Mental health and strong cognitive functionality is vitally important to our well being, and never more so in 2020 with enforced lock down and since then, reduced social gatherings. Communicating with friends and family, by phone or technology like Zoom, has become more popular than ever.
Hearing aids help you stay connected to the most important people in your life. If you suffer from hearing loss, they are vitally important to help you fully interact in all types of social circumstances.
But hearing aids do much more than enrich your social life. They can have a profound impact on your brain by keeping you mentally sharp, lowering your risk of depression, and improving your well-being.
Furthermore, several studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes.
Estimates and studies vary, but a rough rule of thumb is that only 20% of people that suffer from hearing loss have, or regularly use, hearing aids.
Previous Nantwich Heating Centre articles have covered topics such as smart/digital hearing aids and how small modern hearing aids are, but hearing aids also provide a number of clinically proven benefits for wearers including improved mental agility, decreased listening effort and improved cognitive function.
Simply put, they can help your brain function better, helping general mental alertness and reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Here are some factors, backed by medical studies, that you should find interesting:
- Wearing a hearing aid has a positive impact on your mental health
Studies have discovered that people who chose to wear hearing aids reported lower levels of depression and showed fewer outward signs of being depressed. They also found that people with hearing aids showed greater emotional stability and their families reported that they were less likely to become angry or frustrated. Overall, respondents who wore hearing aids felt that they had more control over their lives and a more positive outlook in general.
- Hearing aids reduces the risk of reduced cognitive functioning and developing dementia.
Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to an increased risk of developing dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. Research further supports that treating hearing loss with hearing aids may slow the cognitive decline associated with hearing loss.
Hearing aids may lower your risk of age-related cognitive decline.
- Hearing aids can improve memory and mental agility
A recent study showed that hearing aids – by minimising hearing loss – can help you remember things better, focus better and perform things faster.
- Hearing aids users report lower levels of depression
The National Council on Aging study – using 4000 participants with hearing loss (both with and without hearing aids) – found that that people with hearing aids showed greater emotional stability and their families reported that they were less likely to become angry or frustrated.
Overall, respondents who wore hearing aids felt that they had more control over their lives and a more positive outlook in general.
So, if you suffer (or think you might be) from hearing loss, hearing aids can help with your day-to-day social interaction AND potentially reduce the risk of depression and cognitive slowdown.
Nantwich Hearing Centre are pleased to offer free and no obligation hearing tests, with further advice and expertise should you require it.
Please read our keeping you safe article if you’d like to know more about our new safety measures in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
At Nantwich Hearing Centre the safety of our customers is always our top priority.
Like all businesses across the UK we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the advice provided by UK health authorities.
Our clinic remains open and if you have an appointment with us we look forward to seeing you soon.
We have introduced a series of measures to protect our customers:
- We have extended our appointment times. This will help us to implement a 1 customer only policy and enable us to thoroughly clean down after each appointment.
- Please do not arrive early for your appointment so you do not need to wait in our reception area.
- For existing customers we will be offering follow up appointments by telephone or by remote care. If all is well with your hearing devices and you do not wish to come into the clinic we can keep in touch over the phone if you prefer.
- If you require accessories e.g. batteries, wax filters or any other ear care products and do not wish to come into the clinic we can post these out to you. We will have to make a small charge for postage. Payment can be taken over the phone.
- If your hearing devices are sent for repair, we can ask the manufacturer to send them back to you directly, if you would prefer not to collect them from the clinic.
- We are closely monitoring our own health and if any of our staff develop systems of Coronavirus they will self isolate as per government guidelines. We will contact you if this affects your appointment.
- Likewise we respectfully ask that if you develop symptoms or are generally unwell please contact us to rearrange your appointment for a future date.
This is a very challenging time for all of us and we appreciate your co-operation and understanding.
We are always on the end of the phone if you have any problems or queries.
Alan, Helen & Paula
Modern Hearing Aids – almost like a Second Brain for your Ears
Hearing Aids have generally become a lot smaller and more discreet in recent years.
They have also become a whole lot cleverer too, thanks in large part to the huge advancement in technology and communication over the last decade and now as we have entered the 2020’s. Many hearing aids now enjoy the same technological benefits as other devices, controlled remotely and effortlessly from intuitive smartphone apps.
Smart Hearing Aids
“Smart” hearing aids are the most popular and effective treatment option for low/medium or more substantial hearing loss. The automatic functionality in smart hearing aids allows users to interact with their environment naturally while the device’s algorithms sort out noise and enhance desired sound in real time.
