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

  • Taming Tinnitus with Hypnotherapy, by Bret Freeman, Master Hypnotherapist

    Taming Tinnitus with Hypnotherapy

    Master Hypnotist Bret Freeman was a guest speaker at our recent Tinnitus Support Group event and has written us an article, “Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy,” about how hypnotherapy can help tinnitus. Read the article below, where you’ll also see Bret has a special offer for Help in Hearing clients.

    Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy

    For many, tinnitus can be a tricky thing. That constant sound that only you can hear and seems to come from nowhere, the whining, rattling, humming, buzzing or however it manifests itself to you. It’s tricky because the more you talk about it the worse it seems to get (so, I assume by reading this article you are aware of that sound right now)

    I have had many people in my hypnotherapy practice achieve good results as a result of our sessions. The thing with tinnitus is that it is entirely a personal experience and is different for everyone. My clients have described the sound in a variety of ways, a variety of intensities and a variety of locations in their heads. For some it is like constant a rattling of chains in the right side and front part of their head, for others it is a high pitched whistle that seems to be coming from the back left, and I have heard many other descriptions. How about you? Have you ever tried to place your tinnitus? Where is it in your head? Left, right, centre? Front, middle, back? High or low? This is often one of the first techniques I use with my clients, because once it is identified, we can begin to manipulate it.

    Tinnitus is a personal experience

    In my experience, tinnitus usually responds very well to hypnotherapy. This is primarily because tinnitus is such a personal experience. In much the same way, hypnotherapy is also a very personal experience. By understanding the client, the circumstances and triggers around the tinnitus, and how to apply a variety of tools and techniques, my clients have been able to turn down the volume, change the intensity and move location of the sounds in their heads.

    The mind magnifies what it focuses on

    The fundamentals of how hypnosis can help tinnitus sufferers manage their symptoms have to do with helping the unconscious mind learn to tune out the noise associated with tinnitus. There are noises all day long that we simply do not pay attention to. Much like when you are at a dinner party and there are several conversations around the table, you are tuned into the conversation you are having and not the others, even though they are taking place in close proximity. There are traffic noises, birds singing, noises associated with household appliances and many others that we “hear but don’t pay attention to” all day long. We simply tune these noises out because they are unimportant on irrelevant to us. We tend to place all of these sounds in the “hear but don’t pay attention category”. This is why the more we think about tinnitus the more tinnitus is present, subconsciously, it becomes an “important” noise (the mind magnifies what it focuses on). With all of this in mind, one of the aims of hypnosis can be to move the tinnitus associated sound into the “hear but don’t pay attention” category.

    Breaking habits

    Subconsciously, our brains form habits. These habits control things like our internal state, our reactions to certain stimuli etc… The thing is, we all create a set of “default” habits, or behaviours and for some, tinnitus becomes the default. This is one of the reasons it may be more prevalent during certain times of the day (i.e. at bedtime). Settling into habits requires less work than to break these habits and because for the most part, the human brain is a lazy organ, it will always choose the path of least resistance.

    Communicate directly with the unconscious mind

    We all have a conscious and subconscious mind. These two parts of our minds are separated by what is known as the critical faculty. This is essentially the “boundary” between these two parts. The critical faculty compares everything we see and everything we experience with our own internal existing knowledge base (which includes our self-beliefs, limitations and challenges we face). If the experience doesn’t fit within the confines of our knowledge base, we dismiss it and label that thing as inaccurate. This is partially why hypnosis is so effective with tinnitus. Hypnosis allows the hypnotist to communicate directly with the unconscious mind of the subject and by bypassing the critical faculty allows new learnings and behaviours to be adopted. Many of my clients (particularly the clients that suffer from depression and/or anxiety) tell me that they notice behaviour changes in themselves and are able to deal with situations in very different, more constructive ways than they use to as a result of our sessions. The same holds true for smoking cessation. By bypassing the critical faculty, new learnings and habits can be adopted and change old behaviours.

    Hypnotherapy tools and techniques

    The key to living with tinnitus is to learn to use the tools and techniques provided by the hypnotherapist to manage it. For some, simply changing the priority of the sound helps. For others, it is a change in the location, for others it is associating the sound with an object and moving that object off into the distance and for others it is dealing with sources of anxiety and stress.

    Hypnotherapy, like tinnitus, is different for everyone and there are many tools and techniques available. The key is finding the right hypnotherapist, finding the right tools and techniques, and applying them effectively to your situation.

    About Bret Freeman

    Bret Freeman is an ABH certified Master Hypnotist, ABNLP Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and TLA Certified Master Time Line Therapist. He is a registered therapist with the Complimentary National Healthcare Council, Hypnotherapy Association, and General Hypnotherapy Register.

    Taming tinnitus with hypnotherapy – where to find out more

    For more information and to schedule and introductory chat, call 07917 385 118 or send an email to Bret. You can visit Bret’s website here.

