Father’s Day: Give Dad the Gift of Hearing

Father's DayAs Father’s Day approaches (Sunday, 16th June), now is a great time to focus on the important influence that family members have on encouraging people to take action about their hearing loss.  In a survey we conducted for Hearing Awareness Week 2011, we found that half of respondents (49%) said that encouragement from family and friends influenced their decision to seek treatment.  So, before reaching for a tie, aftershave or golf jumper this weekend, how about a gift that will really strengthen the connection between you and your father – the gift of better hearing?

While it might sound unusual, there’s probably no better gift for a dad with hearing loss.   Research has shown that untreated hearing loss leads to considerable negative, social, psychological, cognitive and health effects that go beyond hearing alone.  It can also make family time far more difficult and frustrating for your father and for the whole family.

If you suspect that your dad might have hearing loss, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does he seem to have trouble hearing on the telephone?
  • Is it more difficult for him to follow conversations?
  • Does he keep turning up the TV or radio?
  • Does he sometimes miss a telephone ring or doorbell?
  • Does he seem more irritated or tired at big family gatherings?
  • Does he ask for things to be repeated or for people to stop mumbling?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, why not make a free appointment with an audiologist at the local Hidden Hearing branch?  Hearing loss can be easily diagnosed and treated yet almost 30% of people suffering with hearing loss leave it more than five years to seek treatment.  Accompanying your dad to his appointment may also help make him more open to getting his hearing tested.

Hidden Hearing offers free hearing tests at its 60 branches nationwide.  To book a test Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie. We also publish a number of reference booklets if you are like the popular Body, Heart & Mind. You can apply for a copy below.

Please send me a FREE Body, Heart & Mind Booklet.

HeartMindBody

Hearing aids can help a person’s mental and physical well being as well as their hearing

Deaf man makes a hearing testResearch into people with hearing loss has found that those who wear hearing aids feel less physically and mentally exhausted in the evenings than those who don’t, according to information published in The Hearing Review March 2013.

Questions were asked within surveys by EuroTrak and JapanTrak conducted in Italy, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Japan.

Among those who had significant hearing loss and did not use hearing aids, around 60% said they often felt physically exhausted in the evenings, while only 40% of people who used hearing aids said the same.

50% of those with significant hearing loss said they felt mentally exhausted by the evening, compared to only around 30% who did use hearing aids.

Dolores Madden a spokesperson from Hidden Hearing said:

“This research reveals just how much benefit hearing aids can have to a person’s mental and physical well being as well as their hearing. Straining to concentrate on what people are saying can be exhausting and if you are dealing with hearing loss it is well worth booking a free hearing test at one of our hearing centre’s to find out if a hearing aid is suitable for you.”

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

How to clean your hearing aid

Oticon-hearing-aids2A hearing aid consists of several parts, most of which should be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure they perform at their optimum levels. With a minimal amount of daily care, they should provide you with quality services for years to come. 

Your Hidden Hearing audiologist will give you detailed instructions on how to care specifically for the make and model you’ve purchased, but there are a few general care tips to keep in mind.

  • Before cleaning a hearing aid, a towel should be put down to create a soft surface to clean over, this ensures that if you drop anything the impact will be small.
  • When handling your hearing aid, be sure your hands are clean.
  • For a Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aid, the mould should be removed from the hearing aid and placed in lukewarm soapy water to clean, before being dried thoroughly afterwards – ensuring it is clear of water.
  • For In-the-Ear (ITE) models, they should only be cleaned with a gentle wiping of soft tissue and careful brushing with the supplied brush. Wax build up can be removed from the hearing system using a cleaning loop and wax spray remover. For an ITE hearing aid, water and solvent should never be used to clean the device.
  • For both ITE and BTE models, it is important to never use pins or needles to remove wax from the device.
  • Keep your ears clean and free from earwax. This yellow substance can clog the microphone and receiver, blocking the sound to your ear.  Hidden Hearing offers a free ear wax removal service for over 60s so talk to your local branch about making an appointment.
  • Apply any hair products – such as sprays or gels — and face creams before you put your hearing aids in for the day. If you wash your face with a cleanser at night, take your hearing aids out before you do. These materials can clog the microphone and may also be damaging to the plastic material.
  • When your hearing aids are not in use, store in a safe place that’s dry and cool.  Always carry the hearing aids in their case to protect them from damage and dirt. 

At Hidden Hearing, we pride ourselves on providing a level of service which is second to none.  If you have any queries on how to clean your hearing aids talk to a Hidden Hearing audiologist.  Hidden Hearing has 65 branches and clinics nationwide.  Freephone 1800 370 000 or check out www.hiddenhearing.ie.

