We would like to confirm WE ARE NOT the hearing aid 'shop' trading as Henley Hearing Care' at 23 Hart Street. WE ARE The HEARING CLINIC HENLEY, based at 25 HART STREET, HENLEY-on-THAMES. Although we have historically traded in the area for longer, the new company 'Henley Hearing Care' deliberately and inconsiderately set up as the same name as we were trading as. After deliberation we felt it was more important to concentrate on our clinical excellence rather than waste time and resources on fighting a naming rights issue.
Since 2015 we have re-branded from Henley Hearing Centre to The Hearing Clinic to ensure that our more vulnerable patients are not left confused, mislead or taken advantage of. We are the only Independent Hearing Aid and Tinnitus Clinic in South Oxfordshire qualified to MSc Level and awarded Consultant Approved Status, Widex Centre of Excellence, BSHAA CEC Certified, Approved Unitron Centre, Resound Approved Centre and Starkey Approved Partner. In addition to being specialists in hearing aid technology, we specialise in tinnitus management and earwax removal (microsuction & irrigation).
Please choose your hearing healthcare provider carefully as there are differing levels of Hearing Healthcare Professional competence. The lowest qualification is a foundation degree in Hearing Aid Technology, this person is a hearing aid dispenser / hearing aid audiologist, most hearing aid 'shops' and national chains will recruit at this basic level, they are the equivalent to a dispensing optician / sales person. An Audiologist is the hearing equivalent to and ophthalmologist optician and will be better placed to deal with your hearing issues. These low level qualified individuals are often hard sales people and have limited understanding of hearing aid technology. They will often use FREE Hearing tests from your home to entice people to contact them. Once in your home they will often pressure you until you buy something, and potentially purchase something that is not completely right for you.
We have also had instances where certain companies are booking hearing events and home hearing tests pretending they are from our company, where in fact they have no affiliation to us. WE WILL NOT INSIST ON HOME VISITS and would prefer our patients to attend our clinic, so you are clear with who you are dealing with.
Please ask for ID from the person you are dealing with. Our professionals will always carry ID. We may provide home visits where patients are incapable of attending, however a greater degree of accuracy can be obtained from our clinic.
Further more you will only be seen by Leon Cox or Amanda Johns, please do not accept appointments from any other person.
TIPS FOR BUYING HEARING AIDS:
Do not buy from home visit / sales people where possible. We continually hear from patients who have brought hearing aids from individuals who have never delivered any follow up care and have been left with unsatisfactory hearing aids. In some cases they are unable to contact that person again once they have handed over the money. Visit somewhere with premises with a good reputation.
Research the company you are dealing with.
Research the audiologist/sales person you are dealing with. If you can't find reviews or professional information on that person they may not be very competent.
Don't buy hearing aids from companies who routinely offer FREE hearing tests. Any reputable company will charge for their time and advice. Companies offering FREE hearing tests are often desperate and you will ultimately pay for the test through inflated hearing aid prices. Often unscrupulous companies will offer FREE hearing tests and then charge you a NON-REFUNDABLE £150 FEE for impressions. The reality ultimately is you are paying £150 for the test.. this is not FREE.
DO not fall for 'buy one get one free' or '50% discount' hearing aids. Either the price will be inflated in the first place or the product the company will be often be 'flogging' will be old technology, if you are investing money in good healthcare the last thing you want is an obsolete hearing aid.
Trial the hearing aids before you buy them. Any company offering money back guarantees are sales orientated. If someone is good at their job money back guarantees are irrelevant. Be sure before you buy, dont regret after!
If you would like to book a hearing test with one of our professionals please contact us on 01491 577555.
Loudness and pitch
The human hearing range depends on both the pitch of the sound – whether it is high or low – and the loudness of the sound. Pitch is measured in Hertz (Hz) and loudness is measured in decibels (dB).
A person with normal hearing, will have be able to hear pitches which start as low as about 20 Hz (e.g. the same tone as the lowest pedal on a pipe organ), and extends to about 20,000Hz. While 20 to 20,000Hz forms the the extreme borders of the human hearing range at our peak, our hearing is most acute in the 2000 – 5000 Hz frequency range.
