Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire

Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire

 

Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire at the Chalfont Hearing Centre.  We pride ourselves on being at the vanguard of hearing technology here at the Chalfont hearing centre. Leon Cox the lead audiologist is a first class audiologist who keeps up today with the new tech that comes out constantly.  Today we are looking at the recently announced Phonak Marvel. For those who don’t know what this product is here is a sample from their Press release.

”In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.

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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls”.

Sounds good?  We think so and we are pleased that Phonak has won a prestigious award saying that they agree too. If this Phonak product sounds like something you may like more info on then please let us know and we could arrange an appointment to see if this would be right for you.

See the rest of the info on the Phonak Marvel product bellow.

 

Chalfont hearing News: 

Phonak Marvel Wins Silver Edison Award for Hearing Aid Design Technology

Phonak Marvel hearing aid technology also improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that instantly connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via their smartphone.

Phonak Marvel available at the Chalfont Hearing Centre Bucks

Phonak Marvel, said to be “the world’s first hearing aid” to combine clear sound quality with universal “made for all” Bluetooth connectivity, received a Silver Award in the hearing aid design technology category at the Edison Awards gala in New York City, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors innovators and innovations.

In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.

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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls.

All nominations were reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee and the final ballot sent to an independent judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing, and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.

Hearing aids for Buckinghamshire

For more information on the 2019 Edison Awards, please visit: www.edisonawards.com.  Applications for the 2020 awards will open in August 2019.

 Source: Phonak, Edison Awards

Images: Phonak

 

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Ear wax removal Bucks

Ear wax removal Bucks

 

Ear wax removal Bucks is available at the Chalfont hearing centre. If you are suffering from excessive wax build up in the ear or ears we can come to your aid. Using Micro-Suction or the traditional irrigation technique, (some call it ear syringing), it only take a few mins to painlessly remove excess ear wax. Please click here to see how Micro-Suction works from our sister site in Henley.

 

If you live in the Chalfont area then contact us for Ear wax removal near Little Chalfont Bucks.

Chalfont hearing centre also conduct lots of other ear related issues such as hearing tests, dispensing the very latest digital hearing aids along with hearing aid servicing and setting up of new hearing aids after you purchase them. If you need any of our services please book by calling reception.

 

Chalfont hearing centre News:

Philips Hearing Aids Introduced by Demant

Published on 

 

Philips-Hearing-Aids-Ear-wax-removal-Bucks

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Demant, Copenhagen, Denmark, has announced the introduction of Philips branded hearing aids to the global hearing aid market, according to a press release from the company. A new player, the Philips brand is entering the hearing healthcare market with a complete range of premium hearing aids, accessories, and applications to best serve hearing aid users. Demant states Philips Hearing Solutions will quickly become a trusted brand with hearing care providers and users, as it has great potential around the world to present unique opportunities for hearing care professionals in an ever-evolving market.

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In August, Demant  announced a licensing agreement with Philips, which is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, to bring Philips-branded solutions to the hearing healthcare market.  Demant (formerly William Demant Holding) is the parent group of Oticon, Sonic, and Bernafon hearing aids, as well as Oticon Medical.

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“Based on a shared vision of improving the lives of people through innovative healthcare this new cooperation will not only change the way we see hearing healthcare, but also widen the definition of hearing healthcare, supporting healthier lifestyles and active aging,” said Spencer Ramsey, Senior Director of Brand Licensing, Philips, in the press statement. “Combining Demant’s world-leading hearing aid technology with Philips’ global brand presence in healthcare, the cooperation will enrich the hearing healthcare experience.”

The new premium Philips hearing aids—named Philips HearLink—are now available for hearing care professionals in selected countries. The look and feel of the Philips HearLink hearing aids is designed to cater to today’s baby boomer generation with design and usability developed for this expanding market. Philips HearLink users will benefit from connectivity between their hearing aids and the devices they use in their everyday life, such as smartphones and televisions. The hearing aids will reportedly be manufactured by Demant using the Velox-S and Velox platforms, and will be available in a complete range of styles, including RICs, BTEs, ITCs, CICs, and IITs.

Demant President Søren Nielsen provided an overview of the Oticon Opn S and Opn Play at an investor and media presentation.

