Selma Becker, Managing Director and Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist
Welcome to our latest online newsletter
The response to our new electronic newsletter format has been very good, so we are delighted to bring you the Summer edition, once again packed full with news and events. The heatwave has hit the headlines, with the possibility of a drought around the corner. I wonder what the weather will bring when it is time for our next Newsletter?!
We love hearing from you so 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.
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Click on one of the tabs now to see our latest news. Then click on another of the tabs to see other pages in the newsletter. We hope you enjoy it!
In the Summer Newsletter we are running a competition for all readers to win these fantastic Hypersound Clear 500 speakers. It’s simple to enter: just complete your contact details in the form below and we’ll enter you into the draw. The draw will be held at the end of July and a winner selected at random. The winner’s details will be published in the next newsletter.
Hypersound Clear 500 speakers offer an audio solution for people with hearing loss. The ultrasonic yet slimline speakers beam high quality sound to targeted listeners, without the need to wear headphones. Focused sound is delivered to a specific area of the room, meaning that if you have hearing loss, you can enjoy a high-quality listening experience from your favourite seat, while everyone else in the room can enjoy great sound from the TV or other audio sources at a normal volume.
Competition is now closed.
In this issue
We have been busy at Help in Hearing this Summer. Kevin and I have attended a couple of conferences and the fast pace of hearing aid technology is keeping us on our toes. The future of hearing aids really is very exciting, so much so that eventually it looks like we will even be able to monitor our health through iPhone apps linked to our hearing aids.
Gilly has been busy implementing the new GDPR data protection policies as this affects all businesses. I wanted to take this opportunity to mention that, with great regret, we are no longer able to send out birthday cards for this very reason. I know many of you were delighted to receive our birthday wishes over the years but with new data protection rules, we do have to be careful what we send people. In fact, we were rather taken aback recently when we received a complaint from a client because we sent her a birthday card.
In June Gilly spent two days with the British Tinnitus Association to train to be a Tinnitus Adviser. The Support Group is going well and she continues to plan an interesting calendar of events. I very much enjoyed the Tai Chi session in April and the Hypnotherapy with Bret last month was fascinating. Look out for our Guest Speaker Fiona Barker, a clinical scientist who is giving a talk on September 12th on vestibular disorders and dizziness to coincide with Balance Awareness Week, a key fundraising event for the Meniere’s Society. Visit our Events page to see more information about the next Support Group events.
Following on from the success of the Tea for Tinnitus coffee morning held at Farnham Common library which raised £170 for Tinnitus research, Gilly is holding another coffee morning on September 18th, this time in Marlow, fundraising to help “Defeat Dizziness”.
Kevin has more talks planned in July. His first presentation is to the Hedgerley-based Tracy Trust who provide welfare and medical equipment service assistance to local people. His previous talk on the importance of treating hearing loss with BOPAG (Buckinghamshire Older Peoples Action Group) in High Wycombe was so well received that he has been asked to give a second talk at Hughenden Gardens Village, a new Housing scheme and retirement village in High Wycombe, set up by the ExtraCare trust.
We have now also taken on a new Secretary called Jan Gosling who will be working 3 days a week. Jan previously worked in Education and is delighted to join the team.
Our hearing care scheme, Hearingplan, is becoming popular with new clients. As well as the personalised care package, other benefits include free sundry supplies, free or significantly reduced repairs and replacement parts and reduced charges for micro suction wax removal.
If you’ve been to one of our clinics recently, you may have been asked to provide some feedback for us and we’ve collected together some of the feedback received so you can read what our patients are saying about us. And if you have any feedback for us, we’d be delighted to receive it. Just visit our Feedback Page.
We all know our hearing is precious and we also give some advice in this issue about the importance of how to protect your ears from water. Whether you are keeping fit or simply trying to keep cool, swimming is one of the most popular sports but please be ear-aware when you get in the water. Take a look at our Advice Page.
And finally we are pleased to tell you about a new product. You can find out more on our New Products Page.
We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter. Please send us any feedback or requests you may have so we can ensure we’re providing the information you’d like to receive.
Help defeat dizziness at our coffee morning during Balance Awareness Week
Help defeat dizziness
The Meniere’s Society is focusing on fundraising during Balance Awareness Week 16th – 22nd 2018. We will be holding a “Help Defeat Dizziness” coffee morning to raise awareness of Meniere’s on Tuesday September 18th at Liston Hall, Marlow 10.00am – Midday. Please tell your friends about this and do come along. Any cake donations will be very welcome.
Severe vertigo is one of the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, a condition that some of our clients have to battle with for years on end. Indeed Gilly herself has struggled with it, so she knows exactly what it is like to be completely bedridden when the symptoms take hold.
