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 protection, 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.

  • Hearing loss and the link to dementia

    Love, Marriage and Mishearing

    Mishearing can lead to frustration and misunderstanding for one or both partners in a relationship, but how do you prevent mishearing in the first place?

    Patience is very important. Communicating openly can help you and your partner maintain a lasting, loving relationship.

    Here are some of the basic steps, which any couple can employ, to build and maintain strong marital relationships.

    Set Expectations – Educate Your Partner

    Understanding the logistics of your partner’s hearing can mean taking a big step forward in your communication. A hard-of-hearing person may take up to five seconds to process the answer to a simple yes or no question. And frequently, a hard-of-hearing person only catches a percentage of the words spoken, and has to guess the rest of the meaning. If you’re a hearing person, that can seem like a very long time, because you’re expecting an instant answer. Sometimes the hearing person might say things like “Never mind, it wasn’t important,” which sends out the message that the hard-of-hearing person is not important, although that is probably not the intent.

    Instead of allowing this to happen, the couple can ensure that the hearing partner knows what to expect in their communication. If you can both accept the reality that there is a cognitive delay in offering a response to a simple question, it will help.

    Partners should make sure each one understands the other’s capabilities. It’s important for the hard-of-hearing partner to understand how much the hearing partner can hear. It’s often the case that hard-of-hearing people think that hearing people could hear everything. But that might not be the case if the hearing partner is in one room running water in the sink or vacuuming, they might not be able to hear the other person. Ironically, the hard-of-hearing person can become frustrated if their hearing partner can’t hear them. Talking about this issue can help both partners understand each other’s perspective a little better.

    Make a Plan

    Planning ahead and discussing contingencies is an important part of setting expectations. Acknowledging any concerns can highlight the need to anticipate how hearing loss can alter or prevent communication in different situations.

    Communicate About Communicating

    Make sure your partner understands how you feel. Explain to your family the best way for you to be able to “hear” them, for example, ask them to talk to you if they’re facing you, so you can see their lips move and their facial expression and better understand what is being said.

    Communicating effectively with each other is the first step preventing mishearing. Educating others is the next. If you have new acquaintances, make it clear with them that you or your partner is hearing impaired. Openness is paramount to getting support from others.

    Take Joy

    All relationships have bumps in the road, but the partners who can work through these issues together—and take something positive from them—are the most successful. You may get frustrated, and you may bark at each other, but hopefully you can end up laughing about it.

    Preventing mishearing

    In most cases, mishearing is preventable with routine hearing checks throughout life.

    Our hearing clinics in Farnham Common and Marlow are fully equipped with the latest cutting edge testing facilities, thus enabling us to carry out entirely accurate hearing assessments, and consequently advise on the best possible solution, should a client wish to proceed with our recommendation.

    Unlike widely advertised high street/national outlets who are basically affiliated with one major hearing aid manufacturer, we are proudly independent. This means we can give entirely unbiased advice about the most appropriate hearing aids that we feel best suit each individual. We deal with all the major hearing aid manufacturers, Phonak hearing aids, Oticon, Widex and GN ReSound to name but a few and supply all types of hearing aids, including the latest digital hearing aids and invisible hearing aids, such as Lyric hearing aids also known as hidden hearing aids.

    If you’d like to discuss hearing loss or mishearing, either your own or a friend or loved one, please contact us.

  • Tips for Travelling with Hearing Loss

    You may travel for work, you may travel for pleasure – either way the chances are you will be planning a trip over the summer this year. But travelling with hearing loss presents its very own challenges, which can make for an interesting adventure! Here are some tips for travelling with hearing loss from our friends at Phonak.

    Tips for Travelling by Plane

    • When booking a flight, always sign up for flight change alerts via text or email. If someone else books the flight for you, follow up with the airline to ensure you receive updated information by phone or email.Try to book a seat up front where the flight crew can find you and communicate with you if needed.
    • Notify the flight staff and flight crew of your communication needs and ask them to let you know if there are any travel changes.
    • Leave your hearing technology in place. Hearing aids and cochlear implants do not have to be removed before going through airport scanners.
    • Airlines prohibit deaf and hard of hearing persons from sitting in exit row seats for safety reasons.

