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Best hearing aids in Buckinghamshire

Hearing tests Henley

 

Hearing tests in Henley are available at the Henley Hearing Clinic. Covering the the whole of Buckinghamshire and offers the very latest in hearing tests and other hearing related services such as ear wax removal using Microsuction and the traditional water irrigation technique (sometimes referred as ear syringing).

Henley ear wax removal

The latest digital hearing aids would be offered after a comprehensive hearing test. These can be discussed after the test depending what your hearing loss (if any) are needed.  Small in the ear digital hearing aids to the more powerful over the ear hearing aids are all available.

 

Henley Hearing Clinic News:

Ear wax removal Henley hearing Clinic

Henley hearing clinic, Eargo hearing aids

 

Hearing aids have been getting a lot better over the years thanks to the tiny electronic hardware that can be packed inside and smart algorithms that produce great sound.

Henley hearing tests

Eargo is a company that’s trying to introduce new features to hearing aids to make them more comfortable, easier to use, and cheaper to afford, an important issue in this field.

Henley hearing aids

The new Eargo Neo hearing aids are almost invisible when inside the ears. They have tiny “Flexi Palms” soft tips that keep the hearing aids inside the ear comfortably while optimizing the sound quality. They have a 16 hour battery life per charge, but a recharge case can be used to refresh the Neos on the go. Something useful when taking a plane ride.

Check out the interview with Daniel Shen from Eargo about the company’s new hearing technology:

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Hearing aid batteries last how long?

How long will a fully charged hearing aid last

How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this?

The Henley Hearing Clinic is a premier independent hearing company based in Henley Buckinghamshire. We supply all manufacturers hearing aid batteries and conduct hearing tests. Microsuction ear wax removal is our speciality here and we also still use the traditional technique of water ear irrigation if you prefer. Hearing aid batteries can be bought over the counter or we can post them to you if this is easier.

 

This Weeks blog is about the hearing aid battery and how long these should last from a full charge.

Original story by the Hearing review

 

Henley Hearing Blog:

 How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this

Q: How long should the battery last after a full charge?  How much does Bluetooth activity affect this?

A: This is a great and very important question.  Battery life is dependent on several factors including the amount of capacity of the battery, how fast the hearing aid drains the current, and the wear behaviour and habits of the user.

Hearing aid batteries last how long?

Much like how a car’s mileage range depends on its gas tank, the driving conditions, and the owner’s driving habits, a hearing aid’s battery life depends on the capacity of the battery, the wearer’s listening environments, and use of the various hearing aid functions, including audio streaming.

I like to use the example of an automobile.  How many gallons of gas does the fuel tank hold or, for hearing aid batteries, how many mAh capacity is in the battery?  How many miles per gallon does the car use or how many mA does the battery drain both when streaming and not streaming?  And, finally, is the car driven on the highway or in the city and is the air conditioner on or off?  Or, for hearing aids, how many hours per day does the hearing aid stream?  Does the hearing aid use 2.4 GHz streaming or does it is use NFMI with an intermediate device that has its own battery?  And, what features are turned on or off on the hearing aid?

Henley Hearing Clinic for ear wax removal in Bucks

Please note a factor we have learned in our electronics’ lab.  Not all hearing aids are the same.  Some 2.4 GHz products have current drains averaging 4.8-5.0 mA when streaming while other 2.4 GHz products using lower power Bluetooth will drain the battery at 3.0-3.4 mA while streaming.  Some 2.4 GHz products when not streaming may have battery drains of 1.8-2.0 mA, while some of the newer products with bilateral beam-forming may drain the battery at 2.3-2.5 mA when not streaming.

The key is to know your products and know your patient’s listening habits.  This is critical to good counseling.

Q: Is the life of the hearing aid circuit reduced as a result of using the rechargeable system? It did happen when [a previous model of hearing aid] were rechargeable.

A: The ZPower Rechargeable System has been thoroughly evaluated by the hearing aid manufacturers and there is no indication that the system will have a negative effect on the life of the hearing aid circuit. The ZPower silver-zinc battery is designed to mimic the performance of traditional zinc-air batteries and is transparent to the DSP of the hearing aids. Extensive studies of hearing aids using the ZPower System also show the system including the ZPower silver-zinc batteries have no impact on the electrophysiologic performance of the hearing aids. Therefore, the ZPower System will not have a negative impact on the hearing aid circuitry or performance.

