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Hearing loss -often due to missed treatment opportunities rather than aging  

Ignoring hearing loss can lead to unnecessary, permanent and irreversible damage to hearing. The nerves and centres of the brain that help you hear die away if they are not stimulated. Early checks on hearing loss and fitting of often invisible modern hearing aids, can stimulate your natural hearing organs to work better and for longer into old age. Unattended, a sufferer can not only have hearing loss, but over time can lose the ability to distinguish between different types of sound which can lead others to wrongly conclude that they are mentally confused. The longer you wait to deal with hearing loss the less benefit a hearing aid can be in supporting or improving your natural hearing ability. All of this is avoidable and early intervention is critical to prevent hearing problems becoming more complicated than they need to be.

How do you know you need a hearing test?

H- OME – Do you find it hard to hear the telephone, doorbell, radio or TV at home?

E- NGAGE – Is it hard to engage in conversation in crowds or restaurants?

A – SK – Do you have to ask people to speak more clearly?

R – EPEAT – Do people often have to repeat themselves for you?

Other signs of hearing loss include feelings of ear fullness or pressure, ear noises such as ringing or buzzing, dizziness, and turning up the TV and radio volume. When you are in the quiet of the home your hearing loss may not be so obvious but warning signs often appear when out and about and you encounter difficulty with background noise or find yourself looking at people’s lips to try and understand what they are saying.

People often try to compensate for their hearing loss by sitting very close to or directly face to face with people who are talking to them. In more extreme cases people avoid social situations altogether, often without realising that they are doing it or why they are doing it; they just know that for some reason they feel anxious, moody and withdrawn. The worst thing that can happen is that people use these coping mechanisms to deal with gradual hearing loss and get so used to it that they do not realise how much their hearing is declining.

Poor hearing can have a real and adverse impact on people’s happiness and engagement with their friends and family. If you notice that a family member is having difficulty hearing, it is kinder to encourage them to seek the free hearing test that will establish what help they need than to let them and you suffer in polite silence. After all, family relationships go so much better when you can hear and understand each other!

Wax removal or free hearing health check-ups are available at Hidden Hearing, 73 Carlisle Rd., Londonderry, phone 028 7136 0402. See www.hiddenhearing.org for more information.

Brian Daly

 

 

 

 

By Brian Daly, Audiologist and

Manager at Hidden Hearing

Carlisle Road

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DanielBlogHidden Hearing, Ireland’s largest hearing healthcare provider today announced the launch a new hearing centre in Cavan town. The state of the art hearing centre will be officially opened by legendary singer, Daniel O’Donnell on Thursday 4th December at 11am. The new Hidden Hearing facility offers the best professional hearing care, help and advice in a supportive environment, and the latest digital technology to diagnose and treat hearing problems. To celebrate the official opening of the new Hidden Hearing Cavan branch and to promote better hearing health, Hidden Hearing is offering free one-to-one hearing assessments.

Jim Fulham, Senior Audiologist with Hidden Hearing Cavan said: “Hidden Hearing” has invested significantly to ensure that our branches have the very latest technology available worldwide and the facility here in Cavan compares positively with any other hearing healthcare centre across the world. Hearing loss is sometimes ignored by people and with one in six people in Ireland suffering from the condition it is a serious issue here. The most important thing is to take action on your hearing loss as soon as you notice a problem, because the longer you delay, the worse the problem will become.”

Daniel O’Donnell, who will be guest of honour at the event, said: “I’m delighted to officially launch this new Hidden Hearing centre and it’s fantastic that the people of Cavan will have access to the best hearing healthcare facilities.  My advice for people is that hearing loss is nothing to be embarrassed about. Don’t put off addressing your hearing loss, there’s no reason in the world for people to miss out on music, family events or other social activities because of hearing loss.”

 Visit the new Hidden Hearing branch at 19 Main Street, Cavan to make an appointment for a free one-to-one hearing consultation with a qualified audiologist.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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survey-resultsUpside: You, baby boomer parent, and your teenager may finally have something in common.

Downside: What you have in common may be noise-induced hearing loss from all those concerts you attended back in the day and for your teen from those earphones that never seem to leave their ears.

