The World Health Organization (WHO) state that around 466million people worldwide have a disabling hearing loss and 34 million of these are children.
In the UK, those with hearing loss are easily able to access hearing health care and hearing aids but 80% of people with hearing loss live in low or middle income countries and are unable to afford to purchase hearing aids. Additionally, hearing care can be scarce with few audiologists available to test hearing and provide assistance.
Untreated hearing loss can affect development of speech and language and the ability to obtain and keep a job, potentially leading to poverty.
There are several charities who provide hearing support to developing countries and Help in Hearing have been collecting unwanted hearing aids for two charities for a number of years. The Lions Club and The Starkey Foundation, both of whom collect unwanted hearing aids, refurbish them and send them to developing countries to be fitted to those with hearing loss.
We recently sent this large box of unwanted devices to The Starkey Foundation.
Founded in 1984, The Starkey Foundation mission is to make hearing healthcare service accessible for people around the world. To date, they have helped those with hearing loss in over 100 countries.
The Foundation support the instigation of hearing centres and provide training for local hearing health workers in how to identify hearing loss and fit the donated hearing aids.
Hearing aids can be donated by sending them direct to The Lions or The Starkey Foundation clearly marked as “donated hearing aids”.
For The Lions Club, go to their website www.lionsclubs.org to find your local donation site or for The Starkey Foundation, post to The Starkey Foundation, Starkey Technologies, William F Austin House, Pepper Rd, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 5BX
An App of mobile application is software designed to work on a Smart Phone or tablet. These days there is an App for almost everything – including hearing aids.
All hearing aid manufacturers provide an App, which are usually free of charge, for their range of hearing aids. The Apps are either updated, or a new one created, when the manufacturer releases new hearing aid technology.
The main function of a hearing aid App is to work as a remote control to adjust the hearing aid volume, to change the program, or to start streaming to another device such as a TV streamer.
The App will adjust the volume of both hearing aids at the same time and is an easy and discreet way to make adjustments. Firstly, you can see the changes you make to volume without having to find the control on the hearing aid behind/in your ear and secondly, everyone will assume you are using your phone and will not guess you are actually adjusting your aids.
To install an App on your Smart phone, go to the Apple or Google store depending whether your phone is iPhone of an Android. Check which App you require. The name of the App may be in your hearing aid instruction book, if not give us a call and we will advise you.
Download the App and follow the instructions to pair the App with your hearing aids. You only need to pair them the first time, after that they will automatically connect to the App when you open it.
Most of the Apps have more functions that changing the volume and program.
This setting allows your phone to act as a remote microphone. This can be useful in groups, at meetings or listening to lectures. Activate the remote microphone setting in the App, give your phone to the person you want to listen to and their voice will be streamed directly into your hearing aids.
(*Hearing aid and phone dependent)
The App will display the battery status of your hearing aids letting you know if the battery needs to be replaced/charged
Find My Hearing Aid*
If you lose your hearing aid, this clever feature will show you on a map where your hearing aids last connect to your App and possible where you lost it. (*Hearing aid and phone dependent)
The App records the amount of conversation you partake in through the day. It can also show the listening environments and the amount of noise you have experienced
This feature uses sensors in the hearing aid to detect if you have fallen. It triggers an alert to family of friends to notify them that assistance is required.
Several Apps allow the adjustment of the overall sound quality of your hearing aid. This allows you to make some fine-tuning adjustments in different situations such as adjusting the noise level or adjusting high frequencies.