What is Menieres Disease?

The first question I am usually asked is, why do you wear hearing aids? When I answer that I have Menieres Disease the inevitable follow up question is normally, what is Menieres Disease? Not many people have ever heard of it and even fewer understand it.invisible hearing aid

 

Menieres Disease is a long term, progressive condition that affects the hearing and balance parts of the inner ear. It has three main components that make up the disease. Hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo (not to be confused with a dizzy spell).

 

The human ear is a very complicated organ that can have a massive effect on people’s lives. It can affect us in a variety of ways such as hearing disorders, balance issues and tinnitus to name just a few. For such a small body part the consequences when it goes wrong can be huge.


 

The effects of the three main components of Menieres Disease.

Hearing Loss.

This one may sound straight forward but for Menieres suffers it is anything but. The levels of hearing loss suffered with Menieres can fluctuate. During normal periods my hearing level sits at severe. During a vertigo attack my hearing can disappear altogether and then come back slowly to it’s normal level again. These fluctuations can make wearing hearing aids difficult as I have to continually adjust the volume levels.

 

Tinnitus.

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing, rushing or whooshing noise in one or both ears. It can be intermittent meaning that it comes and goes or some, like myself, have to live with it 24/7. Most sufferers of this condition will tell you that night time is particularly bad. During the day other surrounding noises can help to reduce the effect of tinnitus but at night time when things are quieter this constant sound can be a major cause of annoyance and sleep depravation.

 

Vertigo.

Without doubt, for me, this is by far the worst aspect of Menieres Disease. I am not talking about a little dizzy spell here. I am talking about a total lack of coordination and sense of where I am. I can’t get grounded to one spot and can’t get a focal point anywhere. It is very debilitating and added to the nausea and vomiting that go with such attacks it can be very upsetting for both myself and others who witness it.

 

These vertigo attacks can last from only a few minutes right up to and beyond 24 hours at a time. They also seem to come in clusters. You may get a few days between them or weeks or longer but you never know when the next one could happen. Some of these vertigo attacks happen so suddenly that the sufferer can simply hit the ground without warning. This can then lead to other injuries and can have a major effect on the persons confidence and general lifestyle.


Vertigo image

 

Not everyone with this condition will get all 3 symptoms in extreme and the effects will also differ from person to person. There are also what is called the three stages of Menieres Disease. Whilst there is no cure for this disease it is generally felt that the sufferer will go through these three stages during their life with Menieres.

 

Stage 1. (Early)

The main feature of Menieres Disease in this early stage is the unpredictable nature of the vertigo attacks. These attacks can be for short or long periods. They can arrive virtually anytime and happen anywhere. This inevitably has an effect on people’s lives. We can be reluctant to socialise or even leave the house for fear of an attack.

 

During this stage tinnitus will make it’s appearance, or if the person already has it then it is likely to increase during these attacks. The hearing will go up and down like a yoyo and the sufferer can become very agitated or withdrawn. It is the unpredictability of this stage that make this condition so distressing.

 

Stage 2. (Intermediate)

During this stage the vertigo attacks will continue to be unpredictable but may begin to be less severe. The person will begin to notice periods of increased imbalance between vertigo attacks. This is due to damage in the inner ear. The sufferers hearing will continue to deteriorate but will still fluctuate during vertigo attacks. The tinnitus will become more pronounced even between attacks.

 

Stage 3. (Later)

During this stage Menieres sufferers will see a switch in focus of the disease. Very often the vertigo attacks will lessen in severity or even stop altogether. However there will be permanent damage to the balance organ in the ear and sufferers will face severe balance problems going forward. The tinnitus will likely continue unabated but the real change comes with the hearing loss. It will become much more pronounced, severe and distorted. Unfortunately, once this stage is reached it is a case of managing it rather than fixing it.

 

Just like the three components above different people will experience the three stages of this disease in slightly different ways. For some the hearing loss may be worse than the vertigo and for others it will be the other way round.

 

One other component of Menieres Disease that is rarely talked about is the “fullness” sensation in the ears. Not everyone gets it but it can be very distressing for those who do. As described earlier, to me it feels like someone is inside my head and trying to push out with both hands through my ears. The severity of it comes and goes but I use it as an early warning sign that vertigo is about to hit me. When I feel the pressure building I know what is coming and can at least get myself prepared.assistive listening systems


 

How do you get diagnosed with Menieres Disease?

There is no one single test (such as a blood test) that can diagnose a person as having Menieres Disease. It is generally a case of looking at all the other possibilities and doing tests to rule them out. Those results together with the onset of the three components above will give a pretty conclusive final diagnoses.

 

Menieres Disease will affect both males and females equally. Only about 10% of those diagnosed have a family history of it. It affects between 1:1000 and 1:2000 of the population depending on where you source your information which equates to a lot of people worldwide affected by this debilitating condition.


 

What treatments are available for Menieres Disease?

All the treatments out there are aimed at controlling the symptoms of menieres disease. For hearing loss there are a wide variety of hearing aids and assistive listening devices available. There are products that can be of assistance in reducing the effects of tinnitus and there are various medicines that may be able to help with the very worst of vertigo.

