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

  • Mindfulness therapy for tinnitus

    Mindfulness Therapy for Tinnitus

    Last night’s Mindfulness for Wellbeing workshop at the Marlow BTA Tinnitus Support Group was very well attended. Held at Help in Hearing’s Marlow practice in Glade Road, the event was presented by Costas Lambropoulos and Dr Charlotte Morris from Paron Mindfulness and also discussed the suitability of mindfulness therapy for tinnitus.

    The workshop took us on a journey of how to cultivate awareness of the present moment. We experienced three different mini meditation practices to give an insight into our own awareness and how we react to what arises in our lives and therefore how to respond.

    Costas trained as a teacher, trainer and supervisor in mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He also has extensive experience in the NHS where he has been working as a mindfulness teacher, cognitive behavioural therapist and trainer. Charlotte, who also trained at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre is a Counselling Psychologist with an independent practice in Buckinghamshire.

    Mindfulness is not new and is rooted in ancient wisdom and practices. In the last 40 years, there has been a growing interest in whether it can help improve wellbeing, peace and contentment in our often busy and demanding lives.

    Paron are also running another workshop in Marlow, running from 3.30-5.15pm on Saturday 24th November at All Saints Church Hall, Marlow, SL7 2AA. There is an 8-week course starting on 20th October at the Compass theatre in Ickenham. For further details contact: info@paronmindfulness.co.uk

    Mindfulness Therapy for Tinnitus

    Paron Mindfulness have written this exclusive guest editorial especially for Help in Hearing. Please click the link to read the full article, “Can mindfulness help tinnitus?

    If you’d like to discuss tinnitus symptoms, please get in touch. Or visit our tinnitus pages: “Tinnitus Explained” and “Tinnitus Management.” 

    We also hold a regular Tinnitus Support Group event for people with tinnitus in the Marlow & Farnham Common areas. Please visit our Tinnitus Support Group page to find out future meeting dates.

  • Do I need ear wax removal?

    Do I need ear wax removal?

    What is ear wax?

    Ear wax is a natural secretion found in the ear. It helps to keep the ear canal lubricated while protecting the ears against dirt, dust and bacteria. Without a certain amount of ear wax, the ears will become dry and increasingly prone to infection. Wax or cerumen, as it is medically known, can build up, causing problems within the ear. This can happen over time if an individual has dry, narrow or hairy ear canals.

    It’s not always a good idea to try and clear the wax yourself. Pushing cotton buds, hair clips or any other similar implements down the ear canal can lead to irritation. You will only agitate the ear canal, stripping it of its natural oils, causing discomfort and itchiness. When showering or swimming, water can get into the ear expanding the wax. This may give a sensation of blockage in the ear and for tinnitus sufferers, increasing the perception of tinnitus.

    What should you do about ear wax removal?

    The build-up of ear wax can also vary from person to person depending on their age, diet and environment. If wax build-up is causing problems with hearing loss, partial deafness or is uncomfortable, it’s time to seek the services of audiologist specialists. Ears with too much wax in them can certainly be troublesome and in some cases, painful. If you have discharge coming from the ears, don’t attempt any home remedies, hearing health is too important. An independent audiologist will provide all the advice and support needed in alleviating ear wax build-up.

    Ways to remove ear wax

    If ear wax removal is necessary, it can be removed by irrigation (water) or if possible, “dry removal” using a small probe. This can’t be undertaken however if an individual has had ear surgery, a perforated ear drum or a recent infection. Another method is ear wax microsuction, which is a procedure useing 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. Whichever form of ear wax removal is best for you, an experienced audiologist will explain it before treatment begins. Many people, in fact, find the removal of ear wax quite a pleasant experience. Once the wax is removed, sound won’t be muffled anymore and your ears will feel better too.

    Do I need ear wax removal? Where to find out more

    To find out more about ear wax removal, visit our Ear Wax Removal page. Or please fill in our contact form to get in touch or book an appointment for ear wax removal.

  • Tinnitus management with singing bowls

    Spirit of the Rainbow Talk

    A brief write-up of our August 6th Tinnitus Support Group Event where we discussed alternative methods of tinnitus management.

    A big thank you to Julia Walters and Karen Fielding,  from the Spirit of the Rainbow in Princes Risborough, for a very interesting talk on singing bowls, crystals and other holistic therapies at our Marlow Tinnitus Support Group Meeting last week.

