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Author Archives: Leon www.henleyhearing.co.uk

Hearing Aid Review - ReSound LiNX 9 (BTE/CRT)

ReSound LiNX 9/7 Digital Hearing Aid reviewed by Leon Cox (Mr Hender, Rickmansworth)

ReSound LiNX 9 ZoomImagine 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.

 

Do you have an ear infection? Finding it difficult to make it go away?

Ear infection_hearing healthLatest 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.

Comparing hearing aid prices - Warning! DO NOT compare hearing aid prices!

Practice sliderHearing 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.

 

 

Cilla Black suffers from hearing loss and is proud to where her invisible hearing aid

Cilla Black_Hearing loss_invisible hearing aidTV 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

Are you too good looking to get sick? Too pretty for tinnitus?

too_pretty_to_get_illAttractive people are less likely to get health related problems like asthma, diabetes and tinnitus research suggests.

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!

 

Festival Noise

festival_1With every summer comes the impending festival season. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world decend on the outdoor music scene, where the music is loud and the weather is unpredictable.

Over exposure to loud music has side effects. Have you ever had a ringing sensation in your ears after attending an event? This is known as temporary tinnitus. 90% of young people have experienced temporary tinnitus at least once in their lifetime. With continued exposure over time, this can lead to permanent tinnitus and even hearing loss. There is however, a simple solution to preventing damage to your hearing whilst still enjoying the festivals this summer…

Hearing Protection

Now, this does not have to mean large unsightly ear protectors that block out the much enjoyed music. Ear plugs for  music events are barely noticable in the ear. They also don’t block out the sound, they simply filter it to a safer level. At Chalfont Hearing Centre we provide custom fit ear plugs which are made just for you. By tailor making your ear plugs specifically to the shape of your ear, you will forget that you are even wearing them.

Performers, music artists and DJs all wear hearing protection to ensure their hearing is preserved for as long as possible. Their careers play havock with their ears with many people in the music industry suffering from tinnitus or hearing loss. All of which are preventable. So invest in your hearing now, so you can continue to enjoy your favourtie music in the future.

Contact Chalfont Hearing Centre now to find out more about how you can get your very own custom fit hearing protection – 01494 765 144  or  info@chalfonthearing.co.uk

NHS Hearing Aid Ban

Budget-Cuts-Hearing AidsAmidst ever increasing government cuts, the NHS has taken a huge impact.

This week, NHS leaders have proposed to save £1.2 million by no longer giving out hearing aids to patients with mild to moderate hearing loss. The proposed cuts would affect patients living in the Newcastle Borough and the Staffordshire Moorlands if approved.

Although this may seem far from home, the reality of the impending lack of NHS funding is not. Even this week Doctors surgeries hit the headlines for deducting elderly patients from their books, being considered most vulnerable and therefore the most expensive patients to maintain.

Hearing loss is not a minor health issue that can simply be ignored or delayed. That is until the increasing severity of it  reaches NHS criteria to do something about it, by which point the damage is done.

As NHS cuts increase more and more people will be moving to the world of private healthcare although not without doubts regarding cost and reliability.

Here  at Chalfont Hearing Centre we provide all the information you need to make an educated decision regarding your hearing. We are also clear and transparent with our competitive prices. If in the instance that your hearing loss can not be benefitted with hearing aids, and you need further assistance then we shall be honest with you and guide you in the right direction.

Being a private family run practice, we can offer you almost instant peace of mind and relief from your hearing loss, as we aim to see all our patients within a maximum of 3 days for a hearing assessment or consultation. This can be in as little as 24 hours, compared to anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months just for a hearing assessment once you have been referred by your GP on the NHS.

Once you have had your assessment, if hearing aids are the avenue that you choose; we offer the latest in hearing aid technology from a variety of manufacturers, at a range of affordable prices. Our hearing aids come in a range of sizes and designs to suit your needs entirely, compared to the limited selection available on the NHS. We also go that step further, and can advise and provide for you, a host of accessories available to hearing aid users, from phones to Iphone Apps.

Depending on your choice of hearing aid you could be fitted with your selected aid in as little as 24 hours.

After you have been fitted with your desired hearing aid, if you have any problems or queries we are just a telephone call away to book an appointment or for our experienced Audiologists to visit you at home to ensure your optimum comfort.