    Tips for Travelling by Car

    • If you’re the driver and you lip-read or sign/cue, teach your passengers to insert pauses in their conversation when your eyes are on the road.
    • Ask passengers to use an FM system in order to deliver the conversation right to your ears. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road at all times.
    • Use a Bluetooth phone system to provide hands-free access to calls.

    Tips for Travelling by Bus or Train

    • If there are no visible names for each stop, enlist the help of a nearby passenger to let you know when a certain stop comes up. Another trick is to count the number of stops until yours. Buses and trains that have visual displays of stops and information are most helpful.
    • Tell a fellow traveller or an attendant that you have hearing loss so that you don’t miss any safety announcements.

    Tips for staying in a hotel or resort

    • Some hotels have a visual signal alert for the doors and alarm clock. Ask for details of these at the front desk or when you make your reservations.
    • Many hotels use universal remotes with the one-click “CC” closed-captioning button. No more having to go through five menu screens to turn on the captioning!
    • If you’re travelling without an alarm clock and the hotel doesn’t have a visual alarm kit, one trick you can use to make sure you wake up early: Drink a couple of glasses of water before heading to bed. This will wake you up on time!
    • If you’re travelling internationally, you may need an outlet converter to charge your rechargeable batteries for your implant or hearing aids, or to plug in your electronic devices.

    If you have any other tips for travelling with hearing loss, we’d love to hear them, just add a comment below.

    If you’d like to discuss hearing loss, either your own or a friend or loved one, please contact us.

  • What to do if your hearing aids get wet

    I’m often asked what to do if hearing aids get wet. Usually this is accidental – one lady recently saw to her horror that her hearing aids had accidentally fallen off her sunlonger and into a hotel swimming pool!

    Most hearing aids can survive up to about 30 minutes in water, so if you are able to rescue them within that time, the first thing to do is to dry them out as quickly as possible.

    How to dry your hearing aids

    • Remove any surface water with a soft, dry cloth
    • Take out the battery and check for surface water inside the battery door
    • Leave your hearing aids in a warm dry place, an airing cupboard or a shelf above a radiator. Don’t place them directly on a heat source though. Leave them to try for about an hour. Never put your hearing aid in a microwave as this will cause irreversible damage!
    • Put a new battery into the hearing aids

    Doing all the above should mean that your hearing aids are just fine. If there is still a problem you may need to take your hearing aid in to your audiologist or hearing aid professional for repair due to water damage.

    Unless you’re wearing the new Lyric hearing aids that can be kept in continuously, it’s best to remove your hearing aid before showering, bathing or swimming. It’s also a good idea to remove the battery from the hearing aid at night and leave the battery compartment open, to keep it aired and free from moisture and condensation.

    If you have any questions about maintenance or repair of your hearing aids, please get in touch.

  • Types of hearing aids

    Which Hearing Aid is Best for Me?

    There is no need to live with the effects of hearing loss or endure the negative impact that it can have on your life. Help in Hearing can provide a wide variety of effective hearing solutions for all our patients. Our hearing aid audiologists offer expert advice and high quality hearing aids from our hearing clinics in Farnham Common and Marlow, and which are ideal for a variety of lifestyles and budgets. In this article we look at the different types of hearing aid available.

    Hearing loss can have a negative impact on all aspects of your life, from listening to music or having a conversation in a noisy restaurant, to attending a training course. Help in Hearing are proud of their independence and are therefore in a position to choose hearing aids from any of the major hearing aid manufacturers.

    Below are just a selection of the type of aids we can supply, depending on your requirements and severity of your hearing loss.

    Extended Wear and Maintenance-free Hearing Aids

    Phonak Lyric is the only aid in this category. The Lyric hearing aid sits deep within the ear canal, close to the ear drum, is totally invisible and stays in the ear 24/7 for up to 90 days. No battery changes required, no cleaning required, hence it is termed as the ‘Contact Lens’ for the ear.

    Deep Canal Hearing Aids

    These are also entirely invisible, but they are custom built and can be taken out at night. They will need to have a change of batteries approximately every 5 days.

    In-the-Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

    In the ear hearing aids can be made as a small completely in the canal (CIC), canal (ITC), half shell (HS) or full shell (FS) aid. They are all custom built and depending on the shape, size and power required can be a good alternative to a behind the ear aid.

