Selma Becker, Managing Director and Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist
Welcome to our April online newsletter
A very warm welcome to you all. Who knows what the weather might do next – we had April temperatures in February and a mad March saw the gales from Storm Gareth! Here’s hoping the next few months will bring us a kinder climate so we can really enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. It might be too much to hope that the political climate will improve for a while though, with the continuous turmoil over Brexit.
We love hearing from you so please don’t forget to send in any of your hearing stories and follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. We have lots of articles on news, events, advice and industry news, which you can access by clicking the tabs above. Click through the tabs to view all our articles and scroll up and down each page to read the articles that are there.
Our biggest news in this edition is that our audiology team is expanding. A very warm welcome to our new audiologist Wendy Davies who joined us in March, having previously worked for leading hearing aid supplier Sivantos. We are absolutely thrilled that she has joined us. If you would like to meet Wendy, please do call and book in.
In March we ran our technology update month as a follow on from our Technology Days. Clients booked in to find out more about all the recently introduced aids and many are now upgrading to these next generation devices. We have highlighted three new aids in our New Products section and we can’t stress enough the importance of the role of the audiologist in choosing the best aid for your hearing needs. There is so much choice and we are here to guide you to making the right decision.
We held another successful Hearing Dogs Quiz Night at the end of March, raising an impressive £530, which means we have raised a total of £1,230 at our 3 Quiz Nights so far. Thank you to everyone for your support. We are planning to get involved in the Stoke Poges Village Fete Dog Show in June, once again through the association we have with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Look out for Gilly and Alfie as they will be there and Jan will also be there selling and promoting her delicious cake baking business, Cake Expectations.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of highly experienced audiologist Wendy Davies, who will be based at our Farnham Common clinic. Wendy joins from Sivantos, one of the leading hearing aid manufacturers, where she held the position of National Sales & Audiology Manager.
Selma comments: “I am absolutely thrilled that Wendy has joined us. She has immense knowledge and industry experience, bringing a new dimension to our audiology team and the service we offer as our business continues to thrive.”
This means that Kevin will be spending more time in the Marlow practice as his client base over there continues to expand. He will of course continue to see some of his clients at the Farnham Common practice, where he will be available once a week.
Wendy initially trained as an audiologist and worked in the NHS for 15 years before joining Siemens (later acquired by Sivantos) in 2000 where she was responsible for training and hearing aid supply to the NHS. In 2007, she was appointed Head of Audiology, extending her reach to also include private clinics. After completing an MBA in 2012, Wendy also gained responsibility for sales. Over the years she has also worked in R&D in the deployment of new technologies that revolutionised hearing aid features and client benefits.
In her national audiology role, Wendy became a regular and respected presenter on hearing aid technology at industry conferences worldwide. Her leadership role also included providing clinical support and technical education to the Falkland Islands and developing and implementing the new born hearing screening programme.
“My first love has always been audiology”, said Wendy, “the opportunity to work with the Help in Hearing team has allowed me to get back to grass roots, directly working with and helping people. I know that Selma and Kevin offer their clients the very best in aftercare to ensure they are getting maximum benefit from their aids and I very much want to be a part of this.”
Wendy continued, “I find hearing aid technology extremely interesting – it has come such a long way since I started fitting hearing aids in 1985 and new functionalities and features are presented to us by all the manufacturers every year. This allows us to provide a great solution for everyone requiring support with their hearing based on their individual needs –there is no “one size fits all”. At Help In Hearing we have access to all the leading suppliers so we can find the right solution for all our clients.”
Special congratulations from the BSHAA
Selma and Kevin congratulated on professional development
Selma and Kevin have for some years been Fellows, the highest level of membership of BSHAA – the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, showing a public commitment to professional standards. Recently a number of members applied to renew their Fellowship status, demonstrating impressive professional development and a commitment to the industry.
According to BSHAA they were particularly pleased that a number of Fellows went far above the necessary requirements. Special congratulations went to seven named audiologists including our very own Selma and Kevin, who both achieved well over the number of points needed. Congratulations to them both!
WHO World Hearing Day was March 3rd
World Hearing Day
On March 3rd it was World Hearing Day, an event held each year to raise awareness of how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, promoting ear and hearing care worldwide.
As part of its “Check Your Hearing” campaign, the World Health Organisation launched a free app called hearWHO to encourage people to check their hearing. It gives the general public access to a screener to check their hearing status and monitor it over time. The app clearly displays the users’ results and keeps a personalised track record over time.
