Brief Explanation on new technology platforms

On average every two to three years a new product is released by a hearing manufacturer based on a new platform/chipset. In most cases the new platform is separated into three, four and sometimes even five levels of technology. Each level of technology in the platform has a different set of features and as you go higher in the technology, you will generally find improvements in particular environments such as hearing speech in background noise, sound quality and spatial awareness. But choosing the right product and level of technology also comes down to your particular type of deafness, lifestyle and also your QuickSin results. This is when our audiologists will look at all of your test results and especially your specific needs, to give you the most appropriate prescription of what is needed for you.

Below is a chart from a manufacturer to provide you with a sample of a new platform separated into three levels of features.

Mobile phone use + App controlled hearing aids

If you have a smart phone then the benefits of an App controlled hearing aid for the patient can be substantial.

An App controlled hearing aid will allow you to adjust the volume and change the program of your hearing aids, so in affect your mobile becomes a remote for your hearing aid. But it doesn’t stop there. You can also stream music, listen to the radio and adjust the volume of your television all through your mobile. And more importantly, you will be able to hear in clarity when you make and receive calls!

Every manufacturer has a different approach to how their App works but for more information please contact us.

 

Rechargeable hearing aids

Every manufacturer now has a rechargeable hearing aid. They are extremely popular due to the convenience they provide. No more needing to switch your hearing aid on or off. Just slot the device in the charger at night before bed and when you wake-up your hearing aids will be ready and fully charged in the morning! 

Some manufacturers have a Lithium battery built into the hearing aid while others have a changeable Lithium battery that will last roughly 400 charges before a new Lithium battery is needed. There are benefits with both and deciding which one would work best for you will be discussed with your audiologist.

 

 

Improving listening to television

Most new television are flat screen. The problem with these new televisions is that the speakers are often positioned at the rear of the TV, so basically facing the wrong way. And because the Tv’s are so thin it reduces the size of the speakers, which also reduces the sound quality. On top of this, how far and the position of where you are sitting from the Television and the position can make a huge difference in how well you hear the Tv.

There are several ways you can improve this, with the most basic being purchasing a Sound Bar. The problem with Sound Bars is they are often also designed to emphasize to increase theatrical sound in movie or play, which is often base. Most hearing aid users don’t want the base increased as they are looking for clarity of speech, so researching and finding the right one can be difficult.

The other option is if your hearing aid has telecoil fitted to it, you could fit an Induction Loop into your television room, but often this involves feeding a wire around the room or the particular seat 

The other option is if your hearing aid has telecoil fitted to it, you could fit an Induction Loop into your television room, but often this involves feeding a wire around the room or the particular seat the hearing aid user sits in. Also, how you link the Induction loop to the Tv can make a big difference in how well you hear from it. If installed professionally this will provide a much-improved signal for the hearing aid user. 

But there is a third way. It does depend on the product you purchase but every hearing manufacturer has a Television linking devices that streams the Television signal direct into the hearing aids with the added benefit that the sound is adjusted to the patients hearing loss. Depending on the brand they can be extremely easy to set up and use, and can solve the issue of someone else with normal hearing can then be able to set the Tv volume to the level they want while the hearing aid user can adjust it for their particular needs.

Improving Theatre, Church and Public buildings

An Induction Loop is a wire fitted around an area in a building, such as in a theatre or church. It produces an electromagnetic signal which when the telecoil is activated in the patients hearing aid will allow the hearing aid to receive the signal directly from its source. This can solve issues such as going to the theatre and listening to a play or hearing the sermon at church.

They also use Induction loops at post offices, banks and all public buildings, so finding out if its appropriate for your needs will be a priority for an audiologist. The only downside is that is relatively a large component in a hearing aid, so it often can make the hearing larger in size. 

Remote Microphones

Remote Microphones can offer major improvements in hearing speech recognition, especially in background noise, but also reducing the negative effect of talking to someone from distance such as across a table in a café or restaurant or simply trying to hold a conversation in a car with a family member or friend.

There are negatives to the devices as often you have to ask the person you want to listen to, to wear the remote Microphone, which is either clipped to them or a small lanyard is worn. 

The advances in wireless technology though has allowed smaller, cosmetically neater and more advanced remote microphones onto the market.

Questions and Answers

I want to bring a relative for a hearing test, can I come and sit in on their appointment?

Yes, in fact it’s often very beneficial as it helps the audiologist find out what the real problems are and how the deafness might be affecting the whole family. Scott Wroe grew up with his step mother who was profoundly deaf, and so he understands how deafness can often affect the spouse and family members. There is also quite a lot of information to take in on the first consultation so a second pair of ears can be helpful.

How much do private hearing aids cost?

Our prices per pair of hearing aids start from £1250 and go to a maximum of £3600. You can find our full price list and our professional charges on our professional fees page. 

Do you provide an interest-free option?

Yes, we can provide 12 months interest free options for patients. 

What kind of aftercare do you provide?

All patients will have a aftercare plan designed around their particular needs but generally most patients have check-ups every 6-months and on the annual appointment which includes a full retest and reprogram. 

Our pricing structure is broken down into three main aftercare plans based on 5-year, 3 years and 2 years. If you are out of the plan you just pay for your check-ups and yearly retest and reprogram (please see our Professional Fees page)

If any problems that occur in between, where you need to see an audiologist, for instance if your hearing aid stops working, all you need to do is make contact with the practice and we will do our very best to solve the issue in a prompt and efficient manner. 

Do you take on patients with existing hearing aids bought from another supplier?

In certain situations, we will take on patients that have purchased aids from other suppliers, but this is down to individual cases.  We are unable to adjust Specsavers own brand product and NHS hearing aids.

How long does a hearing aid usually last for?

We generally base a hearing aid lifespan to roughly five years but this doesn’t mean that at five years the hearing aid will stop working. If you take into account that a hearing aid user will generally be wearing their hearing aid from first thing in the morning to late at night, three hundred and sixty-five days of the year, moisture, heat and general wear and tear means that

the product will often start to not work as well as it was designed to. On top of that your anatomy of the ear canal can change which can often start affecting the seal and fit of your hearing aid and within a four and five-year lifespan there is often a noticeable improvement in the latest versions available to justify the upgrade.

Hearing Aids & Hearing Tests in Hereford, Penarth and Malvern