In the past, we’d listen through our boomboxes with speakers or even headphones that go on top of the ear that allow some of the sound to escape into the environment. But with earphones, we put them deep into our ear canal and the sound doesn’t escape, so it’s all redirected very close to the eardrum, and we tend to turn up the volume a little more. While there are portable music players equipped with volume limiters, the sound level from some devices can hit an ear-damaging 100-plus decibels,

Hearing loss associated with exposure to loud noise usually is something that crops up later in life, as the cumulative effects of decades of exposure to loud noises take their toll. But there are signs that noise-induced hearing loss is creeping down the age ladder and increasingly affecting people in their 30s, their 20s and even younger.

A survey by Hidden Hearing has found that almost a quarter of under 25 year olds in Ireland (24%) are putting their hearing at risk by listening to music at levels that cause long term harm. Conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes, the survey was carried out for Hearing Awareness Week 2014.

  • The survey also found that, when tested, the average noise level on respondents’ devices was 75 decibels.
  • In addition to this, over three quarters of those interviewed said that on average, they listen to music for over two hours per day.
  • Both statistics are in excess of the recommended 60/60 rule that researchers advise people to apply when using music devices.
  • 16% of those tested had noise levels on or above 85 decibels, which is known to cause long term harm to hearing.

Hidden Hearing’s Medical Advisor, Dr. Nina Byrnes explains: “Since the combination of volume and length of exposure can cause hearing loss, it is vital that people follow the 60/60 rule. A rest period for the ears is extremely important because it gives them time to recover and limits the potential for long term damage. The fact that 63% of those surveyed are unlikely to do this or are unaware of the need, is of great concern”.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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shingles-45759-1It may be hard to believe that a skin rash could lead to hearing problems, but it can happen to some people who have shingles near their ears.

The painful, blistering rash that typifies a case of shingles is not, in fact, the symptom of a skin infection. Shingles is a nervous system disease caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same one that causes chickenpox. The virus can lie dormant in the body’s nerve cells for years in those who’ve had chickenpox; when varicella zoster reactivates, it spreads down the nerves into the skin.

Hearing loss most often accompanies shingles when the rash forms on the head and face around the ear. About one-third of people who have the shingles rash and blisters near an ear will have a hearing problem due to the infection that can be temporary, permanent, or even result in deafness.

Symptoms of Shingles-Related Hearing Loss

Because shingles is a viral infection, there are various paths it can take to cause a problem hearing. The two most common are:

  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. This condition, also known as herpes zoster oticus, occurs when the varicella zoster virus spreads into the facial nerve near the inner ear. This causes nerve damage that affects your hearing.
  • Labyrinthitis. This term refers to infection and swelling in inner ear structures that affect balance as well as hearing. Shingles can cause labyrinthitis either through direct viral infection or by subsequent bacterial infection that occurs as the blisters crust over and begin to heal.

Ear shingles typically affect only one ear, the one surrounded by the rash. Symptoms include:

  • Decreased hearing or deafness
  • Intense and severe ear pain
  • Tinnitus, which is ringing or other strange noises in your ear
  • Vertigo, which creates the sensation of the room spinning around you
  • Nausea or vomiting

Patients with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome also might have other symptoms due to the nerve damage caused by the varicella zoster virus. These include partial facial paralysis, loss of taste sensation, and dry mouth and eyes.

Preventing Shingles-Releated Hearing Loss

The best way to prevent hearing loss due to shingles is to take measures to protect yourself against shingles in the first place. To lower your shingles risk:

  • Get the shingles vaccine. A new vaccine, Zostavax, has been shown to decrease risk of shingles by more than 50 percent. Pain, discomfort, and complications were reduced in those who did get shingles after being vaccinated.
  • Follow a healthful diet, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, and reduce stress. All these measures strengthen your immune system; when it is weakened, shingles is more likely to occur.
  • Have your children vaccinated against chickenpox, so they are not at risk for shingles later in life. While this won’t lower your personal risk, it does benefit your children; those who have never been infected with chickenpox cannot get shingles.

Receiving prompt treatment also can help prevent hearing problems. The best treatments include:

  • Antiviral medications. These attack the varicella zoster virus and prevent its spread. Antiviral drugs usually are taken for 7 to 10 days.
  • Corticosteroid therapy. This treatment can reduce the pain and swelling associated with shingles. Patients usually receive these powerful anti-inflammatories for three to five days.

