Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire
Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire at the Henley Hearing Clinic. We pride ourselves on being at the vanguard of hearing technology here at the Henley Hearing Clinic. Leon Cox the lead audiologist is a first class audiologist who keeps up today with the new tech that comes out constantly. Today we are looking at the recently announced Phonak Marvel. For those who don’t know what this product is here is a sample from their Press release.
”In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls”.
Sounds good? We think so and we are pleased that Phonak has won a prestigious award saying that they agree too. If this Phonak product sounds like something you may like more info on then please let us know and we could arrange an appointment to see if this would be right for you.
See the rest of the info on the Phonak Marvelproduct bellow.
Henley Hearing Clinic News:
Phonak Marvel Wins Silver Edison Award for Hearing Aid Design Technology
Phonak Marvel, said to be “the world’s first hearing aid” to combine clear sound quality with universal “made for all” Bluetooth connectivity, received a Silver Award in the hearing aid design technology category at the Edison Awards gala in New York City, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors innovators and innovations.
In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls.
All nominations were reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee and the final ballot sent to an independent judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing, and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.
Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire
For more information on the 2019 Edison Awards, please visit: www.edisonawards.com. Applications for the 2020 awards will open in August 2019.
Source: Phonak, Edison Awards
Which hearing aids are best for me?
Henley Hearing Clinic
You’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss and the hearing healthcare professional says you’ll benefit from wearing hearing aids, but which devices are best for you? The decision you make will depend greatly on the severity of your hearing loss as well as your health and the lifestyle you lead. Before you sit down to discuss options with your hearing healthcare provider, here are a few things to consider.
Are you a technology buff?
Hearing aids have changed a lot in the last ten years. Today’s devices are nothing like those your parents or grandparents may have worn, mainly because of advances in technology. While your parents’ hearing aids had to be adjusted with a tiny screwdriver by a hearing care provider, today’s digital devices are programmed via computer. Gone are the days of fiddling around with bulky volume control wheels and buttons. Most of today’s devices can be controlled discreetly by the wearer with smartphone apps as listening environments change. Bluetooth technology allows hearing aids to connect wirelessly to that smartphone you bought the moment it became available, tablets, televisions or car audio.
How much of a techie are you? Chances are, there’s a hearing aid that can keep up with your fascination for cutting edge gadgets. If you’re not a technology lover, don’t despair – the technology in your new hearing aids can also work behind the scenes automatically so you can just focus on hearing your best.
Is your world noisy?
Let’s face it — life can be loud! Depending upon what you do for a living and how often you’re socially engaged with people you love spending time with, directional microphone technology can help you make sense of that noise. Dual microphones in the hearing aid work to help you understand speech in challenging listening environments such as noisy conventions, crowded restaurants and bars or a family room filled with chattering children by focusing on the sound directly in front of you and minimizing sound to the sides and back.
Nearly all hearing aids today have some form of noise reduction built in. This technology is best for increasing your comfort in noisy situations, but it’s the directional microphones that have a noticeable impact on your ability to understand conversation in these same situations. Be honest about your lifestyle and talk with your hearing care provider about which features you need.
Are you self-conscious about your hearing loss?
Let’s be clear: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing hearing aids — no matter whether they’re visible to others standing close to you or fit snugly out of sight inside your ear canal. These miracle devices not only help you hear your favorite sounds, they also alert you to emergency warning signals and decrease your risk of falling, developing dementia and feeling depressed. What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, some prefer to be more discreet about their hearing loss. For those individuals, tiny receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) or receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles with ultra-thin tubing and an availability of colors which blend with skin or hair may be desirable. For even more invisibility, invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) or completely-in-the-canal (CIC) styles may be an option.
The discretion of small hearing aids can come with some tradeoffs. Your hearing healthcare professional can help you decide, given the severity of your hearing loss and your personal preferences, which style is best for you.
Do you have dexterity issues?
Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and other health conditions can cause numbness in the fingers or a decline in fine motor skills. The smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the features — such as the battery door or volume control. If you struggle with putting on jewelry or activities which require fine motor skills, you will likely benefit from wearing hearing aids that fit behind-the-ear (BTE) or a larger custom style. It’s much better to own devices you can operate confidently and effectively than one which frustrates you so much it spends more time in your nightstand than in your ear.
It’s important to remember that no two people or their hearing losses are alike, but there are hearing aids to suit most every need. The best hearing aids are the ones that work for you. Instead of waiting to make a decision because you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong one, find a hearing healthcare professional to guide you. Working as a team, the two of you can determine which devices will work for your unique hearing situation.
With the Oticon Opn, users can expend less effort and recall more of what they encounter in a variety of complex listening environments. This open sound environment, powered by Oticon’s Velox platform, allows for greater speech comprehension, even in a challenging audiological setting with multiple speakers. With its OpenSound Navigator scanning the background 100 times per second, the Opn provides a clear and accurate sound experience.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hearing 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.
Why do hearing aids sometimes use up batteries so quickly and how can they be more effIcient? It's a conversation I have often with my patients.
It’s no secret that battery life is a common complaint amongst hearing aid users. According to research from a 2010 MarkeTrak survey, battery lifetime is the challenge that receives the most negative ratings from users. Battery usage is a complicated factor and measuring it can be even more difficult. As hearing aid technology allows for stronger and more powerful devices, bigger and better batteries are required. This is difficult in a time when clients are demanding smaller and more discreet devices.
Environmental factors like temperature, humidity, air quality, and noise pollution can also have bad effects on batteries. Measuring battery life in hearing aids is a lot like measuring fuel efficiency in a car. But with a car, drivers can turn off certain features such as seat warmers, air condition, and radio sound to improve fuel efficiency. This isn’t possible with hearing aids, which are running and processing sound at all times using all their features. The only exception to this rule are functions that allow for streaming of sound from one device to another and can be turned off when not in use. Luckily there are a few ways to make hearing aid batteries work more efficiently.
So I suggest following these tips to get the most out of your batteries:
Turn it off: Don’t keep your hearing aid running at night or when it isn’t in use. Open the battery drawer and remove the battery.
Use fresh produce: The fresher the batteries are the better, so pay attention to the expiry date. Do not keep large quantities of batteries in stock. And be advised that mercury free batteries have shorter lifespan than traditional batteries.
Keep it dry: Humidity can greatly decrease battery efficiency. Keep hearing aids away from water and as dry as possible when in humid environments.
Don’t keep it too dry: An environment that is too dry can also damage the batteries. The ideal relative air humidity is somewhere around 50 – 60 percent. This is why it is not a good idea to store batteries in the fridge, where the air humidity is generally low. Make sure the battery is removed when using a dry aid kit.
Keep it cool: Batteries like cool environments so keep them away from the heat – but do not store them in the fridge, where they may be damaged.
Keep them unopened: Don’t remove the batteries from the original packaging before you need to use them.
Customers asking for a precise answer to how long their batteries will be running are likely to be disappointed. While manufacturers give estimates on expected battery life, the real-life usage is dependent on each individual case. “There is no easy way to tell how long hearing aid batteries will last in a given hearing aid, so providing your customers with a precise answer is not always possible,” says battery expert Ole Toft from Widex. “
I therefore think it is worthwhile to ask our users to report back on their experiences with products from different manufacturers to obtain a general overview of real life current consumption. If you have further questions about the battery life of your hearing aid or you need hearing aid batteries then please call us on 01494 765144.
As a hearing professional who has sat in front of NHS patients, one of the most common questions I was asked was, how do I go about getting a better hearing aid? However, owing to departmental impartially little advice or assistance was advised. These patients were largely left to their own devices to source more satisfactory solutions. Now sat in front of my private patients it is apparent that they are still ill informed and unaware of the vastly different options available to them. Leaving me to be the primary person answering their questions, which can be difficult to fit into a 90 minute consultation. After visiting several different health professionals, typically their G.P., NHS audiology, a national hearing aid company and doing internet research the patient arrives not knowing typical price structures, difference in clinical qualifications (competence) for achieving optimum outcomes, the importance of technology level and service packages in achieving satisfaction. Therefore I thought I would offer some advice based on the Which Magazine report.