Hearing Aid Compatibility and iPhones

 This week Sarah O’Mara from Hidden Hearing gives some tips on hearing aid compatibility and iphones

Phones and accessories that are Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) will work with hearing aids that support the telephone switch feature. This is commonly known as the “T-switch” or “T-coil” that is built into the hearing aids. HAC products will only work with hearing aids that have a telephone switch

Activating hearing aid mode on your iPhone
To activate Hearing Aid Mode on iPhone 4 (GSM model) with iOS 5 or later, go to phone Settings, select General, then select Accessibility. Here you will see the Hearing Aids option.

Hearing Aid Mode on the iPhone 4 (GSM model) reduces the transmission power of the cellular radio in the GSM 1900 MHz band, which may result in decreased 2G cellular coverage.
To activate Hearing Aid mode on iPhone 5 or later, go to Settings > General > Accessibility. Hearing Aid mode on the iPhone 5 modifies the phone’s acoustic settings to improve compatibility with hearing aids set in “T” or telecoil mode.

This short video shows how to use hearing aid mode – Apple iPhone 5 .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3eJbcmDOvc

Ensuring the best experience with a hearing aid
iPhone and hearing aids generally work best together in “M” or acoustic coupling mode. To use your hearing aid in this mode, make sure that your hearing aid is set to “M,” or acoustic coupling mode, and position the iPhone receiver near the hearing aid’s built-in microphone (or microphones). In other words, hold your iPhone against your head as you would naturally hold the phone when making a telephone call. The hearing aid will receive audio from the iPhone through its built-in microphones. For the best results, try using the iPhone in different positions relative to your hearing aid—for example, placing the receiver slightly above the ear may result in better performance for hearing aids with microphones positioned behind the ear. If you have an iPhone 4 (GSM model), activate Hearing Aid Mode
If Acoustic Coupling does not produce a satisfactory result, try using your hearing aid in “T,” or telecoil coupling mode. To use your hearing aid in this mode, make sure that your hearing aid is set to “T,” or telecoil coupling mode (not all hearing aids have this mode). If you have an iPhone 5 or later, activate Hearing Aid Mode. Your healthcare provider may assist you in determining if your hearing aid will be most compatible with your iPhone.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

Women Who Address Hearing Loss Enjoy Better Quality of Life

hearing-loss_0The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) advised today as part of its outreach in recognition of National Women’s Health Week that research shows hearing loss is frequently associated with other physical, mental, and emotional health conditions, and that women who address their hearing loss often experience better quality of life.

For the vast majority of people with hearing loss there are solutions that help. And modern hearing aids are among them. Eight out of 10 hearing aid users, in fact, say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives specifically due to their hearing aids. From how they feel about themselves to the positive changes they see in their relationships, social interactions, and work lives, hearing aid users are reaping the benefits of today’s technology.

When people with even mild hearing loss use hearing aids, they improve their job performance; enhance their communication skills; increase their earnings potential; improve their professional and interpersonal relationships; stave off depression; gain an enhanced sense of control over their lives; and better their quality of life.

But when left unaddressed, hearing loss interferes with a woman’s life and negatively affects virtually every aspect of her day-to-day living — including how she communicates with her doctor. And because hearing loss has been linked to several chronic diseases — as well as to an increased risk of falling — it’s important that women and their healthcare providers routinely address hearing health as part of their medical care.

Studies show that people with heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression may all have an increased risk of hearing loss. When left untreated, hearing loss also can lead to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions. Impaired memory and the impaired ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk to personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, and stress are among its more common side effects.

More About Hearing Aids

Today’s hearing aids combine high-performance technology and style with durability and ease-of-use, transcending the old-world notion that a condition as common as hearing loss is something to hide. The options are so varied that there is an attractive solution for just about anyone. Designers offer styles that appeal to the fashion conscious, the trendsetter, the partygoer, the intellectual, the active sports enthusiast, the cautious grandmother, the romantic, the weekend warrior, and even those just tired of arguing about the volume on the TV.

Whether they sit discreetly inside your ear canal, or wrap aesthetically around the contour of your outer ear like the latest fashion accessory, today’s high-performance hearing aids amplify life. They unabashedly send the message: “I’m too young and full of life to stop doing the things I love best.” In fact, today’s hearing aids are the #1 Must-Have Consumer Electronic for enhancing life in 2013.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

Hidden Hearing Gives the Gift of Hearing

Pictured here is Aileen Kennedy (Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin) with Keith Ross, Audiologist, Hidden Hearing in Bray, being fitted with a set of top quality hearing aids.

Pictured here is Aileen Kennedy (Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin) with Keith Ross, Audiologist, Hidden Hearing in Bray, being fitted with a set of top quality hearing aids.

Aileen Kennedy, is looking forward to experiencing good hearing after winning a pair of top-of-the-range hearing aids from Hidden Hearing.  The competition was run by Hidden Hearing to celebrate Hearing Awareness Week and called on people experiencing hearing loss around the country to submit a short entry themed “How hearing aids will enhance my life”.