Previous Q & A’s

Q: What’s a realistic time frame for a rechargeable hearing aid battery to last?

A: Rechargeable silver-zinc batteries last about a year. They are removeable and therefore easily replaced. It is recommended that rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are replaced once a year by a hearing care professional.

Li-ion batteries are sealed within the hearing aid, and are usually removable only by the hearing aid manufacturer. They last approximately 4 to 5 years.


Q: What would happen if my patient accidentally places their hearing aids in the charger while they have zinc air batteries in them?

A: When the hearing aids are put on the charger, the charger will check to see what type of battery is in the hearing aid.  If the charger detects a disposable zinc air battery, the lights on the charger will turn red.  If the charger detects a silver-zinc battery, the lights on the charger will start blinking green; once the battery is fully charged, the lights will turn solid green.

Ear wax removal Henley Hearing Clinic

Q: Can my patients overcharge a ZPower battery if they leave it in the charger for too long?

A: The batteries will not overcharge if left in the charger.  It is a best practice to put the hearing aids back on the charger when the hearing aids are not being worn during the day.  This will keep the hearing aids turned off and the batteries charged.  For long-term storage, if batteries will not be used for over 2 weeks, the rechargeable batteries should be removed from the hearing aids and stored in a location where they will not touch each other or other metal objects.

Q: What happens when the silver-zinc rechargeable battery is getting low on power?

A: The hearing aid wearer will hear the low battery warning.  Once the low-battery warning occurs or once a hearing aid shuts off due to a low battery condition, the battery door should not be opened and closed to reboot the hearing aid. Rebooting after the low battery warning can override the smart circuitry in the battery door into believing it has a traditional disposable battery installed and, although the hearing aid will continue to work for a short period, it may over-discharge the battery. If a low-battery warning from the hearing aids is received, the hearing aids should be placed in the charging base for charging or the batteries should be replaced with non-rechargeable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

Q: How often should the batteries be charged?

A: The batteries should be fully charged every night. Once the hearing aids are finished charging, the indicator lights turn from blinking green to solid green. A full charge may take up to 7 hours—the charge time varies based on how much the battery was depleted during the day. Do not try to extend battery life by charging every other day, as this increases the chances of depleting the battery. A fully depleted battery will take longer to charge and may not fully charge in time for next use.

Q: What happens if the hearing aid wearer forgets to charge the battery at night?

A: They can use a disposable zinc-air battery until it is convenient to re-charge the batteries—ideally the rechargeable batteries should be charged the next night.  The rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are a gold color, so they will not be mixed up with zinc-air disposable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should be stored in a safe place and should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

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Hearing Centre in Henley - Naming Confusion

