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NHS Hearing Aid Ban

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Tiny hearing hair cells in the ear have been regenerated to reverse deafness for the first time

A question I am regularly asked when patients are recommended hearing aids as treatment for hearing loss is, ‘Can there not be anything done medically? So I thought about those patients when I read this recent research study.

An injection of a drug led to the creation of new hair cells in tests on mice, they have been grown using a similar principle to stem cells.  The hair cells are not ‘hairs’ as such but are the nerve terminals for the eight nerve pathway. Normal hearing however was not restored, rather the mice went from hearing nothing to detecting loud sounds such as a slamming door or traffic noise. Experts are “tremendously excited” however warned treating humans was still a distant prospect, at least a decade.  To hear anything, sound pressure or sound waves have to be converted into electrical signals which the brain then interprets as sound. This happens in the inner ear where vibrations from the basilar membrane activate tiny hairs (nerve terminals), the movement creates an electrical signal which is transmitted along the auditory nerve to the brain.  Most hearing problems are as a result of acquired damage to these hairs, via noise, infection or ototoxic drugs.

When I was studying at the Ear Institute there was similar work being done there. One of the questions I put forward at the time was ‘How will you correctly innervate the hair cells to the appropriate auditory nerves?’ As the main problem lies in the fact that the entire auditory system is frequency specific / frequency coded, therefore re-innervating them correctly to the appropriate auditory nerves maybe difficult. Incorrect wiring will lead to an unfamiliar or incorrect transmission of sound frequency and intensity. Therefore simply regrowing these cells may not restore hearing or at least not in a way that would be perceived as normal.

If you can not wait another decade for stem cell treatment, and would like to improve your hearing now contact us at chalfont hearing on 01494 765144 or visit the rest of the website for treatment options chalfonthearing.co.uk