Ear wax removal Henley
Ear wax removal Henley . The Henley hearing clinic is the place to find out more information if you are suffering with hearing loss of any type. Sometimes the loss can be quite mild and irritating so you just put up with it for now. This could easily be a build up of wax that is blocking the ear canal and can easily be removed in a few minutes at Henley hearing clinic. Ear wax removal is usually done using a very very small suction device called Micro-Suction. We have produced a video on how this works and how the ear wax removal appointment will look like. Leon Cox is who you would see at Henley hearing and he is shown on the video.
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Henley Hearing Clinic News:
International Campaign for Better Hearing Announces Results of Hearing Loss Survey
A new survey conducted in ten countries, specifically designed to study the habits of people with hearing loss, reveals how people around the world feel about their hearing condition and how addressing hearing loss with treatment can help significantly improve quality of life.
The study results, which the The International Campaign for Better Hearing announced in a press release, conclude that 74% of respondents from around the world with hearing loss have at some point been embarrassed, while 69% have felt anxious, 64% have experienced feeling socially isolated, 59% felt tired/drained, 62% suffered from anger or frustration, and 49% have even felt unsafe as a result of their hearing loss.
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The US ranked highest, with 81% of their respondents experiencing social isolation because of their hearing loss, while people in Spain were the most likely to have experienced feeling unsafe because of their condition (79%).
After recognising a problem with their hearing, 3/10 people globally delayed getting assessed and treatment as they believed losing their hearing was just a fact of ageing and therefore couldn’t be helped, and 24% delayed seeing a professional as they were too embarrassed to go.
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The US and UK respondents were quickest to seek medical help with 17% of US respondents and 16% of UK respondents pursuing advice as quickly as within a month of noticing a problem with their hearing. However, it took 22% of Irish, 18% of Australian, and 18% of New Zealand respondents over 5 years to seek help. Overall, less than half of respondents across the globe sought advice for their hearing issues within 6 months, and more than a third waited over a year.
After being diagnosed with hearing loss, 91% of respondents had treatment globally, which included hearing aids, cochlear implants, surgery, and wax removal. According to the survey, respondents from Ireland were most reluctant to accept treatment—35% compared to the global average of 9%.
The most common treatment for hearing loss across the globe was wearing a hearing aid, topping the poll in all but one market region. In fact, more than 8/10 of respondents in half of the countries polled reported that they wear aids, and significantly, 84% reported that their life has consequently improved by treatment.
The survey revealed that the most common prompts for recognising hearing problems are difficulty with conversations (62%), having to turn up the radio/TV (60%), and having friends and family point out that they are missing out on sounds (51%).
“In general, it seems that noticing hearing issues does not always spur us to seek medical advice, even though a vast majority have at some point felt anxious, unsafe, or alone. In fact, we are actually willing to wait a considerable amount of time and live with our symptoms,” said Ann-Kristin Foss, brand and communications manager, International Campaign for Better Hearing. “Considering how much of a difference hearing loss treatment can make to our lives we want to encourage more people to get their hearing checked as soon as they notice any difference to their hearing ability.”
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“If you noticed a problem with your eyesight, you would almost certainly get checked out as soon as possible, and would visit an optician for a diagnosis,” said Foss. “Over half of the respondents that took our survey were more likely to turn to health services than to a hearing specialist for diagnosis of their hearing issues. Thanks to the International Campaign for Better Hearing, everyone can now receive a free hearing test at a number of professional hearing clinics across the world.”
The International Campaign for Better Hearing survey also looked to find out whether people with hearing loss were aware of the links between unaddressed hearing loss and health issues, and the results reveal that the majority of global respondents demonstrated an “alarming lack of knowledge” of how hearing loss can affect overall health. Whilst many are familiar with the links between hearing loss and social withdrawal and depression, more than three quarters are unaware that hearing loss can cause problems with heart health, strokes, and diabetes. Furthermore, 80% aren’t aware that untreated hearing loss may increase your risk of developing dementia. This question was also posed to family members of people with hearing loss, which produced slightly more positive results.
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The International Campaign for Better Hearing advocates the importance of hearing loss identification, offering free hearing tests for everyone—particularly encouraging people over the age of 60 to have their hearing checked at a clinic for free, as they are at a higher risk of hearing loss. The initiative, which is supported by hearing care retailer Audika Group, is making every effort to inform and educate about hearing health and the dangers of untreated hearing loss as well as making hearing aids accessible to those who otherwise could not afford them via a give-back program.
For more information visit: https://www.campaignforbetterhearing.org/
Source: The International Campaign for Better Hearing
Hearing aids available Henley
Hearing aids available Amersham
Hearing aids available in Amersham by Oticon hearing
Hearing aids available Amersham at the Henley Hearing Clinic. A new style of hearing aid is now available for the younger generation. Made by Oticon. OPN Play. These hearing aids are available at specialist children’s centres who cater for children hearing loss. Many people suffer from hearing loss and we at the Chalfont hearing centre do cater for the older generation. We also conduct hearing tests and remove ear wax by appointment. Digital hearing tests are available again by appointment. The new Oticon Opn Play are designed for children only.