In simple terms, the smart hearing aid will adjust real-time to the current environment and will also remember your preferences in different situations based on any manual adjustments you might make.
This means the hearing aid will learn your hearing preferences over time in a wide variety of different situations. For example, your listening preferences within a busy and noisy pub or hearing tannoy announcements at a railway station. You can choose if you prefer to minimise background noise or hear “as is”.
The smart hearing aid will recognise similar situations and adjust according to the preferences it has learnt from past experience and user history.
Wireless & Bluetooth
In today’s communication-driven society, you can have most types of audio streamed into your ears safely and without distortion. With smart hearing aids, you can synchronize all of your devices and navigate between audio sources with ease, without sacrificing discretion or audio quality.
Many hearing aids can now connect to your smartphone to enhance your overall hearing experience. This is mostly done using Bluetooth technology like many other devices, and advancements in hearing aids means this feature doesn’t drain the battery like it used to.
Here are a few of the excellent features you can use with your hearing aids in conjunction with your smartphone:
1) Phone calls direct to your hearing aids
You can ask your smartphone to stream calls direct to your hearing aids, you don’t have to even pick up your phone.
2) Music and other audio to your hearing aids
Stream your favourite songs, podcasts and even real-time driving directions from Google Maps direct to your hearing aids.
3) Adjust volume and programs without fiddling with your hearing aids directly
Use your smartphone app to increase or decrease the volume – left volume, right volume or both together. You can also switch between programs or memories set up by your audiologist.
4) Check battery status
Check the battery status and percentage of your hearing aids, see instantly how much charge remains and for how long.
5) Find lost hearing aids
Modern hearing aids are now pretty small and if you can misplace your mobile phone, you can certainly misplace your tiny hearing aids! Use the apps functionality to help you seek out and find your hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Apps – from the manufacturers
Most major hearing aid manufacturers have their own app that is designed specifically for use with your hearing aids. In order to take full advantage of the smartphone features, you will need to download the app specific to your hearing aid from the Apple App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play for (Android phones).
Bespoke Hearing Apps
In addition to apps designed specifically for hearing aids, there are many other apps that can enhance your hearing experience.
• Apps that create captions for your phone calls. This supports what you can hear from the phone call.
• Apps that capture the audio from live muted TV and play you the content. This is great for muted or quiet TVs in bars, restaurants, gyms, airports or at somebody’s house where the volume seems quiet to you.
• Apps that give alerts based on different sounds – doorbell, smoke alarms and emergency sirens.
Future articles from Nantwich Hearing Centre will examine some of our favourite features from this new technology – based on customer feedback – and we will also test and rate some of the more popular apps!
At Nantwich Hearing Centre, our friendly and expert Audiologists are more than happy to explain and demonstrate the latest hearing aids and accompanying technology. Please use our contact page to call us, make an appointment or please do just pop in and say hello!
Employees with neglected light or moderate hearing loss deal with emotional and also social troubles in the office.
Woking adults with mild or moderate hearing loss might be detrimentally impacted at the office unless they utilise hearing aids to help, according to an Italian research study.
The research study was based upon a comparison of 73 individuals with hearing loss and 96 people with normal hearing. The two groups were similar in their composition relative to gender, age and also the line of work.
Those with hearing loss experienced better bigger in the workplace, emotionally and socially. This was demonstrated by a higher prevalence of indicators of anxiety, anxiousness, level of sensitivity and hostility in the hearing impaired group than in the group of people with normal hearing.
The psychological results of hearing loss usually caused hearing-impaired workers having trouble operating in socially difficult circumstances generally found at work.
For some, the outcome was a vicious circle, as problem suitable right into the social setting at the workplace usually caused a feeling of seclusion and also inability. This, subsequently, detrimentally influenced the basic wellness and lifestyle of those with hearing loss.
Based on this research, workers with mild and modest hearing loss have good reason to take into consideration investing in a hearing aid. A number of studies have discovered that hearing aids provide considerable advantages in regards to lifestyle.
Equally essential is an open discussion between an individual hearing-impaired worker, co-workers and monitoring in order for all of them to aid preserve the finest possible conditions for a healthy as well as a productive work environment.
Having hearing loss can be difficult. But trying to explain it to someone who has normal hearing can be even harder. For example, try explaining the difference between “hearing” and “understanding” to someone with normal hearing. It can take hours.