We would like to confirm WE ARE NOT the hearing aid ‘shop’ trading as Henley Hearing Care’ at 23 Hart Street. WE ARE The HEARING CLINIC HENLEY, based at 25 HART STREET, HENLEY-on-THAMES. Although we have historically traded in the area for longer, the new company ‘Henley Hearing Care’ deliberately and inconsiderately set up as the same name as we were trading as. After deliberation we felt it was more important to concentrate on our clinical excellence rather than waste time and resources on fighting a naming rights issue.
Since 2015 we have re-branded from Henley Hearing Centre to The Hearing Clinic to ensure that our more vulnerable patients are not left confused, mislead or taken advantage of. We are the only Independent Hearing Aid and Tinnitus Clinic in South Oxfordshire qualified to MSc Level and awarded Consultant Approved Status, Widex Centre of Excellence, BSHAA CEC Certified, Approved Unitron Centre, Resound Approved Centre and Starkey Approved Partner. In addition to being specialists in hearing aid technology, we specialise in tinnitus management and earwax removal (microsuction & irrigation).
Please choose your hearing healthcare provider carefully as there are differing levels of Hearing Healthcare Professional competence. The lowest qualification is a foundation degree in Hearing Aid Technology, this person is a hearing aid dispenser / hearing aid audiologist, most hearing aid ‘shops’ and national chains will recruit at this basic level, they are the equivalent to a dispensing optician / sales person. An Audiologist is the hearing equivalent to and ophthalmologist optician and will be better placed to deal with your hearing issues. These low level qualified individuals are often hard sales people and have limited understanding of hearing aid technology. They will often use FREE Hearing tests from your home to entice people to contact them. Once in your home they will often pressure you until you buy something, and potentially purchase something that is not completely right for you.
We have also had instances where certain companies are booking hearing events and home hearing tests pretending they are from our company, where in fact they have no affiliation to us. WE WILL NOT INSIST ON HOME VISITS and would prefer our patients to attend our clinic, so you are clear with who you are dealing with.
Please ask for ID from the person you are dealing with. Our professionals will always carry ID. We may provide home visits where patients are incapable of attending, however a greater degree of accuracy can be obtained from our clinic.
Further more you will only be seen by Leon Cox or Amanda Johns, please do not accept appointments from any other person.
TIPS FOR BUYING HEARING AIDS:
  1. Do not buy from home visit / sales people where possible. We continually hear from patients who have brought hearing aids from individuals who have never delivered any follow up care and have been left with unsatisfactory hearing aids. In some cases they are unable to contact that person again once they have handed over the money. Visit somewhere with premises with a good reputation.
  2. Research the company you are dealing with.
  3. Research the audiologist/sales person you are dealing with. If you can’t find reviews or professional information on that person they may not be very competent.
  4. Don’t buy hearing aids from companies who routinely offer FREE hearing tests. Any reputable company will charge for their time and advice. Companies offering FREE hearing tests are often desperate and you will ultimately pay for the test through inflated hearing aid prices. Often unscrupulous companies will offer FREE hearing tests and then charge you a NON-REFUNDABLE £150 FEE for impressions. The reality ultimately is you are paying £150 for the test.. this is not FREE.
  5. DO not fall for ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘50% discount’ hearing aids. Either the price will be inflated in the first place or the product the company will be often be ‘flogging’ will be old technology, if you are investing money in good healthcare the last thing you want is an obsolete hearing aid.
  6. Trial the hearing aids before you buy them. Any company offering money back guarantees are sales orientated. If someone is good at their job money back guarantees are irrelevant. Be sure before you buy, dont regret after!
If you would like to book a hearing test with one of our professionals please contact us on 01491 577555.
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Widex - How do we make hearing aid sound?

Widex hearing aids high wycombeThe best way to make sure that a hearing aid sounds good is to test it… and test it … and test it … and test it …  thousands of times. But whose job is it to create and test the sound that comes out of your hearing aids – and how is it done?

That job belongs to the Widex Research and Development team – a group of engineers who work tirelessly to ensure that the “Widex Sound” is the most natural hearing aid sound around.

The listening test

Jens Peter Holmegaard is one of the faces behind the Widex sound. He’s a hearing aid research and development engineer who has been designing Widex hearing aids for 7 years.

We sat down with Jens and asked how he and his colleagues make sure that sound from our hearing aids is as true to real-life as it can possibly be.

And the answer is simple: he listens.

He listens to everything – from speech, to music, to the sound of a microwave. It’s Jens’ job to make sure that the sounds of your everyday life are perfectly replicated by your hearing aids.

“Our library of sounds includes everything from water running in the sink, to pork chops frying, to birds singing,” says Jens. “They’re all sounds that have characteristics that are important to the hearing aid user.”

But listening to those sounds once isn’t enough. With every small tweak or change comes a new round of testing – which means listening to those sounds hundreds or even thousands of times.

“I become very familiar with those sounds,” says Jens. “They’re often not sounds I want to hear when I get home.”

And it’s not just everyday sounds – it’s music too. A favorite test song at Widex is Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” because of its range of tones and pitches. It also has a steady bass line and a repetitive chorus – all good for testing purposes.

Creating the Widex sound

To find out more about how Widex hearing aids get their true-to-life sound, it’s important to take a step back to where the whole process begins. Developing a new hearing aid can often take five or more years and it all starts with the experiences and wishes of existing hearing aid users which are gathered and transformed into ideas for new products at the engineers´ drawing board.

For example, Widex got the idea to develop its audibility extender after realizing that some hearing aid users were having difficulty hearing upper frequency sounds. The extender moves these sounds to a lower frequency region where it is easier to hear them.

After the brainstorming phase, ideas are scheduled for development. That’s where the sound library comes in. As features like the audibility extender are created, rounds of testing begin. Sounds like birdsong, bells, and timers are used to test upper frequency sounds that the audibility extender helps hearing aid users to hear.

