Specialized hearing services

Support & solutions for diverse challenges

Sometimes, you or your child might need help with a hearing-related issue that isn’t covered by a general test. At Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia (HSNS), we’re committed to providing the right services for every Nova Scotian, no matter how unique their situation.

We offer a wide range of specialized services.


Cochlear implant program

The Cochlear Implant Program includes a team of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, audiologists, a speech-language pathologist and a communication disorders technician. Welcoming patients of all ages, the team may test you or your child’s hearing to see if a cochlear implant could help. They will discuss different technology options and talk to you about what it’s like to hear with a cochlear implant to help you make the best decision.

If you and the team decide a cochlear implant is the best solution, the ENT surgeon conducts the surgery and an audiologist will adjust your cochlear implant afterward. Then, a speech-language pathologist may help you with listening exercises. Ongoing adjustments to your cochlear implant and the listening exercises are critical in helping your brain adapt to new sounds and a new way of hearing. This helps you hear, understand and communicate as best as possible in day-to-day life. 

If you’re interested in the Cochlear Implant Program for yourself or a loved one, contact us to make an appointment.


Balance services

Impaired balance can make even life’s most ordinary tasks difficult. From getting out of bed for a glass of water to playing catch with the kids, we depend on information our brain gets from our ears, our eyes and our sense of touch to maintain proper balance. And when this system is not working its best, you might feel symptoms like:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo (a spinning feeling)
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Difficulty with walking
  • Increased falls
  • Fatigue (or tiredness)
  • Memory issues
  • Focus
  • Depression and/or loneliness


If you’re concerned about your balance, we can help. At HSNS, we offer vestibular (inner ear) and balance testing including:

  • Videonystagmography (VNG)
  • Cervical Vemp (cVEMP)
  • Ocular Vemp (oVEMP)
  • Video Head Impulse (vHIT)
  • Posturography


Fall prevention

Anyone can fall, but those over the age of 65 are most at-risk. In Nova Scotia, 1 in 3 seniors will fall — and those seniors are more likely to be admitted to a nursing home. The good news? In many cases, the risk of falling can be reduced or eliminated.


Three things everyone can do to help prevent falls:

  1. Ask your doctor about starting a regular exercise program with a focus on balance and coordination, like yoga or Tai Chi
  2. Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications, as some combinations can cause dizziness
  3. Have your vision tested every year


Fall risk factors

For people of all ages, preventing falls means preventing injury. It’s important to recognize the factors that put you at greater risk, so you know when to get help. Fall risk factors include:

  • Balance problems
  • Inner ear problems
  • Vision problems
  • Chronic conditions like arthritis or Parkinson’s
  • Physical or cognitive impairment
  • Severe restriction of activity
  • In some cases, a severe fear of falling


Fall prevention home safety checklist

If you or a loved one is at higher risk of falling, consider this home safety check list for the stairs, bathroom, kitchen and floors:

  • Are your steps in good repair and even?
  • Do you have light switches at the top and bottom of stairs?
  • Do you have handrails and grab bars installed in bathrooms and along stairs?
  • Are your handrails 29-36 inches high?
  • Are your floors and steps free of clutter?
  • Do you use no-skid mats in bathrooms?
  • Do you have night lights installed in corridors and bathrooms?
  • Are your carpets secure?
  • Do you have emergency numbers handy?
  • Do you use proper fitting no-slip footwear?


Make an appointment for an inner ear or hearing test

If you’re experiencing balance or dizziness problems, talk with your doctor about a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor or a neurologist, who may refer you to Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia in Halifax or Sydney. A hearing evaluation can also be helpful in diagnosing and treating your balance and fall concerns.