    Thank you also to Donna, one of our group members, for bringing along her singing bowl which produced a comforting low frequency sound, which became our favourite “tune”.

    Singing bowls

    Singing bowls have become popular with music therapists, sound healers and some yoga practitioners, having originally been used by Tibetan monks for healing.

    It is said that they originated from China in the form of “Standing bells”. An early form called Nao took the shape of a stemmed goblet, mounted with a rim and struck on the outside with a mallet. The manufacture and use of bowls specifically for ‘singing’ is believed to be a modern phenomenon. Bowls that were capable of singing began to be imported to the West from around the early 1970s. Since then they have become a popular instrument in the US-originating new-age genre often marketed as ‘Tibetan music’.

    We all agreed that distraction and relaxation can help our Tinnitus and it really was remarkable how soothing it became to focus on circling the mallet around the edge of the bowl, whilst creating an addictive mellow sound and vibration. We enjoyed the demonstration and you can see Kevin and Stuart in the images above, using the singing bowls themselves.

    Himalayan salt lamps

    At the meeting we were also rather taken by Rainbow’s range of Himalayan salt lamps. These absorb water and particles from the air, taking positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions to help reduce static electricity and cleanse the air. Salt lamps are often used to help with allergy symptoms, help sleep and treat Seasonal Affective Disorder while giving an environmentally-friendly light source.

    If you would like to find out more about how sound, crystals and salt lamps can help you, please do get in touch with Julia or Karen. They are also offering a 30 minute energy/reiki treatment at half price, valid for August only.

    Call 01844 342255 or take a look at the Spirit of the Rainbow website.

    Tinnitus management and singing bowls – where to find out more

    If you’d like to discuss tinnitus and other methods of tinnitus management, please get in touch with us.  

  • Taming Tinnitus with Hypnotherapy, by Bret Freeman, Master Hypnotherapist

    Taming Tinnitus with Hypnotherapy

    Master Hypnotist Bret Freeman was a guest speaker at our recent Tinnitus Support Group event and has written us an article, “Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy,” about how hypnotherapy can help tinnitus. Read the article below, where you’ll also see Bret has a special offer for Help in Hearing clients.

    Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy

    For many, tinnitus can be a tricky thing. That constant sound that only you can hear and seems to come from nowhere, the whining, rattling, humming, buzzing or however it manifests itself to you. It’s tricky because the more you talk about it the worse it seems to get (so, I assume by reading this article you are aware of that sound right now)

    I have had many people in my hypnotherapy practice achieve good results as a result of our sessions. The thing with tinnitus is that it is entirely a personal experience and is different for everyone. My clients have described the sound in a variety of ways, a variety of intensities and a variety of locations in their heads. For some it is like constant a rattling of chains in the right side and front part of their head, for others it is a high pitched whistle that seems to be coming from the back left, and I have heard many other descriptions. How about you? Have you ever tried to place your tinnitus? Where is it in your head? Left, right, centre? Front, middle, back? High or low? This is often one of the first techniques I use with my clients, because once it is identified, we can begin to manipulate it.

    Tinnitus is a personal experience

    In my experience, tinnitus usually responds very well to hypnotherapy. This is primarily because tinnitus is such a personal experience. In much the same way, hypnotherapy is also a very personal experience. By understanding the client, the circumstances and triggers around the tinnitus, and how to apply a variety of tools and techniques, my clients have been able to turn down the volume, change the intensity and move location of the sounds in their heads.

    The mind magnifies what it focuses on

    The fundamentals of how hypnosis can help tinnitus sufferers manage their symptoms have to do with helping the unconscious mind learn to tune out the noise associated with tinnitus. There are noises all day long that we simply do not pay attention to. Much like when you are at a dinner party and there are several conversations around the table, you are tuned into the conversation you are having and not the others, even though they are taking place in close proximity. There are traffic noises, birds singing, noises associated with household appliances and many others that we “hear but don’t pay attention to” all day long. We simply tune these noises out because they are unimportant on irrelevant to us. We tend to place all of these sounds in the “hear but don’t pay attention category”. This is why the more we think about tinnitus the more tinnitus is present, subconsciously, it becomes an “important” noise (the mind magnifies what it focuses on). With all of this in mind, one of the aims of hypnosis can be to move the tinnitus associated sound into the “hear but don’t pay attention” category.