To help provide a better understanding of what it’s like to live with moderate hearing loss, we ask hearing professionals in our Greenhouse Class each fall to participate in an experiment. They are asked to wear earplugs for six hours and then journal their experiences as part of their training in this special class. They show how just one day with a mild to moderate hearing loss can impact someone’s life at home, at work, alone and in social settings.
Mild to moderate hearing loss, severe hearing loss and all types of hearing loss can increase stress, worry and cause frustration and embarrassment
Christy B. chose to wear her earplugs at work. What she experiences is what someone with untreated mild to moderate hearing loss often goes through every day in many professional environments:
“I felt very stressed and tense. I spent the whole time concentrating, and more than once, felt the need to take [the earplugs] out because it was interfering with my work. I felt insecure as if I had to stay on my toes to not miss anything. I caught myself repeating what coworkers said for confirmation. I wouldn’t take my eyes off them because I didn’t want to miss anything, and it was embarrassing to ask them to keep repeating things. Nothing was as clear as I felt it should be and that was frustrating.”
At home, Christy described the following: “I was exhausted. I spent most of the day living in a slightly different world and just subtle changes I didn’t notice throughout the experiment started to present. My neck and back hurt. I had a headache. To be quite honest, I was a little moody. It’s amazing to me how exhausting, physically and emotionally, it was to have a little of my hearing altered.”
No matter what types of hearing loss you experience, it can be exhausting, negatively impact work and isolate you from friends and family
Joe S. wore his earplugs at lunch and at the office afterwards. He noticed immediate difficulty hearing in the noisy restaurant and relied on lip reading and context clues to follow his friend’s conversation. At the office, Joe notes the abrupt struggle in performing his job and, with his newfound hearing loss, he lost the ability to multitask. When he returns home, he notes not only the desire to isolate himself but also his family’s frustration with him.
“Right off the bat, I noticed I was having trouble with my job. It was very difficult to understand what people were saying. I also spoke louder than necessary. I was unable to hear the bell when patients would walk in. It was very difficult to complete each task within a normal timeframe. I was not able to work and listen to someone else. Cleaning the hearing aids while also speaking to an associate became impossible. Hearing loss definitely has a major impact on your work and your ability to perform your job functions.”
Afterwards, Joe noted just how thankful he was for his hearing. “We take so much for granted and our hearing is definitely one. My mind and body were tired from straining to hear and understand all day. My brain was fatigued from working so hard to decipher sentences and phrases from a jumbled mess. Communication became very difficult and frustration ran high. I didn’t want to be around people as much as I normally do because of the trouble I had hearing and understanding. Also, my family was becoming frustrated with me because I couldn’t hear them when they needed me.”
Hearing loss can impact your independence and ability to communicate effectively
Zvi H. noted feeling frustrated, depressed and even started using a common coping mechanism.
“Conversing with people was very difficult. I constantly had to say “what” and ask people to speak louder. At times I just shook my head and made believe I heard what people said, just to avoid embarrassment. It became very frustrating, and I even began to feel depressed that I couldn’t communicate normally. Speaking on the phone wasn’t possible … I kept on worrying that I wouldn’t hear people when they were going to speak to me.
When I was standing by the take-out counter ordering food, I was worried that my speech sounded strange and that I wouldn’t hear the man behind the counter if he had a question for me. I was sitting with some friends and they couldn’t stop laughing at how loud I was talking. My wife and kids were getting frustrated because I kept saying ‘What’ and ‘Please repeat yourself louder.’ I really got a sense of how difficult communication can be for someone who has a hearing loss. Communication, which is something that should be easy and natural, became a stressful activity when I was occluded which caused me stress and embarrassment. Not only was I affected tremendously but so were the people around me.”
Your hearing loss affects those close to you and the way you experience life
For S. Temby, she experienced numerous problems with family and friends. After removing the earplugs at the end of six hours, she also noted that the experience helped her understand her grandmother’s behaviour better in the past.
“I had to strain to hear people speak to me. I could not understand what my grandchildren said to me. I found myself watching their actions and faces trying to figure out what they were talking about. Talking to my husband about what I could make him for lunch (from the kitchen to the office) was absolutely maddening. After asking my friends ‘huh?’ a few times [at dinner later that evening], it was just easier to eat and let them talk. They would look at me like I was an idiot for asking them to repeat. Everything was dulled down and muddled.”
