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

  • Thames Valley Spire Hospital, Wexham

    Wendy holding private hearing clinics at Spire Hospital

    Wendy is now offering private hearing clinics at Spire Hospital, WexhamOur new audiologist, Wendy Davies, is now holding private hearing clinics on Monday afternoons at the Thames Valley Spire Hospital in Wexham.

    Wendy will be working closely with ENT Consultants at the Spire Hospital, offering hearing tests and tympanometry. She is now recognised by all the main insurance companies and can see privately insured patients at both the Spire Hospital and at Help in Hearing in Farnham Common.

    Says Wendy: “I am delighted to be working with the Spire team and look forward to now offering this extended service at Help in Hearing.” 

    All private insurance bookings are via ENT consultant referral. For the private hearing clinics at Spire Hospital, these are processed by outpatients at the Hub on: 01753 665429; or at Help in Hearing, call our freephone number: 0345 222 0579 or contact us for more information.

  • Summer hearing health tips

    Summer Hearing Health Tips

    With the summer months approaching, our thoughts go to holidays, working in the garden and if the weather holds maybe some outdoor theatre and concerts. That means it is also time to think about our summer hearing health. Here are some of our summer hearing health tips.

    Holidays

    Your hearing aid accessories are vital parts of your holiday packing list so do check a week or so before that you have enough batteries and domes for your trip. It’s a good idea to change the wax guards too before you set off – please contact us for an appointment if you would like us to service your hearing aids before your holiday.

    If you are travelling to a country with high humidity, I would recommend investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier. These small pots use a dessicant to draw any moisture from the hearing aid overnight.

    Swimming

    When the weather is hot, a dip in a swimming pool is just the way to cool off, but do take some precautions against developing a case of Swimmer’s Ear. All water contains bacteria but there are higher levels in untreated water such as river and sea water. When water containing bacteria gets trapped in the ear, it is in the right environment – a nice warm ear canal – and the bacteria start to multiply and this may lead to an infection in the skin within the ear casing inflammation, which can become very painful.

    Follow these recommendations to reduce the risk of Swimmer’s Ear:

    1. Use a swimming cap or ear plugs to minimise the amount of water going into your ears.

    2. Dry ears thoroughly after swimming. If you feel you have any water trapped in your ear canal, lean your head over towards your shoulder, jiggle your ear lobe and gravity should do the rest, allowing the water to drain out. Never use cotton buds to try and mop up any water.

    3. Do not try and remove any ear wax other than wiping it away from the entrance of your ear canal with a flannel or tissue. Again, never use cotton buds to remove ear wax. If you feel that you have a build-up of wax, please make an appointment to see us so that we can safely remove it.

    Managing Noise

    It is good hearing health to protect our ears from excessive noise. Noise protection applies to all the family, not just those wearing hearing aids and not just the obvious times such as loud concerts or sporting events, but also when using electrical tools such as lawnmowers and DIY power tools. Help In Hearing can provide inexpensive over-the-counter noise plugs – please contact us for more details.

    Social Events

    Summer is the time for meeting with friends and family and barbecues and parties. Your family will be delighted that you are taking care of your hearing health by wearing your hearing aids, so if you have not worn your aids for a while, it’s time to get them out again. Do make an appointment with us for a clean and service if required.

    Summer hearing health tips – where to find out more

    Read our advice on What to do if your hearing aids get wet

    Read our tips on Travelling with hearing loss

    Get in touch with us if you’d like your hearing aids serviced or for ear wax removal.

     

    Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

  • Gilly and Wendy at the Stoke Poges Dog Show

    Help in Hearing at Stoke Poges Dog Show

    Wendy and Gilly had a great time on Saturday sharing a stall with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People at the Stoke Poges Dog Show at their Village Fete. Help in Hearing sponsored the dog show, which was one of the highlights at the annual fete. There was also a car show, Fancy Dress and Irish dancing. The event was very well attended and the sun just about shone through, although it was so windy that a couple of gazebos went flying at the set-up stage!