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Once we conduct a full spectrum hearing test we will go through the results with you to determine what hearing loss you may have and if any what type of remedy we can offer. This maybe through hearing aids or ear wax removal.
Hearing aids available Amersham
Henley Hearing Clinic News:
Oticon Introduces Opn Play
Oticon announces Opn Play™, a new child-friendly hearing solution, is said to “improve speech understanding in simple and complex listening environments and provides access to multiple speakers, without reducing environmental sounds important to incidental learning and safety.” The new Velox S™platform fuels Opn Play to provide children with the best possible conditions to grow, thrive, live, and learn, according to the company.
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According to pediatric best practice guidelines, it is crucial to give children as much of the auditory environment as possible, in particular speech, to create the best opportunities for learning and language development.* Opn Play featuring OpenSound Navigator™ (OSN) helps accommodate best practice by delivering the “optimal signal-to-noise ratio across varying listening environments to constantly optimize learning opportunities.” Unlike traditional omnidirectional and directional approaches, OSN reportedly gives children the best of both worlds—“always open” access to a balanced soundscape that helps support the natural way the brain makes sense of sound, even in difficult listening environments.
A study at Boys Town National Research Hospital with children ages 6-15 reported that OSN offered an average of 4 dB SNR improvement in speech recognition (up to 30%) whether the child faced the speaker directly or faced away. The same study found that OSN preserves competing speech to allow access to multiple talkers, supporting incidental learning for children.
“Young children naturally learn a tremendous amount from overhearing or incidental listening, but children with hearing loss have fewer opportunities to learn by overhearing, especially when they are not looking directly at the talker,” said Maureen Doty Tomasula, AuD, senior product & marketing manager, Oticon Pediatrics. “The ability of OpenSound Navigator to preserve speech coming from different locations allows access to other talkers in the background, which is fundamental to incidental learning in school-age children.”
In a separate study of listening effort for children, researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam found that OSN improves speech understanding by up to 5 dB SNR with less perceived effort compared to traditional omnidirectional technology.**
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Powered by the new Velox S platform, Opn Play reportedly analyzes sound at 56,000 times/second to give children access to speech details with “more natural sound and increased comfort,” according to Oticon. OpenSound Optimizer™, a new technology in Opn Play, uses “ultra-fast” detectors and a patented breaker signal to proactively manage feedback, even before it occurs. Hearing care professionals can now fit children with up to 6 dB more gain, helping to allow more stable gain for closed fittings and more open fittings. This helps enable Opn Play to provide the brain with up to 25% more speech cues, without the risk of feedback.*** The new technology helps ensure stable access to speech details to support better language development and is said to allow children to play, hug, interact, and wear hats and helmets without feedback.
Easy Connectivity at School and Home
Opn Play offers compatibility with existing classroom solutions. A new option—Opn Play plus Oticon ConnectClip—can enhance incidental listening and communication between parents and children with hearing loss, especially when there is distance or noise present, such as when riding in the car, at the playground, or in a stroller. ConnectClip helps make it easy for children to stay connected to the most important speakers in their lives, parents, friends, teachers, and coaches. Opn Play is Made for iPhone® and connects with smartphones, laptops and other Bluetooth®-enabled devices.
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The Opn Play miniRITE R offers a rechargeable lithium-ion solution in a “discreet design,” helping to eliminate the hassle of handling and replacing batteries every few days. The charger features a stable magnetic connection and is said to deliver a full day of power, including streaming, with an overnight charge.
The Oticon Opn Play family is available in fitting ranges from mild to severe across all styles and in an array of kid-friendly colors. For more information about the entire Oticon Opn Play family, visit: www.oticon.com/opn-play.
* American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Clinical Practice Guidelines Pediatric Amplification June 2013
** Ng E, Goverts T, et al. (2019). Oticon Whitepaper.
*** Speech Intelligibility Index. ANSI S3.5.
Ear wax removal Bucks
Ear wax removal Bucks is available at the Henley Hearing Clinic. If you are suffering from excessive wax build up in the ear or ears we can come to your aid. Using Micro-Suction or the traditional irrigation technique, (some call it ear syringing), it only take a few mins to painlessly remove excess ear wax. Please click here to see how Micro-Suction works.
If you live in the Chalfont area then contact us for Ear wax removal near Little Chalfont Bucks.
Henley hearing Clinic also conduct lots of other ear related issues such as hearing tests, dispensing the very latest digital hearing aids along with hearing aid servicing and setting up of new hearing aids after you purchase them. If you need any of our services please book by calling reception.
Henley Hearing Clinic News:
Philips Hearing Aids Introduced by Demant
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In August, Demant announced a licensing agreement with Philips, which is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, to bring Philips-branded solutions to the hearing healthcare market. Demant (formerly William Demant Holding) is the parent group of Oticon, Sonic, and Bernafon hearing aids, as well as Oticon Medical.
