girl surprised

Sudden hearing loss—what you need to know & what to do

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) or sudden hearing loss is dramatic, occurring either instantly or over a 72 hour period. The term SSHL refers to the sudden and significant loss of 30 decibels or more of hearing.  A loss of thirty decibels is the equivalent of your normal television volume level suddenly becoming a whisper, and difficulties understanding normal conversation or using the telephone may be the first indication that something is wrong. Go to the Sudden Hearing Loss page to [...]

Ignoring hearing loss is dangerous for your health

Hearing loss is becoming epidemic in Canada but the associated side effects of hearing loss can be equally devastating if left untreated. The statistics are scary: 19.2% of Canadians aged 20 to 79 have hearing loss in at least one ear; 35.4% have high-frequency hearing loss[1]. And the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services has warned that 4 out of 1,000 children will be born with or develop early hearing loss[2]. Sadly, many of these people may even be unaware [...]

Workers Compensation

The Ontario government is slashing healthcare

The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board is cutting choices for quality care. Ontarians are sick of cuts. WSIB is hurting hard-working Ontarians when help is needed the most. It’s wrong. Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board delivers services and benefits for injured workers. Part of that role is supporting Ontarians who have lost their hearing at work. But WSIB is slashing their support – cutting the choices available to those who need it. Right when these Ontarians need help the [...]

Gene therapy –why it’s such a challenge

The exciting recent developments in gene therapy and cochlear implants give us enormous hope that a full cure for many types of deafness may be found in the future but in many ways we’re really only at the beginning of that journey. In reality, science’s knowledge and understanding of the molecular biology involved in hearing is only in its infancy compared to the other senses. For many afflicted with hearing loss it’s tempting at times to feel impatient at the [...]

Cochlear implants to help regrow auditory nerves

Modern medical technology often achieves stunning results when it works with the body to promote the body’s own healing process. The potential of cochlear implants to restore hearing through gene therapy is an exciting example of this beneficial marriage between science and nature. Cochlear implants do an amazing job of restoring hearing for many people but they have their limitations. Cochlear implants work well for speech but don’t cope so well with music for example. The success of cochlear implants [...]

Help! My brain is confused

In this series we have explored how the brain constantly monitors and adjusts the amount of energy and attention dedicated to processing either sound or sight inputs. We have also touched on the extraordinary ability of the brain to adapt to injury or loss of function by borrowing neural capacity from other sensory processing areas of the brain. This brain plasticity, its ability to adapt, would seem to be a perfect response but this adaptation can come at a surprisingly [...]

I can’t hear you—let me turn my brain up

Previously, we looked at the way the brain constantly balances and prioritises the amount of energy dedicated to processing either sound or sight inputs. And that refocusing of the brain’s energy means that at any given moment either vision or hearing is compromised. The brain simply cannot give 100% attention to both hearing and vision at the same time. We also saw (or is it heard?) how the brain, thanks to its amazing plasticity, can adapt to certain types of [...]

Loss Of Hearing Treatment

Hearing loss and vision

We live in a very visual age. Image, how we look and dress, and how people perceive us has always been very important and for some today it has even become an overwhelming obsession. Even our language highlights this apparent emphasis on our visual capacities with commonly used expressions such as ‘seeing is believing’, and ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. But are seeing and hearing separate and mutually exclusive functions in the brain? The latest research is [...]