• Open Week 14th – 18th February 2022

    Catch up on all the new releases that you may have missed out on last year. There is a new generation of hearing aids now available. Book an appointment during our dedicated Open Week to find out more. Choose from Paradise by Phonak, More by Oticon and AX Pure Charge and Go by Signia – this is an opportunity to discuss the options with Wendy or Selma in Farnham Common and Kevin in Marlow. We offer the opportunity to trial aids so that you can see the difference and find the right one for you! 

    Alternatively, perhaps you have to keep turning the TV volume up, and would like the chance to talk this through with our team? Make the most of our Open Week to find out your TV streaming options and discuss other Bluetooth accessories that could further enhance your hearing. Call now to book during the week commencing 14th February before we are fully booked! 0345 2220579. Or click here to email for an appointment. 

  • Help in Hearing Support Atlantic Expedition for Dementia

    Only three weeks to go before the Forget Me Knot expedition leaves the UK. As one of the sponsors of Forget Me Knot, an independent Atlantic expedition to raise money for Dementia UK we wish them all the best with their amazing venture! In January 2022 the crew will cross nearly 4,000- miles of the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to French Guiana, aiming to break two World Records and raise £100,000.

    Rowing 24hrs in all weather and high seas, the expedition will be long and gruelling – but not in comparison to the daily challenges faced by many dementia carers. Leading the team is Johnnie Ball whose dad died three years ago, following a 15-year battle with dementia.  Having seen the pain dementia brings to families, Johnnie and two friends decided to embark on a mission to raise awareness and funding to help others facing a similar ordeal. 

    700,000 families in the UK care for people with dementia. The relentless demands of care commonly lead to depression and mental health problems, but few carers seek support. Crewman Johnnie saw the anguish that dementia brings to the patient and carer alike over the 15-year period that his dad suffered from the disease. The family watched as his mum and dad went through a nearly two -decade ordeal. Hundreds of thousands of carers have similar stories to tell and the Forget Me Knot campaign to row an ocean will help fundraising efforts to ensure they don’t have to go through it alone.

    Help in Hearing have decided to support this wonderful cause as there is such a significant link between hearing loss and the risk of developing dementia.

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

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

    To support the Forget Me Knot row for Dementia, we have become a 500 Club member and you could too! If anyone in your family has been affected by Dementia or you know someone that has, why not take a look at the expedition website to find out more!

    https://www.forgetmeknotcampaign.com/

     

     

  • Virtual Charity Christmas Raffle

    hearing-dogs-for-deaf-peopleTo celebrate Christmas and to raise money for Hearing Dogs we are holding a virtual Christmas Raffle featuring some very special prizes.  We are calling it “virtual” because you won’t actually be given a raffle ticket – just a number! Each “ticket” costs £10 and there are some fantastic prizes including a Luxury Festive Hamper,  two bespoke necklaces each worth £300 – and of course a Hearing Dogs Calendar! See the full line-up of prizes below. 

    Simply call the office on 0345 2220579 to purchase a “ticket”, which cost £10 each number.  You can buy as many as you like! 

    The winners will be drawn and announced on Friday December 17th.

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

    Prizes include: 

    • A luxury Winter Warmer hamper 
    • 2 individual pearl necklaces worth £300 each, created by local jewellery designer Dormouse Designs 
    • Matching pearl bracelet and drop earrings x 2
    • Alpaca Shawl by Softly, Softly 
    • Hearing Dogs 2022 Calendar 
    • A Google Home Mini 
    • 2 x £10 gift vouchers for Beaconsfield Gift Shop, Mira 
    • 2 tickets for Everyman Cinema, Gerrards Cross 
    • Ghost Fire, a novel by Wilbur Smith 
    • RHS Book, Your Wellbeing Garden 
    • Cooking with Heroes, the Royal British Legion Centenary Cookbook 
    • Modern Romance Memorabilia 
    • Help in Hearing Silver Cross Pens x 12

    All proceeds will go to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

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

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

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

  • 4 Important Sounds You’re Missing with Hearing Loss

    Photo courtesy of Tracey Keilty, one of the brilliant entries to the “My Help in Hearing” Photo Competition 

    Here’s something most people are surprised to learn: In many cases people with hearing loss can hear a number of sounds just fine, and have trouble only with specific sounds, so you may not realise what you are missing out on. In particular, if you have trouble only with high-pitched sounds, you may have the most common type of hearing loss, referred to as high-frequency or sensorineural hearing loss. With high-frequency hearing loss, you can in all probability hear lower-pitched sounds normally, causing the perception that your hearing is normal. Higher-pitched sounds, however, may not be heard at all. 

