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November 2021

Selma Becker, Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist

Welcome to our November online newsletter

A very warm welcome to you all.  I can’t believe this is our Christmas edition already! A couple of year’s ago Gilly persuaded us to wear our festive outfits on Christmas Jumper Day – we thought we would share the photo with you to start the season with a Santa smile!  This year, we are running a virtual Christmas Raffle with some very special prizes – do take a look at our news page to find out more or on our website.

After last year’s disappointments, the festive celebrations will be very special for many of us, as we spend more time with our families and friends. With this in mind, please do treasure every moment – book in to see us, so that your ears and hearing are in tip top condition for Christmas and the New Year!

Or, maybe you need regular microsuction? Don’t leave it too late to ensure your ears are in good shape – book to see us before our Christmas closure at lunch time on Christmas Eve.

Virtual tour of the practice

We are delighted to show you our new practice video, filmed by local videographer Ben Brearley of Black Chilli Video. It’s a whistle stop virtual tour of our Farnham Common practice  so please take a look and share this link with any friends or family who might be interested to find out more about us.

Our Covid guidelines still include mandatory mask wearing, good ventilation, hand washing, high standard clinical sanitisation and social distancing where possible. We do still ask clients to wait to be called before entering the building as both our practices serve other practitioners. We are however encouraging you to bring a family member or friend to an appointment if you are new to the practice, or are considering upgrading your hearing aids. Your hearing is important to the whole family and we want to ensure we find the right solution for you. We very much look forward to seeing you all safely in practice. 

Note from the editor

Merry Christmas to you all. I wanted to remind you that we have a “Refer a Friend” scheme. A number of new clients have been referred to us by word of mouth, so if you do recommend us, don’t forget to tell your friends and family to mention you when they call to book. The new client will be offered £40 off a full hearing assessment and you will be entitled to a £25 John Lewis voucher, or you can ask us to make a donation on your behalf to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Also a big well done to Kevin and Wendy who have both given talks recently (more details on our News page). If any of the groups you belong to have regular speakers, please do bear our audiologists in mind as they are all very good at presenting, with a wide variety of interesting hearing related titles in their portfolio of talks.

Christmas Opening Times

Selma mentioned about booking an appointment before Christmas so please make sure you book before we close at lunch time on Christmas Eve. Here are our opening times:

Christmas Opening Times

Christmas Eve 9:00am – 1:00pm
25th – 28th December:  Closed
29th – 30th December: 9.00am – 5.00pm
31st December: 9.00am-4.00pm
3rd January: Closed
Re-opens Tuesday 4th January 

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:

Just click on one of the links, depending on which practice you visit.

help in hearing farnham common – Google Search

help in hearing marlow – Google Search

Thank you!

Christmas Charity Raffle

To 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!

There are some fantastic prizes including a Luxury Festive Hamper,  two bespoke necklaces each worth £300 – and of course a Hearing Dogs Calendar! To find out more and see the line-up of prizes click here.

Simply call the office on 0345 2220579 to buy a “ticket”. They cost £10 and you can buy as many as you like! The winners will be drawn on Friday December 17th.

My "Help in Hearing" Winning Photos

Winners of our Photography Competition

Over the summer we ran a photo competition to celebrate the joy of hearing, asking our clients to send in photos of anything that illustrates their “Help in Hearing”. The winners were featured on our website in September but just in case you missed the announcement, we thought we would share the details again.

In first place winning a luxury hamper is Leslie Willner seen here with Selma presenting her prize hamper: This was Leslie’s entry: “Time is suspended as I gaze at the lake – its ever-changing appearance, according to the weather and the time of day – and listen to the urgent calls from the water and an incredible chorus of birdsong. Then I pause and wonder: How much of this wild music would be lost to me without ‘Help in Hearing’”. Leslie Willner





Taking the second-place prize of a smaller hamper is Ron Baker, seen here with our Wendy:

Ron’s entry: “Thanks to my aids supplied by Help in Hearing, I heard the young chicks in the nest BEFORE the parent bird came to feed them!” Ron Baker.

Thank you to all our entrants, the photos and sentiments were very inspiring and rewarding.

In Other News

The value of face to face appointments

According to a recent survey by the IDA Institute on exploring the future of hearing care, 86% of 432 people with hearing loss said they prefer purchasing hearing devices from a hearing care professional, rather than online or in-store. And despite (or maybe because of) more than a year of Covid-19 restrictions and safety concerns, consumers rate access to in-person appointments as more important than the cost of hearing aids.


Kevin Technology Talk

Kevin recently gave a talk on hearing to the U3A Engineering, Technology and Transport sub-group (ETT) in Marlow. The presentation was so well thought of that he has now been approached to give another local talk. The talk organizer commented: ““I approached Kevin earlier this year and had an initial discussion on the things that I thought our members would be interested in, mindful that we did not want a “sales pitch”. He did not disappoint, and the technological level was “spot on” An excellent fulfilment of the brief.” Well done Kevin!


Wendy on Marlow FM

A big thank you to Marlow FM presenter Chris Zaremba for inviting Wendy on to his show a couple of weeks again. Wendy was a guest on the Morning Matters Health and Fitness Show giving a very informative summary of our services with details of our hugely successful Virtual Hearing Event. Well done Wendy!