    Breaking habits

    Subconsciously, our brains form habits. These habits control things like our internal state, our reactions to certain stimuli etc… The thing is, we all create a set of “default” habits, or behaviours and for some, tinnitus becomes the default. This is one of the reasons it may be more prevalent during certain times of the day (i.e. at bedtime). Settling into habits requires less work than to break these habits and because for the most part, the human brain is a lazy organ, it will always choose the path of least resistance.

    Communicate directly with the unconscious mind

    We all have a conscious and subconscious mind. These two parts of our minds are separated by what is known as the critical faculty. This is essentially the “boundary” between these two parts. The critical faculty compares everything we see and everything we experience with our own internal existing knowledge base (which includes our self-beliefs, limitations and challenges we face). If the experience doesn’t fit within the confines of our knowledge base, we dismiss it and label that thing as inaccurate. This is partially why hypnosis is so effective with tinnitus. Hypnosis allows the hypnotist to communicate directly with the unconscious mind of the subject and by bypassing the critical faculty allows new learnings and behaviours to be adopted. Many of my clients (particularly the clients that suffer from depression and/or anxiety) tell me that they notice behaviour changes in themselves and are able to deal with situations in very different, more constructive ways than they use to as a result of our sessions. The same holds true for smoking cessation. By bypassing the critical faculty, new learnings and habits can be adopted and change old behaviours.

    Hypnotherapy tools and techniques

    The key to living with tinnitus is to learn to use the tools and techniques provided by the hypnotherapist to manage it. For some, simply changing the priority of the sound helps. For others, it is a change in the location, for others it is associating the sound with an object and moving that object off into the distance and for others it is dealing with sources of anxiety and stress.

    Hypnotherapy, like tinnitus, is different for everyone and there are many tools and techniques available. The key is finding the right hypnotherapist, finding the right tools and techniques, and applying them effectively to your situation.

    About Bret Freeman

    Bret Freeman is an ABH certified Master Hypnotist, ABNLP Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and TLA Certified Master Time Line Therapist. He is a registered therapist with the Complimentary National Healthcare Council, Hypnotherapy Association, and General Hypnotherapy Register.

    Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy – where to find out more

    For more information and to schedule and introductory chat, call 07917 385 118 or send an email to Bret. You can visit Bret’s website here.

    Special Discount

    A Brighter You is currently offering a Help in Hearing discount. Just mention Help in Hearing when you call or write to us for this special offer.

    For more information about tinnitus and how we can help, please visit the Help in Hearing Tinnitus Explained page or get in touch with us.

  • How to improve your hearing health

    4 tips to help you improve your hearing health

    We all know the importance of having regular health checks as we grow older, including those trips to the GP and dentist. But many of us forget the importance of looking after and maintaining our hearing health. Early detection, in the form of hearing tests and assessments, can help to prolong and enhance your hearing. Now is the time to take action and below we share four tips on how to improve your hearing health.

    1. Turn down that volume

    One useful piece of hearing advice is to turn down the volume. One of the biggest causes of hearing loss is down to prolonged exposure to loud noises, especially via headphones. We’re not saying that you can’t listen to music in this way, but just be mindful of the volume, and if you can, switch to over-the-head earphones, as opposed to ear buds. Turn it down a little, and ensure you take regular breaks. Your ears will thank you for it.

    2. The importance of hearing protection

    If your work environment consists of loud noises, then it’s important to follow all basic safety rules and wear ear protection at all times. You may be a gardener and use chainsaws and lawnmowers, or you may work on a construction site with loud and heavy machinery. No matter what environment you work in, wear those ear defenders or sound-reducing headphones to protect your ears.

    3. Don’t use cotton buds

    Many people use cotton buds to clean our ears and to get rid of unwanted ear wax. Although cotton buds look like they’re fine for cleaning our ears, you should avoid using them, as they can damage the delicate ear drum, and especially so in children. Ear wax acts as a natural part of ear health, as it helps to stop dirt and foreign objects from entering the ear canal. If wax does become a problem, then it is always best to see a health professional.

    4. The importance of the hearing checkup

    Finally, hearing testing is vital for maintaining ear health. Many people believe that they should only have a hearing test when over the age of 60, or when they begin to have some difficulty, but this is simply not true. Hearing loss can be a gradual occurrence, and regular hearing tests can pick up on any early problems. Early intervention is key in helping you to maintain hearing health.

