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A Comprehensive Hearing Test is Important, Here is Why

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Understanding all the facets of your hearing loss help us to provide better solutions and outcomes for you.

We believe that the hearing test is a hugely important part of choosing a solution for someone with hearing loss. It seems obvious, the hearing test forms the basis of everything moving forward. The question though, is how comprehensive should that test be? What test processes should we do and what information will that give us. In the next few paragraphs, I will explain what we do, why we do it and why it matters to you.

Pure Tone Hearing Testing

The basic pure-tone test, the beeps and whistles, the one everyone is familiar with, tells us about your ability to hear a sound. While that is the defined starting point for the prescription of amplification, it doesn’t tell us anything about how you hear speech or more importantly speech in noise.

Speech Testing

In a more comprehensive hearing assessment, we always undertake speech testing. Speech testing helps us understand how you process and understand speech. Speech testing in quiet allows us to understand your speech discrimination at different levels of sound. Speech in Noise testing which is called QuickSIN or quick speech in noise testing tells us a lot about how you process and understand speech in noise.

We have always believed that your ability to understand speech in noise is key information when it comes to choosing a hearing solution. That was brought home to us recently again with one of of our customers.

Typical Hearing Loss

We had a customer in recently who reported the typical problems associated with hearing loss. One to one conversation was okay once the person was within their field of vision. It could get a bit difficult if the person was behind them though. However, once there was any noise present, it became almost impossible to hold a conversation.

Upon pure-tone testing, we found that he had a not untypical presbyacusis (age-related) hearing loss. While his ability to hear low-frequency sounds were good, he had a moderate hearing loss in the high-frequency area. Taking this information only, it would appear that a relatively decent level of hearing aid technology would do the job quite well.

Real Problems With Noise

The customer particularly liked to eat out with his wife, he also loved to attend a local active retirement group. The active retirement group would often have quite interesting presenters give talks on different topics. He said that he had almost given up on these activities because his ability to hear and understand was almost nil.

Upon undertaking the speech testing and speech in noise testing we discovered that he had a  huge problem with understanding speech in noise and that his speech discrimination was worse than could be expected considering his hearing loss.

A Better Solution

This latest information changed and formed our thoughts about the solution that would help him re-engage in his life. It also better formed our explanation of the outcomes that he could expect. Let me explain, his speech discrimination score meant that amplification would help him quite a bit. However, it wouldn’t completely, 100% increase his ability to hear every sound in every word.

His speech in noise scores meant that he needed more than just hearing aids to hear well in noisy situations. He would also need some sort of assistive device to give him an extra boost of speech intelligibility in order for him to get the best out of these types of situations.

He decided to go with a set of hearing aids with a remote microphone. The remote microphone in question could act as both a simple remote mic, clipped to someone’s collar and a desk or table mic. This offered the best versatility and met his needs well.

The Restaurant

When going to restaurants with his wife, she can wear the rather discreet remote microphone around her neck. This allows him to clearly hear her voice directly in his hearing aids, giving him the optimum chance to understand what she says. When he is with a group, he can put the mic on the middle of the table and it helps him to understand the conversation.

The Active Retirement Group

In the active retirement group situations, the remote mic can be used in the same manner. The presenter can wear it clipped to their collar during presentations and during a group conversation, the mic can be placed on the middle of the table.

Why it Matters

These are important areas of his life, they are important for his social activity and therefore his general well being. They allow him to feel active and relevant, something that is important to everyone. The use of his hearing aids combined with the remote mic has successfully allowed him to do the things he loves to do.

He now can hear quite well in many situations, sometimes he still has problems (considering his speech discrimination, that isn’t unusual), but generally, he gets on well. He is active and happy, more importantly, he feels engaged.

A Comprehensive Test

We wouldn’t have seen the need to provide a complete solution for this customer if we did not truly understand his ability to hear. That is why a comprehensive test involving speech testing is important. It allows both us and you to completely understand your hearing and your needs. That way, we can offer a solution that really works for you.

In finishing, it’s always important to have a comprehensive hearing test, it will give complete clarity on your hearing and your needs.