    The six categories at the Dog Show were Cutest Puppy, Golden Oldie, Waggiest Tail, Musical Sits, Best Catch and the Dog the judge would most like to take home.

    Alfie was there with Gilly and he came away with two Help in Hearing Rosettes. Fairly judged by the Hearing Dogs volunteers, Alfie came 2nd in the Golden Oldies at the grand age of 11 years and he came 3rd in Musical Sits, as Gilly’s husband disco danced around the arena and encouraged Alfie to sit with quite a few treats. If Kevin had been there, we think Alfie would also have done better in the waggiest tail category!

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

    Photos from the Stoke Poges Dog Show, in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

     

  • Tinnitus Support Group summer art workshop

    Review of our tinnitus summer art workshop

    A big thank you to Debbie Perry for running our Tinnitus summer art workshop on Saturday at Liston Hall in Marlow. It was such a good morning, well attended, great fun and very relaxing.

    A tinnitus painting in progressTinnitus-related anxiety

    The workshop was based on Debbie’s recent research for her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at Bucks New University. She is particularly interested in art-based research into emotions and emotion regulation and has just finished some research on tinnitus-related anxiety.

     

    A painting expressing tinnitus from one of our group

    Emotional reactions to tinnitus

    The idea behind the workshop was to help the group identify and express their emotional reactions to Tinnitus, in order to accept and come to terms with the condition. Art and drawing, like other leisure pursuits, all help to distract from the Tinnitus, while any form of relaxation helps to calm the nervous system. This is itself helps to create a positive emotional experience to help see Tinnitus differently.

    Debbie PerryAbout Debbie

    Debbie is a member of the Marlow Tinnitus Group and a client at Help in Hearing in Marlow. She is dependent on two hearing aids and has experienced Tinnitus for a long time. Her journey has taken her from a very negative place to a positive one and at the workshop she shared her experience with the group. She used the opportunity to explain how her Tinnitus has become a signal to alert her to take time out. If she becomes stressed or anxious, her Tinnitus increases noticeably so it is time to deploy relaxation techniques that work for her.

    Feedback

    The feedback from the session, which included expressing both the negative and positive aspects of Tinnitus through drawing, colouring, stencilling and painting, was excellent. Here are a couple of the comments we have received so far:

     

    “It was very interesting – whilst I was doing art I was not aware of [my] tinnitus at all. I think if you’d have asked me out of 10 what it was at the start and at the end – the score would have been different!”

    Our summer art workshop in progress“Thank you for a very informative and interesting morning. Driving home, I felt very relaxed in my shoulders and my tinnitus was barely audible.”

    We look forward to seeing more members at our next session on Vedic Meditation at our Marlow practice on July 11th. Please see our Tinnitus Support Group page for details of future dates, topics and to book your place.

     

    Some more photos from our tinnitus summer art workshop

    Our tinnitus support group art workshop    A painting expressing tinnitus from one of our group

    The group listening to Debbie    A painting expressing tinnitus from one of our group

    A painting expressing tinnitus courtesy Debbie Perry
    courtesy @debbieperryart

      A painting expressing tinnitus from one of our group 

    One of our group with his drawing   Artwork from out summer art workshop

  • Getting rid of ear wax safely

    Getting rid of ear wax safely

    Ear wax (also known as cerumen), a bodily secretion that many of us could live without, is actually very useful for our health – in small amounts. As a natural cleanser that moves from the inside of the ear canal to the outside, ear wax traps and gathers dirt, debris, dead skin cells, dust and hair. Moreover, ear wax has antibacterial properties, keeping the ears lubricated and protecting them from various infections. In this article we look at getting rid of ear wax safely and the reasons why excess or impacted ear wax can become a problem.

    Why do some people have problems with ear wax?