“It gives us a frame of reference for the hearing aid feature we are developing,” says Jens. “We listen to how this feature helps the sound in real-life situations and tweak it to make it sound as natural as possible.”

The final test

After a feature is developed, the technology is added to the physical hearing aid. But that’s not where the story ends. Hearing aids are then tested again by specially-trained sound expert who make sure that the technology is working correctly.

Hearing aids are then produced and shipped to your hearing professional, who will program them to fit your particular hearing loss.

The features

Which hearing aid features have Widex developed over the past years? Here are just a few of the ones found in our devices:

Audibility Extender – The Audibility Extender helps people with high frequency hearing loss to hear upper frequency sounds by moving these sounds to a lower frequency region where it is easier to hear them. The upper frequency sounds are important for hearing the “softer” sounds like /s/ and /t/ in women´s and children´s voices and high-pitched sounds like the “ping” of the microwave.

Telecoil – A telecoil is a small coil inside your hearing aids. The coil works as a small receiver which picks up signals from a loop system that acts as an electromagnetic field. Hearing aids with an activated telecoil can convert this electromagnetic field into a sound signal. Only the signal from the loop system’s microphone is amplified, and background noise is shut out.

Speech Enhancer – The Speech Enhancer is different from simple noise reduction systems in that it doesn´t just dampen noise – it also amplifies speech. When we listen to a sound, we are rarely in doubt as to whether it is speech or noise. The Speech Enhancer in modern hearing aids is able to distinguish the two in much the same way as our brains do – by using the fact that speech consists of a number of varying sound components that follow each other at brief intervals.

If you would like to listen to the latest hearing aids for yourself then why not book in with Henley Hearing Centre, Oxford and test them for yourself, with no obligation. Call us on 01494 765144.

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Hearing Aid and Tinnitus Exhibition, Little Chalfont Buckinghamshire

hearing aid exhibitionWould you like more information on hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus and assistive devices? Then look no further!

Where would you turn to for quality and reliable information about hearing loss, hearing aids and even tinnitus? Your G.P? The internet? Friends?

These are a good start however these sources may not give you the full picture on what is available and what is right for your hearing health personally. Do you go NHS? Do you go private? Do you do anything at all?

The Buckinghamshire Annual Hearing aid Tinnitus Exhibition aims to bring together the latest technological developments from all the leading hearing aid manufacturers from all over the world of audiology under one roof, to help advise and educate those who are interested in obtaining hearing aids, tinnitus therapy and general help with their hearing health.

There are both good and bad points to going both NHS or Private, but it is important to make a decision that is right for you, it can be a big decision both mentally and financially. You will not have to look far for people who will happily tell you about their hearing experiences good or bad! But it is important that while you use this information to guide you, you do not let it cloud you. Everyone’s hearing experience is different and everyone’s problems unique!

The event is absolutely FREE and provides an opportunity for you to speak to manufacturers and audiologists directly, there will be FREE hearing screening on the day however demand last year was extremely high. So far we are 70% full this year so please do not hesitate to call today on 01494 765144.

http://www.chalfonthearing.co.uk/hearing-aid-tinnitus-exhibition-2014-buckinghamshire/

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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.

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

Evie (3 months old), Youngest person in the UK to be fitted with a cochlea implant hearing aid

Evie contracted meningitis at only three days old, unfortunately it lead to a severe hearing loss that was depreciating all the time. The meningitis lead to a calcification of the inner ear structure associated with hearing which would have got progressively worse with time resulting in an eventual inability to treat the hearing loss.  Standard hearing aids were unsuitable for the infant owing to the severity and extent of the loss. It was therefore decided by Ear, Nose and throat specialists that in order to salvage any hearing function in the youngster, implantation of electrodes into the cochlea was the only option. Treating such a young child using such an invasive procedure was not without it risks, however if postponed, further calcification would have rendered the procedure impossible.

Katherine Wilson, the principal audiological scientist at St Thomas’ Hospital, said “We had to move very quickly to treat her as we wouldn’t have been able to get the implants in later. The activation process went fabulously well. This will be a long and slow process, with her coming back to hospital many times to have the devices re-programmed. We’re not trying to cure deafness – this is a way of managing and treating it. Implants give these children a different dimension to their life – something they wouldn’t otherwise have”.

