Hearing Aid Practitioner
Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive: This type of hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear where sound waves are not able to carry all the way through to the inner ear. Sound may be blocked by earwax or a foreign object located in the ear canal; the middle ear space may be impacted with fluid, infection or a bone abnormality; or the eardrum may have been injured. In some people, conductive hearing loss may be reversed through medical or surgical intervention. Conductive hearing loss is most common in children who may have recurrent ear infections or who insert foreign objects into their ear canal.
Sensorineural: This type of hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or the actual hearing nerve itself becomes damaged. This loss generally occurs when some of the hair cells within the cochlea are damaged.
Sensorineural loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It can be a result of aging, exposure to loud noise, injury, disease, certain drugs or an inherited condition. This type of hearing loss is typically not medically or surgically treatable; however, many people with this type of loss find that hearing aids can be beneficial.
Sudden Sensorineural: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss may occur very suddenly or over the course of a few days. It is imperative to see an otologist (a doctor specializing in diseases of the ear) immediately. A delay in treating this condition (two or more weeks after the symptoms first begin) will decrease the chance that medications might help improve the problem.
Mixed: This hearing loss has components of both conductive and sensorineural types. The result can be reduced perception of sound quality and intensity as well as transmission issues.
Source elements from: Johns Hopkins Medicine:
"Hearing testing is critical for discovering exactly what type of hearing loss you have, and will help determine the hearing care solution that is right for you"
We at Eastside Audiology believe it is important to understand who is providing your hearing care. Be wary of those with minimal education but "lots of experience!" - somebody had to be a test case - want it to be you? Sorry, that was rhetorical. If you have a difficult loss you will want to have the best care providers available to you. At Eastside Audiology we believe education is extremely important and that is why we are proud to say that we have 3 Doctors of Audiology, two Clinical Audiologists, and two Hearing Aid Practitioners on our staff. When you combine both education AND experience we believe you have a winning combination.
The following can help with understanding the main differences between those providing hearing health as it relates to Saskatchewan:
(also known as an Ear Nose & Throat physician, or ENT)
An otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon is a Doctor of Medicine who specializes in disorders of the head and neck, particularly those disorders related to the ears, nose and throat. The word “oto-rhino-laryngology” comes from the Greek words – “oto” for ear, “rhino” for nose and “laryn” for throat. Over the years, otolaryngology has expanded its area of expertise from the ears, nose and throat to a “regional” specialty of the head and neck and includes subspecialization in otology, neurotology, rhinology, sinus disease, laryngology, plastic surgery of the head and neck, tumour and cancer surgery of the head and neck, pediatric otolaryngology and allergic disorders of the upper respiratory system. An otolaryngologist has approximately 13 years or more of university training. To receive a fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, they must complete university, four years of medical school and five or more years of specialty training. At the end of this time, he or she must pass a certification examination to receive designation as an otolaryngologist. Some individuals pursue a further one or two years of subspecialty training. In Saskatchewan, to be seen by an otolaryngologist you must first be referred by a family physician. Additionally, otolaryngologists in Saskatchewan do not dispense hearing aids.
(source: Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery)
(also known as Clinical Audiologist, or Doctor of Audiology)
Audiologists are hearing health professionals who identify, diagnose and manage individuals with peripheral or central
hearing loss, tinnitus, vestibular and balance disorders and other communication disorders across the lifespan. Audiologists have a minimum of a Masters Degree in Audiology and spend an average of 7 years at university learning their profession. More recently others have completed a Doctorate in Audiology which adds an additional 2-3 years of post-graduate training. Audiologists are the only specialists trained to provide aural rehabilitation, perform audiological assessments, and provide recommendations for treatment. They examine your overall hearing and prescribe and fit hearing instruments and work with both pediatric and adult patients. Audiologists are also trained to provide counselling to individuals who are learning to cope with the practical and emotional repercussions of hearing loss. In Saskatchewan, you do not need to be first referred by a physician to be seen by an audiologist. Additionally, audiologists prescribe hearing aids, are governed by a regulatory body, and must meet regulatory requirements to practice.
(source: Speech Language Pathologists and Audiology Canada)
Hearing Aid Practitioner
(also known as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, Dispenser, or Technician)
Hearing aid practitioners work with adult clients, in businesses that sell hearing aids and assistive listening devices. They test hearing ability, select appropriate hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices for clients to purchase, and provide ongoing counseling and support to clients for their hearing and communication needs. In Saskatchewan, you do not need to be first referred by a physician to be seen by a hearing aid practitioner. The majority of practitioners complete a 2 year diploma program, however, some dispensers in Saskatchewan are dispensing with a 30 day or 3 month correspondence course.
(source: Grant MacEwan University)
Eastside Audiology & Rehabilitation Inc.
How is Eastside Audiology different from other hearing clinics? We recognize that some of you may have come from places where the pressure to buy was worse than a Las Vegas time share condo (and sometimes the same approximate cost). You will NEVER experience that at Eastside Audiology. There are no commission sales at Eastside Audiology. We pride ourselves on being a cutting edge diagnostic audiology clinic and we have the equipment and education to prove it. We employ Doctors of Audiology, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Practitioners.
We can test all ages from pediatric to geriatric and everyone in between. If a hearing instrument is in your future we will give you multiple options. We deal with multiple manufacturers. We do this because each manufacturer can approach the same hearing loss from a different angle (it’s an algorithm thing). This is why people with the same hearing loss can have such different experiences with hearing instruments. Sometimes you just need a different approach. For us, this has been borne out by our lower than industry average return rate. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to give it a try yourself. Ask for a no-charge hearing aid assessment and see what we are talking about!