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Transcript of CTV News Canada AM interview

CTV News Canada AM

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CTV News Video Network Canada AM – at 07:30

Bev Thompson – host of Canada AM

Canada AM – Selecting the right hearing aid Segment – Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May-12-15, 07:00:00 AM |

Treating hearing loss and how hearing aids have evolved.

To watch the full interview visit (no closed captioning)


Bev: If you’re always asking people to speak up, or you’re cranking the volume on the T.V., you might be among one-in-four in Canadian adults with hearing loss. May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month and audiologists are encouraging people to get their hearing tested early to prevent issues down the road. Rex Banks is the Chief Audiologist with Canadian Hearing Society. Thanks for coming in this morning to talk about it.


Rex:  Good morning.


Bev: I mean hearing aids and all these kinds of things that can help now have really improved in the last few years.


Rex: Absolutely. The technology has come a long way. Hearing aids are definitely not the type of hearing aids that your grandmother drug around on a wagon behind her. So they’re modern, they’re sophisticated and they actually can help you hear quite well today.


Bev: So you brought in some examples, can you run through them and what we’re looking at?


Rex: Absolutely. So there’s about five major categories of hearing aids. So we have the completely-in-the-canal hearing aid which is the smallest type.  It just goes all the way into your ear. This is great for someone who is very cosmetically attuned to how the hearing aid is going to look.


Bev: Okay


Rex: The next size up would be the in-the-canal hearing aid. You can see it shows just a little more than the completely-in-the-canal.


Bev: Right


Rex: This might be that you’re still very cosmetically attentive but maybe want a volume control on your hearing aid. Next is in the ear. In the ear fills in a little more of the ear.  This has a little larger battery, can access a few more different features.


Bev: Okay


Rex: So the larger you’re going the more access it has.  And then we have the behind-the-ear and then what we call the receiver-in-the-canal type. Both of these go over the ear, but the traditional behind-the-ear might be appropriate for someone with more severe to profound hearing loss. And receiver-in-the-canal means that the speaker has been taken out of the hearing aid and is put down into your ear canal. It helps with a more natural sound and reduces whistling.


Bev: And what about the cost of these in terms of, is it the smaller they are the more? Or not necessarily?


Rex: You know not necessarily. It used to work that way but what you’re really paying for today with technology is what’s inside the hearing aid - so not so much about the size, but what’s inside.


Bev: So tell me about hearing impairment in people in general and at what age people should start thinking about maybe having their hearing tested.


Rex: Right, so you can develop a hearing loss at any point in your life but we’re certainly suggesting that if you are over 50 years old that you go in and get a hearing test. We know that about 40 per cent of people over 65 will start to show hearing loss and then with every decade after that the amount of hearing loss will increase.


Bev: 40 per cent?


Rex: Absolutely, and with the baby boomers in 2011 just hitting retirement age, we know about 1,000 people in Canada turn 65 every day.


Bev: So with an aging population we’re going to have, this is going to become the place.


Rex: Absolutely. There is a swelling tide of the baby boomers coming. There’s two different cohorts. There’s a younger one and an older one, but they’re all pretty much going to experience hearing loss and we need to start thinking about that now.


Bev: Rex, tell me about early detection because I’m curious because we always use that phrase when we’re talking about different afflictions across the board. If you were to identify early that you do have some kind of hearing impairment and you’re able to augment or help yourself, will that help you lessen the speed at which you might lose your hearing or it’s just a matter of making sure you that you have the proper hearing while you’ve got it?


Rex: Right. Well hearing aids don’t necessarily reverse hearing loss or necessarily prevent you from getting more hearing loss. But what they do do is stimulate the brain and keep it actively working and kind of helps with the cognition so the sooner that you know that you have a hearing loss the better it is to do something about it in order to keep everything going. Just like everything else in your body if you’re not using it, it has a chance to atrophy.  So early detection is really key.


Bev: Rex Banks, thank you for coming in.


Rex: Thank you, Thank you very much.


Bev: To learn more about hearing tests and how to save money on hearing aids we’ll have a link to the

Canadian Hearing Society on our website. 

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