Thursday, 8 August 2013

Have you heard....Hearing in background noise

Imagine having a great meal and for the first time in a long time a   conversation which was just as good – that even continues on the drive home in the car!

For a great deal of people with hearing loss this is just wishful thinking, but now with the cutting edge        technology of the ReSound Unite™ Mini Microphone, our clients do not have to worry about the noise around them when they are out     dining, or think about where the sounds are coming from.

The ReSound Unite™ Mini Mic is a small personal portable  streaming device for transmitting sound and/or external audio sources directly to the hearing instruments of the user. It picks up sound at the source and uses 2.4GHz technology to transmit speech directly to your hearing instruments. 

About the size of a matchbox and weighing in at less than 16 grams, the Mini Microphone is elegant and discreet and can be clipped to clothing.  Users often ask their partner or friend to wear the Mini Microphone when they are in the car, out shopping or in a restaurant and are able to hear every word they say, clearly and without straining.

The Mini Microphone helps to improve the clarity and understanding and makes a real difference to everyday lives.  So when you are next with friends or family, you can just relax and    enjoy.
Hear the difference for yourself by making an appointment for a demonstration —01424 733030

video

HEALTH AND MEDICAL:

Wax Facts – some things you didn’t know about earwax: Earwax can be gooey and gross, and it is not the most scintillating of conversational topics. We all have it, but who wants to talk about it? We do!
Do you know your  type?
Earwax comes in two types – wet and dry. The kind you have depends on genetics. People of North-eastern Asian descent tend to have dry ear wax, while the earwax of people from other regions is wet.
How earwax protects...
Earwax is another of our body’s mundane, under-appreciated, yet totally amazing protective devices. Earwax shields our body from outside invaders, including dust, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that can get in and irritate, inflame, or infect.
Earwax cleans up after itself
Thanks to earwax, our ears are self-cleaning. Whenever you move your jaw or chew, you help keep earwax churning slowly from the eardrum to the ear opening, where it will then either dry up, flake off, or fall out.
Your ears are “no trespassing” zones
Since our ears are self-cleaning, we should never, ever stick anything in them! That includes those cotton tipped swabs that seem perfectly designed to fit inside the narrow ear canal. Keep these swabs and any other objects - including your fingers - out of your ears.  When you put something in your ear – to scratch an itch or to attempt to remove wax – you
risk pushing wax further into the ear, where it can become blocked.

IN OTHER NEWS:


Danny Hellier, Audiologist, founder and  proprietor of Bexhill Hearing Centre, celebrates 40 years this month since he gained his professional title.

On August 3rd 1973 Danny became an official member of the Hearing aid council, now the Health Care Professions Council. Initially he worked and trained with Amplivox hearing centres, until 1980 when he set up his own business from his home in Bexhill.

Since he has grown a reputable, respected company on the high street offering professional advice and the finest aftercare service.



Last year his work within the elderly community was recognised at the 1066 business awards, where he was commended with the lifetime achievement award and later that year at the Bexhill Achiever's Awards; winning service with a smile.

The family business is still growing steadily with Danny at the helm and his son and daughter along side him, and still remains Bexhill’s only local independent hearing aid specialists.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Have you heard....WIRELESS HEARING TECHNOLOGY

Today our lives are made easier by the many devices and gadgets that allow us to live life on the go. Technology has given us mobile phones, iPods, televisions and much more but for hearing aid wearers and people living with a hearing  impairment, interacting with all of these different devices can prove   difficult.

Now there is a solution. Wireless technology that we see in so many other  applications has now been applied to hearing aids; making the devices more advanced than ever. Wireless hearing aids make connecting to the world and devices around you effortless and being truly wireless there are no cables, no neck loops and no wires!

Advanced wireless hearing aids such as 3 Series from Starkey Laboratories combined with their innovative SurfLink® devices not only deliver crystal clear sound but can also stream stereo sound from your TV, radio, computer and even your mobile phone directly to your hearing aids.



The volume level on the TV is often the first sign of hearing loss, and usually because of a partner, friend or family members frustrations rather than the hearing loss sufferers. Many clients visiting our centre may claim to have good hearing in most aspects of their lives but still admit to excessive volume when it comes to TV, but mainly because of “the mumbling presenter” or the “over use of background music”

Whatever the excuse may be; SurfLink Media from Starkey Laboratories is an easy solution to aid effortless TV listening. This set-and-forget media streaming solution connects to TVs, as well as MP3 players  and more to wirelessly stream audio directly to your Wi Series hearing aids,  so you can hear the volume at the level you want, while everyone else in the room can listen at the volume they want. The technology that sets this unit apart from other TV listeners on the market is its automatic  range response; no switching channels on the hearing aids or placing any neckloops on. When in range of the TV, something you set yourself, the sound is streamed, automatically to your ears. Simple as that!


