Game-Changing Technologies For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing


In an article a couple of years ago 4 Game-Changing Technologies For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing, four technologies were discussed, where are they now? We were talking to a lady named Jennifer Scott about a couple of article recently and we decided to follow up on them. In this article we decided to look at what happened to 4 technologies that were feted in 2015 as game changing possibilities

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Signia introduces new Made For iPhone Hearing Aids


Signia has introduced it's own Made For iPhone hearing aid for the first time, they are calling the concept the Connected Ear. Meet the Pure BT 13 Primax

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Buying Hearing Aids Online, What Do You Need To Know?


In the recent past we have written two articles about a new company who were selling hearing aids on ebay. They have now set up an e-commerce website to sell hearing aids from the big hearing aid brands online. So we thought it was high time we wrote another article on what you need to know when making a purchase of any hearing aid online.

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The Latest Hearing Aids For 2017 Part Three


Yup you guessed it, part three of a a continuing look at what is available new for 2017

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The Latest Hearing Aids For 2017 Part Two


Page Two of our series on the latest hearing aids available from the big manufacturers for 2017

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The Latest Hearing Aids For 2017


2017 has already seen the introduction of new hearing aids from both Phonak, Unitron and Oticon, we expect GN Resound to deliver something new at the end of April. Let's take a look at what is available for 2017

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New Online Hearing Aid Sales Site Launched in The UK


We spoke earlier about the strange case of new top of the range hearing aids being sold on ebay. Well apparently, that was in essence a market research trial. The people behind the ebay sales have just launched a new e-commerce website, where they say you can buy hearing aids online at wholesale prices. The question I think is should you? Let's take a looka t the site and what it offers.

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Buying hearing aids on ebay, good idea? We think you should read this


Recently we had a reader ask us what we thought about online sale of hearing aids? It's a large question really and to answer we need to be more specific. But actually what he was talking about was the sale of high quality hearing aids at exceptional prices on ebay.

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Changing your wax guards on Oticon hearing aids part two


The second part of the changing Oticon wax filters post, when and how to change Receiver In The Ear Hearing aid Wax Guards

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How and when should you change your wax guards on Oticon hearing aids


One of the things I often get asked is when and how should wax guards be changed. The answer, like much in life, isn't simple. In this first of a series of posts I want to look at how and when to change wax guards on Oticon hearing aids. I will also explain which wax guards are suitable for which Oticon hearing aids.

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So, what are the pros and cons of rechargeable hearing aids?


Rechargeable heaering aids really seem to have reached their zenith of popularity lately, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. The modern wave of rechargeable hearing aids have a lot going for them, but there are essentially two different types available. What are the pros and cons of rechargeable hearing aids. Let's explore them in detail.

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Invisible Hearing Aids, What's Available in 2017?


Invisible hearing aids are probably never going to go away, they remain exceptionally popular in the minds of first time users in particular. The idea of discretion is often paramount in the minds of people when first thinking about hearing aids. Many hearing aid brands call them different things, invisible hearing aids, IICs, Nano and more, but to the public they will probably always be hidden hearing aids.

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New Phonak Bolero Rechargeable Hearing Aids Launched


I said a while ago that I thought Lithium-ion rechargeable Behind The Ear Devices were soon to be introduced and Phonak have proved me right with the introduction of their latest Bolero range. An announcement yesterday indicated that the ne Bolero Belong range would have a rechargeable option called the Bolero P-R

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Sonova Announces new rechargeable and new custom aid


Sonova announces new rechargeable hearing aid from Unitron and a new custom Virto product, the Virto B-Titanium.

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Do Hearing Aids Cause Itchy Ears?


I have had a few people lately ask me about hearing aids and itchy ears, does wearing hearing aids cause itchy ears? As is the case in life, nothing is simple, the answer is yes, no and maybe. Let me explain.

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I can't hear the TV, Do I Need Hearing Aids? Maybe Not


It is a problem that we hear a lot, I have problems hearing the TV and my family complain about the volume all the time. Do I need hearing aids? Sometimes the answer is no, in fact sometimes even if you have a hearing loss, the answer may still be no. Let me explain.

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Self Fitting Hearing Aids, Will Signia Offer Them First?


Over The Counter hearing aids are big news lately and I spoke about them in an article recently. I wondered would traditional manufacturers offer OTC or self fitting hearing aids? Signia have introduced a new platform aimed at developing markets called the Lotus. In essence the tech is there for self fitting, I wonder will Signia be the first to offer OTC hearing aids?

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Unitron has introduced a rechargeable hearing aid option


Unitron in typical Unitron style have not only delivered a rechargeable hearing aid option, they have made it backward compatible. Meet the Moxi Fit R, from the company that focuses on user experience, even users that have bought their product before.

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We have a new, updated hearing aid buying guide for 2017


I decided to update the Little Book of Hearing Aids for 2017, while I was doing it, I thought why not make it the definitive hearing aid guide. So I have expanded it beyond the scope of the original with sections about providers, hearing aid prices, hearing aid manufacturers and much more. Thank you to the people who keep asking us questions, you are our inspiration.

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What's New For Rechargeable Hearing Aids in 2017?


I think the one of the biggest hearing aid product storys of last year was lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids. I said in an article last year that I would expect every hearing aid brand to introduce them. It seems I may have been right, so what can you expect for rechargeable hearing aids in 2017?

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Common words that are difficult to understand with hearing loss


Hearing loss can be difficult to recognise for the person who suffers it, however, there are common words that become difficult to understand. In this our second guest post, Andrew Lekashman of ClearValue Hearing outlines what they are and why they can be problematic.

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Are We Listening Our Way To Deafness?


Are we doing too much damage to our ears by overusing earphones? From daily use at the gym, to hours spent on gaming, we discover some interesting facts on how earphones can play their part in ear damage.

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3 New year resolutions for you and all hearing aid wearers


It's the 11th January, which means if you are anything like me you've probably given up on your New Year's resolutions about nine days ago. Even so, here's a few New Year's resolutions for hearing aid wearers to help you get the most from your hearing and hearing aids in 2017.

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Norwegian Start Up Raises Further Funds To Launch Hearing Helper App


A Norwegian start up is the latest company set to bring a smart phone based hearing aid app to the market, they have just raised more funding and expect their offering to become a reality in the New Year. They well be attending CES looking for possible partners to drive the product and perhaps manufacture new hardware that they plan to introduce.

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What will over the counter hearing aids mean to consumers?


Recent moves in the US seem to indicate that over the counter hearing aids will become legal there in the near future. The idea is that it will lead to low cost solutions for the bulk of Americans who need hearing aids but don't have them. That may well be the case if price is the true impediment to hearing aid adoption, but what will the introduction of these devices really mean to consumers? Will it lead to deeper adoption, what will the satisfaction rates be like and what can consumers expect their experience to be?

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Signia Silk, Instant Fit CIC Hearing Aids


Signia has re-introduced the instant fit CIC hearing aid range, it is almost invisible and can be fitted at the first visit with no waiting and no impression taking. Instant fit CICs have been around for a while and never really caught on, the silk may be the one that catches the imagination of professionals and userss alike.

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Is this the best Made For iPhone HearingAid Ever?


I had a good conversation recently with someone from Widex and I realised something important. Because Widex is using a separate radio for streaming and connection to the smart phone, it still has all of it's inter ear features working even when streaming. That could actually be important, depending on the situation and the sound being streamed. It made me wonder about the other manufacturers and what their hearing aids were doing.

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Bose Introduces Ear Phones With Hearing Aid Capabilities


Bose has introduced a new product they are calling Hearphones, they are ear phones with hearing aid capabilities. Using directional microphone technology they can focus on speech to the front , allowing the user a better chance to understand conversation in noisy situations. The product has it's own smartphone app which gives user control over how the product is working, interestingly enough, Bose have recently advertised for a research Audiologist to work with their R&D team. Is Bose testing the water for a possible entry into the hearing aid market?

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Why I use subtitles even though I can still hear


Yes, I can still hear, but I don't hear like most people do, it is not something that is easy and happens passively, I have a severe hearing loss so listening and understanding conversations is hard work, it is effort.

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New Study Shows Chemo Related Hearing Loss Can Be Prevented


A study undertaken in Children's Hospital Los Angeles and 37 other Children's Oncology Group hospitals in the U.S. and Canada has shown that hearing loss related to the use of Cisplatin in chemotherapy can be be prevented. The compound used cut the incidence of hearing loss by as much as 50% in the study.

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Hopi Ear Candles, Do They Work?


Ear candling seems to be pretty popular and there are a lot of people who swear by it. But do hopi ear candles actually work, is there any scientific basis and what is the experience of people who have undertaken it? Let's talk about hopi ear candling.

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Free Trial or Money Back on hearing aids. What's the Difference?


I had a great question from one of our readers in the UK recently about the differences between free trial and money back guarantees. You know, I thought it was a good idea for an article. So here goes, let's talk about free trials and money back offers.

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A new drug to treat sudden hearing loss shows promise


A new drug from French biotech firm Sensorion has shown promise in early animal trials as a treatment for sudden hearing loss. In a proof-of-concept study, animals were exposed to a 120 dB noise level for two hours, then randomly treated over 14 consecutive days with either a placebo or increasing doses (5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg) of SENS-401. Following 14 days of treatment, the residual hearing loss was dramatically lower in the group treated with SENS-401.

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A recent hearing loss video hopes to move people to action


I came across a recent video from Duracell designed to motivate people with hearing loss to do something about it. It is an outstanding effort, some people may feel that it lays it on a bit thick, but I really think it hit the right notes. I also think it is a relatively accurate commentary on the difficulties that untreated hearing loss raise. And no matter what my wife says, I did not well up!

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Breakthrough may lead to cure for sensorineural hearing loss


Japanese researchers have discovered a process to turn stem sells into cochlear cells (cells in the inner ear). While their focus is on correcting a certain type of congenital hearing loss, the ability to manufacture replacement cochlear cells could have far reaching benefits for any type of sensorineural hearing loss. A cure may be as little as five to ten years away for hearing loss.

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Is the future self fitting hearing aids?


A recent small scale study undertaken in Australia has shown some interesting results around self fitting of hearing aids. Although the study was probably too small to make wider judgements it does seem to add weight to the idea of self fitting of hearing aids as a viable alternative. As with all things though there are caveats

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Google's DeepMind and Oxford working on a lip-reading system


Google’s DeepMind and the University of Oxford are working on a lip-reading system powered by artificial intelligence. The system is already scoring better than professional lip readers and could have uses in a host of consumer electronics for the hard of hearing. It is another possible step forward in ensuring the communication ability of people with hearing loss and may work in tandem with traditional amplification strategies.

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Is 2017 the year for fuel cell powered hearing aids?


Rechargeable hearing aids are most definitely the big news right now, however, there is another break through technology that could change things forever. A technology that has been hanging around in the background since 2009. It looks like things might be speeding up with it though, is 2017 going to be the year of Fuel Cell powered hearing aids?

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It seems that Starkey will introduce rechargeable hearing aids


In recent news it seems that Starkey will definitely be introducing rechargeable hearing aids, however, it seems their partnership with Humavox might mean that they will introduce the most advanced rechargeable system yet with near field charging capability.

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Signia introduces Lithium-ion Rechargeable Hearing Aids


It looks like rechargeable hearing aids are going to be one of the bigger storys in 2016, Signia have also introduced a rechargeable hearing aid range using a Lithium-ion rechargeable system. Their capacity seems to be a little bigger then the Phonak B-R as they say that the devices will deliver 24 hours of use with unlimited streaming.

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Sivantos Introduces Groundbreaking Hearing Aid Tele-Health Care App


Sivantos, formerly Siemens, now the Artist who is called Signia (confused? don't worry we will explain) has just introduced a groundbreaking telehealth innovation that will help to change the hearing aid user's experience for ever. The app will allow direct comunication between the user and the professional and remote fine tuning of hearing aids. It is an amazing step forward and hopefully it will drive other manufacturers to follow.

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Widex introduce a Made For iPhone Hearing Aid At EUHA


Widex have finally joined the Made For iPhone hearing aid market with the launch of their newest device the Beyond. They have retained the their outstanding Widex Link technology while adding a direct to iPhone radio which allows streaing and phone calls without intermediary devices. The new Beyond hearing aid is a Fusion type hearing device that is powered by their latest Unique technology.

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Rechargeable hearing aids proving very popular


The popularity of the Belong B-R rechargeable range has caught Phonak by surprise, so much so that they are scrambling to keep up with demand. We think Phonak have a winner on their hands with the new rechargeable RICs, but what could it mean for the wider hearing aid industry and the future of hearing aids?

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One of our associates has introduced a new initiative for UK Veterans


Hear4U in Leicester has launched a new initiative they are calling UK Veterans Hearing Help, they have decided to recognise the service of UK Veterans of HM Armed Forces. They are offering the very best hearing aid technology available at dramatically reduced costs to UK Veterans and they hope to make the service a national one.

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Com Dex Remote Mic, Finally Widex To Intro Remote Mic


We came aacross a video recently that indicates that Widex are finally about to introduce a remote microphone. It appears the Com Dex Remote MIc will be introduced shortly, if a new video on Youtube is anything to go by.

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A poem about hearing loss


I'm getting annoyed with my ears 'cos they don't hear properly.......

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New hearing aid tech and what it means for you


We were introduced to Patient Insights from Unitron, a new hearing aid technology that is designed to work with their hearing aids. We think it is important that you understand it and the difference it could make to your experience with hearing aids. We are impressed and the possibilities for the future are staggering, let's talk about Patient Insights.

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The Most Powerful Invisible Hearing Aid 2016


Our readers like to keep us on our toes here, recently we were asked which is the most powerful invisible hearing aid available? You know, we didn't know, so after much research, here is what we found out, the most powerful invisible hearing aid is

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Unitron introduces smallest ever wireless RIC hearing aid


Unitron has just introduced their latest addition to the Moxi RIC range, they calll it the Now, it is the smallest ever wireless RIC hearing device. While it is a tiny hearing aid, it is a really powerful one, so if a RIC is what you are after that is discrete but powerful, then the Now might just be the one for you

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Hearing aids of the future, what's possible?


Hearing aids just like the times are a changing, we have seen a flurry of new directions in the very recent past from some of the big manufacturers. Many of the innovations have been influenced by other industries and other technologies. Hearables burst on to the scene a couple of years ago, a completely new product concept they have nevertheless become hugely popular. While they are not hearing aids per se, many of them have the capability of providing amplification. Their focus though up to now has been different, it is all about altered reality, connection and fitness. I believe that innovations within the hearable space will cross over to the hearing aid world. In fact I think it makes sense for both the manufacturers and the users for this to happen. I think the future of hearing aids is going to be a very interesting one, let me explain,

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Don't buy a hearing aid until you read this


When deciding on a hearing aid that is suitable for you and your needs you really need to understand the options you have. Hearing aid features and technology levels can be confusing, there are many features with strange and exotic names from all manufacturers, but what exactly do they do? We set out to explain them clearly, allowing you to understand what the differences are between tech levels, what the hearing aid types are and wht the features actually do.

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New Tech Helps With Best Hearing Aid Choice For You


Unitron have introduced a fantastic new technology called Log It All, it will help you choose the very best hearing aid technology for you, based on real world and real time experiences. We really think that this technology allows you to become truly involved in the process of choosing a hearing solution. It makes you a collaborator, as opposed to an idle participant.

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Earwax Removal? Use That Oil, Please!


If you are going to have earwax removed you will need to use an oil in your ears for a couple of days beforehand. It makes it an easier procedure for everyone involved. I was reminded of that this week when I was undertaking earwax removal on a couple of people.

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Denial of hearing loss effects is common, but not good


Lately I have returned to Practice, it seemed like a good thing to do because I have really missed dealing with people and playing with the latest technology. One of the things that has struck me is that denial of a hearing loss is still a common factor that needs to be overcome. I don't know why I thought it would have gone away, but I was surprised to find it was still a large factor. My own thinking around the subject is pretty simple, if I have a hearing loss I need to get it treated. However, I now realise that I am still one of a small few that think that way.

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Some great advice on earwax removal at home from Glasgow


Thinking about using an internet kit to remove earwax at home? Well then you need to read this article from Greg Clements of Clement Hearing in Glasgow, good advice on why it is not a great idea. If you are determined, he gives good advice on why you really need to be gentle and careful. You like your eardrums right?

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Untreated Hearing Loss Causes Dementia! Nope, Not Quite


We have all by now read the lurid headlines in relation to the ongoing research into untreated hearing loss and its apparent link to neuro cognitve disorders like Dementia. Headlines like the one above are likely to strike fear into people. But hey, that is what sells Newspapers, let's take a closer look at the evidence.

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Changing your hearing aid battery in public


Are you comfortable with taking your hearing aid out, changing the battery and putting it back in when there are other people about? Gael Hannan asked this question in her HHTM column and it got me thinking.

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Unitron Introduces The RIC Killer!


As you may well know, we aren't mad about RICs here at Hearing Aid Know, don't get us wrong, they are fantastic devices that offer real discretion even for moderate to severe losses. However, the placement of the receiver in the canal introduces its own problems, failed receivers or broken wires. In short, RIC devices need consistent care to ensure they continue to work, care that a lot of people don't actually give them. Thin tube BTEs however, don't need so much effort and keep on keeping on. Unitron have just released the Stride M BTE and it might just be a RIC killer, all the size and discretion of a RIC delivered in a mini BTE. Not just that, it even has a telecoil!

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IIC, Invisible, Hidden, The Best Invisible Hearing Aids


Sometimes I giggle, I know I shouldn't but it strikes me as so incongrous, the questions are always about the little ones, you know the invisible ones in your ear? Honestly sometimes I imagine it is like buying a top shelf magazine in a 70s newsagent, yes, you know that one, I only read it for the articles! Anyway, enough about reminiscing about the un-needed embarrassment felt by some, let's talk about invisible hearing aids.

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Widex introduces new Unique Fashion Mini


Widex is introducing a new Mini BTE which will be the replacement for their iconic M, not before time either. The new device is almost as discreet as the M was but with some nice new additions and two new easywear earware thin tube configurations.

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So what exactly is smart hearing?


The phrase Smart Hearing has been coined over the last few years. It usually relates to GN Resound hearing aids, specifically the Made For iPhone devices. However, the term can cover many of the most modern hearing aids available from the biggest manufacturers. For the purpose of this article though, we will really concentrate on the Resound hearing aids.

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Phonak Launch Naida V Solutions For Severe To Profound Hearing Loss


The latest Naida V hearing aid range was introduced at a launch event held in Dublin last Thursday. The range includes new styles that are considerably smaller and more powerful than their Naida Q predecessors. The launch was attended by Matt Gilbert (the only professional deaf sportsman in English Rugby) who discussed his experiences with Naida hearing aids.

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Tinnitracks application helps to relieve your tinnitus


Tinnitracks helps to relieve your tinnitus by playing specially crafted music to you. The music is modified to suit your specific tinnitus and is backed by scientific research.

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The latest & Best Hearing Aids 2016


Let's take a look at what is new in hearing aids for 2016 from each of the manufacturers, most of the technology was launched late last year but there has been some stuff launched this year and we expect some of the manufacturers to launch new devices this year. For instance, Phonak is just about to launch a new super power hearing aid to replace the Naida Quest. Outside the traditional hearing device manufacturers there is still rumours about Samsung and Apple launching hearing devices of their own.

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Phonak CROS 2, Single Sided Deafness Solution


Phonak have just released their updated CROS solution, the CROS 2. The new products are based on the Venture platform and the CROS 2 is actually a range of hearing aids that includes custom ITE hearing devices for the first time. The devices can be used with any Ventur platform hearing aid or technology level, however, for the best results it makes sense to match them with a V90 or V70 technology level hearing aid.

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The Phonak Audeo V 10 Hearing Aid Model


The Audeo V 10 is the smallest of the Audeo Venture hearing aid range, it is a RIC device that runs on a size 10 battery. It can be fitted with two receiver types which make it quite versatile and gives it the ability to cover many hearing losses. Even with its small size it has a push button which allows manual programme changes. The devices also have Phonak's fantastic phone solution.

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Widex Unique 440 Success in Leicester


Success is something to be savoured, and we love good news storys, so we thought we would share the success of one of our partners in Leicester. They fitted a customer with hearing aids from the Widex Unique 440 range and he gave them a great review. He also spoke about the wirless accessories and the difference they made.

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Hearing Aid Types, The Widex Fusion


Widex introduced the Fusion RIC (Receiver in Canal) hearing aid a couple of years ago. It is a truly versatile hearing aid with inter changeable receivers that allows it to cover a lot of hearing losses, let's take a closer look at the device.

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A new form of ear cleaning, endoscopic earwax removal


A new form of ear cleaning is being introduced across the UK & Ireland, Independent premium Practices are introducing endoscopic earwax removal. Two of our partners have introduced the procedure and the say that it is the safest method of earwax removal they have ever experienced. Let's take a look at it and give you the feedback from our partners.

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Let's talk about the Widex Fashion Hearing Aids


Widex introduced the Fashion a couple of years ago, it has replaced the 19, the 9 and the M hearing aid types in their line up. A truly versatile hearing aid that covers a lot of hearing losses, let's take a closer look at it.

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Young brains compensate for hearing loss more than older ones


People who lose the ability to see or hear often gain increased ability in their remaining senses - their brain compensates for the loss of one sense by enhancing others. Research has shown that younger brains are far better at compensating for a lost sense than older brains are.

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Which? survey concludes that independent practices are the best hearing aid pro


400 Which? Members who had bought a hearing aid in the past 3 years were recently surveyed to find out about their hearing aid buying experiences in the UK. Results were based on a survey conducted between 28th March and 8th April 2014 of 407 Which? Connect members who had bought a hearing aid within the previous 3 years. 80 local independent retailers along with 255 national retailers made up the sample.

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hear4u visit for Phonak Bolero V90 fitting


I’ve decided it is time to get rid of my NHS-supplied hearing aids and get a serious upgrade. I’ve been wearing the NHS aids for about two years now and whilst they did a pretty good job for me for a while, I’ve been really struggling to hear at work recently. My ability to hear conversation has been gradually getting worse for a while but it has taken me a long time to realise just how bad it has got.

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Samsung to enter hearing aid market


Samsung look set to enter the hearing aid industry, they will probably unveil a new hearing aid in 2016 and it will almost certainly tie in with a release of their Galaxy smartphones. Samsung are creating quite a stir in the industry, with lots of speculation about their pending products. They have filed a number of hearing-related patents in the US, which got tongues wagging. They had a number of people attending International Hearing Aid

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Jacoti Hearing Suite Named as CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree


Jacoti bvba today announced that it has been named a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree for Jacoti Hearing Suite. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 27 product categories.

