• Alzheimers Dementia Support - Our Nominated Charity

    Myth-busting Dementia guide highlights hearing aid benefits

    An estimated one in 14 people over the age of 65 in the UK lives with dementia and the total number of people affected is increasing every year and by 2025, it is predicted to be around one million, according to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph.

    The feature highlighted the newspaper’s Christmas Charity Appeal which includes fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity. Since 1979, it has been campaigning for change, funding research on care and a cure, and supporting those affected by dementia.

    The current lack of a cure means that there is a particularly strong focus on prevention. The article revealed a dementia myth-busting guide put together by scientists which they say covers everything you need to know about the condition, and how to look after your brain.

    How a hearing aid could save your brain

    Included in the guide was a reference to how wearing a hearing aid could save your brain. According to Prof Gill Livingston, University College London, who was the lead author on last year’s Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care hearing impairment is the single biggest preventable risk factor for Alzheimer’s. “We believe that hearing loss could be responsible for as many as eight in every 100 cases of dementia,” she says.

    “We think that’s because losing your hearing is associated with diminished cognitive stimulation. When your brain is in a cognitively stimulating environment, this causes positive physical changes, and the best way to create an environment like that is to talk to other people: you can’t anticipate what they’re going to say and you have to respond to it; you hear different points of view, and that works your brain.

    “But if you can’t easily hear what other people are saying, you may begin to avoid other people. This lack of social stimulation can lead to depression, which is another risk factor for dementia.”

    Removing a risk factor

    The good news is that getting a hearing aid can remove this risk factor entirely. “From the population studies out there, we can see that people who use hearing aids don’t have any higher risk of dementia than people who don’t have a hearing impairment.”

    Please do get your ears and hearing checked. Our hearing assessments not only include an array of diagnostic hearing tests, but also the opportunity to talk to a highly experienced, independent audiologist.

    How to get involved with the Telegraph Christmas Appeal

    Alzheimer’s Society is one of four charities supported by this year’s Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal. The others are Maggie’s, Dogs Trust and the Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award. To find out more and donate, click here.

    Information used in this blog, was originally featured in the Daily Telegraph, 11th December edition. You can read the full article here.

  • Virtual Charity Christmas Raffle

    hearing-dogs-for-deaf-peopleWe have raised over £1000 in our  virtual Christmas Raffle to raise money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People!

    Prizes included a Luxury Festive Hamper,  two bespoke necklaces each worth £300 – and of course a Hearing Dogs Calendar! See the full line-up of prizes below. The winning numbers have now been drawn and we are now organising the distribution of prizes. 

    Alpaca Shawl by Softly SoftlyCultured Pearl, Amethyst and Gold Bracelet and Earrings

    Prizes include: 

    • A luxury Winter Warmer hamper 
    • 2 individual pearl necklaces worth £300 each, created by local jewellery designer Dormouse Designs 
    • Matching pearl bracelet and drop earrings x 2
    • Alpaca Shawl by Softly, Softly 
    • Hearing Dogs 2022 Calendar 
    • A Google Home Mini 
    • A £20 gift vouchers for Beaconsfield Gift Shop, Mira 
    • Ghost Fire, a novel by Wilbur Smith 
    • RHS Book, Your Wellbeing Garden 
    • Cooking with Heroes, the Royal British Legion Centenary Cookbook 
    • Modern Romance Memorabilia 
    • Help in Hearing Silver Cross Pens x 12

    All proceeds will go to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    All money raised will be donated to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. 

    Help in Hearing staff are not allowed to enter the raffle. 

    Prizes will be allocated by number, rather than by choice and the numbers will be picked out of a hat. 

  • Valentine's Day Special Offer

    How can a TV Streamer help my hearing?

    At Help in Hearing we able to provide a range of TV streamers that work with your hearing aids to improve the quality of sound from the television.

    So why do we need streamers and how do they work? Here we are focusing on the latest Bluetooth technology. If your hearing aids do not have Bluetooth and you are interested in a TV streamer, do please get in touch and we will look at the options for your particular hearing aids.



