• Open Week Hearing Clinic

    Open Week hearing clinic 23rd – 30th October 2017

    Limited places available, please call to secure your appointment Call 01753 642687 (evening appointments available)

    We are holding an Open Week hearing clinic in our Farnham Common practice and would love to see you and your friends. Come along for a free hearing check, hearing aid servicing & an introduction to micro-suction wax removal.

    Bring a friend

    Why not bring along a friend or relative who may also be experiencing a hearing loss and need our help? We would be pleased to conduct a free hearing check for them. If they go on to make a purchase with us you will receive a thank you voucher worth £25.

    NEW customers

    If you are experiencing hearing problems, there has never been a better time to take action. The sooner you take the first step to better hearing, the sooner you’ll enjoy the benefits of not missing out. Join us for a complimentary hearing check during our Open Week hearing clinic.

    Any concerns or questions

    Our audiologists Selma and Kevin will be available to talk to you if you have any hearing issues or concerns and need some professional reassurance.

    TRIAL the latest hearing technology

    Find out about the latest advances in hearing aid technology from the discreet hidden Lyric to the latest direct connectivity Bluetooth hearing aids. We are offering all Open Week visitors a free two week trial.

    Hearing aid batteries and consumables

    Stock up on any consumables you may need.

    Refreshments available with our compliments.

     

  • Date ideas for hearing loss

    Top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss

    Dating with hearing loss can be different than being in a “hearing” relationship – but there are some things that can make it easier. For example, picking the right places to go for your date. This article gives you our top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss.

    If your partner has hearing loss, it’s important that when choosing somewhere to go on a date, each person is comfortable in the location. There’s no point in going somewhere noisy, busy or complicated, as it brings many more challenges to those with a hearing loss. A date is meant to be time spent getting to know the other person, while having fun. With background noise, or too many people or distractions, your partner with hearing loss will have a difficult time enjoying the experience.

    So how do you pick somewhere to go on a date, where both of you is comfortable?

    Top 5 date ideas for couples with hearing loss:

    1. Picnic in a park, stroll along a river or a wander around a lake

    Picnic in a park

    Enjoy a tranquil walk around a scenic park or river. This is a perfect opportunity to get to know your date, in a quiet area with beautiful scenery. Make the location even more romantic by having a picnic or just find a nice bench to sit on and talk. Or you can walk down to a local duck pond and have a picnic! You can enjoy each other’s company and the wildlife gives you plenty to talk about. Just being in nature is a great conversation builder.

    2. A quiet bar or restaurant

    Quiet bar or restaurant

    Research beforehand into quiet bars or restaurants near you, with small rooms with good lighting or acoustics. This gives you the opportunity to have a drink or a bite to eat while enjoying a conversation with your date.

    Noisy restaurants are a dating pet-peeve of ours! In the UK, we have Action on Hearing Loss’ new campaign ‘Speak Easy’, to encourage quieter dining experiences. I’m hoping that noisy restaurants will soon be a thing of the past! But until this happens, it’s important to research into where you will be going to eat. There’s no point in going somewhere dark and noisy and not being able to understand one another. You don’t want to resort to using your phone light to lipread each other!

    3. Mini-golf

    A game of mini-golf

    Mini-golf, or pitch and putt, is a simple, easy sport that is perfect for a couple with hearing loss. You don’t get too far away from each other when playing, so it’s still possible to talk and hear one another. It is also a great activity to bring out some competitiveness in each other!

    4. A quiet night at home

    Quiet night at home

    This may be the most obvious choice, but there are many ways to make it fun. Why not dress up smart, cook a meal, or order a takeaway while watching a movie? You can also play board games to bring out the competitiveness in each other. The home is a perfect place for a date because you can usually control the noise levels and make it as romantic or fun as you’d like.

    5. Aquariums/Museums

    Aquariums or museums

    Aquariums are so vibrant and visual with many wonderful sea creatures to watch. It’s also usually quiet – as are other museums. Why not check out what’s in your area and learn or experience something new with your partner!

    Hearing loss – how we can help

    With 50 years combined experience, we at Help in Hearing are proud to offer our clients unrivalled standards of professional hearing health care. We love what we do and our passion is to help change people’s lives.

    If you think you need a hearing test, please give us a call on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form. Find out more about our hearing tests.

