Selma Becker, Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist
Welcome to our February online newsletter
A very warm welcome to you all. And a warm welcome to our new member of staff, Nikki Benson! A real find, we are delighted that Nikki was able to join us just before Christmas as our new ENT trained Aural Practitioner. It is great to see our team expanding and business booming, particularly since the quieter lockdown times in the last two years.
We have finally caught up with a great number of our clients and we are still encouraging anyone who hasn’t been in for a while to book to see us. Don’t forget any New Year Resolution you or a family member may have made to book a hearing check! Indeed, we are holding an Open Week 14th – 18th February to encourage people to arrange a visit to see the team. We are still operating under a strict Covid protocol, but we are so well practised now, that it really is the new “normal”. We are here to help you, so please do give Natalya a call and she will book you in 0345 2220579. Or send an email.
Note from the editor
A big thank you to all our clients for supporting our Virtual Christmas raffle – we can’t believe we raised £1,100 for Hearing Dogs! We love fundraising for “relevant” charities which is why we decided to sponsor the Atlantic Row to raise money for Dementia, featured in our news pages. Kevin gave a presentation recently to the Beaconsfield 41 Club who donated £100 for Dementia UK. A big thank you to the 21 Club! If you go to any clubs who are looking for speakers, please do remember that our audiologists have a great portfolio of interesting topics.
I know many people already have their favoured charities, but we were wondering which events our readers would attend/ enjoy the most, now that group gatherings are beginning to happen again.
A quick opinion poll
When you get a moment perhaps you could email me – firstname.lastname@example.org with your top choice out of the following four options. Which of these would you prefer:
- A Quiz Night
- A talk by one of the audiologists
- A talk by one of our affiliated charities
- Summer afternoon tea in the practice garden – as a social – or with a talk!
I hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to getting feedback and seeing you all in practice!
New Aural Practitioner joins our team
We are delighted to announce that we have appointed a new ENT trained Aural Practitioner to our team. Having spent many years working abroad, Nikki will be holding regular wax removal clinics at both our practices – in Farnham Common and Marlow.
Nikki comments: “Providing a high standard of care is very important to me and is what attracted me to working at Help in Hearing. I was very lucky to be trained by an ENT Nurse and everyone has been incredibly friendly since I started.
Having graduated from the University of Queensland (Australia) as an Occupational Therapist in 1999, I went on to work in a wide range of healthcare settings including acute hospital services, specialist community health and biomedical research. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked in healthcare in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom over the past 22 years.
Helping people at their point of need is what I enjoy most about my work. I love learning about new medical insights and treatments and getting to the bottom of complex problems! Thankfully however, solutions to hearing loss are often simple and it is particularly satisfying when someone leaves our clinic with their hearing issue resolved!
In my spare time, I enjoy trail running with my husband, jewellery-making and anything related to interior design!”
Call to book a wax removal appointment with Nikki on 0345 2220579. Or email email@example.com
Myth-busting Dementia guide highlights hearing aid benefits!
An estimated one in 14 people over the age of 65 in the UK lives with dementia and the total number of people affected is increasing every year. What’s more, according to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph, it is predicted to be around one million by 2025.
We were delighted to see that included in the guide was another reference to how wearing a hearing aid can help “save” your brain. We have quoted many such reports previously, but it is always good to read further evidence. According to Prof Gill Livingston, University College London, who was the lead author on last year’s Lancet ‘Dementia Prevention’ Commission, intervention and care hearing impairment is the single biggest preventable risk factor for Alzheimer’s. “We believe that hearing loss could be responsible for as many as eight in every 100 cases of dementia,” she says.
To read the full story click here.
In Other News
Wendy off to the Falklands
On 9th January our intrepid explorer Wendy started her latest Falklands adventure, taking off from RAF Brize Norton, with strict Covid preparations and protocol. Providing audiology to the Falkland Islanders, she expects to see around 40 patients across 8 days at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, based in the Islands capital, Stanley. The trip had been postponed from 2021 when Wendy set up remote sessions from our Farnham Common practise instead. No doubt there will some stories to tell – hopefully she saw her beloved penguins again – we look forward to hearing all about it.
Atlantic Dementia Expedition on their way
The Forget Me Knot crew are on their way! We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of this independent Atlantic expedition to raise money for Dementia UK – our logo is featured on the boat in the picture above. We wish the crew the best of luck as they cross nearly 4,000- miles of the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to French Guiana, aiming to break two World Records and raise £100,000. If you know anyone who might like to donate, this is the link: www.gofundme.com/f/forget-me-knot-atlantic-row
Christmas Raffle raises £1,110 for Hearing Dogs
‘Helping Leave Loneliness Behind’ is a core message conveyed by the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. They make such a difference, and we are so proud to support them. The charity’s fundraising team were absolutely delighted when we told them how much we had raised with our virtual Christmas raffle! Thank you to all our clients who supported the event. Seen here is a very happy Adrian Needham with his festive hamper, one of the fabulous prizes presented to our winners just before Christmas.
