01491 577555

Independent hearing company Henley

Independent hearing company Henley

Independent Henley hearing company

Independent Bucks hearing company at the Henley hearing Clinic.  Mr Leon Cox audiologist at Henley hearing is an expert in ear wax removal using Microsuction.  Microsuction ear wax removal is a safe, easy painless way of removing wax.

We also conduct hearing test in the Bucks area including dispensing the very latest hearing aids form all the main manufacturers. We are a family run company so are very friendly and not like the large high street stores. Mr Leon Cox is the owner and Audiologist and that is who you will see when you arrive for a consultation.

Hearing company Bucks, Chalfont hearing centre

Leon Cox owner and Audiologist at the Henley Hearing Clinic Bucks

Henley Hearing Clinic News:

Phonak Marvel Receives Gold Stevie Award, Named ‘Innovation of the Year’

Stevie Awards

Phonak announced its Marvel hearing aid solution has won a Gold Stevie Award and was named Innovation of the Year—Consumer Products Industries in the 2019 International Business Awards. According to comments obtained from judges, the multifunctional hearing solution received top honors for being “the world’s first hearing aid to combine universal Bluetooth connectivity, lithium-ion rechargeability, and top-rated sound quality into a single device.” The Gold Stevie marks the fourth major product honor awarded to Phonak Marvel this year, placing it among the company’s most highly-awarded products ever, according to Phonak.

iba19_gold_winner

“We are thrilled that Phonak Marvel has received a Gold Stevie award and was named an Innovation of the Year,” said Martin Grieder, Group Vice President, hearing instruments marketing. “Marvel truly is the culmination of so many of our innovations into one product—including rechargeability, universal Bluetooth connectivity, Binaural VoiceStream Technology, and various eSolutions, just to name a few. All this technology works together to produce clear, rich sound quality from the very first fit.”

The Gold Stevie award is the latest product honor awarded to Phonak Marvel this year. In June, Marvel received the 2019 MedTech Breakthrough Award for its ability to fully support stereo audio streaming from Android and iOS devices. Also in June, Phonak eSolutions, optimized for Marvel, was the winner of the 2019 Mobile Business Awards. Phonak Marvel also received a Silver Edison Award in April and was named a 2019 CES Innovation Award Honoree in January.

A record total of more than 4,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Startup of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.

Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from May through early August, according to Phonak’s announcement.

For more information about Phonak Marvel, visit: www.phonak.com. Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available at: www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

Source: Phonak, International Business Awards

Images: International Business Awards

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Hearing loss as you get older

Hearing loss as you get older

Henley Hearing Clinic

 

A new report from the Oticonhearing suggests that as you get older we all start to lose our hearing which we all know. However the amount of hearing loss is practically not known unless you survey and test many many 1000’s of people.   The new report surveyed  the ” Rock and Roll” generation and the findings are pretty stark reading.

Henley hearing test

The report is bellow, it’s a sober fact that hearing loss does happen in constant loud environments even if you are enjoying the experience.  If you feel that maybe you had done a lot of head banging back in the day and maybe feel a little hard of hearing sometimes, book in and let’s try and correct some of the hearing loss. At least then you can turn down your Iron Maiden via your iPhone directly to your hearing device.

Henley hearing aids

 

Hearing loss, hearing test, ear wax removal, hearing aids,

Hearing loss can be over come with todays new digital hearing aids. Henley Hearing Clinic Bucks

 

Oticon Hearing Health Poll Shows Hearing Loss Among Woodstock Generation

Published on 

By the lovely people at Oticon

Fifty years after the iconic “Three Days of Peace and Music,” a just-released survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Oticon, Inc, suggests that members of the Woodstock Generation may be experiencing unintended consequences of their love of hard-charging, culture-changing rock n’ roll. According to the online survey of more than 1,000 US adults ages 65-80 conducted in June, the prevalence of hearing loss among those who listened to loud music when they were young (ie, in their teens and 20s) is 40% greater than the percentage of hearing loss indicated in studies of older Americans that don’t include questions about music listening habits, Oticon announced.

That fact, and many more revealed in The Harris Poll survey, are at the core of Oticon’s nationwide media blitz to alert adults and young people to the importance of hearing health for maintaining lifelong quality of life. Timed to coincide with Woodstock celebrations across the country, Oticon has launched a targeted media campaign that includes media interviews by Oticon audiologists and a network of hearing care professionals in local markets, press releases, social media posts, and a colorful infographic, all to drive home the risks of noise and age-related hearing loss and the need for regular hearing health checks.