  • Paul Burgess of 10cc talks about hearing loss

    Paul Burgess of 10cc talks about the Phonak Belong Rechargeable

    Paul Burgess is an English rock drummer, most famous for being the drummer with the English band 10cc since 1973.

    We recently fitted Paul with the Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids. These are the first hearing aids to feature a specifically designed built-in-lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides 24 hours of hearing with one simple 3-hour charge. If you’re in a rush, you can rely on a short 30-minute charge to give you up to 6 hours of full performance. You don’t have to worry about batteries any more!

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

    Watch the video (has subtitles) to hear Paul talking about his hearing loss and how he is getting on with his Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids.

     

     

    Phonak Belong Rechargeable Hearing Aids

    Read more on the Phonak Belong Rechargeable hearing aids page. To make an appointment to discuss your suitability for this type of hearing aid, please give us a call on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form.

     

    *Photo of Paul Burgess by ChrisPsi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19429633

  • What is earwax?

    What is earwax? And how not to clean your ears

    What is earwax? We all have it, but nobody really wants to talk about it. Ear wax.

    Ear wax is the everyday name for the waxy yellow substance in your ear canals. It’s medical term is cerumen, and believe it or not, it does actually have a function. Produced by the sebum glands under the hair follicles at the entrance of the ear canal, cerumen not only protects the sensitive skin lining your ear canals, but it also helps to keep your ear canals clean, lubricated, free from bacteria and fungus, and most importantly, keeps foreign objects and substances like excess water from entering the canal.

    Never put anything in your ears

    Never put cotton buds in your ears

    This seems simple enough, but this is the number one mistake people make when cleaning their ears or trying to clean an obstruction. If you think your ears are obstructed, contact a specialist and do not try to remove it yourself!

    How NOT to clean your ears

    The ears are an amazing part of our anatomy and are fairly self-sufficient. Your ears do a great job of keeping themselves clean and functioning properly, so there should rarely be a need for human intervention.

    However, things happen and sometimes we must step in. Just remember – as tempting as it may be – don’t stick anything in your ear canals! This includes cotton buds. These are great for applying make-up or small cleaning projects around the house, but NEVER PUT THEM IN YOUR EARS.

    1. Don’t go in after the wax yourself

    The best way to clean excess earwax is to gently wipe the visible earwax from the entrance of the ear canal using a moist flannel or tissue. Do not put anything into the ear canal!

    2. Don’t use ear candles

    Ear candle

    The theory behind the ear candle treatment is that the heat creates a vacuum that pulls out ear wax (think sucking oxygen out of a bottle). The only problem with this treatment is that there is little evidence that a strong enough vacuum (if any) is created and also, there is a big risk for injury from the flame or hot wax.

    When to clean the ears and consult a specialist

    Some symptoms may seem more obvious than others, however these are all signs that your earwax should be removed or you should go to see a specialist audiologist.

    • Trouble hearing or sudden loss of hearing
    • Pain
    • Itching
    • Feeling that your ear canals are blocked
    • Dizziness
    • Ringing
    • Problem with balance *seek medical attention immediately

    Excess ear wax

    Excessive ear wax can be caused by a number of factors, and normally happens when the ear canal narrows. This narrowing of the canal can be the result of infection, certain skin disorders, or the body’s response to blockage. Indicators that your earwax production may be high include a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), trouble hearing, itching or pain in the ear canal.

    The best way to clean excess earwax is to gently wipe the visible earwax from the outer ear. Do not put anything in your ear!

    Ear blockage

    The most common reason to have your ears checked and earwax removed is blockage. Some of the main reasons for blockage are caused by bad habits, such as:

    • Pushing ear wax in with cotton buds
    • Frequent use of ear bud headphones, noise blockers or ear plugs
    • Hearing aid devices
    • Or one could just naturally be prone to earwax over-production

    If you have any problems with your ears, you should consult a specialist.

    Earwax – how we can help

    Here at Help in Hearing we offer an earwax microsuction service. Earwax microsuction is a procedure which uses gentle suction to remove excessive or troublesome ear wax. It is performed with the aid of a surgical microscope and a calibrated suction device, without the introduction of any materials or liquids. Ear wax microsuction is one of the safest, most effective, quickest and most comfortable methods of removing ear wax.

    We are now able to offer ear wax microsuction in the Bucks and Berks area. Find out more on our Ear Wax Microsuction page.