    How to improve your hearing health – where to find out more

    Please do get in touch with us here at Help in Hearing for further advice on how to improve your hearing health and to arrange a hearing assessment.

    Please click to find out what to expect of a hearing assessment with us.

  • Quiz night winning team

    Help in Hearing Quiz Night Success

    As part of National Deaf Awareness Week, on May 15th Help in Hearing held their first ever Charity Quiz Night at the Emperor in Farnham Common. The event was a great success, raising £285 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

    Hearing Dogs charity donation certificate
    We’re thrilled to receive our certificate from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People for our donation of £285.00, raised by everyone who attended our Quiz evening – thanks to all who took part.

     

    Another Quiz Night is being planned for the Autumn, once again for Hearing Dogs.

    Help in Hearing’s Selma Becker commented: “We were thrilled with the turn out. It was a fun evening of brain teasing trivia and we were very proud of our fundraising efforts. It was also a lovely way to meet some new local people.”

    The winning team, aptly named Dog-Eared, were presented with a Fortnum & Mason hamper that they subsequently donated to another Hearing Dogs event.

    Here are some photos from the evening:

    Quiz night - the winning team
    The winning team

       Quiz night 5

      

    If anyone is interested in coming along to our next Quiz Night, please contact Gilly on 0345 222 0579 or email Gilly.

    Have you seen our Spring newsletter? Take a look here.

  • World Hearing Day 2018

    World Hearing Day – 3rd March 2018

    We are supporting World Hearing Day, which will be held on 3rd March 2018. The aim of World Hearing Day is to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. This year’s theme is:

    Hear the Future

    This year’s focus will be on:

    • Rising prevalence of hearing loss globally
    • Importance of appropriate preventative actions to stem the rise
    • Need to ensure access to rehabilitation services and communication for people with hearing loss

    Hear the Future is vital: in the last five years hearing loss has risen from the 10th to the 4th largest global disability burden.

    World Hearing Day Events

    If you are holding an event or activity to mark World Hearing Day, do share photographs on social media with the hash tag #worldhearingday. You can also register your event on the World Hearing Day website, where you can also download posters and other marketing material.

     

     

  • Tinnitus Support Group

    Tinnitus Awareness Week 2018

    Tinnitus Awareness Week this year is 5th – 11th February

    Next Tinnitus Support Group: Marlow 7th February

    The aim of Tinnitus Week is to raise awareness of the condition, which affects approximately 1 in 10 of the population.

    For the first time, the international tinnitus community will join forces, targeting as many people as possible in order to raise awareness of how tinnitus impacts on the lives of those living with it. A new website www.tinnitusweek.com has been set up, as a central resource collecting all the initiatives which will be taking place in 2018.

    Raising Awareness Together

    The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) has been encouraging organisations from across the world, who deal with tinnitus and other hearing related issues such as hyperacusis and hearing loss, to work together to raise awareness of tinnitus during Tinnitus Week.

    Help in Hearing’s Practice Manager Gilly Wright is holding her next Tinnitus Support Group at the Marlow practice on Wednesday February 7th 6.30pm – 8.30pm. The guest speakers are Selma Becker and Kevin Jeffery, audiologists from Help in Hearing who will be talking about Tinnitus management and suitable hearing aids. Please book your place on 0345 222 0579.

    Tinnitus – where to find out more

    Read about tinnitus on our Tinnitus Explained page.

    Or read about some of the methods of tinnitus management we can offer.

    Read about our Tinnitus Support Group  for Marlow and Farnham Common, see dates for future support group events, and book your place.

  • Audio Service Open Days

    Audio Service Open Days

    Audio Service Open Days – Book an appointment

    • Take a free two-week trial of these exclusive new aids
    • See Selma, Kevin & an Audio Service Expert

    Marlow: Wednesday 7th February
    Farnham Common: Thursday 8th February

    Call 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form to book your place.

    Audio Service – Exclusive to Independents

    We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer Audio Service, a German based manufacturer available exclusively in the UK through independent hearing consultants. Their latest product innovations are considered “audiological all-rounders in the modern hearing aid world”.