    Our ENT ear wax microsuction equipment
    Our ENT ear wax microsuction equipment

    Everyone makes ear wax, but some people produce more than others. This is due to many reasons. The amount and quality of ear wax each person produces depends on their genetics. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that a high percentage of East Asians produce dry ear wax, whereas people of African or European ancestry tend to produce wet ear wax.

    On the other hand, people with small or narrow ear canals can also experience ear wax build-up, since these anatomical characteristics make it more difficult for ear wax to exit the ear canal naturally.

    People with hearing aids are also prone to ear wax build-up, since they have a foreign body in their ear every day which can lead to a blockage and impacted ear wax over time. For the same reason, it’s not recommended to use cotton swabs to remove excess ear wax.

    How do I know if I need to see a specialist?

    If you feel that your ears are full or you are in pain, then chances are that your ears are impacted. Other symptoms that suggest you are in need of ear wax removal include loss of hearing, ringing ears (tinnitus), itchy ear canals, discharges and/or smelly ears.

    If you have any of the above symptoms, you should book an ear wax removal appointment. It’s really important to see whether ear wax is causing pain or discomfort, since ear problems can also be caused by other conditions. The audiologist will look into your ears carefully and determine whether they are blocked by excessive ear wax.

    Ear wax microsuction

    Before and after ear wax microsuction
    Before and after ear wax removal with microsuction

    If ear wax removal is necessary, then there are many options. In some cases, irrigation (removal by water) works well. However, irrigation does not always dislodge the entirety of the ear wax blockage, particularly if the ear canal is narrow. Microsuction is an alternative, innovative method of cleaning the ear canal, using a suction device guided by a microscopic camera. Microsuction is quick, safe and does not need pre-treatment. The audiologist will use a camera to navigate around the ear canal, safely removing the excess ear wax. In most cases, the blockage is removed in a few minutes.

    Cleaning your ears properly

    To prevent future problems with your ears, don’t stick anything inside them. Only use cotton swabs on the outside of your ear canal and if you feel uncomfortable, see an audiologist. More importantly, stay away from ear candles or any DIY remedies which are advertised as natural ear wax removal methods, since they can harm your ears.

    Getting rid of ear wax safely – where to find out more

    At Help in Hearing we generally offer microsuction but occasionally we carry out irrigation (water) or “dry removal” using a small probe. The method will depend on your specific history and condition of the ear. No GP referral is required. 

    Managed by qualified audiologists

    Only our carefully selected, fully qualified and experienced audiologists with additional training in aural microsuction ear wax removal will carry out ear wax microsuction.

    Please fill in our online form to request an ear wax removal appointment.

    Or read more about ear wax on our Ear Wax Management page.

  • Ongoing support from our team

    Audiologist team expands as Wendy Davies joins from Sivantos

    We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Wendy Davies to our audiology team. Wendy joins us from Sivantos, a leading manufacturer of innovative hearing aids where she held the position of National Sales & Audiology Manager. Selma Becker, MD of Help in Hearing welcomes Wendy to the team:

    Selma Becker, MD

    “We are thrilled that Wendy has joined us as an Audiologist and Ear Care Specialist. She has immense knowledge and industry experience, bringing a new dimension to our hearing care audiology team and the service we offer as our business continues to thrive.”

    Wendy initially trained as an audiologist and worked in the NHS for 15 years before joining Siemens (later Sivantos) in 2000 where she was responsible for training and hearing aid supply to the NHS. In 2007, Wendy was appointed Head of Audiology, extending her reach to also include private clinics. After completing an MBA in 2012, Wendy also gained responsibility for sales. Over the years she has also worked with R&D in the deployment of new technologies that revolutionised hearing aid features and client benefits.

    In her national audiology role Wendy became a regular and respected presenter on hearing aid technology at industry conferences worldwide. Her leadership role also included providing clinical support and technical education to the Falkland Islands and developing and implementing the new born hearing screening programme.