    So which frequencies should you be able to hear with normal hearing?

    To begin with, sound can be classified both by its intensity (measured in decibels) and by its frequency or pitch (measured in hertz).

    With normal hearing, you’d have the ability to hear sounds inside the frequency range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, but the most important sounds are within the range of 250 to 6,000 hertz. Inside of that range, you would be able to hear most frequencies at a fairly low volume of between 0-25 decibels. With high-frequency hearing loss, you might be able to hear the lower frequencies at fairly low volumes (0-25 decibels), but you wouldn’t be able to hear the higher frequency sounds without raising the volume (by as high as 90 decibels with severe hearing loss).

    So which higher-pitched sounds, specifically, would you have difficulty hearing with high-frequency hearing loss?  Here are four:

    Consonants

    Speech incorporates a combination of both low and high frequency sounds. Vowel sounds, such as the short “o” in the word “hot,” have low frequencies and are usually easy to hear even with hearing loss.

    Problems occur with consonants such as “s,” “h,” and “f,” which have higher frequencies and are much harder to hear. Since consonants convey the majority of the meaning in speech, it’s no wonder that those with high frequency hearing loss have difficulty following conversations or understanding speech on television programmes.

    It is also worth mentioning that background noises are generally of a low frequency, which is often why background noise is louder than speech when we are in noisy environments, making it more difficult for us to hear clearly.

    Voices of Women and Children

    For large numbers of us men who have been accused of ignoring their wives or of having “selective hearing,” there might for once be a valid excuse.

    Women and children tend to have higher-pitched voices with less amplitude, or loudness. For this reason, those with hearing loss might find it much easier to hear a male voice. Many of our patients do tell us they that are not able to hear their grandchildren, and this is often the primary incentive for booking a hearing assessment. (Photo courtesy of our client Sheila Baker who entered into our My Help in Hearing Photo competition: “Having hearing aids enables me to hear my granddaughter laughing and the sound of the waves!” 

    Birds Chirping

    The songs of birds chirping are generally in the higher frequencies, which means you may stop hearing these sounds entirely.

    In fact, we’ve lost count of the number of patients specifically cite their excitement and surprise when they could hear the sounds of birds again, once fitted with their new hearing aids. (Photo courtesy of our client Yvonne Cooke who entered into our My Help in Hearing Photo competition: “This photo makes me so Happy as I can Now hear the Robin sing. He comes to be by my side every time that I am in the garden”. 

    Certain Musical Instruments

    The flute, the violin, and other musical instruments capable of crafting high frequency sounds can be difficult to hear for those with hearing loss.
    Music in general does tend to lose some of its potency in those with hearing loss, as specific instruments and frequencies cannot be differentiated.
     

    How Hearing Aids Can Help

    Along with the above, you may have trouble hearing several other sounds, like rustling leaves, rainfall, and the sound of flowing water. But it’s not impossible to get these sounds back.

    The answer to treating hearing loss is in amplifying only the distinct frequencies you have trouble hearing. That’s why it’s vital to obtain the right hearing aids and to have them programmed by a skilled audiology professional.

    If you amplify the wrong frequencies, or worse yet amplify all frequencies, you’re not going to get the results you want.

    If any of the above sounds familiar then book yourself a hearing assessment. My colleagues and will be able to comprehensively test your hearing, identify the frequencies you have trouble with, and both recommend and program hearing aids for optimal hearing.

    Are you ready to start enjoying your favourite sounds again?
     