    If you have concerns about ear wax, please call 0845 222 0579 to book an appointment at the Farnham Common or Marlow practice.

  • Hearing Protection

    10 Changes Which Could Save Your Hearing

    Over 1.1 billion people around the world are affected by hearing loss, yet with some simple hearing protection steps, you can prevent some hearing loss. Here are some small changes you could make in your life to save your own hearing.

    1. What are your ears telling you?

    What are your ears telling you?

    Are you hearing rushing or whistling sounds in your head? If so this could be a sign you should allow your ears to have a day of peace and quiet, turn the volume down on radio and TV and your devices.

    2. In the ear headphones – use at 60% of maximum volume

    The 60-60 Rule

    The music coming through your in the ear headphones can be at levels of 100 to 115 decibels. To give you an idea of what this means, it’s the equivalent level to using a chainsaw or attending a rock concert and can cause major damage to your ears. Employ the 60:60 rule and continue to enjoy your music but listen at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.

    3. Wear head protection

    Wear Head Protection

    If your’re skiing, riding a bicycle, motorbike or playing sports where concussions are common, wear the proper protective head gear. Similarly if you work on a construction site and other dangerous environments, using protective headgear can help save your ears and more. This is because head injuries and skull fractures are common causes for inner ear hearing loss.

    4. Keep your ears warm

    Keep your ears warm

    In cold conditions less blood is circulated in the ears, and this can increase the risk of ear infections. A cold head may cause cramped muscles in the neck and a continuous tension of muscles in this area can lead to ear problems, such as tinnitus. Cold and wind can irritate the ear canal, which often causes pain in the outer part of the ear. Water in the ears can easily cause inflammation in cold conditions. Frostbite can quickly occur in the ears in sub-zero temperatures.

    5. Carry ear protection with you

    Carry ear protection

    There are many ways you can protect your ears, such as ear plugs, ear moulds, ear muffs, wadding, swimming ear plugs and so on. Make sure you carry ear protection with you if you know you’re going to a loud environment. Find out more about hearing protection at the Hear the World Foundation website.

    6. Keep a healthy lifestyle

    Keep a healthy lifestyle

    Smoking, medication, anxiety and an unhealthy lifestyle can be hard on your hearing. More than 450 drugs can damage hearing, while stress or anxiety can cause tinnitus problems. Smoking has also been linked to hearing problems. Make healthy lifestyle choice for healthy ears.

    7. Wear headphones

    Wear headphones

    The EU standard stipulates a limit of 100 decibels for MP3 players, however many devices are louder than this and further increase the danger of hearing damage. Instead of these, choose noise-cancelling headphones, or muff-type headphones, which block out background noise and allow you to still hear your music at lower volume levels.

    8. Is your workout damaging your hearing?

    Is your workout damaging your hearing?

    Cardio exercise is beneficial to your overall health and ears but be wary of the noise levels during your workout. Music and booming bass designed to pump you up, may be breaking down your ears. Ask your trainer to turn the music down to a safe level (there are apps which can be used to measure the volume) or pack a pair of earplugs in your gym bag.

    9. How loud is your daily life?

    How loud is your daily life?

    Assess your noise lifestyle – do you work in an office (40 decibels)? Do you have a baby (110 decibels)? Or do you enjoy going to football games (117 decibels)? If you know the common noises in your life and their decibel levels, you can assess when your ears need a break. Sounds which are louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. The maximum exposure time at 85 decibels is 8 hours, but at 110 decibels, the maximum exposure time is 1 minute 29 seconds, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Visit this NHS page to find out more about exposure to noise and hearing protection.

    10. Don’t put up with noise at work

    Don't put up with noise at work

    If you’re experiencing noise at work, talk to your human resources (HR) department or your manager and ask for advice on reducing the noise and getting hearing protection.

    Help with Hearing Protection

    At Help in Hearing, we can advise you on the most appropriate hearing protection, from custom made solutions, in the ear monitors, electronic noise suppressors for those that shoot or a non-customised product such as ER20’s, should you need something urgent for a one off event. We also supply customised swim moulds. Please email us or call us on 0345 222 0579 to discuss your hearing protection.

  • Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    It is a fact that most hearing impaired people, who gradually lose their hearing, wait between 10 and 15 years to address the problem, usually egged on by a partner or close friend, who have become increasingly exasperated and frustrated with the television being too loud getting no response to their questions. This article looks at some signs you may need a hearing test, and what you can do about it.

    It’s also often thought that hearing loss only affects the elderly, yet more and more, it is happening to young people as well. Hearing loss among the young is most commonly talked about when it comes to personal music players and loud music. Being exposed to loud sounds on a regular basis is bad for your hearing (high frequency sounds are particularly damaging, so it’s worth getting good-quality headphones that pick up on bass well). It’s generally viewed as wise by audiologists to lower your music volume, but there are other potential causes for hearing difficulties, from wax buildup (known as cerumen impaction) to genetic factors. See the WHO (World Health Organisation) report on hearing loss among young adults and children.

    Signs of hearing loss

    So what are the signs of possible hearing loss – and what should you do about it? We’ve compiled a list of nine signs, if you have any of these, you should have a hearing test to establish if there is permanent damage and what is the best way to address it.

    You keep asking people to repeat themselves

    If your new favorite word is “Sorry?”, you may have hearing loss. This can be embarrassing or irritating for both you and the speaker, who may have to keep repeating what they’ve said.

    You can’t hear well in crowded environments

    Noisy Restaurant

    Do you find it difficult to keep track of conversations at parties, or in crowded cafes or restaurants? Maybe you think your hearing is fine because you can hear perfectly well in a quiet room, but if you’re in an environment where there are lots of other noises and interference, a poorly functioning ear will find it harder to sort out and understand information.

    You keep turning up the volume

    Turning up the volume

    If your partner keeps complaining that the TV is too loud, this may be a sign that you’ve lost “normal” perceptions of sound and volume. Or if you put the subtitles on all the programmes while you’re watching TV because you don’t catch all the information.

    Ringing in the ears

    Tinnitus

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is what we all experience after exposure to particularly loud noises (rock concerts are notorious causers of tinnitus). You might not experience this as ringing, it might be a buzzing, hissing, or other sound that relates to the malfunction of the inner ear. Tinnitus of any kind is considered as a warning sign of potential damage to the hearing mechanism. Tinnitus occurs when the brain becomes hyper-aware of the fact that it’s not picking up on enough sound on certain frequencies. If it continues way after the original loud noise or doesn’t seem to be connected to any event in particular, you should get it checked.

    Even if your ears aren’t ringing, if you regularly work or play in loud places you should be getting checked regularly. Exposure to loud volume noises is a common cause of hearing loss, so better safe than sorry.

    You don’t know what direction sounds are coming from

    Asking people to repeat themselves

    One of the signs of hearing loss is the inability to pinpoint where sounds are coming from, particularly in crowded places. It may seem strange to hear a noise apparently coming from nowhere in particular when everyone else assures you it’s the front door or your phone, but it’s part of having limited hearing.

    You have difficulty hearing women or children

    If you’ve lost hearing in a particular frequency, you may find it particularly difficult to hear women and children, who naturally speak at a higher frequency than many men. This could be part of normal age-related hearing loss, where higher frequencies are often the first to go (a phenomenon known as presbycusis), and it should be checked and corrected sooner rather than later.

    You’ve had an ear infection or ear wax build-up

    If you’ve had an ear infection, or repeated ones, your GP might have told you to have a hearing test to make sure the infections haven’t damaged your inner ear. If you go for a hearing test, let the audiologist know if you’ve had an infection previously, so they have all the facts.

    You also need to pay attention to your earwax. If you have a history of earwax blockage, or notice that your inner ear is itchy or that wax keeps draining out of it, you may become aware of a hearing loss which can be easily corrected.

    You’re experiencing vertigo (dizziness)

    Vertigo

    The inner ear is responsible for balance, which means that unexplained vertigo or dizziness is another sign that something may have gone wrong in your ears. If you experience dizziness when you’re sitting still on level ground or for no reason, an ear check would be wise.

    You feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying

    Exhausted and stressed out trying to hear

    This is an interesting emotional consequence: hearing specialists report that people who’ve started losing their hearing but don’t realise it often find themselves tired after conversations, because they’ve had to work so hard to hear what’s being said. This constant strain may make you irritable with other people, having to ask them to speak more clearly, yet defiantly insist everybody’s mumbling on purpose, making you feel upset about being left out.