 

Menieres Disease is symptomatic, meaning that it is the symptoms that have to be dealt with rather than the overall condition. Treatments are also very much people driven. Everyone will experience Menieres a bit differently, therefore the treatments will be tailored to the individual and their particular circumstances. Treatments will typically include medicines, diet, tinnitus management, lifestyle changes, hearing aids and counselling on how to live with the condition.

 

As with most medical conditions, early diagnosis will give the sufferer the best chance of learning to live with the disease. If you have at least two of the symptoms, ie, hearing loss, tinnitus or vertigo then my advice is to get yourself checked out by a doctor. Menieres disease will have a major effect on your life. Learning how to cope with it and managing the symptoms will make your life so much better.Workings of the human ear

 

As always I hope you have enjoyed reading my post. Do you suffer from Menieres Disease or any of the symptoms above? If so please get in touch and share your experience. You can leave a comment below and I will answer it as soon as possible. Why not sign up for my newsletter above or you can contact me directly at eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com

 

 

Wireless Digital TV Audio Listening System – Review

Product – Conversor Pro Plus Elite Listening SystemConversor pro listener

Price – £479.99

Guarantee – 30 Day money back

Where to buy – HEARING DIRECT.COM

Overall rating – 9.5 out of 10.

 

This wireless digital tv audio listening system can be used by both hearing aid users and those people who find hearing aids difficult to cope with.

 

The Conversor Pro Plus Elite Listening System is in fact a two for one product. It is a combination of the conversor pro personal listening system and the conversor tv pro transmitter.


 

Who is his product suitable for.

This elite listening system is ideal for anyone who has a form of hearing loss. Not everyone with hearing loss uses hearing aids. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some people don’t feel that they need them. Some have difficulty adapting to them and others feel that there is a stigma attached to being seen wearing them.

 

For whatever reason, these people still have difficulty hearing conversation and tv. The conversor pro can make their quality of life so much better. Personal conversations or group conversations will be much clearer.

 

With the conversor tv pro transmitter they will also be able to hear the television so much better without having to turn the volume up to a level that others can’t bear.

 

For those people who do wear hearing aids, this listening system is fully compatible with the telecoil or “T” setting on their devices. It will give out a greater clarity of sound and also block out background noise which hearing aids are notorious for picking up.


 

How does the conversor pro plus elite listening system work.

The system comes in three parts (as shown in the photograph above).

 

A remote microphone which picks up the sound.

 

This microphone connects wirelessly with the amplifying unit which can be listened to through headphones. This amplifying unit can also connect wirelessly with your hearing aids when set to the “T” setting.

 

Thirdly the tv transmitter. This unit is connected directly to the tv. It can stay there even when you are not using it and you simply switch the receiving unit over to it when needed.


 

For a video demonstration of this full system in use please click here.


 

Some of the key features of the elite listening system.Conversor pro listener

 

Zoom setting.

This allows you to control the sound you want to focus on from the various sounds this highly sensitive microphone will pick up.

 

Omni Directional setting.

This function allows you to focus on several different sound sources in close proximity. This is a particularly good feature for the likes of business meetings or even a dinner party. You can pick up all the conversations through this unit.

 

Background noise reduction.

This is a great feature that eliminates background noise. For example if you are listening to tv and there are other people in the room talking then the conversor pro will eliminate that noise and allow you to hear the television crystal clear.

 

Wireless Portability.

By placing the wireless microphone close to the sound source you can hear from a distance. For instance at a lecture or a conference or other social settings.

 

Multiple receivers can access the same sound source.

Any other receivers that you or anyone else may have that have their own personal volume controls and zoom functions can be tuned in to either the tv transmitter or the microphone.


 

The complete package.

The conversor pro plus elite listening system really is the complete package. To purchase this system separately would cost in the region of £659.00. This represents a fantastic saving of about £180.00

 

The complete package includes,

 

Wireless microphone/transmitter

Conversor Pro pendant receiver

TV Pro transmitter

Two power supply units

Adjustable microphone/transmitter neck loop

Audio cable

TV cable

Convenient pocket carry pouch

User’s manual


 

I have given this assistive listening device a 9.5 out of 10. The quality is remarkable and the clarity of sound is second to none. It is equally good for people who wear hearing aids and also for those who choose not to wear them. It can be used in a wide variety of settings and will enhance the quality of life for anyone using it.

 

The only reason I have not marked this as a 10 out of 10 is because it has three component parts. It simply means you have more parts to look after. That said, once you connect the tv transmitter to your television you can just leave it there, so you really only have two parts to care for.

 

This product may well be available elsewhere but I have recommended Hearing Direct for two reasons. I have dealt with them consistently for a number of years and their customer service is excellent. The people you deal with on the phone or by email, if you need them, will do everything in their power to assist you and ensure that your needs are met.

 

They also offer a 30 day no quibble money back guarantee. This allows you to buy the product and test it fully at home, in the office or anywhere you want to so that you can be sure that it is the right product for you.