The app, which is available on Apple and Android devices, is especially recommended for those who commonly listen to loud music over personal audio devices. It can also be used by health workers to screen people in the community for hearing loss and refer them for diagnostic testing if they fail the screening. You can download the app here.
At Help in Hearing we also have a hearing test link on our own website if you want to recommend this to friends or families who have any concerns – see our online test here.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy can help
How I beat my own tinnitus
We thought you might be interested to hear about a story featured in The Daily Mail Good Health section on March 5th by Vik Veer, a consultant ENT Surgeon who suffered tinnitus which he believed was caused by stress. He tried Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) on himself, which worked really well for him, incredibly leaving him tinnitus free.
He said “For it to be successful, it’s important to find activities – especially at night when all is quiet – that will absorb your mind so you don’t hear your tinnitus.” His activities included watching TV with no sound but using subtitles to focus the mind, plus listening to brain engaging programmes on the radio.
Look out for our new special promotion battery packs, available in sizes 312, 10 and 13. For every 12 batteries you buy, you will get 2 free. So, if you buy our deal – 5 cards of 60 batteries for £25 you will get 10 free. Call Jan or Gilly on Freephone 0345 222 0579 if you need to top up your supplies. We are always happy to post them out direct.
In Other News
Tinnitus Support Group now on Instagram
Our BTA recognised support group continues to grow. Gilly is always delighted to see new members at every meeting. To further spread the word, we have now set up a new support group Instagram account. See what we have been up to and take a look at our page. Search for tinnitus_support_south_bucks. See our events page for meeting details.
Help in Hearing now recognised by the WPA
One of the UK’s biggest private healthcare providers has now recognised Help in Hearing as an authorised support service provider of healthcare. If you have any friends who have a hearing problem and are insured through the World Provident Association, please do mention this to them. All that is needed is a referral from a consultant specialist. Do call us if you would like to find out more.
Talk at McCarthy & Stone
On Friday 15th February Kevin gave a talk on The Impact of Hearing Loss at Swift House, a McCarthy & Stone retirement development in Maidenhead. Thank you to our client David Stanbury, who is a resident there, for setting up the talk – everyone found Kevin’s presentation very informative and they all agreed that, once again, he is a very good orator.
Poor Alfie the Bichon (Gilly’s dog) had a little operation in February. Some of you saw him wearing various protective gear to stop him licking his wound. He wasn’t his usual happy chappy for a few days but we are pleased to report that all is now well and he has been discharged by the vet. Alfie is back to his usual self and has now reached the grand age of 11, having celebrated his birthday quietly at home earlier this month.
We raised £450 for Hearing Dogs at our last quiz night
Stoke Pooches Dog Show - 8th June
We are delighted that we are working with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People to help sponsor The Stoke Poges Village Fete Dog Show on 8th June. It is one of the highlights of the annual village fete, which sees as many as 2,000 visitors on the day.
For those in the village with dogs, there are several categories to enter. If you do go along, look out for Alfie, as he will be there with Gilly.
The Dog Show starts at 3:30pm. Places are limited, it is very popular so the organisers suggest you come along a little earlier to register.
Book your place at one of our Tinnitus Support Group events
Tinnitus Support Group events
Whether you have Tinnitus or not, you are very welcome to join any of our events. Bring your friends and family – just contact us to let us know. Our schedule of events over the next few months is below.
Tuesday April 16th
Refreshments: 6:00pm. Talk: 6:30 – 8:00pm
Help in Hearing, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ (free parking on site)
An introduction to Acupuncture
Dr Lucy Liu from The Marlow Clinic has been practicing acupuncture for over 25 years and comes from a family of Chinese traditional doctors. Dr Liu will give an introduction to Acupuncture and discuss whether treatment may be able to reduce the loudness and intrusiveness of tinnitus.
Wednesday May 8th
Refreshments: 6:00pm. Talk: 6:30 – 8:00pm
Help in Hearing, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ (free parking on site)
Person Centred Identity Therapy
A talk by Dr Alexandra Smith who is Person Centred Psychotherapist in private Practice in Marlow. As a Senior Accredited member of the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP), she works with clients who are experiencing distress and trauma. Her talk will be about how Tinnitus can create additional strain on the nervous system, and discuss easy to use techniques to help calm the nervous system.
Saturday June 1st
10:00am – 12:00 midday
The Thames Room, Liston Hall, Chapel Street, Marlow SL7 1DD
Art, hearing and tinnitus workshop
Teaching Artist Debbie Perry (also member of the Tinnitus Support Group), will be running a fun art workshop with all materials provided and no experience necessary.