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“Based on a shared vision of improving the lives of people through innovative healthcare this new cooperation will not only change the way we see hearing healthcare, but also widen the definition of hearing healthcare, supporting healthier lifestyles and active aging,” said Spencer Ramsey, Senior Director of Brand Licensing, Philips, in the press statement. “Combining Demant’s world-leading hearing aid technology with Philips’ global brand presence in healthcare, the cooperation will enrich the hearing healthcare experience.”
The new premium Philips hearing aids—named Philips HearLink—are now available for hearing care professionals in selected countries. The look and feel of the Philips HearLink hearing aids is designed to cater to today’s baby boomer generation with design and usability developed for this expanding market. Philips HearLink users will benefit from connectivity between their hearing aids and the devices they use in their everyday life, such as smartphones and televisions. The hearing aids will reportedly be manufactured by Demant using the Velox-S and Velox platforms, and will be available in a complete range of styles, including RICs, BTEs, ITCs, CICs, and IITs.
“The Philips hearing aids will provide users with an innovative, future-proof hearing solution,” says Demant President & CEO Søren Nielsen. “We live in an age where user engagement and digital services are shaping the future of healthcare technology. More and more people are conscious of taking control of their own personal healthcare and are using electronic devices to do so. In this light, Philips Hearing Solutions offers new and exciting premium solutions alongside Philips’ healthcare ecosytem, which will attract interest and generate significant benefits to users, ultimately supporting our valued customer base of hearing care professionals.
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“With this partnership, we take connected hearing healthcare to the next level and offer new and exciting solutions within integrated healthcare services to the benefit of both professionals and people suffering from a hearing loss,” continued Nielsen. “Health, caring, and innovation are cornerstones in the vision of both Demant and Philips, which makes the partnership a great match for the future. Furthermore, it will strengthen and add value to both companies’ ambition to improve people’s lives.”
The Philips brand is something of a “back to the future moment” for more seasoned dispensing professionals. Philips was a well-known hearing aid brand in the 1990s, and the company embarked on a technical collaboration with Telex then exited the market just before the turn of the new century when Beltone purchased Philips’ hearing aid technology. The Hearing Review published numerous news and technical articles about Philips technology in the 90s.
Traditionally, hearing aid branding has not played a large role in hearing healthcare; MarkeTrak 9 suggested that less than half of hearing aid users (43%) could identify the brand of their device. However, many experts in the industry believe this is due to change, as more consumers are expected to enter the market and there is continued competition and aggressive marketing among dispensing chains, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, and online retailers. The Philips brand brings with it one of the world’s best known and trusted healthcare and consumer electronics brands.
For further information about Philips Hearing Solutions and a full presentation of the Philips HearLink product range, visit: hearingsolutions.philips.com
Henley ear wax removal
Henley ear wax removal conducted at the Henley Hearing Clinic. If you are experiencing excessive ear wax or are having issues with your ears being blocked we can help. We are a fully accredited and regulated ear wax removal centre for the whole of Bucks. Using Microsuction to remove excessive ear wax is painless and very quick. If you prefer the older technique of ear wax removal using water irrigation (ear syringing), we can do that too!
Click here to see how we use Microsuction.
Please call reception to make a booking of either ear wax removal or other services at the Henley Hearing Clinic.
Henley ear wax removal
If you are in the Chalfont area then theChalfont hearing centre is the place to get your ear wax removed. Sitting between Rickmansworth and Amersham, Little Chalfont serves perfectly for those who are in the North of Buckinghamshire county. Chalfont hearing also dispenses the very latest in digital hearing aids and conducts hearing tests. This really is a non stop hearing centre just like The Henley hearing Clinic.
Henley Hearing Clinic News:
BIHIMA Round Table Event Focused on Connection Between Hearing Loss and Dementia
A cross-sector summit was held last month, bringing together experts to discuss the connection between hearing loss as a risk factor in developing dementia, as well as highlighting the preventative role of hearing technology. The round table event was convened by the British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) on February 28, 2019 at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, BIHIMA announced.
A series of podcasts of the event’s discussion has been created in order to spread greater understanding, available for download here.
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The event united audiologists, research scientists, and representatives from the media and charity sectors, to share knowledge and develop strategies to get the crucial message out into the public arena, so the proven link between the two conditions is taken seriously by individuals and policymakers.
There is growing evidence of the connection between the two conditions, including a Lancet study which showed that midlife hearing loss may account for up to 9.1% of preventable dementia cases worldwide and is a modifiable risk factor in developing the condition1. Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez, co-author of the study, attended the Round Table.
There is less research, however, into the mitigating benefits of hearing aids. A University of Manchester study2 showed the rate of age-related cognitive decline is 75% less following the adoption of hearing devices. Co-author of this study, Dr Asri Maharani, shared details of these findings on the day. Further studies are now underway but this remains an undeveloped area, and so last month’s forum called publicly for further trials.