Søren Nielsen

 

“The Philips hearing aids will provide users with an innovative, future-proof hearing solution,” says Demant President & CEO Søren Nielsen. “We live in an age where user engagement and digital services are shaping the future of healthcare technology. More and more people are conscious of taking control of their own personal healthcare and are using electronic devices to do so. In this light, Philips Hearing Solutions offers new and exciting premium solutions alongside Philips’ healthcare ecosytem, which will attract interest and generate significant benefits to users, ultimately supporting our valued customer base of hearing care professionals.

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“With this partnership, we take connected hearing healthcare to the next level and offer new and exciting solutions within integrated healthcare services to the benefit of both professionals and people suffering from a hearing loss,” continued Nielsen. “Health, caring, and innovation are cornerstones in the vision of both Demant and Philips, which makes the partnership a great match for the future. Furthermore, it will strengthen and add value to both companies’ ambition to improve people’s lives.”

The Philips brand is something of a “back to the future moment” for more seasoned dispensing professionals. Philips was a well-known hearing aid brand in the 1990s, and the company embarked on a technical collaboration with Telex then exited the market just before the turn of the new century when Beltone purchased Philips’ hearing aid technology. The Hearing Review published numerous news and technical articles about Philips technology in the 90s.

Traditionally, hearing aid branding has not played a large role in hearing healthcare; MarkeTrak 9 suggested that less than half of hearing aid users (43%) could identify the brand of their device. However, many experts in the industry believe this is due to change, as more consumers are expected to enter the market and there is continued competition and aggressive marketing among dispensing chains, pharmacies, mass merchandisers, and online retailers. The Philips brand brings with it one of the world’s best known and trusted healthcare and consumer electronics brands.

For further information about Philips Hearing Solutions and a full presentation of the Philips HearLink product range, visit: hearingsolutions.philips.com

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New hearing aids in Bucks

New hearing aids Chalfont, Bucks

 

New hearing aids in Bucks at the Chalfont hearing centre. We are used to new hearing aids arriving from various manufacturers all year round, but when something is really new and exciting we love to tell you and our existing clients why we are so excited.

Hearing aids have evolved in recent years. Digital hearing aids have made the devices so small and powerful they are no longer what people expect to see. The huge hearing aid of old is getting less visible these days, the new as powerful hearing aids are now tiny. If you are looking for new hearing aids in Bucks, we are the place for you!

New hearing aids Buckinghamshire

The tech inside these little wonders are amazing on so many levels. Take one of the many things they can do. They can connect to your mobile phone and you can talk wirelessly without the phone in your hand as if you were talking to a person next to you. The hearing aid is catching your voice and transmitting this to your phone via bluetooth. You can hear perfectly as your hearing aid is in your ear so you don’t have to really listen hard to get what the conversation is. It’s all done without you doing anything. This tech isn’t new, it has been around for some years, but if your hearing aids are not ”Connected” versions, then maybe when you are next due a new set of hearing aids, you can ask to be told of what’s new in this ”Connected” world.

Bucks hearing aid centre

Leon Cox the lead audiologist at Chalfont hearing will be happy to show you and explain all about what is new and on offer. He will also show you how you connect your new digital hearing aid with various tech such as mobile phones, iPads, and the T.V.

Make your appointment with Leon now by calling reception.

Chalfont hearing news:

 

Semtech and Sonova Launch Jointly-Developed Radio System

Digital hearing aids, Devon

Latest Digital hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre, Bucks

Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC), a supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and Sonova, a developer of hearing care solutions, announced a jointly developed advanced radio system. The ultra-small integrated circuit (IC) is said to be a main component for a new generation of hearing aids, enabling support for multiple radio protocols in the 2.4GHz band, as well as effective operation on very low power, according to the announcement.

New hearing aids Bucks

“This chip allows Sonova to move in a new direction with our hearing aids,” said Marc Secall, director, research & development, wireless, at Sonova. “The breakthrough radio technology and power management are the game changers for hearing aids. It allows them to support a number of applications that have previously not been possible in a hearing aid, all at low power consumption and low supply voltage. Possible applications span from connectivity to any Bluetooth®-enabled audio device (eg, a smartphone or television) to full duplex audio streaming between hearing aids and connectivity to wireless microphones.”

