tel: 0345 222 0579      email: mail@helpinhearing.co.uk

  • Wind noise in hearing aids - is it a thing of the past?

    Wind noise in hearing aids – a thing of the past?

    There’s nothing like being outside on a gloriously sunny day to lift your mood. Whether it’s a walk along the promenade by the sea, strolling through a woodland park or a round of golf with friends, it has been demonstrated that the exercise and social interaction we gain through outdoor activities are good for our overall wellbeing. But for hearing aid wearers, these moments can be made more challenging by the wind. In this article we ask the question: Wind noise in hearing aids – is it a thing of the past?

    Wind noise in hearing aids used to mask out speech

    When wind blows across hearing aid microphones, particularly for models that sit behind the ear, it results in the wearer hearing, unsurprisingly, the wind blowing, but at quite a high level which masks out other sounds including speech. Fluctuating wind noise can be very irritating and many wearers may take their hearing aids out in these conditions.

    Noise management strategies

    Hearing aid manufacturers have built noise management strategies into their hearing aids for many years. These wind noise management features effectively reduced the volume of the wind noise but also reduced the volume of speech too so while this made the sound was more comfortable it affected the ability to join in conversations resulting in a trade off between comfort and intelligibility…..but not any more!

    Wind noise is now filtered out

    New advances in processing mean that wind noise can now be effectively managed while still preserving speech information. Unwanted wind noise can be separated from the conversations that we want to hear. Wearers experience good sound quality and clarity, allowing them to continue to participate in conversations without any uncomfortable wind noise and most importantly keep wearing their hearing aids, even in windy situations.

    Wind management algorithm

    Wind noise management is an automatic feature so there is no need to change to a different program or make any adjustments. The hearing aid continually analyses the environment and as soon as it detects wind, it applies its wind management algorithm until the wind stops blowing across the microphones.

    Wind noise in hearing aids – where to find out more

    For a trial of the latest wind management technologies, please contact us for an appointment

    We partner with most of the leading hearing aid manufacturers, find out more on our Hearing Aid Partners page. 

  • March hearing technology trial

    March Technology Trial

    Make the month of March memorable and trial the latest hearing technology

    Throughout March we are offering you the opportunity to personally trial the latest hearing aid technology.

    Try the new hearing technology throughout March

    At our Technology Days in November we unveiled a host of new hearing aid advances. In case you were unable to attend our events, or have not been able to visit us again since, we thought we would turn March into a memorable month when you can test out the options and, with our help, see what would suit you best.

    Trial the latest hearing technologyAdvice on the right hearing solution for you

    The wealth of choice is almost overwhelming, so our role as independent hearing consultants is to help guide you to the most appropriate solution. Even the best technology needs the support and experience of a healthcare professional, to ensure the most successful outcome for your individual hearing needs. With our dedicated ongoing aftercare, we guarantee that whatever choice is made, it is the right one for you.

    New hearing products available to try

    Book now and you can choose from the new generation Marvel by Phonak which offers true hands-free calls, or the new-look slimline Styletto hearwear by Sivantos. Then there’s the new custom Oticon OPN aid that uses an app to monitor your health and the Starkey Livio device which has a foreign language translation facility, plus motion sensors to monitor falls.

    Book your dedicated free trial appointment now

    Book any time in March to trial this new aid technology in our Farnham Common or Marlow hearing clinics. Call our Freephone number to make an appointment: 0345 222 0579

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Enhance your hearing, life is worth listening to

  • Hearing fitness - the future of hearing aids, an article by Oticon

    The future of hearing aids – HearingFitness by Oticon

    In November we held two Help in Hearing organised Technology Days at the Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow and the South Bucks Golf Club in Stoke Poges. They were very well attended with a total of nearly 70 delegates in all. It was a rare opportunity to ask questions and have discussions directly with each of the leading hearing aid manufacturers. The main venue area was the focus for companies to exhibit all their ranges and accessories. In a separate room a representative from each of our hearing aid partners gave a talk on different aspects of the market and a glimpse into the future. Today we are showing an extract of the Oticon talk on the future of hearing aids and their app HearingFitness, which you can find below, along with a video Oticon showed on the day.

