Dr. Wright's Blog

How to Use Apps With Hearing Aids

Audiologist Christine Stangeland shows a client hearing aids


We get a lot of questions about connecting hearing aids to Bluetooth. It can be a tad intimidating to think about if you've never connected a device to your hearing aids before. But it's not hard. And once you get the hang of it, we're sure you'll love this feature!

Audiologist Christine Stangeland will be explaining how to use Bluetooth® to connect to apps to stream audio and control features such as volume, sound, Mask Mode and health programs in her talk at the Healthy Hearing Online Expo on Tuesday, April 26 at 1:30 pm. Click here to register.

These are the helpful links that Christine references in her presentation:


Learning about technology

Woman looking at cell phone sitting by a laptop

Oak Bay adult recreation programs - click Technology to see courses on computers, smartphones & tablets

Computer help for seniors from Victoria Tech Tutor

Compatibility and product support links by hearing aid manufacturer

Hearing aids, a tablet and a laptop


Hearing aids compatibility guide

Oticon More hearing aids


Check your phone compatibility

Product support


Check whether your cellphone is compatible with Signia hearing aids

Support videos: learn how to maintain your hearing aids and how to handle apps and accessories


Hearing aid apps

Support videos: hearing aids, apps, adjusting your hearing aids


Check your phone compatibility with  compatibility with Blu, Discover Next or Discover hearing instruments.

Help and support videos for Unitron hearing aids


Check your hearing aid compatibility

Hearing aid support & compatibility

If you have questions about your hearing aids or need support setting up Bluetooth connection, please call us or request an appointment online: Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.



Five Myths About Hearing Aids

Man standing between two arrows, one pointing to Facts, one pointing to Myths


Don't let a myth about hearing aids keep you from hearing well for life!

Hearing loss often creeps ups gradually, making it hard to recognize when it’s time for a little help. On average, people wait 7 years before seeking treatment. Why? Often, because of outdated or incorrect information about hearing aids. So today, we are setting the record straight! It’s time to bust five of the biggest myths about today’s hearing aids. 

Myth #1: Hearing aids will make me look old

Truth: The truth is… we’re all older than we were yesterday. 

Broadmead Hearing client being fitted with hearing aids

Aging happens.  And while it’s true that some people experience hearing loss as a result of aging (this type of hearing loss is called Presbycusis), there are other types of hearing loss that occur regardless of age such as:

  • Prolonged exposure to noise at work
  • Loud noise
  • Head or neck injury
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune, Otosclerosis or Meniere’s disease

When it comes to age-related hearing loss, it may be true that the thought of hearing aids (much like your first pair of reading glasses) makes you feel a little older until you get your first pair. But when hearing aids enable the lifestyle you want - unstoppable in your family or social activities and your ability to communicate – you’ll quickly realize that hearing well is one of the secrets to feeling and looking younger.

Plus, treating hearing loss gives you back energy and stamina. Life is for living - get out there and use whatever means necessary to enjoy it!

Myth #2: Hearing aids are ugly

Truth: If your idea of hearing aids is a recollection of a grandparent’s clunky devices in your childhood, you need an update! What we find in the clinic is many people have never seen the latest sleek, modern hearing aids.

Picture of a small in-the-canal hearing aid

The truth is, when it comes to hearing aids, there have never been more styles to choose from.

Hearing aids come in a variety of colours, styles and sizes - whether you want them to blend in and match your skin or hair colour… or stand out to match your belt and handbag!

Widex BEYOND offers hearing aids in colours like Mediterranean Turquoise, Shocking Pink, Sporty Red, as well as more demure colours like Silver Grey and Honey Blonde… the choice is yours!

Array of Widex BEYOND hearing aid colours

There are also hearing aids such as Signia Active Pro that look like stylish, sleek earbuds.

Pair of Signia Active Pro hearing aid ear buds

Whatever your personal taste, there is a model and a colour to suit your style.

Myth #3: Hearing aids are hard to use

Truth: Hearing aids are designed with you, the wearer, in mind. 