    If that’s your experience, please see an audiologist and have your hearing checked.

    Hearing Clinics Covering Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow and Maidenhead

    If you live in the Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow or Maidenhead areas, please talk to us if you think you may have a hearing loss. We will arrange an appointment where we will test your hearing and advise the most suitable course of action.

    At Help in Hearing we carry out hearing tests in a friendly and comfortable environment using the latest testing equipment. Hearing tests require concentration but are not painful. We will discuss your lifestyle and medical history related to your ears and hearing in depth.

    Contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

  • Hearing Aid Myths

    Common hearing aid myths

    Technology is changing at a very fast pace, and it’s hard to keep up—with computers, with cell phones, and with hearing aids. If you’ve had experience with hearing aids in the past, or even if you’ve just heard about previous generations of hearing technology, it’s very likely that you have some misconceptions. Read our common hearing aid myths below to find out the truth.

    Hearing Aid Myths

    Let’s say you want to buy a phone, but your concept of a telephone includes a rotary dial: you’d be operating under some outdated ideas, wouldn’t you? The same holds true with hearing aids. Technology has changed a lot—even in just the last five years. If you are considering hearing aids, the best thing you can do is to dismiss any pre-existing ideas you have about hearing technology and then do your research with a clean slate. Here’s a bit of myth-busting to get you started.

    Hearing Aid Myth 1. Hearing aids are only for old people – or they’ll make me feel old

    People think having hearing aids means that you’re old, but that’s just not the case anymore. In fact, about two-thirds of those with hearing loss are younger than 64 years old. Hearing loss has many causes and affects people of all ages.

    Wearable assistive technology is becoming more and more prevalent across age groups, as well. From wrist-bands that track your movement to in-ear Bluetooth devices to Google Glass, people are wearing technology for all kinds of reasons, making hearing aids a bit more status quo.

    Hearing Aid Myth 2. Hearing aids are big, bulky, and unsightly

    Today’s hearing aids are considerably smaller and more discreet than ever before, and they come in a wide range of colours, just like watches, handbags, and mobile phones. There are even hearing aids that can be placed completely within the ear canal so as to be totally invisible.

    Selma Becker, owner and senior audiologist at Help in Hearing, agrees that the big, bulky hearing aid is a thing of the past. “Definitely people have this misconception: they think of the brown banana-shaped hearing aid, the huge BTE [behind-the-ear] hearing aid,” she says. “Things have changed so much: hearing aids are stylish; they’re discreet; they’re easy to use.”

    Hearing Aid Myth 3. Hearing aids are only for people with severe hearing loss

    Anyone who’s seen fuzzy newsprint spring into focus when they put on a pair of reading glasses can tell you that vision correction isn’t just for people with severe myopia. In the same way, hearing aids can greatly assist people with mild to moderate hearing loss, and many models are intended for just that. Even with mild hearing loss, you may be missing out on conversations with grandchildren, the sounds of birds singing, elements of your favorite music, and more.

    It’s also important to correct hearing loss when it first begins, for a variety of reasons. Treating hearing loss isn’t just cosmetic. We hear with our brains, we don’t really hear with our ears. The ears just turn the sound into a signal that the brain can interpret. Controlling our hearing pathways also seems to help with memory, helps people connect socially, and all of those factors contribute to ageing in a more graceful way. It lets you live your life on your own terms. Also the longer a person has gone with hearing loss, the more rehabilitation and “re-forging of neural pathways” they need in order to accurately translate sound into meaning again.

    Hearing Loss Myths 

    Hearing Aid Myth 4. Hearing aids make everything sound too loud

    This is another thing that has changed. Thirty years ago, people were always fiddling with their hearing aids, turning them up, turning them down. A lot of times it was an all-or-nothing thing. But nowadays, hearing aids can be adjusted in extremely minute increments. Many have a variety of programs you can use for various situations: some will adjust automatically, and some have remote controls for discrete adjustment. It’s important to continue working with your audiologist until you’ve got the right fit.

    Hearing Aid Myth 5. Hearing aids can’t help with my tinnitus

    Nowadays, some hearing aids come with a special tinnitus program that provides background noise or other features to help minimise the effects of tinnitus. By reducing the effect of the tinnitus while simultaneously increasing hearing, especially through digital streaming to both ears, this technology can make an enormous difference.

