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  • How to improve your hearing health

    4 tips to help you improve your hearing health

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

    1. Turn down that volume

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

    2. The importance of hearing protection

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

    3. Don’t use cotton buds

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

    4. The importance of the hearing checkup

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

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

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

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

  • Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    We all do it. We all have something in our life that we put off for as long as possible. In talking to our clients, we’ve often heard them say that they’ve known there is an issue with their hearing for some time, but have put off doing something about it. So why do people avoid hearing tests?

    Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    For many, it all starts with the rush to do our homework on the school bus on the day it’s due to be handed in. And for others, it’s avoiding taking health tests until absolutely necessary. Procrastination could well be one of the reasons why you or a loved one is avoiding having their hearing tested. Life can be busy and it can seem hard to find the time to even make the appointment, let alone attend a consultation.

    Hearing loss is just a sign of ageing?

    Older people may be under the impression that impaired hearing is just a normal part of advanced age. So they decide not to “bother” anyone with it.

    Misplaced fears

    In all honesty, for some people it is easier to “side step” the issue because they fear the worst. It becomes preferable to ignore difficulties in hearing people speaking, ringing in your ears or the constant need to increase the TV or radio volume. Or possibly the thing holding you back is the misconception that hearing difficulties will lead to the “embarrassment” of having an obvious and inconvenient hearing aid. Maybe you are concerned about an elderly relative who is showing signs of tinnitus or hearing deficit, but you’re concerned that confronting them will cause upset and arguments.

    Worsening problems and their impact

    However, hearing health is not something you should take lightly. And delaying a hearing test could actually be making your problems worse. At the very least, your quality of life could be seriously eroded. If it is a gradual decline, you may not even be fully aware of just how much you are missing out on. It could be that you’ve started turning down social engagements, and you have become more insular and lacking in confidence. Or, you feel depressed and frustrated.

    One call for improved hearing

    Yet all of the above can be soothed away with a visit to an understanding and approachable independent audiologist. An appointment can be made that fits with your lifestyle and schedule. Your audiologist can test you, and talk you through the options in a calm and clear way. Whatever action is required can be arranged seamlessly. It all leads to a huge sense of relief and most likely an improvement in your quality of life.

    So why wait? Contact us today.

    Hearing tests – where to find out more

    To talk to us about hearing tests or to book an appointment, please get in touch or complete our hearing test request form.

    Find out what to expect from a hearing assessment with Help in Hearing.

  • Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    It is a fact that most hearing impaired people, who gradually lose their hearing, wait between 10 and 15 years to address the problem, usually egged on by a partner or close friend, who have become increasingly exasperated and frustrated with the television being too loud getting no response to their questions. This article looks at some signs you may need a hearing test, and what you can do about it.

    It’s also often thought that hearing loss only affects the elderly, yet more and more, it is happening to young people as well. Hearing loss among the young is most commonly talked about when it comes to personal music players and loud music. Being exposed to loud sounds on a regular basis is bad for your hearing (high frequency sounds are particularly damaging, so it’s worth getting good-quality headphones that pick up on bass well). It’s generally viewed as wise by audiologists to lower your music volume, but there are other potential causes for hearing difficulties, from wax buildup (known as cerumen impaction) to genetic factors. See the WHO (World Health Organisation) report on hearing loss among young adults and children.

    Signs of hearing loss

    So what are the signs of possible hearing loss – and what should you do about it? We’ve compiled a list of nine signs, if you have any of these, you should have a hearing test to establish if there is permanent damage and what is the best way to address it.

    You keep asking people to repeat themselves

    If your new favorite word is “Sorry?”, you may have hearing loss. This can be embarrassing or irritating for both you and the speaker, who may have to keep repeating what they’ve said.

    You can’t hear well in crowded environments

    Noisy Restaurant

    Do you find it difficult to keep track of conversations at parties, or in crowded cafes or restaurants? Maybe you think your hearing is fine because you can hear perfectly well in a quiet room, but if you’re in an environment where there are lots of other noises and interference, a poorly functioning ear will find it harder to sort out and understand information.