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“Semtech continues to innovate and create flexible, reliable solutions for challenging applications associated with the best radio frequency connectivity at the lowest power and 0.8V supply voltage,” said Jean-Paul Bardyn, vice president of research and development of Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Sonova has long been a leader for hearing devices. By implementing Semtech’s technology and enabling access to the Cloud, we believe that these devices will enrich the IoT-connected solutions which Semtech is serving with LoRa Technology.”

Source: Semtech, Sonova

Images: Semtech, Sononva

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Starkey hearing aids, Little Chalfont

Starkey hearing aids, Little Chalfont

 

We sell and dispense all types of hearing aids at the Chalfont hearing centre. One of the big guns is Starkey. Recently they announced a new innovation for their Live Ai hearing aids. It now comes with fall detection, meaning it will detect if you have a fall and if you are paired with your phone it will message up to 3 contacts  that you have specified before hand.

Read the full press statement bellow for more info, or if you are interested in knowing more please pop in or make an appointment so we can walk you through the new hearing aid and it’s features.

 

Chalfont hearing news:

Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users

balance problems increase risk for fallsStarkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has released its new Fall Detection and Alert feature in Livio AI hearing aids to a limited number of hearing professionals, and plans to offer the feature to all dispensing professionals and their clients in late February, according to CTO Achin Bhowmik, PhD, in an interview with Hearing Review on Tuesday, December 18. Using integrated sensors, the Fall Detection and Alert feature is designed to automatically detect falls and send messages to as many as three contacts.

Fall detection sensors are currently implemented in all Livio AI devices as part of its standard hardware platform, and Starkey has been working on the Fall Alert feature to maximize its utility for end users prior to the system’s widespread implementation.

Falls are a massive public health problem, particularly for older adults. It’s estimated that injuries due to falls will account for $67.7 billion in public health spending by 2020, and according to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) falls are currently responsible for an older adult being admitted to a US emergency room every 11 seconds. Additionally, people with hearing loss are particularly susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study suggests that having hearing loss triples the risk of falls for people age 40 and older—and the findings hold up regardless of whether their hearing loss is moderate or severe.

StarkeyFallsInfoGraphic

How Starkey Fall Detection and Alerts work. Starkey’s new Fall Detection system is said to have several benefits over existing stand-alone medical alert systems, which are typically attached to a lanyard around the neck. “The first key advantage is that a hearing aid is almost always in your ear during your active hours, making for one less thing to carry or remember. One of the major problems with medical alert systems is getting people to wear them,” says Bhowmik. “Second, we have two fall detection sensors [in binaural fittings] for the right side and the left side, whereas most fall detection systems have only one. And the way the two sensors are spaced apart and the way in which you hold your head, we can get better and more accurate results than neck-worn sensors designed to detect falls.”

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

According to Bhowmik, part of Starkey’s recent research has revolved around what constitutes an actual fall as opposed false-positives such as quick downward movements or even accidentally dropping the hearing aid. “If you take the hearing aid off your ear and drop it on the ground, you will not get a false-positive for falling with Livio AI,” says Bhowmik. “We have been working on [eliminating false-positives] for over a year. A good AI system is only as good as the data you train the system with. In this particular case, if the left hearing aid detects a fall, it immediately checks with the right hearing aid to see if the data matches what would indicate a fall for the system. Unless it detects a fall from the hearing aids in tandem for both the right and left sides of the head, the device will eliminate those non-fall events and false-positives.”

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid.

The hearing care professional will be able to activate Fall Detection and Alerts through an easy-to-use interface within the fitting software for Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids. The user can then enter the Auto Alert contacts—up to three people who are to be alerted in the event of a fall within the Thrive Hearing App. When a fall is detected by the system, an audio prompt asks the user if they have fallen. He or she then has 60 seconds to provide an Event Cancellation and stop the outgoing Fall Alert messages from being sent to their designated contacts. If the hearing aid user has fallen and elects to send the Fall Alert message to his/her contacts, they receive confirmation when each contact has been successfully reached.

