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  • Diabetes and hearing loss - what's the connection?

    The connection between diabetes and hearing loss

    What is the connection between diabetes and hearing loss? Research has emerged in recent years which proves that hearing loss is more common in adults with diabetes. It has been found that if you have diabetes, you might be two times more likely to have hearing loss.

    Why is diabetes linked to hearing loss?

    The precise reason why diabetes can be considered a risk factor for hearing loss is not yet known. There is a school of thought which believes that diabetes could damage the hearing nerves – a type of diabetic neuropathy which can also occur in the legs and feet. There is a second theory that the high blood sugars present in diabetics could cause damage to the small blood vessels which support the inner part of the ear. When these vessels are damaged, hearing can be compromised.

    Research by the NIH

    Research into diabetes and hearing loss

    One of the most important studies on diabetes and hearing loss was conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008. They found one of the strongest links yet between diabetes and hearing loss. They analysed hearing test results from across the US and found that those with diabetes were more likely to have at least minor hearing loss compared to people who do not have the condition.

    Maternally inherited

    Another important piece of research showed that hearing loss can in fact be maternally inherited by some of those with diabetes. Some one per cent of those with diabetes have a subtype of the condition called Maternally Inherited Diabetes and Deafness (MIDD), which typically causes sensorineural hearing loss. MIDD usually develops in diabetes patients before the age of 40.

    I’m a diabetic. How can I prevent hearing loss?

    As a diabetic, you should note that the better you can control your blood sugar, the less likely it is that high blood sugar can cause hearing loss. That makes sticking to diet treatment plans and medication important for heating protection.

    Which steps do I need to take?

    Control blood sugar to help prevent hearing loss

    You might not have noticed a deterioration in your hearing, but if you have diabetes, it is recommended that you take a hearing test, if you haven’t already. These tests should be taken periodically – aim for once a year. It is important to monitor your hearing at regular intervals as a diabetic because it can deteriorate over a short space of time. Getting periodical tests makes it easier for you to get the treatment you need, when you need it, should you discover that your hearing is getting worse.

    When should you see a doctor?

    If you have already begun to experience hearing loss, it is important that you get it checked out as soon as you can. Your doctor may refer you to an audiologist, a health care professional who is a specialist in diagnosing and treating hearing loss. The sooner you address hearing loss, the sooner you can be advised and supplied with devices such as a hearing aid, which can allow you to maintain your quality of life.

    Diabetes and hearing loss – where to find out more

    If you think you might be affected by diabetes and hearing loss, please contact us to book an appointment. We recommend a half an hour appointment, which will include a hearing test plus the opportunity to discuss diabetic hearing screening with one of our audiologists. Our fee for this will be £50. Call our freephone number to book: 0345 2220579, email us or fill in our online contact form and we will get back to you to make the appointment.

  • Caring for your hearing aids

    Caring for your hearing aids

    Caring for your hearing aidsWe are always happy to clean and service your hearing aids. They are very precious to you, so remember to book in to see us regularly to ensure they are in tip top condition and working their best for you. Here are some tips on caring for your hearing aids.

    Between appointments there are some very useful tips you can follow. If you would like us to set you up with a cleaning kit set, we can discuss what you will need and tailor your requirements accordingly. We might need to order certain items in for you and can outline the costs at your visit.

    For example, to care for your RITE hearing aids effectively you will need:

    • Antibacterial wipes
    • A small brush (may have a small metal loop on the other end)
    • A wire filament
    • A hook or pick
    • A drying box if necessary (please ask us about the different types that may be suitable for you)

    Hearing aid cleaning kitThe British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA) have produced a very good series of leaflets to help you care for your aids so we have put a PDF link to these guides below. If you would like to be sent a copy of any of these leaflets please do let us know.

    To read or download the leaflets, click on the leaflet name below. A new browser tab will open and the leaflet will appear on the screen. You can then either read it on screen, download it to your hard drive, or print it out.

    Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

    BTE hearing aids with open fitting

    In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

    RIC and RITE hearing aids

  • Santa Fun Run group shot

    Santa Fun Run – We did it!

    We did it! Jan, 5 of our friends and I completed the 5K Santa Fun Run around Dorney Lake last Sunday. We arrived at 10.30 am and pulled on our Santa suits. The day started out quite cold and foggy so we were grateful for the extra layer and the white fluffy beard.

    At 11.30 we moved into the starting lane with all the other Santas for the warm up which consisted of a short dance routine and lots of shouts of “Ho, Ho, Ho” and then we were off!

    Our friends Michael and Andy went off very quickly and finished ahead of us in around 22 minutes. There was a great atmosphere as we jogged around the mostly flat course. On the lake itself, teams of rowers dressed as reindeer raced alongside us. We passed some members of the public out for a nice Sunday morning stroll and some looked quite bemused as 200 or so Santas puffed passed them.

    The Santa Fun Run in aid of ADSThe weather started to improve and the sun came out. About half way around the lake I was getting quite warm so did take off the beard and the Santa hat! Once around the top of the lake we started to head back towards the finish line, which involved running over 3 short bridges before turning the final corner to the home straight.

    With a final surge, I sped towards the finishing line and crossed it just as the clock ticked to…………

    I was very pleased with my time but you will have to wait until 13th December before we reveal it.

    We have already raised over £350 for Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS) – thank you to everyone who made a donation.

    There’s still time to enter our competition

    There is still time to enter our competition to guess the time it took me to complete the 5K Santa Dash. The closest time will receive a £50 John Lewis voucher. To enter call Jan or Gilly on 0345 222 0579, drop into the office or go to our Just Giving page and provide your name and your guess in minutes and seconds. Guesses cost £1 and all proceeds will go to Alzheimers Dementia Support

    Wendy x

  • Training for the Santa Fun Run at Dorney Lake

    Santa Fun Run – Only 1 week to go!

    One week to go! On Friday I collected our race packs and Santa suits from the Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS) team, who have organised the run to raise funds and awareness of the support they offer. ADS is a charity which offers constructive practical guidance and a wide range of services to help people in the local community whose lives are directly or indirectly affected by Dementia. You can visit the ADS website here.

    The Santa suits are great but I’m not sure about the bushy white beard! Watch this space for photos….

    Santa Fun Run at Eton Dorney Lake 24th November

    The cold, dark evenings are less inviting to get out and train but I have completed around 9 miles of running over the week, including a couple of very steep hills. The Santa Dash, which is being held at the Eton Dorney Lake on 24th November, will be a nice flat course.

    Raising funds for ADS

    Jan and I will be joined by 6 friends on Sunday and we are aiming to raise £250 for ADS.

    Thank you to everyone who has made a donation on our Just Giving page or at our clinic.

    We have received donations from some of the hearing aid companies – Sivantos, Starkey and Oticon – whose support is very much appreciated.

    Win a £50 John Lewis voucher

    There is still time to enter the competition to win a £50 John Lewis voucher. Just guess my run time in minutes and seconds when you are in the clinic, by phone or online on the Just Giving page and donate £1. The closest time will win the voucher.

    Wendy x

  • Blackwater Valley Runners

    Santa Fun Run – Wendy’s blog update

    Just a little over 2 weeks now until the Santa Fun Run on 24th November for Alzheimers Dementia Support.

    One of the Alzheimer’s Society’s top tips for reducing the risk of developing dementia is to stay socially active by joining a club, so with this in mind I have joined my local running club The Blackwater Valley Runners.

    Running with a group helps me to run longer distances and build some stamina and the company helps the miles go by more enjoyably.

    The club meets at 7pm and we set off into the cold evening for what I thought would be a gentle 4 mile run. There were 15 other runners in my group and I was able to have a chat with most of them during the run – except when we were running uphill when I needed to save my breath!

    6.5 miles later, I arrived back at the club house, having run further than I was expecting but very pleased that I had kept up with the group.