    The future of hearing aids – by Oticon

    We know that smartphones, computers and tablets connect to the internet, but did you know that some ordinary everyday devices – such as fridges, washing machines and doorbells connect to the internet too? This is an area of technology called “The internet of things (IoT)”. It’s one of the fastest growing areas of technology and it has been made more popular recently by systems like Hive and Nest that connect your home heating and lights to the internet.

    Internet of Things (IoT)

    Opn hearing aids are IoT devices too
    Opn hearing aids are IoT devices too!

    Opn hearing aids are IoT devices too! They work with a cloud-based service called “If This Then That” (IFTTT for short). IFTTT connects processes and services of all kinds of brands that wouldn’t normally work together. For example, IF you’re tagged in a photo on Facebook, THEN automatically save that photo to your DropBox account. How might that work with hearing aids, you ask.

    In this example, a visitor presses your internet-connected doorbell. It sends a message to IFTTT, which sends the notification to the ON app on your iPhone. The ON app in turn sends a spoken message to the Opn hearing aids. “Someone is at the door” (or whatever message you like!).

    Right now this service appeals most to people that love their technology. But people of all ages can benefit. For example, a young child or an adult with limited dexterity needs help changing their batteries. IFTTT can send a notification (text, email etc) to a parent, relative or neighbour when the batteries run low.

    HearingFitness

    HearingFitness builds on the general major change in the nature of health care – which is transforming from being reactive to preventive. New technologies can be expected to allow our current, largely reactive mode of medicine (where we wait until the patient is sick before responding) to be replaced over the next 10-20 years by a personalised, predictive, preventive, and participatory (P4) medicine. This P4 approach is the inspiration and vision behind HearingFitness.

    Participatory:

    Participation is key to HearingFitness – the foundation of the other Ps. Clients are given information so that they can better manage and are prepared to make their own decisions. We want to engage and encourage the users to be active partners and involved in their own healthcare.

    Personalised:

    We want to tailor hearing solutions/services to the client and their environment. Create hearing aids that could potentially adjust themselves not only to the user, but also to changes during the day (e.g. more tired in the afternoon), during the week (such as different needs during the week when at work versus during the weekend), and also over time (for example, if hearing deteriorates). We want to provide personalised support based on the specific user’s hearing aid, preferences, etc. This personalisation reaches its full potential when combined with user participation (which is the foundation). We can then use the information from HearingFitness to better understand behavioural patterns, the contexts in which the hearing aids are most used and how/where do people struggle – all these things are important in order to be able to personalise.

    Prediction:

    Oticon HearingFitness app collects data to predict future needs
    Oticon HearingFitness app collects data to predict future needs of hearing aid users

    We will know in advance, through big data, what is best for every hearing aid user. 360 million people worldwide with a hearing loss – imagine the potential data sets. Users are profiled into subgroups that share common features. For example, we will know through monitoring when a user is having trouble hearing and the hearing aids provide extra help.

    Prevention:

    As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We take a life course approach, with early detection and monitoring over time of hearing and health status. Through combining multiple datasets and applying advanced analytics, it is possible to build profile-specific prevention strategies. For example, the hearing aid user could receive an alert if they are exposed to loud noises that could result in further hearing loss. Thereby the HearingFitness technology can help people to remain healthy late in life.

    References:

    Hood, L. & Galas, D. (2008). P4 Medicine: Personalized, Predictive, Preventive, Participatory: A Change of View that Changes Everything: A white paper prepared for the Computing
    Community Consortium committee of the Computing Research Association.

    How HearingFitness works

    HearingFitness is a feature in the ON app for smartphones. When a pair of Oticon hearing aids is connected to the app, it gathers data about how the hearing aids are being used and the type of sound environments the person is spending time in.

    HearingFitness will combine this information with data from the Health App on the smartphone. The specific data taken will depend on the user’s permission during installation.

    Generally, the Health App stores data from apps on the iPhone and Apple Watch. It also works directly with some health and fitness devices. Other devices and data sources (such as HearingFitness) must have a companion app that can access the data and save it to Health App for them.

    Initial release of HearingFitness

    In the initial release, which came out about 2 months ago, the functionality will appear somewhat simple. But as we gather more data we will introduce more and more useful functions, such as making adjustments to the hearing aids according to the user’s preferences, and notifications with suggestions for taking better control of your health.