    Click here to contact us and book an appointment. 

     

  • Tips for Travelling Abroad

    As more people are now considering travelling abroad this Christmas to visit family and friends, or just for a festive break, we thought we would come up with some tips to help those people who wear hearing aids! 

    1. Don’t forget your charger – or – take extra batteries with you! Especially when travelling abroad! The batteries that you use for your hearing aids, while globally available, may not have the same guarantee of quality when travelling. A battery caddy or blister pack of batteries is a great way to travel with them, and Zinc Air batteries are permissible in your carry-on luggage! Or why not try rechargeable hearing aids.
    2. You can leave your digital hearing aids turned on while flying, even if they have wireless capabilities. All domestic airlines allow the in-flight use of hearing aids. If you have any questions, make sure you contact your airline ahead of time!
    3. If you’re visiting someplace tropical, (a) you’re lucky, but (b) don’t forget to bring your dry aid kit! A dry aid kit is a small pot that has a desiccant in it to pull out all of the moisture! If you don’t have one, give us a call or email us.  Moisture in hearing aids can cause dirt and debris to build up on microphones and other parts and make cleaning difficult.
    4. Speaking of cleaning, don’t forget your cleaning tools! Just like at home, you’ll want to properly maintain your hearing aids while on holiday or traveling away from home! Many people are more active on trips than when at home and tend to need extra TLC when travelling!
    5. You can keep your hearing aids on as you pass through security! The electronic components of a typical hearing aid are so small that they don’t frequently get picked up by a metal detector. Just make sure that if you go through a body scanner you let the TSA agent know! They may ask you to take them out if they are detected!

     

  • Rechargeable custom aids now available

    Signia have now introduced the first custom hearing aids with contactless charging and Bluetooth. 

    Insio Charge&Go AX is now available in rechargeable custom options. With tailor made moulds created using our 3D digital scanner, these In the Ear and In the Canal are very comfortable to wear, suiting each wearer’s anatomy for all day comfort.

    The new aids are built on Signia’s Augmented Xperience platform, the world’s first hearing aid to feature acoustic-motion sensors.

    YourSound

    According to Signia, the Xperience platform has been designed to scan and understand the wearer’s environment. Featuring smart chip technology known as YourSound, the aids provide a  personal sound processing experience, enabling users to hear what matters most, in any situation, even when in motion, using proprietary Augmented Focus™ technology to split speech from surrounding sounds. This means that they can be processed separately, and then recombined to deliver superior speech clarity in an immersive environment.

    To find out more about Insio Charge and Go and the Xperience platform, please call to see one of our audiologists today 0345 2220579 or email us.

  • Christmas Hearing Tips

    Festive celebrations can be difficult for someone with a hearing loss to understand speech and follow conversations. Below are some simple hearing tips that can help you and your guests fully enjoy this Christmas season!

    When hosting a Christmas get together at home, it’s important to create a comfortable environment for all guests, including those with a hearing loss.

    1. Use a round dinner table. Using a circular table will enable those with difficult hearing to lip read and keep up with the conversations, instead of being a few steps behind and having to be brought up to speed.
    2. Set up more than one room for gathering. Loud laughter and the act of trying to talk over one another may make it difficult for a person with hearing loss to follow conversations. A smaller, more enclosed room away from the primary noise in the common area would be better for one-on-one conversations.
    3. Lower the volume on Christmas music. It may be festive, but music may also be a distraction and could weaken everyone’s ability to listen and converse if played too loud. Keep music soft and subtle and ensure furniture is placed facing away from any musical speakers so that those with hearing loss have an easier time focusing on the conversation before them.
    4. Break out the cards and board games! Board and card games are a great way to keep the party going. Some suggestions include Scrabble, Monopoly, Rummy, etc.
    5. Plastic or Paper. Use disposable plates and utensils instead of china and silverware that clanks.

    If you’re attending a small gathering and you have a hearing loss, there are some easy, unobtrusive tactics you can use to communicate better with other guests.