We will be using a variety of art materials to explore how art can be used in a positive way to both help us accept our tinnitus and distract us from unwanted sounds. This will also be an opportunity to discuss and explore with others your tinnitus experience by working in small groups. Places are limited to 12 so must be booked in advance. Please wear suitable clothing or bring an apron.
Debbie stresses that you don’t need to be an “artist” to attend. She says: “Please be assured that no technical skills are needed. We will be discussing things, writing down words, collaging, using pens, pastels – some people may even prefer to scribble or doodle. I see it as an opportunity to express tinnitus, how negative it can make people feel and how we can help ourselves become more positive.”
What our patients say about us
Read some recent feedback and reviews we’ve received from our patients. We’d love to hear your feedback too, so please email us if you’d like to provide feedback or a testimonial about our service.
Arleen Paton Smith
“Selma is very thorough as well as being extremely kind and caring. It is wonderful to have my hearing returned to me with such lovely, small hearing aids. I thoroughly recommend Help in Hearing.”
“I cannot praise the service I have received highly enough. From my first appointment right through to hearing aid purchase and follow ups I have had first class treatment. I can only say thanks for everything. Kevin has always been more than helpful and professional on my visits.”
“Selma and the team are fantastic and make sure that you get the best advice and treatment. Even after moving some 100 miles from Farnham Common, I still keep coming back. Thank you Selma.”
“Selma has always been my consultant and she is fantastic! Lovely people, particularly Selma. Very efficient and polite.”
“Prompt, efficient and professional service.”
“Whenever you have a problem you can get advice and help very quickly. Staff are always very helpful and pleasant.”
“Appointments are easy to obtain and Ms Selma Becker is a delightful, reassuring and efficient audiologist.”
We can help you protect your hearing
Hearing is a sense most of us take for granted. Yet it keeps us in touch with people, allows us to enjoy music and to live life to the full. Too many people don’t think about the potential risks they are taking by exposing themselves to loud noise. Be it at a shooting range, on a motorbike, in a nightclub, in a noisy work environment or even just turning up the volume levels in your headphones.
Even mowing the lawn can cause ear damage. Lawn mowers vary in the amount of noise they make, but all types are unfortunately quite loud, particularly ride-on mowers. Noise level is measured in decibels, with mowers producing around 90 dB. While this is comparable to the level of normal headphones, which may range up to 110 dB, it still isn’t a healthy level of noise. This is louder than traffic noise, which averages around 80 dB and you should not subject yourself to it for more than eight hours, even with hearing protection.
Over the counter ear plugs now available
At Help in Hearing we can educate and advise you on how to best take care of this most precious of senses – your hearing. We recommend that everyone should wear ear plugs if you are planning to go to a concert or loud show, or find yourself exposed to any noisy environments. We are now selling good quality over the counter universal ear plugs that are ideal for this purpose. These filtered ear plugs made by industry leading AC Custom come as a pair, housed in a mini silver tube that can be attached to a key ring so that users always have them close at hand.
For just £10, these Pacato plugs are ideal for so many noise related activities and make ideal gifts for anyone you know that might be planning to go to a music festival or concert. Encourage the youngsters to enjoy and feel the music without ear damage – call Jan or Gilly on Freephone 0345 222 0579 to buy a pair or to find out more.
Years of performing loud rock music cause hearing loss for rock legend
Watch a video of Paul Burgess, drummer with English rock band 10cc, talking about the hearing loss caused by years of performing loud music and how Help in Hearing fitted him with Phonak rechargeable hearing aids.
Introducing the Styletto Connect hearing aid
Last year Sivantos introduced the sleek slimline aid known as Styletto. To follow on from this they have now launched the Connect version, combining stylish design with high quality connectivity to the wearer’s smartphone to stream calls, music and TV via Bluetooth.
Remote control option
It is available in three technology levels and includes a remote control option via the Signia myControl app. The attractive colour choices feature dual contrast, the options including Black/Silver, Cosmic Blue/Rose Gold and Snow White/ Rose Gold.
Portable charging case
Like Styletto, Connect comes with a pocket-size portable charging case that powers a full day’s worth of wearing (16 Hours), with five hours of streaming on a single charge. A 30-minute fast charge adds another five hours of use, or three hours of streaming, for flexibility on the move. The lightweight case itself can also be charged, lasting up to four days, ideal for a long weekend away or business trip.
Signia Telecare remote support
Part of the company’s Signia Li-ion portfolio, the aids offer Signia Telecare, the remote support and fine-tuning software that keeps you connected to your audiologist via the myHearing app.