The system also allows for a Manual Alert which can be activated by simply pressing the hearing aid button, sending an alert for a fall or non-fall related event. “Maybe you didn’t fall, but instead just felt dizzy or were otherwise forced to sit down on the floor,” explains Bhowmik. “Obviously, this is not a fall. But you can still use the Manual Alert to get help when you need it. By tapping a button, you can send an automatic alert to your contacts, telling them you need assistance.”

This is just another step in the direction of making the hearing aid a multi-purpose, multi-functional device, according to Starkey.

To learn more about Starkey’s Livio AI you can visit: https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/technologies/livio-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids

 

 

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Best ear wax removal In Bucks

Best ear wax removal In Bucks

 

The Best ear wax removal, Chalfont,Bucks is at the family owned and run independent Chalfont hearing centre. Covering the whole of Buckinghamshire including Henley, Amersham, Chesham and Rickmansworth.

The Chalfont hearing centre based Little Chalfont and is the place to book for ear wax removal and hearing tests. If you are suffering from Tinnitus, Leon Cox, the lead audiologist at the Chalfont hearing centre can help you with Tinnitus therapy.  Local GP surgeries are no longer treating ear wax removal as part of the NHS but if you are in serious need and want to book an appointment please call reception to book your ear wax removal session. Please read the website for costs.

 

Chalfont  Hearing News:

Best ear wax removal In Bucks!

 

Oticon Releases Survey Highlighting Tinnitus Prevalence in the UK

Original Story by The HEARING REVIEW

Oticon Logo

For a second year, the British Tinnitus Association is hoping to raise awareness of the prevalent condition suggested to severely affect 1 in 10 of the population. People with tinnitus have a hidden condition making it difficult for others to understand what they are going through. This year’s Tinnitus Week theme will draw attention to how many people feel isolated and unable to talk to their loved ones, friends, or colleagues about their condition.

A nationally representative hearing loss survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by hearing aid manufacturer Oticon, reveals just how prevalent tinnitus is and highlights the importance of recognition and education of the sometimes debilitating condition, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. An alarming 21% of respondents experience tinnitus symptoms such as ringing, buzzing, or persistent noise in the ears. Among these respondents, less than half have seen a doctor or hearing care professional about their symptoms, 25% do not think that they need to, and worryingly, almost 40% are not concerned about their overall hearing health, despite nearly half reporting that they do not have good hearing.

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To underline the significance of this year’s Tinnitus Week theme of isolation, the Oticon survey reveals that the biggest effect of the widespread hearing condition is withdrawal from social situations, which 28% reported. This is followed by lack of concentration (26.4%), less alertness (25.8%), and stress (22.4%). Furthermore, two thirds experiencing tinnitus symptoms find it tiring to hear what people are saying and follow conversations in situations where there are lots of people speaking.

Alison Stone, training manager and audiologist at Oticon, says: “People with tinnitus are often more tired and can have more difficulty concentrating, especially if there is background noise in the environment. They are also more at risk of high anxiety, depression, and irritation which affects their daily quality of life a great deal. Isolation is a natural response to many of the effects of tinnitus which is why the support of friends and family is so important. We urge those with tinnitus to talk, and although there is no known cure, to explore the management options available to relieve their symptoms which could significantly minimize the impact the condition has on their life. There are trained professionals out there who understand and can help.”

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The Oticon survey results highlight that tinnitus can be experienced by anyone, with between 16% and 24% of respondents reporting symptoms in each age category. Tinnitus can indeed be experienced by anyone, as well as be temporary or permanent, constant or intermittent.

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Oticon’s Alison Stone advises: “We know that approximately 80% of those with hearing loss also have tinnitus, and 80% of those with tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. It’s important to highlight that tinnitus can sometimes be a symptom of a treatable medical condition, so, if you are experiencing any tinnitus symptoms seek professional medical advice from your primary care doctor or an ENT consultant. Early intervention could make a difference.”

Tinnitus Week aims to increase awareness of tinnitus with a week of promotions that highlight the impact tinnitus can have on the lives of the many people affected. For more information about the condition visit: https://www.oticon.global/hearing/what-is-hearing/tinnitus

Source: Oticon, British Tinnitus Association 

Amersham, Bucks, Buckinghamshire, Chalfont, Rickmansworth, ear wax removal, hearing aids,

Best ear wax removal in Bucks.