    What is a TV Streamer?

    A TV Streamer is a small device that connects to your television. It transmits the sound from the TV into your hearing aids either directly – in the latest Bluetooth hearing aids, or via a small device that hangs around your neck – in the older aids. The hearing aid wearer can set the volume of the TV by adjusting the volume control of their aid while family and friends can adjust the TV volume as usual so that everyone achieves a comfortable sound level.


    Why Do we Need TV Streamers?

    There are a few of factors to think about here. Firstly, we need to consider each client’s overall hearing ability. This includes the degree of hearing loss and their speech discrimination, which is a measure of how much speech you understand when it is at a comfortable volume. Speech discrimination is measured by asking a client to repeat a series of words that they hear via headphones. Each word repeated is scored out of 3 to establish the percentage of words heard correctly e.g. 100% means that all words were heard correctly and speech discrimination is good, 60% means that only 6 out of 10 word were heard correctly and speech discrimination is reduced.

    We can correct hearing loss by making sound louder with hearing aids but unfortunately this does not change the speech discrimination score.

    For clients with poorer speech discrimination, hearing aids will help by making sounds loud enough for them to hear more easily but additional support in the form of streamers will also be beneficial.

    Of course, even with reduced speech discrimination, wearing hearing aids will improve your hearing in all situations compared to not wearing any hearing aids and the latest technology is getting better and better at helping in different listening situations. A hearing aids priority is to ensure that conversation can be heard in relatively quiet situations. It can be more challenging to hear when there is a lot of noise or the source of speech, such as a television, is further away.

    Lastly, and this based purely on our experience and comments from clients and their families, modern flat screen TV’s do not seem to have the same sound quality as the older, chunkier styles. Fitting a sound bar can improve the sound quality as can a TV streaming device that works with your hearing aids.


    How Does a Streamer Improve My Hearing?

    The TV streamer takes the sound directly from the television into your hearing aids. Your Audiologist can set up your hearing aids to allow you to hear only the sound streamed from the television, or to also hear environmental sounds using the microphones of the aids, depending on your requirements. Other environmental sounds could be adjusted to a lower level than usual to prevent them interfering with the sound from the TV.

    Having the TV sound streamed directly into your hearing aids is the equivalent of hearing as though you are sitting directly in front of the TV i.e. you do not need to make the TV volume louder to hear it when sitting further away on the sofa.


    How Do I Set Up a TV Streamer with My Hearing Aids?

    Each hearing aid manufacturer has their own TV Streamer so please contact us and we will advise which device you need to purchase. The device is supplied with a selection of cables, one of which will be suitable for your TV. The manufacturers have created videos that can be found on their websites or on YouTube that demonstrate how to connect the streamer to your television. There is also a clear instruction booklet included with each device.

    The device must be initially paired with your hearing aids which we will do in the clinic plus make and programming changes to your aids that may be required.

    Once this initial set up is completed, the sound will stream from the TV as and when you need it either automatically or at the touch of a button.

    If you would like to try a TV streamer, please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

  • Why we need full PPE to perform wax removal

    Why we need full PPE to perform wax removal

    Any form of wax removal is an aerosol generating procedure, meaning that tiny particles of moisture are airborne. Because the Coronavirus is transmitted through the air and is highly contagious, we have to wear the full PPE, including gown, gloves, filtered mask and visor to protect ourselves and our clients. 

    What is an aerosol generating procedure (AGP)? Aerosols are produced when an air current moves across the surface of a film of liquid; the greater the force of the air, the smaller the particles that are produced. Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are defined as any medical and patient care procedure that results in the production of airborne particles (aerosols).

    PPE requirement guide for aerosol generating procedures

    This illustration from Public Health England explains the requirements if performing AGP procedures. 

    PPE for aerosol generating procedures

    Ear wax management

    If you’d like to make an appointment about ear wax removal, please get in touch with us by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579



  • Starkey Livio AI - the healthable hearing aid

    Healthable hearing aid features of the Starkey Livio AI

    Do you have the Starkey AI hearing aids?