“I was relieved when I took out the plugs. I instantly felt calmer and at ease … it was quite an experience. It makes me see more clearly why my paternal grandmother did some of the things that she did. The TV was always turned up so loud that you couldn’t think straight. She was asking me to repeat often. She chose to stay closeted in her home because she said it was just too hard to be out in public. Did we offer her hearing aids? Yes, we did. She would have none of it. She said that she didn’t need it if she just stayed home. The last 8 years of her life were like this.”
Untreated hearing loss has a profound impact on a person’s life and overall wellness. It can result in negative emotions and consequences both at home and at work. More than that, it affects not just the person with hearing loss but everyone in their lives, as well.
No matter whether you experience mild hearing loss, severe hearing loss or any type of hearing loss, it’s important to help friends, families and coworkers better understand what we go through each day with our hearing loss so that we can work together for better communication.
If you are experiencing problems with your hearing, contact Nantwich Hearing Centre to talk about your options.
Earwax can certainly cause hearing loss. But it doesn’t occur as commonly as one might think. In fact, very few patients who are seen by hearing healthcare professionals have hearing loss that is literally due to excessive earwax (cerumen impaction).
More likely, the patient has experienced a gradual decline in their hearing over time and the hearing loss has become enough that the patient is starting to have difficulty communicating with others. It is when communication starts to become affected that people seek help.
What, you might ask, causes cerumen impaction? Anything that affects the normal outward flow of ear wax may cause impaction, such as advanced age, narrow or abnormally shaped ear canals, use of a hearing aid, incorrect use of cotton swabs, or using needles, hairpins, or other objects to clean the ears.
A full earwax blockage is very rare
What is important to know here is that soundwaves only need a tiny opening in the ear canal to reach the eardrum. So, unless the ear canal is plugged tightly with earwax, there shouldn’t be a noticeable hearing loss. When cerumen impaction is severe enough to cause hearing loss, there will likely be other signs and symptoms noticed, such as dizziness, ear fullness (a feeling that something is plugging up your ear), itchiness or pain in the ears and/or ringing in the ears. Rarely does cerumen impaction occur without additional signs that “something is wrong.”
Nantwich Hearing Centre can help remove excessive earwax
The good news is that hearing loss caused by cerumen impaction is easily treated. If your hearing loss is as simple as having your ears cleaned, GREAT! If not, visit us and you will be in the right place to accurately uncover what might be causing your perception of hearing loss.
Setting up an appointment with us is easy and convenient. Just get in touch and we’ll arrange an appointment that is suitable for you.
Legendary singer Roger Daltrey, from British rock band ‘The Who’ has confessed that decades of loud music has left him with a hearing loss.
According to The Mirror, Daltrey spoke out to the crowd at a solo show at the Hard Rock Resort in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, first revealing his is deaf and then offering advice to his fans.“The trouble with these ear things that I wear is that I am very, very deaf,” Daltrey said. “And I advise you all – all you rock-and-roll fans – take your earplugs to the gigs. If only we had known when we were young … we are lip-reading.” The way Daltrey performs with his hearing loss now is much different than back in the day. When performing live, he uses a combination of in-ear monitors and lipreading to help follow the music. Despite his hearing loss, he vowed that he won’t stop performing and hopes to continue playing music for many years to come. “I am lucky to be doing what I do – so thank you,” the 74-year-old said.
Hearing loss runs in the band
Daltrey isn’t the only member of The Who to admit to hearing loss. Co-founder Pete Townsend also has hearing problems of his own. “Pete deafened himself in the recording studio’ because of this, it affected the performance as ‘he had to stand next to the speakers to hear anything,” Daltrey told the Daily Mail in 2011. “I don’t know what Pete will do. I don’t want to do a tour and have him end up completely deaf.” Read more: Why musicians should be more aware of hearing loss Townsend wears hearing aids, although unlike Daltrey he links his hearing loss to listening to music through amplified headphones when he was younger, instead of loud concert music. When playing acoustic guitar, Townsend surrounded himself with plexiglass to shield himself from the deafening volume of his fellow bandmates. The two are among many famous musicians who have hearing loss, including Eric Clapton, Brian Johnson, Martin Kemp.
Read more on this article here
Tinnitus Week is taking place from 5-11 February
The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the condition, which affects approximately 1 in 10 of the population.
Raising awareness together
For the first time, the international tinnitus community will join forces to shine a light on the condition, targeting as many people as possible in order to raise awareness of how tinnitus impacts on the lives of those living with it.