 

Then and Now Hearing Health Matters

“We recognized a unique opportunity to tap into consumer and media excitement around the 50thanniversary of Woodstock to promote a hearing health message that would resonate with people of all ages, especially music lovers,” said Gary Rosenblum, President of Oticon, Inc. “The survey results allow us to demonstrate the far-reaching consequences of loud music listening on hearing health. Fifty years ago, many believed that turning up the volume and seeking out concerts with the biggest speakers contributed to music enjoyment. Today, we know the long-term effects of noise on hearing health and the importance of protecting hearing to maintain not only the ability to enjoy music and conversation but overall quality of life.”

The Harris Poll survey questioned the Woodstock Generation about their listening habits in their youth and their ability to hear and enjoy music now.  The survey found that 47% of the Woodstock Generation who listened to loud or very loud music when they were in their teens and 20s now report hearing loss. As a result, many of the Woodstock Generation (41%) say they are unable to enjoy music as they once did. The negative impact of hearing loss on their ability to participate in social activities/gatherings, at least a little, was reported by 41% of those adults with hearing loss, and 38% say their hearing loss affects relationships with family or friends, at least a little.  Approximately 52% state that, at least sometimes, they have difficulty understanding what is being said in loud environments like busy restaurants.

From “Survey Says” to Call to Action

One survey finding provides an opportunity to communicate a powerful call to action about hearing healthcare.

Despite hearing challenges, the study found that many members of the Woodstock Generation have not taken steps to address their hearing loss. The majority of these adults (70%) have never seen a hearing care professional specifically about their hearing. Only around one in 10 (12%) have used hearing aids either currently or in the past.

“Helping consumers to understand that addressing hearing loss will allow them to not just enjoy music again but live fuller, more social lives is a central goal of our media outreach,” said Rosenblum. “The ability of today’s high-performance hearing aids, like Oticon Opn S, to provide wearers with access to a full range of sounds, and the possibility of again enjoying a richer, more authentic music experience, is a meaningful benefit not just to the Woodstock Generation but to all people who experience hearing loss.”

To learn more about the Harris Poll survey and to download the infographic, visit: www.oticon.com/woodstock.

Research Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the US by The Harris Poll between June 5 and June 12, 2019 on behalf of Oticon among 1,006 US adults age 65-80 (“Woodstock Generation”) including 437 older adults with hearing loss. Data were statistically weighted where necessary by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, household size, marital status, and employment status to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Source: Oticon, The Harris Poll

Image: Oticon

 

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Hearing check Henley

Hearing check Henley

 

You may not think you have wax but know there is something going on with your ears! If this is the case contact the practice for an Ear Check appointment.

Following an initial discussion regarding your health and hearing, we begin by examining your ears using a fibre optic camera. The camera sits just at the entrance of the ear, and enables both you and the audiologist to view your ear canal and ear drum on a large screen. If wax is present, this will removed.

Hearing check Henley

If there is no wax or debris present in the canal, there may be other tell-tale signs of what the problem is. We will perform a Tympanogram, which measures whether the mechanical function of the ear drum and middle ear cavity are working normally. This also highlights if you are suffering from any form of Eustachian tube dysfunction which is common. These results usually dictate the best next step.

If you have any referable symptoms or require antibiotic treatment, we will write to your GP with the outcome of your appointment.

Henley hearing clinic for all hearing issues such as ear wax removal, hearing aids and Hearing tests

Posted:

Hearing loss and cognitive decline

Hearing loss = cognitive decline

 

Hearing loss and cognitive decline is an important fact. Hearing loss can have a huge impact on your cognitive wellbeing.  Wikipedia says ”Cognitive functions encompass reasoning, memory , attention, and language and lead directly to the attainment of information and, thus, knowledge”.  So hearing is a very important sense we need to keep on top of for a better quality of life.

Henley Hearing Clinic can help with keeping your hearing at tip top levels. We use the latests hearing test tech and dispense the latests digital hearing aids on the market.

If you are serious about keeping your mental health in check please make an appointment and let us help with any hearing issues you may have. it could be a simple as clearing your ear wax!

 

Bellow is a snippet of information from the latest British Irish hearing instrument manufacturers association meeting discussing cognitive decline.

