortable for someone else.

Most hearing aids have the ability to do this but you will need a little adaptor that plugs into your TV. These are specific to the manufacturer of your hearing aid. If you are interested in a device like this, please give us a call and we can provide you with more information and show you how to set it up!

Hearing Aid Needs Can Change

Over time, your hearing may change or your listening needs may change and we will need to make adjustments to the programming in your hearing aids. We usually recommend a re-evaluation of your hearing every 2 years. At that time, we will assess whether the hearing aids are programmed to the optimal settings or if they should be adjusted. Hearing aid programming is personal and we customize the programming to best suit your individual listening needs. Anytime you feel like something needs to be adjusted, give us a call and we will book you an appointment. That’s what we’re here for!

Here is a comment from a client who was fit with a hearing aid in 2012. She didn’t like to wear her hearing aid all the time because she felt it amplified all the background noise. When she came in for her re-evaluation, we determined that there had been a change to her hearing and her hearing aid needed to be reprogrammed to account for this change. One of her main difficulties was hearing in background noise so we created a custom program in the hearing aid using a fixed directional microphone to enhance the sound coming in from the front and reduce the noise coming from behind.

Here is what she had to say the next day.

“Hi Lia,

I couldnt resist emailing you to say THANK YOU  - you adjusted my hearing aid yesterday and wow what a difference. This morning I drove in to work with the fan and music on, and was able to have a conversation with my son all at the same time. It was incredible. And I could hear my kids talking to me last night in the house, without the deafening sound of echoing dishes clanking, or balls bouncing… And to think all these years I thought thats just what a hearing aid sounds like, and you just had to live with it like that.  

Thanks again, you brought me Christmas early :)”

-C.F.

Tinnitus Success Story

This is Susan.  Susan had severe tinnitus and I thought I would share my chart notes about her progress with tinnitus because it is inspiring.  If you are someone suffering with tinnitus, know that there are non invasive and organic options out there.

August 20,2015:  Hearing evaluation.  Tinnitus is "very distressing".  High pitched whistle that she hears bilaterally as well as a static and intermittent clicking noise.  She is sensitive to loud sound and is avoiding social situations for fear the noise will make her tinnitus worse.  She reported having cranial sacral therapy which seems to reduce the loudness of her tinnitus for a few months but it returned.   Tinnitus functional Index scores were high on all sub-tests.  She has seen a local ear, nose and throat doctor and all medical reasons for the tinnitus have been ruled out.  Counseled on tinnitus management strategies and recommended sound therapy with Audiological counseling.  She reports she is now in a "state of distress".  She rates the tinnitus as a 9/10

August 28, 2015:  Fitting of the sound generator to the left ear.  She felt anxious during the fitting process and was was nervous that introducing more sound to her "already loud ear" would make things worse.  She had difficulty inserting the device initially but improved with instruction.  Real ear measurements on the masker showed adequate gain.  She was counseled extensively regarding habituation and instructed how and when to use the device.

September 11, 2015:  Improvements with insertion of the device and data logging in the device show consistent use.  Still noticing the tinnitus and reports it as bothersome, but finds she is less sensitive to loud sound.  Changed the frequency response of the tinnitus masker to have a higher frequency peak.  Continued counseling on autonomic responses and habituation process. 

September 30, 2015:  Doing well.  Significant reduction in the perception of the tinnitus over the past 3 weeks.  Finds her sleep and irritability are improved overall.  She is using them 10-12 hours per day.

November 23, 2015.  End of the 3 month trial period.  She hasn't used the sound therapy device since the end of October because, while she hears the tinnitus, it is very soft and not bothersome.  I asked her if she wanted to return the device, but she chose to keep it to have it "as a crutch" in case the tinnitus came back or in case she has a bad day.  Current tinnitus rating is a 2/10.

If you would like to speak to Susan or try a tinnitus sound support device, please book a comprehensive tinnitus evaluation through either of our offices.

New Hearing Aid Released from Widex

Widex is a family owned company located in Denmark.  Take a look at the picture of their headquarters.  The entire facility is powered by wind.

Widex was the company to introduce the first ever digitally programmable hearing aid in 1988.  Last week, they launched an entirely new hearing aid platform they call "Unique".  Widex has always been known for its proprietary way of processing sound and I have known hundreds of people who hear very well with these hearing aids.   They have carved out a niche area with musicians due to the way they can avoid clipping the loud inputs sometimes generated by music at the level of the hearing aid microphone. This new hearing aid is an advancement in detecting your environment and does a much better job than previous generations of hearing aids at helping people hear better in noise.  It also has excellent wind noise management for those who spend a lot of time outside.   At Broadmead and Oak Bay Hearing Clinics, we have been one of the clinics that were asked to test out the product prior to its launch date Canada wide.  So far, we have been pleased at people's reports of hearing better in noise.  One client even said, "this is the closest thing to a cure". 

If you are interested in trying the Widex Unique, we have been given a few sets of "demo" hearing aids for select people to test out.   For more information about this opportunity, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with our Audiologists.

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Hearing Fact

More than 8 million Canadians have some type of hearing problem. Hearing difficulties are often unrecognized by the person involved. Children and teenagers seldom complain about the symptoms of hearing loss, and adults may lose their hearing so gradually they do not realize it is happening.

The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist.