If you have tinnitus, you probably have some hearing loss. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA-Hamilton) is very interested in this subject. As a result, we’ve arranged for third-year McMaster University medical student, Peter Phua, to be the keynote speaker at our next meeting.
Tinnitus is a condition that affects almost half a million Canadians. It is commonly marked by buzzing or ringing in the head or ears. Sometimes the sounds are accompanied by pressure or pain in and surrounding the ear, and may cause extreme annoyance to the individual to the point of debilitation.
While there is no one specific cause of tinnitus, many researchers have proposed various origins of the symptoms. Some of the more common causes include exposure to loud noises such as concerts, industrial equipment and gunshots, as well as head trauma, anxiety, hearing loss, Ménière’s disease (a disorder characterized by various symptoms including dizzy spells and tinnitus) and depression.
Although the treatment isn’t new, Phua and his friend, Adrian Green, offer a new way of getting treatment to sufferers. It is not a cure-all, but people with tinnitus who have low to moderate hearing loss may be helped with this. They’ve located something called notched sound therapy. The treatment is simple: determine the frequency of the tinnitus noise in the victim’s head and then expose him or her to a range of sound at other frequencies that eventually overcome the unwanted noise.
CHHA-Hamilton would like to give people an opportunity to hear what Phua has to say. Possibly, it could help improve their quality of life. William Shatner said tinnitus almost drove him to suicide. When it struck Phua, it drove him to action and a start-up company offering a new hope for sufferers. For Phua, it started after an evening of loud music – but it never went away. In Shatner’s case, he was standing too close to an explosion on the set of the original Star Trek. (Shatner has no connection with Phua or his company).
Phua’s presentation will take place at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA-Hamilton) Seminar on Tinnitus Control on Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m., at South Gate Presbyterian Church, 120 Clarendon Ave. Those interested in attending are asked to register by calling 905-575-4964 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge for attending, guests will be asked for $5 donation to cover the cost of providing real time captioning.
CHHA-Hamilton is one of many Branches of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. It is a non-profit organization led by hard of hearing and deafened individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss. CHHA advocates the rights and needs of hard of hearing and deafened persons at the municipal level in an effort to break down social barriers, create awareness and fully integrate hard of hearing and deafened persons into our city.
Jacquie Reid is Newsletter Editor for CHHA-Hamilton. She can be reached at email@example.com.