Can’t Hear The TV? This Could Help

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There are several solutions for TV listening for people with hearing loss, even without hearing aids

We often hear from people we see that hearing the TV at a normal volume level can be difficult at best. It is a source of real frustration for everyone involved. If the person with hearing loss turns the volume up in an effort to hear better, everyone else in the family finds it far too loud. It may seem like a small thing, but watching TV is a family social situation and it brings people together.

Direct Connection Makes it Easy

New direct connection Bluetooth hearing aids make listening to the TV so much easier. Nearly all of the hearing aid brands have their own TV connector box. You simply connect it to your TV audio out, plug it in and it streams audio directly to your hearing aids in crystal clear stereo.

Bluetooth TV Streamer with hearing aids

The new devices mean that you can hear the TV direct in your hearing aids, giving you the optimum clarity. It also means that you can control your own volume while others in the room can listen at the volume that they are most comfortable with.

The new system doesn’t cut you off from the people who are with you, your hearing aids can be set to mix the sound you hear with audio from the TV and your surroundings. That means you get to hear your favourite programmes with ease and comfort while still being able to converse with your family.

No Hearing Aids? Try This

If you are having problems hearing your TV but you don’t wear hearing aids, there are a couple of things you can try. The first thing is to look at the audio set up on your TV. In your sound menu there should be an audio pre-set that is weighted towards clear speech. It can be called many different things but will probably include the word speech.

If your sound menu has a type of graphic equaliser or just bass and treble, lower the bass a bit and higher the treble. In essence, this is what we do with hearing aids, although it is a little more complicated than that. If neither of these strategies help, look around for a good soundbar.

Soundbars & TV Speakers

Most modern flat-screen TVs have the speakers facing backwards, the idea is to gain a bit more sound by bouncing it off the wall. In general, most flat-screen TVs have pretty rubbish speakers one way or the other. A good soundbar facing out towards the room can help direct the sound better, they usually have some pretty good pre-sets for speech clarity as well.

Still Having Problems?

If you are still having problems understanding the TV even with menu changes or a soundbar, it really is time to get a hearing test. Often not being able to hear the TV clearly at normal volume is a clear sign that there is a problem with your hearing.

If you are interested in the latest direct connection hearing aids and their accessories, or if you are worried about your hearing, call us on 01905 617803 to book an appointment, we are happy to help.

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Sounds of Spring Open Week

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Sounds of Spring Open Week
Enjoy the sounds of spring

 

Reconnect with nature and enjoy its sounds during this beautiful time of year.

Birds singing, leaves rustling through the blossoming trees, buzzing bees flying around from one flower to another, a flowing stream and even spring showers are a few of the wonderful sounds you could be missing this season.

Spring into action

It’s all too easy to miss out on natures subtle sounds if you are experiencing hearing loss.

In addition to being able to hear the sounds of nature, our bespoke hearing solutions will alllow you to experience claity in speech.

So you can enjoy a gathering in the garden or a walk along the river with your loved ones.

 

Contact us to book one of our 100 FREE hearing assessments available HERE.

Tinnitus Week 2020

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What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the head/or ear which have no external source. Those living with the condition may have to endure a ringing, buzzing, hissing whistling or other noise. The sensation can be constant or intermittent and can vary in volume.

The British Tinnitus Association claims that 1 in 8 people in the UK are living with persistent tinnitus.

the effects of tinnitus

Is there a cure?

Currently there is no known cure for Tinnitus but there are a number of strategies that can be very helpful in managing the symptoms such as correcting any hearing loss and counselling.

 

What can be done about Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can’t always be prevented and there are many causes and reasons why people experience the condition. There are a variety of ways you can help protect yourself from tinnitus in certain situations such as using earplugs and listening through headphones at a safe level.

 

Help yourself from Tinnitus

Most cases of tinnitus are linked to hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear, such as through normal ageing or exposure to loud noise. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural.

 

For more information visit our Tinnitus Therapy page.

 

Contact your nearest centre and book your Tinnitus Assessment today.

 

Request Appointment

Call us to make an appointment on 01905 617803 (Worcester) or 01789 264111 (Stratford-upon-Avon) or complete the form below.



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