Manuel Cortez – ambassador for the new Styletto Connect
An ambassador for the new aid is Manuel Cortez (pictured above), who is an actor, photographer, style expert and film director. Since 2012 Manuel suffered hearing loss caused by a wakeboard accident. At first, the idea of wearing a hearing aid was out of the question for him, according to Sivantos. In his eyes they were ugly medical devices for the elderly. Many of our clients already understand the importance of hearing aids, whatever your age and in recent years they have become less clumsy and more discreet. Indeed the new Styletto range is so slimline, it is referred to in the Sivantos literature as the latest in “hearwear”. If you are interested in hearing more about Manuel Cortez, you can read his story on the Signia Hearing website.
Styletto Connect – where to find out more
The Styletto Connect hearing aid is now available at Help in Hearing. If you’d like to find out more, please give us a ring on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form online.
All images courtesy of Sivantos Ltd
Quixx - the new aid by Audio Service
Exclusively available through independents, the German manufacturer Audio Service have developed an innovative hearing solution that combines the small size of a completely in the ear canal hearing aid with the convenience of disposable sleeves traditionally found with behind the ear devices.
The use of these disposable sleeves provides an extra level of wax protection which prevents the Quixx microphone becoming blocked with debris. It also makes it much easier to clean and service in practice, reducing the need to send the aid back to the manufacturer.
Despite its small size, Quixx is packed with the latest technology delivering clear, natural speech.
Book an appointment to find out more. Call us on Freephone 0345 222 0579.
Oticon unveil new device with no feedback
OPN S is the new aid launched by Oticon as we go to press. With all the benefits of the bestselling OPN aid that many of our clients enjoy wearing, Oticon have developed an innovative solution that detects and prevents annoying whistling sounds before they even occur.
Acoustic feedback occurs when a microphone gets too close to the speakers at a concert, but for hearing aid users the simple act of hugging someone can cause this high-pitched noise. An annoying whistle or static noise can occur when sound from your hearing aids escapes and this is re-amplified by the hearing aid. This well-known bothersome side effect of hearing aids, which even non-users are aware of, is eliminated by Oticon’s new OpenSound Optimizer.
Call Kevin, Wendy or Selma to find out more and book an appointment on Freephone 0345 222 0579.
Super Charged! Rechargeable Hearing Aids remove the need for regular battery changes
Like all electronic devices, hearing aids need a power source to run them. Traditionally this has been a small cell style battery that lasts between 2 and 7 days depending on the product and usage. This fairly short battery life span means that hearing aid wearers need to manage their battery supplies and ensure that they always have batteries with them. Although modern hearing aids do emit a warning beep when the battery is getting low, this may only be as little as one hour’s notice so it’s best to keep a spare to hand in case a battery expires when you need to hear most.
For hearing aid wearers, the experience of changing a battery can range from being straight forward, to a regular irritation or a fiddly, time consuming affair for those with dexterity limitations. So, in this world full of rechargeable devices, such as phones, toothbrushes and vacuum cleaners to name just a few, why don’t we use rechargeable hearing aids?
Hearing aids with rechargeable batteries have been around for some time, the first models came onto the market over 10 years ago. While they were a great step forward, battery charge was limited, often not lasting for a whole day resulting in wearers having to resort to using a traditional zinc-air battery to get them through to bedtime. This type of rechargeable battery lasts less than a year before requiring replacement. Take up of these rechargeable batteries was understandably low and so manufacturers went back to the drawing board to find a better solution.
In 2016, the first hearing aids powered by lithium-ion power cells came to the market. This is the technology that powers Tesla cars, Smart phones and now hearing aids. Lithium-Ion is very low maintenance. Wearers will experience at least 24 hours from a single charge and each Lithium-ion power cell can last up to 5 years before needing to be replaced.
The complete hearing aid is placed into a charger unit overnight and in as little as 3 hours they are again fully charged and ready to go. Some models come with a portable charging case that can itself recharge the hearing aids 2 or 3 times without having to be connected to the mains.
Lithium-Ion hearing aids are now in their 2nd generation meaning that the technology has proven to be successful in delivering a full day usage from a single charge. Wearers have been delighted with the hassle free concept of no longer having to regularly change their hearing aid battery. Instead they simply place it on charge along with their phone before going to bed.
The icing on the cake is that these Lithium-ion products are also packed with the latest in hearing aid features and technology.
If you’d like to know more about any of the stories or events in this newsletter, or if you have a story you think might be of interest to our readers, please click the button below to send us an email.