Rising Star Finalist

We were nominated, became semi-finalists and finalists for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2018 for Rising Star. Good work Team! 

Image of the Reel Business Excellence Awards stage with a speaker and a crowd of tables.

Community Fair

This year Ossicle was invited to the Community Living Celebration & Resource Fair held at the Parkinson Recreation Centre here in Kelowna. We did this as a joint venture with Ossicle Hearing & Tinnitus Treatment Centre and Ossicle SoundField Solutions. A special thanks to ARC Programs for inviting and recommending us to the Fair. Ossicle was able to continue our Advocacy Program for children and young adults with a Diverse Ability in providing support to the families. A mandate Ossicle holds close to our beliefs!

A picture of the table that was set up at the 2018 Community Fair with Markus and Sean behind it

(Under)estimating your hearing change

This article shows that "One in five Canadians aged 20 to 79 was found to have a hearing loss in at least one ear when tested audiometrically. Among those aged 70 to 79 the figure was 65%. Overall less than 4% reported themselves to have a hearing loss.” It is interesting how many people have a change in their hearing and don’t notice it as reducing their quality of life. Its a fun read here:

Globe and Mail - Cost of Hearing Aids

This news story is necessary for public awareness, and explains why Ms. Lindell wouldn't need to take out a $15000 loan to have hearing aids and technology to support her IT business. The Ossicle model unbundles, reduces cost and increases accessibility. This article supports why we do what we do and how we do it as we eliminate many of the issues this article raises. This article also raises why we are involved with the committee to advocate for a provincial hearing aid funding program.

Read it here:

Ossicle or Ossicone?

a picture of a giraffe head showing its ossicones.

Did you know that a giraffe’s horns are called Ossicones? Ossi for bone and cones for, well, cones. Ossicles on the other hand are the 3 smallest bones in your body, and the only free-floating bones in your body. How cool is that?

unexpected hearing hazards

What is a hearing hazard? This survey result shows some interesting results! Check it out at Healthy Hearing.

2017 Trinity Seniors Safety Fair

We were the main sponsor of the 2017 Trinity Seniors Safety Fair featuring some 40 services for Seniors and giving some talks about hearing tests, tinnitus and hearing in noise technology to enhance speech in noisy environments for virtually any hearing aid system. We had a lot of fun and a great shout-out to Mackenzie and Kristin for setting up a great event!

Supporting Sing for Your Life

We support Sing for your Life, see more about why this is so important as a community outreach and why we support it!

Myths and Misconceptions

I’m Markus, your Ossicle Doctor of Audiology and have practiced clinical Audiology and seeing patients for over 15 yearsDuring this time I have consistently heard the same reports such as my spouse thinks I have a problem (i.e. it's not me), hearing aids make me look old, hearing aids are big, hearing aids don't work, hearing aids are just plain ugly. Really? I ask myself why improving one's ability to communicate, interact, relate and enjoy the subtleties of the world's joyful noise to quote Neil Diamond is such a negative! In this article we will address and debunk some of these silly misconceptions because in the end, hearing aids are quite desirable.

Let's begin with denial. It's not my problem, he says. He just mumbles, she says. Bottom line: it is not my problem. And in a way, that's true. In all fairness, my hearing loss can affect a loved one's quality of life. They repeat, are misunderstood, become a social translator they didn't sign up to be. There is a joke that if hearing loss came about early in life, during the first few years of marriage, then the divorce rate would skyrocket. And it's true. Relationships are strained because of one party's medical condition. However, that condition is real, and must be owned, not denied and not ignored. With hearing loss, you can go through the various stages of grief, be angry, blame others, ignore the issue or be in denial, but ultimately you lose the longer you camp there. Proactive, assertive recognition and dealing with it has many be benefits. Any passive-aggressive behavior is destructive in the short term and long term.