World Hearing Day Update
On 3rd March 2022 it is World Hearing Day, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) focusing on the importance of safe listening as a means of maintaining good hearing. In a World Report on hearing published last year it highlighted noise control as one of the seven key interventions and stressed the importance of mitigating exposure to loud sounds. With their promotional activity, it is great to hear that they will be targeting venue managers, and owners of entertainment venues as well as the general public, especially young adults.
Jono Heale, an ex-musician and Director of ACS Custom
Virtual Hearing Event February 8th 2022
Following on from the success of our previous two virtual events we are delighted to announce our next one:
TALKING TINNITUS Tuesday February 8th 2022 12.00 -1.00pm
Join us to hear a presentation about the latest BTA funded research, including information on studies that look at the effects of Covid on people with tinnitus.
As part of Tinnitus Week, we are delighted to invite you to our free Virtual Hearing Event with guest speakers David Stockdale, CEO of the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), who will reflect on the work of the BTA and its current funded research into finding a cure; and Jono Heale, an ex-musician and Director of ACS Custom who will talk about his own personal tinnitus experience and the importance of noise protection.
Tinnitus is surprisingly common. In the UK, it is thought that more than 1 in 8 people experience some form of tinnitus. It often goes hand in hand with stress and in recent months the BTA say that nearly half of UK sufferers believe that Covid has made their condition worse. Our virtual event is an opportunity to find out the facts, to hear more about the BTA support and their funded research, as well as the chance to hear a first-hand account of a tinnitus journey. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation, giving you time to talk directly to our guest speakers.
To register your interest, simply click here to complete our registration form and we will be in touch with the necessary details.
Book to see our team during Open Week
Open Week 14th – 18th February 2022
You are invited to our special Help in Hearing Open Week
14th – 18th February 2022
Book your place, by appointment only
We want to make sure that your hearing is at its best so if it’s been a while since we’ve seen you, don’t miss out on memorable moments – book your next hearing test and find out about the latest hearing aid technology – from custom made in-the-ear rechargeable devices to behind-the-ear self-charging aids, we can find the best solution for you.
- Try out new aids – take up our offer of a free two-week trial.
- Make the most of your time with your audiologist, and also book a complimentary Bluetooth connection tutorial.
- Free servicing of aids to ensure optimum performance and prolong their lifespan.
- Ear-health assessment to check for wax – our microsuction wax removal appointments are reduced to £59 during our Open Week (normally £89).
- Recommend a friend – we are offering free hearing tests during our Open Week for any friends and family (normally £60).
- Half price full hearing assessment for new clients (normally £120) with a 2-week hearing aid trial.
Call today to book an appointment 0345 2220579. Or Email here
Spotlight on….Dementia UK
Dementia UK provides specialist support for families through the Admiral Nurse service, named by the family of Joseph Levy CBE BEM, who founded the charity. Joseph had vascular dementia and was known affectionately as “Admiral Joe” because of his love of sailing.
When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them. They give the compassionate one-to-one support, guidance and practical solutions people need. The charity says that it provides “a lifeline helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.”
They believe that everyone who needs the support of a specialist dementia nurse should get one, and they are working hard to increase the number of Admiral Nurses across the UK. If you are looking for information or advice about Dementia or Alzheimers, call the Dementia Helpline free on 0800 8886678. This is open from 9-9 Monday to Friday and 9-5 Saturday and Sunday. To find our more click here to take a look at their website
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 with 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).
Please do alert your friends and family to the issue of how helping hearing can help brain function. Call 0345 2220579 or email us to book an appointment.
What our patients say about us
We often send out client satisfaction surveys to be sure we are keeping up our gold standard service. We would like to thank our clients for taking the time to feedback to us. We’d love to hear from you, so please email us if you’d like to provide feedback or a testimonial about our service.
If you have been delighted with the services that we offer, we would really appreciate it if you could click and review us on one of these links below. It is a simple process – you just need to your email or facebook login passwords at hand – or take a look at our instructions here: https://www.helpinhearing.co.uk/review
Just click on one of the links, depending on which practice you visit.
“I have had a good experience with Kevin Jeffery’s guidance to using hearing aids. This is a difficult step but his advice was very helpful/. It felt safe in terms of Covid and the customer service was very good”.
I was highly recommended Help in Hearing and I got a great service. I definitely felt safe and the level of customer service was very good”
It was a very friendly and efficient service, I felt very safe and the level of customer service was very good.