    Tinnitus

    Hearing Aid Myth 6. I only need one hearing aid because I only have hearing loss in one ear

    Sound comes from every direction. Certainly, wearing a hearing aid in one ear will help in a one to one and quiet situation. However, most people lose their hearing in both ears and in order to maintain the balance of sound, which allows the brain to recognise where sound is originating from, we need to wear hearing aids in both ears. These advanced digital hearing systems stream constant messages between each other, measuring and calculating sound in real time, making it much easier to understand speech in really challenging and noisy background situations.

    Hearing Aid Myth 7. Hearing aid representatives are untrustworthy

    As with any professional you choose, from solicitor to dentist, you should always make sure you feel completely comfortable with your hearing care professional. Some things to ask about include:

    • Professional accreditations: Read more about buying hearing aids privately in this Which? report
    • Philosophy and approach to treating hearing loss
    • Professional experience
    • Commitment to your community
    • Particular experience with the kind of hearing loss you have
    • References

    Hearing Aid Myth 8. Follow ups aren’t necessary; they’re just a way for audiologists to charge me more money.

    On the contrary, follow-up visits are the only way to make sure your hearing aids are adjusted properly and working optimally. Using state-of-the-art equipment for example, we can tell how well the hearing aid is performing and measure what is coming out of the hearing aid and make adjustments as necessary. Ongoing aftercare is vital to ensure you are getting the best possible hearing quality from your hearing aids. I can’t tell you the number of clients who have come to us from some of the national chains where there was no after-care and the client abandoned their hearing aids after a few weeks because there wasn’t an opportunity to go back and have them adjusted. Our ongoing aftercare is part of the price of the hearing aids, and includes follow up visits from the initial supply and fitting of the hearing aids to six monthly check ups, annual reviews and a walk in cleaning/repair service at our Farnham Common practice.

    Hearing Aid Myth 9. Hearing aids will work perfectly right away, like putting on a pair of glasses

    Treating loss of hearing is quite a bit different than treating loss of vision, and it almost always takes a couple of sessions to get things just right. This is partly a matter of making sure the hearing aids are adjusted correctly, but also of re-training the brain to interpret and prioritise sounds. We’ve noticed that the biggest surprise for new hearing aid users is how noisy the world is!

    Audiologists use specific techniques to help minimise the surprise of hearing again. Usually, with a first fitting, we don’t set the hearing aids to the full prescription, instead allowing patients to adjust incrementally. It can take about three visits to get the hearing aids completely dialed in. People have to retrain their brains to filter out some of those loud sounds and also re-learn what sounds require their attention. The ticking of the clock and the hum of the fridge are sounds they may not have heard for a while, and it takes time to train the brain to ignore them again.

    After a while, though, the important sounds stand out. People can hear their grandchildren, not just pretend that they did, they can hear the impact sound when they hit their golf ball, but it all takes time to adjust to these sounds.

    Hearing Aids

    Hearing Aid Myth 10. If I don’t like my hearing aids, I’m stuck with them. It’s a big decision and I won’t know if I’m making the right one until it’s too late

    Through a process of detailed testing and examination, we make sure that the right hearing product is chosen for you. We then work with you to make sure that the chosen product is right, by having regular reviews. At Help in Hearing, we’re there to provide whatever suport you need after the initial purchase of your hearing aids. On many occasions we find that a client’s hearing aid needs adjusting or reprogramming to suit different circumstances and environments, and this is all part of the service we offer, for the life of your hearing aids. This type of ongoing service and support is not always available from the national chains, even though they may seem cheaper at first glance.

    Hearing aids – How to find out more

    If you’d like to discuss whether you need hearing aids, please contact us (see links below) to discuss your needs. We can carry out a full hearing test at a time to suit you. Our hearing clinics in Farnham Common and Marlow are fully equipped with the latest cutting edge testing facilities, thus enabling us to carry out entirely accurate hearing assessments, and consequently advise on the best possible solution, should you wish to proceed with our recommendation.

    To get in touch, please email us or call us on 0345 222 0579. Alternatively please fill our our contact form.

  • Which? Hearing Aid Survey

    Independent hearing care providers come out top in Which? survey

    Independent hearing care providers have again come out top in the latest Which? hearing aid survey, published by the consumer magazine at the end of 2016. The findings follow a survey of 1,746 members of Which?, 568 of whom had bought hearing aids on the high street in the past five years, and show that those who used an independent provider (rather than one of the national chains) were more satisfied and more likely to recommend their audiologist to a friend.

