• Study Shows That Hearing Aids Improve Brain Function

    A news item in The Hearing Review caught our attention this week: A recent study at the University of Texas has found that hearing aids improve brain function in people with hearing loss.

    We’ve long known that untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation and diminished quality of life, but Jamie Desjardins, who has conducted this new study, goes further in explaining why this happens.

    “If you have some hearing impairment and you’re not using hearing aids, maybe you can figure out what the person has said, but that comes at a cost,” Ms Desjardins said. “You may actually be using the majority of your cognitive resources – your brain power – in order to figure out that message.” In other words the untreated hearing loss interferes with your cognitive abilities because so much mental effort is diverted towards understanding speech.

    Significant improvement after wearing hearing aids

    The study by the University of Texas looked at groups of individuals in their 50s and 60s with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss who had previously never used hearing aids. After two weeks of hearing aid use, there was an increase in percent scores for recalling words and selective attention tests, plus the processing speed at which participants selected the correct response was faster. By the end of the study, participants had exhibited significant improvement in their cognitive function.

    Ms DesJardins went on to paint a scenario of someone who has hearing loss and is still of working age, but they’re not wearing their hearing aids. They are spending so much of their brain power just focusing on listening they may not be able to perform their job as well. Or if they can, they’re exhausted because they are working so much harder and are more tired at the end of the day.

    Ongoing care and expertise of audiologist ensures best outcome for hearing impaired

    We see many clients who have resisted going to have their hearing checked because they don’t want to admit they have a problem. Or, they’ve received a hearing aid from another source but have not been given the aftercare support to help ensure their hearing aid is performing well for them. Here at Help in Hearing, we focus a little more on the expertise and experience of the audiologist and it is a combination of the commitment and professional relationship with the client that makes the hearing aids achieve the best outcome for the hearing impaired. We spend a great deal of time making sure we propose the right type of hearing aid for your specific type of hearing loss and we offer ongoing care throughout the lifespan of the devices, so the success rate is much higher, meaning you can get on with your job, your family life and your social life without having to spend so much effort on trying to hear what people are saying.

    Read the full article about the University of Texas study.

  • 2 Surprising New Tinnitus Research Studies

    Around 250 million people worldwide suffer from tinnitus, and more than half of those sufferers don’t do anything about it. We have found some recent tinnitus research studies from around the web, showing ways sufferers may get help.

    Researchers find new clues about Tinnitus

    Surprising new research study results suggest that tinnitus is more complicated than scientists thought by recording the brainwaves of a 50-year old tinnitus sufferer. Read this article to find out the details of the tinnitus study and their surprising discoveries.


    Study: More coffee may prevent your ears from ringing

    A new research study tracked 65,000 women over an 18-year period and found that incidence of reported tinnitus was 15% lower in women who drank five cups of coffee per day, compared to women who drank one and a half cups per day. Read more about this tinnitus coffee study here.

    If you are suffering from symptoms such as continual whistling, ringing, pulsing or buzzing either in the head or in the ear(s), you may be suffering from tinnitus. A hearing test will establish if you have a hearing loss, more often than not Tinnitus is related to a hearing loss and simply the use of digital hearing aids can mask the effects.

    Contact us today for more information on tinnitus or to book a confidential hearing assessment.

    Read more about tinnitus on our Tinnitus Explained page.

    Or read about some of the methods of tinnitus management we can offer.

    Read about our Tinnitus Support Group  for Marlow and Farnham Common, see dates for future support group events, and book your place.

  • Independent audiologists provide better care

    New Research: Independent Audiologists Provide Better Care

    A new study commissioned by Phonak and carried out by RDSi, an independent market research consultancy, shows that independent hearing specialists provide better treatment than national chains and the NHS. The report outlines that independent audiologists enable people with hearing difficulties to discuss their problems confidentially and receive unbiased advice and extended care solutions not found in national retail chains or NHS.

    The study surveyed 360 hearing aid users and shows that 63% of the consumers surveyed selected independent hearing clinics after looking at NHS and national chains.

    Independent audiologists provide services not found elsewhere, such as:

    • Aftercare service
    • Independent and wide choice of hearing technology
    • Convenient location
    • Quality of service and knowledge
    • Not sales driven

    The survey also found that on average, people experienced hearing difficulties for 4 years before visiting an audiologist, delays which can cause serious degradation to hearing problems.

    Please click to read the full independent audiologist research report

  • Hearing loss and the link to dementia

    Keep Your Hearing as Sharp as Your Mind

    Having to deal with hearing loss can be a big enough challenge without coping with a decline in your brain’s abilities too. As the years go on and more candles appear on our birthday cakes we are bound to incur changes in our bodies, but the less dramatic these changes the better. You may think that losing your hearing and becoming forgetful from time to time is a side effect of growing older but here at Help in Hearing we know that it does not necessarily have to be that way.