So if it is your problem, you can deal with it. Whereas with a healthy perspective and good attitude, you will likely win over those around you to help make everyday challenging listening environments easier to hear and function within. Once you take ownership and responsibility for the condition, they are usually very willing to help out with things like communication strategies: speaking slower not necessarily louder, reducing background noise when talking, getting your attention before speaking to you and maintaining eye contact. These strategies make it easier to communicate with or without hearing aids but if you are in denial, their willingness to make things easier for you will not entice them to play nice.

Another myth is that hearing aids are for old people. Well, long ago that may have been true. The boomer generation, however, needs hearing aids now, to an estimated number of 1 in 2 people! That is a lot of young people because 50 is not old! This is not your grandma's hearing aid! And we are not talking about your grandma here. Sadly, only about 25% of those who need hearing aids actually get them, and of them, even fewer wear them. And why is that sad? Because the longer the auditory nerve is not stimulated, the weaker it gets and the less clear sounds are that travel that nerve. Hearing loss causes auditory deprivation resulting in a reduction of the ability to understand, so if you wait long enough to get hearing aids and hold on to the last possible minute, your benefit from the will be frustratingly low. With nerve deprivation you'll hear louder, but not necessarily more clearly. That is sad. And the reason why many people who get hearing aids don't wear them consistently is partly because they are not aware that by not wearing them they are risking more irreversible nerve damage, partly because they never really got used to them and gave up too soon, before auditory adaptation could work it's magic and partly because in general, research shows that clinicians know how to recommend and fit a hearing aid but they do not fare well with translating that into the patient's sense of benefit. The patient spends a lot of money, clinicians do their tests and measures, and orient the patient about how to use the device. But that is not enough! New research is suggesting that there is a lot of work to be done to teach patients about good clinician credentials and standards of practice. But that is another story.

Hearing aids are expensive. Well, that is true, not much of a myth there but just because something is expensive and we are upset about the cost, doesn't mean that the price is somehow wrong or unfair. Let's consider mass produced electronics. A good big screen TV can cost as much as a hearing aid but the cost of production and distribution is considerably less than that involved with a hearing aid, which involve a lot of research, development and labor. And whereas a large portion of the population consume TVs, only a small portion of the population will get hearing aids. So in the final analysis, hearing aids seem expensive but are pretty affordable considering the infrastructure that it takes to get them to the patient including the clinical process. Besides, for about $5 a day you can hear and relate and connect better or have a fancy coffee drink. The daily cost is quite reasonable for the benefit you are receiving in return. How hearing aids are priced is a different conversation. They are sometimes marked up excessively because that is the only revenue source for providers that provide all services free or included in the price. This is one of the reasons why the Ossicle model charges cost for hearing aids, has reasonable and affordable fees for service and shows you exactly what you are spending your money on.

Finally, I've heard the myth that hearing aids are big, ugly and a nuisance. Think again! Whereas size depends on the power or volume requirement of the user, even the largest hearing aids are well designed. They are often small and sleek and designed to not be too visible when worn. But always remember that having a hearing loss and missing things, responding inappropriately and sometimes just smiling and nodding is a lot more embarrassing than wearing a hearing aid. The technology is amazing too. Current hearing aids can play special sounds to reduce tinnitus perceptions, sync with your relatively over priced TV, phone and music player. You can have wireless streaming of audio signals directly to your hearing aids without anyone knowing. People pay a lot of money for high end noise reduction headphones and yours are smaller, shape the incoming sound to your own specific in-ear frequency response and take your calls too! Technology is only as good as it is reliable and practical and hearing aids get full marks in both.

So now you know what the myths are and why they are silly. Waiting to get hearing aids with a documented hearing loss is in my opinion borderline irresponsible. Excuses are silly, get the facts and your lifelong enjoyment of hearing and the benefits of connecting to others, enjoying sounds and experiencing life fully does not need to be reduced.

Radio Interview 2

We were hosted again on Marjorie Horne’s “Engaging in Aging” radio show on 1150 AM

Check it out!

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