• Remember, dry hearing aids work best

    It’s hot, hot, hot – in a heatwave it’s a good idea to keep your hearing aids as dry and clean as possible. All electronic devices are vulnerable to humidity and water.  At Help in Hearing we have a range of options for storing and drying your aid at night so that any moisture they may have collected during the day will evaporate.

    You can choose from a small box or tub with a drying tablet, to an electronic dehumidifier – literally a hearing aid dryer and sanitiser –  it is an inexpensive way of keeping your aids in good condition, even in a heatwave. 

    Following a night-time routine will help to extend the life of your hearing aids and keep them working efficiently, all year round. Before you go to bed each night wipe the entire device with a dry, dust-free cloth and then pop it into the drying box. Drying can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours. The next day you’re all set with a fresh, dry and set of hearing aids.  

    For more information or help on using a drying box, please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

  • Wearing a Mask with a Hearing Aid

    As it is now compulsory  to wear face coverings when entering shops and supermarkets in England, we are not surprised that hearing aid wearers are having a tough time. Not only is lipreading impossible but if the aid sits behind the ear, you risk losing your aid when you take the mask off, as it often catches on the elastic.

    Our audiologist Wendy Davies dons her mask on this video to give a quick demo of a useful technique

    There are a number of mask choices now available and some even have plastic windows to help with lipreading, although our audiologists don’t wear these as they are not clinically effective enough. Here are some recommended options for anyone who also wears a hearing aid:

    Tie Masks 

    Make sure to tie the straps high up on the head and low on the neck. Hearing aids will not be obstructed.

    When removing mask, untie the bottom first then the top to avoid knocking off hearing aids.

     

    Masks with elastic bands

    Use a mask extender. It connects the mask bands to avoid contact with the ears.

    An extender can be made out of a paperclip, shoelace or ribbon. 

    N95 masks

    To avoid elastic band contact with hearing aids, place the top elastic band high on the head and the bottom elastic band on the neck.

    When removing the mask, release the top band first and then slowly pull the bottom over the head, making sure hearing aids are secure.

    Masks with elastic and headwear

    You may also consider sewing two buttons on a hat or headband to help hearing aids stay secure on ears.

    When removing the mask, unfasten from one side first slowly by looping over the ear to avoid disrupting the hearing aid. Repeat the same process on the other side.

    Find My Hearing Aid

    If you do knock your hearing aids off when wearing a mask, all aids now have a “Find My Hearing Aid” feature. It will indicate whether you are getting closer or further away from the device, even if your hearing aid is lost outdoors and runs out of battery charge,  GPS on the phone will show where the hearing aid was when it was last connected.

    If all else fails and you do lose your aid, it may be covered under your household insurance. We always recommend declaring new devices on your policy.  You can insist on seeing your existing audiologist and can ask for a cash settlement if you are making a claim. We would be very happy to advise you.  For more information or help with your hearing aids, please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

  • An App for everything – even Hearing Aids

    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.

    Refer to out How To Guides https://www.helpinhearing.co.uk/how-to-guides/  for detailed steps  on pairing your hearing aids.

    Remote Microphone*

    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)

    Battery Level

    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)

    Hearing Fitness

    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

    Fall Alert*

    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.

    Sound Adjustment

    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.

    For more information about Apps, please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

  • 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.

    Trial the latest hearing technology

    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.

  • 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 on 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.

  • Santa Fun Run group shot

    Santa Fun Run – We did it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    There’s still time to enter our competition

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

    Wendy x

  • Training for the Santa Fun Run at Dorney Lake

    Santa Fun Run – Only 1 week to go!

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

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

    Santa Fun Run at Eton Dorney Lake 24th November

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

    Raising funds for ADS

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

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

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

    Win a £50 John Lewis voucher

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

    Wendy x

  • Blackwater Valley Runners

    Santa Fun Run – Wendy’s blog update

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

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

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

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

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

    Guess the time competition

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

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

    Santa Fun Run – Wendy’s update 28th October

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Dashing Through the Snow…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wendy x