Friday, 16 November 2012

Have you heard....Wax removal

In may I posted about ear wax and told you that  

"Earwax is a waxy material that is produced by sebaceous glands inside the ear. It cleans, lubricates and protects the lining of the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water. 

Earwax is slightly acidic and has antibacterial properties. Without earwax, the skin inside your ear would become dry, cracked, infected or waterlogged and sore."

AND THAT

"Earwax can usually be removed using ear drops. If ear drops don't work, another treatment called ear irrigation may be recommended. It involves using a pressurised flow of water to remove the build-up of earwax."

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On a regular basis in fact I give advice about the treatment of ear wax and what should be expected if a client has a blockage, even how it is removed and what it feels like, and yet I had never had a wax blockage nor had I had wax removed; that was until today!

Around 2 weeks ago I started to have temporary blockages of my left ear whilst laying in bed, this would quickly "pop" open and my hearing was restored each time on that ear within a few seconds.

Then on Monday morning I woke up to find that I had no hearing in my left ear, and when I spoke to my wife my voice was echo-like (something my clients would describe as having your head in a bucket) I waited a few minutes, had a shower; using warm water to try and free the occlusion, but to no end.

I have had a slight build up in this ear for a long time, know idea why, possibly an infection I hadn't been aware of causing over production of fluids starting the inevitable. I have never sought treatment, because it had never caused me a problem, as it probably wont for many people; completely unaware that their ears are on the brink of closing up shop.

So my first stop was the chemist, we stock ear wax preventer but that wouldn't be strong enough for this, so Otex it was. Otex is hydrogen peroxide amongst other things, it dissolves the ear wax layer by layer.

Whilst blocked up I took the opportunity to come to terms with how my clients must feel; friends sitting on the left of me had no chance of a decent conversation, and outside amongst traffic noise I found myself trying to lip read, and concentrating so hard on what was being said. The worst environment was coaching at the Rowing club 40+ children, rowing machines, other coaches shouting and music in the background; my hearing distance was reduced to literally a few inches.

Unfortunately Otex didn't do the job, and so I got to experience removal first hand also. Booking an appointment was surprisingly easy, phoning on Thursday I was booked in the next morning with the nurse. (Usually they would like you to see a doctor first)

In anticipation I had been applying oil to lubricate since the start of the blockage otherwise I may have had to wait another week. The "remover" was a hand held pressurised water "probe" inserted into the ear the pressure simply mixes up any debris and forces it out. All in all it was quite a pleasant procedure, with the  sudden release of sound feeling very satisfying.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Have you heard...Hearing Link

Recently I attended the Eastbourne Seniors Forum "The Good Life" exhibition at the Congress Eastbourne as one of a number of stall holders showing their wears.

Whilst there I spoke to many members of the public, and dispensed what I would like to think of as invaluable hearing knowledge. As well as talking to the public I also had a look around the other stalls which is when I came across Hearing Link.

Firstly, quite refreshing in the world of hearing, their stall looked clean, modern and friendly. After speaking with their representatives based in Sovereign Harbour Eastbourne, I found out that they are a charitable organisation set up to help hearing impaired in day to day life, with the focus being more on education rather than what we often see just the normal re tubing service.

Always keen to be involved with local organisations and initiatives, Bexhill Hearing Centre will now be volunteering our time to hold a presentation with them on Tinnitus at the end of the month, which we are really looking forward to.

Below an insight taken from their website (www.hearinglink.org)


Hearing Link works for and on behalf of adults with acquired hearing loss who communicate through speaking, listening and lipreading. We raise their awareness about the impact of hearing loss and increase their ability to manage this impact. 

When people are becoming concerned about hearing loss, we help them find:

  • what to do and where to go
  • who can help in their local area
  • which national services are most relevant to their needs

When people are really struggling to cope with hearing loss, we:

  • offer personalised emotional support to reduce isolation
  • put them in touch with appropriate local services and organisations, and support them where necessary while they approach these services
  • provide specialised services ourselves where these do not otherwise exist

When people are managing long-standing hearing loss, we make it easy to:

  • contact others with similar interests
  • form local groups and clubs
  • find out about relevant local and national public consultations and participate in these where relevant
We support their relatives, friends and colleagues. We help them understand the wider impact of hearing loss, and we offer them direct support for their own needs.
We work with all relevant organisations (local, regional and national) in the voluntary, commercial, and public sectors. We raise awareness about their services and roles among potential service users. Where requested, we assist organisations and public bodies to gather user feedback to enhance the quality of their services.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Have you heard.....Living with a hearing loss

Sorry for the lack of blog entry last week, I was away in Devon racing at the South Coast Rowing Championships.

