Dr. Wright's Blog

Is My Hearing Normal For My Age?

One question that I hear often in the clinic is “But my hearing is normal for my age, right?” When we test your hearing, we test frequencies from 250 Hz up to 8000 Hz.

The human ear can hear actually from 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz which is a much wider range than the frequencies we test.  We test the frequencies that are important to hear speech sounds.

Each phoneme, or speech sound, can be plotted on an audiogram somewhere within the frequency range that we test. We call it a speech banana.

If your hearing loss falls below the normal hearing range it means that you are not hearing some or all of the speech sounds.

An age-related hearing loss is common and a survey from the United States suggested more than half of baby boomers are reporting difficulties hearing.

An age-related hearing loss happens gradually over time and usually begins to affect the high frequencies first. This type of hearing loss is expected to cause difficulty hearing in crowds,

soft-spoken people and can make speech sound muffled.

So, there is no such thing as normal hearing for your age; your hearing is either within the normal range or you are missing some speech sounds.

-Aisling

Oticon Opn Demo Days

In early June Oticon released their newest hearing aid called Opn.  We have been testing it out on some of our clients and even our receptionist Cassie.  So far, our clients have been very happy with this technology as it has a new way of processing speech in a noisy environment.  Because it has passed our pre-test phase, and because Dr. Wright’s own mom has chosen this technology, we want to be able to offer it to all of our Victoria customers at the promotional price.  When it was released, Oticon released it at a discounted price of $600 off a set of hearing aids so we are glad to pass that along to those people in Victoria looking to try the latest technology.

We are hosting two days of demo hearing aid fittings: September 8 and 9th.  If you book an appointment for those days you can take advantage of the promotional pricing from Oticon.  And, this pricing is a full $1400 less than our competitor!  During this event, you will have your hearing tested and be fitted with a set of Oticon Opn hearing aids to try for a month.   During that month, you will be seen for an adjustment appointment so we can make sure everything is running smoothly. 

The demos are happening in our Broadmead location, but if the Oak Bay location is more convenient for you, then we can arrange by appointment in the Oak Bay office.  As well, if you are out of town on the 8th and 9th, we can arrange an alternate day by appointment.

This hearing aid is not suitable for all hearing loss.  They are set to release the power version of the Opn in October, so currently it is not powerful enough for those who have severe hearing loss.  If you fall into the severe category, wait until October when we see the power version become available. 

If you have any questions about pricing or how the event runs, please email me at drwright@broadmeadhearing.com

Erin

Disability Tax Credit for Hearing Loss

Take a look at the letter below that Member of Parliament Peter Julian sent to the Minister of National Revenue.  What he is supporting is Bill C-263 which failed to gain any traction with the previous conservative government. 

The bill will be up for debate again, but not until the Fall of 2017.

Currently the disability tax credit for hearing loss applies to people who cannot understand a familiar voice in quiet with the use of hearing aids.  This is extremely restrictive and assumes that all people with hearing loss even use hearing aids.  The amendment to the bill is to allow eligibility for the tax credit to those with hearing loss who can’t understand in noise without the use of any hearing devices. 

This amendment is far more inclusive and would open this tax credit up to the majority of people who have hearing loss. 

So kudos to NDP house leader Peter Julian for advocating for the hard of hearing.   

I am hopeful that the new government will give this bill the attention that it deserves.

Erin

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Dear Dr. Wright,

 

Thank you for your support and interest in Bill C-263, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (hearing impairment).

Bill C-263 is a Private Member’s Bill and, like any legislative proposal by individual MPs, it is subject to a random process of selection. In the case of C-263, this bill will not be debated before the fall of 2017.

While the presence of a majority government also makes it more difficult to gain traction in Parliament, this does not diminish the importance of continuing our push for the changes proposed by C-263.

As you may know, I had previously introduced this bill in the last Parliament but the Conservative government failed to act on this matter. The delay, however, provided an opportunity to continue the grassroots

tax fairness campaign for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and to work with the community to build a stronger base of support for C-263. Hundreds of Canadians signed petitions in support of Bill C-263.

It is equally important to maintain pressure on the current Liberal government and continue our work to broaden outreach. With growing support both outside and inside Parliament, I believe that Bill C-263

will finally be recognized as a blueprint for the positive changes in regulation that are necessary to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians are treated fairly by our tax system.

I have written a letter to the Minister of National Revenue (attached), asking her to give this matter the priority it deserves, and I have assured her of the full cooperation of my NDP colleagues.

As for your question regarding who qualifies, the bill would remove the requirement that the person must be wearing an “assisted listening device” when they are being assessed.

Let us continue our good work together to fix the flaws in the tax treatment of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community.

Thank you again for writing to me.

Best regards,

Peter Julian, MP

New Westminster-Burnaby

NDP House Leader

New Democratic Party | Nouveau Parti démocratique

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