Frequently Asked Questions

Ears and Hearing

Should I use Q-tips to clean my ears?

The role of earwax (cerumen) is to protect the fragile skin in your ear canal. It helps to prevent infections and traps dust and debris. The wax then slowly migrates out of your ear. Using a Q-tip will push most of the wax deeper in the canal, where it cannot migrate out. The wax will get packed and dry and eventually block your ear and your hearing. Do not use Q-tips in the ear canal. Consult the audiologist or your healthcare provider if excessive accumulation seems to occur.

Can you remove earwax if my ears are blocked?

Audiologists at Annik Hearing Solutions completed additional training for cerumen management and can extract the cerumen with various methods if there are no medical contraindications.

What causes hearing problems?

Here are some causes of hearing problems: loud noise exposure, heredity, viral or bacterial illnesses, some medications, trauma to the ear, ear infections, aging, abnormal bone growth, just to name a few. A hearing evaluation can help determine the cause of a hearing problem.

Do I need a hearing test?

Everyone should verify that their ears are healthy. A first hearing test is a precious baseline. Even if your hearing is fully normal, it will allow any future change or accident to be confirmed and quantified. Hearing problems are often gradual and frequently unperceived in the earlier stages. At Annik Hearing Solutions, we explain your hearing test results to you at your hearing test appointment. We are happy to answer your questions and will not pressure you to take a course of action. We see our role as informing you of your health and empowering you to make your decisions.

You can also answer the following questions for a quick self evaluation or go to our 5 minute free online hearing screening test.

Do I need a medical referral to get a hearing test?

No referral is required. You can book an appointment directly, by phone or online.

How much does a hearing test cost?

At Annik Hearing Solutions we offer hearing tests free of charge in order to remove barriers to accessing information and hearing healthcare.

How long is a hearing test appointment? Will I get results then or later?

A hearing test and consultation can range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the status of the ears and the ensuing discussions.

At what age is it normal to have hearing problems?

Although hearing tends to decrease over time, there are many other variables that determine the presence or absence of hearing problems. Children, young adults can have hearing problems. Some older adults have excellent hearing throughout their life. See this interesting study by Statistics Canada which shows, by age range, the percentage of people with hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing/noises in the ears).

Even if hearing problems are more common at an older age, it does not mean it should not be verified and addressed. Everyone deserves to engage with their loved ones and to maintain their autonomy by communicating efficiently.

Can hearing loss lead to other health issues?

Unaddressed hearing loss can have many impacts, including increased risk of falls and related injury, dementia and brain atrophy, social withdrawal and associated depression.

Taking charge of your hearing loss early can minimize these impacts.

Do many people have noise or ringing in their ears (tinnitus)?

Statistics Canada shows that about 37% of Canadian adults have reported tinnitus (in the last year).  This is distributed fairly evenly through all age groups. Although tinnitus is a common symptom, it should be verified by a healthcare professional, such as an audiologist. A hearing evaluation is an important source of information and referrals or recommendations can then be made.

Why should I get a hearing test for my dizziness?

The inner ear hosts structures involved in balance. They detect rotation and movements. When these structures are affected, they can trigger dizziness, often described as spinning or vertigo. They may or may not be associated with other ear and hearing problems, for example decreased hearing, ringing in the ears or pressure in the ears. A hearing evaluation provides pieces of the puzzle and helps your healthcare provider confirm or rule out some causes for your dizziness. Balance involves many different body systems and should be discussed with your physician.

Hearing Aids

Should I wait longer before getting a hearing aid? Will they make my ears lazy?

Hearing aids are healthy for your ears and do not make them lazy. There is a neural pathway that links your ears to your brain. All those connections, as well as your brain, maintain their full potential when they are stimulated. If you miss out on some sounds because of hearing loss, those pathways are more passive. Over time, they may be less effective and full potential may not be regained. A hearing aid does not make the ear lazy; rather, it provides “exercise”, stimulation for the hearing system.

It is also important to stay connected to the little natural sounds around us. Your footsteps, the hum of the refrigerator, the birds outside; those sounds can be hard to re-integrate and tolerate if you have missed out on them for too long. The transition to hearing aids is generally easier in the early stages of hearing loss. For these reasons, you should not wait to try a hearing aid.

Why are hearing aids expensive?

Today’s hearing aids are much more complex than ancient microphone – amplifier – speaker systems. They are miniature computers with advanced sound processing and filtering software. Research laboratories and manufacturers of hearing aids are tirelessly and competitively researching how to optimize hearing performance, especially in noisy situations. They also offer up to 5 years of comprehensive repair warranty.

There is a range of technology levels that determine the price of a hearing aid. This can be discussed with your audiologist, who will also guide you through your funding and financing options.

Can I try hearing aids before I purchase them? How much does the trial cost?

Whether you are trying hearing aids for the first time or thinking of replacing your hearing aids, we strongly encourage you to borrow new hearing aids before purchasing. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the physical comfort and manipulation and to see the benefits in your own environment: at home, with family and friends, at work, at the store, etc.

There is no charge for the hearing aid trial and no associated obligations. The trial duration is established with the audiologist but can be expected to last two weeks.

Learn more

Can I just get one hearing aid?

Research suggests that you will ultimately be more satis­fied with two hearing aids if both ears have a hearing loss. With two hearing aids, you can take advan­tage of the way the brain processes sound through what is known as binaural hearing. This helps localization of sounds and performance in noisy environments.

Are rechargeable hearing aids better?

The latest hearing aid models come in both rechargeable and battery-operated versions. This is because each one has advantages. Lithium-battery rechargeable hearing aids generally charge overnight in a charging dock and keep the same battery through their lifespan.They are easier to handle for people with reduced dexterity. Battery-operated hearing aids are favored by users who are familiar with that system and users who travel lightly or where plugging a charging dock is not possible.

Do hearing aids connect to my mobile phone and TV?

Most hearing aids can now be paired via bluetooth or wireless to your devices, like your mobile phone and TV. The audiologist will guide you through those options and assist you in connecting your devices.

I have hearing aids. Can I go to your clinic even if I purchased them elsewhere?

At Annik Hearing Solutions we are happy to welcome new clients. We understand that you may be relocating or may be unsatisfied with services provided at other hearing clinics. We honor manufacturer warranties and do our best to offer you maintenance and adjustments to your current hearing aids at no charge or for a minimal fee. The audiologist will be able to guide you during your initial free consultation.

Take note of limitations when you purchase hearing aids at big box stores.


Are audiologists medical specialists?

Audiologists and ENT Physicians often work in cooperation. An ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist is the medical doctor who treats disorders of the head and neck including the ears. This can involve surgery or medication. Audiologists take care of the prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of auditory difficulties. The audiologist can assist you and your family doctor to determine if an ENT consultation is indicated.

Why should I see an audiologist?

Audiologists complete at a minimum: a 4-year university bachelor program and a 2-year Masters program. Audiology is a regulated profession, which ensures the highest standard of patient care. Continuing education requirements, quality assurance programs, regulations, standards and guidelines are established by the College of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of Ontario. Read more here.

All clinicians at Annik Hearing Solutions are Registered audiologists, in order to provide the highest standard of care.

All Rights Reserved ©2022 Annik Hearing Solutions

All Rights Reserved ©2022 Annik Hearing Solutions