Meniere’s can also lead to Tinnitus and at the Support Group meeting in Marlow on September 12th we are honoured to be joined by Fiona Barker, a registered Clinical Scientist who specialises in the assessment and management of vestibular problems, dizziness and imbalance. Fiona, who is based at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor also has a certificate in evidence-based psychological therapy with a special interest in the consultation process and in the psychological impact of dizziness.
Balance problems and dizziness are often caused by Vestibular Disorders, but why and how does this happen?
Vestibular disorders can result from or be worsened by genetic or environmental conditions, or they can occur for unknown reasons. The vestibular system (balance organ) in the ear is responsible for maintaining balance, posture, and the body’s orientation in space. It is made up of three semi-circular canals and two structures called otoliths. The organ of hearing (cochlea) is also in your inner ear.
The body’s balance system works by coordinating information in the brain for the three senses used for balance: the eyes, the balance organ in the inner ear and the body’s internal sense of balance. If there is vertigo (dizziness) it means the brain has not been able to coordinate information from the balance senses properly.
In vestibular conditions the balance organ in the ear is affected. As the balance organ is faulty the brain becomes more dependent on information coming from the eyes and sensors in the body.
Examples of vestibular conditions
Some examples of vestibular conditions include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, labyrinthitis, Ménière’s disease, migraine associated vertigo and vestibular neuritis.
Occasionally patients who are experiencing dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, and other symptoms that accompany a vestibular disorder feel lost, confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the lack of understanding prevalent among their family, friends, and co-workers, and even the medical community.
Vestibular disorders are real, medical conditions. You may have been told that your symptoms are all in your head – they are not! Vestibular disorders can be underdiagnosed and undertreated. If this rings true with any clients, friends or families, come along to our talk by Fiona Barker on September 12th. Book here.
Bret Freeman, Master Hypnotherapist
Can hypnotherapy help tinnitus?
Our Guest Speaker at the last Tinnitus Support Group meeting in Marlow was Bret Freeman, a master Hypnotherapist. As you know, there is unfortunately no actual cure for Tinnitus but the ethos of the group is to try and encourage positivity and relaxation, as well as helping people realise that they can “habituate” (learn to live comfortably) with their Tinnitus.
There are many techniques that people can try and although there was some scepticism about what the meeting had in store for us, we were all totally amazed by how easily Bret managed to hypnotise a volunteer candidate. I have asked Bret to tell us more about his techniques.
Bret has written us a guest blog article about how hypnotherapy can help tinnitus. Read an extract below, then click through to our website blog to read the whole article and find out about the special offer for Help in Hearing clients.
Taming Tinnitus with Hypnotherapy
an article by Bret Freeman and a special offer for Help in Hearing clients
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……….Click to read the whole article on our website
Steve and Echo
Photo courtesy of Paul Wilkinson
Quiz night success
We raised £285 at the Help in Hearing Quiz Night to raise money for Hearing Dogs, held at the Emperor in Farnham Common. We are holding another Quiz at the same venue on Tuesday 9th October 7.00pm for 7.30pm and we believe that tickets will sell very quickly. Please click here to book your place at the 9th October Quiz Night.
It was a fun evening but more importantly it was a terrific fundraising event. We received this lovely letter of thanks from the Charity.
On behalf of all of us at Hearing Dogs I should be grateful if you would pass on my thanks to everyone at Help in Hearing for the kind gift of £285.00 towards our work. Your special gift will help our work to change the lives of deaf people like Steve and his hearing dog Echo. Steve lost his hearing in a horrific car accident and had a long road to recovery and struggled to adapt to his new “silent” life. He felt cut off from the world and became heavily dependent on his family, particularly his Mum. His life changed for ever when he met his hearing dog Echo. Steve says “this amazing, loyal, clever dog has transformed my life, not only by alerting me to the vital sounds I can no longer hear, but by building a bridge between me and people who have hearing. Thanks to Echo I have got my independence – and my life – back. I have a new partner, a new home and I’ve taken up my passion for golf again. She is my world.”
Jan Gosling, our new receptionist
Jan has joined us
We are delighted to welcome Jan Gosling to our team. Jan will be working on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Reception so that Gilly can find some dedicated time to work on the PR and events side of the business. We think Jan will fit in very well as not only does she love cakes, she also bakes them! Jan also loves to dance and keep fit and has recently been trekking around Cuba so I’m sure she will have a few stories to tell.
In Other News
Celebrating 100 support groups
The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) have been celebrating the fact that they now have as many as 100 support groups around the UK. Tinnitus affects some six million people in the UK and we are delighted to be part of the Support Group Network.
Newsletter launch competition winner
In our launch issue we included a free to enter competition to win a Harmon-Kardon SoundSticks III, 2.1-channel multimedia sound system. We are pleased to announce the winner, Graham Rogers, seen here being presented with his prize at our Farnham Common clinic, with an understandably happy smile!