    You keep turning up the volume

    Turning up the volume

    If your partner keeps complaining that the TV is too loud, this may be a sign that you’ve lost “normal” perceptions of sound and volume. Or if you put the subtitles on all the programmes while you’re watching TV because you don’t catch all the information.

    Ringing in the ears

    Tinnitus

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is what we all experience after exposure to particularly loud noises (rock concerts are notorious causers of tinnitus). You might not experience this as ringing, it might be a buzzing, hissing, or other sound that relates to the malfunction of the inner ear. Tinnitus of any kind is considered as a warning sign of potential damage to the hearing mechanism. Tinnitus occurs when the brain becomes hyper-aware of the fact that it’s not picking up on enough sound on certain frequencies. If it continues way after the original loud noise or doesn’t seem to be connected to any event in particular, you should get it checked.

    Even if your ears aren’t ringing, if you regularly work or play in loud places you should be getting checked regularly. Exposure to loud volume noises is a common cause of hearing loss, so better safe than sorry.

    You don’t know what direction sounds are coming from

    Asking people to repeat themselves

    One of the signs of hearing loss is the inability to pinpoint where sounds are coming from, particularly in crowded places. It may seem strange to hear a noise apparently coming from nowhere in particular when everyone else assures you it’s the front door or your phone, but it’s part of having limited hearing.

    You have difficulty hearing women or children

    If you’ve lost hearing in a particular frequency, you may find it particularly difficult to hear women and children, who naturally speak at a higher frequency than many men. This could be part of normal age-related hearing loss, where higher frequencies are often the first to go (a phenomenon known as presbycusis), and it should be checked and corrected sooner rather than later.

    You’ve had an ear infection or ear wax build-up

    If you’ve had an ear infection, or repeated ones, your GP might have told you to have a hearing test to make sure the infections haven’t damaged your inner ear. If you go for a hearing test, let the audiologist know if you’ve had an infection previously, so they have all the facts.

    You also need to pay attention to your earwax. If you have a history of earwax blockage, or notice that your inner ear is itchy or that wax keeps draining out of it, you may become aware of a hearing loss which can be easily corrected.

    You’re experiencing vertigo (dizziness)

    Vertigo

    The inner ear is responsible for balance, which means that unexplained vertigo or dizziness is another sign that something may have gone wrong in your ears. If you experience dizziness when you’re sitting still on level ground or for no reason, an ear check would be wise.

    You feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying

    Exhausted and stressed out trying to hear

    This is an interesting emotional consequence: hearing specialists report that people who’ve started losing their hearing but don’t realise it often find themselves tired after conversations, because they’ve had to work so hard to hear what’s being said. This constant strain may make you irritable with other people, having to ask them to speak more clearly, yet defiantly insist everybody’s mumbling on purpose, making you feel upset about being left out.

    If that’s your experience, please see an audiologist and have your hearing checked.

    Hearing Clinics Covering Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow and Maidenhead

    If you live in the Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow or Maidenhead areas, please talk to us if you think you may have a hearing loss. We will arrange an appointment where we will test your hearing and advise the most suitable course of action.

    At Help in Hearing we carry out hearing tests in a friendly and comfortable environment using the latest testing equipment. Hearing tests require concentration but are not painful. We will discuss your lifestyle and medical history related to your ears and hearing in depth.

    Contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

  • Causes of Hearing Loss

    In the last few decades, researchers have made tremendous advancements in hearing technology, even for the most profoundly deaf. In most cases, hearing loss is now a treatable condition, providing new opportunities for people, and their families, touched by a hearing loss diagnosis. In this article we look at the main causes of hearing loss.

    The condition is probably more common than you might think. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the most prevalent disabilities for newborn babies, as well as aging baby boomers. Approximately one of every 1000 infants and one in three people over 60 have hearing loss. It can occur before birth or over a lifetime, and affect only one ear, or both.

    To understand what makes hearing loss such a common condition, let’s look at how the ear works and see what causes hearing loss.

    The ear is a pretty amazing bit of Mother Nature’s engineering. It’s made up of three parts: The outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. All three parts work together to turn sound into something the brain can translate.