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Website accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing


“How many times have you been asked this question: if you had to choose, which would you prefer to be: deaf or blind? The question illustrates the misconception that deafness is in some way the opposite of blindness — as though there’s some sort of binary representation of disability. When we look at accessible Website design for the deaf, it’s not surprising to see it addressed in a similar fashion to accessibility for the blind.

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Looking for a hearing aid in Cork, Munster or Leinster?


Are you in Cork, Munster or Leinster and looking for a hearing aid? If you are, I highly recommend you check out Audiology Medical Services, they are a family-run independent practice offering the latest in hearing aid technology and a great service as well. Charles Lewis and his family have been working in audiology for over 43 years and draw upon that experience to give great advice and help to locals looking for hearing aids, tinnitus

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Completing a Degree in Communicative Disorders, Deaf Education, or Audiology


If you have a passion for helping people to communicate effectively but are unsure about which field of study to pursue, you might consider studying communicative disorders, deaf education, or audiology. By becoming an expert in any of these areas, you will facilitate expression and understanding between people who would otherwise have difficulty communicating. Furthermore, you will enjoy the opportunity to learn about deaf culture.

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Walgreens now sell hearing aids in select stores


Walgreens have partnered with Connect Hearing to sell hearing aids in a small number of Walgreens stores as a trial to see if dispensing from big-brand pharmacies is a viable business model. Connect Hearing is owned by Sonova, the Swiss hearing aid manufacturer, which owns the Phonak and Unitron hearing aid brands. In response to a HearingHealthMatters articles about this partnership, Sonova’s Michael Issac confirmed that Walgreens stores in

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TIME magazine rates audiologist as best job in America


TIME magazine have been comparing jobs across America. They’ve looked at growth within an industry, stress-levels of workers and average incomes to determine the best and worst jobs. Being an audiologist came out top! As it turns out, audiologists, medical professionals who treat hearing and balance problems, don’t have it so bad. BLS projects the profession is expected to experience a 34% boost in jobs between 2012 and 2022. The median salary

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Review of buying an ITE hearing aid online from Hearing Direct


Hearing Direct are a Web-based company that provide hearing aids, amplified telephones and other products through their website. My Mum was not happy with her NHS-supplied behind-the-ear hearing aids so we decided to get a pair of in-the-ear aids from Hearing Direct. This is a review of the aids and a round-up of Mum’s experience of buying online. Mum has been wearing a pair of Oticon Spirits supplied by the NHS for a few years. She had two

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Taxi-cab company Uber make changes to support their deaf and hard of hearing us


Uber is a technology startup that is making waves in the taxi-cab business – their Apple/Android app allows anyone to call a cab to their location, see how much the ride will cost and track pick-up and drop-off times. Uber are currently testing an update to their app that contains features for their deaf and hard of hearing drivers: – When a customer requests a pick-up, the drivers app will alert them to the request with a flashing light as well

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Audiogram Creator now supports bone conduction, air masked and bone masked mark


Audiogram Creator is a free tool that lets you record hearing test results, save them for viewing later and download them as an image to your computer, smartphone or tablet. I have released a new version of Audiogram Creator with the following features: – You can now record results for the following tests: air conduction, bone conduction, masked air conduction and masked bone conduction using the industry-standard symbols.

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Amplifon urges greater understanding of diabetes and hearing loss link during D


A new study promoted by hearing specialist Amplifon has revealed that diabetes and hearing loss may share an often ignored link. The Consensus Paper “Hearing and Diabetes”, promoted by Amplifon, puts in evidence studies in which type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers were discovered to be 2.15 times more likely to have a hearing impairment than the matched control group. Diabetes patients seem to be more susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss

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Forecasted sales of hearing amplifiers set to reach $78.2m by 2022


According to California-based Grand View Research, Inc. the hearing amplifiers market is expected to reach $78.2 million by 2022. The market research and consulting group published a report in June on the global hearing amplifiers market by product. The total market value of the sector was $54.3 million in 2014 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from 2015 to 2022, to reach this projected performance.

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Expecting people to understand hearing loss is a fool’s errand


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HearingTracker.com – find better hearing aids and better hearing providers


When buying hearing aids there are two things you need to get right: find the right hearing aid at the right price and find the right person to fit it for you. hearingtracker.com helps you with both, it’s a website that contains a long list of hearing providers and hearing aids, with patient reviews of both. Hearing Tracker was founded by Dr. Abram Bailey, a registered audiologist, to help bring information and data to patients that helps us to

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The Sign Language Interpreter of the Rappers


On an overcast Chicago afternoon in August 2013, hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar sauntered out onto Lollapalooza’s Bud Light stage. As thousands of twenty-somethings roared with approval, he grabbed a gold-plated mic and cut straight into the intro of “Backseat Freestyle:”Martin had a dream / Martin had a dream / Kendrick have a dream… Just off to the side of the stage, on a raised platform, 36-year-old Amber Galloway Gallego thrust her hands in

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How the New Apple Watch Works in Conjunction with Hearing Aids


Disability rights groups have long been praising Apple for its dedication to developing accessible technology for people with visual and hearing impairments. Many people with these impairments have even gone as far as saying that iOS devices have dramatically changed their lives for the better. Apple’s newest device, the Apple watch, is the latest device to hit the headlines for its fantastic accessibility features, particularly for those with

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Human gene therapy trials for hearing loss have started


Researchers in America have started a clinical trial to test a ground breaking gene therapy which aims to treat hearing loss by restoring sound detecting cells that have been damaged by trauma to the inner ear. Novartis, a Swiss drug company, is collaborating with University of Kansas Medical Center to run trials on human volunteers with hearing loss. As far as I know, this is the world’s first gene therapy trial for hearing loss.

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Overheard on Twitter


People will often tweet about things they’ve overheard in a bar, on a train or wherever – a good one I spotted in my Twitter feed today: Overheard Muggle conversation: “I wasn’t that drunk.” “Dude, you were hugging an old man with a beard, screaming ‘Dumbledore you’re alive!'” — Proffessor Snape (@ProfSnapeSev) March 21, 2015 Sometimes I feel like I need a reminder that most other people are hearing way more than I am, when you can’t overhear a

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An App that lets you converse with the deaf, no sign language necessary


Transcense is a new app that accurately translates conversations in real time so the deaf and hard of hearing can participate in meetings, presentations and conversations. To put that another way: this app wants to provide real-time subtitles/captions where the captions are showing words from any number of people in a group. Founders Thibault Duchemin, Pieter Doevendans and Skinner Cheng say one-on-one conversations are easy for the deaf. Either

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The awesome power of sound


This is copied from a Reddit post by kerrigan7782 – normally I would just link to external sites but I don’t know if Reddit posts are deleted after a certain amount of time. The text is about the sound being emitted during the take-off of a space rocket. The Saturn V itself, (and all large rockets nowadays) are so loud that they will kill themselves from volume alone. NASA must employ a Sound Suppression System that dumps enormous quantities of

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The sound so loud that it circled the earth four times


On 27 August 1883, the Earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since. It was 10:02 AM local time when the sound emerged from the island of Krakatoa, which sits between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It was heard 1,300 miles away in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (“extraordinary sounds were heard, as of guns firing”); 2,000 miles away in New Guinea and Western Australia (“a series of loud reports, resembling those of artillery in a

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A sound you can’t unhear: why our hearing is mostly controlled by our own expec


Just listen to this radio clip. It’s only takes 50 seconds for the Franklin Institute’s chief bioscientist, Jayatri Das, to demonstrate something fundamental about your brain. She starts with a clip that’s been digitally altered to sound like jibberish. On first listen, to my ears, it was entirely meaningless. Next, Das plays the original, unaltered clip: a woman’s voice saying, “The Constitution Center is at the next stop.” Then we hear the

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Could chickens cure deafness? Study reveals birds regrow damaged hearing cells


The ability to discern pitch and to hear the difference between similar-sounding words relies on specialised cells within the inner ear, which can be damaged. For the first time, scientists have discovered what controls the cells’ development and pattering. They studied the development of these cells in chickens, which unlike humans, have the capacity to regrow sound-detecting cells after suffering hearing loss.

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Audiology Engine: Driving Your Hearing Healthcare Practice Success


I am excited to announce that I’ve been working with Geoffrey Cooling on a new product and service for audiology practices and hearing healthcare providers. Audiology Engine provides an easy-to-use Website Builder for practice websites and all the surrounding services that are needed to ensure that your website, and your practice, is a success. Geoffrey is an industry veteran who has worked as a hearing aid dispenser and more recently as a Sales

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A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What’s Causing It


Dr. Glen MacPherson doesn’t remember the first time he heard the sound. It may have started at the beginning of 2012, a dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street from his house in the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A lecturer at the University of British Columbia and high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, months passed before MacPherson realized that the noise, which he’d previously dismissed

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The technology that might be powering your next hearing aid (and making it cost


On Semiconductor have released two new DSPs, with the aim of lowering manufacturing costs of both high-end and low-end hearing aids. The R3920 and R3110 are new additions to their RHYTHM range of products. A DSP (or Digital Signal Processor) is the microchip inside a hearing aid that converts incoming sounds to allow you to hear them more clearly. Whilst the biggest players in the hearing aid industry still create their own DSP technology the

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Wear: an assistive hearing device being funded through Kickstarter


Wear is an assistive device designed to improve quality of life for people with hearing loss. Wear is a high fidelity directional analog microphone that is significantly lower in price than existing hearing aids. This microphone can be used with any pair of headphones, has a volume control, is rechargeable, and comfortable to wear. Wear has been in development for the past two years, it incorporates a low profile micro-miniature, patent pending,

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Understanding an audiogram (hearing test results)


An audiogram is a record of a hearing test. In other words, it is a graph that shows how well a person can hear different types of sounds. It is used to determine if a person has a hearing loss, and if so, how bad that loss is. The audiogram above is empty, no test results have been recorded on it yet. You can see down the left hand side the numbers starting at -10 and going up to 120 – these numbers represent the decibel level at which you can

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My audiogram


The audiogram above shows my hearing as of November 2013. The hearing test was done at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford during my fitting for a pair of NHS hearing aids (Oticon Spirit II BTEs). You can see from the audiogram that my hearing is in the moderately-severe to severe range – just touching on a profound loss in the higher frequencies. I have a progressive hearing loss, so my hearing hasn’t always been this bad but it has always

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Sign language interpreters are really for the hearing, so they can feel better


As if the story about the fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service wasn’t bizarre enough already. The Guardian has published an opinion piece by Slavoj Žižek in which he says that the fake interpreter story, “confronted us with the truth about sign language translations for the deaf“, which he says is, “it doesn’t really matter if there are any deaf people among the public who need the translation; the translator is

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My guest article about the future of hearing aid sales: prices, the internet an


I’ve written a guest article on Geoffrey Cooling’s Just Audiology Stuff website, it’s my opinion on the future of hearing aid sales. Spoiler: It’s online sales with smart self-programming software. Geoffrey’s website is a great resource for hearing aid dispensers and practice owners or anyone else who is interested in marketing, sales and hearing healthcare. You can read my article here:

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The longest anyone can bear Earth’s quietest place is 45 minutes


Orfield Labrotories in Minnesota have built an anechoic chamber that is so quiet that no-one can bear to be inside for more than 45 minutes. It has entered into the Guiness Book Of World Records as officially the quietest place on earth – tests measured background noise in the chamber as -9.4 dBA. Yes, that’s minus 9.4 decibels! The labrotory’s founder, Steven Orfield, said, “”We challenge people to sit in the chamber in the dark – one person

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Was the sign language interpreter at Mandela’s memorial a fake?


Speakers at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service were joined on stage by a sign language interpreter, but according to many sign experts he is a fake. During the service, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, the first deaf woman to be elected to the South African parliament tweeted: “ANC-linked interpreter on the stage with dep president of ANC is signing rubbish. He cannot sign. Please get him off.” Another tweet from Francois Deysel, a South African sign

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Audiogram Creator is fixed


I’ve fixed the Audiogram Creator and the graph images are now displaying properly. I think this has been broken for a few weeks but I never noticed until today. Sorry about that. I’m thinking that the Creator might be due an overhaul so if you use it and would like anything added or changed then please leave a comment or drop me a line and I might include it.

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Unitron’s Flex:trial takes some of the risk out of buying a hearing aid


Unitron introduced their Flex:trial hearing aid in October 2012 and it looks set to make the hearing aid buying process a little less painful. Everyone knows that hearing aids are expensive and people looking to buy are often put off by the big outlay. There has always been a problem with being able to try before you buy: you feel uneasy about handing over your money when you haven’t tried the aid properly and you aren’t sure if you really want

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My daughter learnt to finger-spell (BSL) in about one hour


A few weeks ago my daughter asked me to teach her how to finger spell. It took me by surprise because she’d never shown any interest in learning to sign before. After about an hour of going through the alphabet she was signing words and short sentences pretty quickly. Now, I’m as much of a proud dad as the next man and I’m sure my daughter is destined for greatness but she’s no child prodigy or anything like that. If she can pick up the finger

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Will stem cell success mean hearing aids become redundant?


A team of scientists from Sheffield University have partially restored the hearing of deaf gerbils with injections created from human embryonic stem cells. Is this the end for hearing aids? The Sheffield team, lead by Dr Marcelo Rivolta, saw the gerbil’s hearing improving by an average of 46% – with the improvement taking place over four weeks from the injections. Rivolta said, “We developed a method to drive human embryonic stem cells to

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Why I’m praying for Apple to get serious about the hearing aid industry


There have been two bits of hearing-related news regarding the mighty Apple recently: they’ve patented a hearing aid social network and they’re working with big-name hearing aid manufacturers to create “Made For iPhone” hearing aids. I’m really hoping that Apple is planning to make a big splash in the hearing industry, it’ll be a huge sea-change for us hearing aid wearers if they do. I doubt it’ll result in cheaper hearing aids, Apple always

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Apple working with hearing aid manufacturers to improve audio experience


In the forthcoming iOS 6 software upgrade for the iPhone, Apple have have said that: We are working with top manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids that will deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio experience. It would be nice if this meant the birth of an Apple iHearingAid, which blazed a trail through the hearing industry and took hearing aids into the mainstream. Sadly, the reality is a little less exciting, but

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Apple’s social network for hearing aids. My mind has just been blown.


Apple have filed a patent application for a “hearing aid social network” – you can read the actual application here. This has only recently been submitted (July 29 2012) and there isn’t much other information around the web on what a hearing aid social network could actually be – although Engadget and -->Megan have also written about it. The social network seems to be intending to offer its users the ability to share their hearing aid settings

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National Association of the Deaf make legal case against Netflix


The National Associations of the Deaf (NAD) have been given the go-ahead by a federal court in Massachusetts to bring a legal action against Netflix. The NAD is attempting to make it a legal requirement for Netflix to offer closed captions on its streamed movie service. NAD is suing Netflix under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Netflix tried to dismiss NADs claim as they said the ADA only applied to public buildings and structures,

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Hacking hearing aids


“Hearing aids are becoming a more and more interesting target not only to hack, but also simply to connect them to all kinds of consumer hardware and make the experience more seamless,” said Helga Velroyen, a Munich-based software engineer who has been at the forefront of efforts to modify hearing aids. Her interest in the topic was sparked when her own hearing started to degrade a few years ago. For some, this tinkering does not go far enough.

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Some things to keep in mind when shopping for Bluetooth hearing aids


When you want the latest and greatest in hearing aid technology, Bluetooth is a must-have feature. Bluetooth allows hearing aids to wirelessly communicate with other devices, including the hearing aid in your other ear, your computer, television, cell phone and digital music player. Picking the best Bluetooth hearing aid requires some attention to detail as you examine its features and choose the right aid for your needs.

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What would you put into the Museum of Endangered Sounds?


The Museum Of Endangered Sounds is a website that collects famous and memorable sounds from obsolete technology such as video game systems and VHS video recorders. Coming across that site got me thinking: what sounds would I put into a museum? What sounds are important enough to me that I’d want them stored and shared with others? Not just sounds made by out-of-date machines, but any sound that means something to me.

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Police planned to use 150 decibel sound cannon to control protesters at Chicago


In preparation for May’s NATO summit in Chicago, the city’s police force ordered a sound cannon to help them deal with the expected large number of anti-war protesters. The cannon emits high-pitched sounds up to 150 decibels that can be heard up to 1,600 feet away, that’s about a third of a mile. A 150 dB blast from the cannon is louder than standing next to an aircraft taking off or someone firing a gun right next to you. The pain-threshold in

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On being deaf


David Peter is a 21 year old computer programmer at San Francisco-based startup 1000memories. He is also deaf and the company’s first deaf employee. David has written a thought-provoking blog post on what it is like to be deaf and how it affects both his professional and personal life. He writes about things that are probably familiar to most of us with a hearing problem: the sense of isolation, problems with group conversation, communication

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Earmeter.com – How an iPad can be an incredibly useful tool for hearing aid pra


I created a web-application for hearing aid practices a while back, it’s called Earmeter – essentially, it’s a patient-engagement tool that aims to help both the hearing professional and the patient get the most from each other. I’ve started a blog on the Earmeter site, it will be more industry-focused than Hearing Aid Know, I’ll still be writing on here too. This is a snippet of the first post on there, about using an iPad:

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Earmeter.com: Patient engagement for audiology practices


Earmeter is web-based software that allows audiology practices and their patients to work more closely during and after hearing aid trials. Practices can automate communications with patients so that they can provide timely and in-depth information about the new hearing aid(s) on trial, hearing loss and anything else that a patient needs to know to get the most from their trial and new hearing experience. Earmeter aims to make it easier for

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What breed of dog makes the best hearing dog?


I’d always assumed that bigger breeds of dog were used as Hearing Dogs, probably because our own dog (a west highland terrier) is a law unto himself and when I’m out walking him it always seems like the bigger dogs are better behaved. According to the Hearing Dogs For Deaf People charity the best hearing dogs are Poodles. Apparently they are one of the more intelligent breeds and, “they love to learn and as a result usually excel in their

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Disruption in the hearing industry will see dinosaurs become extinct


The music industry has changed radically in the last 10 years: digital downloads, the iPod, Internet shopping and online piracy changed the ball-game entirely. Very few people buy music today in the same way as they did 10 years ago – many companies moved with the times and changed their business models to meet the iPod generation, and many have not and are struggling to compete. The publishing industry is in upheaval too, more and more people

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HLAA does not oppose online hearing aid sales, HIA does


In a recent address to a hearing advisory council, Brenda Battat, chief executive of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) stated that the HLAA is not opposed to online hearing aid sales. She specifically mentioned hi HealthInnovations, a subsidiary of United Healthcare that started an online HA service in October 2011. The hi HealthInnovations website includes an online hearing test, after taking the test your results are used to

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Tinnitus infographic: a visual guide to tinnitus


Another excellent infographic from Amplifon. 50% of sufferers find tinnitus moderately or severely distressing yet 93% haven’t consulted a doctor, wonder why that is? Maybe people don’t see a doctor because it isn’t a pain or making them feel ill? Still, if their tinnitus is severely distressing them then their health is surely affected.

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Help Deafness Research UK shape the future of tinnitus research


Deafness Research UK is inviting you to take part in a tinnitus survey which will help set the priorities for future research into this distressing and little understood condition. Despite ongoing research in the UK and other countries there are still many unanswered questions about tinnitus assessment, diagnosis and treatment. By contributing your views you can help set the agenda for future research and ensure that scarce funds are used to

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The man who hears colour


Very interesting article on the BBC website today about Neil Harbisson, a colour-blind artist who, with the help of a friend, created a device that allows him to hear colours. Until I was 11, I didn’t know I could only see in shades of grey. I thought I could see colours but that I was confusing them. When I was 16, I decided to study art. I told my tutor I could only see in black and white, and his first reaction was, “What the hell are you

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Sounds like love: hearing aids can bring couples closer together


This is a Valentine’s Day-related study from Hear The World that looked into how hearing loss can affect relationships with loved ones: It’s no secret that clear communication between partners is key to a long and lasting relationship and, following a new study, more than 60 per cent of UK hearing aid wearers say their relationship has improved since being fitted with a hearing device. The new international study, which surveyed 4,300 people

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New online LACE makes understanding speech even easier


Neurotone have just released a web-based version of their LACE training software, which is excellent news for anyone who wants to better understand speech in noise. LACE (Listening And Communication Enhancement) is essentially a training program for listening, it teaches you to listen better. I did an interview with Dr Daniel Taft from Blamey Saunders Hearing about how they use LACE a while back. I think the release of the web-based version will

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How long did it take for you to be happy with the way your hearing aids sound?


Some questions for you, dear reader. I’d love to get some responses to this, I get lots of viewers but rarely any commenters, would love to know what you think! 1. Are you happy with the way your hearing aids sound? 2. If so, how long did it take for the dispenser/audiologist to set your hearing aids up so that you were happy with them? Did they have to re-programme your aids at all to get them how you wanted them?

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Chasing the glory days


It is much harder to fit hearing aids to someone who has a severe hearing loss than to someone who has only a minor loss. Turns out that a lot of the time it isn’t like that, it’s just as hard, or even harder, to fit a hearing aid to someone who has lost only a small amount of hearing as it is to someone who can hardly hear a thing. The reason is that the person with the minor loss is chasing after the perfect hearing they had a few years ago,

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Groundbreaking research into how the brain understands sounds


New research is hoping to understand how the human brain hears sound to help develop improved hearing aids and automatic speech recognition systems. Led by the Universities of Southampton and Cambridge, the research aims to develop physiologically-inspired algorithms, which mimic how our brain hears sound to improve on traditional signal processing algorithms. The novelty of the research is that instead of looking at signal energy – as today’s

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Is hypnosis/hypnotherapy a good way to treat tinnitus?