If you decide to buy hearing aids rather than go to the NHS the price of the hearing aids is bundled with the service and follow up. In order to compare hearing aid prices it is important to compare like for like only. So make sure you know what is included. You are buying a whole on-going package not just a one off purchase. Independent hearing aid centres tend to be cheaper and have more flexibility when offering products because they are not generally tied to manufacturers. National companies tend to offer older technologies at lower price points, have higher overheads and therefore premium products are often more expensive and often they do not verify the fitting of the hearing aid which is important to ensure correct prescription. Hearing aid devices last on average 3 to 5 years, so you will need to build in the cost of replacing them. Manufacturer’s guarantees are attached to service packages to a maximum of 5 years, manufacturer’s guarantees are essential as you are buying an electronic device that can go wrong. Lifetime aftercare is a gimmick term used by companies to give you a false perception of the life of the hearing aid and the ongoing costs, it is a valueless term, as any quality independent hearing aid centre will always look after you and your hearing aid once you have purchased a hearing aid on an ongoing basis.
Ongoing costs can include batteries, domes and wax guards which can total an average spend of £50 to £100 per year. With some independents this cost is included in their premium packages. Batteries can be purchased for between £2 and £4 a pack (6 batteries).
There are 7 main manufacturers who all have four current ranges and therefore four price points. The four ranges are a basic, mid-level, advanced and premium level, with the performance and cost increasing as you go up the range. Average prices are from £500 to £3500 per hearing aid. The average spend in the UK is £3k for a pair of hearing aids. At Chalfont Hearing are prices range from £750 to £2000 per hearing aid with a basic service package. If you buy mid-level hearing aids from high street hearing centres you are likely to get older or lesser quality technology than obtainable from independent hearing centres. If you buy premium hearing aids (from high street hearing centres, like Boots, Specsavers, Hidden Hearing) you will often pay an unnecessary premium for exactly the same product. Hearing aids supplied by the NHS (such as the Oticon Zest) are mid-level technology and were released to the private market in 2008, they have since been super-seeded by 2 generations. We would advise against going for cheap hearing aids especially those under £500-£600 pounds as they are often old or extremely basic technology, these hearing aids maybe ‘OK’ for housebound elderly patients who can not get to the hospital but will offer limited benefit.
However getting value for money is about more than just the cost of the instruments. Actually the price is fairly trivial, its about service and therefore the difference of whether the hearing aids work or not. The amount you pay should reflect the quality of the instrument, the service and your lifestyle requirements. If your lifestyle is fairly relaxed and you rarely leave the house a more basic hearing aid is perfect, if you are still working and socially active then you will need something more premium.
Key questions to ask if you are buying a hearing aid:
1. Have you been offered a choice, have you reviewed the pro’s and con’s of different hearing aid styles and features?
2. Have you trialled them to see if they actually benefit you?
3. What is the warranty period (repairs and replacement)?
4. What level and quality will the fitting be done to?
5. How will the aftercare be delivered?
Five things to watch out for:
1. Some companies offer free guides on hearing aids and follow these up with home visits. They are often lead generation companies who operate in a sales based way.
2. Do not buy hearing aids online without a full hearing assessment, the hearing aid is only as good as the programming.
3. If you are shopping around, only compare ‘like for like’. That includes make, manufacturer, warranty, aftercare, additional extras, qualification of clinician and quality of premises and equipment.
4. Some companies have tie ins with manufacturers, this includes the NHS and therefore options will be limited if this is the case.
5. You should not need to replace hearing aids more than once every 3 years.
For your piece of mind Chalfont hearing Centre have considered and incorporated all of this information into our service delivery model to ensure our patients get the best advice on hearing aids possible. To have a hearing test and get informed and impartial information contact 01494 765144.