    For anyone who already owns the Starkey Livio AI hearing aids, we wanted to remind you about the useful technology that is built into these hearing aids, making them “healthable hearing aids.”

    The Livio AI is a world-first hearing aid that has artificial intelligence which can track brain and body health. Until now there has never been a device that can track and measure physical activity and cognitive health. Most fitness tracking devices use the wrist but research shows that the ear provides far more accurate data. In fact, the ear is the body’s sweet spot for reliable health monitoring and tracking, this is all available in your hearing aids, devices you wear every day.

    Compatible with both Android and Apple smartphones, Livio AI provides a body score, brain score and an overall score, combining the two, using an app called Thrive. The Livio AI is truly a “healthable hearing aid“. 

    What is a healthable hearing aid?

    A healthable hearing aid uses artificial intelligence (AI) and embedded sensors to produce superior sound quality and smart health & wellness benefits too.

    Watch this Starkey video to find out more:


    How to use the Livio AI extra features

    If you’d like to learn more about how to use some of your Livio AI’s features, please get in touch by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579, we’d be happy to help.

    Some of the features of the Livio AI hearing aid are:

    • Tracking your steps, body movement & physical activity
    • Measuring social engagement & active listening
    • Fall detection
    • Foreign language translation
    • Connection to Siri
    • Create geo-tagged memories

    Step and movement tracking


    Healthable hearing technology can do things like track your daily steps and activity levels, motivating you to move more, which can help keep you healthier as you age. Experts agree that the head — and the ear, specifically — is a much more accurate place to measure our physical activity and monitor our body’s “signals” than on the wrist or in a pocket. By including 3D motion sensors like an accelerometer and gyroscope, Livio AI hearing aids are able to detect movement and gestures and give a more reliable readout of your steps and activity. 

    Livio AI hearing aids make it easy to stay on top of both your body and brain health. Paired with the Starkey Thrive Hearing app, Livio AI hearing aids track your physical activity (similar to a FitBit) and measure actions that are good for your brain health, like daily usage of your hearing aids, social engagement, and time spent listening actively. Each day, the Thrive app then combines your body and brain activity to give you a Thrive Wellness Score, which helps you know if you’re meeting your physical and cognitive health goals.

    Fall detection and alerts

    If you’re an older adult — or care for someone who is — falling is likely to be high on your list of worries. And rightfully so, according to Age UK:

    • According to data released by NHS Digital, nearly 100,000 older people (aged 60+) suffered hip fractures in 2017/18
    • Falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75 with over 5,000 older people dying as a result of a fall in 2017, a 70% increase on the numbers in 2010, according to Age UK.

    How fall detection and alerts work

    • The hearing aid wearer selects up to three contacts to be notified if they fall.
    • They (or their hearing professional) can enter contacts easily into the Thrive Hearing app.
    • The auto alert feature automatically sends an alert to the contact(s) if the hearing aid wearer falls.
    • The alert contains the GPS location of the wearer.
    • The contact can then immediately call the wearer back to check on them or otherwise get them help.
    • The manual alert feature allows the wearer to simply tap their hearing aid to send an alert for a fall or non-fall related event.

    Translation tool

    The Livio AI hearing aid translates languages as you hear them – 27 languages are catered for.

    How the translation tool works

    • Select your language and that of the other speaker to engage in a conversation.*
    • When you speak into your iPhone®, the Thrive Hearing app will translate your speech and display it on the screen in the other person’s language. Show them the screen so they can see what you’re saying.
    • When the other person speaks into your phone, the app will translate their speech, display it in your language on the phone, and also stream the translated text to your hearing aids in your language.

    *Choose from these 27 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian Bokmal, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish


    Self Check provides a quick, convenient way for you to analyse your hearing aid system’s performance. Your hearing professional sets the feature and establishes a baseline at the initial fitting.

    Self Check is an app-based feature that provides you with a quick and convenient way to find out how your hearing aid system is performing. To get started, your hearing professional sets this feature during the initial fitting and establishes a baseline. Then, at any time, you can run a diagnostic test, using the Thrive™ Hearing Control app.