The most common form of tinnitus (subjective tinnitus) is where only the sufferer can hear the noise – i.e. there is no noise being produced by the physical body, it’s all the mind. Common suggestions to alleviate tinnitus include TRT, de-stressing, noise therapy and relaxation techniques like yoga. Most of the recommended treatments for tinnitus involve the brain. TRT involves training the brain to stop perceiving the noise, noise therapy

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Company claims it has launched the first pharmaceutical cure for tinnitus


Lincoln Pharmaceuticals announced that it has introduced the first injection pharmaceutical cure for tinnitus in India. Using the brand name Tinnex, the injection utilizes the Caroverine molecule, which was developed by Lincoln Pharma under a licensing arrangement and technical collaboration with Phafag AG, Switzerland. According to the company, cochlear synaptic tinnitus is the most common cause of tinnitus and is due to disturbed interplay of

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Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)


Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a treatment that aims to reduce the perceived loudness and severity of tinnitus. Tinnitus isn’t a disease and TRT isn’t a cure as such, it is perhaps better described as a way to train someone not to hear the ringing in their ear any more or at least to be less aware and less irritated by it. TRT uses a combination of counselling and sound therapy. Sound therapy is the creation of background sounds that, when

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Preventing hearing loss in noisy work environments


In our day-to-day life, most of us are exposed to noise; from the sound of a passing train to the noise of a nearby construction site. Normally, these sounds are not loud enough to damage our hearing, however, if we are exposed to loud noises that are above 85 decibels on a regular basis, it can result in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hearing loss may even occur if a person is exposed to an intensely loud noise just once, such as an

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Sometimes a cupped-hand can work wonders


Even though digital hearing aids do a remarkable job of helping us to hear better it is sometimes good to go back to basics. A cupped-hand behind the ear can work wonders. If you are like me then you’ll sometimes put your hand behind your ear if you didn’t hear someone as an indication that you need them to repeat themselves, it’s a visual clue for the speaker but it actually does make a real difference to what you can hear. Try it next time you

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A buyer’s guide for assistive listening devices


Listening to the television and radio, using a telephone, or even answering the doorbell are things some people take for granted, but if you are hard of hearing these things are a real struggle. Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) can help. Here, we will look at how to choose the best device for your needs. Many people who are hard of hearing often wear hearing aids to help listen in their everyday life. But these might not always work very well,

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turn it off and on again – a quick fix for hearing aid problems


If you’ve ever phoned a computer support helpline or asked your company’s I.T. support team for help then you’ve probably heard these immortal words: It’s become a bit of a joke but it actually works and solves many computer problems. A computer has two types of memory, one is physically stored on a disk and is remembered every time you use the computer and the other is a short-term memory that is forgotten every time you switch off. If the

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NDCS lobbies for fair access to family sign language classes


The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is campaigning to get the UK government to provide better access to sign language courses for hearing parents of deaf children. Nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing families who have little to no experience of deafness. Communicating with your child is a basic right, but many families are not getting the support they need to learn British Sign Language. Sign language courses vary

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Hearing well makes the difference between a good day and a horribly bad day


How well my day goes is more or less governed by how well I am hearing. I’ve written before that subtle changes in how much I can hear happen day-to-day. If I’m hearing well then I am full of confidence, happy and outgoing. I’m starting conversations, joining in group conversation, I’m out and about and enjoying the day. I’m talking to people I don’t know when I’m out walking the dog. I’m answering the telephone without a second thought. I’m

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CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)


Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is the process of converting speech to text in real-time, it is not only useful to the deaf and hard of hearing, it can also help those whose first language is different to the one being used. CART is used in law courts, theatre, presentations and many other places to display a speaker’s words on a screen; it is also used to provide closed captions for live television programs.

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Here’s why you are struggling to move from analog hearing aids to digital


Analogue and digital hearing aids are very, very different things. Analogue aids use older and simpler technology. If you are a long-term analogue user and you are having problems hearing well with new digital aids then try this: Ask your audiologist to turn off noise reduction on your digital aids, if they can’t turn it off completely then at least have then reduce it to an absolute minimum. The problem is that analogue aids amplify all sounds

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Infographic about hearing loss from Amplifon


Amplifon have produced a very nice infographic about hearing loss. From their site: Admitting you have hearing loss can be very difficult. Nobody wants to admit they are getting older, but with up to 4 million people in the UK suffering in silence, everyone has a part to play when it comes breaking the stigma associated with hearing problems. The first step in helping a loved one or yourself is education, so we have put together this visual

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Tinnitus Awareness Week 6th-12th February 2012


Tinnitus awareness week 2012, which is run by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), runs from 6th – 12th February. The theme this year is Raising Awareness in Primary Care. The main goals of the week are to: A survey published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, May 2011 showed that around 750,000 people visit their GP each year with tinnitus and the advice they receive varies dramatically. The hope is that raising awareness

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Deaf footballer sent off for celebrating goal because he didn’t hear referee’s


A deaf football player was sent off after celebrating an offside goal because he couldn’t hear the whistle. Philip John Dolan, who plays for the Great Britain and Scotland deaf football teams, was playing for Kilsyth against Armadale in a replay of a Scottish Junior Cup tie when the referee ruled him offside. Unable to hear the whistle, the 24-year-old, who is known as PJ, kept playing and was given a yellow card for ignoring the signal.

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Websites for adding captions/subtitles to videos


I’ve been messing around with JavaScript during lunchtimes at work this week and have started to put together a web application to allow people to add Closed Captions to videos. Currently it can add text to your own videos (mp4, flv, etc) as well as videos from Youtube. I have a few ideas of how the thing could work in terms of workflow including: It’s an interesting little project for me but I’m not really sure whether this is worth pursuing?

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Building the musical muscle: An amazing talk about cochlear implants by Charles


Charles Limb is a surgeon who performs cochlear implantation, he is also a musician. In this 15-minuted TED talk he discusses how we hear and experience speech and music in very different ways, demonstrates how music sounds to a cochlear implant wearer and talks about other problems with CIs. Charles’ goal in his work is to bring the beauty back into sound for CI wearers, not just to give them functional speech recognition but to have CIs that

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New clues to human deafness found in mice


Providing clues to deafness, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a gene that is required for proper development of the mouse inner ear. In humans, this gene, known as FGF20, is located in a portion of the genome that has been associated with inherited deafness in otherwise healthy families. “When we inactivated FGF20 in mice, we saw they were alive and healthy,” says senior author David M. Ornitz,

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Better Hearing Institute (BHI) warns against DIY hearing aids


The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has issued a warning to consumers about purchasing pre-programmed, one-size-fits-all hearing aids. BHI points out that devices that are purchased over-the-counter or through the Internet without the consultation of a hearing healthcare professional may result in the devices not being accurately customized to the specific hearing needs of the individual, since hearing loss may be the symptom of a serious

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The most pointless conversation I’ve ever had


Bumped into someone yesterday and had a brief chat. Well, they had a brief chat, I had nothing; it was without a doubt the dumbest conversation I’ve ever had, I feel like an idiot. They opened the conversation with a couple of sentences, I couldn’t understand a word of it. The obvious thing to do was to tell them I didn’t hear them, so why didn’t I? I guess I was thinking, “I might be able to pick up a few words and work out what they are going

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She was only different because they made her out to be


We signed the whole hour ride back, much to our passengers, and our surprise. When she left for a moment to grab her phone so we could exchange numbers, that is when I realized how differently people saw our conversation. Excellent article Lauren Vujovich on the general public’s perception of deafness. Read it here.

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Me and Tinnitus


y hearing loss was first noticed when I was about 5 years old and I’ve been wearing hearing aids more or less since then. I didn’t wear aids much in my early-mid teens as I was too worried about looking cool – since the age of 19 o so I haven’t gone a single day without wearing them, I’m 37 now. I also have tinnitus in my right ear. I remember having it around my late teens and early twenties but then it went away completely for about 7-12 years

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When people know how do deal with hearing loss


Hearing loss can cause awkward situations, not just for the people with the hearing problem but for people communicating with them too. For someone who has never had to talk to someone with a hearing loss before it can be difficult to know what to do. First of all they’ve got to realise that you have a hearing problem and then they’ve got to work out how to deal with that and they’re probably worried about making sure they don’t offend you by

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Been busy


I haven’t written much on here lately, just had a look and I’ve written 4 posts in the last 3 months, surprisingly that’s not due to laziness; I have in fact been beavering away on a new website. And it’s now finished. Well, it’s finished in that it’s ready for release but I have a lot of more ideas planned for it in the future. The site is at http://www.earmeter.com. It’s a patient-engagement tool for audiologists and hearing aid vendors, the

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Sony’s subtitle glasses continue to earn promising responses from movie goers


A live demonstration of Sony’s new subtitle glasses took place in London this week, with positive reports from attendees. Tom Fiddian from Action on Hearing Loss – formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People – attended the event and reported via Twitter (@tomfiddian and hash tag #Subtitleglasses). It was this generation that was trialled in the USA and received positive feedback from the deaf community. One comment was that they were

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11 things about me, my hearing and my hearing aids


1. I take my hearing aids out when shaving because I can’t stand the scraping noise of the razor. 2. Wind noise is my biggest problem with my hearing aids. 3. I take my hearing aids out when driving to and from work for a bit of peace and quiet. 4. Hand-dryers always make my right hearing aid whistle with feedback. 5. I usually wait at least half-an-hour in the morning before putting my aids in. 6. I always have some spare batteries in the car

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Vote for Samantha and Sarah in the Oticon 2011 Focus On People Awards


The Oticon Focus on People Awards recognize outstanding individuals with hearing loss who show that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to succeed, contribute and inspire. Not that I am biased or anything but I have voted for Samantha in the Student section and Sarah in the Advocacy section. I wrote about Samantha’s book a little while ago, it’s an amazing piece of work that inspires as well as teaches. I’ve been reading Sarah’s

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Samantha’s Fun FM Unit and Hearing aid book


This is a great video. It features 7 year-old Samantha showing a book that she made, the book is about her hearing aid and FM system and shows how she uses it in her class at school. I think this would make a great little guide for other kids (and adults too) who aren’t sure what a FM system can do for them. Also, love Samantha’s confidence and attitude towards her hearing aids, wish I was that comfortable with my aids when I was at school.

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Have you bought hearing aids online?


Have you bought a hearing aid online? If so, I’d love to know your experiences. Did it meet your expectations? Was it good value for money? Have you had to have it re-programmed or checked since you bought it? Hearing aids that are sold online tend to be for mild to moderate hearing losses and so I can’t try them out myself. If you have bought online and can spare a couple of minutes to let me know what you think then please do. You can either

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Some programme changes, hearing much better


I visited the audiologist yesterday. I’ve not been hearing much at all at work for a few months now and I’ve been putting off and putting off going to the audiologist; not for any particular reason other than I was being lazy and I was “doing OK, hearing bits of what was said and filling in the gaps, just scraping along”. Finally, I realised I was missing too much and I needed to sort it out. So, visited my Aud yesterday, explained that I was

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Looking for ear-like shapes


The Audicus blog is running a fun little competition, they are asking people to take photos of ear-like shapes and send them in. Don’t think there’s any prizes, just for fun. you camera and send a picture to: http://audicus.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/five-eary-pictures-ear-appreciation-campaign/

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Get hearing aids repaired or cleaned at The Hearing Aid Repair Shop


The Hearing Aid Repair Shop is part of the Mary Hare Foundation, a UK charity that provides schooling for deaf and severely hard-of hearing children. The repair shop began operating in 2002 by repairing aids for children and young adults. Recently they’ve started fixing hearing aids for adults too and now offer a post service. Impressively, they will fix any make and model of hearing aid. At the time of writing, you can get your hearing aid

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What is hearing?


Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through the ear. Humans have a fairly narrow range of hearing compared to other species – frequencies that we are capable of hearing are between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz, this is know as the audio, or sonic, range. Frequencies above that range are know as ultrasonic and those below are know as infrasonic. Dogs can hear ultrasound, that’s why they hear dog whistles and we don’t.

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Cheaper hearing aid prices do not lead to more sales


I read a couple of very interesting articles on Hearing Review today: It’s Not Immoral to Increase Hearing Aid Prices in an Inelastic Market and Seven Rules for Thinking About Hearing Aid Pricing. The first article talks about how a reduction in hearing aid prices does not lead to more people buying them, or, to quote directly from the article, “This means that changes in price will have little impact relative to the number of potential hearing

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The surprising thing about hearing loss and uncomfortably loud sounds


If you have a moderate to severe (or worse) hearing loss then chances are that as well as struggling to hear speech and other sounds you also struggle with sounds that are too loud for you. I know I sometimes do, doors shutting in our office seem loud to me, running water always sounds a bit too loud as well. Many times over the years I’ve been in situations where I have had to turn my hearing aids down or move aware from a loud sound while

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Flying stops tinnitus for Steve


Steve is Retail Director at Ascent Hearing, he wears hearing aids himself and also suffers from tinnitus. I have had tinnitus since the age of 33. Well to honest, I’ve had “fizzy” tinnitus since I was about seven. But I’ve had pulsing, thumping, throbbing, whooshing tinnitus since 33. It’s not a depressing thing to have as I’ve not had silence for such a long time. However, I have tried eating vast swathes of Marmite (for the vitamin B), chewing

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Hearing aid prices and the perception of value


Hearing aids are too expensive, right? Right. Below is an image I created for my totally-made-up hearing aids store: What do you think of the two hearing aids for sale here? One is $100 and the other is $1200, which one is better? Which would you buy? If you are like most people then your gut-feeling is that the $1200 hearing aid is much better than the $100 one simply because it is more expensive. We think that more expensive is better.

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The Shocking Data about Noise Induced Hearing Loss in the Workforce


This is a guest article by Patrick Frueler. Patrick is the founder of Audicus. Audicus is a new, simple and affordable way of buying great quality hearing aids that fit. While hearing loss is often attributed to natural ageing or the iPod generation’s exposure to loud music, hearing impairment due to noise at work is particularly prevalent. Have you ever seen a fire truck blasting through with full sirens and asked yourself how on earth those

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Audiogram creator updated to allow multiple diagrams


I’ve updated the Audiogram Creator so that you can now show your audiogram results on different backgrounds. the original background is still there but you can now also choose from having a background with no decoration at all, one with speech sounds shown or one with speech sounds and the speech banana on it. The newly added background images use the UK classifications for hearing loss (normal, moderate, severe, etc) whereas the original

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MY SONG – A new drama by C&B Films for BSLBT


A young deaf girl learns sign language to try and find herself, but instead becomes caught between the deaf and hearing worlds My Song is the debut drama from C&B Films, a new production company headed by director William Mager and scriptwriter Charlie Swinbourne, aiming to tell stories that express deaf culture in an original, compelling way. Starring Lara Steward, My Song is a coming of age story which follows Ellen, a young deaf girl stuck in

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How I cope with hearing loss


I started losing my hearing at the age of 5, I’m now 36 and have a moderate/severe loss in both ears – it started with a mild loss and it has got steadily worse over the years. Apart from a few years in my early teens, I’ve been wearing hearing aids the whole time. I’ve developed a number of coping strategies, often without even realising it, that help me get through conversations with other people.

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What everybody ought to know about hearing loss


A list of things that everyone with hearing loss needs to know. Useful for those having problems with their hearing aids or those thinking of buying their first pair. Hearing aids won’t give you back the perfect hearing you had as a child By far the most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss; this is damage to the tiny nerves in the inner ear that pick up sounds and send them to your brain. A hearing aid amplifies and changes

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Hearing aid prices – do the numbers add up?


I’ve written before that I think that hearing aid vendors need to split the product from the service so I decided to try and breakdown a hearing aid’s price a bit to find out if it is too expensive or not. I did a bit of Googling and found that an average price for a top of the range hearing aid in the UK is about £1500. This is the rough ballpark for new models from all manufacturers. How much would you guess that a hearing aid costs to make?

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No magic


I’ve seen a few websites recently offering cures for hearing loss. Yes, cures. And, would you believe it, it’s so incredibly simple! Just send $29.99 and they’ll send you some tablets, a spray or some eardrops. It really is that easy. I’m not going to link to the websites and I’m not going to name them (don’t much fancy being sued) but it’s pretty obvious that they are total horseshit. If your doctor and audiologist cannot cure your hearing loss

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Thanks for all the emails


Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to email me recently. If you’ve emailed me and haven’t had a reply then fear not, I will reply but I’ve been avoiding checking emails for the last week or two so that I can concentrate on finishing a new website that I’m building. I’m terrible for getting distracted and leaving things half-finished so I’m trying to eliminate as many distractions as possible: no email, no Twitter, no Scrubs season two

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Is getting enough sleep linked to hearing better?


I’m becoming more and more convinced that my ability to hear and understand what people are saying is strongly linked to how much sleep I got the night before. I’ve written before that I don’t hear the same things every day. Yesterday I was very tired and it was a bad hearing day, I couldn’t really understand anyone in the office, I was constantly straining to hear and often asking people to repeat themselves. Last night I went to bed an hour

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TV Ears competition to win a Wireless Speaker


TV Ears are running a competition to win one of their Wireless Speakers. To stand a chance of winning you have to go to either their Facebook (www.facebook.com/tvears) or Twitter page (www.twitter.com/tvears). Competition closes on March 21 2011, winner drawn at random.

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Weekly round-up 20/02/2011 – hearing aids and music, James Moody and Oaktree


The weekly round-up is a little collection of blog posts, articles, news, etc that I’ve enjoyed or found useful in the last week. If you’ve read something good or if you’ve got a website/article/press release/whatever that you’d like to see featured in coming weeks then please get in touch.

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ReSound Releases Alera™ Extensions – Remote Microphone & Configurable BTE


ReSound, the technology leader in hearing aid solutions, has released extensions to its wireless hearing aid, Alera™. Originally released in August 2010 and the winner of a 2011 CES Innovations Design & Engineering Award, Alera is now available with configurable BTE and Remote Microphone Technology custom enhancements. “Every few years, technology takes a significant leap forward,” said Laurel A. Christensen, Chief Audiology Officer, ReSound.

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Phonak launches the Audéo S SMART Ceramics


This is a press release from Phonak about their Audéo S SMART Ceramic hearing aid: The world’s most sophisticated hearing aid is being launched in the UK combining an unrivalled level of performance with a stylish design. Enclosed in a luxurious ceramic housing, the tiny device – just 2cm in length – sits discreetly behind the ear and allows optimum hearing in all environments. The Audéo S SMART Ceramics, developed by Phonak, the world’s leading

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Interview with Andrew Goodwin from Deafness Research UK


Deafness Research UK is a charity that helps to create radical improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment. Andrew Goodwin is their Information and Outreach Advisor and he kindly agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Deafness Research UK? [Andrew Goodwin] My name is Andrew Goodwin and I’m the Information and

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Hearing aids for the discerning gentleman from ExSilent


I’ve just discovered the ExSilent hearing aid brand thanks to the always-informative Hearing Mojo. ExSilent is a young company from the Netherlands that produces invisible hearing aids that sit deep in the canal. Hearing Mojo is covering ExSilent’s new QLeaf Pro aid that has a feature that allows you to change programmes by tapping gently the outside of your ear. The problem being that invisible hearing aids sit so deep that it would be very

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Interview with Dr. Daniel Taft from Blamey & Saunders Hearing about Neurotone’s


Blamey & Saunders Hearing are a supplier of self-programmable hearing aids, they also sell Neurotone’s listening enhancement (LACE) software to compliment their hearing aid range. Dr. Daniel Taft, Australia Hears’ Chief Technology Officer, was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about LACE. Can you give us a brief introduction to LACE? [Daniel Taft] LACE stands for Listening And Communication Enhancement. It was designed by

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Having a reasonable expectation of what a hearing aid can do for you


Hearing aids are expensive and when you’ve spent a lot of money on a pair you expect them to fix your hearing problems. After all, that’s what they are for, to correct your hearing loss. I remember (it’s probably about five years ago now) visiting an audiologist because I was struggling to hear at work and wanted to replace my pair of aging hearing aids. I didn’t really have a lot of money to splash on new aids but I knew I needed to do

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How subtitles are made


This video shows how the BBC go about adding subtitles to their pre-recorded and live shows. I found this video on I look so I can hear.

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Weekly round-up 13/02/2011 – soundbite hearing aid, history lesson


The weekly round-up is a little collection of blog posts, articles, news, etc that I’ve enjoyed or found useful in the last week. If you’ve read something good or if you’ve got a website/article/press release/whatever that you’d like to see featured in coming weeks then please get in touch.

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Hearing aid dispenser banned for a year after pensioner left with severe infect


?A HEARING aid dispenser has been banned for ignoring a patient’s ear infection until it was so smelly the pensioner wouldn’t leave the house. Specsavers worker Pauline Lutwyche’s advice to the elderly woman was to put Vaseline in her ear. The Health Professions Council (HPC) was told doctors later diagnosed a perforated ear drum. Misconduct charges were found against the 62-year-old of Warren House Walk, Sutton Coldfield, who was banned from

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A hearing loss is more noticable than a hearing aid


I remember being so conscious of my hearing aids when I first started wearing them. It felt like they were HUGE! It felt like there was a big flashing neon arrow above my head pointing right at my ears and a sign up reading, “Hey, check this guy out, look at his ears!”. I still do find myself wondering from time to time if people have spotted them and what they are thinking about them. Last happened a few weeks ago when I was on a bus and there

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Cochlear profit grows amid rising demand for hearing aids


Cochlear Ltd., the world’s largest maker of bionic ears, on Tuesday reported a 16% rise in first-half profit as it expanded in emerging markets and people in developed countries with only one implant opted for a second to improve efficacy. Net profit for the six months to Dec. 31 of 87.2 million Australian dollars ($88.6 million) was up from A$75.2 million in the previous corresponding period and beat the A$84.2 million average of four analysts’

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Review of Starkey’s Voice IQ hearing aid upgrade


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve been wearing a pair of Audiosync iSync hearing aids (also know as Starkey Otolens). On a recent visit to my audiologist I got the opportunity to try out Starkey’s Voice IQ software upgrade and because I didn’t want to send my iSyncs back to Starkey, and be without them for a week, we decided to get the Voice IQ upgrade in my S Series instead.

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Buying a new hearing aid – it takes two to tango


I’ve written before about how important it is to have a great audiologist. But that’s not the whole story. You are involved too and you are just as important as the audiologist. When you’ve been fitted with your new hearing aid for the very first time it will be set-up to match the results of your hearing test. You are in the audiologist’s office with your new aids in your ears and you are listening to lots of new sounds. If you experiencing any

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Weekly round-up for 06/02/2011


The weekly round-up is a little collection of blog posts, articles, news, etc that I’ve enjoyed or found useful in the last week. If you’ve read something good or if you’ve got a website/article/press release/whatever that you’d like to see featured in coming weeks then please get in touch.