Panel on Issues Facing Hearing Industry

BIHIMA, British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association
Over half (55%) of audiologists do not believe their patients are aware of the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, according to the results of an audiologist research panel, conducted by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA), the Association announced.
BIHIMA questioned approximately 70 audiologists across the private sector and NHS, in April 2019, on issues facing the hearing industry today. Many audiologists on the panel highlighted the increasing need for their consultations to include an education piece on the growing body of research connecting hearing loss and cognitive decline.
BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge, believes the industry has a duty to empower audiologists to deliver this crucial education work: “It is essential that we work together as an industry to educate patients about the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. If, as our research suggests, this education work tends to lie with audiologists, then we must do all we can to help and support them, as we did in our recent Dementia Round Table at the RCGP.”
The panel was also questioned on the technology trends of the future. They highlighted the following key trends for hearing tech (in order of priority): 1) Signal processing, 2) Smart technology and mobile apps, 3) Remote tuning of hearing devices, 4) Biometric monitoring of brain/heart function, and 5) Rechargeable hearing aids. Other trends mentioned include Artificial intelligence, OTC hearing aids, wireless accessories, and wearables.
The audiologists concluded that the biggest innovation challenges the industry faces in the future are: complexity leading to consumer inability to utilize the technology, battery life, lack of real-world testing, small scale, design appeal, speech recognition in noise, and connectivity.
The top reasons patients seek hearing aids from an audiologist were listed as: Not able to hear people talk, peer or family pressure, social isolation, work issues, unable to hear on the telephone, tinnitus, and hearing speech in noise.
Finally, the panel was asked how frequently they think people should get their hearing checked. Audiologists working in the private sector reported annual visits, whereas NHS audiologists said that, on average, their patients come for a hearing test every 3 years.
Surridge concludes: “It is a concern that private and NHS opinions on the frequency of hearing checks differ, as BIHIMA’s view is that hearing tests for the over 55s should take place once a year and be considered part of peoples’ regular health check routine, like dental and eye care. We intend to seek further feedback on this issue as we believe there needs to be an industry standard that all agree to, so we invite you to share your thoughts with us via our Facebookand Twitter channels.”
BIHIMA brought together this panel of experts in audiology to consult on industry matters. Its aim is to ensure the technology developed by its members is influenced by the knowledge and expertise of audiologists, and so that BIHIMA’s contribution to public discussions around hearing loss remains well informed.
About the Research:
  • The BIHIMA Audiologist Research Panel is made up of NHS and private audiologists, actively practicing in the UK
  • 71 respondents made up the May 19 panel—62% private v 38% NHS
  • Respondents were asked 10 questions via an anonymous online survey
  • Date: February-April 2019

Source: BIHIMA

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Hearing test Henley

Hearing test Henley

Hearing test Henley at the Henley Hearing Clinic.

Hearing test Bucks at the Henley Hearing Clinic. We all need good hearing and that’s just a fact. Imagine not being able to hear the door bell, or hear your new grand child as they talk to you wanting to find out about Gran or Grandad. There are so many ways we need hearing in our daily life. Just talking to someone without lip reading your way through the conversation hoping to catch what they are saying so you can respond correctly. It can be stressful not being included in what is going on around you.

To book a hearing tests in Bucks click here 

Henley hearing can help, we are specialist hearing care practitioners with many years in the hear care business.  Leon cox is a specialist in ear wax removal and dispensing hearing aids after the comprehensive hearing test known to man kind in Buckinghamshire. If your ears are clear of wax and after the hearing test Leon will sit with you and explain carefully what he has found regards your hearing. He will show you on a screen the test results so you are in complete control of your next move.

With knowledge of the hearing results Leon will then guide you on what hearing aid or aids are best suited to your hearing needs. It maybe after the hearing test you don’t actually need hearing aids. Knowledge is a good thing either way.  Just like eye examinations, hearing tests are just as much needed when you reach a certain age. If you think you may benefit from a hearing test then please book an appointment and call reception or use the Contact form here to make a booking.

To book your free hearing test click here 

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New Digital hearing aids In Henley

New hearing aids Henley, Bucks

 

New hearing aids in Bucks at the Henley hearing clinic. We are used to new hearing aids arriving from various manufacturers all year round, but when something is really new and exciting we love to tell you and our existing clients why we are so excited.

Hearing aids have evolved in recent years. Digital hearing aids have made the devices so small and powerful they are no longer what people expect to see. The huge hearing aid of old is getting less visible these days, the new as powerful hearing aids are now tiny. If you are looking for new hearing aids in Bucks, we are the place for you!

New hearing aids Buckinghamshire

The tech inside these little wonders are amazing on so many levels. Take one of the many things they can do. They can connect to your mobile phone and you can talk wirelessly without the phone in your hand as if you were talking to a person next to you. The hearing aid is catching your voice and transmitting this to your phone via bluetooth. You can hear perfectly as your hearing aid is in your ear so you don’t have to really listen hard to get what the conversation is. It’s all done without you doing anything. This tech isn’t new, it has been around for some years, but if your hearing aids are not ”Connected” versions, then maybe when you are next due a new set of hearing aids, you can ask to be told of what’s new in this ”Connected” world.

Henley hearing aid centre

Leon Cox the lead audiologist at Henley hearing Clinic will be happy to show you and explain all about what is new and on offer. He will also show you how you connect your new digital hearing aid with various tech such as mobile phones, iPads, and the T.V.

Make your appointment with Leon now by calling reception.