Audiologist showing hearing aids to a client

Modern hearing aids are made to be easy to use! Your Audiologist will make a recommendation to ensure that you receive the best hearing aids for your individual needs.

There are a number of convenient and useful accessories that allow the wearer to make adjustments without touching the hearing aids. You can control the volume, adjust treble and bass on your hearing aids, turn on Mask Mode, activate programs for changing sound environments and levels of background noise and more.

Accessories that make life even easier:

  • Remote controllers and microphones
  • Watches that are made specifically for pairing with hearing aids
  • TV connectors
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Apps that pair with Android and iPhone smart phones

Remote microphone that connects to hearing aids

If dexterity is a concern, your Audiologist will recommend a hearing aid style that is better matched to your level of mobility.

Once you’ve made your decision, your Audiologist will guide you through the set-up of your hearing aids and accessories, including Bluetooth® pairings and make sure you understand how to manage the settings.

Myth #4: Hearing aids aren’t modern technology

Truth: Hearing aids are tiny microcomputers that come from the most up-to-date research and development.

Smart phone with hearing aid app beside a pair of hearing aids

Today’s hearing aids connect to software applications (apps) that connect with a range of smart devices (e.g. Apple or Android phones) wirelessly via Bluetooth and allow you to control hearing aid features such as volume, sound, mask mode and health programs. We can get you set up with the latest in Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair your hearing aids to your computer, tablet, TV and smartphone.

Apps make it possible to control your hearing aids in different sound environments such as a busy coffee shop, while listening to music, or at a meeting or lecture. Apps are popular because they allow you to personalize your hearing experience.

These are just some of the features available with apps:

  • Adjust volume, treble, base and noise levels
  • Stream music, TV and phone calls directly into your hearing aids
  • Create hearing programs for the environments you’re in most often
  • Check your hearing aid status, including battery charge
  • Use the Find My Hearing Aid app to locate a lost hearing aid

Your Audiologist will also guide you through app set-up, including pairing devices and make sure you understand how to manage the settings. Once you’re set up, apps are easy to use and allow you to access features that will soon become favourites.

Myth #5: Hearing aids cost a lot

Truth: Hearing aids are an investment that allow you to enjoy healthy hearing for life.

Hearing enhances life in so many ways, including:

  • Your ability to communicate and connect with others.
  • Promotion of a healthy brain.
  • Invigoration of youthful energy.
  • Protection against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The cost of your hearing aids will vary depending on the sophistication of the technology and the available features. 

Your Audiologist will always be direct about the costs, and will help you choose hearing aids that meet your hearing needs and fit your lifestyle.

Plus, once you make your purchase, follow-up care with your Audiologist is included for the lifetime of the hearing aids.

You can find a range of costs for each technology level here.

If it applies to your situation, WCB or Veteran Affairs plans may cover the full or partial cost of your hearing aids.


Now that we’ve addressed the most common myths about hearing aids, our Audiologists are here to speak with you about your hearing. Call us or request an appointment online to schedule an appointment: Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.

The Important Connection Between Hearing Loss And Depression

Woman with depression looks out a window


Hearing loss is often frustrating - personally, professionally and socially.

But sometimes, our inability to hear the world around us can have more of an impact on our mental health than we realize. Sometimes hearing loss can lead to depression.

Everyone experiences the regular ebbs and flows -  joys and disappointments - of life. But if you’ve been stuck in a cycle of sadness, hopelessness and/or isolation for a while, you may be experiencing depression. And it may be related to your hearing.

The good news is, hearing-related depression can often be resolved within a few months of treatment, such as through the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental illness that affects a person’s mood - the way they feel.

Here are a few notes about depression, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada

11% of adults will experience depression at some point in their life.

Clinical depression, also known as major depression, is the most common mood disorder.

Depression is twice as common in women as it is in men.

Symptoms of depression

Depression affects our whole body - with a wide range of physical symptoms - not just our mood and our mind.