    Wendy Davies Audiologist“My first love has always been audiology”, said Wendy, “the opportunity to work with Selma’s team at Help in Hearing has allowed me to get back to grass roots, directly working with and helping people. I know that Selma offers clients the very best in aftercare to ensure they are getting maximum benefit from their aids and I very much want to be a part of this.”

    Wendy continued, “I find hearing aid technology extremely interesting – it has come such a long way since I started fitting hearing aids in 1985 and new functionalities and features are presented to us by all the manufacturers every year. This allows us to provide a great solution for everyone requiring support with their hearing based on their individual needs –there is no “one size fits all”. At Help in Hearing we have access to all the leading suppliers so we can find the right solution for all our clients.”

    Read Wendy’s regular column in our newsletter. 

  • What to expect at a hearing assessment

    What to expect at a hearing assessment

    With 11 million people in the UK having some level of hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is essential to enjoying healthy hearing for as long as possible. An audiologist is specially trained to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions that affect your hearing and so is skilled in carrying our hearing assessments. So what should you expect from an experienced audiologist at your hearing assessment?

    Conversation and compassion

    In addition to taking a thorough medical history, your audiologist should take the time during your hearing assessment to listen to your needs, find out if you have any concerns about your hearing and learn about your hopes and expectations for your hearing health.

    Comprehensive testing

    Comprehensive hearing test
    Comprehensive hearing test

    Next comes your actual hearing assessment, which is neither invasive nor painful. It starts with a physical examination of your outer ear using a special device called an otoscope, followed by an examination of the health of your middle ear using tympanometry.

    Then the hearing tests begin. These are carried out in a comfortable, controlled sound environment, such as an audiology booth. Your audiologist will assess your ability to hear tones played at different volumes and pitches, as well as your ability to understand speech against different levels of background noise.

    As everyone’s hearing health is different, your audiologist may need to carry out some additional tests during your hearing assessment to get a clearer idea of any hearing problems you may have, all of which are also non-invasive and painless.

    Personalised treatment

    Personalised treatment from your audiologist
    Personalised treatment from your audiologist

    The results of your tests will be fully explained during your hearing assessment so that you have a clear understanding of your hearing health. If your results reveal that you require treatment to improve your hearing, your audiologist will put together a treatment plan that works for your hearing needs, as well as your lifestyle and budget.

    Ongoing support

    Ongoing support from our team
    The Help in Hearing team

    Your relationship with your audiologist doesn’t end once you’ve had your hearing assessment and received treatment. For those who have experienced hearing loss, adjusting to life with hearing aids takes time. Follow-up appointments with your audiologist can provide you with the support and advice you need to enjoy your newfound healthier hearing.

    Hearing assessment – where to find out more

    If you are concerned about your hearing health or simply want peace of mind with a routine check-up of your hearing, Help in Hearing is on hand. Our experienced audiologists in Buckinghamshire are ready and waiting to give you a full hearing assessment.

    To book your appointment at our Farnham Common or Marlow clinic, fill in our online form or call us today on 0345 222 0579.

  • Selecting an audiologist

    What should you look for when selecting an audiologist?

    It is estimated that one in six people in the UK have hearing loss and fail to address the issue for up to ten years. That’s 10 million people who are not addressing their health! And it’s not an age related situation as 3.6 million people with hearing loss are of working age. Staggeringly just less than half (4.8 million people) wear hearing aids and less than 15% (1.4 million) use them regularly. Leaving 3.8 million people that are not addressing the issue, and trying to manage day to day with one of their senses underperforming. Like any other health situation such as sight, addressing hearing loss early ensures you can remedy the problem and continue to enjoy an active and full lifestyle. Research shows that ongoing stimulation of the cognitive functions allows the brain to keep engaged and maintain good memory and communication skills.

    If you are one of the majority that has sidestepped hearing issues and you’re ready to bring your hearing back in line, then you need to know what you should look for when selecting an audiologist. Below we highlight the key factors and choices you need to make. 