    Sound is made up of vibrations in the air. The ear captures these sound vibrations, and then converts them into electrical signals that are received, interpreted, and understood by the brain. Hearing loss occurs when any of the three parts of the ear is damaged, or prevented from functioning properly. Hearing loss is grouped into two categories: congenital (hearing loss that’s present at birth) or acquired (hearing loss that happens after birth).

    Causes of Hearing Loss

    Congenital Hearing Loss Causes Acquired Hearing Loss Causes
    Drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy Aging process
    Genetic factors Chickenpox
    Gestational diabetes Ear infections
    Preeclampsia Encephalitis
    Prematurity Flu
    Rh incompatibility complication Head injury
      Measles
      Meningitis
      Mumps
      Noise exposure
      Ototoxicity (damage caused by medications)

     

    Hearing Clinics Covering Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow and Maidenhead

    If you live in the Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow or Maidenhead areas, please talk to us if you think you may have a hearing loss. We will arrange a confidential appointment where we will test your hearing and advise the most suitable course of action.

    At Help in Hearing we carry out hearing tests in a friendly and comfortable environment using the latest testing equipment. Hearing tests require concentration but are not painful. We will discuss your lifestyle and medical history related to your ears and hearing in depth.

    Contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

  • Independent audiologists provide better care

    Hear Better This Year – Your New Year’s Resolution

    Another new year is here and you may have decided this year to eat more healthily, exercise more and take care of yourself better. If that’s the case, make sure you include looking after your hearing as a priority. We explain why your new year’s resolution should be to hear better this year.

    58% of people have never had their hearing checked

    The hearing aid manufacturer Phonak has found that that while most people get their eyesight, blood pressure and teeth checked on a regular basis, 58% of people have never had their hearing checked – that’s despite 30% of those surveyed thinking it should be checked up to once a year.

    Not knowing hearing tests are available, where to find them or thinking they can’t afford them are the reasons 42% cite for not having their hearing checked more regularly. Over a quarter (27%), meanwhile, just ‘get by ok’.

    Why you should have your hearing checked regularly

    It’s a good idea to have a hearing check-up regularly so you can be sure any changes in your hearing are picked up earlier than you might notice yourself, and so that any preventable problems can be avoided.

    Hearing tests are free at Help in Hearing

    At Help in Hearing we carry out hearing tests in a friendly and comfortable environment using the latest testing equipment. Hearing tests require concentration but are not painful. We will discuss your lifestyle and medical history related to your ears and hearing in depth.

    A professional audiologist will examine your ears with a Video-Otoscope, giving you the opportunity to have a look into your own ears on a screen.

    After the completion of various tests, including speech comprehension, loudness tolerance and middle ear pressure tests, the results will be explained and solutions recommended appropriate for your personal requirements.

    We always recommend you bring either your spouse, a friend or relative to the initial consultation as it will take approximately one and a half hours when a lot of information will be passed on.

    Book your hearing test now

    Give yourself peace of mind this New Year and come down to our specialist hearing clinics situated near Gerrards Cross and Marlow to have an extensive hearing test. You can see more information about what is covered in one of our hearing tests here.

  • Stop the Cuts to NHS Hearing Aid Services

    Free hearing check-up offer for people affected by NHS hearing aid cuts

    We were sad to discover that the NHS has started to deny hearing aids to people suffering with mild hearing loss. This was announced recently, with the first reports coming from the North Staffordshire area, where sufferers are no longer eligible for free hearing aids. Freedom of information requests submitted by the charity, Action on Hearing Loss, shows that twenty-two other NHS Trusts and Commissioning Groups, including Brent (north London), Trafford (Manchester), Gateshead and South Tyneside are looking into “decommissioning” some audiology services. In addition, some other NHS trusts have limited hearing aids to one per person, for some patients, in areas such as Sheffield, Kent and Gloucestershire.

    NHS chiefs advises “Just lip read”

    The Daily Mail recently reported that it has seen a leaflet, distributed to patients in the North Staffordshire area, advising people with hearing loss “You can’t have a hearing aid – just lip read instead,” advice which we find unbelievable.