    Special Discount

    A Brighter You is currently offering a Help in Hearing discount. Just mention Help in Hearing when you call or write to us for this special offer.

    For more information about tinnitus and how we can help, please visit the Help in Hearing Tinnitus Explained page or get in touch with us.

  • What you need to know about ear wax removal

    What you need to know about ear wax removal

    Ear wax is a natural part of ear health. We all have ear wax, it’s just that some people produce more wax than others. Below we explore what you need to know about ear wax removal – what ear wax is comprised of, its protective role, and ear wax removal methods.

    What is ear wax?

    Ear wax is a combination of dead skin cells, secretions and dust. This gradually builds up over time in the ear canal. The consistency and amount will vary between individuals and there is no way of stopping it from producing.

    The role of ear wax

    Although often viewed as a nuisance, ear wax does have an important role to play. It helps to lubricate the ear canal and protects foreign objects from entering the ear canal such as dirt, bacteria and dust.

    Signs that your ears are blocked with wax

    There are a number of signs that can indicate your ears are blocked with wax. These include difficulty hearing, tinnitus, earache, dizziness and recurring ear infections.

    Self-wax removal warning

    It’s important that you don’t insert cotton buds into your ear canal, as this can push the wax further into the ear and cause damage to the ear canal.  

    Ear wax microsuction

    Ear wax 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. 

    What you need to know about ear wax removal – where to find out more

    Help in Hearing offers hearing health advice via our independent audiologists. Visit our ear wax removal services and microsuction page to learn more.

    Or please do get in touch with us today to book an appointment for ear wax removal.

  • How to improve your hearing health

    4 tips to help you improve your hearing health

    We all know the importance of having regular health checks as we grow older, including those trips to the GP and dentist. But many of us forget the importance of looking after and maintaining our hearing health. Early detection, in the form of hearing tests and assessments, can help to prolong and enhance your hearing. Now is the time to take action and below we share four tips on how to improve your hearing health.

    1. Turn down that volume

    One useful piece of hearing advice is to turn down the volume. One of the biggest causes of hearing loss is down to prolonged exposure to loud noises, especially via headphones. We’re not saying that you can’t listen to music in this way, but just be mindful of the volume, and if you can, switch to over-the-head earphones, as opposed to ear buds. Turn it down a little, and ensure you take regular breaks. Your ears will thank you for it.

    2. The importance of hearing protection

    If your work environment consists of loud noises, then it’s important to follow all basic safety rules and wear ear protection at all times. You may be a gardener and use chainsaws and lawnmowers, or you may work on a construction site with loud and heavy machinery. No matter what environment you work in, wear those ear defenders or sound-reducing headphones to protect your ears.

    3. Don’t use cotton buds

    Many people use cotton buds to clean our ears and to get rid of unwanted ear wax. Although cotton buds look like they’re fine for cleaning our ears, you should avoid using them, as they can damage the delicate ear drum, and especially so in children. Ear wax acts as a natural part of ear health, as it helps to stop dirt and foreign objects from entering the ear canal. If wax does become a problem, then it is always best to see a health professional.

    4. The importance of the hearing checkup

    Finally, hearing testing is vital for maintaining ear health. Many people believe that they should only have a hearing test when over the age of 60, or when they begin to have some difficulty, but this is simply not true. Hearing loss can be a gradual occurrence, and regular hearing tests can pick up on any early problems. Early intervention is key in helping you to maintain hearing health.

    How to improve your hearing health – where to find out more

    Please do get in touch with us here at Help in Hearing for further advice on how to improve your hearing health and to arrange a hearing assessment.

    Please click to find out what to expect of a hearing assessment with us.

  • Is ear wax causing hearing loss?

    Is ear wax causing hearing loss?

    There is nothing worse than having to get people to repeat themselves over and over because you are finding it difficult to hear. If you are struggling with your hearing then there may be a number of reasons for this and you should always seek the advice of an independent audiologist. Ear wax can be the cause of hearing loss and if this is the case then this is the most treatable problem that there is. Hearing loss from ear wax occurs because of a build-up of wax in the ear or when it has been compacted against the eardrum. In this article, we discuss “is ear wax causing hearing loss?”

    What is ear wax?

    Ear wax is a mix of skin cells and oil, which combine to trap incoming dust, dirt and bacteria. When your body makes the right amount of earwax you should never have to remove it and never have to put anything in your ear.

    Excess ear wax production

    Excess ear wax may be produced because you are removing it with earbuds or your body may simply produce too much. In this case, you will need to see an independent audiologist to get the ear wax removed safely. The use of cotton buds simply compacts the wax and will make it more likely that you will experience hearing loss.