Physical symptoms connected with depression include:

  • Low mood
  • Feelings of worthlessness and/or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Depression is not a character weakness, as once believed. Rather, it is a physiological response that can be treated with the support of your medical team.

If you experience any of these symptoms for more than two or three weeks, it’s important to contact a physician.

If you are also experiencing difficulty hearing, make sure to speak with an Audiologist, as oftentimes, treating hearing loss can also help resolve the depression.

How is depression linked to hearing loss?

Studies have shown a link between hearing loss and moderate to severe depression.

As the degree of hearing loss increases - from zero to mild to moderate/severe - so too does the risk of moderate-to-severe depression.

Women are at higher risk than men.

People who experience hearing loss and tinnitus are at greater risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. There are many reasons for this:

  • Difficulty understanding and being understood
  • Feelings of anxiety and/or isolation.
  • Social withdrawal, either deliberately or unknowingly.
  • Misunderstandings that lead to frustration and conflict.
  • Fatigue, irritability and low mood due to increased concentration.
  • Feelings of loss can affect our self-perception and self-esteem.

Taking the important steps to care for our hearing, with the help of an audiologist, can help interrupt the patterns associated with hearing-related depression, and help ensure we get back to a level of thriving.

Symptoms of hearing loss and depression

Has participating in family get-togethers or book club discussions become more difficult due to background noise?  This is just one clue that you may be at risk for hearing-related depression.

Other signs to watch for include:

Difficulty communicating with friends, family, or colleagues

  • Strained social interactions
  • Gradual withdrawal from activities
  • Isolation from others
  • Anxiety in loud or social situations
  • A feeling of lost connection with the world of sound

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you or a loved one, it may be time to speak with an audiologist. An Audiologist can recommend supportive treatments, such as hearing aids,  that will help return clarity to your hearing.

Why hearing aids will help with depression

The longer depression remains untreated, the more far-reaching its impact can be - interfering with our personal, professional and social lives.

Working with an Audiologist as soon as possible can help prevent the social withdrawal and isolation that often accompanies hearing loss and leads to depression.

And more good news: If you are already experiencing symptoms of depression, these symptoms often resolve relatively quickly when the hearing loss is treated.

Research at Johns Hopkins University found that symptoms of depression reduced significantly within six months of using hearing aids.

How do hearing aids help?

Hearing aids can help resolve depression by:

  • Improving mental clarity.
  • Restoring self-confidence.
  • Supporting communication.
  • Reducing feelings of frustration and hopelessness.
  • Improving connection to the world around you.
  • Building and restoring close relationship.
  • Promoting involvement in your favourite activities.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression and suspect it may be related to your hearing, speak with an Audiologist soon. Early treatment can ensure you sidestep the most severe symptoms. Call us or request an appointment online to schedule an appointment: Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.


Photo credit: Photo Sushi on Unsplash


Good Reads for Those with Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

Woman snuggled into a blanket reading a good book


Sometimes it’s nice to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and a good book. Or if you have a Bluetooth® enabled hearing solution, you may choose to stream an audiobook directly into your hearing aids! Rithet’s Bog Trail, right across from the Broadmead Hearing Clinic, is perfect for strolling and listening to an audiobook!

Read about experiences with hearing loss

When you enter the world of hearing loss and hearing aids, it is reassuring to read about the experiences of those who have gone before you. We’ve curated a list of books that we’ve enjoyed and our clients have found helpful. Happy reading! We’d love to know what you think of the books when you finish. 

Hear Your Life

By Melissa K. Rodriguez

A compilation of true stories about individuals with hearing loss and their corresponding pursuit of hearing aids. The collection of 26 short patient stories evoke a balanced mixture of inspiration and honesty as it relates to addressing hearing loss. The last 30 pages of the book serves as a resource section including information on how the ears work, an explanation of when hearing aids will work, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Get the book

Shouting Won’t Help

By Katherine Bouton

A compelling story of the New York Times editor’s experience with progressive hearing loss. She describes her difficulties in work environments and speaks to doctors, Audiologists, Neurobiologists and other medical professionals and she weaves their stories with hers.  An excellent read.