    We know that hearing aids not only improve people’s hearing, but can also improve other conditions brought about by an inability to hear, such as depression, loneliness and dementia. We believe that removing free hearing aids would force people further into isolation, leading to increased need for NHS services to treat these other conditions.

    Hearing-checkup at Help in Hearing

    Contact us for a hearing check-up at either our Farnham Common or Marlow hearing clinics, by telephoning us on 0845 222 0579 or by completing your details on our online form

    Click to find out more about the Action on Hearing Loss campaign to stop the cuts to NHS hearing aid services.

  • Signs of hearing loss

    Where to Have a Hearing Test in Slough

    Over time your hearing can deteriorate, and it is this gradual worsening of hearing that makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to notice hearing loss early on. However, if you have noticed a significant change in your ability to hear, and you’re based in the Slough area, then be sure to book a hearing test in Slough with us here at Help in Hearing, where one of our professional and highly experienced audiologists will perform a thorough hearing test and identify whether or not you will need hearing aids.

    Hearing is one of the key means by which we communicate, and if you feel that your hearing is affecting your ability to socialise and interact with others then it’s time to book a hearing assessment with a professional, like ourselves here at Help in Hearing.

    Hearing Test in Slough

    A hearing test is performed by one of our experienced audiologist consultants, who will carry out a full assessment on your overall hearing ability. Once your hearing test has been completed, they will then advise on the extent of your hearing loss and the best course of action.

    State of the Art Hearing Aids

    In most cases, we recommend one of our state of the art and highly sophisticated hearing aids which will be fitted and tuned to suit your hearing. This will help regaining your hearing to such a degree that it will enable you to be more confident and interactive with greater ease again.

    Audiology Services

    To ensure our customers receive the best possible attention, we provide the following services;

    • Complimentary hearing tests in Slough
    • Independent advice with no obligation to buy
    • 60 day full refund policy if you are not completely happy with your hearing aid
    • Comprehensive and on-going aftercare service
    • Advice on hearing and noise protection
    • Tinnitus advice, testing and counselling

     

    Book a Hearing Test in Slough Now

    If you are having difficulty hearing, be sure to book yourself a hearing test in our Slough clinic, which will ascertain whether or not your require hearing aids. For a professional service that caters for your best interests, be sure to call us here at Help in Hearing on 0845 222 0579 or fill in our online booking form.

  • Marlow hearing clinic open day

    Professional Hearing Tests in Marlow

    As people get older, their hearing can often deteriorate and they may notice they can’t hear as well as they used to. Help in Hearing know the importance of regular hearing tests in Marlow. To ensure you have the correct hearing aid if you need one and prevent you from struggling to hear in your day to day life, we at Help in Hearing Marlow can help.

    Marlow Hearing Clinic

    Our hearing tests are of the highest standard and we only use the latest hearing aid and hearing test technology from all major manufacturers. We are always on hand to give you unbiased advice on your hearing and lifestyle needs.

    Signs You Needs a Hearing Test

    If you are over the age of 45 it is generally recommended that you have an annual hearing test:

    • If family and friends constantly complain you have the TV or radio on too loud
    • If you don’t hear the doorbell
    • If you struggle to hear when you are having a conversation with someone on the phone
    • If you ears hurt for no apparent reason you should get it checked. It may just be an ear infection or the problem could be linked to your hearing
    • It is an idea to get regular hearing tests if you’ve had hearing problems in the past like partial deafness or frequent ear infections
    • If you already wear a hearing aid you need to have regular hearing tests to check your hearing hasn’t got worse

    If any of these problems apply to you then come to Help in Hearing’s Marlow hearing clinic for a simple hearing test. You will always be seen by a fully qualified and experienced audiologist when you visit us for a hearing test or consultation.

    Hearing tests in Marlow – how to book

    Book a hearing test at our Marlow hearing clinic by calling us on 0845 222 0579 or fill in the contact form on our website and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

  • Jacqui Hames talks about her hearing loss

    Hearing loss? Don’t suffer in silence; says Jacqui Hames, former Crimewatch presenter

    From working for the Met police force, to performing on live television and giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, presenter Jacqui Hames knows how to cope with pressure, but she says her world was turned upside down when she suddenly lost her hearing. The life of the former Crimewatch presenter took a tough and unexpected turn about two years ago when her hearing became permanently impaired. Read on to learn about her hearing loss and journey to how she overcame it.