    Some of these aids have batteries which don’t need to be changed, (they are rechargeable) need very little maintenance and are particularly suitable for people who have dexterity problems.

    Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)

    The original and conventional behind the ear hearing aids feature a custom ear mould, which is inserted into the ear and has a tube to which the hearing aid is connected. These hearing aids are positioned behind the ear and are one of the most common hearing aids supplied by the National Health Service.

    Other behind the ear hearing aids have very slim tubing to which small plastic domes are added and are placed into the ear canal. They are a good cosmetic alternative to the conventional BTE aids using the custom moulds and are also standard NHS supplied aids.

    The currently most popular and best cosmetic behind the ear solution is the receiver in the canal (RIC) hearing aid, where the amplifier is connected at the end of a very fine wire and is positioned into the ear canal, either on a small plastic dome or a very small custom made ear mould. On the other end of this virtually invisible wire is the hearing aid itself, which is generally extremely small and very light so the user is hardly aware of it being there.

    Professional Audiologists Covering Slough, Marlow & Maidenhead

    Whether you have recently begun to notice deterioration in your hearing, or you have been suffering for many years, do not make do with an outdated, inefficient hearing aid. Hearing aids from Help in Hearing are modern and sophisticated pieces of technology which will be fitted only after a thorough consultation has been carried out by one of our professional audiologists, but will provide you with a fantastic improvement in hearing quality and lifestyle.

    Please click to find out more about and see pictures of different styles of hearing aids.

  • Signs of hearing loss

    Where to Have a Hearing Test in Slough

    Over time your hearing can deteriorate, and it is this gradual worsening of hearing that makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to notice hearing loss early on. However, if you have noticed a significant change in your ability to hear, and you’re based in the Slough area, then be sure to book a hearing test in Slough with us here at Help in Hearing, where one of our professional and highly experienced audiologists will perform a thorough hearing test and identify whether or not you will need hearing aids.

    Hearing is one of the key means by which we communicate, and if you feel that your hearing is affecting your ability to socialise and interact with others then it’s time to book a hearing assessment with a professional, like ourselves here at Help in Hearing.

    Hearing Test in Slough

    A hearing test is performed by one of our experienced audiologist consultants, who will carry out a full assessment on your overall hearing ability. Once your hearing test has been completed, they will then advise on the extent of your hearing loss and the best course of action.

    State of the Art Hearing Aids

    In most cases, we recommend one of our state of the art and highly sophisticated hearing aids which will be fitted and tuned to suit your hearing. This will help regaining your hearing to such a degree that it will enable you to be more confident and interactive with greater ease again.

    Audiology Services

    To ensure our customers receive the best possible attention, we provide the following services;

    • Complimentary hearing tests in Slough
    • Independent advice with no obligation to buy
    • 60 day full refund policy if you are not completely happy with your hearing aid
    • Comprehensive and on-going aftercare service
    • Advice on hearing and noise protection
    • Tinnitus advice, testing and counselling

     

    Book a Hearing Test in Slough Now

    If you are having difficulty hearing, be sure to book yourself a hearing test in our Slough clinic, which will ascertain whether or not your require hearing aids. For a professional service that caters for your best interests, be sure to call us here at Help in Hearing on 0845 222 0579 or fill in our online booking form.

  • Lyric Hearing Aids - Is your head in the sand when it comes to declining senses?

    Is your head in the sand when it comes to declining senses?

    Lyric Hearing Aids Research Study

    Phonak, the manufacturer of Lyric Hearing Aids, conducted a recent survey which focused on attitudes to ageing.  As part of the research, we were also keen to find out how hearing factors when it comes to people’s general health regimes.

    58% of people have never had their hearing checked

    The research revealed that while most people get their vision, blood pressure and teeth checked on a regular basis, 58% of people have never had their hearing checked – that’s despite 30% of those surveyed thinking it should be checked up to once a year.

    Not knowing hearing tests are available, where to find them or thinking they can’t afford them are the reasons 42% cite for not having their hearing checked more regularly. Over a quarter (27%), meanwhile, just ‘get by ok’.