    Cognitive function declines if hearing loss is left untreated

    A recent study has found that elderly patients who do not receive treatment for hearing problems, suffer from a faster decline in their cognitive functions over time. Over a period of 6 years, tests were carried out on almost 2,000 patients with a mixture of hearing abilities. The test scores within patients with hearing loss deteriorated 40% faster than in the patients with sound hearing. With figures showing that 2 in 3 of us experience hearing difficulties from the age of 70 onwards, it is crucial to tackle the problem sooner rather than later.

    Hearing loss – the link with dementia

    The study has also brought up questions concerning the link between hearing loss and dementia. Losing your hearing can mean the world you live in becomes isolating and lonely, both of which are classic characteristics of many types of dementia. So with these findings, it has never been a more important time to get in touch and book a hearing test. Even if the results are clear, we can offer expert advice on how to minimise the risk of hearing loss and therefore hopefully keep your brain as alert and active as ever.

  • Best hearing aid report from Which?

    How to get the best hearing aid – Which? report

    Selecting a hearing solution that is right for you is crucial and the  consumer champions, Which?, have looked at how to get the best hearing aid. Which? describe themselves as ‘a consumer champion, our campaigns work to make your lives fairer, our advice helps you make informed decisions and our services and products put your needs first to bring you better value‘. Your hearing solution is important and Which? has recognised this and put together a comprehensive guide. We have shown some extracts below, but for the full report head over to Which? and read the guide in detail.

    What is hearing loss?

    What is hearing loss, and are hearing aids the answer? Plus some myths about hearing aids.

    Extract: Before you get hearing aids, you’ll need to investigate your hearing loss and have it assessed. Our guide will help answer some of the questions you might have about the process.

    It’s useful to think about hearing loss in two ways – conductive or sensorineural… read more

    Which is the right hearing aid for me?

    Find the right type of hearing aid for you, and what to expect from the NHS and private companies.

    Extract: As you start the process of getting a hearing aid, the choices can seem daunting. NHS or private? Which features? How to choose between the many brands and models on the market?

    Which? and Action on Hearing Loss give you a simple overview of the steps you’ll go through – from getting your hearing assessed right through to getting your aids and dealing with any problems… read more

    Where should I get my hearing aid?

    Where to get your hearing aid, including the pros and cons of NHS and private aids.

    Extract: Pros and cons of buying your hearing aid privately

    • Likely to be in a shop, some home visits.
    • You should be able to book an appointment at your convenience, with no waiting time.
    • More choice of styles, especially if you want discreet or invisible hearing aids. But you’ll have to pay for the aids (hearing aids need replacing every 3 to 5 years), and repairs.
    • You’ll see the audiologist – probably the same person – on follow-up visits (which you’ll need to check are part of your after-care package).
    • You’re likely to have more time with the audiologist – for example, to explore options or any problems.

    read more

    What’s a good hearing assessment?

    What to expect when your hearing is assessed, and what happens next.

    Extract: If you go privately, you will be assessed by a hearing aid audiologist (also called a dispenser). You will have tests to assess the hearing in both ears. These tests measure the type and severity of your hearing loss, and generally take place in a soundproofed booth.read more

    How to buy your hearing aids

    How to buy hearing aids, including what you’ll pay, what to ask and things to watch out for.

    Extract: There is a huge variation of prices, so it’s really worth shopping around. But keep in mind that you’re buying a whole, ongoing service – not just a one-off purchase of a deviceread more

    Hearing aid features explained

    Explaining features you’ll be offered, and using your hearing aids with other technology.

    Extract: With so many features and programmes to choose from, it can be tempting to think that more is better. But it’s useful to think of getting the minimum needed to customise your hearing aid so it’s right for you.

    Hearing aids all contain essential parts, such as a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver (speaker), volume control and a batteryread more

    Once you’ve got your hearing aid

    Making the most of your hearing aid, including maintenance and follow-up.

    Extract: When you get your hearing aids you should be shown how to put them in without mixing up the left and right aids, use the controls and handle and change the batteries.

    You should also have the maintenance explained, and what your aids can and can’t do. Plus be told how to get used to them – for example, a schedule for wearing the aids until you get used to themread more

    What if I’m unhappy with my hearing aids?

    How to deal with problems – from hearing aids not working well to a poor service.

    Extract: Whether you have an NHS or privately-purchased hearing aid, your first step should be to discuss with the audiologist what you’re not happy about. A lot of the problems listed above can be resolved and no problem is too silly, so make sure you return to them for help.

    Keep notes of any functional problems over several days, and note the environments in which you have them. If you’ve bought your aids privately, keep track of the trial period and try and resolve issues during this time.read more

    Report produced by Which? and Action on Hearing Loss