As far as loudness is concerned, humans can hear most frequencies at starting at 0 dB to around 11db. Sounds that are more than 85dB can be painful and ultimately dangerous to listen to for prolonged periods.
Examples of typical sounds:
Effectively and astonishingly, there are some sounds that humans can’t hear. For instance the sound of a dog whistle, which is extremely high pitch. Low frequency sounds are often felt as vibrations rather than heard as sound.
Hearing ranges of people with hearing loss
When you acquire hearing loss, it affects the range of your hearing. Most people will experience a loss of sensitivity which is often particularly more prominent in the higher pitch range. Certain speech sounds, and instruments like flutes will be more difficult to hear with hearing loss.
In order to gauge your actual hearing range a hearing aid audiologist will need to perform a hearing test and plot your thresholds on to an audiogram. An audiogram is a chart that shows the results of your hearing test. Your hearing test results are plotted on a graph and then compared with that of a person with normal levels of hearing. Hearing professionals use the audiogram to establish your hearing loss and as a tool for fitting hearing aids.
Here’s what an audiogram looks like:
This test shows your hearing “threshold” or the point where you can’t hear any more. This thresholds are recorded for both ears separately as two separate lines on your audiogram.The red line shows the level of hearing of a person’s right ear. The left ear is plotted with a blue line.
The area below the line shows the levels of hearing loss that this person can hear and the area above the line shows the levels that the person can’t hear.
Here are some common sounds plotted on a standard audiogram:
What are your Next Steps
If you feel that your hearing range isn’t what it used to be, It’s a good idea to visit a hearing centre like ours for a full hearing test. We can determine whether or not you have hearing loss or whether you have wax problems or even more serious medical issues. We can then recommend a course of action if you do have a hearing loss.
Visit our Centres in Henley-on-thames or Chalfont, Amersham to get a hearing test today.
The best way to make sure that a hearing aid sounds good is to test it… and test it … and test it … and test it … thousands of times. But whose job is it to create and test the sound that comes out of your hearing aids – and how is it done?
That job belongs to the Widex Research and Development team – a group of engineers who work tirelessly to ensure that the “Widex Sound” is the most natural hearing aid sound around.
The listening test
Jens Peter Holmegaard is one of the faces behind the Widex sound. He’s a hearing aid research and development engineer who has been designing Widex hearing aids for 7 years.
We sat down with Jens and asked how he and his colleagues make sure that sound from our hearing aids is as true to real-life as it can possibly be.
And the answer is simple: he listens.
He listens to everything – from speech, to music, to the sound of a microwave. It’s Jens’ job to make sure that the sounds of your everyday life are perfectly replicated by your hearing aids.
“Our library of sounds includes everything from water running in the sink, to pork chops frying, to birds singing,” says Jens. “They’re all sounds that have characteristics that are important to the hearing aid user.”
But listening to those sounds once isn’t enough. With every small tweak or change comes a new round of testing – which means listening to those sounds hundreds or even thousands of times.
“I become very familiar with those sounds,” says Jens. “They’re often not sounds I want to hear when I get home.”
And it’s not just everyday sounds – it’s music too. A favorite test song at Widex is Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” because of its range of tones and pitches. It also has a steady bass line and a repetitive chorus – all good for testing purposes.
Creating the Widex sound
To find out more about how Widex hearing aids get their true-to-life sound, it’s important to take a step back to where the whole process begins. Developing a new hearing aid can often take five or more years and it all starts with the experiences and wishes of existing hearing aid users which are gathered and transformed into ideas for new products at the engineers´ drawing board.
For example, Widex got the idea to develop its audibility extender after realizing that some hearing aid users were having difficulty hearing upper frequency sounds. The extender moves these sounds to a lower frequency region where it is easier to hear them.