    Audiology experience

    The Help in Hearing team - independent, family run hearing care practice
    The Help in Hearing team: (Left to Right) Gilly, Kevin, Selma, Jan

    Your hearing is so complex that it is vital for a hearing assessment to be comprehensive and thorough. A consultation with an experienced audiologist is the first step on your journey.

    Hearing technology is advancing at great speed, but your hearing needs more than just technology. It also needs experience.

    At Help in Hearing we are a local, independent, family owned, hearing healthcare practice with a combined 50 years’ experience. We are proud to offer our clients unrivalled standards of professional hearing health care.

    Our friendly but highly professional approach has earned us life-long client relationships built on trust, reliability and continuity of care. Many have become friends and are self-proclaimed members of our Help in Hearing family. Our hearing care specialists have exceptional audiological knowledge and their experience in all aspects of hearing care is unrivalled. They are committed to ongoing and continuing education, frequently attending seminars, courses and trade shows to keep up with newest ideas and developments in the industry.

    Independent audiologist

    When you decide to seek services from independent audiologists, such as ourselves, you are looked after by professionals who are committed to best service, attention and solutions with access to products from a range of manufacturers. Our business exists entirely from recommendations and referrals from clients who have experienced our bespoke, personal but highly professional approach. The latest Which? report confirmed that the highest satisfactory score for hearing care providers was achieved by the smaller, independent local businesses, because to us “it’s personal.”

    Hearing health

    Hearing health is important to us
    Kevin with one of our clients

    Our hearing health should be equally as important as eye checks, dental checks and hearing checks and should become the norm from a very early age. We at Help in Hearing advise that hearing tests should be carried out regularly from early childhood through to our senior years.

    At Help in Hearing we understand that caring for your hearing health is just as important as caring for the rest of your overall health and wellbeing. By looking after all aspects of your hearing, ear care and hearing protection, we make sure you remain socially active, stay confident in your working environment and ascertain your continuing enjoyment of your hearing health.

    Listening

    An audiologist should listen to your story, establish your family history, find out any related medical information and understand your particular requirements.

    Evaluating

    Evaluating your hearing requirements will include a number of tests using state of the art diagnostic testing systems. You can’t know this on your own. You may think you are losing your hearing, but maybe you only need to have excess ear wax removed.

    Recommending

    Your hearing requirements are unique, so it’s important that a personal treatment plan is created for you that exactly matches your lifestyle, technology requirements and budget.

    After care

    Aftercare is very important
    Aftercare is very important to us

    Your audiologist should see you for as many follow-ups as necessary, to ensure that your new device is comfortable and as effective as possible. It is also helpful if the costs of your care can be spread across a hearing plan membership programme.

    Client Testimonials

    Client testimonials
    Make sure you get some recommendations from other clients

    Does your audiologist have good recommendations from other clients? Check out their website and ask to talk to other clients to find out what they think. Or look at online sites such as GroHawk where you can look at reviews. Some of the testimonials we’ve received from our clients:

    “Selma gave me the most intensive hearing test, much more sophisticated than at the chemist”

    “Selma went above and beyond the call of duty. It’s the personal touch that you just wouldn’t find in the high street.”

    “I got sick of seeing so called audiologists who sold me expensive hearing aids without explaining how to use them.”

    “I made a lot of mistakes in seeking help and wasting many thousands of dollars and pounds on people who were merely hearing aid salesman posing as audiologists.”

    “I recommend Selma to everybody, because not only is she brilliant but she knows how to break through that most insidious aspect of loss of hearing which I see all around me, denial that it is happening, born out of fear.”

    “No effort has been spared to ensure that my hearing aids have been adjusted to give me the maximum possible benefit.”

    Commitment to quality of hearing care

    Commitment to quality of hearing care

    At Help in Hearing, our commitment to quality of care is unfaltering. We give you as much time as you need and never give up on anyone. Our aim is to help you maintain your hearing health and enjoy life to the full. We ask our clients to rate our service and are very proud to receive an overall score of 94% from our client feedback surveys to date.