    After you initiate the test, a diagnostic analysis runs on the main components of your hearing aids – the receiver, microphone, sensor and circuit. If an issue is uncovered, instructions on how to fix it will appear on your smartphone screen. At this point you may wish to make an appointment with your hearing professional depending on what the specific issue is.

    What do users think of the Livio AI?

    Healthable hearing aid – where to find out more

    If you’d like to find out more about how to use these features of your Livio AI hearing aids, please get in touch with us by email, fill in our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579, we’d be happy to help. 

    In summary, the question isn’t “What is hearable health technology?” The question is: “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

    Coronavirus update

    During the Coronavirus lockdown, although we are unable to see patients face to face, we are available by phone and video call and are also operating a drop-off and collect as well as a postal service for any servicing you require for your hearing aids. Please read our Covid-19 update page for more details of how this operates.


  • Drop-in hearing health event at Marlow Business Festival

    Drop-in hearing health event


    Drop-in hearing health event – please join us at Marlow Business Festival

    Friday March 27th 2020
    12:00pm – 2:30pm
    At Help in Hearing, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ (free parking on site, opposite Glade End Guest House)
    Refreshments provided
    To book your place: events@helpinhearing.co.uk

    Marlow is to welcome its first business festival, 26th – 29th March, to “shape the future” of the high street. Organised by the Marlow Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural event aims to improve the relationship between businesses and the community.

    On Friday March 27th, Wendy will be joining Kevin in our Marlow practice to run a drop-in clinic from 12:00-2:30pm, offering new clients complimentary hearing screening, with an ear health check.

    Discount voucher

    Please do let your friends and family in Marlow know about the event. If the hearing screening or otoscope demonstrates a need for a follow-up appointment, we will offer a £40 off voucher for a full hearing consultation and £20 off microsuction wax removal.

    To book

    Do call if you would like to book an appointment or find out more: 0345 222 0579. Or please get in touch using our online contact form.

    You can find out more about the festival on the Marlow Chamber of Commerce website.

  • Health management and our coronavirus policy

    Health management

    In the last week, we have been contacted by a few clients who have travelled abroad and returned with heavy colds and have cancelled their appointments, so as not to spread germs. It is worth remembering that hearing tests can be affected by a cold, so it is best to reschedule your appointment until you are feeling 100%.

    Please don’t be offended if we suggest an appointment is re-scheduled if you arrive and are unwell. We are just looking after your health, our other clients and our staff.

    We have a strict hygiene protocol at Help in Hearing. We wash our hands before, during and after every appointment. We wear protective gloves for all ear care appointments and have a well-stocked supply of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers. We keep our equipment scrupulously clean, using single use equipment wherever possible.

    We have young and elderly clients who are more prone to picking up infections so please do let us know if you are unwell. It is our policy to inform clients if our audiologists have heavy colds at any time, so that they have the option of postponing an appointment.


    Please see below information on Coronavirus and our approach to the situation. In summary, we ask that visitors and staff who have recently returned from high-risk areas (see below) follow government guidance and, if in any doubt or if you have any concern or symptoms, do not to visit us for at least 14 days from return to the UK.

    At Help in Hearing we are monitoring the UK government’s information and advice on Coronavirus. Up-to-date information can be found here on the government coronavirus website.  This information is updated regularly and any clients or staff who are concerned are encouraged to check this site for the most current information.

    Returning travellers

    In summary, the advice about returning travellers is that anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing coughing, fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

    Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February, should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if they do not have symptoms:

    • Iran
    • Specific lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy including in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano; and in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo
    • ‘Special care zones’ in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea including Daegu and Cheongdo
    • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

    Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February and develops symptoms, however mild, should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. They do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.

    • Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
    • Vietnam
    • Cambodia
    • Laos
    • Myanmar

    All our staff and anyone who has visited our practice are asked to advise us if they are diagnosed as having contracted Coronavirus, or have been in proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus in the last 14 days.