After the brainstorming phase, ideas are scheduled for development. That’s where the sound library comes in. As features like the audibility extender are created, rounds of testing begin. Sounds like birdsong, bells, and timers are used to test upper frequency sounds that the audibility extender helps hearing aid users to hear.
“It gives us a frame of reference for the hearing aid feature we are developing,” says Jens. “We listen to how this feature helps the sound in real-life situations and tweak it to make it sound as natural as possible.”
The final test
After a feature is developed, the technology is added to the physical hearing aid. But that’s not where the story ends. Hearing aids are then tested again by specially-trained sound expert who make sure that the technology is working correctly.
Hearing aids are then produced and shipped to your hearing professional, who will program them to fit your particular hearing loss.
Which hearing aid features have Widex developed over the past years? Here are just a few of the ones found in our devices:
Audibility Extender – The Audibility Extender helps people with high frequency hearing loss to hear upper frequency sounds by moving these sounds to a lower frequency region where it is easier to hear them. The upper frequency sounds are important for hearing the “softer” sounds like /s/ and /t/ in women´s and children´s voices and high-pitched sounds like the “ping” of the microwave.
Telecoil – A telecoil is a small coil inside your hearing aids. The coil works as a small receiver which picks up signals from a loop system that acts as an electromagnetic field. Hearing aids with an activated telecoil can convert this electromagnetic field into a sound signal. Only the signal from the loop system’s microphone is amplified, and background noise is shut out.
Speech Enhancer – The Speech Enhancer is different from simple noise reduction systems in that it doesn´t just dampen noise – it also amplifies speech. When we listen to a sound, we are rarely in doubt as to whether it is speech or noise. The Speech Enhancer in modern hearing aids is able to distinguish the two in much the same way as our brains do – by using the fact that speech consists of a number of varying sound components that follow each other at brief intervals.
If you would like to listen to the latest hearing aids for yourself then why not book in with Henley Hearing Centre, Oxford and test them for yourself, with no obligation. Call us on 01494 765144.
Hearing aids go a long way to help people with hearing loss to better communicate. But even with the most advanced digital hearing aids, there can be situations where it is important to point out that you have a hearing loss.
We have come up with some tips to help you talk about hearing loss with your friends, family, and coworkers. Chances are that you behave a little bit differently around each of these groups of people, so the conversation you have about your hearing loss should be catered to each group.
Friends and Family
American author Alex Haley once said that, “In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” Family members can help to understand how and why your hearing loss developed and support you in finding solutions to your hearing loss.
Similar to family, friends are often the people who know you best – and they may have already noticed that you have a hearing loss. It’s in their best interest to help you communicate, because communication the basis of a good friendship!
But sometimes it is hardest to talk about these things with the people we are close to. You might not want your family to worry about you or meddle in your personal life. But the truth is – your family and friends may have been aware of your hearing loss long before you were. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America:
One’s family and friends are likely to be the first to notice some difficulty hearing, long before the person does. Typically at this stage, the individual will deny a problem. This is understandable, since there is usually great variability in how the person functions in various situations and with different people. In some situations and with some people, he or she may do pretty well.
Bringing up your hearing loss may be a way to unleash the “elephant in the room” that your close family members knew about but never mentioned. That’s how it was for Reina, who says the best way to talk about hearing loss is to be direct.
Tips for family members
Your family and friends probably want ways to help you hear better, but aren’t sure how.
Try to offer these tips for family members:
- “Try to catch my attention before you speak to me. It’s easier for me to understand when I am looking at you.”
- “Speak clearly and at a moderate pace – but don’t go overboard. I’ll let you know if you’re going too fast.”
- “Use body language to show what you are saying.”
- “Repeat yourself if it doesn’t seem like I heard you.”
If you haven’t sought professional help for your hearing loss, family members can help by finding a local hearing professional, accompanying you to your first hearing evaluation, and helping you choose your hearing aids.
Talking to your boss or coworkers about your hearing loss can be more difficult than speaking with family or friends. You may be worried that your boss will see your hearing loss as a weakness that could affect your work. The Hearing Loss Association of America surveyed their members about their workplace experience with hearing loss in 2013. Here are a few of the responses:
Q: What are your experiences interviewing for a job?