You are more likely to recover from shingles if you begin receiving treatment within three days of your first symptoms. About 70 percent of those with shingles make a full recovery if they’re treated early. If you delay getting to the doctor, your chances of complete recovery fall to about 50 percent. In some cases, hearing loss will be permanent due to damage to nerves or to the structures of the inner ear, so don’t wait to seek medical attention.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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Grandparents-300x187Hearing loss may be more than just a quality-of-life issue. Growing evidence indicates that untreated hearing loss in older adults can lead to other health conditions, and one of the most concerning is cognitive decline.

A Johns Hopkins Study found that cognitive diminishment was 41 percent more likely in seniors with hearing loss. Because maintaining the health of the brain is such a priority for older people, hearing difficulties should not be ignored.

HEARING AND THE BRAIN

To hear well, the brain and ears work together. Sound is heard through the ears and then the brain translates the noise so you can understand what it is. This means you not only hear language, music and traffic, but you comprehend these are all different sounds with different meanings.

With untreated hearing loss, the signals to your brain are weaker, and therefore you have to think much harder to understand the noises around you. When the brain is using more cognitive resources to understand sounds, other brain activities like memory and comprehension can suffer, often causing cognitive decline.

EFFECTS OF UNTREATED HEARING LOSS

In addition to diminished mental health, untreated hearing loss can lead to numerous health conditions:
* Mental fatigue and stress
* Poor memory
* Concentration difficulty
* Social withdrawal
* Depression

Just like maintaining muscle mass or speaking a foreign language, hearing health should be approached with a “use it or lose it” mentality. Audiologists agree that early intervention is key because when the brain doesn’t hear certain noises for a long time, it can actually lose the ability to comprehend those sounds. For example, the longer the brain is deprived of hearing high-frequency sounds, the more difficult it will be to process those sounds, even if corrective measures are taken.

TAKING ACTION

If you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss, visit Hidden Hearing  for a free and simple online hearing test. For a complete evaluation of your hearing, your local clinic for professional care in your area. After a professional diagnosis, your audiologist can help you learn your options for hearing better, including modern, discreet hearing aids.

INVISIBLE HEARING AIDS

Many of today’s hearing aids cannot be seen, meaning no one but you will know you’re wearing one. For example, invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) are about the size of a jelly bean and are custom fit to your ear canal. Another option is the mini receiver-in-canal (RIC) device, which resembles the shape of a traditional hearing aid but is half the size. The mini RIC hides behind a person’s ear, making it nearly invisible.

Even though the size of today’s hearing aids has dramatically decreased, wearers enjoy high performance and power, including many smart features. For example, some hearing aids are engineered to work with your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, so video chat, phone calls, music and more stream directly into your hearing aids without creating any background buzzing or whistling.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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headaches-migraines-treatment-corkhypnosisclinicDo you find you have ringing, hissing or roaring sounds in your ears or head that no one else can hear?

The medical name for this is tinnitus. It comes from the Latin word ‘tinnire’, which means ‘to ring’.

A common myth is that there’s nothing you can do about tinnitus. The truth is, there are many therapies and products to help you manage the condition. If you’re looking for the latest discussions about tinnitus visit Tinnitus Forums, where you’ll find a great online community full of information and advice.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a medical term to describe the perception of noise either in one ear, both ears or in the head, when there is no corresponding external sound.

I think I have tinnitus

If you think you have tinnitus, the first step is to see your GP. This is crucial because your tinnitus may be caused by a temporary condition that your GP can treat.

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

There is currently no single treatment for tinnitus that works in the same way for everyone, and research to find a cure is ongoing.

How can I manage my tinnitus?

There are many different therapies and products to help you manage your tinnitus so that it has little or no impact on your life.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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Study Shows Poor Hearing May Cause False-Positive Results on Cognitive Tests

Study Shows Poor Hearing May Cause False-Positive Results on Cognitive Tests

Why do today’s baby boomers, one of the healthiest and most vibrant demographics in history, fail to recognize their hearing loss and neglect the frustration from loved ones and co-workers that are forced to live with their loss?

5 STEPS TO HEARING BETTER

  • One must first acknowledge their hearing loss
  • Make a personal choice to achieve better hearing with a good attitude
  • Get a hearing test and understand your hearing loss and potential health impacts
  • Establish realistic expectations
  • Practice, time and patience with your new hearing aids, and you will soon enjoy what you can now hear again

Usually steps one and two come after several years of frustration by those around us and what had become an automatic “what” response numerous times a day. Then we make a decision to move to step three and the intriguing education of how most of us consistently ignore one of the five senses our brain uses every day to fully function. Once we fully understood the potential health issues as well as what the audiogram tells us about  hearing loss, the remaining steps became much easier.

