Dr. Wright's Blog

Is it normal to have a ‘better ear’?

Have you noticed that you hear better with one ear compared to the other ear? If you have noticed that you are turning your head to one side to hear better, you are hearing better on the phone with one ear compared to the other, or if you have tinnitus (a ringing, buzzing, humming) in one ear and not the other then you may have hearing loss in one ear.

This is not normal and an assessment should be carried out by an Audiologist to determine why hearing in one ear is better compared to the other.

Hearing that is worse in one ear could be an indication of a medical condition. Otosclerosis, which is abnormal bone growth around the ossicles, the small bones in the middle ear cavity is a common reason for unilateral hearing loss. This condition will reduce the mobility of the eardrum and significantly limit the ability for the sound waves to be conducted through these middle ear bones.   

An asymmetrical hearing loss could also indicate a vestibular schwannoma, which is a small slow-growing benign growth on the vestibular nerve. A vestibular schwannoma is often referred to as an acoustic neuroma and it can cause hearing loss in one ear from pressure on the auditory nerve or dizziness from pressure on the adjacent vestibular nerve.  Common symptoms include a feeling of pressure in the ear, as though you have water in your ear, ringing in one ear and hearing loss.

There are several medical conditions which can cause a decrease in hearing but the lesson is that hearing better in one ear is not normal and should be evaluated as soon as you notice the difference. 

If you are lucky, it is just a blockage of cerumen or wax in the ear canal.

Aisling Smyth, M.Sc., R. Aud

What Does 'Wheel of Fortune' Have To Do With Hearing?

How do they do it?  How is it that some contestants can see:

  ' __ o_ _     _un' on a game show and know that it says “home run”. 

It is because they have strong visual processing ability in the visual cortex and can see what is not there.  

Visual processing can be used as an effective analogy to auditory processing.  With hearing loss, the ear is unable to deliver the full auditory spectrum to the brain, so the brain needs to be able to effectively fill in the blanks to understand the message.  Some brains are excellent at this task.  Think of the group of twenty year olds at the bar not seeming to have any problems hearing one and other. 

It is because their brains are able to fill in the blanks of what the ambient noise is masking.

Auditory processing abilities are different in us all. Generally, the older we get, the more of the signal needs to reach our brains to understand the message. 

Hearing aids are an important part of this equation, but they are not 100% of the solution. 

Two people who have identical hearing loss could function quite differently depending on how well, or how poorly they can process auditory information.

3 Steps to Connect your Hearing Aids to your iPhone

Apple has been first out of the gates in supporting hearing aid users to have a more seamless connection to their iPhones and iPads. 

Generally, when you get your hearing aids, your Audiologist will connect the hearing aids, with you in the office, to your phone.

There may be times that you need to connect your hearing aids to a new device, or if for some reason you have lost your connection, check out the link below to easily re-establish the pairing of your phone.

Tip:  If you have already connected your hearing aids and have lost the connection, you may need to follow this pathway below: tap “Forget Device”, then power down your iPhone, and start again from the beginning. 

This ensures the pairing is forgotten and makes it easier to reconnect.


Of course, you can come into either of our locations and we are happy to show you how to connect.

Hearing is An Expression of Love

Last weekend my mom and her sister were at our house for dinner.  My mom was talking about her experience using hearing aids to her inquiring sister.  It seems her sister is noticing hearing loss and was trying to get a sense from my mom of what it would be like to use hearing aids.  I stood chopping veggies in the kitchen overhearing this conversation with keen interest and it was a simple statement that my mom made that gave me pause.

This is what she said….. “wearing my hearing aids is a gift I give to the people that I am with”. 

I found this interesting because many times in clinic I hear people with unaided hearing loss tell me, “its not a problem for me, but my spouse would say otherwise. 

Using hearing aids is an act of love to the people around you.  Taking steps and making effort to ease communication in a relationship is an act of kindness to the one you love. 

To show them that what they have to say is meaningful. 

So this Valentines day, you can give flowers or take efforts to improve communication by accepting that if one person in a relationship is expressing a problem then it is not just her/his problem, it is a communication problem which by definition is a two way street. 

Or, best case scenario, you can do both. 

Happy Valentines Day.

Medical Grade Titanium Hearing Aids

Hearing aids keep getting smaller, and better.  I love technology.  I love how it constantly gets better and small steps each time equal large movements forward. 

I also love the advantage we have of being an independent hearing clinic how we can offer all the newest products to our clients.  

The newest thing announced today…

Medical Grade Titanium Hearing Aids.

Why is this important to you?

- Smaller hearing aids that fit deeper into the ear canal.  Titanium allows the shell of the hearing aid to be as thick as a dollar. 

- This means less room for shell material means more space for venting and components

- Better hypoallergenic material.  Having something sit millimeters from your eardrum in a part of your body with sensitive skin can mean itching and irritation at times.      Medical grade titanium promises to solve these issues.

- Longer lasting.  Using material that is stronger will naturally protect the components inside

- 15x stronger than the existing acrylic material.  This means dropped hearing aids or cracks will no longer be an issue.

The anticipated launch date of this product is April 3, 2017.