Hands off our hearing aids!

28 07 2014

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North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced proposals to withdraw the provision of NHS-funded hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss!

This would be devastating for people with hearing loss, leaving thousands of local residents unable to communicate in their day-to-day lives. If the cuts go ahead in North Staffordshire, who will be next? We could be looking at millions of people who struggle to hear being denied NHS hearing aids.

We’re calling on anyone who values free NHS hearing aids to join us in the fight to stop these changes!

Link to cause – Hands off our hearing aids!





Learning to listen – the British way

21 07 2011

PC Werth have been working on a British version of LACE and it’s now available. In British accents!

This software is useful for people who want to improve their ability to listen – not to hear speech, but to listen and understand it. This can be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants, and practiced in different scenarios – against background noise, competing voices, and with fast speakers. I found the US version a real challenge.

You can try it here.

You can obtain the British version from one of the UK hearing centres listed here.

US version here.

Has anyone tried LACE? I’d be interested to hear your feedback.





Access

25 06 2011

Arlene Romoff speaks of her experience of hearing loss, advocacy, and her bilateral cochlear implants. The interviewer is also deaf, and is using an FM system to hear Arlene. The interview is in six parts.

You can hop over to Arlene’s blog and buy her book ‘Listening Closely – A Journey to Bilateral Hearing’ from Amazon.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6





Sound …. with a bite!

25 03 2011

The SoundBite is a bone conduction hearing aid which was approved by the FDA in January and is now approved in Europe. Each aid is custom made for the patient. It transmits sound to the cochlea through the jawbone and teeth, across a frequency range of 250 to more than 12,000 Hz. The ITM (In-The-Mouth) picks up sound wirelessly from a small BTE part. It runs on rechargeable batteries. So yes, you’ll be wearing something on the ear and in the mouth, but hey, it’s this or surgery for a BAHA.

More information on this from Sonitus Medical.

Product images > after the jump.





The world’s first invisible hearing aids

21 11 2010

I spotted this hearing aid, the iSync, which claims it is the world’s first invisible hearing aid, going deeper into the ear canal than a CIC hearing aid (Completely in Canal).  This aid fits a moderately severe hearing loss and it removes background noise so you can hear speech more clearly in noisy places. Sounds great!

Steve tested the iSync out, you can read the detailed account here, and how he feels about the iSync here.  I understand how Steve feels about pushing the iSync deep into his ear canal – I once had an audiologist push the cotton block deep into my ear canal before inserting resin for the  ear mould impression, he went a bit too far and it hurt like billy-o.

It’s great to see someone so happy with their hearing aid. Quality of life is priceless, really.

(So sorry the iSync video is not captioned!)

Phonak also supply the Lyric which stays in your ear canal for up to four months. They market as the contact lens for your ear. It is available on subscription and your hearing care specialist replaces it every 4 months for you. Easy peasy. If you are interested, just fire off a request to Phonak and they’ll tell you where to find your nearest hearing care professional.  If you live in the USA, check out their US website where you can obtain a trial of the Lyric.If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, you can take part in a free clinical study and try out the latest technology.

You can watch a short video of the Lyric here.





Why Naida? Win an iPad.

7 10 2010

Phonak are running a competition. All you have to do is to tell them why you like their Naida hearing aids and you could win an iPad.

Competition : 1000 reasons for Naida

Facebook : Phonak Naida

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Can you hear this?

22 06 2010

How good is your hearing? Tee hee. This one’s a damn sight more interesting than the RNID hearing test.

This link takes you to a simple hearing test. Can you hear this? I thought this is an interesting one to do with a new cochlear implant. The site has a list of tones that go from 8Hz to 22,000Hz. It’s usual for people over 25 to not be able to hear above 15kHz. What Hz can you hear up to, or can you hear all of them? I was able to hear all of them. Woo woo! I thought 19, 20 and 21 kHz sounded horrific – I could practically feel them. They all sounded similar after 8Khz as the implant is only capable of a maximum 9Khz stimulation, but I was certainly picking up the sampling.

It is known that listening to iPods at loud volumes for long periods of time can damage your hearing to a profound level and permanently. It’s nice that I don’t have to worry about that one anymore. As we age, we naturally lose our high frequency hearing gradually. This is why, sometimes, you walk in on your mother and she has the TV on full blast and asks you to speak up as she can’t hear you (or the TV). Then swears blind that she doesn’t have a hearing problem.

It can be difficult to differentiate between loudness levels with a cochlear implant. My perception of sounds are different as they are new and so seem much louder. Turning the pages of a book seems louder than a speaking voice.  A ticking clock seems as loud as chucking a book on a table. It’s hard work listening to all this over-stimulation! This test has a series of sine waves – can you hear which is louder? I was very happy to be able to get Q1 and Q3 correct.

Here’s a harder test. Can you tell the difference between two MP3 sound clips, one recorded at 320kbps and the other at 128kbps in this MP3 sound quality test? Nope, I couldn’t tell the difference either!

On the subject of music, there is a new site for research into cochlear implants and music appreciation – swing right on over to Hearing Organised Sound.

And finally, here’s something for you hearies (and interested deafies). I discovered a hearing loss simulation for a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. A bit of environmental sound, a bit of speech, a bit of music. To me, a new kid on the cochlear implant block, and very used to using hearing aids, they sound like pretty accurate simulations. What do you think?

Time to get back to the headphones and rock on!