    1. Find a quieter area. When engaging in one-on-one conversions, try to find somewhere that is quiet, has soft surfaces and little or no music to ensure that you can better hear what the other person says.
    2. Position your “best side.” In a large group setting, position yourself in a spot where you can see the most people and make eye contact with them. If you have a “better side,” seat yourself so that most people are on that side.
    3. Consider lighting. Engage with guests in a well-lit area so that you can read people’s lips and see visual clues if necessary.
    4. Pick a dinner buddy. At dinner, seat yourself next to a person you have the least difficulty hearing, or someone who usually clues you in on missed pieces of conversation.
    5. Tell the host ahead of time. Don’t be afraid to speak to the host about accommodating your needs – whether it’s turning down the music or directing you to a quieter area where you’re able to catch up with friends and family.

    This feature has been re-printed with the permission of Starkey.

  • Virtual Hearing Event a great success!

    In March we held our first virtual Hearing Event and it was so well received that we decided to hold another one on 21st October. We were amazed by the number of registrations as we reached 250! The Event was a fantastic success and you can listen to it by clicking on this link. 

    Let us help you hear more, with less effort!

    A lot can happen in months, and many of the developments made in the field of hearing aid technology over the course of the pandemic have been life-changing! Described by one client as enabling you to ‘hear around corners’, the new generation of hearing aids are able to process sounds the same way as your brain.

    Our listening environments have been limited during the pandemic, with more time spent at home and fewer social interactions. Now that there are hardly any restrictions and we’re spending more time out and about, it is important to make sure you are not missing out on the wonderful world of sounds that new technology can offer. 

    At the presentation our guest speaker Alison Stone, lead audiologist from Oticon, guided us through the science of hearing aids and the amazing things that these tiny little computers can do. Did you know that films can be streamed directly to your hearing aids? Or that they can be linked to your doorbell, home security system, Sat Nav and so much more?  If you would like to find out about the new technology and what the new generation of hearing aids can do for you personally,  take a moment to listen to Alison’s talk. 

    There is also a transcript for the event available here , featuring the full and very interesting Q&A session at the end. Here are some edited  examples 

    Free Trial

    Email us  us or call us on 0345 2220579 to book in for our special two week trial of Oticon More aids.  

  • Signia launch AX Pure Charge & Go

    Signia have launched of its Augmented Xperience (AX) hearing aid platform that “intelligently and automatically processes sound to better ensure that patients hear more clearly – regardless of the listening environment.”

    Rather than simply amplifying all sounds, like most of today’s hearing aids, Augmented Xperience is said to “intelligently understand which sounds should be pulled to the foreground and prioritized, and which should remain in the background.”

    The net result of this world’s first split-processing technology is “a fully-immersive and intelligent hearing experience”. Hearing isn’t always easy. A group of people talking simultaneously, softly-spoken talkers in a bustling room, too much background noise – these are challenging environments regardless of a patient’s hearing ability and Signia say that Augmented Xperience changes the game by understanding which sounds should be brought into focus and which remain in the background.

    Augmented Focus features two independent processors – the first of which addresses ‘focus’ sounds like the speech of a conversation partner, while the second addresses ‘surrounding’ sounds like background music or ambient laughter. The two processors capture focus and surrounding sounds independently to create a greater contrast between the two – pulling focus sounds closer and placing surrounding sounds further away.

    In addition to Augmented Focus, the AX platform features include:

    • Acoustic-Motion Sensors which recognize the wearer’s movement and adjust sounds accordingly.
    • Own Voice Processing (OVP) to indentify the wearer’s voice separately from other sounds
    • Signia Face Mask Mode to help deliver “better speech understanding through masks”
    • The Signia app which provides access to hearing aid controls, streaming capabilities, tinnitus therapy, the Signia Assistant for 24/7 digital support and Signia Telecare for remote care support.

    Built on the AX platform, the Pure Charge&Go AX features a “sleek hearing aid design that is both comfortable and discreet.” As the company’s smallest rechargeable RIC hearing aid, Pure AX can make it “easier and more comfortable to wear with glasses and/or face masks.”