The panel also called on policymakers to make this area a funding priority. As new data emerges which proves the impact of hearing aids in preventing dementia, this will provide greater economic argument for making hearing technology more available to those at risk of cognitive decline.
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“The better we understand cognitive decline and why hearing aid use helps, the better we can design intervention,” said Dr Helene Amieva, author of the 25-year study, “Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated with Self-reported Hearing Problems.”3
The panel also strongly recommended a cross-sector approach, whereby hearing loss is understood as part of a wider discussion which links with both neuroscience and social issues around isolation and wellbeing in the aging population.
“Dementia is a condition which affects 47 million people globally and is fast becoming a social care crisis. There is no time to waste in understanding the role of hearing technology which could stem the tide of the disease, and in educating people about looking after both their hearing and cognitive health,” said the BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge.
BIHIMA PANEL ATTENDEES:
Paul Surridge, BIHIMA Chairman
Helene Amieva, PhD, author of: “Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated with Self-reported Hearing Problems: A 25-Year Study,” Inserm, University of Bordeaux
Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez, co-author of the study: “Dementia prevention, intervention and care,” The Lancet, University College London
Tony Gunnell, audiologist (BIHIMA representative)
Peter Kunzmann, head of research and policy, Action on Hearing Loss
Dr Asri Maharani, co-author of the study: ‘Longitudinal Relationship Between Hearing Aid Use and Cognitive Function in Older Americans’, University of Manchester
Source: BIHIMA, The Lancet, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, The Journals of Gerontology
Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet. 2017;390(10113):P2673-2734.
Maharani A, Dawes P, Nazroo J, Tampubolon G, Pendleton N. Longitudinal relationship between hearing aid use and cognitive function in older Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2018;66(6):1130-1136.
Amieva H, Ouvrard C, Meillon C, Rullier L, Dartigues J-F. Death, depression, disability, and dementia associated with self-reported hearing problems: A 25-year study. The Journals of Gerontology. 2018;73(10):1383-1389.
Ear wax removal Henley
The Henley Hearing Clinic is located in Henley on Thames, Bucks. Big sister the the Chalfont hearing centre but does all the same procedures such as dispensing the latest Digital hearing aids and ear wax removal using Microsuction or the traditional syringing of the ears called water irrigation. Microsuction is the better way to remove wax in most cases.
Ear wax removal is available by appointment and a limited amount of out of hours appointments are available but please call reception if you require out of hours.
Comprehensive hearing tests are also available. Please make sure that any ear wax issues are clear before you take the test, if you need ear wax removing prior the test please call reception and make this clear to reception that you will need ear wax clearing first.
Best ear wax removal In Bucks
The Best ear wax removal, Henley,Bucks is at the family owned and run independent Henley hearing clinic. Covering the whole of Buckinghamshire including Henley, Amersham, Chesham and Rickmansworth.
The Henley hearing clinic is based In the centre of Henley and is the place to book for ear wax removal and hearing tests. If you are suffering from Tinnitus, Leon Cox, the lead audiologist at the Henley Hearing Clinic can help you with Tinnitus therapy. Local GP surgeries are no longer treating ear wax removal as part of the NHS but if you are in serious need and want to book an appointment please call reception to book your ear wax removal session. Please read the website for costs.
Henley hearing Clinic News:
Best ear wax removal In Bucks!
Oticon Releases Survey Highlighting Tinnitus Prevalence in the UK
For a second year, the British Tinnitus Association is hoping to raise awareness of the prevalent condition suggested to severely affect 1 in 10 of the population. People with tinnitus have a hidden condition making it difficult for others to understand what they are going through. This year’s Tinnitus Week theme will draw attention to how many people feel isolated and unable to talk to their loved ones, friends, or colleagues about their condition.
A nationally representative hearing loss survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by hearing aid manufacturer Oticon, reveals just how prevalent tinnitus is and highlights the importance of recognition and education of the sometimes debilitating condition, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. An alarming 21% of respondents experience tinnitus symptoms such as ringing, buzzing, or persistent noise in the ears. Among these respondents, less than half have seen a doctor or hearing care professional about their symptoms, 25% do not think that they need to, and worryingly, almost 40% are not concerned about their overall hearing health, despite nearly half reporting that they do not have good hearing.
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To underline the significance of this year’s Tinnitus Week theme of isolation, the Oticon survey reveals that the biggest effect of the widespread hearing condition is withdrawal from social situations, which 28% reported. This is followed by lack of concentration (26.4%), less alertness (25.8%), and stress (22.4%). Furthermore, two thirds experiencing tinnitus symptoms find it tiring to hear what people are saying and follow conversations in situations where there are lots of people speaking.
Alison Stone, training manager and audiologist at Oticon, says: “People with tinnitus are often more tired and can have more difficulty concentrating, especially if there is background noise in the environment. They are also more at risk of high anxiety, depression, and irritation which affects their daily quality of life a great deal. Isolation is a natural response to many of the effects of tinnitus which is why the support of friends and family is so important. We urge those with tinnitus to talk, and although there is no known cure, to explore the management options available to relieve their symptoms which could significantly minimize the impact the condition has on their life. There are trained professionals out there who understand and can help.”