    Guess the time competition

    To support ADS and have the chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher, please visit our Just Giving page.  Donate £1 and include your name and the time, in minutes and seconds, that you think it will take me to complete the 5K Santa Fun Run.

  • Training for the Santa Fun Run on the North Downs Way

    Santa Fun Run – Wendy’s update 28th October

    With 4 weeks to go before the Santa Dash at Dorney Lake for Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS), I decided that my training on Saturday would be a long walk rather than a run. I set off from Farnham (Surrey) Station to walk along the North Downs Way national trail to Guildford, covering ten miles. The walk is mostly on woodland paths and is far enough from the road to be unpolluted by noises from traffic.

    The path initially runs alongside farmland and I wished a cheery “good morning” to some sheep and cows before passing through a field of corn.

    There is no definite way to prevent dementia and research continues to investigate how the disease develops. However, there is good evidence that leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing dementia (source: NHS Website).

    My walk not only provided good exercise but was an opportunity to exercise my senses; looking for seasonal changes, listening to bird song and learning about the local nature reserve from information boards.

    To support ADS and have the chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher, please visit our Just Giving page.  Donate £1 and include your name and the time, in minutes and seconds, that you think it will take me to complete the 5K Santa Dash.

  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss

    Sudden sensorineural hearing loss needs fast action

    Following on from features in our newsletter last year about Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, we’d like to re-emphasise the importance of responding immediately to this condition. We have seen some client cases recently which have led to urgent referrals. Sudden Hearing Loss is a medical emergency and although steroid treatment is usually successful, acting quickly is crucial.

    We had a very upset client who rushed round the other day because she believed she had suddenly gone deaf – we fitted her in straight away and as it turned out her ears were full of wax so we could of course give her immediate relief, but it is vital that such instances are taken seriously and that clients are seen immediately as the timing is crucial.

    Peter, one of our Marlow referrals said:

    “My very grateful thanks to Kevin at Help in Hearing. I suddenly lost hearing in my left ear and contacted Marlow Help in Hearing for an urgent test and was given an appointment the very next day. Following a thorough examination, Kevin urgently referred me to a Consultant at the Princess Margaret Hospital as he had detected a major hearing loss in my left ear. I was lucky enough to be seen the following day, thanks to Kevin’s urgent referral.

    “I was instructed to undergo a full brain MRI scan and prescribed a five-day course of steroids as Kevin and the Consultant agreed that it appeared that the blood was not circulating to my inner ear. The Consultant informed me there was a good chance that my hearing loss might be reversed thanks to Kevin’s quick action. Had this been left any longer I could have lost my hearing permanently. I am so thankful to Kevin for the early detection, accurate diagnosis and speedy referral, which has undoubtedly gone a long way to potentially saving my hearing.”

    If you experience sudden hearing loss, please give us a call straight away or get in touch online, as fast action could be crucial.


    This is an update to an article first published in our Spring 2018 newsletter


  • Wendy & Jan run the Alzheimers Dementia Support Santa Fun Run on 24th November

    Santa Fun Run – Wendy & Jan are dashing through the snow

    Dashing Through the Snow…..

    …..Guess my time to complete the 5K Santa Dash and win a £50 John Lewis Voucher

    Well I’m hoping there won’t be snow but on 24th November I will be donning my Santa Suit and taking part in the annual Santa Fun Run in support of Alzheimers Dementia Support (ADS) and the work they do for the local area. Follow this link to learn more about the service and support Alzhemimers Dementia Support provide. 

    The Santa Fun Run is a 5K fun run around Dorney Lake and I will be joined by Jan Gosling, our secretary at Help in Hearing, and a small group of friends.

    I would like to invite you to support ADS by taking part in a competition to guess the time it will take me to complete the 5K circuit.

    Entries for the competition cost £1, with all proceeds being passed to ADS. To enter, either make a £1 donation on my Just Giving Page, adding your name and how long you think I will take in minutes and seconds or call into the office on 0345 222 0579 and we will record your guess at reception.