Henley Hearing Clinic news:

 

Semtech and Sonova Launch Jointly-Developed Radio System

Digital hearing aids, Devon

Latest Digital hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre, Bucks

Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC), a supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and Sonova, a developer of hearing care solutions, announced a jointly developed advanced radio system. The ultra-small integrated circuit (IC) is said to be a main component for a new generation of hearing aids, enabling support for multiple radio protocols in the 2.4GHz band, as well as effective operation on very low power, according to the announcement.

New hearing aids Henley, Bucks

“This chip allows Sonova to move in a new direction with our hearing aids,” said Marc Secall, director, research & development, wireless, at Sonova. “The breakthrough radio technology and power management are the game changers for hearing aids. It allows them to support a number of applications that have previously not been possible in a hearing aid, all at low power consumption and low supply voltage. Possible applications span from connectivity to any Bluetooth®-enabled audio device (eg, a smartphone or television) to full duplex audio streaming between hearing aids and connectivity to wireless microphones.”

Ear wax removal Henley, Bucks

“Semtech continues to innovate and create flexible, reliable solutions for challenging applications associated with the best radio frequency connectivity at the lowest power and 0.8V supply voltage,” said Jean-Paul Bardyn, vice president of research and development of Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Sonova has long been a leader for hearing devices. By implementing Semtech’s technology and enabling access to the Cloud, we believe that these devices will enrich the IoT-connected solutions which Semtech is serving with LoRa Technology.”

Source: Semtech, Sonova

Images: Semtech, Sononva

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Starkey hearing aids, Henley hearing Clinic

Starkey hearing aids, Henley hearing Clinic

 

We sell and dispense all types of hearing aids at the Henley Hearing Clinic. One of the big guns is Starkey. Recently they announced a new innovation for their Live Ai hearing aids. It now comes with fall detection, meaning it will detect if you have a fall and if you are paired with your phone it will message up to 3 contacts  that you have specified before hand.

Read the full press statement bellow for more info, or if you are interested in knowing more please pop in or make an appointment so we can walk you through the new hearing aid and it’s features.

 

Henley Hearing Clinic News:

Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users

balance problems increase risk for fallsStarkey 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.

StarkeyFallsInfoGraphic

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.”

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

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.”

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid.

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.

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

 

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Best ear wax removal, Bucks

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

Original Story by The HEARING REVIEW

Oticon Logo

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.

Bucks hearing aids

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.”

Ear wax removal Bucks

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.

Best ear wax removal, Henley, Buckinghamshire

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 

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Henley ear syringing available now!

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

Original story by The Hearing Review

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.

Ear syringing Henley

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.

Technology Evolution

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.

Ear syringing Amersham

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,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

Figure 1. Market research data from Phonak in 2017: Percentage of fittings with manual programs at 2nd session across hearing aid platforms Spice/Spice+, Quest, Venture, and Belong (n = 183,331).

Figure 1. Market research data from Phonak in 2017: Percentage of fittings with manual programs at 2nd session across hearing aid platforms Spice/Spice+, Quest, Venture, and Belong (n = 183,331).

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.Even more interesting is the fact that users rate sound quality as being equal between the automatic and manual programs.According to this same research from Searchfield et al,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.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.

Figure 2. Sound attributes plot for Ideal profile (in gray) & AutoSense OS 3.0 in Phonak Audéo Marvel with TV Connector (in green).

Figure 2. Sound attributes plot for Ideal profile (in gray) & AutoSense OS 3.0 in Phonak Audéo Marvel with TV Connector (in green).

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.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

Summary

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.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.

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Correspondence
 can be addressed to Tania Rodrigues at: tania.rodrigues@phonak.com

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.

References 

  1. Kochkin S. MarkeTrak VIII: Consumer satisfaction with hearing aids is slowly increasing. Hear Jour. 2010;63(1):19-32.

  2. 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.

  3. Überlacker E, Tchorz J, Latzel M. Automatic classification of acoustic situation versus manual selection. Hörakustik. 2015.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Gatehouse S, Naylor G, Elberling C. Linear and nonlinear hearing aid fittings-1.Patterns of benefit. Int J Audiol. 2006;45(3):130–152.

  7. 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.

  8. Legarth S, Latzel M; Phonak. Benchmark evaluation of hearing aid media streamers. DELTA SenseLab, Force Technology. www.phonakpro.com/evidence

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Kahneman D. Attention and Effort.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc;1973.

  12. 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.

  13. Henley ear syringing available now

 

 

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Earwax removal at The Henley hearing Clinic, Buckinghamshire

Earwax removal at The Henley hearing Clinic Buckinghamshire

 

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).

The very latest digital hearing aids by all the main manufacturers are available. Trail hearing aids are also available but please as Leon for a more comprehensive idea how this works in the Henley area.

Book now for your ear wax removal or for a hearing test.

 

 

Henley Hearing Clinic, News:

GN Hearing Launches AI Personalized Hearing Solutions

Original story by the Hearing Review

GN Hearing logo

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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