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The Oticon survey results highlight that tinnitus can be experienced by anyone, with between 16% and 24% of respondents reporting symptoms in each age category. Tinnitus can indeed be experienced by anyone, as well as be temporary or permanent, constant or intermittent.
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Oticon’s Alison Stone advises: “We know that approximately 80% of those with hearing loss also have tinnitus, and 80% of those with tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. It’s important to highlight that tinnitus can sometimes be a symptom of a treatable medical condition, so, if you are experiencing any tinnitus symptoms seek professional medical advice from your primary care doctor or an ENT consultant. Early intervention could make a difference.”
Tinnitus Week aims to increase awareness of tinnitus with a week of promotions that highlight the impact tinnitus can have on the lives of the many people affected. For more information about the condition visit: https://www.oticon.global/hearing/what-is-hearing/tinnitus
Source: Oticon, British Tinnitus Association
Professional ear wax removal Henley
Henley hearing Clinic are a certified ear wax removal centre based in Henley Bucks. If you are suffering from blocked ears, excessive ear wax and need this the be relieved then please call our Chalfont or Henley centres for an appointment. Leon Cox the lead audiologist can assist in ascertaining the ear wax issue and clear the ear blockage. Using Microsuction for the ear wax removal is the simplest and easiest way although if preferred we can use the traditional water irrigation technique.
If you need or want a hearing test this also can be conducted at the either branch, along with information on the very latest digital hearing aids by the major manufacturers.
The Henley hearing Clinic is a premium independent hearing centre serving the whole of Buckinghamshire.
Henley ear syringing available now!
Henley ear syringing or ear wax removal. The Henley hearing clinic is an independent hearing centre run by Leon Cox and are based in Henley on Thames. To get an earlier appointment for your ear wax removal or your hearing test please book as soon as possible. Henley hearing clinic are also a major Buckinghamshire centre for the latest DIGITAL hearing aids. If you are suffering with hearing loss and need impartial expert advice them please reception to book your appointment to speak with Leon.
Henley Hearing Clinic News:
A New Enhanced Operating System in Phonak Hearing Aids: AutoSense OS 3.0
A review of the rationale for and enhanced features in AutoSense OS 3.0 with binaural signal processing, and how the new system is designed to achieve the most appropriate settings for the wearer, optimising hearing performance in all listening environments, including media steaming.
It can be challenging to hear, understand, and actively engage in conversation in today’s fast-paced and “acoustically dynamic” world, especially for a listener with hearing loss. The Phonak automatic program has been designed to adapt seamlessly, based on the acoustic characteristics of the present environment and the benefit for clients.
AutoSense OS™ 3.0 is the enhanced automatic operating system in Phonak Marvel™ hearing aids. It has been optimised to recognise additional sound environments for even more precise classification, applying dual path compression, vent loss compensation, and a new first-fit algorithm. In combination, these new enhancements to the Phonak automatic classification system ensure that the listener gains access to speech clarity and quality of sound irrespective of the environment, enabling them to actively participate in everyday life.
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Optimal sound quality in every listening environment for listeners with hearing loss is always the goal of hearing aid manufacturers and hearing care professionals alike. As pointed out by MarkeTrak, “Hearing well in a variety of listening situations is rated as highly important to hearing aid wearers and has a direct impact on the satisfaction of hearing aid use throughout daily tasks and listening environments.”1
Without conscious effort, humans naturally classify audio signals throughout each day. For example, we recognize a voice on the telephone, or tell the difference between a telephone ring versus a doorbell ring. For the most part, this type of classification task does not pose a significant challenge; however, problems may arise when the sound is soft, when there is competing noise, or when the sounds are very similar in acoustical nature. Of course, these tasks become even more difficult in the presence of a hearing loss, and hence, great strides have been made in hearing instrument technology to incorporate classification capabilities within the automatic program.
In previous years, the sound processing of hearing aids was limited to a single amplification setting used for all situations. However, since the soundscape around us is dynamic—with frequent acoustical changes in the environment—it is unrealistic for a hearing aid with only one amplification setting to deliver maximum benefit in every environment. The evolution of hearing aids has seen the introduction of sound-cleaning features, such as noise cancellation, dereverberation, wind noise suppression, feedback cancellation, and directionality. These features offer maximum benefit to overall sound quality and speech intelligibility when they are appropriately applied, based on analysis of the sound environment.
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Rather than having these sound-cleaning features permanently activated, their impact is greatest when they are applied selectively. For example, a wearer may not hear oncoming traffic if noise cancellation is permanently suppressing sound from all directions. Thus, defaults are set in the system for different environments.
