Hearing Health

Make Hearing Health a PriorityHearing Health for your Family

Our hearing is the only one of our senses that is constantly active. It plays an important role from the very first moments of life, allowing us to hear language, understand sounds and develop.

Healthy Hearing

Healthy hearing can recognize both low sounds (traffic) and high sounds (birdsong).  For normal hearing human ears this means frequencies from 20 to 20,000 hertz. Our brain is also able to process sounds that are very quiet to extremely loud, which range from 0 -120+ decibels. Because of these abilities our auditory system as a whole – including the brain (auditory cortex) is very adept at understanding the fine details and nuances of language, even in difficult environments. By filtering out irrelevant sounds, we are able to focus and concentrate on sounds that are a priority, ensuring we are able to effectively communicate.  This type of filtering, referred to as brain hearing, is what allows us to carry on a conversation in a noisy place like a restaurant or any demanding listening environment.

Brain Hearing

The ears receive sounds, like a messenger and then deliver the sounds to the brain. It is in the brain where sounds are interpreted and given meaning.  Our auditory cortex is the part of our brain that completes this function and it requires active stimulation to stay engaged in this role.  When hearing loss occurs it affects this process, less sounds are delivered to the brain making it difficult to transform sound into a meaningful context.  Sometimes the brain will try to guess or fill in the missing sounds but this is often challenging and exhausting for the listener.

Overtime if hearing loss is left untreated our brain is deprived of exercise and is unable to carry out its job.  Sounds, even when loud enough, are unclear and hard to understand.  Intervention with hearing aids will help to support brain hearing so that the sounds of your life remain meaningful.  Early intervention is key and modern hearing aids help to keep your brain fit so that you can stay engaged and actively participate in daily life.

1 Million Canadians are affected by Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss is on the Rise

For a variety of reasons hearing loss has increased significantly in recent years. Day to day environments are noisier than ever, which has had an increasingly harmful effect on our hearing. Other causes include genetics, illness, ototoxic drugs, birth impairments and of course ageing. According to Statistics Canada, more than one million adults reported having a hearing loss in 2002, today it is estimated that 2 in 6 adults are experiencing some degree of hearing loss.

Changes in hearing happen very gradual, you may not initially notice you have had a change. Friends, family or colleagues are often the first to notice a change in your hearing, noting that conversations are slower and more difficult than before. Even though you are the one with hearing loss, everyone in your social network now has a hearing problem. This can lead to a very negative impact on one’s overall health and wellness. Modern hearing health care is able to support healthy hearing by monitoring changes in hearing levels, educating on noise protection and recommending hearing devices to suit any lifestyle and listening needs.

Hearing Health should be considered a priority and it is recommended that everyone include a hearing test to their health and wellness routine. Throughout this section of our site learn more about hearing and how it relates to your health, learn about the warning signs of hearing loss and much more!