    Saying “pardon” is more noticeable than wearing a hearing aid

    For those who may be concerned about correcting their hearing loss with a hearing aid because other people may notice it, they need not worry – over three quarters of people (76%) think that someone saying ‘pardon’ is more noticeable. It may be a lack of confidence in the technological advancements of treating hearing loss that’s holding people back from dealing with the issue – people are more than three times more confident that developments in the treatment of sight issues are more advanced.

    Lyric Hearing Aids – like a contact lens for the ear

    Audiologist and Lyric Business Manager at Lyric Hearing Aids, Tania Rodrigues shares her thoughts on the results: “Hearing tests are readily available and free in most cases, and for anyone with hearing loss the technological innovation when it comes to hearing aids is far more advanced than people realise – Lyric, for example, is like a contact lens for the ear; it’s completely invisible and stays in for up to three months at a time. So there’s no excuse for neglecting your ears, whatever your age.”

    Fill in the form on our contact page if you’d like to have a confidential hearing test at our Farnham Common or Marlow audiology clinics.

  • Top 5 Frequently Asked Hearing-Related Questions

    Whether young or old, born with reduced hearing or learning to live with gradual hearing loss, each of our clients has a different story to tell. Our goal, however, always remains the same – to improve the quality of life for people living with hearing loss. So here we share our knowledge on five frequently asked hearing related questions.

    1. How common is hearing loss?

    It’s probably more common than you think. About 800 million people around the world are affected by hearing loss.

    There are 10 million people in the UK (approximately 1 in 6) living with some form of hearing loss. And 6.5 million of those are estimated to be over the age of 65. That means the rest are either at school, college or university or are of working age. So you’re not alone in living with reduced hearing.

    Studies show that approximately 65% of people with hearing loss experience mild hearing loss, 30% moderate and 5% severe or profound hearing loss.

    2. What causes hearing loss?

    Hearing loss can be the result of damage to the outer, middle or inner ear.

    Typical problems with the outer ear include a build up of ear wax and infections of the auditory canal. This type of problem can usually be addressed easily. But time is of the essence, so it’s important you act quickly to avoid hearing damage.

    Inflammation, fluid behind the eardrum, perforations of the eardrum and otosclerosis (a stiffening of the bones in the middle ear) are the most common problems to interfere with your middle ear function. Most outer and middle ear problems can be eased with medication or surgery. If this is not possible, you can compensate your permanent hearing loss with a hearing aid.

    The majority of hearing issues concern the inner ear with the natural aging process being the most common cause. But loud noise, some types of medication, or skull fractures can also have a negative influence on hearing ability. These influences damage the fine hair cells and affect the transmission of signals to the auditory nerves. Usually, inner ear hearing loss cannot be addressed medically. In most cases, this type of hearing loss can be corrected with a hearing aid.

    Hearing loss caused by an outer or middle ear defect is called conductive hearing loss. Damage to the inner ear, is called sensorineural hearing loss. If both types occur together, the condition is called mixed hearing loss.

    3. What are the signs of hearing loss?

    Symptoms often develop over time so you might not notice straight away. Quite often it’s a friend or relative who will be first to spot the signs. These can include you finding it difficult to follow conversation. Feeling like people are always mumbling whilst talking to you. Changes in your speech or you talking more loudly. Missing what people have said or asking them to repeat themselves. Maybe you can’t hear the TV or radio so well. Or you feel tired when in a busy or noisy social setting due to having to concentrate more.

    4. What will happen if I ignore my hearing loss?

    Your everyday life may become increasingly difficult. You may find watching the TV or taking phone calls become a struggle. You may start to avoid social gatherings, going out to dinner or the cinema, which could make you feel more cut off from the world.

    At work, you are likely to feel less productive. Meetings could become difficult to deal with. Tiredness can set in and you might start to lose confidence.

    All of this will result in you probably feeling stressed, a bit anxious and less able to relax. The subtle changes taking place in your daily life and routine will take you out of your comfort zone.

    5. What should I do if I think I am experiencing hearing loss?

    The best advice we can give is to get your ears checked by a professional audiologist as soon as possible. Don’t put it off. Worrying about your hearing will make matters worse. The sooner you address your fears, the sooner you’ll start to enjoy life again.

    Book a confidential hearing test in our Farnham Common or Marlow hearing clinics.

    Read about the different types of hearing aids available today.