Of course, the possibility exists to add manual programs to accommodate acoustic characteristics of specific listening environments (eg, an “everyday” program with an omnidirectional microphone enabled and a “noise” program with a directional microphone enabled). However, having several manual programs increases the complexity for the hearing aid wearer. Research data shows the increasing preference of wearers for automatically adaptive sound settings over manual programs for different environments,2 and this is further confirmed by data-logging statistics which reveal a decline in manually added programs with the launch of newer technology platforms (Figure 1).3
Results of studies focusing specifically on speech intelligibility demonstrate that the majority of participants achieve a 20% improvement in speech understanding while listening in AutoSense OS than in a “preferred” manual program across a wide variety of listening environments, suggesting that manual programs may not always be appropriately or accurately selected.4 Even more interesting is the fact that users rate sound quality as being equal between the automatic and manual programs.5 According to this same research from Searchfield et al,5 a possible explanation may be that the practical application of selection relies on the wearer’s manual dexterity, normal cognition, noticeable benefit, and motivation levels. Furthermore, their research confirms a bias towards selection of the first program in the setup—whether or not this would be considered “audiologically” optimal.
Having an automatic program which can seamlessly adjust to select the most appropriate settings in any environment therefore saves both the client and the hearing care professional effort, time, and hassle.
First-generation AutoSense OS™
When Phonak AutoSense OS was originally developed, data from several sound scenes was recorded and used to “train” the system to identify acoustic characteristics and patterns. These characteristics include level differences, estimated signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), and synchrony of temporal onsets across frequency bands, as well as amplitude and spectrum information. Probabilities of the degree of match between “trained” versus “identified” acoustic parameters in real time are then calculated for the most optimal selection of sound settings in each environment. There are seven sound classes: Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, Speech in Loud Noise, Speech in Car, Comfort in Noise, Comfort in Echo, and Music. Three of the programs—Speech in Loud Noise, Music, and Speech in Car—are considered “exclusive classes” (ie, stand-alone) while the other four programs can be activated as a blend when it is not possible to define complex, real-world environments by one acoustic classification. For example, Comfort in Echo and Calm Situation can be blended with respect to how much each of these classifications are detected in the environment.
Enhanced Benefits for Wearers
With AutoSense OS 3.0, Phonak has gone a step further and incorporated data from even more sound scenes for the classes Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, and Noise into the training for additional system robustness. Enabling the desired signal processing is the goal of automatic classification, so to support the wearer’s understanding in speech-in- noise situations, the program Speech in Noise is activated even earlier than before.
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AutoSense OS 3.0 is the foundation for steering the signal processing and applying the most appropriate setting for the wearer based on the acoustics present in the environment. Refinements to the audiological settings within this are always sought to further enhance the user experience, and the improvements occur in different areas of the signal processing.
In order to maintain the natural modulations of speech in noise as well as streamed media, dual path compression is available and activated based on the listening environment. This allows temporal and spectral cues in speech to be more easily identified and used by the wearer.6
It is known that a full and rich sound is preferred by wearers while streaming audio, so the system enhances the sound quality of streamed audio signals by increasing the vent loss gain compensation. The result is an increase in low-frequency gain by up to 35 dB, which is especially beneficial to overcome the vent loss of a receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid, most likely to be fitted with an open coupling (depending on the hearing loss and/or client comfort). This low-frequency “boost” is applied to streamed signals (or any other alternative input source, including a telecoil), while inputs received directly to the hearing aid microphones remain uncompromised, maintaining the frequency response of a Calm situation.
The Adaptive Phonak Digital (APD) algorithm has also been enhanced for spontaneous first-fit acceptance. The gain for first-time wearers fitted to an adaptation level of 80% has been softened for frequencies above 3000 Hz to reduce reported shrillness, but without compromising speech intelligibility. The desired effect of this is that the wearer experiences a comfortable and clear sound quality from the outset.7
New Classification of Media Signals
Listening to music and enjoying it is achieved by an alternate setting that is used to attain optimal speech understanding. In an internal study conducted at the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC), participants emphasized their preferences for clarity of speech for dialogue-dominated sound samples and sound quality for music-dominated samples (C Jones, unpublished data, “Preferred settings for varying streaming media types,” 2017). This preference applies not only in the acoustic environment where signals reach the hearing instrument microphones directly, but also for streamed media inputs via the Phonak TV Connector or Bluetooth connection to a mobile device.
Phonak Audéo Marvel with AutoSense OS 3.0 now incorporates streamed inputs into the automatic classification process offering the wearer speech clarity as well as an optimal music experience. A recent study conducted at DELTA SenseLab in Denmark confirmed that the new Audéo Marvel, in combination with the TV Connector, is rated by wearers as close to their defined ideal profile of sound attributes for streamed media across a range of samples including, speech, speech in noise, music, and sport (Figure 2). The Audéo Marvel streaming solution was also rated among the top streaming solutions across 7 competitor solutions.8 This confirms that the way in which the classifier now categorises streamed media into the sound classes “Speech” versus “Music” is yet another way in which the system provides ideal hearing performance for wearers in their everyday lives.