I did however do some great market research, using a close friend, also a rower, as my test dummy.

Born with a profound hearing loss he has grown up wearing hearing aids and using assistive listening devices. A few years ago he took an amazing step, and had a cochlear implant fitted.

A Cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is severely-profoundly deaf. In the most part the implant is embedded under the skin just behind the ear, with a magnetic link to an actual hearing aid sitting on the ear itself. The implant is also connected via tiny wires to the real cochlear, where through the use of many electrodes, it stimulates the cochlear in the appropriate places according to the sounds transmitted from the microphone of the hearing aid. (for a more detailed explanation visit wikipedia)

I have known this friend for several years now (post cochlear implant) but never really questioned him about his hearing, until last week, and even without asking questions it was interesting to stay with him for a few days and begin to appreciate just how it effects his life.

He has never been to a private Audiologist like myself, this is often the case with congenital hearing losses as the National Health Service would have always been his parents first point of call.
So he wears a large power aid in his left ear and the cochlear implant in his right both of course NHS, strangely not from the same hospital though, right one from Bristol and left from Barnstable.

Having no experience with cochlear implants, this was what I was most interested in, I have seen the videos on the internet when children first have an implant switched on and assumed, naively that this is what it must have been like for him, not so.

Firstly there were severe balance and nausea issues, we often forget that our ears not only help us to communicate but also control our ability to stay on our feet. Once this had worn off the new sound itself was enough to drive him mad, a simple rustle of a crisp packet sounded like the roar of thunder and noisy environments had to be avoided at all costs. At the time he was quite serious when he asked the doctor to have it removed, but luckily he persisted. It took about a year for the benefits to begin to outweigh the negatives, the turning point he tells me being the first time he was able to recognise birds song.

Both being rowers we soon moved on to how hearing loss effects him in his sport. He tells me that he used to wear them both whilst rowing, which although a little hap-hazard (sweat would often transfer inside the aids and prevent them from working for a short time) this at least meant he could hear the calls from the coxswain, or even the start of the race. After one aid took a knock whilst out on the water and ended up at the bottom of the river however*, he now chooses to row deaf. This has its complications, his son who rows infront of him in the boat tells me that he can feel his dad take his first stroke moments after they do, and having rowed with him myself a few weeks ago; sitting on the water waiting to race is quite a social event for most, but without any hearing a long silence for him.

*he recovered the aid at low tide, and once dry worked right-as-rain!

Simple problems that probably become everyday routine also occurred over the week, like the batteries dying without any notice, sounds quite normal but try to appreciate that when this happens he doesn't hear anything...like someone suddenly sticking their fingers in your ears. Or when trying to reach him by phone, simply arranging dinner may take 4 or 5 texts. 

There are strangely, some benefits to being deaf. Whilst staying with him, he reminded me that there was no need to be quiet in the mornings, as there was no way I would wake him up. For the same reason the lack of double glazing on a main street flat has no affect on his sleep. In order to wake up in time for work he uses a simple vibrating alarm clock, placed under the pillow.

All in all how much his hearing loss affects his life is completely relative. The hearing he has now is far better than it was only a few years ago, however if tomorrow his hearing was the same as mine, he would then realise quite how much he was affected by it.

He was surprised to hear of the technology that is available privately however, water proof aids, wireless mobile connection, convenient charging would all benefit him, and perhaps that's the difference between private and NHS, both can improve your hearing, but only we can give flexible, convenient solutions to everyday problems.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Have you heard...Wind made

Widex first company in the world to become "WindMade"

Ref: http://www.widex.com/en/newsroom/2012/windmade/

Widex is the first company in the world to receive the recently established WindMade label – a new global consumer label for companies that use wind energy.

The label, which is backed by the UN Global Compact, requires participating companies to obtain at least 25% of their electricity from wind power. A wind turbine at Widex’ global headquarters in Denmark covers 95% of its energy needs, including production, thereby greatly exceeding the basic requirements for joining the WindMade programme.

"Being a high tech company, we have an uncompromising approach to innovation and we always strive to find the best solution. By completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels, we believe that we have created the best possible foundation for the future – both for our company and for society," says Richard Tøpholm, Manager at Widex and member of the Board.

The WindMade label was created to allow companies to communicate their commitment to renewable energy while providing consumers with the choice to favour companies and products using wind power.

“We congratulate Widex for becoming the first ever WindMade certified company. By committing to renewable energy and using the WindMade label, Widex has set a great example that will inspire companies and consumers all over the world”, stresses Henrik Kuffner, CEO of WindMade.

Read more about Widex' eco-friendly headquarters

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