One persons story.

“As an active 58-year-old, I wanted to stay that way and not allow my brain to be deprived of better hearing. For me, I was pleasantly surprised from the initial expectation I had regarding hearing aids. The technical capability and clarity was like normal hearing. The size and lightness of the hearing aid was a surprise as well”. “While dieting and exercising help our bodies stay in shape, addressing your hearing loss will help your mind to stay in shape”.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

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As part of Deaf Awareness Week (19–25 May), Northamptonshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is reminding anyone who is deaf and hard of hearing to ensure they have effective smoke alarms in place.fire-alarm-764514

Wide range of smoke alarms
An estimated one million adults in the UK are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm because of hearing difficulties or removal of their hearing aid at night so it’s important that anyone who has hearing loss have the right smoke alarms fitted and tested in their homes.

A whole range of alarms have been designed specifically for the hard of hearing, with features ranging from strobe lighting and vibrating alarms to small wearable radio linked pagers. These specialist alarms can save lives, alerting people to a fire in their home even if they remove their hearing aid at night.

Residents should look for British Standard BS5446-3:2005 (which was amended in 2007) which details the specification for smoke alarm kits for deaf and hard of hearing people. Products made to this standard give deaf people assurance of quality smoke alarms designed to meet their needs.

Baz Fox, Community Protection Manager says, “It is vital that people who are deaf or hard of hearing ensure they have the right smoke alarm technology in their home to protect them – and that they test them regularly, to make sure they work!

“Many people with hearing loss could be at serious risk if they don’t have the right alarm in place. A specialist alarm system provides valuable time to escape from a house blaze. Without it, lives could be lost.

“Anyone unsure about the alarm they need should contact Fire and Rescue Service for a Home Fire Safety Check. We are here to help make sure your home is as fire safe as possible.”

Home fire safety checks
Home fire safety checks offer people the opportunity to get invaluable advice from their local fire and rescue service about planning escape routes, positioning alarms and ensuring that the correct, working smoke alarm is fitted in your home.

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

 

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imagesSummer is here although looking outside you wouldn’t realise it!! Many people look forward to Summer activities, sunny days, swimming, hiking, and traveling.

Wearing hearing aids shouldn’t keep you from enjoying yourself, but it is important to remember exposure to high heat can damage their outer casings and interior components. Therefore, whether you plan to spend your days basking in the sun by the beach or pool, or visiting exotic destinations, you should prepare to keep your hearing aids safe and functioning. Here are three “don’ts” and one “do” for protecting your hearing aids from excessive heat:

* Don’t leave hearing aids lying out in direct sunlight

* Don’t leave hearing aids locked in a glove box or sitting on the dashboard

* Don’t wear hearing aids into tanning booths or under a sunlamp

* Do store hearing aid batteries in a cool, dry place

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

 

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130218_N1_234Hidden Hearing, Northern Ireland’s premier hearing healthcare provider celebrates its 8th birthday in Portadown this May.  Since it opened the branch at 8 Mandville Street, Portadown, Craigavon BT62 3NZ it has been offering customers the best in professional hearing care, help and advice.

To mark the occasion and to promote better hearing health, Hidden Hearing is offering free one-to-one hearing assessments.  The modern test facilities at are staffed with highly qualified audiologists and offer the latest digital technology to diagnose and treat hearing problems in a supportive environment.

Richard Baxter, Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist at the Portadown Hidden Hearing branch said: ‘We’re delighted to be celebrating eight successful years at the branch and have remained committed to improving hearing healthcare in Portadown.  To mark this milestone we’re providing free hearing consultations for anybody who is in need of assistance.  We take pride in offering world-class hearing healthcare services and life-long support for our patients. Over the years, technological advancements have seen hearing aids get significantly smaller so while people tend to notice hearing loss they don’t notice hearing aids.’

Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare provider in Northern Ireland to offer customers free no obligation hearing screenings, free wax removal, a 90 day money back guarantee, a five year warranty and free batteries and service for life.

Visit Richard at Hidden Hearing, 8 Mandeville Street, Portadown, Craigavon, BT62 3NZ or call 02838350138 to make an appointment for a free one-to-one hearing consultation  www.hiddenhearing.org

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