    The Pure Charge&Go AX is also compatible with the Pure Charge&Go AX CROS transmitter for patients with single-sided deafness, and with an optional T-Coil, which enables the patient to pick up sound signals in public places like train stations, theaters, and museums.

    Pure AX “boasts up to 36 hours of wear time on a single charge” and features convenient connectivity to ASHA-enabled Android phones and iPhones for effortless direct streaming. It is available in black, graphite, dark champagne, silver, pearl white, fine gold, deep brown, sandy brown, rose gold, and beige colour options.

    To find out more and book a trial with Selma, Wendy or Kevin, call 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.

  • The Adventures of an Audiologist

    Our audiologist Wendy talks about her experience of providing audiology in the Falkland Islands.

    I first got involved with audiology services in the Falklands in 2000 when I travelled to the Islands to work in their hospital for 2 weeks.

    With a population of just 3,480, The Falkland Islands does not have an Audiologist in full time residence. Patients requiring hearing tests and hearing aids are supported by the GPs and the Speech & Language Therapist. Once a year, an Audiologist visits from the UK for 2 weeks along with an ENT consultant. I have been lucky enough to make the 16-hour flight several times, the last time was over 10 years ago.

    8,700 Mile Trip

    I have kept in touch with the Speech & Language Therapist (Sue) who asked if I would be the visiting Audiologist again for 2021. I jumped at the chance and was looking forward to meeting Sue, the hospital team and patients again but then, of course, COVID happened. So, instead of taking the 8,700 mile trip, I supported hearing aid users in the South Atlantic remotely from my consulting room in Farnham Common.

    Using the latest technology, I was able to take control of the computer in the Falklands to remotely test hearing and program hearing aids, while speaking to the patients via a video call. Sue was with the patients in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, in the Islands capital, Stanley, to provide remote support, fit the headphones and put batteries into hearing aids.

    Sue and I saw around 40 patients across 8 days. Fortunately, the time difference between the UK and The Falklands is only 3 hours in the winter and 4 hours in the summer!

    Departing at Midnight

    There are 3 main ways to travel to the Falklands; on the Falklands Islands Government airbridge which is a flight from RAF Brize Norton via Ascension Island, a commercial flight via Spain and Chile or by cruise ship. I have always travelled via the airbridge which departs around midnight. The flight consists mainly of soldiers being shipped to their new posting in the Islands and a few civilians, such as visiting specialists like me.  The flight stops at Ascension Island for about an hour for a change of crew and a welcome opportunity for passengers to stretch their legs and then onwards to RAF Mount Pleasant, two miles outside of Stanley.

    Sue would meet me at the airport in the hospital’s Land Rover Defender – the vehicle of choice for most of the Islands – looking at the picture of the main road from RAF Mount Pleasant to Stanley, you can see why.

    Visits usually lasted for 2 weeks and I worked at KEMH during the week seeing patients for hearing tests, hearing aid fitting and advice. The Falklands is made up of hundreds of small islands. The areas outside Stanley are referred to as Camp and there are various small settlements scattered throughout Camp, usually with their own generators and often powered by wind turbines.

    Residents of Camp might only travel to Stanley once or twice a year, for example, for hospital appointments, using the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS), a fleet of small aircraft that seats around 8 passengers. During my first couple of visits to KEHM, Sue and I packed up our audiology kit, boarded one of the FIGAS planes and took the clinic out to Camp instead of the residents travelling into Stanley – quite an experience!

    Penguin Excursions

    At weekends, Sue arranged excursions to explore the Islands and see the wildlife – especially the penguins. One of my favourite trips was to Volunteer Point to see the King Penguins and a group of young Gentoo penguins who seemed as fascinated with us as we were with them, creating a semi-circle around us while we took photos.

    My last day at KEMH was usually spent ensuring that all patient notes were completed and discussing any procedure changes and new hearing technology to keep Sue updated before heading back to RAF Mount Pleasant for the long journey home. I have had some wonderful experiences and although remote audiology has worked well, I very much look forward to returning again one day.