“Always prompt, polite and kind attention. All the necessary precautions are always met in terms of Covid. I always see Kevin in Marlow, who is invariably welcoming, caring and efficient.”
“Good personal attention and skill. Felt very safe. Both Selma and her reception staff are professional and extremely helpful.”
“Excellent, professional, friendly help. Complete trust in Selma. Always receive good answers to questions, could not manage easily without her help over many years.”
“A visit to help in hearing proved to be invaluable made to feel comfortable, result of procedure was excellent, careful care & attention to hearing problem. The world of clear hearing is once again a lovely feeling. Thanks for a pleasant experience.”
“I have always used Help in Hearing and even though now we live in Staffordshire, continue to do so. For any hearing issues I would always contact them and have done in the past which may well have saved my one good ear.”
“While the devices are not cheap to buy and the cost of the consultation is to be considered, I believe that Help in Hearing gives value for money in minimising the inconvenience of hearing loss.”
An interview with Debbie Perry, a client who sees Kevin in Marlow
A series of client interviews and how Help in Hearing has made a difference
“You hadn’t had a good night unless your ears were ringing!” says our client Debbie Perry, suggesting that loud music might be one of the reasons she developed chronic Tinnitus and reduced hearing in her early 20’s. She also worked in fringe theatre, having trained at Drama School, and at one point in her early career she was even exposed to close-up gunshot.
Debbie’s hearing loss journey has taken her from despair to delight, as she talks to us about how our Marlow based audiologist Kevin Jeffery has made a huge difference – giving her hearing hope, support, and motivation.
With moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and severe very high frequency loss, Debbie started wearing hearing aids in 2001. Unfortunately, her early audiology experiences left her believing her hearing was a lot worse than it was. “My hearing was so poorly managed, and I had no idea what was possible at the time. I was left feeling that nothing more could be done”.
She felt very isolated and having completed a teacher training certificate part-time while her son Joe was growing up, she was ready to return to work, but the idea worried her. As she says: “I couldn’t concentrate or listen properly, as I didn’t actually believe I could hear. I was hooked up to so many devices to enable me to study that I never thought it would be possible to go out to teach. I had become dependent on my family and was feeling low and isolated. I really didn’t feel I was able to work, and I had stopped socialising”.
In 2014, Debbie’s husband Mike, who has always been a fantastic support, persuaded her that it was time to seek further help. So, she googled “I need help to hear” – and found our number! Although initially sceptical and nervous due to her previous experiences, Debbie soon came to realise that our audiologist Kevin Jeffery would be a positive, stabilising factor in her return to hearing.
Hearing Really Matters
She comments: “Kevin has such a wonderful ability to listen. He is so “deaf aware” which is not something I had ever experienced before. He worked with me to gradually rebuild my confidence, making me feel that my hearing really matters. He has been so generous with his time, his experience, his advice, and his endless patience. I never take his time for granted and I am so very grateful”.
Kevin fitted Debbie with Phonak aids which worked so well for her that not only did she return to work as a teacher in 2016, but she also enrolled in further studies two years later, this time taking a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology. Says Debbie: “When I started wearing the aids that Kevin had recommended and programmed for me, it was as if someone had woken me up and put me back in the world. If you don’t hear certain sounds for a while, you forget they exist. It was amazing!”
Her confidence was also boosted by knowing that if she had any problems with her hearing, she now had someone to turn to. She found group situations at university difficult, so Kevin suggested accessories to further enhance her hearing. Initially she tried the Roger Pen, but it didn’t give her the help she needed. So, Kevin moved her on to the Roger Select which she loves and still uses for her group teaching, her own studying, listening to music and podcasts. He also recommended the Phonak landline at home and the Widex drying box for reducing moisture in the aids, both of which have become essential add-ons for Debbie.
Debbie is now very positive about her hearing. She says: “I have been so inspired by Kevin that I want to help other people too. His love of helping people achieve their hearing potential is something that has pushed me along on my own journey”. Debbie is even planning to take her studies further, focusing on the emotional side of hearing loss and the importance of “brain hearing”.
In conclusion, Debbie, who decorates her aids to remind people she is wearing them, puts it very nicely: “I believe that hearing loss doesn’t have to be a negative experience – it can be a time for learning and appreciation too. I really want people to feel they can be empowered by the journey back to good hearing. Being a client at Help in Hearing has been such a joyful and fun experience that I have really enjoyed the whole process”.
Phonak ActiveVent Receiver Launch
A New Paradise Hearing Aid Range Addition
Phonak have recently launched their ActiveVent Receiver – an advanced speaker which has automatic adjustment and ‘switching vent’ capability, designed for high frequency loss. It has been created to give the wearer a more natural own voice, as well as an enhanced listening experience, by highlighting the sound you need in loud soundscapes.