    Over the next few weeks I will be keeping you up to date with my training schedule for the Santa Fun Run and will be providing a few clues as to my expected finish time.

    Wendy x

  • Hearing health event at the Marlow Club

    Hearing health event – a review

    Our Hearing Health event at the Marlow Club earlier in October was a resounding success! Thank you to everyone who came along to learn about how to look after your hearing, a good number have subsequently booked in to see us to find out more. Also a big thank you to our guest speakers, Paul Lamb, Technical Director at Starkey for telling us all about artificial intelligence developments in hearing aids; and Roger Lewin, Managing Director, who talked about the wonderful work of the Starkey Foundation in giving the gift of hearing to people in need in more than 100 countries. Starkey was also represented by Sales Manager, Julie Adshead, who was at hand to discuss the intricacies and benefits of the new Livio aids, launched at the event.

    Nearly 30 people attended on the day and we were delighted that the Deputy Mayor, Bob Johnson, was also there to open the event. He was very keen to convey the message regarding the importance of correcting hearing loss to avoid social isolation and help with dementia. This was further talked about by our audiologist Kevin Jeffery in his presentation on how correcting hearing loss can play a significant role in combating cognitive decline.

    Thank you also to the Marlow Club for hosting the event and serving us a fantastic health buffet, enjoyed by all.

    Please see below a selection of photos from the day

    Click on a photo to see a larger version and scroll through the gallery.

    Hearing health event - where to find out more

    If you’d like to know more about artificial intelligence in hearing aids or to look after your hearing to avoid cognitive decline, please get in touch.

  • Phonak Roger Select - excellent speech understanding in noisy situations.

    Phonak Roger Select

    Our hearing is very individual. Some of us like sounds to be loud, some prefer things to be quieter, some prefer listening to music while others prefer listening to bird song. Hearing loss presents individual challenges to each client, depending on where it is most important to be able to hear well. In this article we discuss how the Phonak Roger Select can help with these individual hearing requirements.

    Hearing aids are programmed to each client’s hearing and requirements and can be tailored according to each individual’s feedback about their own unique experiences.

    Today’s hearing aids are very effective in increasing speech and turning down background noise, allowing the wearer to fully participate in conversations with family and friends, but sometimes an extra boost may be required for some listening situations. The boost required is, again, individual and in the past, this may have resulted in the hearing aid wearer requiring 2 or 3 different devices – one for each different situation.

    Phonak Roger Select – providing a boost in challenging situations

    Roger Select is a state-of-the art wireless microphone

    The Phonak Roger Select is a small portable device that is compatible with most hearing aids and it provides that needed boost in challenging listening situations. It is used with a neck loop which transmits the sounds directly into the hearing aids. But what makes Roger Select stand out from the crowd is that one single device adapts to lots of different situations. It is small, light, portable and easy to use.

    Roger Select is an innovative device that can boost phone calls, television, speech in meetings and speech in noisy places. Roger Select is a clever remote microphone that can focus on a specific speaker.

    Phone Calls

    The Phonak Roger Select can connect to Bluetooth phones and act as a hands-free system. The telephone call is sent directly into the hearing aid without the need to hold the phone to the ear.


    Roger Select plugs into the audio output of a television. It sends the TV into the hearing aids via the neck loop. This means that the hearing aid wearer can adjust the volume of the TV, by adjusting the volume of their hearing aids, independent to other people watching the same TV.


    During meetings, Roger Select is placed on the table. It automatically focuses on the person speaking and send the voice straight into the hearing aids via the neck loop.


    Roger Select can also be worn attached to the lapel of a speaker such as a lecturer or passenger in a car. For example, it can be difficult to hear the passenger speaking when you are driving a car, especially because it is not possible to be facing the person speaking. The Roger Select is worn by the passenger either on a cord around the neck or clipped to the lapel. Roger Select focuses on the passenger’s voice which is now heard clearly by the hearing aid wearer.

    Phonak Roger Select – where to find out more

    To have a demonstration of the Phonak Roger Select, please call to book an appointment or fill in our online contact form.