    When to get a hearing health check

    It can be difficult to know when to get a hearing health check because the loss of hearing can be gradual. If you begin to notice a loss of hearing quality, however, then you should certainly see an independent audiologist to get advice. Ear wax build-ups may also cause the ear canal to become itchy and irritated. If you are regularly tempted to stick a finger in your ear then you should resist this and seek hearing testing to determine whether a build-up of ear wax may be occurring. As a simple rule, if you have any doubt about your ears then you should seek advice. After all, hearing is one of your most important senses and it is extremely important to protect it.

    Ear wax causing hearing loss – where to find out more

    Ear wax can cause the loss of hearing, but this is thankfully the easiest cause to treat. If you’re worried about hearing loss then contact an independent audiologist today. If you would like to learn more about hearing problems and ear wax build-up, then contact us today for more information or to make an appointment.

    You can read about ear wax removal and microsuction, the latest gentle, safe and pain free method for removing ear wax here.

  • Quiz night winning team

    Help in Hearing Quiz Night Success

    As part of National Deaf Awareness Week, on May 15th Help in Hearing held their first ever Charity Quiz Night at the Emperor in Farnham Common. The event was a great success, raising £285 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

    Hearing Dogs charity donation certificate
    We’re thrilled to receive our certificate from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People for our donation of £285.00, raised by everyone who attended our Quiz evening – thanks to all who took part.

     

    Another Quiz Night is being planned for the Autumn, once again for Hearing Dogs.

    Help in Hearing’s Selma Becker commented: “We were thrilled with the turn out. It was a fun evening of brain teasing trivia and we were very proud of our fundraising efforts. It was also a lovely way to meet some new local people.”

    The winning team, aptly named Dog-Eared, were presented with a Fortnum & Mason hamper that they subsequently donated to another Hearing Dogs event.

    Here are some photos from the evening:

    Quiz night - the winning team
    The winning team

       Quiz night 5

      

    If anyone is interested in coming along to our next Quiz Night, please contact Gilly on 0345 222 0579 or email Gilly.

    Have you seen our Spring newsletter? Take a look here.

  • Harman Kardon SoundSticks III

    Help in Hearing Online Newsletter – Launch Competition Winner

    In Spring 2018 we launched our new ‘Help in Hearing Online Newsletter’, with sections for:

    • News
    • Events
    • Feedback
    • Advice
    • New Products

    You can view the Spring edition here

    and the winner is…

    Our launch issue included a free to enter competition to win a Harmon-Kardon SoundSticks III, 2.1-channel multimedia sound system and we’re pleased to announce the winner:

    Graham Rogers

    Graham was presented with his prize at our Farnham Common clinic, with an understandably happy smile!

    Graham Rogers winner of Harmon-Kardon help in hearing prize draw

    Congratulation to Graham from all of us here at Help in Hearing.

     

  • When should you get your hearing checked

    When should I get my hearing checked?

    Our hearing is incredibly important, from listening to your favourite song to hearing your loved one’s voice on the phone, it’s part of our lives. But unlike the dentist or the optician, many people don’t think to get their hearing checked until they notice a problem. At Help in Hearing, we believe that your hearing should be looked after as well as any other part of you. So when should you get your hearing checked?

    Age

    As we get older our hearing can start to get poorer but with regular checks and proper attention, it’s important to keep an eye on it. If you’re aged under 45 then a hearing check at least once every two years can be a great start to looking after your hearing proactively. If you’re over 60 then it’s worth having hearing checks more regularly, and our hearing specialists can advise you on how often is best for you to visit based on the results of your hearing check.

    Exposure to noise

    If you’re a professional working in a loud environment then it may be worth getting your hearing checked more regularly to make sure your hearing hasn’t been affected. Working in areas like live music, performance, construction and many others can leave you more at risk of hearing loss. Our expert audiologists can offer you a full consultation and understand the risks to hearing you have encountered. They may be able to suggest measures to protect your hearing in the future and will do a full hearing test to get a picture of how your hearing has been affected.

    You’re noticing hearing loss

    It’s always better to look after your hearing proactively but if you’ve been noticing issues with your hearing then it’s best to see an audiologist as soon as possible. If you’ve been having the television or the radio turned up so you can hear it and others think it’s loud, that might be a sign of hearing loss. If you sometimes miss words in conversations or you struggle hearing on the telephone, then this is another sign that you should get your hearing checked.

    When should you get your hearing checked?

    At Help in Hearing, we are dedicated to providing the very best hearing advice for you. If you think it’s time for you to have a hearing check-up, contact us to book now.

    Find out what to expect if you come to us for a hearing assessment.

  • What are cochlear implants?

    What are cochlear implants?

    About cochlear implants

    Cochlear implants can provide viable hearing alternatives to anybody who doesn’t benefit from typical hearing aids. They consist of a receiver which is implanted in the mastoid bone, behind the ear and electrodes which are implanted into the cochlea (inner ear). The microphone and speech processor are located externally and they convert sounds into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the electrodes implanted in the inner ear. The electrodes use the auditory nerve to communicate these signals to the brain, which perceives the impulses as sound.