So whilst the NHS is  cutting back on its services we are steadily increasing ours. If you or a loved one would like to find out more about the services that we can offer you then contact us today :

Phone: 01494 765144   or    Email: chalfonthearingcentre@live.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Made for iPhone hearing aid released

Employee of GN, the world's fourth largest maker of hearing aids, demonstrates the use of ReSound LiNX in ViennaHearing aids have come a long way in the last 10 years. From unsightly ineffective amplifiers they have evolved into compact sophisticated communication devices. Gone are the days of hearing aids being set at one fixed level determined by your audiologist, instead a world of flexibility provides hearing aid users with complete control. GN Resound have recently released the Linx hearing aid which utilises the ‘Made for iPhone’ feature, it promises seamless transmission of phone calls and music directly to the hearing aid without the need for separate connective devices or wires. Not only does this provide effortless hands free communication but it provides sound delivery which utilises prescribed levels of amplification to ensure maximum audibility and no feedback.

In addition to improved communication ability, using the Resound Smart app, the user is able to alter the volume independently in each hearing aid, turn of the hearing aid microphones and adjust bass and treble response within the units to suit their environment and their listening requirements.

The hearing aid can also utilise the microphone capabilities of the iPhone, converting the phone to a table top remote microphone. For example the iPhone can be placed close to a lecturer in a big hall, it would then stream the voice directly to the hearing aids eradicating the room acoustics and echo.

Probably the smartest function is the ‘Lost aid’ facility which allows you to pinpoint the hearing aids if you lose them. The app uses Google Maps to triangulate the position of the aids and uses a homing beacon to tell you how ‘warm’ you are to them, perfect for those forgetful patients.

Initial feedback from patients is positive with regards to the overall sound quality and noise reduction in the hearing aids, in comparison to their existing hearing aids. So as things go it would seem like these hearing aids are certainly formidable contenders for ‘best hearing aid’ in 2014. If you would like to try the new ‘made for iPhone’ hearing aid technology then why not contact us on 01494 765144 to arrange a trial.

Struggle to hear the TV?

hearing the TVEver find you struggle to hear people on TV, do you feel that turning the TV up does not always help? Well it could be your hearing, but it could also be the production quality of the TV show. Recently the BBC  aired the drama Jamaica Inn, which resulted in over 2000 complaints due to ‘mumbled’ dialogue. Hundreds of viewers complained about having to turn the volume  to maximum to hear what was being said and some even had to have the subtitles on. A BBC spokeswoman had previously apologised and said: ‘We are adjusting the dialogue levels in episode two and three to address audience concerns so they can enjoy the rest of the drama and would like to apologise to those viewers who were affected’. Emma Frost, who wrote the screenplay, suggested a technical fault was to blame and not the way that the cast delivered the lines.

This was an irritating one off but for hearing impaired people and hearing aid users, struggling with hearing the TV is an every day occurrence. Program quality changes from program to program and from advert to commercial. Simply turning the TV up for most does not solve the problem, not to mention the issue of having the TV at a different level to what your partner/family requires. However there are some answers and tips for improving the situation!

Firstly, try adjusting the setting on the TV. If you look on the menu under settings you will usually have the option of adjusting bass, treble, etc. This can often give more quality than just adjusting the volume.

Secondly, adjust your hearing aid volume or use a remote control to adjust the volume on your hearing aid. If you do not have this feature turned on speak to your audiologist it can usually be added to most hearing aids.

Thirdly, get a streamer! Most hearing aid devices now have some form of loop enabled / bluetooth streaming device that will plug directly into the TV and wirelessly stream it to your hearing aids. There are also some generic devices to which will be compatible with a majority of new hearing aids. Streamers cut out the problem associated with distance and poor TV speakers, it also factors in your hearing loss prescription.

So if every program seems like Jamaica Inn then contact us at the Chalfont Hearing Centre on 01494 765144 to get advice on hearing, hearing aids and TV streaming devices.

Audiologist Leon Cox collects hearing aids from locals to donate to those with hearing loss in the developing world

recycle hearing aids for developing worldIn the UK we take access to healthcare for granted. Unfortunately, for many in remote villages in Africa and Asia; Audiologists, hearing aids and maintenance provision is scarce if not non-existent. Hearing loss as we know can lead to learning difficulties, communication problems and isolation. For those in the developing world hearing loss can result in social exclusion, employment problems and worse. The cost of technology, hospital development, staffing and training is prohibitive. The problems associated with service provision are further compounded owing to the most trivial of issues like the provision of batteries to power the hearing aids. However, several groups are now committed to making annual trips to donate clinical expertise, take donated hearing aids and batteries to people who need help. Slowly it is making a big difference to quality of life for those affected by hearing loss.

We are now collecting old hearing aids, from local people who have generously dropped them into our Hearing Centre in Little Chalfont. It does not matter what age, make or model of the hearing aid as all types can be modified and cleaned. If you would like to donate your old hearing aids then drop them into us. In some cases we will even offer some discount on new hearing aids when you donate your old ones, for information on hearing aid recycling and to see if you could get some money of a new pair of hearing aids contact us on 01494 765144