    Audio Service Sun G5 Hearing Aid

    Heading up the portfolio, the Sun G5 delivers outstanding hearing quality and excellent speech intelligibility, even under difficult acoustic conditions, offering a natural hearing experience. The constant communication between your left and right hearing aids means your world now sounds balanced and comfortable. During conversations, your hearing aids work together to evaluate all of the signals received and thus ensure a spatial hearing impression – maintaining the focus on the main person you’re talking to.

    Bluetooth Technology

    The best entertainment starts in your ear: telephone calls, music and navigation instructions are transformed into a true hearing experience by the combination of your iPhone and the G5 Bluetooth® technology. The signals are streamed directly to your hearing system – a particularly convenient solution for you. In addition, the Smart Transmitter 2.4 connects your Sun G5 to your TV or HiFi system quickly and simply – all without the need for any other devices. 

    Smart Direct App

    In collaboration with your iPhone, the Smart Direct app makes your hearing experience more convenient than ever before. Once installed, the app transforms the Sun G5 into stereo headphones. Telephone calls and streamed music are forwarded from your iPhone directly on to the hearing aids – without any additional accessories. In addition, the hearing program, volume, and alerts can all be set and customised easily using the Smart Direct app. For optimisation of your hearing, the app creates a personalised environment profile for you, providing us and you with information on your daily hearing performance.

    Audio Service open days – come along and take a free trial!

    Come along to our Audio Service open days on 7th February (Marlow) and 8th February (Farnham Common) to learn more about these hearing aids, available exclusively through independent hearing consultants. We will have an Audio Service expert on hand and you will have the opportunity to take a free, two-week trial of the new Audio Service hearing aids.

    Call us to book your place on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

    You can learn more about the Audio Service hearing aids on our Audio Service web page here.

     

  • Alzheimers Dementia Support - Our Nominated Charity

    Alzheimers Dementia Support

    As some of our clients will already be aware, we have been encouraging feedback on our new-look website. Please do review us on Facebook and Google – let us know what you think. For every review we receive we will make a donation to Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS).

    Alzheimers Dementia Support

    Our nominated charity offers constructive, practical guidance and a range of support services to help people in the local community whose lives are directly or indirectly affected by dementia. Says Senior Adviser Terrie Hall: “At Alzheimers Dementia Support we strive to make a difference by helping those affected to cope better, while giving them the opportunity to experience a little joy and laughter in their difficult lives. We reach out to people with dementia, their carers and families in a wide local area covering Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot, Slough and Langley.”

    As well as drop-in centres which offer information and a multi-lingual service, ADS organise a mix of social activities from lunch, tea dances and singing, to fun days and weekend breaks. There is a regular Alzheimer Cafe – with informative talks on a dementia related theme. They also provide advocacy advice, dementia awareness training, telephone or email support and home visits.

    Contact: Terrie Hall – 07516 165647
    Email: terrie.hall@alzheimersdementiasupport.co.uk
    Website: www.alzheimersdementiasupport.co.uk

    Hearing loss biggest risk factor for dementia – keep your hearing as sharp as your mind

    As the years go on and more candles appear on our birthday cakes we are bound to incur changes in our minds and bodies, but the less dramatic these changes the better. You may think that losing your hearing and becoming forgetful from time to time is a side effect of growing older but here at Help in Hearing we know that it does not necessarily have to be that way.

    Cognitive function declines if hearing loss is left untreated

    A recent study has found that by treating hearing problems earlier, cognitive decline can be reduced. Over a period of six years, tests were carried out on almost 2,000 patients with a mixture of hearing abilities. The test scores within patients with hearing loss deteriorated 40% faster than in the patients with sound hearing. With figures showing that 2 in 3 of us experience hearing difficulties from the age of 70 onwards, it is crucial to tackle the problem sooner rather than later.

    Hearing loss – the link with dementia

    The study has also brought up questions concerning the link between hearing loss and dementia. Enhancing your hearing can reduce signs of dementia and the vulnerability that goes with it. These findings show that it has never been a more important time to get in touch and book a hearing test. We can offer expert advice on how to minimise the risk of hearing loss and therefore hopefully keep your brain as alert and active as ever.

    Alzheimers Dementia Support – how you can help

    For every review on Facebook or Google we receive, we are making a donation to Alzheimers Dementia Support. If you’d like to help, please visit our Leave a Review page for details on how to leave your review, and how to enter the competition to win a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium bone conductor headphones.