Talking to the community
On July 18th Kevin joined a tea party and gave a presentation on “Why do we have Hearing Loss?” to local Hedgerley based Tracy Trust who provide welfare and medical equipment service assistance to local people. A week later, he is also talking to Hughenden Gardens Village, on 25th July. The key message is the importance of hearing checks and treating all hearing loss. We will feature excerpts from Kevin’s talks in our next Newsletter.
Alfie the Bichon (Gilly’s dog) now looks more like a terrier! He had to have his hair cut so short with the hot weather that he also resembles a shorn sheep! If anyone can think of a new name for the new-look Alfie please do let us know. Alfie’s love for Kevin continues – as some clients may have already seen, he becomes a very demanding dog when they greet each other in the morning….. look out for a video of Kevin’s morning greeting from Alfie in our next edition.
If you’re affected by Tinnitus, come along to our regular 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.
Monday August 6th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Help in Hearing, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ
An informal group discussion on techniques for helping tinnitus – perhaps you meditate or use a singing bowl – bring along your ideas to share with the group. Guest Speaker: Julia Walters from the Spirit of the Rainbow – talking about holistic therapies.
Wednesday September 12th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Thames Room, Liston Hall, Liston Road, Marlow SL7 1DD
A talk on vestibular problems, dizziness and imbalance, plus changing behaviours, by Fiona Barker, a registered Clinical Scientist who works at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Windsor.
I am going to this [Gilly] – if anyone wants some company and is interested in meeting me there, please do let me know.
Monday October 15th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Help in Hearing, Cedar House, Glade Road, Marlow SL7 1DQ
A talk on mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by Dr Charlotte Morris and Costas Lambropoulos from Paron Mindfulness, a local company that offer workshops specialising in Mindfulness for Wellbeing.
Balance Awareness Week, Sept 2018
Marlow Coffee Morning
Tuesday September 18th – 10:00am – 12:00 noon
The Meniere’s Society is promoting Balance Awareness Week 16th – 22nd September to raise awareness of this debilitating vestibular disorder for which there is no cure. To support the Defeat Dizziness campaign, we are holding a coffee morning at The Thames Room, Liston Hall, Chapel Street, Marlow SL7 1DD. Please do join us and bring your friends.
Help raise funds for charity at our Quiz Night
You are invited to our popular Help in Hearing Quiz Night
There will be a prize draw, with prizes including a round of golf for 4 people at the club.
All money raised from the event will go to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Tickets are £12 for fish and chips, or Halloumi as the veggie option. Drinks available at the bar.
7:00pm. Guest speakers: Mike & Clare Coote from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People will attend with their hearing dog, Cooper and will be giving a talk. Quiz starts at 7:30pm, food served at 8:30pm, quiz ends at 10:00pm.
Tickets sell very fast. The first event was a relaxed, fun evening so we do hope you will be able join us this time. Teams of 6 people but if you would like 1 or 2 tickets and wish to join another team, we would be happy to arrange that for you. Anyone who would like tickets please email Gilly or call 0345 222 0579
Mike & Clare’s Hearing Dog Cooper
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.
Video: Broadcaster & DJ Nicky Horne
Nicky Horne is a broadcaster and DJ who has been presenting radio programmes since the 1970s, having worked for Radio 1, Radio 2, Capital, Virgin, Jazz, Magic, Talksport and Classic FM, amongst others. We fitted Nicky with Oticon OPN1 MRITE hearing aids and here he talks about how he first realised his hearing had been affected by years of listening to loud music. He describes the process of his hearing test with us: – “Selma gave me the most intensive hearing test, much more sophisticated than at the chemist” – and how he can listen to his music through the Oticons. He says he has been given back the precious gift of pure sound. Watch the video (has subtitles) to listen to Nicky’s story.”
Sir Martyn Lewis
“A truly great experience over several years. The care taken in choosing, fitting and adjusting the right aids is meticulous. Allowing you to test the aids for a few weeks before payment is a nice, confident touch. Well worth the 50 minute journey from London. Vastly superior to several hearing experts I went to in Harley Street over the years. Selma keeps fully up to speed with the latest hearing technology but only recommends it if she feels it could be a really significant improvement on what you have already got. And the final judgement is yours. Couldn’t recommend Help In Hearing more highly.” Sir Martyn Lewis
Professional, welcoming & kind
“Everyone to do with Help in Hearing is professional, welcoming, and kind. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Selma is a special lady. The team are lovely as well.” Tricia Crocker
Always been happy
“Both Dot and myself have always been happy with the reception / advice and assistance we get when we visit Kevin at Marlow.” John Mansfield
Service is superb
“Very efficient: excellent timekeeping: service is superb and the equipment and records are not only extremely thorough, but also very helpful in understanding the condition of my ears and hearing. I’ve usually seen Selma, whose attention and care is superb: but I’ve sometimes seen Kevin, who has also provided excellent care. Office admin has always been prompt and accurate. Can’t fault anything or anyone.” Michael Baldwin
Really good service
“Really good service especially getting an appointment so quickly.” Peter Rodin
Friendly and very thorough
“Friendly, very thorough and unrushed consultation. Very experienced audiologist with an obvious passion for the subject. Pros and cons of various devices clearly explained.” Simon Last
Protect your ears when you’re swimming
Swimmer's Ear - Be ear-aware
Earplugs are a great way to protect your ears when you swim. Excessive and relatively constant moisture in the ear canal can cause infection in the external part of the canal. Infections of this sort are commonly known as “swimmer’s ear.”