A: It was very stressful and many of the social situations that went with the interviews were less than ideal for somebody with hearing loss. However, since I had to give a talk every time I interviewed, I let people know then about my loss. I did not worry too much that possible employers would discriminate against me, as I work in academia, and find most academics pretty open minded.
Q: Are your co-workers sensitive to your communication needs?
A: Yes, but they often forget, or don’t realize just how many types of situations are impacted by the hearing loss.
Q: Does your employer and/or co-workers know you have a hearing loss?
A: Yes. It is something I try to make everybody aware of. I point it out also to my students when I teach and audiences when I give a talk.
As you can see from the responses, your experience with hearing loss in the workplace can vary based on your specific job and your coworkers. Here are some general tips to use in a conversation about hearing loss with your employer:
- Stay positive: Address your hearing loss and tell your employer how you cope with it. If you wear hearing aids, tell him/her how the technology helps you to hear. Point out specific times when your hearing was particularly good on the job.
- Ask for help: After you have pointed out the positives, tell your employers about your challenges and how they can be helped. If you require assistive listening devices, explain how they would work in your workplace.
- Offer Tips: Tell your coworkers how they can help you to better communicate by emphasizing the communication tips above. These tips work for anyone, not just family and friends.
- Know your rights: Many countries have laws to protect people with hearing loss in the workplace. Read up on what sort of accommodation you are entitled to and be prepared to explain this to your employer in the most non-threatening way possible. If you have noise-induced hearing loss that you feel was caused by your work environment you may also be entitled to compensation.
Where would you turn to for quality and reliable information about hearing loss, hearing aids and even tinnitus? Your G.P? The internet? Friends?
These are a good start however these sources may not give you the full picture on what is available and what is right for your hearing health personally. Do you go NHS? Do you go private? Do you do anything at all?
The Buckinghamshire Annual Hearing aid Tinnitus Exhibition aims to bring together the latest technological developments from all the leading hearing aid manufacturers from all over the world of audiology under one roof, to help advise and educate those who are interested in obtaining hearing aids, tinnitus therapy and general help with their hearing health.
There are both good and bad points to going both NHS or Private, but it is important to make a decision that is right for you, it can be a big decision both mentally and financially. You will not have to look far for people who will happily tell you about their hearing experiences good or bad! But it is important that while you use this information to guide you, you do not let it cloud you. Everyone’s hearing experience is different and everyone’s problems unique!
The event is absolutely FREE and provides an opportunity for you to speak to manufacturers and audiologists directly, there will be FREE hearing screening on the day however demand last year was extremely high. So far we are 70% full this year so please do not hesitate to call today on 01494 765144.
ReSound LiNX 9/7 Digital Hearing Aid reviewed by Leon Cox (Mr Hender, Rickmansworth)
Imagine a new kind of hearing aid that makes hearing effortless. A hearing aid that lets you hear more of everything. And everything you hear is vivid, natural. Imagine speech that’s clear, strong and easy to understand. No matter where you are. What you’re doing. Or who you’re listening to. Imagine a video call with a loved one on your iPhone. Listening to the music that moves you on your iPod touch. Or watching a favorite film on your iPad. All through wireless headphones that just happen to be your hearing aids.
ReSound LiNX is the first iPhone and iPad compatible hearing aid. Syncronisation of the iPhone to the hearing aids provides a platform to control features such as volume, on/off, program selection, device connectivity and lost aid finder. For instant adjustment the aid has a dual volume and program switch for hearing aid users used to operating settings from the aid. The LiNX comes in a range of colours and is extremely discreet in size
and stylish in appearance; it is comparible to similar hearing aids in its class from Widex, Phonak, Oticon and Starkey however its connectivity capabilies and amplification range makes it a formidable challanger for best in range as it can fit comfortably 90%+ of all hearing loss configurations. Studies carried out by an independent lab- oratory have shown that the sound quality that is provided by Surround Sound by ReSound is con- sistently top-rated compared to other manufacturers’ most advanced hearing instruments. The hearing aid has 4 optional manual programs which can be accessed using the iPhone.