This year, alongside the Tinnitus Research Initiative, Tinnitus Hub and the American Tinnitus Association, we are giving Tinnitus Week a real international boost. A new website has been set up, as a central resource collecting all the initiatives which will be taking place in 2018.
This website can be found at www.tinnitusweek.com.
They’ve been encouraging organisations, from across the world, who deal with tinnitus and other hearing-related issues such as hyperacusis and hearing loss, to work together to raise awareness of tinnitus during Tinnitus Week.
As such they’re hoping a large variety of activities will take place during the week across the globe, including local events, tinnitus information days, media interviews, science communication activities and much more.
If you will be doing anything during Tinnitus Week to help boost tinnitus awareness, please email email@example.com with the details and if suitable, these will be added to the Tinnitus Week site.
Here at the British Tinnitus Association, our campaign for the week will focus on children and young people.
The ‘Kids Talk Tinnitus’ campaign will engage with children, parents and schools to raise awareness of tinnitus amongst young people and drive the use of relevant support and resources
British Tinnitus Association reveals majority of UK parents are unaware children can have tinnitus
- The British Tinnitus Association survey found just under a third of UK parents (32%) think children under the age of 10 can have tinnitus, and just 37% think it can affect children aged 10 to 16
- The research, which coincides with Tinnitus Week (5-11 February 2018) and is part of the charity’s Kids Talk Tinnitus, also revealed many parents are unaware of the common signs of the hearing condition in children, such as anxiety or difficulty concentrating
- To help tackle the problem, the charity has created guidance for both parents and teachers
Read more on this article on the British Tinnitus Association website
It is nearly 3 years since we opened Nantwich Hearing Centre. Our aim was and still is, to provide a range of services to local residents, focussed solely on maintaining and improving their hearing health.
Our intention was never to just sell people hearing aids, but to develop long term relationships with our customers, by offering an after care service that you just do not receive from major high street retailers.
The positive response to our services has been fantastic and we have now helped hundreds of people improve and protect their hearing for the future. We are very grateful to those first few customers who put their trust in a new business and to those who have recommended us to family and friends.
We remain passionate about our business and the importance of encouraging people to take care of their hearing. We are therefore looking to expand the range of services we offer and are delighted that from mid-January we will be able to offer Micro-suction Wax Removal.
In order to be able to provide Micro-suction to the very high standard that our customers would expect from Nantwich Hearing Centre, we need to invest in re-designing and re-fitting our clinic in the Cocoa Yard.
We will therefore be closed from 13th December until the New Year while the work takes place and the new equipment is installed. Upon completion our clinic will include a treatment room dedicated to wax removal, both micro-suction and irrigation, a separate consultation room with sound proof booth, for hearing assessments and general advice on hearing health and a newly refurbished reception / waiting area.
During this period our phone line will be diverted so you will still be able to call or reach us on e-mail or via the website. Please be assured that we have not disappeared, it might just take us a little longer to deal with your enquiry.
We thank you in anticipation of your patience and very much look forward to welcoming you to the ‘new look’ Nantwich Hearing Centre in January 18.
Alan and Helen Jackson.
Enjoy more fun in and on the water with Alpine SwimSafe earplugs. These special swimming hearing protectors prevent water getting into your ears, which can cause infections and swimmer’s ear. Thanks to the unique filters, you can still hear virtually everything. You can use SwimSafe earplugs while showering, swimming, or snorkeling, but they are also ideal for those participating in water sports. Many water sports fans wish to protect their ears against water and wind during (kite)surfing, sailing and wakeboarding. They wish to prevent an ear infection or surfer’s ear and to enjoy engaging in sport without painful ears. Pluggies Kids earplugs are available for children.
• Prevents water from penetrating your ear
• Protects against ear infection and surfer’s/swimmer’s ear
• Ambient sounds and conversation can still be heard
• Extremely comfortable AlpineThermoShape™ material
• Floating capacity
• No silicone
Earol® Swim prevents swimmers ear and trapped water
Earol® Swim prevents swimmers ear and trapped water. With Tea Tree Oil delivers a metered dose of a unique blend of Olive Oil & Tea Tree Oil into the outer ear finely coating the auditory canal creating a water resistant barrier.
For more information, contact us
For more info see the full article here http://www.justhear.co.uk/noise-and-leisure-hearing-products/earol-swimming-and-watersports.php