    Selecting an audiologist – For us, it’s personal.

    If you’re based in the Buckinghamshire, UK area, and would like to talk to our experienced audiologists or come in for a thorough hearing assessment, please get in touch either by email or via our website form. You can also give us a ring on 0345 222 0579.

     

  • March hearing technology trial

    March Technology Trial

    Make the month of March memorable and trial the latest hearing technology

    Throughout March we are offering you the opportunity to personally trial the latest hearing aid technology.

    Try the new hearing technology throughout March

    At our Technology Days in November we unveiled a host of new hearing aid advances. In case you were unable to attend our events, or have not been able to visit us again since, we thought we would turn March into a memorable month when you can test out the options and, with our help, see what would suit you best.

    Trial the latest hearing technologyAdvice on the right hearing solution for you

    The wealth of choice is almost overwhelming, so our role as independent hearing consultants is to help guide you to the most appropriate solution. Even the best technology needs the support and experience of a healthcare professional, to ensure the most successful outcome for your individual hearing needs. With our dedicated ongoing aftercare, we guarantee that whatever choice is made, it is the right one for you.

    New hearing products available to try

    Book now and you can choose from the new generation Marvel by Phonak which offers true hands-free calls, or the new-look slimline Styletto hearwear by Sivantos. Then there’s the new custom Oticon OPN aid that uses an app to monitor your health and the Starkey Livio device which has a foreign language translation facility, plus motion sensors to monitor falls.

    Book your dedicated free trial appointment now

    Book any time in March to trial this new aid technology in our Farnham Common or Marlow hearing clinics. Call our Freephone number to make an appointment: 0345 222 0579

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Enhance your hearing, life is worth listening to

  • Hearing loss in young people

    Why hearing loss is becoming more common in young people

    We accept that hearing loss is something we may have to deal with as we get older. However, a growing number of young people are now reporting hearing loss to some degree. The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.1 billion people aged between 12 and 35 are at risk of losing their hearing. Below are a few of the problems causing hearing loss in young people, and how we can prevent it.

    Modern technology

    With the rise of modern technology, including personal listening devices, stereo systems, and surround-sound cinema, young people today are being constantly exposed to loud noises. Prolonged exposure to loud music is known to cause tinnitus and even permanent hearing loss. To prevent damage, turn down the volume on your musical devices and consider wearing earplugs to live music events.

    Alcohol

    Studies have shown that alcohol may inhibit your middle ear’s acoustic reflex, which tells your muscles to contract in response to loud noise. The less sensitive your acoustic reflex, the more at risk you are of damaging your hearing. To prevent this, consider reducing your alcohol consumption when you know you will be exposed to loud noise, such as at a live music event.

    Noise pollution

    Young people are reigniting city centre living. Whilst this is having positive consequences for the vibrancy of our cities, noise pollution is also on the increase. From traffic and construction work to community events, city centre living is a hazard for young residents’ hearing. Even living next door to a noisy dog can put you at risk. To prevent hearing loss, plant bushes and trees around your home to block out noise. Wear earplugs at night to give your ears a reprieve. Alternatively, invest in soundproof insulation to keep the city noise outside.

    Going forward

    There are many things you can do to prevent hearing loss in young people in our noisy, modern world. Going forward, ensure you get regular hearing check-ups. Identifying a problem early on is vital to avoid permanent hearing loss.

    If you do notice a decline in your hearing, consider seeking advice about hearing aids. Studies suggest that attitudes toward hearing aids are becoming more positive. Hearing aids are no longer associated with seniors or being slow. In fact, 60% of young people now say they “would not hesitate to use them, if needed” to solve their hearing problems for good.

    Hearing loss in young people – where to find out more

    If you’d like to find out more about how to protect your hearing, visit our Hearing Protection page. 

    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, should you need something urgent for a one off event. We also supply customised swim moulds. If you’d like to book an appointment to discuss your hearing or have your hearing tested, please fill in our online form.