    Information about the virus itself and how to prevent it spreading can be found on the NHS website.  In line with this advice, we ask visitors and staff to ensure they are regularly washing their hands with soap and water, to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to dispose of any tissues when used.

    If you’re unsure about any aspect of health management regarding your appointment with us, please get in touch via our online contact form, or call us on 0345 222 0579.

  • Protecting your hearing when you are young

    Protecting your hearing when you’re young

    Imagine having a ringing in your head…….all the time. Imagine not being able to hear music properly, or conversations with friends. This kind of damage to hearing is 100% preventable, but once it happens, it’s irreversible. Protecting your hearing when you are young has never been more critical. In an age where you are always surrounded by noise: hearing conservation is more crucial than ever. Loud music, earphone usage, industrial work, concerts, motorsports and shooting can all contribute to hearing loss as you get older. Unfortunately, many young people do not appreciate the dangers of hearing loss or take precautions to prevent premature loss of hearing.

    World Health Organisation research

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that 1.1bn teenagers and young people are at risk of hearing loss. Nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues. WHO research also found that 43 million people aged between 12 and 35 already suffer from hearing loss.

    Dangers to hearing

    Exposure to loud sounds for prolonged periods of time can irreparably damage hearing and lead to chronic hearing issues such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). One of the leading causes of hearing loss and hearing issues is related to workplace noise. Although there have been many developments in workplace laws over the last 50 years, there are still many workplaces which do not provide adequate hearing protection to employees. Working in a factory with loud machinery or working as a guitarist in a band can both be equally detrimental to your hearing if you have not got the right level of ear protection.

    Listening to music

    Young people are particularly susceptible to hearing damage as a result of listening to music. Prolonged exposure to music, even if it is not turned up to maximum volume, can be detrimental to your hearing health. Still, young people listening to music via headphones, earphones and air pods are particularly at risk. Studies have shown that regular use of earphones to listen to music can diminish hearing thresholds and can lead to noise-induced hearing impairments.


    Jono Heale, Director at ACS Custom, gave a talk last year to students at the Royal Northern College of Music, about hearing protection and safe listening. Watch the video to see Jono’s talk.


    Research on professional and amateur musicians shows that they can also suffer. George Odam, Emeritus Professor at Bath Spa University and Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama undertook a research project into the health of music students. After a 1-year pilot study, he found that 26% had tinnitus and 17% had some degree of hearing loss. Other research shows that musicians and DJs are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from music-induced hearing loss and almost 1.5 times more likely to develop tinnitus than the general population.

    Even today, hearing conservation and occupational health, safety and welfare for musicians is not mandatory as a subject in music education. Typical decibel levels for different types of music would be: Chamber ensemble, playing mezzoforte, 80-85dB; Symphony orchestra, 94-120dB; Pipe and drums band, 100-110dB outdoors, 116dB indoors; Amplified rock band, 94-120dB and Front of house mixing desk, 97+dB. Considering your maximum time exposure at a level of 85dB is 8 hours, and for every increase of 3dB, that exposure time halves, this means that at 100dB, 15 minutes is the maximum safe exposure time.

    If you’re listening to or playing in any of those scenarios, you will likely be exceeding that exposure time and thus increasing your risk of music induced hearing loss.

    How is your hearing damaged?

    Maybe you’ve just come out of a bar or a live music venue and your hearing has gone a bit muffled. Usually this is temporary and your hearing will go back to normal after a little while. But if it doesn’t, it could be noise or music induced permanent hearing loss. Or you get a ringing noise in your ear, which again disappears after a short while. If it doesn’t go away, it’s a warning that you could be at high risk of hearing damage.

    What can you do to safeguard your hearing?

    If you frequently attend live music events, have loud hobbies (such as motorsports) or work in an environment which is subject to loud noise – then adequate hearing protection is necessary to ensure optimum ear health. Even if you have never experienced hearing problems, exposure to loud noise for prolonged periods could have a delayed effect, which will be experienced many years from now. Wearing ear protection such as earmuffs, plugs and canal caps are the best ways of ensuring that your ears remain healthy for years to come. It’s important to choose earphones that completely block out the background noise, otherwise you’ll find you need to turn the music up by around 10dB in order to hear the music above the background noise.