Otitis externa, or “swimmer’s ear”, is an ear infection that affects the external ear and outer ear canal. Symptoms of swimmer’s ear can include inflammation of the ear, itchiness inside the ear, pain when the ear is pulled or when the head is tilted, and infection leaking from the ear.
The infection that develops when bacteria enters the ear canal from the water may not be obvious until several days after swimming. This condition can affect a swimmer of any age, but is more common in children.
Under normal circumstances, water can enter and exit your ear canal without a problem. When water stays in your ear canal, however, it can wash away the canal’s protective coating of earwax. This can cause a wet condition in your ear canal for bacteria to grow.
How to put on a swimming cap properly
Wearing a swimming cap to help protect your ears from getting wet while you are swimming can be helpful. It is important to put the swimming cap on properly with the ears completely covered. To put it on, place your hands inside the cap with fingers laced. Stretch the swimming cap open. Lean forward and slide the cap on, slowly moving your hands downward as the cap slides onto your head. Once the swimming cap reaches your ears, remove your hands completely and tug the cap down until your ears are covered.
Custom-made swimming earplugs
We highly recommend the earplug option. We work with a specialist supplier called ACS Custom who give you a custom-made complete seal that keeps water out of your ear whilst swimming. Made from red and blue (to indicate right and left respectively) floatable silicone, your Swim plugs are buoyant so that they are easily found if dropped or if they fall in the water.
If you decide to wear over-the-counter earplugs, take a few simple precautions to prevent getting an infection from the earplugs themselves. Clean your earplugs after wearing them with a little rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball.
You can also prevent swimmer’s ear by keeping your ears dry after you go for a dip. You can gently dab your inner ears with a towel or cotton wool ball to prevent against infection. Remember to tip your head on one side while you dry the opposite ear. We don’t recommend cotton buds — pushing and/or jabbing anything too deeply into your ears can cause damage to your ear drum, not to mention blockage due to the redistribution of wax.
If you have an ear infection, it is best to keep your ears away from water until the infection has cleared up. If your symptoms last longer than a week or two (depending on their severity), or if you get swimmer’s ear often, you must see your GP. In addition, make an appointment with them right away if your infection is accompanied by a fever, pus-like or bloody discharge, or any noticeable hearing loss or ringing in your ears. Keep your ears happy and healthy and call us any time if you have any concerns.
Also remember the importance of routine Hearing Tests
You may have your teeth and eyes checked regularly, but what about your ears?
The smallest and most natural sounding ready-to-wear hearing aid
Signia Silk Nx hearing aids offer the world’s first natural own voice. Overall audibility and a natural sounding own voice are essential for first fit acceptance. Yet many hearing aid wearers think their voice sounds unnatural, which can lead to dropouts. Signia Nx, the world’s most advanced hearing aid platform, provides the industry’s first genuine solution to the own voice issue with uncompromised audibility and speech understanding in noise.
One of the world’s smallest hearing aids, Silk is ready to wear on the spot thanks to its super soft silicone sleeves that allow it to hide comfortably in your ear. The new Silk is 20% smaller than its predecessor, making it practically invisible in the ear.
Click and fit silicone sleeves
Available in different sizes, the silicone sleeves simply click onto the Signia Silk Nx hearing aids and sit securely in the ear for a completely natural, perfect fit on the spot without having to wait for a custom-made housing as with other in-the-ear hearing aids. The Silk is also colour coded, red for right and blue for left, helping you to put the hearing aids in the correct ear easily.
Make phone calls & listen to music
Unlike hearing aids that sit behind the ear, Silk’s microphones pick up sound inside the ear canal. This enables you to make phone calls and listen to music in the way you are used to naturally. You can even use over-ear headphones.
Crystal clear sound
Whether you’re on a crowded street, a busy restaurant or an open-plan office, Signia Silk NX hearing aids focus on what’s important, such as your conversation partner, while filtering out unwanted background noise.
Remote control – touchControl App (TM)
Change settings remotely and personalise your hearing aids to suit your preference. The miniPocket (TM) is also available to provide a convenient remote control if you don’t have a smartphone.
The Signia Silk NX hearing aids – where to find out more
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.