Dr. Wright's Blog

Tinnitus Awareness Week

May 16-20 is National Tinnitus Awareness week. 

A few years ago, our clinic was part of a pilot project testing new equipment to try to sound match tinnitus.  In this study people used iPads to create different sounds together to try to recreate their tinnitus sound.  It was through participating in this exercise that my empathy for those with tinnitus increased a hundred fold.  Some of the sounds that people were creating were like fingernails on a chalkboard combined with a cat's meow.  It was present constantly and the volume they had recreated was surprisingly loud to me.  I had often thought of tinnitus being a high frequency constant pure tone that was for the most part innocuous.  Or that has been the type of tinnitus I had experienced after leaving a loud concert.  The sound that some people manage all day is exhausting.  Tinnitus is exhausting.  Truly.  The cortisol being produced by the body in reaction to the autonomic nervous system's flight or fight response has to be metabolized by the adrenal glands which can lead to fatigue. 

The frustrating thing is how people for years have been told by their doctors just to live with it.  In fact, THERE IS HELP!!!  We have successfully managed tinnitus in about 85% of cases that come into the clinic.  There are products and counseling strategies that we can give patients as tools to learn to habituate the tinnitus. 

If you, or someone you know has tinnitus, the number one most important thing is to know that there is help, and to see an Audiologist to have a proper diagnostic evaluation to determine the cause of the tinnitus.  The cause is critical to the solution.


May Is Better Speech and Hearing Month

This is a time of year where Audiologists and Speech Pathologists from around North America share information about what they do with the public to increase awareness around communication disorders and services that are available for those who are hard of hearing or who have speech or language delays. 

This year, our national organization Speech Audiology Canada (SAC) is looking for people to share their stories of how their Audiologist has impacted their lives. 

One wish I have is that I could have a hidden camera in my office to capture peoples comments or reactions to hearing.  I often have expressions of amazement, beaming smiles and even tears of joy as people experience things they have never heard or haven't heard in a long time.  I would love for the world to see these expressions of joy. 

If you are so inclined, and would like to share your story, email me (drwright@broadmeadhearing.com)  a video of you and I will post it on our social media with the hastag #maymonthstories. 

The Pan-Canadian Alliance of speech pathology and Audiology (and me) want to hear from you!

Healthy Hearing Expo 2016 Video

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Healthy Hearing Expo this year!

It was such a fabulous day and it's such a pleasure seeing so many faces we know and meeting so many new people.

Here is a little video that was made by our friends at CFAX 1070 while they were on location at our Healthy Hearing Expo.

Click to View:


Also, a big congratulations to the winners of our great prizes!

Grand Prize winner of a set of Premium Hearing Aids - Mrs. Shergold

Electronic Hearing Aid Drying Kit - Mr. Hunt and Mrs. Russell

Phonak Dect Phone - Mr. Dahl



Hear Like a Fish

The aging process and exposure to noise are the most common causes of hearing loss in adults in Canada. The damage is to the outer hair cells inside the cochleae, the hearing organ, and it is irreversible. 

Researcher Tatjana Piotrowski, Ph. D.from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has been studying zebra fish in an attempt understand how their hair cells regenerate. Zebra fish have hair cells along the lateral line that are used to sense movement through the water. These hair are integral for the survival of the fish and have long been known to regenerate from surrounding support cells when the hair cells are damaged or when they die.

In the study, Piotrowski killed off the hair cells with the drug neomycin and then using a time-lapsed video watched how the support cells differentiated and grew into a new sensory organ called a neuromast. When the hair cells were regenerating, the researchers observed that half of the supporting cells would become hair cells and the other half would grow into more support cells. This means that there is always a group of support cells on standby prepared to become hair cells when needed. 

This latest research provides insight on how outer hair cells in the human cochlea might be regenerated to restore hearing loss caused by the aging process or noise exposure.

Read the complete article at:http://www.stowers.org/media/news/jul-16-2015



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.