A fan of rock ‘n’ roll music, Aileen has suffered from tinnitus and hearing loss as a result of listening to loud music over the years.  Describing her excitement at winning the prize she said, “I’m absolutely over the moon and my children and grandchildren are delighted that they will no longer have to repeat themselves when talking to me.  I’ve had problems with my hearing for years but lately it’s been really bothering me as I can’t hear the television properly and strain to hear conversations when I’m in a group.  Being able to hear will make such a difference to my life and make my job as a housemother in Rathdown School for Girls so much easier.  My daughter is getting married in May and I’m really excited about being able to hear the speeches without any difficulties.  I would like to thank the entire team at Hidden Hearing who are looking after me and I look forward to many years of good hearing.”

Keith Ross, Audiologist with Hidden Hearing in Bray said: Hearing loss is a problem which affects thousands of people in Ireland and we were thrilled to be able to offer someone the gift of hearing.  Aileen is a very deserved winner and I have no doubt that winning these hearing aids will enhance her life.  We will also be looking after Aileen with free aftercare to ensure that she experiences the best of hearing healthcare for many years to come.”

Over the past twenty-seven years, Hidden Hearing has evolved to become Ireland’s largest professional providers of hearing healthcare in the private sector with a national network of over sixty branches and clinics. In addition, Hidden Hearing provides modern testing facilities, staffed by qualified hearing aid audiologists, the latest technological advances in audiological equipment and hearing devices and free aftercare service.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

Hearing aid wearers and the workplace

office-workers-smilingHow is good hearing linked to progression in the workplace or in business? Meetings, telephone calls, a chat with colleagues: communication play a key role in everyday professional life and often determines success and failure. However, what if this very communication is impaired by a hearing loss? A Hear the World initiative addressed this issue as part of the “Hearing is Living” study and came across some exciting new findings. For Instance, it was demonstrated among other things that people who can hear better again, thanks to a hearing aid, have more enjoyment, success and less stress in their profession than people with an untreated hearing loss. A quarter of the respondents hearing aid wearers questioned even stated that they would not be able to perform their job without a hearing aid.

81 per cent of the respondents with a hearing aid have discovered they are able to work normally again since wearing a hearing aid. 22 per cent of the respondents are even convinced that it would be impossible for them to pursue their work without hearing aids. Another 84 per cent state that the hearing aid enables them to take active part in meetings and discussions with their colleagues again; telephone conferences no longer pose a problem to 64 per cent of the respondents with a hearing aid either. No mean feat when one considers that 24 per cent of the respondents with an untreated hearing loss report that they are no longer able to get properly involved in meetings due to their reduced hearing; for 32 per cent a simple telephone call quickly becomes a challenge. 15 per cent have even made mistakes due to being unable to understand something.

No wonder then that the hearing aid wearers have less stress in their daily working life (30%) than those with an untreated hearing loss (36%). “Added to the everyday challenges in professional life come even more psychological stress factors for people with reduced hearing. Primarily in meetings or telephone conferences it is difficult to follow the dialog and get actively involved. “Always having to check on things is unpleasant and may seem unprofessional. It’s not unusual for those affected to feel excluded and often be afraid of misunderstandings. Not only the performance suffers as a result, but above all the self-esteem”, explains Prof. Dr. med. Martin Ohlmeier, Director of the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Klinikum Kassel/Germany.

Another important finding of the study: Good hearing perceptibly influences working morale and income. For instance, 74 per cent of the hearing aid wearers with average to severe hearing loss confirm that they enjoy their work and 76 per cent that they have good concentration. In comparison: of those affected who do not wear hearing aids only 67 per cent (enjoyment in work) or 66 per cent (good concentration) agreed with such statements. This also affects the salary: for instance, 50 per cent of the hearing aid wearers believe their income to be in line with their assignments and performance, the figure is only 40 per cent for the respondents with an untreated hearing loss. Also interesting: Whereas 27 per cent of the respondents with untreated hearing loss attempt to conceal their reduced hearing at work, 67 per cent of the hearing aid wearers assume that their colleagues are not even aware that they use a hearing aid.

The most important facts at a glance:

  • 81% of hearing aid wearers (HAW) report being able to work normally again, thanks to the hearing aid (HA).
  • 22% of HAW would be unable to pursue their work without an HA.
  • 84% of HAW have no problem taking part in meetings and discussions with the help of the HA.
  • 64% of HAW are able to easily telephone again, thanks to the HA.
  • 67% of HAW assume their colleagues are completely unaware of their HA.

This research was conducted by Hear the World, but at Hidden Hearing we hear similar feedback from our customers each week Hearing loss is not something to be ignored, and taking action on your hearing loss can help your career as well as your lifestyle and hearing health.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.