Binaural VoiceStream Technology
The Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ has been reintroduced within AutoSense OS 3.0. This technology facilitates binaural signal processing, such as binaural beamforming, and enables programs and features such as Speech in Loud Noise (when StereoZoom™ is activated), Speech in 360°, and DuoPhone. StereoZoom uses 4 wirelessly connected microphones to create a narrow beam towards the front, for access to speech in especially loud background noise. We know that the ability to stream the full audio bandwidth in real time and bidirectionally across both ears improves speech understanding and reduces listening effort in challenging listening situations.9 This reduction in listening effort, and consequently, memory effort, has been demonstrated in recent studies employing electrophysiological measures, such as electroencephalography (EEG), where significantly reduced Alpha-wave brain activity is noted when listening with StereoZoom compared to listening with more open approaches of directionality.10 When we consider this in terms of the “Limited Resources Theory” described in psychology by Kahneman11(ie, that the brain operates on a limited number of neural resources), it highlights that efficiencies in sensory processing, through use of such advanced signal processing, may serve to free up resources to benefit higher cognitive processing for the wearer.
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Taking this a step further to look into behavioural patterns of speakers and listeners with hearing loss in a typical group communication scenario in the real world, methods such as video and communication analyses have been used effectively. Changes in behavior when listening with StereoZoom versus traditional fixed directional technologies have been compared and correlated with subjective ratings of listening effort. StereoZoom has been shown to increase communication participation by 15%, and decrease listening effort by 15% relative to the fixed directional condition.12
The ability of a hearing instrument to offer acceptable “hands-free” listening by automatically adapting to multiple situations increases the adoption rate of the instrument.1 The enhanced AutoSense OS 3.0, with binaural signal processing, achieves this by selecting the most appropriate settings for the wearer, optimising hearing performance in all listening environments, and now during media streaming, too. The wearer is freed from expending energy on effortful listening and can focus their enjoyment instead on tasks which are more meaningful to them, confident in the knowledge that their hearing instruments will automatically take care of the rest.
Correspondence can be addressed to Tania Rodrigues at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Citation for this article: Rodrigues T. A new enhanced operating system in Phonak hearing aids: AutoSense OS 3.0. Hearing Review. 2019;26(2)[Feb]:22-26.
Kochkin S. MarkeTrak VIII: Consumer satisfaction with hearing aids is slowly increasing. Hear Jour. 2010;63(1):19-32.
Rakita L; Phonak. AutoSense OS: Hearing well in every listening environment has never been easier. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/white_paper/documents/insight_btb_autosense-os_belong_s3_028-1585.pdf Published August 2016.
Überlacker E, Tchorz J, Latzel M. Automatic classification of acoustic situation versus manual selection. Hörakustik. 2015.
Rakita L, Jones C. Performance and preference of an automatic hearing aid system in real-world listening environments. Hearing Review. 2015;22(12):28-34.
Searchfield GD, Linford T, Kobayashi K, Crowhen D, Latzel M. The performance of an automatic acoustic-based program classifier compared to hearing aid users’ manual selection of listening programs. Int J Audiol. 2017;57(3):201-212.
Gatehouse S, Naylor G, Elberling C. Linear and nonlinear hearing aid fittings-1.Patterns of benefit. Int J Audiol. 2006;45(3):130–152.
Jansen S, Woodward J; Phonak. Love at first sound: The new Phonak precalculation. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/white_paper/documents/insight_btb_marvel_precalculation_season4_2018_028-1931.pdf. Published July 2018.
Legarth S, Latzel M; Phonak. Benchmark evaluation of hearing aid media streamers. DELTA SenseLab, Force Technology. www.phonakpro.com/evidence
Winneke A, Appell J, De Vos M, et al. Reduction of listening effort with binaural algorithms in hearing aids: An EEG study. Poster presented at: The 43rd Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society; March 3-5, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ.
Winneke A, Latzel M, Appleton-Huber J; Phonak. Less listening- and memory effort in noisy situations with StereoZoom. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/field_studies/documents/fsn_stereozoom_eeg_less_listening_effort.pdf. Published July 2018.
Kahneman D. Attention and Effort.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc;1973.
Schulte M, Meis M, Krüger M, Latzel M, Appleton-Huber J; Phonak. Significant increase in the amount of social interaction when using StereoZoom. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/field_studies/documents/fsn_increased_social_interaction_stereozoom_gb.pdf. Published September 2018.
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Earwax removal at The Henley Hearing Clinic. The hearing clinic is a premier private family run business with Leon Cox at the helm. Hearing tests and hearing aids are to be found at the Henley Hearing Clinic alongside ear wax removal using Micro-suction or the traditional water irrigation technique (ear syringing).
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GN Hearing Launches AI Personalized Hearing Solutions
GN Hearing announced that it has launched “the world’s first” hearing solutions that intuitively adapt to a hearing aid user’s personal preferences in any given sound environment. This breakthrough technology employs GN’s artificial intelligence (AI) solution in tandem with Apple’s Siri virtual assistant. The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas.