Help in Hearing client joins us to support Atlantic Expedition for Dementia

A big thank you to our client Sir Anwar Pervez who has donated £1,000 to the Forget-me-knot campaign, an independent Atlantic expedition to raise money for Dementia UK. 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. To find out more go to the story on our website

Virtual Hearing Event Success

Second 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. This was a collaboration with  3 other other independent audiologists and we were amazed by the number of registrations as we reached 250! The Event was a fantastic success with an excellent Q&A session at the end (see below).

The theme of the presentation given by Alison Stone, Lead Audiologist for Oticon was:

Let us help you hear more, with less effort!

A lot can happen in eighteen 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. 

Alison 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 missed the talk but would like to listen please  click this link  . A transcript is also available on request.

Spotlight on...the BTA

Spotlight on….Dementia UK

Spotlight on....

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.

Audiologist team meeting

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.

GroHawk 10/10 review for Help in Hearing

Peter Huby

“Very welcoming, very friendly and professional and everything explained very clearly to me.”

GroHawk 10/10 review for Help in Hearing

Jenifer Murray

“The tests were carried out very professionally but in a friendly way. In depth detail if required”

GroHawk 10/10 review for Help in Hearing

Ucal McLeod

“Wendy Davies was brilliant, her ability to make you feel comfortable and at ease made it all more relaxing. Wendy possessed high levels of customer experience and had a kind and friendly approach to her work and customers.”

GroHawk 10/10 review for Help in Hearing

Lois Pryce

“Wendy was friendly, efficient and professional. She was attentive and knowledgeable to my situation and my questions surrounding my hearing loss and tinnitus.”

Ian Floody

“Kevin is extremely professional and explains the process thoroughly while being very friendly.”

Charles Nicholson

“Excellent, professional, friendly help. Complete trust in Selma. Always receive good answers to questions, could not manage easily without her help over many years.”

Sheila Gleeson

“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.”

Joy Smyth

“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.”

Rodney England

“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.”

Some tips for the festive season

Hearing tips at Christmas

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.

The first custom hearing aids with contactless charging and Bluetooth

Hot off the press, Signia’s 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.

Insio Charge&Go AX is built on Signia’s Augmented Xperience platform, which uses 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 please call to see one of our audiologists today 0345 2220579 or email us.

Starkey launch Evolv AI

Starkey has introduced another line up of aids with artificial intelligence, following on from the success of Livio, the first AI aid launched in 2018. The company says that their new introduction, named Evolv AI is “loaded with the most innovative technology and clearest sound ever”.

With up to 55 million personalized adjustments every hour, the always-on, always automatic approach that is fundamental to the range, is designed to deliver realistic and genuine sound quality in every listening environment without the need to do anything extra.

Evolv AI is built on Starkey Sound™, a technology created by years of refining Starkey’s research and science-based algorithms to power high-fidelity audio, which is modelled on the human auditory system. Like the brain, Starkey say the technology is designed to automatically suppress background noise and increase speech audibility.

As the world leader in custom manufacturing, Starkey have also  introduced the industry’s smallest 2.4 GHz CIC, as part of the Evolv AI line of hearing aids..”

Additional features of the Evolv AI product family include:

  • 40% reduction in noise energy compared to the company’s previous technology
  • Additional refinement of Edge Mode
  • Fall Alert and Voice Reminders at all technology tiers
  • Thrive usability enhancements
  • TeleHear™ first and follow-up fit additions
  • To find out more, book in to see Selma, Wendy or Kevin. Call 0345 222 0579 or fill in our email us

How Do We Test Small Children?

Those of you have visited our clinic for a hearing test will appreciate the concentration required to perform a hearing test. The purpose of a Pure Tone Audiogram, the name for the routine hearing test, is to establish the quietest sound that you can her and identify if there is any hearing loss across a range of different frequencies. You will know that we sit you inside a small booth, put headphones on your ear and ask you to press a button every time you hear a sound.

But have you ever wondered how we test small children?

For Children over the age of 7, we would ask them to do the same test as an adult (but we may leave the booth door open to help make the child feel more comfortable) but for younger children Audiologists need to use different techniques.

The testing of children’s hearing begins at a very young age. In fact, all babies born in hospital will be offered a new-born baby hearing screen called an automated otoacoustic emission before they go home (picture courtesy of Natus)

The baby needs to be sleeping or quietly resting while a probe is gently held in the baby’s ear. The probe puts sounds into the ear and measures the sounds that come back to determine if the baby has normal hearing.

During the age of 7 months and 2.5 years, parents will be asked if they have any concerns about their child’s hearing as part of their routine developmental checks. If there are any concerns, hearing tests will be arranged.

Of course, we can’t expect a 7 month old baby to wear headphones and press a button when they hear a sound so instead distraction testing is used.

The baby sits on her parent’s lap, facing towards one of the audiology team who distracts the baby with toys to keep their interest. A second member of the audiology team will place themselves behind the baby to one side and make different sounds. If the baby hears the sound, she will turn her head towards it.

Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) is another method for testing the hearing of children under 3 years of age. Sounds are made from loudspeakers on either side of the child who is sitting in a chair. When the child hears the sound and turns towards it, they receive a visual reward such as a cartoon on the screen or a dancing toy (Picture courtesy of Interacoustics)

At Help in Hearing, we can test the hearing of children from 3 years of age.We use the same headphones that we test adults with, but we remove them from the booth so that the child is sitting next to the audiologist.

Rather than instruct the child, we play a listening game where we drop a coloured brick into a box with the child when the sound is presented. We repeat dropping bricks in until the child is accurately, hearing the sound and putting the brick into the box without help.

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