Streaming of music, calls, apps, audiobooks, movies and navigation can all be transmitted to the hearing aids wirelessly making your hearing aids the centre of your digital world. ReSound was the first manufacturer to build the international standard for wireless communication – 2.4 GHz – directly into hearing aids. The benefits of 2.4 GHz are many:
- No additional hardware to wear around your neck stream sound directly because all the technology you need is in your hearing aids
- Longer distance – stream sound from 7 meters away or more, not just 30-50 cm like other hearing aid brands
- Robust connection – enjoy crystal clear sound with no fallouts or delays
- Ease-of-use – all accessories are simple to set up, pair and use Private connection – no one can listen in
At Chalfont Hearing Centre, Amersham, Buckinghamshire we are dedicated to ensuring that our audiologist Leon Cox gives you the best information possible. So we work with our existing patients, who volunteer to road test the latest hearing aids for you; to ensure they are good enough for us to dispense. The following report was kindly contributed by Mr Hender:
“In comparison to my existing Siemens hearing aid I found the sound level to be far greater and was aware of a ‘digital edge’ to the sound. At first I found the connection to the iPhone a challange and that the bluetooth link provided a slight drain in the battery on my iPhone. Playing music through the hearing aids was brilliant, and was impressed that when using the iPhone to navigate to my friends house it gave me instructions through the hearing aids. The Music sounded slightly tinny at first then I found the bass and treble settings which made the sound very pleasent. After wearing the hearing aids for a while I became more used to the sound and found them useful in a party environment, access to the volume control also can in handy. Over the course of the trial I have found that the Resound hearing aids were subjectively better than my previous Siemens hearing aids. The improvement is not sufficient for me to rush to upgrade right now however I have only had my existing hearing aids for 2 years; if I had my existing aids longer I probably would change, so it may be something I will consider in 12 months time. Thank you very much for making the test possible it has been really useful”
One person’s account does not necesarily provide all the information you need to make a decision about purchasing a hearing aid and everyones experience is different. So if you would like to try the ReSound LiNX 9 or 7 hearing aids then contact Chalfont hearing on 01494 765144 for a no obligation trial.
Latest research indicates that common ear infection drugs trigger bacteria to build defences, meaning that for some children and adults what does kill the bacteria, instead makes them stronger. Antibiotics used to treat ear infections can stimulate certain biofilms, which protect the bacteria, which may explain why infections return repeatedly.
A handful of bacteria cause ear infections in children. One of the most prominent is a type known as Haemophilus Influenzae (NTHi). This bacteria is found in the nose and throat does not cause any real issues yet can be very problematic in the ear. If the child is given sub-lethal levels of antibiotics the bacteria produce larger biofilms. “If you expose the bacteria to sub-lethal concentrations of the antibiotic while the biofilms are being formed, the bacteria make better Biofilms” said Paul Webster, researcher at the University of Southern California.
In a response to the rise of antibiotic resistance doctors have opted for an approach named “watchful waiting”; holding off from prescribing medication. If the infection does not get better in a few weeks then the doctor will treat it. Research indicates that doctors should be careful about what antibiotics are used. If you have suspicion that you are suffering from an ear infection you should visit your G.P. or pop in to see us at the Chalfont Hearing Centre, Little Chalfont, Amersham.
Hearing aid pricing can be a minefield and after speaking to one of my patients the other day about the subject I thought I would put some of the points down, for others to consider. Because increasingly people are struggling to compare prices effectively resulting in them not getting the best treatment available. So I have compiled a few questions and considerations to ask your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser before making that purchase. If you simply compare prices you will probably end up with a bum deal.
1.What is the exact make and model of the hearing aid that I am comparing?