    Following a quick referral from her GP, Jacqui found solace in the offices of Selma Becker at Help in Hearing. Through consultations in the Farnham Common clinic they were able to agree on the perfect Phonak hearing aid for her.

    “I was quite fortunate to get help quite quickly and given a hearing aid which works brilliantly for me. Some people see it as a handicap but it doesn’t have to be seen that way, you don’t look at people who wear reading glasses differently and I want people to realise by seeking help you will better your life.”

    After quickly embarking on her long journey with hearing aids, Jacqui believes there is no need for others to suffer in silence:

    “People don’t have to retreat into a silent world, a lot of people do cut down on their social lives and they find difficulties with work because they can’t engage with people in the same way. But communication is the building blocks of our lives and if that is impaired you need to do something about it, and it is simple to do.”

    “There is an emotional impact of being given the news too, which I think quite a lot of people underestimate. I noticed I was really struggling to hold conversations and was finding social situations really difficult. Places like restaurants where there is a lot of peripheral noise and soft furnishings are particularly difficult and at first it can be quite daunting and worrying, but people should not be scared to step forward and get some help.”

    Watch a 30 second interview with Jacqui talking about how she overcame hearing loss.

     

    Jacqui, who appeared on the BBC’s Crimewatch for 16 years from 1990, was formerly a Metropolitan Police detective and was most recently under the spotlight again when she took to the stand in the Leveson Inquiry. Experts say the tasks which most people take for granted can become a hardship for people with hearing difficulties but life is back to normal for Jacqui who can even use her hearing aid to stream music and talk on the phone.

    Jacqui continues, “The technology is extraordinary – if you like a gadget get yourself a hearing aid! You can do so many things, I can stream music and can engage in telephone calls quite easily using my hearing aid, people use headphones all the time and that is effectively what I am doing. Since the hearing loss, I think I became so much more aware of the world around me.

    If you are struggling with your hearing or know someone that is having problems and might need some help, book a confidential appointment with Selma or Kevin in our Farnham Common or Marlow clinics – just click here to book an appointment.

  • How are Lyric hearing aids fitted?

    National Campaign for Regular Hearing Tests

    We are championing a national campaign calling for regular hearing tests to be provided alongside dental and eye tests. This campaign is instigated by Audira, a think tank shaping the future of hearing care and challenges the medical norm of “reactive hearing care”, ie waiting for a problem to occur before addressing it. The campaign lobbies for a preventative approach of regular tests and care. Read the “4 Questions to ask about hearing” leaflet, developed in support of the campaign.

    Hearing tests - national campaign

    Help in Hearing is an early adopter of this approach and promotes the “Eyes Checked, Teeth Checked, Hearing Checked” campaign. We provide hearing tests in support of the Audira promotion.

    Hearing tests – as important as regular eye and dental checks

    It’s only in the last few years that it’s become generally accepted in the UK that hearing care is as important as looking after our eyes and teeth. We all grow up knowing that our eyesight and teeth will last longer if checked regularly and that our quality of life improves dramatically if we look after them. We need to take the same preventative measures for our hearing.

    People wait 4 years before visiting an audiologist

    In a recent research study by RDSi, 360 hearing aid users were surveyed and it was found that people experiencing hearing difficulties waited on average 4 years before they visited an audiologist, causing further damage to their hearing. The wait is accredited to 2 main reasons outlined in additional research from Action on Hearing:

    • Stigma related with wearing hearing aids which stops people admitting they have a hearing problem
    • A lack of understanding that prompt action will alleviate hearing issues

    When someone wears glasses, it’s socially acceptable. Wearing braces for teeth correction is socially acceptable. But wearing a hearing aid carries a stigma that makes it feel unacceptable. Today totally invisible hearing aids can help people with hearing problems avoid this negative social perception. We have to combat this in the UK and we can only achieve that by making hearing tests a standard check-up along with eye and teeth check-ups.

    Read the Action on Hearing (formerly RNID) report here.

    Request a hearing test with us online