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Hearing Families by Dr Efrat Schorr


I just stumbled upon hearingfamilies.com via Twitter and I thought I’d share the link with you. Here’s a bit from Dr Schorr’s about page: My name is Efrat Schorr and I am a developmental psychologist who specializes in the unique social and emotional development of children with hearing loss. I received a PhD at the University of Maryland in this field in 2005. My research on the social and emotional development of children with cochlear

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Why I use subtitles even though I don’t really need to


I always use subtitles when I’m watching a TV show or a movie. I don’t really need to, I have a moderate-severe bilateral hearing loss and I could turn the TV up enough so that I could hear it. I mostly watch TV when my wife and daughter have gone to bed so obviously I don’t want the TV blaring out and waking them up, that’s one reason why I always use subtitles, the other reason is: After a hard day of: straining to hear stuff, trying to stay

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Finding the right audiologist as important as getting the right hearing aid


I get quite a few emails from people asking which hearing aid is best but no-one has ever asked which audiologist is best. I think the second question is just as important as the first, maybe even more so. When you buy a hearing aid you are paying for the audiologists time as well as for the hearing aid itself. The time costs more than the piece of plastic you will put in your ear and what’s really important for you is that once you’ve been

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Website gets a new name!


Just wanted to let you know that I’ve moved www.deafness-and-hearingaids.net to a new domain name. The site is now at: All the existing links to deafness-and-hearingaids.net still work (I hope!), they just redirect to the new name. So nothing needs to change. I’m having a bit of a spring clean on the site and felt that the old name was too long and was too much of a mouthful and it didn’t really say anything whereas the new one slips off the

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Audiologist of the Year 2011


Europe’s top award for hearing professionals is back. Audiologist of the Year 2011 is a chance for hearing patients to celebrate the skills of professionals across the continent. Now in its fourth year, the respected award encourages nominations for professionals who excel in their duties and is a chance for patients to shout about their own audiologist. Reward and recognise your audiologist by telling us just what makes them so special. We

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Announcing two new things


I’m going to announce two awesome new projects in the next few weeks. One is for audiologists and hearing aid sellers and the other is for people struggling with a hearing loss. If you want the first scoop on them both, I’ve started a mailing list to keep you in the loop.

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Problem with double-note sound from hearing aids


I got an email from Michael about a problem that he is having with his Starkey 5 RIC aids – I’ll let him explain: In the higher registers of an instrument there seems to be two notes, side by side, one slight flatter than the other and one of them slightly late. So every note, whether from an instrument, voice, whistle, cell phone beep, car door beep, ignition warning, etc. has the distortion. Not all speaking voices but some. And it is all the

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The Latest & Greatest in Bluetooth Hearing Aid Technology


When people think of hearing aids, they might think more of old ear trumpets than high-quality, advanced devices, but the integration of Bluetooth with hearing aid technology is changing that. Hearing aid manufacturers are lately using Bluetooth as a tool to improve their products, and each manufacturer is taking a different approach. I first became aware of Bluetooth technology and hearing aids in 2009, when I purchased a set of Oticon Epoq

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Listening Vs Hearing


How often do you listen and how often do you just hear? Listening and hearing, the same thing, right? Megan was kind enough to publish a guest post from me on her Hearing Sparks blog about hearing, listening and how you can improve your listening skills. Go and check it out: Listening Vs Hearing. In fact, even if you don’t want to read my bit over there you should still visit Hearing Sparks, it’s a great blog.

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Esteem implantable hearing aid from Envoy Medical


Envoy Medical’s Esteem is the world’s first implantable hearing aid. It doesn’t use a microphone and a speaker like a traditional hearing aid. There is nothing at all in your ear, the aid is completely internal and is therefore invisible. You can watch Envoy’s video to get a better idea of what it is about. The Esteem is not a cochlear implant. A CI is fitted to those with profound hearing loss and is fitted in the inner ear whereas the Esteem

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Guy loses hearing, then tries World of Warcraft


Earlier this year World of Warcraft player Unwelcome suffered an accident that permanently robbed him of his hearing. Feeling alienated and shunned by his real life friends, he returned to World of Warcraft for some online alienation and shunning. The loss of one’s hearing is a tragic and traumatic event, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an end to gaming. Many popular games offer subtitle options for the hearing impaired. World of Warcraft itself

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I might not hear you….


Just because I heard you yesterday does not mean I will hear you today. This list was inspired by this post from SayWhatClub.com.

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Using psychology and body language to hear more


Mirroring is a behaviour in which one person copies another. It usually happens when two people are talking to each other or are in close proximity. Common mirror behaviour is things like copying someone’s body language or movements, saying the same words or expressions or looking in the same direction. It’s usually a sign that there is some kind of friendship or respect between the person being mirrored and the copier. You can read more about

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Go easy on them


There’s one thing that people could say about my hearing loss that does get to me but in general I try not to stay calm when I get into a situation because I didn’t hear something. Sometimes I get that look and I feel like an idiot, sometimes I get frustrated because someone will not make themselves heard, sometimes I get nervous because I’ve lost the conversation and if someone asks me something I won’t have a clue what to say and will have to

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hearing aid, hearing loss and deaf blogs that I love


Here’s some of the blogs that I like to read. If you enjoy this site then you’ll definitely love these: Speak Up Librarian “I’m a hard of hearing librarian attempting to find my way in the world as a late deafened adult. I became aware of my hearing loss at the age of 40. These stories describe what it’s like for me to come to terms with my hearing loss and adjust to life with hearing aids. I hope you can laugh with me at some of the mistakes

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Audiosync iNSTAFit: first impression


I visited Ascent last week for a bit of re-programming and while I was there I managed to get a quick look at the new iNSTAFit hearing aid from Audiosync. The iNSTAFit is part of the iSync family and is running on the same S Series technology from Starkey. What makes it different from the iSync is that it is not moulded to fit your ear, instead the aid is a thin straight tube and so one size fits all. It’s about as wide as a pencil and about 2cm

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How to adjust your own hearing aids


Daniel Taft is an engineer with a PhD in cochlear implant sound processing from the University of Melbourne and the Bionic Ear Institute. He is the Chief Technology Officer for Blamey & Saunders Hearing, a company that offers hearing aids scientifically designed to order online and adjust at home. You will need to buy hearing aids that you can adjust at home, from a reputable dispenser. The company I work for, Australia Hears, offers hearing

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Online Audiogram Creator gets an update


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Online Audiogram creator


I’ve created a little online tool that allows you to enter your hearing test results onto an audiogram. At the moment it’s very basic but I’m hoping to add to it. You can enter the result for your left or right ear and then right-click on the audiogram to save it as a picture to your computer. I’d like to add some different audiogram graphs for you to put your results on: one that’s just an empty graph, one similar to the one I already have that

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Hearing loss simulator for the iPad by Starkey Labs


This is from the iTunes hearing loss simulator app store page: This looks great! I wish I had an iPad just to get this app (which isn’t going to happen seeing as iPads are £500 here in the UK). I’m going to email Starkey to see if there’s an iPod version. I’d love to be able to show some other people how I hear.

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The how and why of audiograms


australiahears.com.au have an excellent article by Elaine Saunders called: Why is an audiogram commonly used as the basis for fitting a hearing aid? It explains how audiograms works and how they measures your hearing loss against a benchmark rather than your hearing ability. It also gives a brief history of measuring and diagnosing hearing loss. What’s most interesting though is this snippet: It’s an interesting point, I always understood the

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Waiting rooms – the scourge of the hard of hearing


I hate waiting rooms, they make me nervous. Doctor surgeries, opticians, dentists, business foyers, hospital waiting rooms – they’re all the same: large rooms full of people with lots of potential for embarrassing hearing mistakes. Waiting rooms are either incredibly noisy, full of chatter, kids playing and parents shouting; or they are deathly silent with no-one uttering a word. I’m not sure which is better.

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The one thing that people say about hearing loss that makes me angry


I’m usually fairly relaxed about my hearing loss and people’s attitude towards it. It’s doesn’t bother me overly if someone decides to use a comically loud, slow and patronising voice if I ask them to repeat themselves – I just tell them they don’t need to do that. It doesn’t bother me if someone decides that repeating themselves is too much trouble – they probably aren’t worth listening too anyway.

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Audiosync’s iSync hearing aids: a review


I’ve been wearing a pair of iSyncs for about 4 months now and I thought it was time I reviewed them. The iSyncs are the world’s first IIC (Invisible In the Canal) hearing aids. In the interests of fairness I should let you know that I got the iSyncs for free from Ascent Hearing – this came about when I was visiting their Banbury branch in the summer to have a chat with Michael Nolan. Turned out on the day that they were looking for someone to

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Hearing expert is pride of Scotland


A hearing expert who drove over 200 miles to help a patient is the pride of Scotland after being named the UK’s Audiologist of the Year for 2010. David Bryce, who is from Aberdeen, has been chosen as the nation’s top hearing professional in a competition voted for by patients around the UK. The competition is run by hearing aid battery maker Rayovac, the manufacturer of the world’s number one selling zinc air hearing aid batteries. It encourages

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Love Language: Short film & fundraiser


The Jubilee Project makes films for good causes. This film was produced to raise awareness and support for the American Society for Deaf Children. There are two ways that you can support this cause: The American Society for Deaf Children is a non-profit organization started in 1967 that supports and educates families of deaf and hard of hearing children and advocates for high quality programs and services.

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Good days and bad days with hearing loss


I have good hearing days and bad hearing days. Today was a good day, I had a conversation with someone who was a fair distance away across our open-plan office – I heard them easily and I realised that I’m not often able to understand them at that distance. I don’t think my ability to hear fluctuates from day to day but there’s definitely good spells and then not so good ones. When you have a hearing loss and understanding conversation is a

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The complete guide to hearing loss in 19 wo


Living with a hearing loss is like visiting a foreign country and not being able to speak the language.

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A small victory


I took our car into a garage for repair today. After dropping the keys off at the service desk I went and sat in their waiting room – it wasn’t really a room as such, just a ring of chairs in the corner of a large open-plan showroom. There were three of us sat in there. After about 15 minutes or so of waiting, the garage receptionist appeared at the opposite end of the waiting area to me and asked if anyone would like tea of coffee. I heard her

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Is Apple taking hearing aids into the mainstream?


Apple’s new iPhone 4 is just hitting the shelves here in the UK. One of its big selling points is its live video chat – you can see the person calling as well as hearing them. Apple have a new advert out showcasing this and amazingly it features two people using the phone to communicate using ASL and, not only that, it also pans around to the back of the guy’s head to show his hearing aid. Here it is:

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Industrial deafness – know your rights


We all accept that noise is part of our everyday lives, however, if noise in a workplace reaches a certain level, the employer has a duty, by law, to protect their employees’ hearing. We can prevent hearing loss caused by work but once your hearing has gone, it won’t come back. It is estimated there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who suffer Industrial Deafness due to harmful levels of noise at work.

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How loud is the vuvuzela and how likely is it to damage your hearing?


The vuvuzela is the noise weapon of choice for fans at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The long, plastic, trumpet-shaped vuvuzela was found to emit an ear-piercing noise of 127 decibel — louder than a lawnmower (90 decibels) and a chainsaw (100 decibels). You only need to expose your ears to this level of noise for a few minutes to run the risk of some damage to your hearing. Just a few minutes, and the fans are blasting these things for the

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Cherished Charms for hearing aids


Want to add a bit of pizzazz to your hearing aid? Does your child wear hearing aids and love jewellery? Stuck for a gift idea for the aid wearer in your life? Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms is just the thing for you! Here’s Hayleigh explaining her awesome product and how it came about: Hi! I’m Hayleigh and I am 11 years old. When I was little and attended a school for hearing impaired children I noticed that a lot of kids tried to hide their

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Earplug sales soar at World Cup


The gossip Web site TMZ.com is reporting that in response to the rampant use of vuvuzela horns during World Cup soccer matches, earplug sales have exploded since the group stage matches began in South Africa last week. ? TMZ has said it spoke with to two major earplug suppliers based in South Africa — Ear Plugs Online and Sheppard Medical — and each are boasting increases in sales. A rep for EPO told TMZ their sales are up 121% — having sold

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Ear infections


Ear infections happen when germs such as bacteria, viruses or fungi cause swelling and irritation of your ear. They are most common in childhood, and are often passed from one child to another, but they can happen at any age. Infections of the middle ear are called otitis media, and infections of the outer ear are called otitis externa. Most ear infections are uncomfortable but not serious. Most will clear up by themselves in a few days. They

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Rapper Foxy Brown talks about her sudden hearing loss


New York rapper Foxy Brown recently opened up about her deafness with talk show host and comedian, Mo’Nique. The female MC spoke about how she went deaf a few years ago and how she has now managed to regain her hearing. Foxy Brown said: “It was 100 percent gone, overnight. They don’t even know why. I have the best surgeon in the world who specializes in ear problems and the operations and surgeries and Wednesday night [in 2005], I was out

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Four different ways to buy a hearing aid


Looking to buy a new hearing aid? They are sold in a few different ways these days, here’s a description of each: This is the most common way that a hearing aid is sold. If you go to a high-street or independent retailer then this is how you will be sold an aid. Basically, you pay one lump-sum for everything: the hearing aid itself, the audiologist’s time, the hearing test, the fitting, the programming and the after care.

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Amazing! Forget your ears and listen with your teeth


This is from a Sonitus Medical press release. Sonitus Medical Inc, developers of SoundBite, a nonsurgical and removable hearing device to transmit sound via the teeth and bone, has announced the publication of the first peer-reviewed article on its hearing system. “Preliminary Evaluation of a Novel Bone-Conduction Device for Single-Sided Deafness,” has been published in the most recent issue (31:492-497, 2010) of the Otology & Neurotology

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Binaural and Monaural hearing loss


Binaural: “Having or relating to two ears” Monaural: “Of, relating to, or designating sound reception by one ear” If you have a binaural hearing loss then you have a problem in both of your ears – if you have Monaural then it’s only one. If you do have a binaural loss then it is very important that you wear hearing aids in both ears. Don’t be tempted to buy only one – in my opinion it would be better two buy two cheaper hearing aids than it

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Stanford lab create inner-ear hair cells in a dish


-->Deep inside the ear, specialized cells called hair cells detect vibrations in the air and translate them into sound. Ten years ago, Stefan Heller, PhD, professor of otolaryngology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, came up with the idea that if you could create these cells in the laboratory from stem cells, it would go a long way toward helping scientists understand the molecular basis of hearing in order to develop better

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Quick tip to help you decide if your trial hearing aid is worth keeping


If you are trialling a new hearing aid and you can’t decide whether to keep it then try this: Wear your new hearing aid(s) for a week. Wear them in all the environments you are normally in – at home, at work, at a party, in the street, etc. After one week of that switch back to wearing your old hearing aids for a day or so (or no aids if this is your first pair) and see what the difference is like.

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UK hearing loss facts and figures


In the UK, hearing impairment is a common condition. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) estimates that in the UK there are almost nine million hearing impaired people. Approximately 28% of people who are hearing impaired are between 16-60 years of age, and 72% are over 60 years of age. In terms of age-related hearing loss, about 71% of people who are hearing impaired are over 70 years of age. The severity of hearing impairment

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Those things in your ears


People don’t seem to know what to call the things in my ears. I’m pretty open about the fact that I can’t hear much and that I wear hearing aids. Most people around me day-to-day know I wear them, some even know I write on here. I quite often talk with people about hearing loss and aids – sometimes people ask where their Mum/Gran/whoever should go to buy some or what the best one to get is. And yet people can’t seem to say hearing aids. It’s

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Silence really is golden


I got fitted with a new pair of hearing aids the other day (more on these soon) and one thing that really struck me almost straight away was how much quieter silence is with them on. Seems like a weird thing to say. Silence is silence, right? It’s no noise. That’s what I thought but the difference in my perception of a silent room while wearing my old Starkey Destinys and wearing these new aids is amazing.

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I can’t do without my hearing aid for two weeks


When my car goes in for a service or repair I get given a courtesy car to use while mine is out of action. It’s a given that the courtesy car will be available, all garages are offering one these days. So what about when my hearing aids need servicing? Can I get courtesy aids to use while mine’s away? Because there’s no way I can go two weeks without my hearing aids, I need to go to work, I need to hear.

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My Deaf Family – reality TV show hits YouTube


Marlee Matlin had an idea for a reality show that she hoped would bring some insight into the lives and struggles of deaf people and how they cope. But while reality TV has brought us wife swappers, party girls, aging rock stars and dieting divas, apparently no one was ready for something that real. So instead, the hearing-impaired actress who won an Academy Award as lead actress for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” took her show “My Deaf

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This hearing aid or that one?


Picture the scene: You are in an audiologists office, you’ve had a hearing test and you need to decide which hearing aid you are going to buy. You’ve saved up for a long time to get some money together for an aid because you really need to hear better. It’s a lot of money. It’s a big decision and you can’t afford to not make the right one. Based on your test results your audiologist suggests a few different aids that would suit you. The three

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Thank you for the music


Sometimes I listen to a song and I think, “I’m so lucky that I can still hear that”. As someone with a hearing loss I spend a lot of time worrying about what I can’t hear. It’s pretty rare that I stop and think about what I can hear. I thought I’d put this article together just so that I could celebrate some of my favourite songs that I can still hear. I’m not a big listener of music and I never use an mp3 player (too paranoid about further

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Check your hearing online or over the telephone


The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) have simple hearing checks that you can use to help you determine whether you have a hearing problem or not. They are not full hearing tests as you would get if you visited an audiologist – it’s more of a first step to help you judge whether you need to go and see an audiologist for a full assessment. The have an online test, which you can try by clicking this link. The number for the telephone

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Google rolling out captions to all Youtube videos


Google have announced that they are rolling out captions to all videos on Youtube. A little while back they announced a test of captioning for a small number of videos. I guess they’ve ironed out any problems seen during the trial run and they’re now ready to offer across the board. From Google themselves on March 4th 2010: Today, we are opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. There will even be a “request processing” button for

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Siemens Audiology is no longer up for sale.


Yes they are. No they’re not. Yes they are. No they’re definitely not. Siemens have decided to hold on to their audiology division. To reinforce their desire to push forward their hearing aid business, they’ve appointed a new CEO in Roger Radke. A quote from them: “With this nomination, we hope to reinforce our activities in the domain of hearing aids, especially with the solid experience and vast network that Roger Radke obtained when he worked

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Subtitles/captions drive me nuts


I like to watch TV with subtitles/captions on. It’s just easier, it saves me having to have the volume up too high for everyone else – particularly when the rest of my family have gone to bed, I can watch my favourite shows without waking them. This would be great if the quality of subtitling wasn’t so hit-and-miss. Some channels have no subtitles at all, which I can live with and doesn’t bother me that much. I just don’t ever watch that

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The winner of the battery competition is…..


Congratulations to Paul from Charlottetown, Canada! He wins a year’s supply of hearing aid batteries. His batteries are now winging their way across the Atlantic thanks to those good people at Royal Mail.

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I don’t know what your features mean


I was reading a press release today for a new hearing aid from a well-know manufacturer. It struck me that despite reading the entire thing I had absolutely no idea whether this aid would be good for me. Would it be better than the one I have? How much better? I have no idea. The new aid has features with impressive sounding names like (and I’m making these up as I don’t want to name the brand): All this on the company’s website too. From their

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Hearing aids still considered an old people thing


Despite all the advances in hearing technology over the past few years, a survey conducted by the Phonak Hear the World initiative has found that people still associate hearing aids with old age more than any other accessory, including wheelchairs, glasses, canes and crutches. 4,405 people, aged from 14-65 in the United Kingdom, America, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy were questioned. The top three reasons given for not wearing a hearing

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Now that’s an open fit hearing aid!


This is a mock-up from Designaffairs Studio. Can’t imagine ever wearing one of these – “Yes, sir, this hearing aid is state of the art, to wear it we simply need to stretch your ear lobe slowly over six months until it is dangling around your mouth”. Me: “uh… the behind the ear model will be fine, thanks”. It’s great to see people pushing the design of hearing aids. It’s one more step towards the day when hearing aids are as cool and ubiquitous

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If your hearing aid gets wet


If your hearing aid gets wet DON’T PANIC! Electronics and water are two things that generally don’t go well together but all is not lost if your aid does get a soaking. I’ve had several that have been waterlogged and have managed to get them working fully again. Things to do if your hearing aid gets wet The important thing to remember is: It is unlikely that you will need to buy a new hearing aid just because it got soaked – electronics are more

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Would you like to write for this website?


How do you fancy getting something published on this site? Over the years many people have left some great comments on here, there’s been some great discussions. A lot of people have taken the time to leave comments about subjects that they care about. I get a lot of emails as well – from people who are looking for some info, want to talk about hearing aid stuff or just want to share their story. I’m opening this to anyone: bloggers,

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Battery giveaway ends today!


The competition to win a year’s supply of hearing aid batteries ends today. You’ve got until midnight (UK time) to get your entry in and give yourself a chance to win a bunch of Rayovacs. http://www.deafness-and-hearingaids.net/2010/01/18/win-a-years-supply-of-hearing-aid-batteries/ Good luck – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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Follow me on Twitter


I’m now on Twitter, so you have one more place where you can listen to me bitch and rant. I’ll be posting snippets of hearing aid related news that don’t warrant a post on here and no doubt some other stuff too, no idea what yet though, let’s see how it goes…

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Phone programmes….. hello? Hello? HELLO?


All modern hearing aids come with a phone programme, it’s a setting that the hearing aid automatically switches to when you put a phone to your ear. The programme normally reduces the volume of the sound coming from the phone and, I think, also reduces pitch to try and eliminate any feedback that might occur from having a phone pressed to your ear. I’ve never been happy with the phone programme on any of my hearing aids.

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Hearing aids for children


I’m looking for a bit of help and advice. Does anyone have any information on getting hearing aids for a 3 year old? What style of aid works best? Are there any particular manufacturer or brands that are better? How often will ear moulds have to be changed? Will kids have to have their moulds changed often until their ears stop growing? There seems to be a myth about how long our ears grow for and lots of people say that they never stop, but

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Win a year’s supply of hearing aid batteries


All you have to do for you chance to win is leave a comment below and tell me the following: Yeah, it’s that easy! So what are you waiting for? Competition rules: Only one entry per person. The prize is 120 (20 x 6 packs) Rayovac hearing aid batteries of any size. No cash alternative to prize will be offered. Competition closes on Sunday 21st February. A winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.

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Volume limits for mp3 players recommended but misses the point


The European Commission wants to limit maximum volume on all portable MP3 players sold in the EU, including iPods, to protect users’ hearing. This follows a report last year warning that as many as 10 million Europeans are putting their hearing at risk when they listen to loud music on their MP3 players. According to the EU experts, the default maximum should be set at 85 decibels. Users would be able to override this setting to reach a top

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Hansaton launches in the US


January 11, 2010 – Hansaton, the German-based provider of award-winning hearing systems, announced today they are now offering their products to US-based audiologists and hearing aid dispensers. Hansaton (hanz-a-tone) has designed and manufactured superior hearing devices for more than fifty years. The family-owned company currently has licensed dealers in 70 countries worldwide. Hansaton recently named industry veteran Robert Eastman as

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Siemens Hearing Instruments is up for sale


Siemens is selling its hearing aid business. It has shortlisted one strategic buyer and five private equity firms as potential buyers. The New York Times reports that the sale price could be over 2 billion euros (1.8 billion pounds). Siemens Hearing, which competes with Switzerland’s Sonova Holding and Denmark’s William Demant Holding A/S, is projected to make pre-tax earnings of some 170 million euros in 2010.

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The drug that could end the misery of tinnitus


A drug pump which is implanted in the ear is the latest approach for tackling tinnitus. It works by releasing a powerful new medicine that calms the overactive nerves thought to cause the condition. Tinnitus is a ringing, whistling, buzzing or hissing noise heard for no obvious reason. It may be constant, or come and go. It is estimated that about 15million people in the UK experience tinnitus at some time. For 10 to 15 per cent of sufferers,

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Hearing loss: there’s an app for that


The iPod Touch and the iPhone have an app for everything it seems. There’s apps for using Twitter, tracking stocks, playing games, creating new recipes and making sure you don’t burn them, learning French, the list goes on and on. When is someone going to build a hearing aid app? An app that turns an iPod into a fully-functioning hearing aid, it isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. The iPhone already has everything it needs: a microphone, two

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Buying a hearing aid like buying a TV?


Should buying a hearing aid be like buying a TV or buying a pair of glasses? When you buy a new TV you can go into your local electronic store and try out a bunch of different models and pick the one you like. You get hands-on with the TV before you part with your money and you can see the differences between them side-by-side. Some people will know the different brands of TV, which ones are better, their strengths and weaknesses, they probably

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Getting that look… you know the one?


I walked into the office yesterday morning and walked straight into a conversation between a few people. I said hello and answered a question from one of them and then walked over to my desk. I took my coat off, grabbed my cup to make a tea (I’m English, we do a lot of tea), turned around and…. That look that means I instantly know that someone has spoken to me and I didn’t hear them. I’m not sure I can describe the look but if you’re hard of

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Hear the World Calendar 2010


In time for the holidays, Hear the World is offering a special kind of gift: international stars such as Jude Law, Elle Macpherson, Lenny Kravitz and Laura Pausini have been photographed by rock star and photographer Bryan Adams for the Hear the World initiative. These pictures are exclusively available for you to admire in the Hear the World calendar 2010. Reserve your copy of this limited edition calendar now for EUR 19.90 / USD 29.90 / GBP

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Otologics introduces fully implantable hearing system


Otologics has announced the introduction of Carina, a fully implantable hearing system that picks up sounds using a microphone implanted under the skin that the company says transmits amplified signals directly into the middle ear. Sounds are amplified according to the wearer’s needs and converted into an electrical signal. The signal is sent down the lead and into the transducer. The tip of the Carina transducer is in contact with the middle

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Where to buy a hearing aid in the UK


Below is a list of some of the hearing aid sellers in the UK. I’ve listed the major high-street chains but there are also many, many independent audiologists and sellers operating all over the UK as well. David Ormerod centres are found in more than 200 Boots branches nationwide. Their website is here. You can book an appointment with them online. To find your nearest David Ormerod branch, go here.

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Christmas gift ideas for the hard of hearing


OK, it’s not going to be the most exciting present under the tree this year but, for the hearing aid wearer in your life, it could be one of the most useful. Dehumidifier pots remove moisture from hearing aids, this helps prolong the life of the aid and keeps it functioning properly – and aid that it regularly popped into one of these will work longer and better. Amazon have some of these but you can get them from your local audiologist or

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Tax Credit Would Improve Hearing For More Than 10 Million Americans


Hearing aids for as many as 10 million Americans living with untreated hearing loss could soon become a reality if Congress acts, says Stephen Hansbrough, CEO of HearUSA, who is urging passage of the tax credit legislation that would make hearing aids significantly more affordable. Although almost all of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss could be helped by hearing aids, 25% currently use them, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) reports,

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Google introduces automatic captioning for YouTube


Google announced a few weeks ago that they have added the ability to auto-caption YouTube videos. That means that when the project is complete we will be able to have captions on any YouTube video whether the original uploader of the video added captions or not. Pretty damn awesome and it answers this question pretty conclusively! The ability for people to add captions manually when they upload their videos has been around to many years. But the

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Researchers create cell phones for sign language


Cornell researchers and colleagues have created cell phones that allow deaf people to communicate in sign language, the same way hearing people use phones to talk. For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, cell phone use has largely been limited to text messaging. But technology is catching up: Cornell researchers and colleagues have created cell phones that allow deaf people to communicate in sign language — the same way hearing people use

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White hearing aids


Hearing aids come in lots of cool colours and shapes these days but I’ve never seen a pure white one. White hearing aids would look quite a bit like iPod earphones and would maybe help to give them that cool factor? Everywhere you look these days someone has a pair of white buds in so it’s not unusual to see people with things in their ears. Possibly manufacturers are worried about a lawsuit from Apple?

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Is automatic video captioning possible?


There are some manual captioning services around, captvids.com is one, that do manual captioning of videos. That’s cool but I’m wondering if it’s possible to do automatic captioning? There’s a lot of speech recognition software around, Dragon Naturally Speaking for example, that do an amazing job. It’s probably 7 or 8 years since I’ve used a voice recognition system and even back then they were near perfect – they can only have gotten better

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Sonova to enter CI market with $489 million acquisition


ZURICH (Dow Jones)– Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova Holdings AG (SOON.VX) said Monday it is buying U.S.-based Advanced Bionics Corporation for $489 million, to enter the cochlear implant systems market where the company sees future growth rates between 10% and 15% per year. “With this transaction Sonova adds a new source of sustainable business growth and enhances its position as the leading provider of hearing healthcare solutions,” Chief

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Community-built hearing aids


Could we build a hearing aid? By we I mean me, you, the guy studying audiology at university, the hard of hearing electrical engineer and all the other people. In computer software there’s a thing called open source. What it means is that someone, or some people, build something and they don’t just release the finished product they also give the source code away too. Source code is the programming language statements that were used to make the

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Dr Craig Kasper talk about preserving and improving your hearing in NYC


Studies have shown that humans’ capacity to hear affects the quality of our relationships and mental health, regulates physiology and can impact stress and income levels. Explore the link between healthy hearing and overall well-being and the effects health issues such as diabetes, hypertension and medication can have on the delicate structures of hearing. Discover new strategies to preserve and improve hearing for life.

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UK hospitals and GP surgeries are failing the deaf and hard of hearing


I don’t think that UK hospitals and GP surgeries are doing enough to make themselves accessible to their deaf and hard of hearing patients. Take my local GP surgery as an example: They have a largish waiting room. They have a single speaker at one end of the room that most doctors use to call their patients – other doctors will walk to the top end of the room and call someone in. The room is often filled with patient’s chatter and kids playing.

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Ex-footballer campaigns to change attitudes to deafness


Pompey football legend Alan Knight spent years struggling to hear conversations. But now hearing aids have transformed his life and he is campaigning to change attitudes to deafness. ‘That John Westwood has got a lot to answer for,’ smiles Knight, recalling the hundreds of times he would be subjected to the loud ringing bell of the club’s noisiest supporter. But losing his hearing was devastating for the former goalkeeper. He felt cut off,

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What are programmable hearing aids?


All digital hearing aids are programmable. Some analogue hearing aids have programmable options too. It means that an audiologist can modify a hearing aid’s settings for your personal hearing loss – it also means that they can set the aid up so that you can hear the sounds that you want to hear in your everyday environments. There will default options for common situations such as: at home, at a party, at the theatre, listening to music, and so

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Starkey offers new, easy to use volume control


Starkey have recently introduced touch controls to their S Series hearing aids, a feature they are calling Sweep. The BTE S Series models have a touch-sensitive area that takes up most of the top side of the shell. You can use this control to either change volume or switch between programs. By default, an up or down motion increases/decreases the volume and a tap changes the program – but this can be configured differently if you want.

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T-Shirts for the hard of hearing


Sarah, who writes the Speak Up Librarian blog, has just launched a range of t-shirts for the hard of hearing. She says that the prints, “express our communication needs with grace, humor, and a little bit of attitude”. And they certainly do that! Here’s Sarah herself modelling one of the prints. Check out the Speak Up Librarian Store for the full range. Think I’m gonna get myself a Say What?.

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New software to boost voice recognition for hearing aid and cochlear implant us


Hearing aids and cochlear implants act as tiny amplifiers so the deaf and hard-of-hearing can make sense of voices and music. Unfortunately, these devices also amplify background sound, so they’re less effective in a noisy environment like a busy workplace or café. But help is on the way. Prof. Miriam Furst-Yust of Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering has developed a new software application named “Clearcall” for cochlear

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Looking for Assistive Listening Device recommendations


Can anyone recommend an Assistive Listening Device for one-to-one use at home? I know next to to nothing about ALDs, I’ve never used one – If you have and can recommend it could you please leave a comment below? Thanks. For anyone interested, there’s a good article on ALDs here.

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Starkey S Series: A review of its features


I’ve been wearing a pair of Starkey’s new S Series hearing aids for about a month now. I have the in-the-canal (ITC) model. On Starkey’s website they list the S Series’ main features. I’ve written a bit below about how each feature is working for me. I have not had a single squeak of feedback. The feedback-elimination program was run when I had the aids fitted and they’ve been perfect since. Speech is definitely clearer and easier to understand

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Where is all the hearing aid advertising?


I see a lot of adverts in the newspapers and on the TV for glasses. Every day there are full-page adverts in the papers and prime-time adverts on the big TV channels. Everyone is doing “Buy one get one free” offers or “Designer frames for free” etc etc. Glasses are cool, the designer frames are expensive, celebrities endorse them. According to the Royal National Institute For The Blind there are two million blind or partially sighted people in

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First success story for Hearing Aid Market


Hearing Aid Market has been up and running for a week now and it has already enabled someone to get a free pair of hearing aids! Carol kindly offered to donate her late Mother’s hearing aids so that they could be put to use by someone else. On the same day that I received an email from Carol I also got one from Angel in Texas. He was in need of hearing aids. I put the two in touch with each other and I am delighted to say that Carol shipped the

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Controlling Starkey S Series with a mobile phone


The Starkey S Series hearing aids have a feature called T2. This basically enables you to control the hearing aid with a touch-tone mobile phone. Once your audiologist has switched your aids to use the T2 feature it is easy to use your mobile to change volume and programme settings – you just need to hold the phone a few inches from your ear, press the * button twice and then use the keypad to increase/decrease volume or change programme.

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Deaf soldier wins £330K damages from Ministry Of Defence


A soldier has won £330,000 from the Ministry of Defence for hearing loss, after being told not to wear earplugs during a training exercise to make it more “battle realistic”. Charles Bradlaugh was left with hearing loss and tinnitus. Mr Bradlaugh, 22, was a cadet when colleagues started firing before he could find earplugs or alert anyone at Barry Buddon Training Centre in Carnoustie, Angus, in 2004.

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Sonic Innovations Parent Company Renamed Otix Global


Shareholders of Sonic Innovations Inc, Salt Lake City, overwhelmingly approved the renaming of Sonic Innovations Inc to Otix Global Inc at the company’s recent annual shareholder meeting. The name and ticker symbol change have already been adopted. “The move is designed to create a holding company that will allow the Sonic Innovations’ brand and Sonic’s other brands to operate independently from each other,” said Sam Westover, the company’s

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The S Series from Starkey.


I have a new pair of Starkey’s S Series hearing aids – I got them fitted at Banbury Hearing Centre. Over the next few weeks I’m going to review their performance against my old aids and write about them on here. I’m very impressed already. In the office last week I managed to listen in to someone else’s conversation from another desk – that was a welcome surprise! The noise reduction seems really good, I can listen to music in my car now –

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Banbury Hearing Centre


If you live in or around Oxfordshire, UK then I highly recommend Banbury Hearing Centre as a great audiologist and hearing aid vendor. I’ve been there twice recently to be fitted with a new pair of Starkey S Series aids and have received a really first-class service. John Enderbury is the audiologist there. I had two one-hour appointments with him – both of which stretched over the hour because John took the time to explain my new aid’s features

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Hearing Aid Market – testing over, going live tomorrow


Thank you very, very much to those of you who took the time to check out the Market site and send some feedback. Your comments have all helped to make a better site – I really appreciate you taking the time. Testing is now over and I plan to make Hearing Aid market available to everyone from tomorrow. Any hearing aids that were listed up until now will be deleted but the users who signed up will remain.

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Signstation – BSL and Deaf awareness workplace materials


Want to know about British Sign Language (BSL)? Signstation has video, interactive exercises, pictures, graphics and explanations about BSL and Deaf people at work. Signstation supports Deaf awareness training under the Disability Discrimination Act. http://www.signstation.org/signstation_dictionary/showUserHomePage.do

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Hearing Aid Market – buy/sell/give hearing aids online


Firstly, I want to to say sorry for not writing much recently and thanks for waiting it out and not unsubscribing from this RSS feed. Even though I haven’t written much I have not been totally idle. I’ve been building a new part to the site called: Don’t know if you remember but I wrote a long time ago asking if people would buy/sell or give hearing aids through this site – a lot of people replied saying that they would. I even managed to put

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Lip Reader – a book about hearing loss by Shanna Groves


Shanna Groves was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss at the age of 27 after the birth of her first child. She has written about her hearing journey in Hearing Loss Magazine, The Kansas City Star, MOMSense, and the book A CUP OF COMFORT FOR NURSES(Adams Media). LIP READER is her second book and her first novel. A member of the Hearing Loss Association of America and the National Association of Memoir Writers, Shanna lives in the Midwest with

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Sonova profits beats forecast


Sonova is reporting record sales of CHF 1.249 billion (USD $1.124 billion) and further expanded its market share on the back of organic growth of 7.8% in local currencies and 3.0% growth from acquisitions. Profitability was maintained at a high level, with an Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Amortisation (EBITA) margin of 26.6%. Income after taxes amounted to CHF 284 million (USD $255 million). The rise in net profit in the year to end-March,

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Scripps scientists discover molecular defect involved in hearing loss


The Scripps Research Institute is reporting that scientists there have illuminated the action of harmonin, a protein which is involved in the mechanics of hearing. The finding reportedly sheds new light on the workings of mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into electrical activity. Defects in mechanotransduction genes can cause devastating diseases, such as Usher’s syndrome, which is characterized by

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Concerns of a hearing aid buyer


The comment below is from Paul Weston, he originally wrote this as a comment on here but I felt it was worth posting separately as it raises some good points. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he is saying but moving his comment to its own page gives people room for comment. A quick straw poll of friends shows that of four people that have had hearing aids fitted, four of them are not used. The hearing aid has not been adjusted in a way

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A better way to trial hearing aids


Whenever someone buys a hearing aid they have a trial period in which they can decide whether they want to keep the hearing aid or not. If you are buying a hearing aid and aren’t offered a trial period then shop somewhere else. Normally the way the trial works is that you pay up-front in full for your hearing aid and you take it away. You get an amount of time for the trial and at the end of that you can give it back or keep it. During the trial

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US hearing loss approaching epidemic proportions


One of three US adults already suffers from some degree of hearing loss and the use of personal stereos and an aging population may create a hearing impairment epidemic, according to a study carried out by a team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The researchers estimated that 55 million Americans have hearing loss in one or both ears, with men, whites and the least-educated most affected, while one out of six, or 29 million adults,

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Good vibrations at MIT


Lip reading is a critical means of communication for many deaf people, but it has a drawback: Certain consonants (for example, p and b) can be nearly impossible to distinguish by sight alone. Tactile devices, which translate sound waves into vibrations that can be felt by the skin, can help overcome that obstacle by conveying nuances of speech that can’t be gleaned from lip reading. Researchers in MIT’s Sensory Communication Group are working on

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Evie, 7, youngest person to get a hearing dog


Deaf seven-year-old Evie Crook has a new best friend – a specially trained hearing dog. Evie is the youngest person to get an assistance dog and her confidence is starting to skyrocket. Since getting Gem she is sleeping in her own bed for the first time and is much more chatty, her parents say. “I love Gem more than 10 million bags of sugar!,” the youngster told Sky News. Evie is severely deaf, and is one of 12 children taking part in a trial

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Tinnitus Cure ‘is a step closer’


Scientists have found what could be the root cause of tinnitus, raising the hope of a treatment in the near future. In studies carried out by Scientists in Australia, increased activity in the auditory brainstem where sounds are processed were found and linked to changes in the genes involved in regulating the activity of the nerve cells. Pathways that normally keep a lid on nerve signal transmission were blocked and others were more excitable

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Hearing loss changes the brain


Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered that hearing loss leads to a remodelling of the brain in which auditory regions are overtaken by the sensory system that corresponds to touch. This cross-model plasticity could explain why some people with hearing loss struggle with therapies. Alex Meredith, lead scientist on the study stated, “Our study indicates that hearing deficits in adult animals result in a conversion of their

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Starkey launches next generation of hearing aid: The S Series


Starkey Laboratories, Inc. is proud to introduce S SeriesTM with Drive ArchitectureTM, the extraordinary new family of hearing aids that combines art and science to create unparalleled levels of performance, comfort and personalization. S Series, developed using Starkey’s evidence-based design approach, is available in custom and a first-ever full line of receiver-in-canal (RIC) options. At the heart of every S Series hearing instrument is

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Clive Anderson backs hearing aid donation campaign


Clive Anderson is backing a charity campaign calling for people to donate their unwanted hearing aids, which will be recycled for deaf children in developing countries. Charity Sound Seekers, which aims to improve the lives of deaf children, has joined forces with Specsavers hearing centres for the appeal. More than 300 hearing centres across the country will host fundraising activities and collect unwanted hearing aids for the charity.

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Audiology a good career choice in 2009


usnews.com has put together what is considers to be the 30 best careers in 2009 that offer a good outlook for the future and high job satisfaction. They’ve selected Audiologist in their list and go on to say: An advantage is that audiology is an under-the-radar career—few people consider it, so competition isn’t as keen as it might be. You’d think demand for audiologists would be rapidly increasing, with all the aging boomers and the increased

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Soft shell hearing aid for athletes?


Does anyone know if it is possible to get a soft-shelled ITE, ITC or CIC hearing aid? A shell made from silicone or something similar? The question comes from Paul Murata, an athletic trainer and the University of Virginia. One of his basketball players wears in the canal hearing aids and occasionally gets hit on or around the ears during games, causing pain and sometimes even bleeding in the ear canal.

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Bilateral hearing loss


A Bilateral hearing loss is where a person has a hearing impairment in both ears. When someone has a loss in only one ear, it is known as a Unilateral hearing loss. It is recommended that people with a Bilateral loss wear a hearing aid in both ears. Wearing only one aid will not give the quality of sound needed and can lead to further hearing problems in the future. See here for more info.

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Unilateral hearing loss


Unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is also known as Single Sided Deafness (SSD) – it is where a person has normal hearing in one ear but an impairment in the other. People suffering UHL will have difficulty hearing and understanding speech in noisy situations and they will find it difficult to localise sound. A contralateral routing of signals (CROS) hearing aid is used to treat single sided deafness – it takes sounds from the ear with poorer hearing

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What is a Cochlear Implant?


Cochlear implants, introduced 20 years ago, have given 83,000 people the ability to hear human speech; they are worn by people who are either severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf. Surgeons drill a hole in the skull, embed a sound receiver, and weave an electrode array into the cochlea. Once the hardware is in place, software engineers take over, upgrading the devices as needed so users can enjoy more complex sounds, like music.

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2008 a good year for hearing loss research


2008 was a productive year in terms of hearing research. Results from stem-cell and gene research may lead to new treatment options for hearing impairment. Stem-cell and gene research contributed new knowledge about the ear and hearing in 2008, opening opportunities for the development of new treatment options for hearing impaired people in the future. Genes and cells Gene mutations causing various kinds of hearing loss were identified. We now

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Take a pill to protect your hearing?


By tweaking a system in the ear that limits how much sound is heard, a global team of researchers has discovered one alteration that shows that the ability of the ear to turn itself down contributes to protecting against permanent hearing loss. The report appears this week in PLoS Biology. “There’s some uncertainty in the field about what this sound-limiting system is used for,” says Paul Fuchs, PhD, an author on the paper and professor of

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Are people comfortable with lip reading?


Lip-reading is an essential part of communication for the hard of hearing. But do people mind having their lips read and do you mind staring at someone’s mouth when they are talking? I used to lip-read a lot and, according to a hearing specialist I saw many years ago, I’m very good at it. But I don’t look directly at people’s mouths any more, these days I tend to look people straight in the eye. Why? Because a few years ago I began to realise

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Phonak introduces hypoallergenic hearing aid shells


Phonak has announced that the material used for all custom product shell colors in its digital manufacturing process has been certified to be nontoxic and nonirritating according to independent laboratory biocompatibility testing. In 2007 after several years of development, Phonak introduced an advanced digital manufacturing process to all major custom production centers worldwide. This process uses proprietary 3D modelling software to create a

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MRI scans may damage cochlear implants


Patients with cochlear implants may want to steer clear of certain magnetic imaging devices, such as 3T MRI machines, because the machines can demagnetize the patient’s implant, according to new research published in the December 2008 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. The study, conducted by a team of German reasearchers from the International Neuroscience Institute, Hannover, and the Medical University of Hannover, and American

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The kiss of deaf


This unusual news items comes from Reuters India. It finishes with an amazing piece of advice for avoiding hearing loss due to kissing. A young woman in southern China has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss, local media reported on Monday. The 20-something girl from Zhuhai, in southern Guangdong province, went to hospital completely deaf in her left ear, the China Daily said,

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Infrared technology may improve cochlear implants


It’s always encouraging to learn of progress in technologies that help the hard of hearing. This report of studies into Infrared being used in cochlear implants comes from The News website: Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have made a new discovery that could lead to better cochlear implants for deaf people. They have found that infrared light can stimulate neurons in the inner ear as precise as sound waves, reports New

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Specsavers branch to recycle hearing aids


For many years Specsavers in St Sepulchre Gate has run a successful scheme to recycle unwanted spectacles and Nick Finn, the hearcare director, is launching a similar campaign to get people across Doncaster to give their old hearing aids to the charity Sound Seekers for people in countries such as The Gambia, Zambia and Sierra Leone. Said Nick: “This is one of the first schemes anywhere in the country to offer people the chance to recycle

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Hearing journalist spends a day with a Deaf family


Guardian reporter Sam Wollaston spends a day with the Woolfe family. He is hearing and the Woolfe family – Ramon and Louise and their three children: Jasper, Layla and Spencer – are all deaf. I should have been prepared for it, I suppose – the silence. But it strikes me immediately. And, to begin with, I find it difficult. Here is a family behaving exactly as every other family in the country behaves every morning – having breakfast, getting

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US hearing aid sales drop in third quarter of 2008


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Can vitamins and minerals prevent hearing loss?


About 10 million people in the United States alone—from troops returning from war to students with music blasting through headphones—are suffering from impairing noise-induced hearing loss. The rising trend is something researchers and physicians at the University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Ann Arbor, Mich, are hoping to reverse, with a cocktail of vitamins and the mineral magnesium that has shown promise as a possible way to

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The Deaf DJ feels the vibe


It may not seem the most obvious profession for someone who is profoundly deaf, but Spencer Collins, 34, deaf since birth, has made a name for himself as DJ Harcor. He tells MIKE PILE how he made it on the London club scene. When Ascot man Spencer Collins feels the beat, it’s more than just a desire to dance – it helps him ‘hear’ the music. “I wanted to be a DJ because I love the feel of the music, the vibration, the buzz, the passion and being

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My PC fried and my email got deleted


Just a quick note to anyone who has sent me an email recently and hasn’t had a reply. My PC took a turn for the worse the other week and I had to re-install the operating system. I wasn’t able to salvage my email and so everything sent before Monday 10th November has been lost. If I haven’t replied to you then please, please email me again and I’ll try to keep my PC working from now on! And I’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone who has

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Cash crisis forces deaf users to hang up on phone service


Imagine arriving at work to find that your phone has been taken away while your colleagues still have theirs. And one year on, you’re still without a phone. That’s what happened to Simon Pearse and Alan Goldsmith last November. Pearse, an actuary who is hard of hearing, started using a technology called captioned telephony (CapTel) to make calls after his company switched to a digital phone system on which he found it difficult to hear clearly.

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Everton FC launches hearing aid


Everton FC are another football club from the English Premier League that are launching a range of hearing aids in their club colours. Young Evertonians with hearing difficulties can now proudly wear their team’s colours – on their ears. The Blues have joined forces with scientists to tackle the problems hard-of-hearing children face while wearing hearing aids. Together they have created special clear hearing aids carrying Everton’s world-famous

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It must look weird when I change volume


I have ITE hearing aids with a volume control on them. I tend to change the volume quite often – for example I have them up full when in the office but I usually turn them down a bit when I go outside to stop some of the traffic noise. It hadn’t occurred to me until just now how weird it must look when I’m changing volume. I use my thumb to give the volume knob a twist. I’ve also got this thing where I rotate the knob backwards and forwards a

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Beware of over-amplification


Be careful not to have your hearing aids turned up too much and put excessive strain on your ears. If you find yourself wincing at loud noises while wearing your hearing aids, if you start to get ringing in your ears, or if your ears hurt then you should see your audiologist and get them to test your hearing and check your volume settings. If your aid has a manual volume control then don’t be scared to turn it down a bit when you know you will

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Town crier deafened by own bell after 25 years


Town Criers are a long-standing tradition here in the UK. They are employed by a local authority to make public announcements in the streets – they were first used in Medieval times but we still have some around today. They shout their announcements in public places and ring a bell to get attention. These people are loud and when I say loud I mean really loud. I’m talking a Harley Davidson revving-up right next to your eardrum loud.

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Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in US


Hearing loss reportedly affects more than 36 million Americans. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal audio devices and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing. In response to the growing number of Americans experiencing hearing loss, the American Academy

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Grandmother killed by a hearing aid


A great-grandmother who survived breast cancer died after suffering a rare allergic reaction after a hearing aid fitting. Doctors at Bradford Royal Infirmary could not save Mary Elizabeth Hibbitt, 83, after she contracted an infection through cracks in her skin, an inquest in Bradford heard yesterday. Mrs Hibbitt, of Tyersal Garth, Tyersal, Bradford, who had beaten breast cancer 14 years previously, died on March 1 from pneumonia caused by the

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YouTube adds subtitles/captions


YouTube have, at long last, added subtitle/caption support to their videos. Their blog says that they hope this will makes the videos they host more accessible to more people, including the deaf and hard of hearing. You can add subtitles to a video you have uploaded by uploading a closed caption file using the “Captions and Subtitles” menu on the editing page. It’s possible to upload multiple caption files to support subtitles in different

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Do hard of hearing audiologists have an advantage over those with normal hearin


“You can use those Starkey Destinys but a pair of Oticon Epochs would be much better for you. The Epochs are cutting-edge tech” said the audiologist. “Why would the Epochs be better?” I asked. “The technology is far more advanced…. ” he replied. I’m sure an Oticon Epoch is more advanced than a Starkey Destiny but I really wanted that audiologist to tell me why the Epochs would allow me to hear better. I wanted to know how they’d sound different,

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Website and upcoming film about deaf explorer’s arctic journey


Edinburgh-based artist and filmmaker Matt Hulse has created the interactive website about James Duthie’s journey in advance of a feature film he is making. Mr Duthie, also known as Dummy Jim because he was mute, covered 3000 miles on his bike back in 1951, travelling from Fraserburgh via France to the Arctic Circle. He rode alone for three months, spending just £12 en route. His own account of his travels was published in 1957 as I Cycled Into

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Awesome hearing aid packaging from Widex


This is cool. A company called Good Morning Design have produced hearing aid packaging for Widex that produces what looks like a moving sound wave when the box is opened. Not only that, apparently the sound wave represents someone saying Widex’s “High Definition Hearing” slogan.

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Science breakthrough offers hope for hard of hearing


Some exciting news has been hitting the UK’s broadsheet newspapers today: Scientists have for the first time been able to successfully grow inner ear hair cells in mice. But don’t throw away those hearing aids just yet! This is just the first step and they now need to see if the regrown cells actually result in an improvement in hearing. After that, there will still be a long road through regulations before this treatments gets anywhere near me

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One step closer to hearing restoration


Preliminary results from studies in Belgium and Virginia offer hope for the future for hearing impaired people. Estimates suggest that approximately 500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. Belgian scientists have identified the TGBF1 gene as the culprit in one of the most common forms of hearing loss in adults, otosclerosis. Otoschlerosis is a progressive form of hearing loss associated with the build-up of growing bone in the

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Hormone treatment may prevent hearing loss


A swedish study indicates that simple treatment with oestrogen stimulating drugs may be useful in combating hearing loss. The researchers studied the impact of the female oestrogen hormone. They found that one of two receptors the female oestrogen sex hormone binds itself to offers good protection against hearing loss in both males and females. The study was based on experiments with mice. ”We found that the beta (oestrogen) receptor protects

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Can you hear movement?


Melissa Saenz, Ph.D., a postdoc at Caltech, has discovered that the video above can identify people with auditory synesthesia, a condition that can make some people hear music, even though there is no music being played. “While I was running an experiment at the Caltech Brain Imaging Center, a group of students happened to pass by on a tour, and I volunteered to explain what I was doing,” explains Saenz, who, along with Christof Koch, the Lois

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New research into hearing aid stigma


A researcher at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol wants to meet people diagnosed with impaired hearing but avoid wearing their aids. The Royal National Institute for the Deaf estimates nine million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss but only 1.4 million use aids. Psychology student, Claire Calvert wants to find out if there is a stigma attached to the look of hearing aids. She is also interested to know what

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Frog helps hearing aid science


With a twitch of a muscle, the Chinese concave-eared torrent frog brushes off the sounds of thundering rivers, focusing on the one thing that really matters: the siren song of the opposite sex. The males of this rare species are the only animal known to be able to turn a deaf ear to distracting noises while enhancing the calls of their own kind, according to a study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Would you buy or sell a hearing aid through this site?


A few people have responded to my article about second hand hearing aids – there’s been a few offering aids either cheaply or for free and a few people asking for them. Would you consider using this site to buy or sell a hearing aid? If enough people are interested and you feel that this site is a trusted place to buy and sell hearing aids then I’ll try and set something up. A deaf Craigslist or something like that. I’m not looking to make any

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Nokia’s hearing aid and cochlear implant bluetooth adapter


Nokia have announced the release of a new cell-phone accessory designed for users with hearing aids: The Nokia Wireless Loopset works with T-coil equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants, and slips around the user’s neck. The Wireless Loopset is compatible with Bluetooth-ready handsets, essentially transforming the user’s hearing aid into a headset. The device features adjustable sidetone levels, optimized volume range, single-button calling,

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Hearing aid manufacturers


If you are thinking about buying a hearing aid, it’s good to do a bit of market research to find out what’s available. After all, hearing aids are expensive items and you want to do everything you can to make sure you purchase the right one for you. When you visit a hearing aid vendor / audiologist they will surely recommend certain makes and models to you. With a bit of market knowledge you will be better placed to ask why a certain aid is

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Hearing aids sport football team’s colours


Portsmouth Football Club and hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Laboratories have together been tackling the stigma attached to wearing hearing aids by offering a special design carrying the team crest. Suzie Butcher, from Starkey Laboratories, said: ‘Many children suffering with hearing problems can experience bullying and feelings of embarrassment from hearing aid use. ‘Starkey has seen a fantastic response from children who have opted for a

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Mower dad left deaf by a twig


A Dad was left deaf in one ear and needing a walking stick after a twig spiked his eardrum as he mowed the lawn. Mike Watson, 56, brushed past a bush and a branch poked into his right ear, knocking him out for several minutes. Mike, who has five kids, managed to crawl indoors and dial 999. He was rushed to hospital with a four inch piece of twig still sticking out of his ear. But despite emergency surgery he lost his hearing and now can’t

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Lancashire Police have officers trained in BSL


The Lancashire (UK) police force now have 14 officers trained in British Sign Language (BSL). The Constabulary also has a Deaf Liaison Officer, PC Paula Robertson, who promotes sign language and deaf awareness training. She said: “Those who are deaf are a very isolated group and by improving the service we provide we will encourage them to report crime and other issues to us.” Supt Bob Eastwood, head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Diversity Unit,

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The glove that talks sign language


Researchers from the Canergie Melon university are developing the HandTalk – a glove that converts sign language into text messages that are sent to a mobile phone. There are a number of sensors on the glove that record the ASL signs and convert them into text on the fly. Three of the four team members who are developing HandTalk, senior computer engineering students Bhargav Bhat, Hemant Sikaria and Jorge L. Meza , demonstrated the prototype

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Amplifon to rebrand and open 22 new stores in UK


Italian hearing aid retailer Amplifon is undertaking a major expansion in the UK and a £10m rebranding exercise. The company currently trades under the Ultratone, SieTech and Hearing Health names, these will be replaced with the single Amplifon brand – the new branding is being handled by the London-based Saatchi group this July. The company, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, also plans to open an additional 22 stores in the UK, three

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Don’t try this at home!


Found this funny video on YouTube. Will your hearing aid blend?

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Love your Audiologist? Vote for them.


Rayovac batteries and Audio Infos are looking for the Audiologist Of The Year 2008. Good service, sound advice and excellent care are what you expect from your audiologist or dispenser. When they deliver, it can make a tremendous difference to your life – so why not help your audiologist or dispenser get the recognition they deserve? Has your audiologist or dispenser gone beyond the call of duty? Have they helped in difficult or unusual

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Over 70% of youngsters show first signs of hearing loss


A survey carried out by Australian Hearing has found that: MORE than 70 per cent of young adults suffer from the first sign of hearing loss. The survey, commissioned by Australian Hearing, found adults aged between 18 and 24 reported suffering from tinnitus or ringing in the ear. Professor Harvey Dillon, director of the National Acoustics Laboratory at Australian Hearing says that he was surprised by the results as it is a higher percentage than

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Vibe: ear candy from Siemens


The Latest in “Ear Candy,” Vibe Reflects Wearer’s Fashion and Moods with Interchangeable, Ready-to-Wear Casings CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 2, 2008 – For the growing number of people with mild hearing loss, due in large part to the aging of 78 million baby boomers, hearing instrument options just leaped into a fashionable new realm where bold is “in.” Today, Siemens Hearing Instruments introduced the world’s first crest-fit hearing aid – Vibe®.

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Formula 1 engine noise affects commentator’s hearing


In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Formula 1 racing commentator Murray Walker described the impact that 50 years at the side of the race track has had on his hearing and how that’s affecting his life. The commentator, who went deaf from the roar of the car engines, never wore ear protectors because he thought he would look like a wimp – even though noise in the Grand Prix pits reached 120 decibels.

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Deafening call for new toy law


Health Canada is examining the way it tests noisy toys to make sure they aren’t damaging childrens’ tender ears. Many toys seem to sing, shout, beep and wail at deafening decibels. And the current testing method — holding a toy at an adult arm’s length — doesn’t reflect the reality that kids hold toys close to their ears, audiologists warn. Noise-induced hearing loss is growing. Studies in the U.S. show 12.5% of children have hearing problems

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ASL video dictionary and inflection guide


The ASL Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide shows thousands of signs in crisp color video and links them to sentences that demonstrate how they change to convey different meanings. This is critical because unlike English words, ASL signs change – inflect – from sentence to sentence to show different meanings. The sign for help, for example, can change to mean help me, help them, help for a long time, etc. The experts at RIT’s National

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Sonova group reports record sales growth


The Sonova Holding AG (previously Phonak Holding AG) have posted their 2007/2008 financial report. Sales across all brands, including Phonak and Unitron reached a new record of US$1.16 billion (1.2 billion CHF) – with 59% of hearing system sales being generated from products launched less than 2 years ago. New product releases in the last year have included Phonak’s Exélia and Naída, and Unitron’s Yuu and Next, as well as the iCom, iPilot, and

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AmericaHears adds a splash of colour


America Hears (www.AmericaHears.com) announced it will offer its popular Freedom SIE (speaker-in-the-ear) hearing aids in an array of six colors for fashion-conscious consumers demanding up-to-date looks along with high-performance digital hearing assistance. The new hearing aids now are available in off-white, slate-grey, ebony, cobalt-blue and ruby-red in addition to the original flesh-toned version.

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Find subtitled videos using Google


You can use Google’s video search to find subtitled videos on the web. Then simply click the “search only closed captioned videos” checkbox:

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My name is Steve and I have a hearing loss


Something unusual happened in the office last week: I had a conversation with several people about my hearing problems and the aids that I wear. I’ve never been one to hide my hearing aids, they are there for everyone to see, but I’ve never really talked about them with anyone. Possibly people just weren’t interested or they felt they couldn’t mention them. Anyway, last week, we were talking about CSI – one of the episodes in which Grissom is

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BAHAs help to overcome single-sided deafness


Although Jim McGinn of Wheaton, Ill, is completely deaf in his right ear, he still can hear from that side. A sound processor McGinn wears just behind his right ear converts sound waves into tiny vibrations that move through his skull. The vibrations are detected by his good left ear, so it sounds to McGinn like he can hear from both sides. A Loyola University Health System study has found that this system of conducting sound through skull bone

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The SolarAid


Newsweek has an interview with Howard Weinstein, the designer of the SolarAid. He talks about the hurdles he faced when trying to get it into production and how he hopes it will help bring better hearing to Africa: Weinstein knew what he had to do: change the business model. Drawing on his years in the corporate bunker, he started working the phones, chatting up financiers, consulting with electronics wizards and haggling with manufacturers. He

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Possible financial help for hearing aids?


Americans are coming together in a campaign to encourage Congress to pass a federal tax credit to help people buy hearing aids. To help organize the effort to have Congress pass the legislation, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has launched a new Web site (www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org). An excellent resource and tool for those concerned about the needs of people with hearing loss, it reaches out to adults 55+ and to parents of children with

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Donate used hearing aids in Palm Beach County


The Hearing Aid Bank, a program of the Deaf Service Center of Palm Beach County, provides used and recycled hearing aids free to those in financial need. Many people have the misconception that hearing aids cannot be re-used. That is basically true and there are three good reasons why a person should not use another’s hearing aid (1) sanitary issues; (2) everyone’s prescription is different and using the wrong prescription could possibly be

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Deaf Awareness week 2008


5th – 11th May 2008 is Deaf Awareness Week and organisations working with deaf people across the country are inviting everyone to ‘Look At Me’. The theme aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under

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America Hears: A customer’s view


David from -->Hearing Mojo has blogged about his recent purchase from America Hears. America Hears is a vendor that manufacturers and distributes hearing aids via the Internet. You send them an up-to-date audiogram and impressions of your ears and they will manufacture and mail back to you the hearing aid model of your choice. You are also supplied with some computer software that enables you to modify your aid’s settings so that they are

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Hearing aid prices wanted


I have been thinking of ways that I could expand this blog so that I can offer services and tools that people would find useful. One of the things I would like to do is start a hearing aid price database. The idea is that someone would be able to either enter a model and see the current price for it or they would be able to enter a price and see what models are available at that price. It would be impossible for me to keep a record of all

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Rayovac batteries at Specsavers


Specsavers are selling boxes of 60 hearing aid batteries ( 10 x 6 packs ) for 18 pounds. The batteries are branded as Specsaver’s own but they are actually Rayovac – so you can rely on them being of good quality.

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Zebrafish can regain lost hearing


Hearing rarely returns once a human loses the ability to hear. However, when lower vertebrates such as birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians lose the ability to hear, they are able to regenerate hearing cells, called hair cells, and regain their hearing. The cells are called hair cells because they are tiny, hair-like projections found in the inner ear which enable humans and animals to hear. Scientists don’t know why certain animals can

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Moose’s hearing aid


They are some of the most extravagant headgear in the animal kingdom, but a moose’s antlers are not just for show. Scientists believe they act as elaborate hearing aids that help males to find calling females. A study has found that the antlers’ sound-gathering qualities boost the hearing of the animals by 19%. Moose, which are called elk in Europe, are well-known for their impressive hearing. Their ears are more than 60 times larger than those

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HearAtLast at Wal-Mart


HearAtLast Holdings Inc. is pleased to announce that it has finalized the next phase of its expansion plans. Wal-Mart Canada will include HearAtLast operations in additional supercentre and discount store locations, as HearAtLast continues its national expansion program. HearAtLast along with Wal-Mart Canada’s management strategically identify locations that are best suited demographically for their unique hearing aid dispensing model. The 2008

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Second hand hearing aids?


Why is there no established market for second hand hearing aids? Given the high price of a new aid, you would think that a cheaper second-hand model would be very tempting to a lot of people. It’s not so different from buying a second hand car The second-hand car market is huge. People have the option of buying privately and taking some risk on the quality of the car or they can buy a re-conditioned/serviced/checked car from a dealer. The same

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Hearing specialists open new world for Hondurans


They would line up at 7 a.m., wait all day and spend their food money to get there – all to gain the ability to hear. “It was incredible, absolutely incredible,” Ginny Smith said. “It was overwhelming,” Rick Silverman added. Smith and Silverman, partners from American Hearing Care in Orange Park, were referring to a four-day mission trip they took to Honduras in December, where more than 2,500 hearing aids were provided to 1,266 people. Because

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Starkey founder honoured


William Austin, founder and chief executive of Starkey Laboratories in Eden Prairie, has long been known as the Santa Claus of Hearing. Now he’s being honored as member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger award honors those who have defied adversity with hard work, courage and determination to achieve the American dream of wealth and success. Austin, 66, developed the first in-the-ear hearing aid,

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Digital Audio Used for Treatment of Tinnitus


A company called Neuromonics believes it has developed an audio device that can treat people suffering from ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus. Using an audio player that over time changes the way it plays music and accompanying sounds, the firm already offers its service in number of clinics, reports today’s Wall Street Journal: For the first two months, the music mix includes a noise, which some describe as water in a shower, to cover the

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Product and service


Hearing aid vendors supply both a product (the aid) and a service (fitting, maintenance, etc). To my mind, these are two completely separate things. I’m writing about this because I popped into my local Scrivens branch last weekend – I was waiting for my Wife and just happened to notice the “Hearing Care” sign in their window – to ask for a price list. I knew from previous experiences with other suppliers that it was unlikely that they’d have a

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Hearing Review top ten of 2007


The Hearing Review’s editor, Karl Strom, has compiled a list of last year’s top ten news items from the hearing aid / health industry. It’s an interesting list and also a very positive one – Karl talks about the advances in hearing aid technology and research as well as the increased exposure of hearing aids and hearing problems in the media last year. 1) Sonova-GN deal is blocked, putting into question future consolidation. Announced in October

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Burger King settles student’s lawsuit


The owner of a Burger King franchise in Newark has agreed settle a lawsuit filed by a student who was fired after one day on the job because the owner discovered he wore hearing aids. Andy Patel, who owns the Burger King inside the University Hospital complex, reached a settlement with Jordan Myrie Feb. 5 as the student’s lawsuit was about to begin trial in Superior Court in Newark. Witnesses were expected to testify that Patel showed up at the

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Take your hearing aids out, hear more


You could hear more by taking your hearing aids out. How does that work? Well, I was in a meeting yesterday, sat around a table with seven other people – after a while I realised that I wasn’t hearing several of them as well as I normally would be. I did a quick check that the volume settings on my aids were correct – they were. I didn’t have a cold. I couldn’t think of any reason why I couldn’t hear them.

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Lean BSL online with SignpostBSL


The Signpost website is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn BSL. They have a fingerspelling video tutorial that goes through the alphabet – you can zoom the video in and out, you can view it in slow-motion and you can also view left of right-handed spelling. More impressively there is another option that allows you to type in a word and it will be finger-spelt back to you – again there are left/right, zoom and slo-mo options.

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Old hearing aids to get new life abroad


A ground breaking appeal launched in Huddersfield to transform the lives of hard of hearing people in the Third World has been hailed a success. The hearing aid recycling scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, was launched in November last year to encourage people to give their unwanted aids in a bid to improve and even save lives of people living in developing countries. Phil Spenceley, registered hearing aid dispenser and director of

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Phonak CORE technology


Phonak’s revolutionary chip technology powers three exciting new Digital Wireless Accessories: iCom brings Bluetooth to the hearing impaired; the myPilot command center provides full-color display feedback; and iCube enables totally CableFree Fitting.The CORE (Communication Optimized Real-audio Engine) technology developed for the chip used in the new Exélia and Naída hearing instruments permits wireless communication between the left and right

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What’s that noise? Is it an aeroplane?


Whilst I was out at lunch the other day, I got a call from an old friend that I hadn’t spoken to for months. I was outside when he called – it was a windy day. He was telling me all about his new Flickr photo sets when suddenly he stopped talking mid-sentence and asked, “What’s that noise? Is it a plane?”. There was nothing overhead and I told him so. “Oh”, he said, “Must just be the wind blowing in your phone’s microphone then”.

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Sensorineural hearing loss


A sensorineural hearing loss is one that affects the nerves in the inner ear. The more the nerves are damaged the greater the hearing loss will be. In addition to affecting the sensitivity or loudness of hearing, a sensorineural loss can also affect the clarity of hearing – meaning that, for example, if a sound such as someone’s voice is loud enough for you to hear you still may not be able to understand clearly what is being said.

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Conductive hearing loss


A conductive hearing loss is one that affects the structures that conduct the sound to the inner ear – this includes both the middle and outer ear. Common causes of conductive hearing loss are: Many cases of conductive hearing loss are treatable. Wax and fluid build-up are easily removed, an infection can be treated with antibiotics, a ruptured eardrum can be patched and damaged middle ear bones can be replaced.

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Eardrops May Cause Hearing Loss or Damage


A new study, led by researchers at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC, has revealed that certain over-the-counter earwax softeners can cause severe inflammation and damage to the eardrum and inner ear. The results of the study, recently published in The Laryngoscope, suggest that use of these medications should be discouraged. “Patients often complain that wax is blocking their ears and is causing discomfort and sometimes

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Bob’s house vignettes (ASL videos)


Pepsi are at it again. Not content with showing a totally silent ad during the Superbowl that features two deaf characters using ASL (with subtitles) – they have produced four other videos that are, frankly, fantastic. I think Pepsi are doing a really great job with this ad campaign – they are showing the deaf community in a very positive light and are doing wonders for awareness. Whilst Pepsi clearly have one eye on marketing their product I

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Widex Inteo test drive


Melinda Beck has written in the Wall Street Journal about her experiences with a Widex Inteo aid. It’s an interesting article because it touches on some of the problems that new hearing aid wearers face, such as: A rush of new sounds: New aid wearers will be hearing many sounds that they haven’t heard for a long time (if ever) – this can be overwhelming to begin with, but as Melinda noted with the rustling crisp packets, it soon becomes

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Hearing aids suck!


There’s an article in WIRED magazine by Erin Biba called “Why Things Suck: Hearing Aids”. The article starts by, quite rightly, stating that hearing aids are too expensive – I couldn’t agree more. It then goes on to talk about directional microphones, inadequate feedback and noise reduction and, finally, the the fact that insurance rarely covers hearing aids. Do you agree that feedback and noise reduction systems aren’t good enough?I don’t have

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Super Bowl ad – Bob’s house


Pepsi’s Super Bowl advert uses a Deaf joke:

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Open fit hearing aids


Open fit hearing aids are similar in style to BTE aids in that a shell sits above your ear and a wire travels down from there into your ear canal – but that’s where the similarities end. Open Fit BTEs are much newer technology than traditional BTEs – the shell above the ear is much smaller and the whole aid is lighter. The open in the name comes from the fact that the earpiece does not fit tightly into your ear canal – as is the case with

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Hearing aid buyer loses $4000


A Sacramento man paid for hearing aids he didn’t get and now the salesman has disappeared. James Barnwell is back to using his 10-year old hearing aids. “It’s getting harder and harder to hear where the sounds coming from.” That’s why last February he went to River City hearing center in Fair Oaks. Purchase agreement, he paid $3,800 and in about a month got his hearing aids. But, he says they weren’t what he’d ordered.

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David Ormerod’s profits continue to grow


David Ormerod Hearing Centres achieved £30m in sales for the financial year ended September 2007 and projects growth to £36m for 2008. The company, which operates from 200 locations nationwide including Boots high street stores, NHS hospital audiology departments and standalone centres, said group sales rose by 42% from the financial year 2006 to 2007 through increased market share, expansion of the store network and acquisitions.

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Learn to Sign in Video


Krown Manufacturing, a maker of specialty devices for people with poor hearing, was displaying this device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The simple machine has videos of all 4,500 words of the US sign language that can be quickly played back for reference. Krown predicts it will go on sale by the middle of the year. This story and pic came from Medgadget. A quick browse of the Krown Manufacturing website didn’t give any more

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Plantronic Clarity phone for hard of hearing


Plantronic Clarity have released a new phone for the hard of hearing – the C4230 telephone / answering machine. Features include: Volume and tone control – A volume boost control allows you turn up to a maximum of 50db. As well as volume boost, the C4230 allows you to change the tone to suit your own hearing loss – a chart supplied with the phone guides you on tone settings that will help you. Light and vibration alerts – You can hook this

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KT-Tunstall writes songs for her deaf brother


KT Tunstall wants to write music for her profoundly deaf brother. The ‘Suddenly I See’ singer, whose 28-year-old younger sibling Daniel was born with the hearing condition, is planning to create some hi-tempo beats to please her brother. KT said: “I’ve always wanted to write some music for Daniel, and find out scientifically what would be really pleasing to him. He loves beats. He tells me about these brilliant deaf raves he has been to, where

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Siemens hearing aids


Siemens produce an extensive range of digital hearing aids for both adults and children. Siemens are the biggest hearing aid manufacturer in the world – one in every five hearing aids sold around the world is a Siemens product. The hearing aids that they offer are grouped into three different categories: Ultimate, Value and Basic. CENTRA™, CENTRA™ Active, CENTRA™ Life Dir The Centra line is Siemens’ newest and most advanced hearing aid. It

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Oxford Hearing Centre February Battery Bonanza!


UK readers may be interested to know that Oxford Hearing Centre are doing a buy-one-get-one-free offer on Rayovac Proline hearing aid batteries. The offer runs from the 1st to the 28th of February and covers sizes 10, 13 and 312.

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Interview with Pearl from SayWhatClub.com


Pearl got in touch with me recently and let me know about www.saywhatclub.com – she is a long-standing member of the club and editor of their newsletter. I asked if her if she would answer a few interview questions via email and let us know what the club is all about. Steve: Before we talk about the SayWhatClub, tell us a bit about yourself? Pearl: My name is Pearl and I am hearing impaired for what seems forever. I always had difficulty hearing

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Learning sign language (BSL and ASL)


One of my new year resolutions is to begin learning sign language. It is something I have been thinking about for many years but have never got around to doing. I guess, similar to a spoken language, sign is not something your are going to learn in a short period of time – I think I need to take positive action now and start to learn so that when I do eventually lose my ability to hear I will still have a method of communication.

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Hearing help under threat


A charity based in Dunmow, UK are seeking volunteers to ensure that they can continue to offer hearing services to the local community. Hearing Help Uttlesford (HHU) assisted more than 300 people in the community who use hearing aids this year, but now its services could be under threat. Chairman Yvonne Morton said: “We are only a small charity with eight volunteers, but now a couple want to retire so we are on the lookout for people to take

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Deafness in adults


Professor Anthony Wright talks about mp3 players and hearing loss, analogue and digital hearing aids, the NHS and future research into hearing loss.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you to everyone who visited this blog over the last 12 months and a special big thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on my ramblings. I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot of great deaf / hard of hearing blogs this year, here are some of my favourites:

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Audiologist sells NHS batteries on eBay


A SENIOR hearing specialist at the Great Western Hospital has admitted selling NHS stock on eBay during work hours – then using hospital franking machines to send off his sales. Paul Jones, 28, was yesterday given a 16-week suspended sentence and 280 hours’ community service by Swindon magistrates after he admitted selling £276 of hearing aid batteries on the Internet auction site. The senior audiologist pocketed around £600 from his sales,

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Antique ear trumpets


Here’s something you don’t see everyday – an online ear trumpet gallery! The Phisick Antique Medical Collection shows a large range of ear trumpets from the 19th and 20th centuries. Fascinating to see the kind of things people used to help them hear all those years ago. I’m kinda glad technology has moved on a bit since then!

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A look at Starkey


Healthcare Digital has a interesting little article about Starkey UK. It talks a bit about the company’s history, current production model and their quality control processes.

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David Ormerod Hearing Centres see big sales growth


The Business In Wales website reports that David Omerod has appeared in the Sunday Times’ list of top 100 fastest growing UK companies. The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 ranks companies based on sales growth over three years – either 2003-06 or 2004-07. “Ranked 79th is Llandudno-based hearing aid supplier David Ormerod Hearing Centres. Its revenues grew on average by 67.6% annually from 2003-06, which resulted in sales rising £4.3m to £20.3m.

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Can you cope without your hearing aid?


If you are a hearing aid wearer, can you go without them? Do you feel comfortable leaving the house if you haven’t got your aids in? I have a severe hearing loss in both ears – if I am not wearing my aids and somebody wants to speak to me then they have to be close and have to be talking loudly and straight at me. I don’t feel comfortable talking to people if I don’t have my hearing aids in and I wouldn’t even think about leaving the house

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Personal hearing aid software


I previously wrote about how letting hearing aid wearers program their own aids would be good thing. To briefly recap: I think that giving us wearers a simplified version of the software that audiologists use to program digital hearing aids to an individual’s requirements would allow us to get maximum benefit from our aids. A comment from David made me realise I’d missed a few important things in that article and got me thinking some more….

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Hearing tests for over 55 year olds in UK


The over-55s could soon be screened for hearing problems under new proposals. An NHS trial across Britain of 35,000 people aged 55-74 found routine hearing tests offered “substantial benefits” and were good value for money. A national programme could be in place within five years, said government adviser Professor Adrian Davis, who led the research. More than one in 10 people in the trial were found to have a moderate to severe hearing problem.

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Oticon ends online hearing aid sales


Oticon’s new distribution guidelines state that they will only supply their products to distributors who directly fit and sell Oticon products to end-users through face-to-face in-person consultations. These new guidelines effectively bring an end to customers being able to buy Oticon products via the Internet, mail order or catalogues. In a -->press release, The American Academy of Audiology welcomes Oticon’s decision and hopes that other

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Amplifon gives free one-month trial


Amplifon is a hearing aid vendor. They have outlets in the USA, UK and across mainland Europe. I noticed on their UK site that they are offering a free one-month trial on all hearing aids. That means: you get to try out a new pair of aids for one month without paying out a penny; you only hand over your hard-earned if you wish to keep the aids at the end of the trial month. As far as I’m aware both Specsavers’ and David Ormerod’s both still make

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Hear more, see more.


This combination of glasses and hearing aids comes from the Delft University of Technology in partnership with Philips. Embedded along the length of each arm are four directional microphones that localise on the direction in which the wearer is looking and reduce other directional background noise. I’m guessing that because there are four microphones along each arm, it will be possible to program each one to localise in different directions at

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Miss Deaf World 2007 Gallery


The Miss Deaf World website now has a gallery of images from the event – in fact, the gallery has been up for ages but it’s not as if I spend all my time checking missdeafworld for updates, ok?

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Hearing aid batteries at Microbattery.com


Microbattery.com offer a wide range of hearing aid batteries at good prices. Their front page has a handy little section that lets you pick the battery you need based on its colour or size code. They are stocking batteries from: Rayovac, Panasonic, Energizer, ZeniPower, Duracell, PowerOne, Renata, Sony and iCellTech. Well worth a look if you need to stock up. Do you have a particular battery brand that you swear by? Do you get better performance

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A demonstration of hearing loss


The Phonak website has a very interesting page on which they demonstrate what it is like to be partially deaf. The page has a number of links that play everyday sounds, such as people talking in various environments, bird song, a piano, a telephone, etc. You can select one of three options for each sound: how it sounds to someone with normal hearing, how it sounds to someone with mild hearing loss and, finally, how it sounds to someone with

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Conductive and Sensorineural hearing loss


There are many possible causes of hearing loss. These can be divided into two basic types: conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.Conductive hearing loss is caused by anything that interferes with the transmission of sound from the outer to the inner ear. Below are some possible causes of conductive hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage to the pathway that sound impulses take from the hair cells of the inner ear to the

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Bionica says Clio is worth getting excited about


Bionica Corp have filed patents relating to their Clio hearing aid. Up until now they have been very quiet about the Clio but now Bionica’s chief executive officer, Peter T. Hahn, given some details of it’s design. The Clio’s controls are simple to operate, modeled after popular digital music players, Hahn said in an interview. The acoustic feedback triggered by many hearing aides, he said, was eliminated by separating the microphone from the

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Advice on buying hearing aids


The American Chronicle has published a nice article about purchasing hearing aids – you can read it here. I’ve previously written about buying your first hearing aid.

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Starkey destined for India


Starkey are poised to launch their Destiny hearing aid in India by November 2007. This news comes from the ExpressHealthcare website – they are reporting that the Destiny will be sold for up to 50,000 Rupees, which according to XE.com, is around £650. From ExpressHealthcare on Starkey’s move into the Indian market: The biggest concern is that there are not many qualified audiologists in India and hence awareness is low. Said Rohit Misra,

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Donate your old hearing aids to charity


I was tidying out some drawers the other day and I found my old hearing aids. I have some Siemens ITCs and two pairs of Starkey ITEs – I’m sure I also have at least one pair of BTEs somewhere but they didn’t turn up. My first thought was to throw them into the bin with the rest of the stuff from the drawer but I remembered reading something somewhere about charities that recycle old hearing aids and give them to people who aren’t able to own a

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Starkey Foundation helps LA kids


Yesterday, 150 kids got a very special gift – the ability to hear clearly. It’s a project of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, who came to L.A. with one goal in mind – to give children in need hearing aids. Sixteen-year-old Krista Gillinger is about to get the thrill of her life. One hundred and fifty children whose families can’t afford the high cost of hearing aids are getting the chance to experience clear hearing — many for the first time.

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LACE: Teach yourself to listen


LACE (Listening and Communication Enhancement) is computer software that helps you to improve your listening and vocal comprehension skills. Hearingaids help you hear, but they don’t help you to listen. This is where LACE comes in. The software runs on Windows and Mac and offers a number of listening tests to train your brain to better pick out and understand words in noisy, difficult situations. I downloaded the demo version and gave it a try.

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Dave Grohl talks about his hearing loss


Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl has revealed that his deafness is causing problems in his marriage because his wife has to repeat herself all the time. The former Nirvana drummer admits all rock star marriages have the same issue – because loud music kills normal conversation. Grohl told women’s magazine Elle: “Any woman who’s going to date a rock musician has to be prepared to repeat herself every 10 seconds. I’m virtually deaf… my wife asks me

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Guilty plea by hearingaid supplier


The owner of two Connecticut hearing aid centers has pleaded guilty to a federal health care fraud charge. Walter Rochefort, 51, of Avon, owns one hearing center in Bristol and another in Plainville. According to court records, between September 2001 and August 2006, Rochefort submitted false claims for hearing aids and hearing-aid services. Rochefort also has more than 50 state criminal charges pending in New Britain Superior Court. Last

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MP3 Players: Protecting your hearing


Yet another warning has been published about damage that MP3 players can do to our hearing. And that’s no bad thing as it’s a very real and worrying problem. www.crutchfieldadvisor.com have a very informative article about the ways that the people can use MP3 players more safely, they include:

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MP3 users are risking hearing loss


More than two-thirds of young people who regularly use MP3 players face premature hearing damage because the volume is too high, a charity warns. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People said its findings were alarming, particularly with eight million MP3 players sold last year alone in the UK. It accused manufacturers of failing to put clear and prominent warnings on packaging for consumers. The RNID urges MP3 player fans to invest in

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Two hearingaids are better than one


When buying hearingaids, it can be tempting to buy one instead of two. It’s cheaper for a start. If you are worried about how you will look with hearingaids, one aid would be easier to hide then two. It might be case of, “I’ll buy one and see how I get on with it“. If you are suffering from hearing loss in both ears, you need two hearingaids. If you bought glasses, would you consider buying just the one lens?

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Hard Of Hearing Handbag Syndrome


Shops are very noisy places, there are a lot of people around, everyone is talking, tills are ringing – there’s a lot of background noise and a lot of distractions. Many hard of hearing people finds shops difficult – it can be difficult to hear the person who is serving you. How much money are they asking you to pay? If you can’t see the amount then you have to hear them. To avoid this problem many people always carry big notes that they know

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Widex denies GN Resound merger talks


Widex have rejected speculation it was in talks with headset maker GN Store Nord and its hearing aid arm Resound over a potential merger. Shares in GN rose as much as 7 percent on Friday on speculation the companies were in talks, but lost some positive ground once Widex had denied the rumour. “We haven’t been in talks and are very surprised over the rumours we were to buy Resound,” Widex Sales and Marketing Chief Tom Westermann told Reuters.

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Songbird flies again


David from Hearing Mojo reports that Songbird Hearing have received venture capitalist funding in order to re-start their disposable hearing aid business. He gives a good writeup so I’m not going over it here again. I will say though, that I think there’s still a huge market for throwaway CIC hearing aids, for two reasons: Check out David’s article and while you are there, subscribe to his feed – it’s a great blog.

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Amplifon wanna be cool


It’s all about cool at the moment, isn’t it? Widex bling. Phonak making personal communication aids. Looks like hearing aid dispenser Amplifon want in on the act as they have employed Saatchi & Saatchi to improve their brand image. Industry@Saatchi strategy partner Andy Bell says: “Getting a hearing aid is thought of as a negative experience, something that many consumers will avoid for as long as possible.

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The computer that models hearing loss


Research at the University of Essex into aiding people with hearing impairments has won a grant of nearly half a million pounds. Professor Ray Meddis of the Department of Psychology and his team of Wendy Lecluyse and Robert Ferry, have been awarded £447,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Funding council to develop a computerised hearing dummy. In addition, they have been given £50,000 by the Deafness Research Council.

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Widex bling for your ear


From Widex, the ultimate in ear-bling! A 24-carat gold BTE aid and remote control unit, encrusted with 220 diamonds. Yours for only $50,000. I’m not sure if this thing actually exists? Might be a PR effort by Widex or a Photoshop knockup by someone with far too much time on their hands.

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Virus cure for hearing loss


Researchers at the University of Virginia are working on curing hearing loss with an experimental new form of gene therapy. With more than 275 million people around the world that suffer from sort of nerve-related deafness, scientists are working on creating a virus that when placed in ear tissue can regrown tiny hairs inside the ear canal. Otolaryngologist Brad Kesser explains these very specialized hair cells convert the mechanical energy of

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Long term mobile phone use could cause hearing loss


Study on hearing loss attributed to mobile phone use states the blindingly obvious ExpressIndia.com have reported on a study conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The study concludes that, “People using mobile phones for more than four years and longer than 30 minutes a day are at risk of developing hearing loss particularly at higher speech frequencies. This hearing loss was more in the dominant

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Focus on Phonak’s Audeo, Una and Aero ranges


Great article on InventorSpot about Phonak’s new range of hearing aids… sorry, Phonak’s new range of Personal Communication Aids. They talk about Phonak’s new marketing stance. They also write about people’s perception of hearing aid wearers and how it differs from spectacle wearers. “Phonak’s marketing is right on. When you visit Phonak’s websites, you feel like you’re buying a Lexus, not a hearing aid. The models have names like Audéo, Salia,

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Putting Audiologists out of business


Manufacturer’s of digital hearingaids supply audiologists with computer software that allows them to change an aid’s settings. The audiologist can add or remove preset programmes and adjust various sound levels. I think it would be really useful if us hearing aid wearers could have our own version of the software so that we could make modifications to our aid’s settings ourselves. This would be particularly useful when new aids are being

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Fixing Hearing With Light


Northwestern University scientists are looking into using lasers that can trigger nerve firings, in order to increase audio quality in cochlear implants over the traditional electric discharge method.From MIT Technology Review: With conventional cochlear implants, electrical signals spread in the wet, salty environment of the body, muddying the signal. That makes it difficult to trigger specific populations of nerves inside the cochlea. Further

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Funny story, important message


This is a little story from a new blog. I won’t spoil it by saying anything about it. The Gospel of Hearing Aids at http://beethovensears.com/ I wish I was there to see the guy’s face!

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Olive, 108, does get new hearingaid!


I wrote the other day about Olive Beal, a 108 year-old lady who was told by her local NHS hospital that she would have to wait 18 months to be fitted with new hearing aids. Well, it turns out that she won’t have to wait that long after all. Phillip Ball, an audiologist who runs his own private practice, stepped in and offered Olive a pair of new digital aids for free. Great news for Olive and also a great piece of PR by Mr Ball.

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The Occlusion Effect


The occlusion effect occurs when a hearingaid completely fills the outer part of the ear canal. It can cause the wearer’s voice to sound funny. Many people complain that they sound hollow or it’s like they are talking into a barrel. Chewing food can also sound odd, and even cause discomfort, to someone with occluded canals. Normally when people talk or chew, the produced sound vibrations escape through the unblocked ear – nothing is heard. But

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What do you wear?


I have some questions for you, dear reader. I’m guessing that many of you already wear a hearingaid, so, I’d like to know what model you have and what you think of it. It would be cool to put together some stats to see what aid is most popular and which ones are rated best. So, if you can spare 5, can you leave a comment and answer these?

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Girl with no ears denied hearing aid


15-month old Samantha Collins has Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of her facial bones. She was also born without ears – she doesn’t even have holes that would lead into the ear canal on the side of her head. Currently, Samantha has a standard hearing aid that her parents strap to her head using a bandage. This allows her to hear some noises but the bandage doesn’t stay on an active baby’s heard for

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Woman, 108, must wait 18 months for hearingaid


A 108-year-old woman has been told by her local NHS hospital that she must wait at least 18 months before she receives a new hearing aid. Olive Beal’s 5-year-old analogue hearingaid is no longer effective and she needs a digital version that cuts out background noise and makes conversation easier. She visited her local NHS hospital and after a hearing test was told, “yes, she does need a digital hearing aid, but there is an 18-month waiting

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Testing hearingaid batteries


Different hearingaids use different sizes of battery, they also consume battery power at different rates. A battery may last a week in one aid, but only 3 days in another. I’ve written before about testing a new hearingaid and making a decision whether you want to buy it – it’s also a good idea to test the batteries to find out how long they will last. During your hearingaid’s trial period, use the same battery until it runs out – did it last

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What do you want from a hearing aid?


OK, so people buy hearing aids to improve their hearing. That much is obvious. But what do you really want from your hearing aid? It’s worth thinking this over before you go out to buy a hearingaid. You want to make sure you get the right aid for you. When you visit an audiologist, go armed with a checklist of the things you want and also the things you don’t want. Some things to think about: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even stuff that

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Miss China wins Miss Deaf World 2007


Miss China, 25 year old Bao Quing Ling, has been crowned Miss Deaf World 2007. In second place was Miss Germany, Kristina Weber. Third place went to Miss Ukraine, Neonila Kudic. Miss South Africa, Terneil Nicole Oppel, won the Miss Sympathy title – not quite sure what that means? Were the judges sympathetic that she din’t make the top three? The online voting currently stands like this (and I guess it won’t change much now that the title has

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Vote for Miss Deaf World 2007


The official Miss Deaf World website has opened an online voting system so you can vote for your favourite contestant. The competition takes places in Prague on 14th July 2007. There are entrants from every corner of the globe, including: UK, New Zealand, Zambia and Congo. -->Miss South Africa is currently topping the online voting.

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Music lovers warned about hearing loss


The RNID have released a report called “Like it Loud?” as part of their Don’t Lose The Music campaign. The report is a call to both the Government and the Music industry to take steps to promote the issue of noise as a public health concern. The research in the report shows an alarming ignorance among young people about the damage they are potentially doing to their hearing at gigs, clubs and other noisy venues. The report argues that in order

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Digital hearing aids


What is a digital hearing aid? What does it do and how does it work? Very simply put: a hearing aid is a device used to help hard of hearing people to hear sounds better. A digital hearing aid achieves this by receiving sounds through a number of microphones, processing the sound and outputting it into your ear. The processing of the sound is performed by what is essentially a mini computer inside the hearing aid – this is where the digital part

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Feedback in hearing aids


Feedback can be a problem for hearing aid wearers. It results in an annoying whistling or squeling sound. A hearing aid has one input: the sound comes in through the microphone. It has one output: the sound goes out of the speaker into the ear drum. But, sound moves in all directions unless something blocks it. Feedback occurs when sound coming out of the speaker travels back into the microphone and is amplified again.

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Mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing loss


A person’s hearing loss is categorised as being either mild, moderate, severe or profound. Audiologists and other hearing professionals use these terms; the four types of hearing loss are defined as follows: You can have a look at decibel levels of common sounds to get an idea of what sounds a person with each kind of loss will, or will not, be able to hear.

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David Ormerod offering cheap Rayovac hearing aid batteries


David Ormerod Hearing Centre are running an offer on Rayovac hearing aid batteries. The offer is running until 31st August 2007. The normal price for a packet of 6 Rayovac batteries is around £3; this offer is undercutting that and it’s a case of the more you buy, the more you save. Well worth taking advantage of this offer and stocking up now while they are cheap. The offer is for all battery sizes. If you don’t know the size of battery your

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The best place for hearing aids is in ears


I visited my parents today. My Mum was telling me about how bad my Auntie’s hearing is these days. Turns out that she visited her GP about her hearing 2 years ago, was referred to the local hospital and was fitted with digital behind-the-ear hearing aids not long after. So, why is her hearing still so bad? She doesn’t wear her hearing aids, they sit in the cupboard at home. She is one of the many who prefer to stay in denial about their hearing

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Hard of hearing could be losing income


Workers with hearing problems are losing more than snippets of conversation, they’re losing money. Two-thirds of people who suffer from hearing loss are below retirement age and still working. If you’re one of them, trying to hide or ignore the problem could cost you, a new study has found. Untreated hearing loss, depending on how severe the loss is, cut household income by an average of nearly $23,000 per year, according to the study by the

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Testing your hearing aid


Once you have visited an audiologist, had a hearing test and picked a hearing aid, you need to try out the aid and make sure it is suitable for you. You should always be given a trial period when you buy a hearing aid – some time in which you can determine if the aid is right for you and return it if it is not. If you have visited a hearing aid vendor that does not offer you a trial period with a full money back guarantee go somewhere else. It

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Buying your first hearing aid


If you are not hearing as much as you would like and you think you may benefit from a hearing aid you should seek professional advice. An audiologist will be able to test your hearing, assess the damage and recommend hearing aids that are right for you. This is a guide to getting getting the most from your first visit to an audiologist. The audiologist will probably ask you some background info. When did you start to notice your were not hearing

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Wirear – a new design for hearing aids


We may have just been given a sneak peek into the future of hearing aids by Sun Kyung Sunwoo from the University of Technology, Sydney. She entered her Wirear design into the Australian Design Awards. It’s a radical departure from the in or behind the ear models we are used to seeing. My initial impression is that it looks ugly but I guess it could grow on me, what do you think? It’s interesting to see an attempt at a different design – all new

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David Ormerod Hearing Centre: I’m not impressed!


I was doing some shopping in my local Boots last week and, because I had 15 minutes to spare, I decided to pop into the in-store David Ormerod Hearing Centre that to check out there service and prices. No-one else was waiting or being seen by the assistant so I was shown straight in. I briefly explained my situation to her: Currently have analogue ITEs that aren’t powerful anymore and am looking to go digital. I asked her what brands they were

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oticon hearing aids


In 1904, Hans Demant began importing hearing aids into Denmark – his wife suffered from hearing loss and he was looking for a way to help her and other like her. After Hans’ death in 1910 his son, William, too over the business – he continued to import hearing aids until the outbreak of the 2nd World War cut off his supply from abroad. William began to make his own instruments and the Oticon TA was the first Danish produced hearing aid – it was

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Legwarmers for your ears, anyone?


J from Grumpyolddeafies is -->less than convinced by DeafEquipment’s Ear Gear range. She’s right, they do look uncannily like legwarmers. But, hey, legwarmers were pretty huge in the 1980s and they looked hideous too! This does lead on to an important question though: Can hearing aids be cool? It wasn’t so many years ago that glasses where uncool, nowadays they are ultra stylish and no-one has a problem wearing them. Can’t say the same for

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Commenting is good


Just to let you know, I have activated all links in comments on this blog. By default, WordPress marked all links in comments with the “nofollow” HTML attribute – this meant that when Google and the other search engines processed a page on this blog they would not count the link as a valid one and would ignore it. From now on, all links in all comments on all posts will be followed by Google and friends; so get commenting and get some links to

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Providing for deaf and hard of hearing gamers


Almost any movie you buy on DVD these days will come with optional subtitles (closed captions) in a range of languages – the on-screen text always keeps in sync with the audio and does a great job of allowing deaf and partially deaf people to enjoy film. Here in the UK, a good percentage of TV shows have either subtitles or, to a lesser extent, a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter on screen. Many of the subtitles the accompany programmes

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Free NHS hearing aid batteries for some!


I posted this last week. There’s a comment on that post from Alison in which she says that hearing aid batteries have always been free in the UK – so I decided to check it out because I have always paid for mine! I phoned the ENT department of my local hospital and asked them if I could get batteries from the NHS even though I had bought my aids privately. The answer? No. Fair enough, I suppose, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to get

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BSL Podcast to aid communication with the deaf


The School Of Sign Language have released a series of podcasts that coincide with Deaf Awareness Week to help people learn the basics of British Sign Language (BSL). “British Sign Language (BSL) is used in preference by 70,000 Deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. The language is a visual and expressive way of communication. BSL is a language in its own right. It has its own grammar, syntax and structure. The number of qualified

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Miss Deaf World 2007


Miss Deaf World 2007 will be held on July 14 2007 in Prague, Czech Republic. The contest will be organised by s.r.o, the Czech Model Management agency. You can visit the website at: www.missdeafworld.com/miss-deaf-world-2007.htm

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Speaker-in-the-Ear Hearing Aids


Currently, there is a trend in the hearing aid industry toward smaller and more discreet hearing aids, including the recent development of open fit hearing aids (also known as open ear hearing aids). Open fit hearing aids have one major limitation, however; they are not appropriate for many people with a more severe hearing loss and are best used by those with high frequency hearing loss and normal low frequency hearing.

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Free NHS hearing aid batteries for all?


I popped into my local GP surgery today and noticed that they had hearing aid batteries at the reception desk. I asked if I could buy a couple of packets of Size 10 batteries – the receptionist replied, “we don’t sell them, you bring your used hearing aid batteries in and we exchange them for a new packet, free of charge“. Wow! Unfortunately, they didn’t have any size 10s in, but they are going to try and get some in for me.

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Don’t let your iPod damage your hearing


The new generation of MP3 players offer significant improvements in sound quality and also provide extended listening time, therefore the likelihood of using the equipment for longer is much greater than it used to be. Most portable music players are capable of producing sounds up to 105dB, while some even reach120dB. Above 80dB is the level that you are putting your hearing at risk. Loud noise can cause damage to the hair cells in the inner

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Deaf Awareness Week 2007


This year, Deaf Awareness Week runs from the 7th to the 13th of May. The slogan they are using this year is “Look At Me“. The theme aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading. Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under the umbrella of the UK

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The amazing blog by the hearing dog!


Liffey is a new recruit at Hearing Dogs For Deaf People. Being a switched-on, tech-geek, forward-thinking kinda dog, she has decided to keep a blog to let us all know what life is like for a hearing dog. She talks about being rescued, settling into her new ‘kennels’, meeting new friends and families and continuing in her quest to become a fully fledged hearing dog. It’s an entertaining read and gives a good insight into the training of a hearing

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Hearing aid batteries


Hearing aids require a lot of power. Zinc air batteries are used in most hearing aids because they produce a lot of power despite their small size and light weight. There are several different battery sizes available – obviously you need to make sure you get the right size for your hearing aid. Traditionally, the different sizes were each given a different number: size 5, size 10, size 13, size 312 and size 675 – not the easiest numbers to

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Phonak and Sportsmatch sponsored NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Project


A project designed to make football more accessible to deaf children is being launched by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and the Football Foundation. The NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Project will enable every deaf child in England access to the nation’s great game over the course of the next three years. It is being funded with the help of a £211,608 grant from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, and with

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STAGETEXT provides captioning at theatres


STAGETEXT provides captioning for theatres and other arts venues to provide access to live performances for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. STAGETEXT was established in May 2000 by Peter Pullan, Merfyn Williams and Geoff Brown. Each has a different type of deafness and a determination to improve access to the performing arts for all deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. “Captioning has made it possible for me to go to the theatre

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Specsavers offering cheap hearing aids


Many branches of Boots and Specsavers now have a hearing aid service in-store. Boots have the David Ormerod sections in many branches and Specsavers have Hearcare. Yet, even though these have been around for quite a while now I’ve never thought about using them. Why? Well, I’ve been a customer of small hearing aid company for years and have never really thought about going anywhere else. As well as that, I have always dismissed Boots and

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Popular post roundup


The most popular entries from the last couple of months: Pardon? Say what? Come again? Say that again? Eh? Can you repeat that? Sorry? You what? Aye? I missed that? Hmm? It doesn’t matter how you say it, they all mean the same thing: you didn’t hear what was just said. Read it! >> Most hearing loss occurs gradually, so the symptoms are often difficult to recognise. It may take something specific for you to realise that your hearing has

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A poem called “Thoughts of a Deaf Child”


This is a poem I found a while back. It is very sad. My family knew that I was deaf When I was only three, and since then fifteen years ago Have never signed to me. I know when I’m around the house, I try and use my voice, It makes them feel more comfortable; For me, I have no choice. I try, communicate their way- Uncomfortable for me. My parents wouldn’t learn sign Ashamed or apathy? I never cared about the sound of radios and bands; What hurts

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Know Your Buds!


Know Your Buds is a campaign by the American Speech-language Hearing Association (ASHA) to raise awareness of the dangers of prolonged use of personal audio devices such as iPods and other mp3 players. Most mp3 players have a maximum range of around 110 decibels. Regular exposure to sounds over 100 decibels for more than one minute can cause permanent hearing loss. Sounds below 85 decibels are considered to be safe.

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New stethoscope helps medics hear in loud environments


A new type of stethoscope will enable doctors to hear the sounds of the body in extremely loud situations, such as during the transportation of wounded soldiers in helicopters. The stethoscope uses ultrasound technology, similar to that used to generate images of internal organs, muscles and unborn foetuses. The ultrasound stethoscope is almost impervious to loud noise and is capable of making accurate readings at noise levels up to 120

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Girl sues GlaxoSmithKline over loss of hearing after MMR jab


A TEENAGER is fighting to prove that the MMR vaccine made her deaf. Katie Stephen, 16, fell ill with a fever 10 days after being injected with an early form of the immunisation as a toddler in 1991. Parents Wendy and Alistair believe the vaccine, which included a strain of mumps, was responsible for their daughter losing the hearing in her left ear. They also believe that the Government knew of health risks surrounding the vaccine, but carried

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Rayovac hearing aid batteries


Rayovac is the #1 best selling hearing aid battery in the world. Rayovac produce a range of specially designed batteries for all hearing aids types and also cochlear implants. I have been using Rayovac batteries in my Siemens ITE hearing aids for a very long time. I honestly cannot remember ever having a dud battery, not once, every one has worked and that’s a lot of batteries over the years! I tend to change them once a week, I think they would

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Is your hearing aid whistling?


A well-fitting hearing aid that is working properly should not whistle. Whistling can be caused by:

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5 tips for looking after your hearing aids


Hearing aids are expensive – buying them is a major investment. Look after them and make sure you get maximum performance from them for as long as possible.

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80’s rock drummer talks about his hearing loss.


Jeff Rich, drummer with 80s rock band Status Quo, is interviewed on the Independent website. He talks about how his hearing was damaged by years of drumming on-stage surrounded by speakers pumping out 4,500 watts. He talks about how he was initially in denial about his hearing problem and how his life has been transformed by digital hearing aids. The article goes on to talk about some of the options available for people wishing to purchase

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Moving from analogue to digital hearing aids


Analogue and digital hearing aids are completely different beasts. Up until now I have worn only analogue aids and I’m in the process of getting some digital ones so I thought I’d write about a few things I’ve noticed during the switch. Analogue hearing aids amplify all sounds at the same level – this can make it difficult for wearers to hear conversation when there is a lot of background noise. Digital hearing aids are much cleverer in that

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US statistics about hearing disorders and deafness from NIDCD


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How Loud Is Too Loud: Decibel levels of common sounds


Noise is measured in units called decibels (dB), on a scale from zero to 140. The higher the number in decibels, the louder the noise. The louder the noise, the greater the risk of hearing loss. Hearing loss can occur with regular exposure to noise levels of 110 decibels or more for periods longer than one minute. No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to 100 decibels is recommended. Long-term exposure to 80-85 decibels or over can

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Red wine may fight deafness


Age-related deafness, and hearing loss caused by loud noise, may be reduced by the antioxidants in red wine and asprin. Scientists are claiming that the compounds they contain could help protect the delicate hairs of the inner ear that are vital to hearing. Destructive chemical agents called oxygen-free radicals, produced by normal cellular processes and in response to loud noise and exposure to powerful antibiotics, can damage the hairs. But

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Why you should always ask if you don’t hear


This text is from an old old article on Gizmondo: I was in a hallway with two young ladies once. We smiled and chatted and stuff as we walked. In front of their apartment, one of them asked me something that I didn’t understand. It sounded like “Wannakwam mwin”. I said “Sorry?” “Mwahnnakwam mwin?” Not wanting to look like a tard, I just smiled and said “Yeah…” Then, after a brief silence, “Ok, well, bye now!” They looked at each other funny, and

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80% of hotels fail to meet basic needs of deaf people


Fireco Ltd, manufacturers of Deafguard, the wire-free solution for communicating the sound of the fire alarm to deaf and hard of hearing people, claim in a new survey that thousands of hotel guests with hearing difficulties are being treated like an underclass and that 80% of hotels fail to meet their basic needs.To coincide with the second anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, Fireco Ltd surveyed 215 hotels across all star ratings

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Hal Hen Dri Aid FAQ


I have had quite a few emalis from people asking about Hal Hen’s dehumidifier products since I posted this. I’ve compiled some of the questions into a short FAQ below: Yes! I have been leaving my Siemens ITEs in the pot overnight twice a week for years and I honestly believe that the dehumidification process has prolonged their life. On a couple of occasions I have got some rain-water in my aid and it has stopped working – a day or two in the

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Hal Hen Super Dri Aid


Hal Hen is an (oddly named) company that supplies many different types of hearing products. Their Super Dri AidTM and Mini Super Dri AidTM are dehumidifiers for your hearing aid. Moisture is very, very bad news for your hearing aid. Dampness, sweat and humidity will shorten the lifespan of your battery and cause it to corrode. You can cause permanent damage to your aid if you allow excessive moisture to build up inside it; dropping it in water

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In the ear (ITE) hearing aids


There are for main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be most

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Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids


There are four main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be

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In the canal (ITC) hearing aids


There are for main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be most

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Do you have a hearing problem?


Most hearing loss occurs gradually, so the symptoms are often difficult to recognise. It may take something specific for you to realise that your hearing has deteriorated, such as a someone telling you that they think you have a problem; it may take people a long time to let you know, they may not want to hurt your feelings by suggesting you are going deaf. Or, it may be that you failed to hear something that resulted in an accident or some kind

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I didn’t hear you, can you repeat that?


Pardon? Say what? Come again? Say that again? Eh? Can you repeat that? Sorry? You what? Aye? I missed that? Hmm? It doesn’t matter how you say it, they all mean the same thing: you didn’t hear what was just said. I’ve been thinking recently about how often I don’t hear what someone has said and how often I ask them to repeat themselves. In some situations I will ask repeatedly, no matter how many time it takes, until I hear. In others, I will

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Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids


There are for main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be most

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How do the deaf think?


There is this one question that people ask me when they grow comfortable enough around me. That question: “You know how hearing people usually say they have a little voice in their head when they think? How about you? How do you think?” They are usually nervous that the question would offend me. First of all, it is extremely hard to offend me. Second, that is actually a good question! I recall the first time a friend asked me that and I didn’t

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Interview with Liz Ball, deaf-blind charity worker


The Guardian’s website has an excellent interview with Liz Ball, a deaf-blind charity worker. Liz was born partially sighted and registered as blind at the age of 10. She lost her hearing when she was 26. She’s now 30 and works for the Sense charity as their parliamentary campaigns officer. She talks warmly about the things she enjoys but also of some of the frustrations and problems she faces. It would be very good if more people were aware

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What is Tinnitus?


Tinnitus (pronounced ti-NIGHT-us or TIN-i-tus) is the name given to the perception of a non-existent sound. People who suffer from tinnitus will experience a noise “in their ear” or “in their head” – this is commonly a ringing, buzzing, humming or whislting noise but sufferers may report hearing other noises such as ocean waves, insects or music. The word tinnitus comes from the Latin word tinnire, which means “to ring”.

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The future of hearing aids


A not always completely serious look at the technology that might, or might not, be available for hearing aid users in the future. I like listening to music but I always find it uncomfortable to wear headphones over the top of my hearing aids. There’s a few basic reasons why it can be uncomfortable: So, I think it would be really useful, and cool, to have a hearing aid with a built-in music player and radio! You could have the player in your

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Digital Dictionary Created for Cuban Deaf


Las Tunas, Cuba, Jan 16 (CNA) Professionals at a special school in Cuba have created what they think is the first digital dictionary of the island’s sign language, which could contribute to the culture and identity of deaf children. Beatriz Cespedes and Eliazar Rodriguez, an interpreter and a computer science teacher at the Pelayo Paneque High School, in the eastern Cuban city of Las Tunas, were successful in creating the multimedia resource

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Airport Installs Phones for Deaf


Deaf travelers at Salt Lake International Airport now have the latest technology for making phone calls at their fingertips. Sorenson Communications has installed two videophone booths, which spokesperson Diana Lewis says are light-years ahead of the old T-T-Y phones: “Those phones were developed in the 1960s and you have to type out your message. It’s very slow,” says Lewis. “The videophone has revolutionized the way the deaf community can

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Fit for exam, but unfit for bureaucracy


I just read an interesting article on the Times Of India site. It tells the story of three hearing impaired civil servants who are not receiving work from the civil service due to each of them having a hearing problem. What makes this particularly odd is the fact they all – along with 9 other disabled applicants – passed entry exams to join the service. It seems that their hearing problems were not a concern to their employers at exam-time, but

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Your mp3 player could make you deaf


MP3 players should carry warnings that users risk damage to their hearing by having the volume too high, a deafness charity says. A Royal National Institute for Deaf People poll of 10s of MP3 users at one London station found eight out of 10 had machines at more than 80 decibels. The charity says young people should be warned that they are risking premature hearing damage. It said there had been some interest in the idea from industry.

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Number of deaf and hard of hearing in employment below national average


In a report issued on Tuesday 07 November 2006, RNID, the national charity representing the UK’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people, claims only 63% of deaf and hard of hearing people of working age are in employment, compared to 75% of the national work force. Dr John Low, Chief Executive of RNID, says: “The report clearly shows that many deaf and hard of hearing people are being denied the opportunity to work. If the Government is

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Shops are failing the hard of hearing


Disability campaigner David Law from Buxton, UK, has criticised his local shops for not providing adequate service for hard of hearing shoppers. He notes that whilst many shops have induction loop systems fitted, in many cases they either do not work or staff do not know how to use them. Mr Law, who has used a hearing aid for much of his adult life, told the Advertiser: “I don’t see the point of shops having an induction loop system available if

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Council uses 21st century technology to help deaf residents


Hammersmith & Fulham Council is one of the first London boroughs to introduce an innovative new video relay service for deaf residents who prefer to use British Sign Language (BSL). Residents can now use interactive video screens in two council receptions to communicate with a BSL interpreter. The interpreter then relays their message live to council staff before signing the response back to the deaf resident.

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Roadside bombs damage troops’ hearing


Anthony DeLeon made it through the four roadside bombs without a scratch. The inside of his right ear, however, was not so lucky. During his recent year long tour of duty north of Baghdad, the 20-year-old Texan picked up an increasingly common badge of experience from the war in Iraq: hearing damage. “It just rings all the time,” he said, turning his head slightly so that his left ear — the good one — tilts toward the speaker.

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Clubbers going deaf


Punters at music venues are damaging their ears as badly as if they spent five hours in a room with a lawnmower, a new hearing study has revealed. Researchers at Ear Science Institute Australia measured the volume of music at a dozen clubs around Perth, in the first Australian study to comprehensively calculate venue noise. They found the average sound level was over 95 decibels – on par with the noise emitted by a lawnmower or circular saw.

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Deaf lawyer is denied interpreter in court


A deaf lawyer has won a landmark settlement against a Peterborough court which refused to allow him the use of a sign language interpreter. Jonathan Gibbons has been profoundly deaf since birth but he said staff at Peterborough County Court made no provision for his disability. It is the first case of its kind where a court has been challenged for failing to provide an interpreter. Mr Gibbons, a legal adviser for Hands on Access Ltd, brought a

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