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Best ear wax removal Bucks

Best ear wax removal Bucks

 

The Chalfont hearing centre  is an independent hearing company based at Little Chalfont Bucks.  Family owned and run by Leon Cox, Chalfont hearing centre offer the very latest in digital hearing aids, hearing accessories and ear wax removal using Micro-Suction.  With the sister site in Henley-Upon-Thames we cover the whole of Buckinghamshire. You are never far from the premier hearing  company of Buckinghamshire.

 

Chalfont Hearing Centre News:

Starkey Releases World’s First Hearing Aid with Fall Detection and Alerts to Livio AI Users

Original story by The Hearing review 

balance problems increase risk for fallsStarkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has released its new Fall Detection and Alert feature in Livio AI hearing aids to a limited number of hearing professionals, and plans to offer the feature to all dispensing professionals and their clients in late February, according to CTO Achin Bhowmik, PhD, in an interview with Hearing Review on Tuesday, December 18. Using integrated sensors, the Fall Detection and Alert feature is designed to automatically detect falls and send messages to as many as three contacts.

Fall detection sensors are currently implemented in all Livio AI devices as part of its standard hardware platform, and Starkey has been working on the Fall Alert feature to maximize its utility for end users prior to the system’s widespread implementation.

Falls are a massive public health problem, particularly for older adults. It’s estimated that injuries due to falls will account for $67.7 billion in public health spending by 2020, and according to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) falls are currently responsible for an older adult being admitted to a US emergency room every 11 seconds. Additionally, people with hearing loss are particularly susceptible to falls. A Johns Hopkins study suggests that having hearing loss triples the risk of falls for people age 40 and older—and the findings hold up regardless of whether their hearing loss is moderate or severe.

StarkeyFallsInfoGraphic

How Starkey Fall Detection and Alerts work. Starkey’s new Fall Detection system is said to have several benefits over existing stand-alone medical alert systems, which are typically attached to a lanyard around the neck. “The first key advantage is that a hearing aid is almost always in your ear during your active hours, making for one less thing to carry or remember. One of the major problems with medical alert systems is getting people to wear them,” says Bhowmik. “Second, we have two fall detection sensors [in binaural fittings] for the right side and the left side, whereas most fall detection systems have only one. And the way the two sensors are spaced apart and the way in which you hold your head, we can get better and more accurate results than neck-worn sensors designed to detect falls.”

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

Starkey CTO Achin Bhowmik spoke about the possibility of fall detection and other sensor-based capabilities at the 2018 Starkey Expo held in January.

If you are in Somerset

According to Bhowmik, part of Starkey’s recent research has revolved around what constitutes an actual fall as opposed false-positives such as quick downward movements or even accidentally dropping the hearing aid. “If you take the hearing aid off your ear and drop it on the ground, you will not get a false-positive for falling with Livio AI,” says Bhowmik. “We have been working on [eliminating false-positives] for over a year. A good AI system is only as good as the data you train the system with. In this particular case, if the left hearing aid detects a fall, it immediately checks with the right hearing aid to see if the data matches what would indicate a fall for the system. Unless it detects a fall from the hearing aids in tandem for both the right and left sides of the head, the device will eliminate those non-fall events and false-positives.”

Chalfont Hearing Centre

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid

Starkey Livio AI hearing aid.

The hearing care professional will be able to activate Fall Detection and Alerts through an easy-to-use interface within the fitting software for Starkey’s Livio AI hearing aids. The user can then enter the Auto Alert contacts—up to three people who are to be alerted in the event of a fall within the Thrive Hearing App. When a fall is detected by the system, an audio prompt asks the user if they have fallen. He or she then has 60 seconds to provide an Event Cancellation and stop the outgoing Fall Alert messages from being sent to their designated contacts. If the hearing aid user has fallen and elects to send the Fall Alert message to his/her contacts, they receive confirmation when each contact has been successfully reached.

Bucks hearing aids

The system also allows for a Manual Alert which can be activated by simply pressing the hearing aid button, sending an alert for a fall or non-fall related event. “Maybe you didn’t fall, but instead just felt dizzy or were otherwise forced to sit down on the floor,” explains Bhowmik. “Obviously, this is not a fall. But you can still use the Manual Alert to get help when you need it. By tapping a button, you can send an automatic alert to your contacts, telling them you need assistance.”

This is just another step in the direction of making the hearing aid a multi-purpose, multi-functional device, according to Starkey.

To learn more about Starkey’s Livio AI you can visit: https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/technologies/livio-artificial-intelligence-hearing-aids

 

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Hearing aids, buckinghamshire

Hearing aids, Buckinghamshire

The Chalfont hearing centre is an independent hearing specialist centre based in Chalfont Bucks.  We specialise in the very latest hearing aids that will transform your life. The new 2018 digital hearing aids are a joy to use, connecting with your Iphone or most Android smart phones that are on the market today.  You can really hear the benefits of the latest hearing tech, so why not book in and have a hearing test today and discuss your needs.

 

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The latest 2018 hearing aids available at the Chalfont hearing centre, Bucks

Chalfont Hearing News:

Swedish University Researchers Develop New Test for Balance Disorders

Original story by: The Hearing Review

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering, undergoes testing using the new compact vibrating device he and the team helped design. Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Many individuals over age 65 suffer from dizziness and problems with balance; however, tests to identify the causes of such problems are often painful and can risk hearing damage. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have developed a new testing device using bone conduction technology that is said to offer “significant advantages” over current tests, the Sweden-based university announced. 

The researchers' new vibrating device. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

The researchers’ new vibrating device. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

A Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP) test uses loud sounds to evoke a muscle reflex contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by the vestibular system—the system responsible for our balance. The Chalmers researchers have now used bone-conducted sounds to achieve what they say are better results.

“We have developed a new type of vibrating device that is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test,” said Bo Håkansson, a professor in the research group ‘Biomedical signals and systems’ at Chalmers.

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Hearing aids, buckinghamshire

The vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimized to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 Hz. Previously, no vibrating device has been available that was directly adapted for this type of test of the balance system.

In bone-conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as sound waves go through the ear canal, the eardrum, and the middle ear. Håkansson has over 40 years of experience in this field and has previously developed hearing aids using this technology.

The cause of dizziness can be difficult to diagnose for several reasons. In 50% of cases, dizziness is due to problems in the vestibular system. But today’s VEMP methods have major shortcomings, and can cause hearing loss and discomfort for patients.

For example, the VEMP test uses very high sound levels, and may, in fact, cause permanent hearing damage itself, according to the university’s press release.  And, if the patient already suffers from certain types of hearing loss, it may be impossible to draw any conclusions from the test. The Chalmers researchers’ new method offers significant advantages.

“Thanks to this bone conduction technology, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimized,” said postdoctoral researcher Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson, who made all the measurements in the project. “The previous test was like a machine gun going off next to the ear—with this method it will be much more comfortable. The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today’s method using air-conducted sounds through headphones. This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage.”

The benefits also include safer testing for children as well as patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear.

The vibrating device is compatible with standardized equipment for balance diagnostics in healthcare and the cost of the new technology is estimated to be lower than the corresponding equipment used today.

A pilot study has been conducted and recently published. The next step is to conduct a larger patient study in collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, where 30 participants with normal hearing will also be included.

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The scientific article “VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer” has recently been published by Dove Medical Press, in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research.

Chalmers’ partners in the study are the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and the Danish audio companies Ortofon andInteracoustics. Grants for this project are received from Vinnova (Swedish Innovations Agency) and Hörselskadades Riksförbund (Hearing Impairment Federation).

See the researchers’ own presentation of the project

Read more about research on medical signals and systems

Original Paper: Håkansson B, Fredén Jansson K-J, Tengstrand T, et al. VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research. 2018;11:301-312.

Source: Chalmers University of Technology, Medical Devices: Evidence and Research

Image: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

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Oticon Opn™ Outperforms Traditional and Narrow Directionality

With the Oticon Opn, users can expend less effort and recall more of what they encounter in a variety of complex listening environments. This open sound environment, powered by Oticon’s Velox platform, allows for greater speech comprehension, even in a challenging audiological setting with multiple speakers. With its OpenSound Navigator scanning the background 100 times per second, the Opn provides a clear and accurate sound experience.

 

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