    Who uses cochlear implants?

    Around 7,500 people in the UK are considered audiologically suitable for a cochlear implant and there are currently around 11,000 people already utilising cochlear implants. Children or adults with severe or profound deafness could well benefit from cochlear implants. Additionally, cochlear implants can make a real difference to anybody who struggles with the use of traditional hearing aids. Bone conducting hearing implants are another form of implanted hearing treatment, which can benefit anyone with conductive or mixed hearing loss. Around 10,000 people in the UK currently use bone conducting hearing implants.

    About bone conducting hearing implants

    A bone conducting hearing implant is suitable for people with single-sided deafness and will transmit sound to the good ear. People with conductive hearing loss experience a problem with sound travelling freely to the cochlea, which could be caused by abnormalities in the structure of the ear or blockages, due to excess ear wax or middle ear fluids. A mixed hearing loss is a result of the loss of hair cells within the cochlea or the hearing nerve.

    Bone conducting hearing implants work via direct bone conduction and are independent of the ear and the ear canal. They consist of a small titanium screw which is implanted into the skull to provide an anchor for the sound processor and an abutment which is attached to the screw and provides a base for the sound processor. The sound processor acts in a way that’s similar to the middle ear and converts sound waves into vibrations which can be passed to the inner ears.

    Cochlear implants – where to get more information

    We are pleased to have been appointed as a reseller of the Advanced Bionics (AB) range of cochlear implant accessories and components, including AquaCase – the world’s first waterproof case for cochlear implant recipients. These accessories set the standard in quality and innovation, while allowing recipients to customise their AB sound processors to fit their needs—all weather, all sports, all terrain, all ages and all lifestyles. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about cochlear implant accessories.

    You can read about the accessories we provide in our Cochlear Implant Accessories section.

  • Causes of hearing loss

    3 surprising habits which can lead to hearing loss

    Aside from the odd infection and build-up of ear wax, it’s easy to view our ears as fairly simple organs. Though many people don’t realise it, other parts of your body can have a direct impact on the state of your ears. Here are three seemingly unrelated issues that are among the causes of hearing loss.

    Smoking

    No surprise here. If you’re a smoker, you regularly hear how bad it is for you from friends, family, doctors and even cigarette packets. Though the most glaring symptoms are in your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, smoking can also contribute to hearing loss.

    The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke are detrimental to your inner ear’s ability to transmit vibrations to your brain, and the more you smoke, the more damage you’ll cause to your ear. Though you’ve probably heard this a million times before, second-hand smoke will have the exact same effects on those around you.

    Overeating and under-exercising

    Being overweight places you at risk of many different problems, from circulatory trouble to diabetes to heart problems. Though many aren’t aware of it, all of these health issues have been linked to hearing loss. One 2013 study from the US Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women with higher body mass indexes were 17% more likely to experience some form of hearing loss.

    The study also established that non-strenuous physical activity, such as walking for at least two hours per week, lowered the risk of weight-related hearing loss. Of course, this is just one way body weight affects your health – it’s never too late to establish some healthier habits!

    Not having regular dental check-ups

    Perhaps the most surprising habit that can lead to hearing loss is taking a blasé approach to your dental health. When you don’t keep an eye on your pearly whites, it can allow harmful bacteria to get into the bloodstream, clogging and constricting the arteries that carry blood to the brain. This can cause interference in the way your brain receives signals from your auditory nerve. Poor oral health can also increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes and stroke, which have all been linked with hearing loss.

    Causes of hearing loss – where to find out more

    If you’d like to know more about how to protect your hearing, or if you’d like to have a hearing check-up, please contact us

    Or you can learn more on our Hearing Protection web page.

  • Tinnitus Support Group Report

    Report on our Tinnitus Support Group

    Our latest Tinnitus Support Group meeting at Marlow’s Liston Hall on March 19th was a huge success. The advertising for the event created such an unprecedented amount of interest, we ended up having to turn people away!

    Mr Chris Aldren, the local ENT Consultant, gave a talk titled “Why do we have Tinnitus?” covering aspects of the ear anatomy with a detailed presentation that gave the audience a clearer understanding of the causes of Tinnitus and the various treatment methods. Gilly Wright, the Support Group facilitator, commented: “The maximum attendance figures show how much interest there is in Tinnitus. I am very grateful to Mr Aldren for finding the time to talk to us and so delighted that the Marlow group is taking off like this.”

    Next meeting: 10.30 am Saturday April 7th, Liston Hall – an Introduction to Tai Chi (limited spaces available).

    To book a place please get in touch or call us on 0345 222 0579

    To see other future dates of our Tinnitus Support Group, please visit our web page.