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PSAPS Vs HEARING AIDS - Important Information

Would you like a free hearing amplifier? Hearing aids for £15.99? Im sure you have all seen such advertisements in local and national newspapers suggesting that your hearing can be restored for a nominal charge or even for nothing at all, however these devices are not ‘hearing aids’. The cheap price might sound enticing, however personal sound amplification devices (PSAPS) could actually damage your hearing. As they just ‘amplify’ sounds with no consideration for prescription, resulting in a strong potential for over-amplification which can contribute to further hearing loss.

Like most hearing professionals I am frequently asked by new patients ‘whats the difference between this £15.99 amplification device and your hearing aids?’, besides the cost there are several important differences, which can seriously affect your hearing.

A PSAP will not distinguish between the types of sound you are listening to, there are no adjustments made for speech and noise. Therefore other than in simple listening situations like TV viewing, the device won’t help in background noise.  The PSAP is basically an amplifier, which makes everything louder. In comparison, a hearing aid is equipped with a digital sound processing chip which analyses input sound and provides calculated gain that is comfortable and safe.

The PSAP is a generic fit instrument that provides the same fit and performance for every listener. Hearing aids are custom built and programmed, ensuring it is tailored individually for you. For the price conscious there are better options available that do not have to cost the earth, basic digital hearing aids can be acquired for reasonable money.

Properly fitted hearing aids by an hearing professional that you trust is the only safe way to improve and conserve your hearing levels. If you are concerned about your hearing or whether your current hearing devices are suitable then why not pop in to see us in Little Chalfont, Amersham and speak to us! Appointments are not necessary but advised so call us on 01494 765144.

A world of silence - Hearing problems of care home residents

The Ultimate Eyewear CompanyIn 2012 Action on Hearing Loss produced a report on the challanges and problems facing older people in care home settings. It found that care home residents are disproportionately affected by hearing loss. They reported that around three-quarters of older people who live in these settings have a hearing loss and, as the number of people in care homes increases, more and more residents will be affected by hearing loss.

A report by Cook et al 2006, found that sensori impairment (such as hearing loss) had a significant impact on care home residents ability to interact socially, leading to feelings of isolation and depression. It highlighted a need for more staff involvement and education around the topic to ensure the environment optimises the residents’ ability to fully engage in the residential community.

Proposed standards for care homes regarding hearing loss include the following areas of concentration: 1. Diagnosis of hearing loss – regular testing and early identification, 2. Communication and recording of hearing loss – should be documented and monitored, 3. Hearing aids and wax management – maintenance and aural hygiene, 4. Buildings – assistive devices and facilities, 5. Communication – sign, lip reading and hearing tactics, 6. Information – education and advice on access.

We provide a domiciliary service to the local care homes and retirement villages surrounding our hearing centre. We aim to provide support for our own patients and where possible cater for NHS hearing aid patients. We have definitely found that some care homes are more receptive to than others with regards to hearing aid provision. If your family member is in a care home and you would like them to have a hearing assessment contact us on 01494 76144.