Compatible with all Paradise rechargeable aids, this new receiver is attached straight onto the aids, stopping noise in more extreme environments. There is an incorporated vent with a small disc that switches from closed to open. When the disc is open environmental sound can pass through and the disc closes when challenging listening environments present themselves, or when you are streaming media. This stops the challenging sounds from passing directly into the ear and ensures low-frequency sounds are passed through naturally, without occlusion.
If you wear Paradise aids, or would like to like to find out more, book an appointment with Kevin, Wendy or Selma on freephone 0345 222 0579 or fill in our contact form.
Wendy answers some frequently asked questions
About Hearing Aids
Q: How will I know that I need hearing aids?
A: There are a few signs that indicate that you may need hearing aids such as needing to ask friends & relatives to repeat what they have said, not hearing conversation clearly; turning the television up louder and avoiding social situations in case you do not hear the conversation.
Q: What happens at a hearing assessment?
A: The Audiologist will begin by asking you questions about your hearing and general health. They will look in your ears to determine if there is any wax present and if there is, they will remove it.
The Audiologist will undertake some hearing tests with you, after which they will discuss the results and make recommendations which may include using hearing aids.
Q: Are hearing aids easy to use?
A: Yes, they are. The Audiologist will discuss the different options with you to find the easiest option for you. Many hearing aids are rechargeable, removing the need to change batteries. They are also automatic so there is minimal adjustment required by the wearer.
The Audiologist will fully explain how to use the hearing aids and how to fit and remove them.
Q: How long will it take to get my new hearing aids?
A: Once the assessment is completed, hearing aids will be ordered specifically for you. These are usually fitted between 1 and 2 weeks. Sometimes we have models already available in stock.
Q: How many times will I need to see the Audiologist?
A: The Audiologist will meet with you for the initial assessment and again 1-2 weeks later to fit your new hearing aids. A follow up appointment will be made for 2 weeks after the fitting to allow you to discuss with the Audiologist how you are getting on with the aids after which you will be seen as many times as you require/would like.
On buying new aids, some clients visit us monthly for a clean and check of their aids and others only attend once a year.
Q: How much do hearing aids cost?
A: Like many devices, hearing aids are available in different technology levels from essential to premium. The Audiologist will recommend a technology level depending on your hearing challenges and your lifestyle. Follow this link to our prices for a pair of hearing aids. https://www.helpinhearing.co.uk/home/services/hearing-aid-pricing/
Looking After My Hearing Aids
Q: Do my hearing aids have any warranty?
A: We provide 4 years warranty with all hearing aids.
Q: How long will my hearing aids last?
A: Most people upgrade their hearing aids every 3 to 5 years.
Lifespan of the hearing aids are affected by multiple factors, how often you wear them, where you use them, model type, general maintenance etc.
Q: Do you provide insurance for my hearing aids?
A: We do not provide insurance, but we do recommend that you add them to your house contents insurance in case they get lost. We can guide you through an insurance claim, providing a quote and all the advice you need.
Q: I purchased my hearing aids from a different provider, are you able to help me with them?
A: Yes, we deal with all the main hearing aid providers and can support and maintain most models. Please contact us on 0345 2220579 to make an appointment and be advised of any costs.
Connecting My Hearing Aid to My Phone
Q: Can I connect my hearing aids to my mobile phone?
A: Yes, depending on the model of hearing aid and phone that you have.
From 2016, many RIC style hearing aids have Bluetooth which allows them to pair with iPhones. More recently, hearing aids can also pair with Android phones.
For further information, please see how “How To Guides” or contact your audiologist. https://www.helpinhearing.co.uk/how-to-guides/
Q: What are the benefits of connecting my hearing aids to my smart phone?
A: Using Bluetooth to pair your hearing aids to your phone allows you to hear phone calls in both ears, through your hearing aids.You can also play music from your phone directly into your hearing aids.
Ear Wax Removal
Q: How do you remove wax from my ears?
A: We use the microsuction procedure. Using a microscope to examine your ear, the Audiologist uses a small tube connected to a medical suction device to gently remove wax from your ear canal.
Q: Does microsuction hurt?
A: No, most people comment that Microsuction has a rather strange sensation but is not uncomfortable. You will hear the suction as a wind rushing sound.
Q: Do I need to use olive oil to soften my ear wax before my appointment?
A: We prefer you not to use any olive oil or drops prior to your microsuction appointment.
Q: How should I clean my ears?
A: Using a flannel or a tissue to wipe around the entrance of your ear canal only as far as you can comfortably insert your finger. Clean all the outside of your ear (your pinna) with the flannel. You should do this every day.
Do not use cotton buds as these may push wax further into your ear causing a blockage in your ear canal. If you think your ears are blocked with wax, please make an appointment to see an Audiologist.