Compare only like for like products and service, DO NOT compare prices! All centres will supply different manufacturers, models, and technology generations. There are 8 main manufacturers; Phonak, Widex, Unitron, Starkey, Oticon, GN Resound, Siemens. All will have 4-5 technology levels for different pricing budgets and will produce new generations (or platforms) every 24 months. Generations are the equivalent difference between a ’64 plate’ model of car and a ’52 plate’ model. They are older with less effective technology.
2. How qualified is the person fitting the hearing aid?
This is important as the hearing aid success is only as good as the person fitting it. There are big differences depending on where you go. This is ultimately more important than the price because whats the point of having a cheaper hearing aid service but it does not perform as well. Ask for references from previously fitted patients, their feedback is going to be much more important.
3. What is the price for the best hearing aid you can buy from that hearing aid centre?
This question is different to how much is the best hearing aid for me. How much is their top premium hearing aid range? As a guide price the lower end should be in the region £3600 and the higher end should be around £5000 per pair. This figure is important because it is a figure that is easily comparable between hearing centres and provides you with clarity about their pricing range. There is a difference between the best hearing aid available and the best hearing aid for you but getting this figure will indicate where the company have pitched their pricing structure.
4. What level of technology are you being recommended if it is not the top?
There are typically 4-5 levels. If premium was level 5, what level would your aid be? Important when comparing mid to low level technology.
5. How Much warranty comes with the aid?
Warranty is different to servicing or aftercare. Warranty will ensure the aids are repaired cost free, aftercare will not. The maximum warranty available is 5 years with any manufacturer. The average is 2 years so be sure to check to ensure that you do not incur hidden costs. Don’t be fooled by ‘lifetime aftercare’ promises.
If you would like more important transparent advice from a friendly and modern hearing centre then call us today 01494 765144.
TV Star Cilla Black (71) has recently been diagnosed with hearing loss. She has had an implantable hearing aid fitted because of damage. Implantable hearing aids like that of the Lyric from Phonak are inserted into the ear canal by a professional Audiologist and remain in the ear canal 24 hours a day; they are then replaced every 3 months. Suitability for the device is dependant upon the size and shape of the ear canal as well as the configuration of the hearing loss. Where the device is not suitable for an ear the patient can be fitted with an invisible in the canal alternative such as the nano or micro hearing aids. These are the smallest hearing aids available on the market at the moment and are completely invisible when in the ear.
The entertainer worked at the cavern club Liverpool in the 1960’s and attributes her time there to being one of the contributing factors in her hearing loss. Cilla said “It’s no fun getting older. I might be wearing beautiful diamond earrings but they can’t take away he pain of losing my hearing”. Cilla’s hearing faded gradually over time and she did not realise how bad it had become.
The thing that made her realise that she could not hear properly was when she was on holiday in Barbados and she asked her friend “why are you whispering?” and her friend replied I am not whispering, it is you who has a hearing problem. Once getting her hearing aids Cilla found that she became increasingly aware of just how many of her peers wore hearing aids and ultimately how common it was.
While going to Barbados may nice it’s not the only way that you can find out whether you are having hearing problems, you can call us instead! Chalfont Hearing Centre offer express hearing testing services and professional hearing aid advice. Call us in Amersham 01494 765144 or email Chalfonthearingcentre@live.co.uk
The research suggested a strong correlation between men and women’s attractiveness rating and the likelihood that they would suffer from health problems. They also reported feeling healthier, having less time off work and suffered from less mental health problems.
The study from the US was based on women and men aged 24 to 35, who were monitored tracked over the last 10 years. The subjects were put into 5 categories very attractive, attractive, about average, unattractive and very unattractive. For each increase in attractiveness level there was a 13% reduction in the likelihood to get tinnitus. Researchers suggest their findings support the theory that attractiveness is a marker of healthy genes.
I think the study is quite important for genetics research. However, I think from a tinnitus research point of view I think the findings have limited use. I don’t think it would go down well pointing out to someone the reason they may have tinnitus is because they are ugly! However, for a more insightful assessment of why you have tinnitus why not book in for a professional consultation at Chalfont hearing Centre, call us on 01494 765144 today!