Evie is now among around 5,000 children in the UK who have cochlear implants. The procedure involves drilling a 1mm whole directly into the inner ear structure and feeding a coiled electrode into the cochlea. The length of the electrode is frequency specific, which each section of the electrode stimulating a corresponding frequency region of the cochlea.  The coil is connected to an external behind the ear hearing aid which detects and processes the sound.  Hearing through the cochlea implant is not a natural sound, in reality it is slightly robotic. However in addition to receiving speech and language therapy, it is anticipated that Evie will achieve normal speech and communication ability.

I think it is wonderful that through a combination of newborn hearing screening (operational since 2001) and wonderful modern technology that we can restore normal communicative ability in people with no hearing. Hearing loss no longer has to result in isolation, reduced learning or social exclusion. However, there are some members within the deaf community that do not maintain the same enthusiasm with regards to correcting hearing loss and should remain within the deaf community, although these views are limited.  Personally, I think it is amazing how far hearing technology has advanced in the last 5 to 10 years, and it is very pleasing being part of such a rapidly growing profession.

Are nights out causing tinnitus in young adults?

Noise damage hearing protectionA recent poll of 1000 adults in the UK indicated that about two-thirds of people are left with ringing in their ears after a night out at a club, gig or pub. Most people are unaware of the potential dangers of loud music while a third polled would ignore the “safe level” on their music players.

Exposure to loud music even for short periods of time will increase the risk of tinnitus.

The problem affects a lot of people especially musicians and artists. DJ Paul Oakenfold has publicly voiced the importance of wearing ear defenders to gigs and to “turn down the volume”.

CEO of Hospital Records, London Elektricity (aka Tony Colman) also suffers from tinnitus and hearing loss. “The noise is always there but I just live with it, I’ve learned to make friends with it, but I know some people are really affected by it”.

Half of those surveyed said they listened to music for between one and six hours a day – up to a third of their waking day – perhaps in the background at work or on their MP3 player on their way to and from work or studies. But one in five would not do anything differently to take any care of their hearing.

Action on Hearing Loss warns that one in 10 people across the UK is affected by tinnitus every day, ranging from a “light buzzing” to a “constant roar” in the ears and head. It can affect everything from the ability to concentrate at work to getting to sleep at night.

The poll also found that one in 10 people does not know what tinnitus is, with 3% thinking it was “big ears” and 4% a “repetitive strain injury”.

Leon Cox, Director and Audiologist at the Chalfont Hearing Centre, Bucks is helping promote tinnitus awareness week (3-9 February 2014). “Tinnitus is a problematic condition there is no cure for it, but it can be managed so that people do not feel so helpless. I have custom hearing protection that I take to music festivals and gigs, I would also recommend getting noise cancelling headphones to reduce overexposure to noise”.

If you would like information on hearing protection, tinnitus or hearing loss then contact us 01494 765144.

Are you taking care of your hearing aid?

Cedis Sandry bucksHearing aids have a predicted life expectancy of 3-5 years, however if your cleaning and maintenance routine is not well managed you could significantly reduce the lifespan and performance of your hearing aids.

The lifespan of your hearing aids is typically dictated by the amount of warranty period that you receive when you purchase them. If something mechanical goes wrong in this period then you will often have it repaired free of charge or even replaced. Outside of this period the manufacturer will charge for any repair, on occasion if the damage is within the warranty period and deemed to be a result of the patient, then the responsibility of the charges may fall on the patient.

The most common cause of user damage is wax or moisture within the microphone and receiver. Wax and moisture damage will also majorly affect the performance of the hearing aid long before the aid malfunctions, patients may find that the aid is weak, distorted or intermittent.

In order to reduce the probability of the aid malfunctioning a good cleaning routine is vital.  The Cedis Sandry is a drying and cleaning system that will help maintain the performance of your hearing aid. It uses UV to kill all bacteria, and dries the aid over night to ensure your hearing aid is always working to its maximum. Combined with a suitable wax removal procedure you will reduce and prevent repairs.

This product would be perfect for patients who suffer from condensation, excessive perspiration, middle / outer ear infections and frequent repair problems. If you would like more information on the Cedis Sandry Cleaning System or would like to book in for a free clean and check hearing aid service then call Chalfont Hearing on 01494 765144 today.