Get the book

Living Better with Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends...and Hearing Aids

By Katherine Bouton

This is a practical guide to daily life with hearing loss, covering topics from hearing tests and buying (and paying for) hearing aids, to deciding whether to get a cochlear implant, to navigating airports, job interviews, and first dates when you suffer from hearing loss. Useful and readable for those who have recently treated hearing loss, to people who have been struggling for years, and their families. 

 Living Better with Hearing Loss book

Get the book

Reclaiming Your Confidence: Real Life Tips for Managing Hearing Loss at Work

By Debbie Lousberg

Many of our clients are active in their careers. When they first treat their hearing loss, they wonder what people will think. Will they treat me differently because I’m wearing hearing aids? This book contains positive reinforcement, useful information and confidence-boosting stories that reinforce that yes, there are others in the workplace with hearing loss who are producing, leading and thriving.

Reclaiming Your Confidence book by Debbie Lousberg

Get the book

I Can Hear You Whisper

By Lydia Denworth

Denworth’s third son, Alex, was nearly two when he was identified with significant hearing loss that was likely to get worse. As she grappled with the complex collisions between the emerging field of brain plasticity, the possibilities of modern technology, and the changing culture of the deaf community, she gained a new appreciation of the exquisite relationship between sound, language, and learning. This book answers how sound sculpts our children’s brains and the life-changing consequences of that delicate process. A fascinating view of the science of sound and language.

I Can Hear You Whisper book by Lydia Denworth

Get the book

Get the audio book

This blog was updated from the original published on 01/20/2014.

We hope you enjoy these reads. If you have any questions that arise as you’re reading and you want to schedule an appointment with one of our professional Audiologists do so online or call us at the Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.


Hearing Aid Wearers - Hear the TV Better!

Broadmead Hearing watching TV wearing hearing aids

Why is hearing the television hard?

As sound waves travel away from the TV, high-frequency sound waves can fade before reaching your ears. Hearing aids are optimized for close-distance conversational speech (e.g. 5 ft). Most people don’t sit this close to the television!

A few factors that may also be contributing:

  • Are the speakers located on the back of the TV?
  • Speaker quality
  • Shows with a lot of background noise
  • Dialogue spoken in low or quiet tones
  • How far away you sit from the TV

The good news is there are easy solutions for improving your TV watching experience.

Hearing, but not understanding

Listening and understanding puzzle pieces

Some clients tell us that while wearing hearing aids, they can hear the TV but have difficulty understanding the dialogue. If you’re having trouble with the clarity of speech, you’re likely not hearing the high-frequency sound waves well enough.

How you can hear your TV better

There are some real benefits to setting up an enjoyable TV listening experience. If you already wear hearing aids, tell your Audiologist that you want to make your TV watching better.

Bluetooth® hearing aids: modern hearing aids can connect wirelessly to your TV if they are Bluetooth-enabled. Wireless connection allows you to hear the audio from the TV directly into your hearing aids.

Turn on Closed Captions: (these can be helpful for anyone!) so that you can read the dialogue as it scrolls across the bottom of the TV screen.

Adjust your TV audio settings: it may be possible to lower the base, lower mid-range sounds and boost the upper midrange and higher frequencies.

Neck and room loop systems: use a magnetic field and a neck loop worn around the wearer’s neck

Assistive listening devices: some wireless headphones will allow you to adjust the volume without affecting others watching the TV in the room.

How do I connect my hearing aids to my TV?

Your Audiologist can explain how to pair your hearing aids with the TV. Some hearing aids have special programs for TV-watching.

Often a TV connector is used. The process will be as simple as pressing a button on the back of the connector, waiting 10 seconds, and then hearing a beep when the hearing aids have successfully paired with the connector.

TV connectors link your TV to your hearing aids

The benefits of improving TV listening

Sending 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 anyone else in the room.

If you want to hear the television better, request an appointment online: Broadmead Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2969 or Oak Bay Hearing Clinic: 250-479-2921.


This is an update to a blog that was originally published on 12/23/2015.