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  • Clear Speech Guide

    Clear Speech – Making Conversation Easier

    Read this article and download the Clear Speech guide below.

    Communication is a two way street.

    With hearing loss your friends and family can help by adopting ‘Clear Speech’ techniques to help everyone cope.

    Clear Speech

    By talking in a clear and concise manner, we are able to produce definite changes to the pattern of speech. We can produce sounds more completely without missing certain elements or dropping word endings. Naturally, speech becomes slower and louder and the stress on certain words or syllables becomes more obvious. Combined with the fitting of quality hearing instruments, these changes are exactly what is needed for a person with hearing loss to improve their ability to follow a conversation.

    Communication is a two way street and you can help by reading this short guide which outlines easy clear speech methods.

    Download the Clear Speech guide here.

  • Signs of hearing loss

    How do I know if I have hearing loss?

    Signs of Hearing Loss

    The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, there are common indications. You should suspect hearing loss if you experience any of the signs below.

    You might have hearing loss if you . . .

    Socially

    • require frequent repetition.
    • have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
    • think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling.
    • have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
    • have trouble hearing children and women.
    • have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
    • answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
    • have ringing in your ears.
    • read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you.

    Emotionally

    • feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
    • feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand them.
    • feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
    • feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
    • withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.

    Medically

    • have a family history of hearing loss.
    • take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
    • have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
    • have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.

    Signs of hearing loss – what to do next

    If you think you may have hearing loss, please get in touch with us to book a confidential hearing test where we will assess your hearing levels and recommend the most appropriate course of action.

  • Hearing aids Slough

    How Hearing Aids Work

    How Hearing Aids Work

    Sound is energy produced when things vibrate and air is displaced. Your ear gathers this energy and funnels it through the ear canal until it reaches your eardrum. The eardrum is vibrated and three bones inside the ear transmit the vibrations to the cochlea, a fluid-filled organ containing tiny hairs named cilia. The fluid is agitated by the sound vibrations, moving the tiny cilia which send electrical signals to the brain that are interpreted as sounds.

    Hearing Problems

    The most common problem that arises with hearing involves the cilia, as the tiny hairs can become damaged, weakening their signals to the brain. This accounts for around 90% of hearing loss. Causes include fluid build-up, infections, exposure to loud noise or, most commonly, ageing. Hearing aids can help greatly with this type of hearing loss.

    Early Hearing Aids

    Until the introduction of electricity, hearing problems were helped using ear trumpets. These worked by funnelling sound energy into the ear canal, increasing the pressure on the eardrum to make the signals to the cilia stronger.

    Electronic hearing aids were introduced in the early 20th century that amplified sound inside the ear using electric currents. Early devices used vacuum tubes, making them bulky and heavy, but the invention of transistors in the 1940s made smaller hearing aids possible, these could then be fitted behind the ear. These analogue hearing aids have been superseded by digital hearing aids, which came on the market in 1987 following the invention of microprocessors.

    How Hearing Aids Work

    Analogue and digital hearing aids use the same basic components: a tiny microphone, amplifier and loudspeaker. Sounds are picked up by the microphone and turned into an electric current, which the amplifier boosts. The strengthened current is sent to the loudspeaker which transmits the sound, via a tube, to the eardrum, making sounds detectable inside the inner ear before sending to the brain.

    Digital aids work the same way, but are able to refine sounds and adjust them before re-transmitting them. Analogue hearing aids struggle to distinguish between sounds, but digital aids can easily adjust frequencies and control amplification, and the latest digital hearing aids can be fitted and tuned to very exact levels.

    Further developments have led to hearing aids that fit completely inside the ear and are designed to remain there for long periods of time, with hearing aids such as the Phonak Lyric being worn inside the ear for up to four months. These hearing aids require expert insertion and fitting, but give far better results than previous models and are invisible to wear.

    Call our experts today here at Help In Hearing 0845 222 0579

    Or fill in our contact form for more information.

  • Best hearing aid report from Which?

    How to get the best hearing aid – Which? report

    Selecting a hearing solution that is right for you is crucial and the  consumer champions, Which?, have looked at how to get the best hearing aid. Which? describe themselves as ‘a consumer champion, our campaigns work to make your lives fairer, our advice helps you make informed decisions and our services and products put your needs first to bring you better value‘. Your hearing solution is important and Which? has recognised this and put together a comprehensive guide. We have shown some extracts below, but for the full report head over to Which? and read the guide in detail.

    What is hearing loss?

    What is hearing loss, and are hearing aids the answer? Plus some myths about hearing aids.

    Extract: Before you get hearing aids, you’ll need to investigate your hearing loss and have it assessed. Our guide will help answer some of the questions you might have about the process.

    It’s useful to think about hearing loss in two ways – conductive or sensorineural… read more

    Which is the right hearing aid for me?

    Find the right type of hearing aid for you, and what to expect from the NHS and private companies.

    Extract: As you start the process of getting a hearing aid, the choices can seem daunting. NHS or private? Which features? How to choose between the many brands and models on the market?

    Which? and Action on Hearing Loss give you a simple overview of the steps you’ll go through – from getting your hearing assessed right through to getting your aids and dealing with any problems… read more

    Where should I get my hearing aid?

    Where to get your hearing aid, including the pros and cons of NHS and private aids.

    Extract: Pros and cons of buying your hearing aid privately

    • Likely to be in a shop, some home visits.
    • You should be able to book an appointment at your convenience, with no waiting time.
    • More choice of styles, especially if you want discreet or invisible hearing aids. But you’ll have to pay for the aids (hearing aids need replacing every 3 to 5 years), and repairs.
    • You’ll see the audiologist – probably the same person – on follow-up visits (which you’ll need to check are part of your after-care package).
    • You’re likely to have more time with the audiologist – for example, to explore options or any problems.

    read more

    What’s a good hearing assessment?

    What to expect when your hearing is assessed, and what happens next.

    Extract: If you go privately, you will be assessed by a hearing aid audiologist (also called a dispenser). You will have tests to assess the hearing in both ears. These tests measure the type and severity of your hearing loss, and generally take place in a soundproofed booth.read more

    How to buy your hearing aids

    How to buy hearing aids, including what you’ll pay, what to ask and things to watch out for.

    Extract: There is a huge variation of prices, so it’s really worth shopping around. But keep in mind that you’re buying a whole, ongoing service – not just a one-off purchase of a deviceread more

    Hearing aid features explained

    Explaining features you’ll be offered, and using your hearing aids with other technology.

    Extract: With so many features and programmes to choose from, it can be tempting to think that more is better. But it’s useful to think of getting the minimum needed to customise your hearing aid so it’s right for you.

    Hearing aids all contain essential parts, such as a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver (speaker), volume control and a batteryread more

    Once you’ve got your hearing aid

    Making the most of your hearing aid, including maintenance and follow-up.

    Extract: When you get your hearing aids you should be shown how to put them in without mixing up the left and right aids, use the controls and handle and change the batteries.

    You should also have the maintenance explained, and what your aids can and can’t do. Plus be told how to get used to them – for example, a schedule for wearing the aids until you get used to themread more

    What if I’m unhappy with my hearing aids?

    How to deal with problems – from hearing aids not working well to a poor service.

    Extract: Whether you have an NHS or privately-purchased hearing aid, your first step should be to discuss with the audiologist what you’re not happy about. A lot of the problems listed above can be resolved and no problem is too silly, so make sure you return to them for help.

    Keep notes of any functional problems over several days, and note the environments in which you have them. If you’ve bought your aids privately, keep track of the trial period and try and resolve issues during this time.read more

    Report produced by Which? and Action on Hearing Loss