    Foam earplugs

    These are just an auditory block, in that they literally block the ears. They affect the clarity of sound and so are no good for listening to music.

    Custom-made ear protection

    ACS earplugs

    ACS Custom offers off-the-shelf and custom made earplugs which are popular with those working in the music industry. Custom made earplugs can be made for you if you are frequently exposed to noise for prolonged periods. We take an impression of your ear and then scan this with a laser, create a 3d model and then 3d print a mould, into which we inject the soft silicone. The benefit of a custom made earplug is

    • they stop you getting hot and sweaty, as air is allowed to pass through the ear plug in both directions
    • they don’t block the sound
    • there is less occlusion (the sound your own voice makes inside your head when you’re wearing normal earplugs)
    • there is a better frequency response
    • music without the muffle
    • better overall communication, as you can hear conversation at the same time as reducing the level of the background music or noise.

    Custom in-ear monitors (CIEM)

    ACS also make in-ear monitors for vocalists for on-stage monitoring. These are also made from soft silicone, unlike many other manufacturers’ CIEMs, which are made from hard acrylic, thus not being as flexible or as good a fit as the soft silicone CIEMs.

    At Help in Hearing we can advise 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. Our ear impressions are sent off to ACS who offer a choice of custom-made soft silicone earplugs, popular with musicians, DJs, vocalists, sound engineers and frequent visitors to gigs and clubs. These high-fidelity bespoke fitting earplugs cost around £140. Earplugs protect against hearing loss by using advanced noise-reduction technology. Earplugs can be used by anyone to reduce the impact of loud noises, whether you are playing at a gig or standing in the crowd! If you value your hearing and you like loud music you should really play safe now so you can still hear tomorrow. 

    Universal fit earplugs available

    We also sell high fidelity, attenuating earplugs from ACS Custom. These are generic, off-the-shelf, universal fit earplugs which have an attenuating filter. This means that they can filter out a certain number of decibels. We can provide these from our practice, and they retail at £10, which we recommend for anyone who knows they will be exposed to loud music or noise. It is worth considering always having a pair with you – they come with an easy to store keyring – as noise exposure is everywhere. For example, cinemas are often overly loud – you may remember the feature in our last newsletter about actor Hugh Grant walking out of the film Joker.

    Have you had a hearing test?

    Regular hearing tests may seem like overkill if you haven’t already got hearing problems. However, they can be essential for catching any potential issues before they become full-blown problems. Getting an occasional hearing test will help identify any hearing concerns so that precautions can be taken to avoid the problem from getting worse. Of course, a healthy lifestyle will also help keep your hearing in good condition – especially as exercise helps to improve blood flow to your ears!

    What should you be doing?

    • Be aware of sound levels and your exposure times, especially in social situations.
    • Co-operate: turn down amplified equipment if asked to and if necessary.
    • Wear hearing protection that you are given or buy. Make sure you wear it all the time in noisy areas.
    • Look after your hearing protection.
    • Report any problems: don’t keep quiet about your concerns about noise, loud music or your hearing. See your GP or an audiologist if you’re concerned, get yourself tested and get it checked out. You only have one pair of ears.

    Protecting your hearing – where to find out more

    For more information on hearing protection solutions please fill in our online contact form or call us on 0345 222 0579.


    With thanks to Jono Heale from ACS Custom

  • Can hearing loss lead to cognitive decline?

    Did you know that leaving hearing loss untreated can increase the risk of dementia? That’s according to several studies over the years. In this article, we look at the key details in this research into hearing loss and dementia and explain why it is so important to have hearing loss tested and treated.

    Difficulty hearing speech risk factor for dementia – another new study published 

    Research has shown that assisting hearing difficulties in mid life could help a person maintain their brain function as they get older and might also reduce their risk of dementia. Published on 21st July, a new study led by University of Oxford researchers on over 82,000 participants has shown that difficulty hearing spoken conversations is associated with up to 91% increased risk of dementia. This study was featured on the Today programme. If anyone is interested in catching up on the story here is a link – skip forward to 2hrs55 mins (last 5 minutes of the show).