    When the installation is done, you will be presented with a welcome screen introducing HearingFitness. After pressing ‘Continue’, HearingFitness will open. The first version of HearingFitness will look approximately as shown here. You will be able to see how much the hearing aids are used overall (in hours) as well as how much individual programs are used.

    Oticon Hearing Fitness ON app example
    An example of how the first version of the Oticon Hearing Fitness ON app will look

    In the upper right corner of the screen, you will be able to set a goal for the hearing aid usage. This goal could potentially be set together with your audiologist at the fitting appointment. In the left corner, you will see if the goal is reached – measured in percent. You will then be able to track usage for the specific day, week or month.

    Hearing care is health care

    We know from research that ”hearing care is health care.” It is well-documented that hearing well highly influences how healthy we are. With HearingFitness, Oticon aims to involve people in their own hearing care. We want to help them to make smart decisions about their hearing health and get the most out of their hearing potential with the ultimate goal of improving their overall health.*

    Watch video: Hearing care is health care

     

    HearingFitness – where to find out more

    At Help in Hearing we understand that caring for your hearing health is just as important as caring for the rest of your overall health and wellbeing. By looking after all aspects of your hearing, ear care and hearing protection, we make sure you remain socially active, stay confident in your working environment and ascertain your continuing enjoyment of your hearing health. With our personal and friendly approach we provide personalised hearing care plans offering a continuity of service which is second to none.

    Please get in touch to make an appointment for a hearing check-up or to discuss your hearing concerns.

    Or you can read more about the services we provide and testimonials from our clients here. 

    ** Extract thanks to Oticon from their talk presented by Alison Stone, Audiologist & Head of Training and Mo Butt, Reg Business Development Manager.

  • Technology days video footage

    Technology Days Video Footage

    In November 2018 we held events at South Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Stoke Poges and the Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow. At the events, seven hearing aid manufacturers presented the latest innovations in hearing aid technology. This short video shows footage from the two days.

    We’d like to thank everyone who attended the days and also all the manufacturers who attended and presented.

     

     

    Thank you to our hearing technology manufacturers for their talks:

    Widex
    Unitron
    Oticon
    Signia
    Starkey
    Resound
    Phonak

  • Evolution of hearing aids

    How hearing aids are evolving

    In the technology boom of the last few years, some of the biggest everyday improvements have been seen in the field of audiology. Only a generation ago, hearing aids could be bulky and difficult to adjust, very unlike the discreet digital devices of today. The hearing aids we use now are capable of filtering and processing sound to deliver clarity and quality across a range of environments with no annoying feedback. They’re fitted to the exact needs of the wearer so that the degree and type of hearing loss is addressed precisely and the hearing aid fits the individual’s lifestyle.

    The rise of wearable technology

    Many hearing aids now use processors like the ones in your phone or computer to assess the type and quality of sound they need to deliver and to work with systems like hearing induction loops. In the future, we can look forward to even more technical advances, with hearing aids offering features that allow them to communicate directly with your phone, household appliances and music player – they may even offer a direct translation service.

    Your hearing aid options

    It’s important that a hearing aid matches the hearing health needs, ear shape and lifestyle of the person using it. For many years, the only hearing aids available were worn on the body or behind the ear. Now, many people prefer a model that’s worn inside the ear, so that it’s out of the way and not easily visible. However, a behind-the-ear model can still be a better choice for children, as it is hard to damage and will not need frequent replacement as the child grows. Some more severe degrees of hearing loss also need to be addressed with a more powerful behind-the-ear device. Though these factors come into play, ultimately, the type of hearing aid you need is determined by your individuality, your hearing health needs and your choice.

    Hearing aids evolution – where to find out more

    Please see our “Hearing Aid Types” page for an idea of how we can help you. For a full hearing assessment or just some advice on solutions that would suit your hearing and your lifestyle, please contact us.

    Attend our technology days – November 2018

    We are holding two technology days to showcase the latest launches by all the leading hearing aid manufacturers. There will be a mini exhibition open to the public to show just how far technology has progressed. See and feel the latest models and find out how they can enhance your hearing better than ever. Combined with this, there will be a series of talks on each day which will give you an insight into future technology that is almost hard to believe. To find out more, see our Technology Days announcement.