    The findings mirror the results of a similar survey conducted by Which? in 2014, when once again the independent sector was more highly rated than the NHS.

    Independents Score 20/20

    In the 2016 survey, independent hearing aid providers gained a score of 5 out of 5 in all categories, gaining a maximum score of 20 out of 20. Categories scored were:

    1. Appointments/waiting time
    2. Products/pricing
    3. Staff/service
    4. Facilities

    The table below lists the various suppliers reviewed and their overall score out of 20 and appears courtesy of the BSHAA People magazine.

    Provider Total Score
    Independents 20
    Boots 16
    Hidden Hearing 16
    Amplifon 15
    Scrivens 13
    Specsavers 12

    Price of hearing aids

    The Which? report found that the average price paid for a pair of hearing aids was £3,000, but does point out that buying a hearing aid is not just a one-off transaction – regular aftercare and check-ups means that the relationship with a hearing aid provider can last for years.

    After-Care and Service

    “The difference between a good and a bad hearing aid is not usually the device itself, since most hearing aids come from just a handful of manufacturers. It’s more to do with the professional fit and service given by the provider. It can take time to fit and adjust a hearing aid correctly. Without a patient and attentive fitting service, you could get frustrated and give up on your aid, consigning it to the back of a drawer forever,” says Which? on its website version of the report.

    Read the full Which? Hearing Aid Survey

    You can read the full Which? Hearing Aid Survey on their website. If you are a member of Which? you can log in and read the whole article. Non-members need to sign up for a £1 trial to read the whole survey although there is some information and a video available to non-members.

    Help in Hearing – How can we Help You?

    Help in Hearing is a local, independent, family-run business specialising in all aspects of hearing care. 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 hearing care and hearing protection, we are helping clients to remain socially active, remain confident in their working environment, and prevent the risk of isolation, loneliness and potentially even help to reduce the risks of dementia.

    With our personal and friendly approach we provide an on-going professional after care service which is second to none, including follow up visits from the initial supply and fitting of the hearing aids to six monthly check ups, annual reviews and a walk in cleaning/repair service at the Farnham Common practice.

    To get in touch, please email us or call us on 0345 222 0579. Alternatively please fill our our contact form.

  • Highs and Lows – Understanding Frequency and Pitch

    For many people with hearing loss, hearing protection is a big deal. It’s important to protect whatever level of hearing ability you still have. In this article we discuss the effects of frequency and pitch.

    What are Frequency and Pitch?

    “Frequency” and “pitch” are common terms in any discussion about hearing, but what exactly are they?

    You probably already understand the basics. For example, “I eat biscuits frequently” means that your biscuit-eating occurrences come close together. With sound, “frequency” refers to how close together the sound waves are.

    Sound is created by vibration. Tap a tuning fork against the table and its tines vibrate, causing a sound wave to move away from it. Sound waves can come close together (high frequency) or further apart (low frequency). Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz), where 1 Hz = 1 vibration / second. (Learn more about the science here.)

    High Pitch and Low Pitch

    The sensation of a sound wave’s frequency is called pitch. A high-frequency sound, such as a dog whistle, is called “high-pitched,” and a low-frequency sound, like a bass drum, is “low-pitched.” Some pitches, or frequencies, are easier for humans to hear than others. Human hearing in the normal range can detect sounds of frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz; dogs, between 50 and 45,000 Hz. Dolphins can detect frequencies as high as 200,000 Hz!

    Speech includes a mix of low- and high-pitched sounds:

    • Vowel sounds like a short O, as in the word “hot,” have low frequencies (250 to 1,000 Hz)
    • Consonants like S, H, and F have higher frequencies (1,500 to 6,000 Hz)

    Looking at an audiogram, you can see how a person’s ability to hear these sounds will affect the ability to understand language. We will look at this topic in a later blog so you can see how human perception of frequency matters in rating hearing protective devices.

  • Hearing loss and the link to dementia

    Love, Marriage and Mishearing

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

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

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

    Set Expectations – Educate Your Partner

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

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

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

    Make a Plan

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

    Communicate About Communicating

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

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

    Take Joy

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

    Preventing mishearing

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

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

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

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