    The link between ageing, hearing loss and dementia

    In April 2019, the Ear Foundation, an independent charity based in Nottingham which supports people of all ages with hearing loss, unearthed some of the most compelling findings related to the link between hearing loss and dementia. It concluded that ageing had led to growing numbers of people with hearing loss and cognitive decline. It was found that some 60 per cent of adults who have dementia also experience hearing impairment. They also discovered that more than 90 per cent of adults with dementia who live in “aged care” also have a hearing impairment.

    The Ear Foundation highlighted that hearing loss has been linked to impaired communication and in turn, social isolation and loneliness, which can be health threatening. Their report underlined the importance of health systems to invest in tackling hearing loss, in order to help people maintain the “social connectedness” which can be so vital to brain health.

    A key factor

    While there does appear to be an undoubted link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, as a report in the Practical Neurology online journal pointed out: “It has not been proven that cognitive impairment (including dementia) is caused by hearing loss or that cognitive impairment causes hearing decline.”

    The publication highlighted several shared underlying mechanisms behind hearing loss and cognitive decline, which are; overdiagnosis, widespread neural degeneration, sensory degradation or deprivation, cognitive resource allocation and depletion, and social isolation and depression.

    Is hearing loss a crucial clue?

    Hearing aids could cut the risk of dementia

    Another thorough body of work was a study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the United States. Its research – conducted over a ten-year period – also supports the theory that hearing loss is associated with a larger risk of cognitive decline. The investigators suggested that “hearing loss may help identify individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline and might provide insights for earlier intervention and prevention,” making it clear that regular tests with an audiologist and the timely provision of hearing aids could be a way of cutting the risk of dementia.

    The value of a hearing aid

    In July 2019 the Times reported a study which concluded that wearing a hearing aid later in life could protect you against dementia, as well as slow brain ageing. The research found that people who wore hearing aids, primarily to address hearing issues, also saw their cognitive functions more effectively maintained. The impact measured was amazing – this study found that those who wore hearing aids had brains which performed eight years younger on average

    The raft of various studies has found that, at best, there is a huge potential for a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Now the onus is on health systems, as well as the public, to ensure that timely hearing tests are carried out as a matter of course.

    Hearing loss and cognitive decline – where to find out more

    The experts seem to agree that treating hearing loss provides protection against gradual cognitive decline. If you are beginning to find it difficult to hear in certain situations, don’t allow it to get worse, book an appointment for a hearing test and consultation with one of our audiologists. We provide comprehensive testing using state-of-the-art technology, personalised treatment and ongoing support.

    Read our article “What to expect at a hearing assessment” to find out what’s involved.

    Or please fill in our online contact form to book a hearing assessment.

  • Love your ears this Valentine's Day

    Show someone with hearing loss that you love them this Valentine’s Day

    Is someone you love experiencing hearing loss?

    Across the UK, one in six adults are affected by hearing loss, so many of us will know someone who is noticing some changes in their hearing.

    In most cases, hearing loss occurs slowly. We are not immediately aware of it but gradually we notice that we need to ask friends and family to repeat conversations, or we are told that the television is far too loud for others’ comfort.

    Asking friends to repeat themselves?

    As our hearing difficulties become more noticeable, we may start to feel uncomfortable in social situations because we need to keep asking our friends to repeat themselves. We stop going to meetings and avoid those social situations that may be difficult due to our hearing.

    The result? We are not living life to the full!

    Hearing loss can be managed with the latest hearing aids and accessories. The first step is to book for a hearing test and consultation.

    “Love your ears” promotion

    To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we are holding a “Love Your Ears” promotion for a free hearing test and consultation with Wendy for the week leading up to February 14th. To book, call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

    This Valentine’s Day, show your friends and family that you care by saying those three special little words: “Help in Hearing.