tel: 0345 222 0579      email: mail@helpinhearing.co.uk

  • Date ideas for hearing loss

    Top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss

    Dating with hearing loss can be different than being in a “hearing” relationship – but there are some things that can make it easier. For example, picking the right places to go for your date. This article gives you our top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss.

    If your partner has hearing loss, it’s important that when choosing somewhere to go on a date, each person is comfortable in the location. There’s no point in going somewhere noisy, busy or complicated, as it brings many more challenges to those with a hearing loss. A date is meant to be time spent getting to know the other person, while having fun. With background noise, or too many people or distractions, your partner with hearing loss will have a difficult time enjoying the experience.

    So how do you pick somewhere to go on a date, where both of you is comfortable?

    Top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss:

    1. Picnic in a park, stroll along a river or a wander around a lake

    Picnic in a park

    Enjoy a tranquil walk around a scenic park or river. This is a perfect opportunity to get to know your date, in a quiet area with beautiful scenery. Make the location even more romantic by having a picnic or just find a nice bench to sit on and talk. Or you can walk down to a local duck pond and have a picnic! You can enjoy each other’s company and the wildlife gives you plenty to talk about. Just being in nature is a great conversation builder.

    2. A quiet bar or restaurant

    Quiet bar or restaurant

    Research beforehand into quiet bars or restaurants near you, with small rooms with good lighting or acoustics. This gives you the opportunity to have a drink or a bite to eat while enjoying a conversation with your date.

    Noisy restaurants are a dating pet-peeve of ours! In the UK, we have Action on Hearing Loss’ new campaign ‘Speak Easy’, to encourage quieter dining experiences. I’m hoping that noisy restaurants will soon be a thing of the past! But until this happens, it’s important to research into where you will be going to eat. There’s no point in going somewhere dark and noisy and not being able to understand one another. You don’t want to resort to using your phone light to lipread each other!

    3. Mini-golf

    A game of mini-golf

    Mini-golf, or pitch and putt, is a simple, easy sport that is perfect for a couple with hearing loss. You don’t get too far away from each other when playing, so it’s still possible to talk and hear one another. It is also a great activity to bring out some competitiveness in each other!

    4. A quiet night at home

    Quiet night at home

    This may be the most obvious choice, but there are many ways to make it fun. Why not dress up smart, cook a meal, or order a takeaway while watching a movie? You can also play board games to bring out the competitiveness in each other. The home is a perfect place for a date because you can usually control the noise levels and make it as romantic or fun as you’d like.

    5. Aquariums/Museums

    Aquariums or museums

    Aquariums are so vibrant and visual with many wonderful sea creatures to watch. It’s also usually quiet – as are other museums. Why not check out what’s in your area and learn or experience something new with your partner!

    Hearing loss – how we can help

    With 50 years combined experience, we at Help in Hearing are proud to offer our clients unrivalled standards of professional hearing health care. We love what we do and our passion is to help change people’s lives.

    If you think you need a hearing test, please give us a call on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form. Find out more about our hearing tests.

  • What is earwax?

    What is earwax? And how not to clean your ears

    What is earwax? We all have it, but nobody really wants to talk about it. Ear wax.

    Ear wax is the everyday name for the waxy yellow substance in your ear canals. It’s medical term is cerumen, and believe it or not, it does actually have a function. Produced by the sebum glands under the hair follicles at the entrance of the ear canal, cerumen not only protects the sensitive skin lining your ear canals, but it also helps to keep your ear canals clean, lubricated, free from bacteria and fungus, and most importantly, keeps foreign objects and substances like excess water from entering the canal.

    Never put anything in your ears

    Never put cotton buds in your ears

    This seems simple enough, but this is the number one mistake people make when cleaning their ears or trying to clean an obstruction. If you think your ears are obstructed, contact a specialist and do not try to remove it yourself!

    How NOT to clean your ears

    The ears are an amazing part of our anatomy and are fairly self-sufficient. Your ears do a great job of keeping themselves clean and functioning properly, so there should rarely be a need for human intervention.

    However, things happen and sometimes we must step in. Just remember – as tempting as it may be – don’t stick anything in your ear canals! This includes cotton buds. These are great for applying make-up or small cleaning projects around the house, but NEVER PUT THEM IN YOUR EARS.

    1. Don’t go in after the wax yourself

    The best way to clean excess earwax is to gently wipe the visible earwax from the entrance of the ear canal using a moist flannel or tissue. Do not put anything into the ear canal!

    2. Don’t use ear candles

    Ear candle

    The theory behind the ear candle treatment is that the heat creates a vacuum that pulls out ear wax (think sucking oxygen out of a bottle). The only problem with this treatment is that there is little evidence that a strong enough vacuum (if any) is created and also, there is a big risk for injury from the flame or hot wax.

    When to clean the ears and consult a specialist

    Some symptoms may seem more obvious than others, however these are all signs that your earwax should be removed or you should go to see a specialist audiologist.

    • Trouble hearing or sudden loss of hearing
    • Pain
    • Itching
    • Feeling that your ear canals are blocked
    • Dizziness
    • Ringing
    • Problem with balance *seek medical attention immediately

    Excess ear wax

    Excessive ear wax can be caused by a number of factors, and normally happens when the ear canal narrows. This narrowing of the canal can be the result of infection, certain skin disorders, or the body’s response to blockage. Indicators that your earwax production may be high include a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), trouble hearing, itching or pain in the ear canal.