It follows GN’s longstanding commitment to progressing hearing aid technologies through extensive research and development programs. This new offering follows years of investment in GN’s dedicated in-house AI research center, investments in AudEERING, and extensive collaboration with other partners and academic research institutes. The launch helps to extend GN’s innovation footprint and partnership philosophy in the hearing care industry by what GN calls an “intuitive and personalized hearing solution.”
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“At GN, we believe that technology is at its best when it helps address people’s everyday needs and challenges,” said Marcus Desimoni, CFO of GN and Interim CEO of GN Hearing. “Employing AI technology in GN’s products brings this specific technology and innovation to the hearing aid space and is the first step in the journey to create a seamless hearing experience that will allow hearing aid users to ‘forget’ that they are wearing one. This is core to GN’s purpose of making life sound better.”
The new offering is an added benefit to the company’s latest 2.4 GHz product portfolio from ReSound and Beltone, and it will be reaching users in February 2019. Through the use of AI, GN expects to deliver a continuous stream of new user benefits through future software releases. This will enable users to always be at the forefront of innovation by updating existing GN Hearing instruments with new features.
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When GN was established 150 years ago, the company introduced the world’s first telegraph line from Europe to Asia, creating the Internet of its time. It is this same pioneering spirit that is being applied today to transform lives, helping people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible.
Source: GN Hearing
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The Henley Hearing Clinic is an independent hearing company based at Henley-upon-Thames. Family owned and run by Leon Cox, Henley Hearing Clinic offer the very latest in digital hearing aids, hearing accessories and ear wax removal using Micro-Suction. With the sister site in Little Chalfont we cover the whole of Buckinghamshire. You are never far from the premier hearing company of Buckinghamshire.
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Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users
Starkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has released its new Fall Detection and Alert feature in Livio AI hearing aids to a limited number of hearing professionals, and plans to offer the feature to all dispensing professionals and their clients in late February, according to CTO Achin Bhowmik, PhD, in an interview with Hearing Review on Tuesday, December 18. Using integrated sensors, the Fall Detection and Alert feature is designed to automatically detect falls and send messages to as many as three contacts.
Fall detection sensors are currently implemented in all Livio AI devices as part of its standard hardware platform, and Starkey has been working on the Fall Alert feature to maximize its utility for end users prior to the system’s widespread implementation.
Falls are a massive public health problem, particularly for older adults. It’s estimated that injuries due to falls will account for $67.7 billion in public health spending by 2020, and according to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) falls are currently responsible for an older adult being admitted to a US emergency room every 11 seconds. Additionally, people with hearing loss are particularly susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study suggests that having hearing loss triples the risk of falls for people age 40 and older—and the findings hold up regardless of whether their hearing loss is moderate or severe.
How Starkey Fall Detection and Alerts work. Starkey’s new Fall Detection system is said to have several benefits over existing stand-alone medical alert systems, which are typically attached to a lanyard around the neck. “The first key advantage is that a hearing aid is almost always in your ear during your active hours, making for one less thing to carry or remember. One of the major problems with medical alert systems is getting people to wear them,” says Bhowmik. “Second, we have two fall detection sensors [in binaural fittings] for the right side and the left side, whereas most fall detection systems have only one. And the way the two sensors are spaced apart and the way in which you hold your head, we can get better and more accurate results than neck-worn sensors designed to detect falls.”
According to Bhowmik, part of Starkey’s recent research has revolved around what constitutes an actual fall as opposed false-positives such as quick downward movements or even accidentally dropping the hearing aid. “If you take the hearing aid off your ear and drop it on the ground, you will not get a false-positive for falling with Livio AI,” says Bhowmik. “We have been working on [eliminating false-positives] for over a year. A good AI system is only as good as the data you train the system with. In this particular case, if the left hearing aid detects a fall, it immediately checks with the right hearing aid to see if the data matches what would indicate a fall for the system. Unless it detects a fall from the hearing aids in tandem for both the right and left sides of the head, the device will eliminate those non-fall events and false-positives.”
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The hearing care professional will be able to activate Fall Detection and Alerts through an easy-to-use interface within the fitting software for Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids. The user can then enter the Auto Alert contacts—up to three people who are to be alerted in the event of a fall within the Thrive Hearing App. When a fall is detected by the system, an audio prompt asks the user if they have fallen. He or she then has 60 seconds to provide an Event Cancellation and stop the outgoing Fall Alert messages from being sent to their designated contacts. If the hearing aid user has fallen and elects to send the Fall Alert message to his/her contacts, they receive confirmation when each contact has been successfully reached.
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The system also allows for a Manual Alert which can be activated by simply pressing the hearing aid button, sending an alert for a fall or non-fall related event. “Maybe you didn’t fall, but instead just felt dizzy or were otherwise forced to sit down on the floor,” explains Bhowmik. “Obviously, this is not a fall. But you can still use the Manual Alert to get help when you need it. By tapping a button, you can send an automatic alert to your contacts, telling them you need assistance.”
This is just another step in the direction of making the hearing aid a multi-purpose, multi-functional device, according to Starkey.
To learn more about Starkey’s Livio AI you can visit: https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/technologies/livio-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids