Why you should clean your earphones and keep them free of wax

If you don’t use earphones yourself, you are sure to know someone who does. They are the ultimate way to listen to music when people are out and about – and even in their own homes – and you’ll see them every time you go anywhere. However, if these earphones are not kept clean of wax, you could be subject to some nasty problems such as your eardrum growing bacteria, swimmer’s ear, and damage to the skin. If you share your earphones then the likelihood of getting any ear infections is doubled.

So keeping your earphones free of wax and clean will help you. You won’t get any infections, plus the sound quality will be better.

Why you should clean your earphones and keep them free of waxHere’s how it can be done

Cleaning your earphones has to be done carefully so that they are not damaged. Due to the electronics within them, too much water or chemicals can stop them from working altogether. It’s better to use a cloth that is barely damp and is soft and – of course – clean. If you want to be completely sure, you can buy special wipes to do the job, but this is an expense that you don’t need to pay out for because you should have everything you need already.

This includes a gentle kitchen detergent. These detergents are formulated to kill bacteria which is why they can be useful for cleaning earphones. Dilute the detergent with lukewarm water and use a soft cloth to dab the earpiece. Ideally, you should remove the earphone covers to clean them properly, but this isn’t always possible, and it will depend on the make and model.

For the most stubborn areas of grime, an old toothbrush can be the most useful tool, and you may need to scrub harder – but never too hard otherwise you will run the risk of damage again. To make it easier, run a cotton swab with the tiniest amount of alcohol on it into the grime before going at it with the toothbrush.


Which Are The Best Hearing Aids For Me?

When you are diagnosed with hearing loss, you are sure to wonder what your options are. What should you think about? What happens next? One of the most important things to deal with will be determining which are the best hearing aids for you, if you have reached a stage where wearing one is necessary.

In the past, hearing aids were cumbersome things that, although helpful, were unwieldy and difficult to deal with. Today things have changed, and there are different types of hearing aids available meaning that you can choose the one that is going to work best for you. Here are just some of the types available that you might like to think about.

Which Are The Best Hearing Aids For Me?Technology

As with many things that used to be entirely manual, technology now plays a part in some hearing aids, ensuring that you get the very best out of them, and keeping your hearing as good as it can be.

Think of your smartphone and everything you can do with it. You might not realise it, but you can even control your hearing aid through it using an app. Or perhaps you might connect your hearing device to the Bluetooth in your home. You can then wear your hearing aid, set exactly to your requirements, easily changed (no ‘fiddling’) in an entirely discreet way.

Talking and Listening

You may have noticed how background noise can easily drown out what people are saying to you if they are not directly in front of you. This can cause difficulties when it comes to holding a conversation, and make work and homelife harder than they need to be, for example.

If you have a hearing aid that includes directions microphones, you will much more easily be able to turn into conversations around you, and not be distracted by background noise. No matter where you are, whether you are out in nature or in a noisy restaurant, or have music playing in the background, for example, this kind of hearing aid will help you to chat with friends and family.

Discreet

Many people are self-conscious about their hearing aids, and won’t want the world to know that they suffer from hearing loss. Just a few years ago, this would have been difficult to hide, but today hearing aids are much more discreet.

Today’s hearing aids are tiny, designed to fit inside the ear canal in some cases so that they can’t be seen on the outside. If they are on the outside, you can choose colours and shades that will blend in with your natural hair and skin colouring.


Why is there a link between dementia and hearing loss?

At the moment, around 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia of some kind, and that figure is expected to rise to over one million by 2021. Dementia is a form of brain damage that devastates lives, and there is currently no cure, although scientists are working hard to find one. There is also no real consensus on just what causes dementia, but there are some interesting theories and some links that are just too clear to dismiss. One of those links is between the onset of dementia and hearing loss. Here is what is thought so far.

Why is there a link between dementia and hearing loss?Less Brain Work

The brain is the organ that decodes every sound that you hear, turning it into recognisable speech or other sounds that will mean something to you such as birdsong, an alarm, or a door opening. When you can’t hear very well, fewer messages regarding these sounds are getting to the brain, and therefore it doesn’t need to work as hard as it did. We know that exercising the brain is the same as exercising a muscle in that it needs to be an ongoing thing to keep it healthy, so the less work it has to do, the more chance there is of developing some form of dementia and hearing loss.

More Brain Strain

Although the brain might not be working as hard overall when you suffer from hearing loss, in some respects it is working harder than ever, and that is putting a lot of strain on an organ not designed to take it. When you can’t hear, the brain has to strain to decode the message that are coming to it, working overtime to give you these message, even if they are wrong. This can cause brain damage, including dementia.

Being Isolated

Isolated is another cause for dementia according to studies. Without anyone to talk to or anything to do, the brain shuts down and memory and cognitive abilities start to fail. For those who have hearing loss, social situations that they might once have enjoyed are no longer fun – it’s embarrassing to keep asking what someone has said, or to misunderstand instructions. So they stop going, and might even stop talking to friends and family, especially if they normally do this over the phone. They become more and more isolated, at which point dementia can more easily start.


5 Ways To Take Good Care Of Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are hugely important to anyone who needs to use them, and therefore you will need to take good care of them – misusing them or neglecting them can cause them to break down and need repair or even replacement. At best they will stop working as well as they once did. Here are some tips for taking care of your hearing aids to get the very best out of them.

5 Ways To Take Good Care Of Your Hearing Aids1 – Beware of Dirt

Hearing aids are sensitive pieces of equipment, and the microphone can easily become damaged or clogged up with dust and dirt. Although sometimes this can’t be helped (which is why you should regularly clean your hearing aid anyway), you can help the situation by not touching the hearing aid unless you have to, and when you do ensuring that your hands are clean and dry.

2 – Keep Them Dry

Moisture can cause a lot of damage to your hearing aids, and there are some simple rules to remember when it comes to keeping them dry and working properly. Remember to remove your aids every time you have a bath or shower, or when you go swimming, for example. And don’t leave them somewhere steamy where the air is full of moisture as they will get this way too. Instead, keep them somewhere safe and dry.

If your hearing aids do get wet, open up the battery compartment and remove the battery, then leave everything to dry out by itself. If this doesn’t help, you will need to speak to an expert about repairs.

3 – Store Them Safely

You won’t want to wear your hearing aids all the time, so when you remove them you’ll need to have somewhere safe to store them. This needs to be somewhere clean and dry, and it should definitely be out of reach of children and pets. Switch them off too; some dogs are affected by a high frequency sound that the hearing aids emit when they are still activated.

4 – Hairspray and Make Up

If you use hairspray and make up, remove your hearing aid before you start to put it on. The dust and fine particles from these products can stick to the hearing aid and clog up the microphone or make the volume control difficult to use.

5 – Clean As Instructed

When you first get your hearing aid, you should be given instructions on exactly how to keep them clean, or to clean them if they need it. If not, ask – you’ll need to have this information to hand. One of the key things to remember is to use a dry, clean cloth and to never use cleaning products or alcohol or solvents.


What Is Tinnitus? Here's a brief explanation

Tinnitus is more than just a ringing in the ears; it is something that can cause huge distress and discomfort to a great many people. In fact, around five percent of the entire adult population of the UK experiences tinnitus in such a severe form that it interferes with their every day life. Ten percent of people experience it frequently. And of course, most people will, at some point, experience the sudden onset, although for the majority it does tend to go again just as suddenly and quickly as it came.

Tinnitus can sound like a ringing in the ears, of course, but it can also sound like a whistle, buzzing, squeaking, even snatches of music. In fact, there is no one sound that can really define tinnitus, as different people will hear different things. Even the pitch and the volume can change over time. All that can be said is that tinnitus is a sound within the head or the ears that has no external source.

What Is Tinnitus?Types of Tinnitus

There are two different types of tinnitus. The most common is subjective tinnitus – this can only be heard by the person suffering from the tinnitus itself.

The second type is known as objective tinnitus, and is much rarer. This is a type of tinnitus that can not only be heard by the person who is suffering from it, but also by those professionals who might be examining the patient.

Causes of Tinnitus

When the signal that should go between your ear and your auditory cortex (the part of the brain that is responsible for hearing) is damaged or interrupted, tinnitus can occur, and there are a number of different reasons for this.

  • Hearing loss
    If you are suffering from hearing loss, the signal is definitely going to have issues associated with it, and tinnitus is certainly a symptom. However, only one two thirds of those who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss, so it is not the only cause.
  • Loud noises
    Noise is a big contributor to tinnitus. It can be a one off loud noise that causes irreparable damage, or it could be due to long term exposure (including frequently attending concerts, listening to music too loudly through headphones or earphones, or through work).
  • Head injury
    A head injury (or neck or ear injury) can result in tinnitus; just over 10 percent of tinnitus sufferers develop it after this kind of event.
  • Ear infection
    Since an ear infection can cause blocked hearing, it follows that tinnitus can occur as well.
  • Ear disease
    Ear disease is often considered more serious than an ear infection, and could require more in-depth medical help. However, just like an ear infection, tinnitus can happen because of it.
  • Medication
    There are around 200 prescription and non-prescription drugs that list tinnitus as one of the side effects.
  • Stress
    Stress can manifest in a number of physical ways as well as affecting people’s mental health. One of the symptoms of stress can be tinnitus.


Here's why you should bring someone when you get your hearing tested

Over time, you may have realised that you have a problem with your hearing. What was once an easy activity – listening to the car radio, watching TV, answering the phone – may have become much more difficult. It may even be impossible. When you know that something is wrong, the first step is to get your hearing tested and make an appointment to see a specialist in hearing, who can work out exactly what is going wrong, and offer solutions to help prevent or at least slow down any further hearing loss.

Making the appointment is a fantastic way to begin, but there is something else you will need to consider; who are you going to bring with you to the appointment? It’s highly recommended that you do bring someone with you – a family member or trusted friend, perhaps – for a number of reasons; read on and you’ll see what they are.

Get Expert Attention When Suffering Hearing LossBetter Insight

You will be asked many questions during your initial consultation to work out just what has happened to cause problems with your hearing. Your hearing professional will want to know when the problems started, how you first noticed them, what impact the issue is having on your life, and more. You’ll be able to answer some of these questions, but others will be harder to think about, and having someone with you who knows you well can certainly help.

Even if you don’t remember when you started having to watch TV at a louder volume, they might. They might remember specific incidents that prove when the hearing problems began, or what they are doing to your life, and all of this information can give your expert hearing consultant a better insight into what is happening.

All The Information

As with anything that impacts our health, there is sure to be a lot of information given out at a consultation regarding your hearing loss. There are many different options that can be discussed, and even if you simply opt for hearing aids, the various types and their many features can feel overwhelming when you first start learning about them after having your hearing tested.

Having someone with you means that you have someone to bounce ideas off. Plus, even if you didn’t catch all of the information being offered, having someone else there means that there is more chance of getting the full picture.

They Are Involved

No matter who you are, you are not going through this hearing issue alone. You might think that it is all about you and what you think and feel – and that is hugely important, of course – but there is more to it than that; it is impacting everyone around you, particularly those who care about you. Having someone at your appointment who can explain just what your loss of hearing is doing to the family and to your social life is a useful addition indeed.

Not only that, but this will be their chance to explain how they are feeling about everything too. They may not have felt comfortable talking to you about their worries and concerns at home, but in a professional environment they can speak calmly and easily, letting you know what they are feeling. This will help you to understand more about what is happening, and will even strengthen relationships. It all starts with simply getting your hearing tested.


What Are The Signs of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is a gradual process. It will, in most cases, slowly creep up on people, and they may not even notice it is happening until someone points it out to them, or they realise that they simply cannot hear anymore. At this point, booking an appointment with a specialist is a must, but it is even better if you can do this before your hearing gets too bad. In order to do that, you’ll need to look out for the signs of hearing loss.

What Are The Signs of Hearing Loss?Turning the TV up

The TV and the level of volume you need to set it at in order to listen to it properly is a good thing to take notice of if you think you might be suffering from hearing loss. There are two things to look out for.

  1. Do you turn the TV up so that you can hear it, even though other people watching say it is now too loud?
  2. Have you been regularly increasing the volume on your TV over time (most people will leave their TV volume at one setting for the majority of the time)?

If either of these situations have occurred in your life, the hearing loss could be the root cause; it’s time to see a specialist.

Difficult conversations

If you go to noisy places such a bars and restaurants and you have a problem following the conversations of the people you’re with and sitting closest to because of the other conversations happening around you, you could have a hearing problem.

Everyday conversations

Of course, many people find talking and listening in crowded places a problem, and you may not think of this as a sign of hearing loss. But what about everyday conversations? If your friends and family are becoming irritated by you asking them to repeat what they have said, or they think you’re not listening to them, it’s wise to be checked out.

Using the phone

This idea extends to other places too. Using the phone, for example, can be a prime example of when hearing loss has become a major problem in life. If you have had to increase the volume of your phone, either the ring itself or the volume of those speaking to you, this could be a signs of hearing loss.


Pensioner who sued bosses for hearing problems exposed as rock singer

A pensioner tried to sue his bosses by claiming his hearing problems must be work-related, but he dropped his case after investigators unmasked him as the singer and guitarist in a rock band, insurers say.

Deliberately hiding the truth or even outright lying on an insurance claim is not a good idea; in many cases the truth really will out (and special investigators can be put onto the case to determine exactly what the truth actually is), and that is exactly what happened to a certain Mr David Romaine when he tried to sue his former employees.

Pensioner who sued bosses for hearing problems exposed as rock singerThe insurance claim

Mr Romaine, 69, put in an insurance claim for compensation amounting to £5,000. He stated that his hearing had been affected and actually damaged through his work as a fridge engineer during the 1970s and 1980s. If true, this would be a devastating thing to have happened, but perhaps not an unusual one; health and safety at that time was not as stringent as it is today, and many people will have suffered work related injuries that manifest many years later. Hearing problems is a prime example of this.

As part of the routine nature of the insurance claim, Mr Romaine was asked whether he had any noisy hobbies or pastimes. The question was a standard one, and is used to ascertain the severity of the issue and how much of it was due to his working environment. When asked the question, the man said he occasionally strummed an acoustic guitar, but nothing more. This is where it all started to go wrong.

Insurance investigators were tasked with finding out more about the case, and to ensure that Mr Romaine was being truthful about everything. What they discovered changed the entire situation, and forced Romaine to drop the case straight away, which put him in a difficult position.

The investigation

Investigators discovered that not only did Mr Romaine have a love of motorcycles and that he rode them frequently (a hobby that is far from quiet), but he was also the singer and guitarist in a rock band – a very noisy rock band. Once he was told that he had been found out, Mr Romaine dropped his case, which the insurers felt showed that he had intended to defraud them. If found guilty, Romaine could face time in prison for contempt of court.


COVID-19 - We are ready to take appointments at our Clinics for Emergency Patients

Updated 01/07/2020

Dear valued patients,

We know how important the ability to hear is to you and are ready to start seeing you once more!

We are now accepting appointment requests and able to offer face to face consultations at our clinics in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. 

Our limited, priority clinics will operate at Edinburgh and Stirling from Monday 6th July.

As spaces will initially be limited we are prioritising appointments to ensure the most urgent requests can be resolved the quickest and the most vulnerable patients can be seen in the safest manner possible.

The clinic will be operating to the highest possible standards to ensure your safety and wellbeing. We do request that you arrive at your appointed time and not too early as we are aiming to minimise the numbers of patients in the waiting areas as much as possible.

Appointments are being prioritised as such:

  1. Hearing Device Wearers – Urgent hearing device servicing, breakdown, or repair.
  2. Hearing Device Wearers – Microsuction ear wax removal, hearing assessments, hearing aid fitting, follow up appointments or hearing aid retuning.
  3. Non Hearing Device Wearers – Hearing assessments.
  4. Non Hearing Device Wearers – Microsuction ear wax removal.

To Book Your Appointment With Us

  1. By Telephone: Call our friendly booking team on 0333 320 7788.
  2. By Email: Reply to this email with your requirements, and our friendly team will help get you booked into one of our clinics in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Stirling.
  3. Book Online: Reserve your appointment online today. This appointment will be provisional, and will need to be confirmed by our booking team prior to you attending your appointment. You can now book at our three currently open clinics online.

Click Here To Book Online

To Book Your Appointment With Us

  1. By Telephone: Call our friendly booking team on 0333 320 7788.
  2. By Email: Reply to this email with your requirements, and our friendly team will help get you booked into one of our clinics in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Stirling.

Home visit services are currently on hold

Unfortunately due to the risk to our patients we will not be able to offer a home visit service for the foreseeable future. If you have an urgent repair we are able to accept hearing aid via a postal service or a drop off.

In cases where a face to face consultation is required, we are recommending patients to wait a short while until we have access to our Bearsden, Stirling, Giffnock or Edinburgh locations which have ground floor entry, elevator access and are all fully DDA compliant.

Main door access and exclusive one to one consultation

Additionally Bearsden, Giffnock and Stirling offer the opportunity to arrive at the front door and be seen on an exclusive one to one basis with your clinician. If you would prefer this option simply ask one of our booking team and we will do all we can to accommodate you. These clinics will be opening very soon. Bearsden is currently closed, but we will soon be looking to open our clinic there.

We greatly appreciate your patience and cant wait to see you all again sometime soon.

Below is a link to a short survey that we would really appreciate your feedback and opinions about reopening our clinics:

Click Here To Take The Survey

Please contact us by replying to this email info@thehearingclinicuk.co.uk, or you can call our team on 0333 320 7788 (open weekdays from 9am – 5pm) or speak directly to our team though Facebook messenger @thehearingclinicuk, and one of our team will be able to assist you further.

We look forward to welcoming you to one of our clinics very soon.

Kind Regards,

 

 

Chris Stone
Managing Director


How Your Hearing Can Be Affected By High Stress

Its well known that your hearing can be affected by stress. Stress isn’t all bad; sometimes it can be useful, and it has definitely played a part in the evolutionary process. When you are stressed, you are really in the well-known ‘fight or flight’ mode. That means you can think or act quickly, keeping you out of harm’s way. However, when this happens you are meant to then relax and calm down, going back to normal. With long-term, or chronic stress, this come down doesn’t happen, and that’s where the problem lies.

How Your Hearing Can Be Affected By High Stress

How stress affects you

When you suffer from chronic stress there are many different health issues that can follow. Your blood pressure will rise, and this can lead to stroke or a heart attack. You can develop heart conditions. You might form an ulcer. You can even suffer with depression or anxiety amongst other mental illnesses.

How your hearing can be affected

It may not be the first health concern that you have when you are going through chronic stress, but it is certainly something to be aware of. It all comes down to your circulation. When your circulatory system is working as it should, the tiny sensor hairs within your inner ear are able to translate the sounds that your outer ear collects, transmit that information to your brain, and you are able to understand what you are hearing.

When you are stressed, your circulatory system is affected, and that in turn affects the hairs within the inner ear. This is called sensorineural hearing loss. The message can’t be translated correctly, and therefore, if it is even sent at all, it isn’t properly understood.

Relaxation is key when it comes to minimising your hearing being affected by stress and reducing your stress levels, and although it won’t always be easy – it will depend on the situation you are going through – but it is always a good idea to try. Ideas to reduce stress include:

  • Music
  • TV
  • A hobby
  • Exercise
  • A nap
  • Message
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Going for a walk