    The best way to clean excess earwax is to gently wipe the visible earwax from the outer ear. Do not put anything in your ear!

    Ear blockage

    The most common reason to have your ears checked and earwax removed is blockage. Some of the main reasons for blockage are caused by bad habits, such as:

    • Pushing ear wax in with cotton buds
    • Frequent use of ear bud headphones, noise blockers or ear plugs
    • Hearing aid devices
    • Or one could just naturally be prone to earwax over-production

    If you have any problems with your ears, you should consult a specialist.

    Earwax – how we can help

    Here at Help in Hearing we offer an earwax microsuction service. Earwax microsuction is a procedure which uses gentle suction to remove excessive or troublesome ear wax. It is performed with the aid of a surgical microscope and a calibrated suction device, without the introduction of any materials or liquids. Ear wax microsuction is one of the safest, most effective, quickest and most comfortable methods of removing ear wax.

    We are now able to offer ear wax microsuction in the Bucks and Berks area. Find out more on our Ear Wax Microsuction page.

    If you have concerns about ear wax, please call 0845 222 0579 to book an appointment at the Farnham Common or Marlow practice.

  • Hearing Protection

    10 Changes Which Could Save Your Hearing

    Over 1.1 billion people around the world are affected by hearing loss, yet with some simple hearing protection steps, you can prevent some hearing loss. Here are some small changes you could make in your life to save your own hearing.

    1. What are your ears telling you?

    What are your ears telling you?

    Are you hearing rushing or whistling sounds in your head? If so this could be a sign you should allow your ears to have a day of peace and quiet, turn the volume down on radio and TV and your devices.

    2. In the ear headphones – use at 60% of maximum volume

    The 60-60 Rule

    The music coming through your in the ear headphones can be at levels of 100 to 115 decibels. To give you an idea of what this means, it’s the equivalent level to using a chainsaw or attending a rock concert and can cause major damage to your ears. Employ the 60:60 rule and continue to enjoy your music but listen at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.

    3. Wear head protection

    Wear Head Protection

    If your’re skiing, riding a bicycle, motorbike or playing sports where concussions are common, wear the proper protective head gear. Similarly if you work on a construction site and other dangerous environments, using protective headgear can help save your ears and more. This is because head injuries and skull fractures are common causes for inner ear hearing loss.

    4. Keep your ears warm

    Keep your ears warm

    In cold conditions less blood is circulated in the ears, and this can increase the risk of ear infections. A cold head may cause cramped muscles in the neck and a continuous tension of muscles in this area can lead to ear problems, such as tinnitus. Cold and wind can irritate the ear canal, which often causes pain in the outer part of the ear. Water in the ears can easily cause inflammation in cold conditions. Frostbite can quickly occur in the ears in sub-zero temperatures.

    5. Carry ear protection with you

    Carry ear protection

    There are many ways you can protect your ears, such as ear plugs, ear moulds, ear muffs, wadding, swimming ear plugs and so on. Make sure you carry ear protection with you if you know you’re going to a loud environment. Find out more about hearing protection at the Hear the World Foundation website.

    6. Keep a healthy lifestyle

    Keep a healthy lifestyle

    Smoking, medication, anxiety and an unhealthy lifestyle can be hard on your hearing. More than 450 drugs can damage hearing, while stress or anxiety can cause tinnitus problems. Smoking has also been linked to hearing problems. Make healthy lifestyle choice for healthy ears.

    7. Wear headphones

    Wear headphones

    The EU standard stipulates a limit of 100 decibels for MP3 players, however many devices are louder than this and further increase the danger of hearing damage. Instead of these, choose noise-cancelling headphones, or muff-type headphones, which block out background noise and allow you to still hear your music at lower volume levels.

    8. Is your workout damaging your hearing?

    Is your workout damaging your hearing?

    Cardio exercise is beneficial to your overall health and ears but be wary of the noise levels during your workout. Music and booming bass designed to pump you up, may be breaking down your ears. Ask your trainer to turn the music down to a safe level (there are apps which can be used to measure the volume) or pack a pair of earplugs in your gym bag.

    9. How loud is your daily life?

    How loud is your daily life?

    Assess your noise lifestyle – do you work in an office (40 decibels)? Do you have a baby (110 decibels)? Or do you enjoy going to football games (117 decibels)? If you know the common noises in your life and their decibel levels, you can assess when your ears need a break. Sounds which are louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. The maximum exposure time at 85 decibels is 8 hours, but at 110 decibels, the maximum exposure time is 1 minute 29 seconds, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Visit this NHS page to find out more about exposure to noise and hearing protection.

    10. Don’t put up with noise at work

    Don't put up with noise at work

    If you’re experiencing noise at work, talk to your human resources (HR) department or your manager and ask for advice on reducing the noise and getting hearing protection.

    Help with Hearing Protection

    At Help in Hearing, we can advise you on the most appropriate hearing proetection, from custom made solutions, in the ear monitors, electronic noise suppressors for those that shoot or a non-customised product such as ER20’s, should you need something urgent for a one off event. We also supply customised swim moulds. Please email us or call us on 0345 222 0579 to discuss your hearing protection.