 

If you find it difficult to hear conversation at home or work or out with friends, even if you wear hearing aids, then the conversor pro plus elite listening system is ideal for you.

 

 

 

How To Learn Sign Language

For deaf and hard of hearing people, sign language is an alternative form of communication to a written or spoken language. Different countries have their own versions such as BSL (British sign language) or ASL (American sign language). How to learn sign language can be done in a variety of ways.

 

Who is sign language for.

Sign language is a means of communication. Like all forms of communication it takes a minimum of two people to be effective, the person signing the language and the other to understand what is being “said”.

 

For deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate effectively with the rest of society, then others also need to be able to understand and be able to converse in sign language too. This consists of people such as families of the deaf and hard of hearing. Teachers, people working in public bodies, work colleagues and friends.

 

The more people who understand and can communicate in this language then the more inclusive and confident deaf and hard of hearing people will feel within the community and society at large.

 

What is sign language and what does it consist of.

Most people believe that sign language is simply the spoken language of that country with hand signs. This is not the case. It is a completely different language with it’s own grammar and sentence construction.

BSL fingerspelling chart
BSL fingerspelling chart

 

For example, in English you would ask, “What is your name?” A sign language user would sign, “Your name, what?”

 

There is no sign language equivalent for some words such as people’s names, addresses etc… Instead they use a finger spelling alphabet to spell the word out.

 

Sign language, just like any other written language can take years to perfect. It is a combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and body language. Even learning the basics such as the finger spelling or doing a beginners course is a great way to learn to communicate with someone who is deaf or hearing impaired.

 

Where can you learn sign language.

Learning to sign can be achieved through 3 main methods. Just like any language, the level of competency you want to get to will be a deciding factor on what method you choose.

 

Books on sign language.

There are hundreds of books available to help you learn how to sign. These will range from basic finger spelling through to complex signing comprising both book and DVD packages.

 

Your local library should be a good source of information in relation to beginners books and how to get started. The other way to source books on learning sign language is through companies such as Amazon. Simply go to the site and type in sign language books and you will get a vast variety at different prices.bsl-graffiti

 

The best way to judge the quality of these books is to look at the reviews. Again Amazon will generally provide this information, but you can always find a review of the book elsewhere online.

 

Online sign language courses.

There are a lot of sign language courses now available online. They can range from beginners courses from as little as £10 through to advanced courses costing several hundred.

 

The main advantage these courses have over book based courses is that they are mainly interactive. Rather than just a picture of the sign you are learning, you can actually see someone making that sign. This will help you to get the detail right more quickly.

 

Some of these courses even offer one on one tutoring which can help you to progress quicker than simply reading signs from a page or reading them from a screen.

 

As with books, you need to do a bit of homework on these courses. You need to decide what level you want to achieve and make sure that the course will meet those needs. Check the course to see if it has been reviewed anywhere independently. Check fully the conditions to see exactly you are getting for your money. You can also check with some of the national charities that deal with the deaf and hard of hearing community to see if they have online courses themselves.

 

Community college or voluntary run courses in your area.

Most communities will have an active deaf and hard of hearing help organisation that run courses on learning sign language. These courses are usually catered to various levels from beginners to more advanced signing.sign language symbol

 

Some of these courses will be free but formal courses at community colleges can cost a few hundred pounds but there is usually some form of formal qualification at the end of them.

 

These type of courses are the one I would recommend most. Whilst the others have their merits, I believe that these community courses are the best way to learn and develop the best understanding of sign language.

 

Generally speaking you will be learning with other people at the same level as yourself. You will be learning in a live environment and in real time. You will be interacting with others in real life.

 

You will also get a feeling and a sense of belonging within these groups. You will be meeting people with the same goals as you and perhaps with the same difficulties as you. Whether it is yourself who is deaf or hard of hearing or you have a family member or a friend you want to be able to communicate with better, then you will almost certainly be learning with others who are in the same position.

 

Learning to sign is more than just another way of communicating. It is also a statement that we are prepared to reach out to a section of our community that we have previously bypassed. The opportunities for learning this new language are almost limitless. Whether you want to learn in the privacy of your own home or with other people then take the plunge and just go for it.

BSL thank you
Thank you.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit. I would love to hear from you in relation to this or any other topic on the site. Please feel free to leave a comment below. I will answer you back as soon as possible. Why not sign up for my free newsletter above for a weekly look at topical issues and product reviews. You can also contact me at eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com

Causes Of Sudden Hearing Loss. What are they?

Imagine waking up one morning and not being able to hear your partner or children speaking. Scary isn’t it. Yet this happens to people every single day and still so little is known about the condition.

 

What exactly is sudden loss of hearing.invisible hearing aid

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), occurs very quickly, usually immediately or over the course of a couple of days. It is generally unexplained but should always be treated as an emergency.

 

It is quite common for people who get SSHL to ignore the problem at first. They tend to shrug it of as being caused by an infection, ear wax or some other condition. Any delay in seeking medical intervention can hamper the effectiveness of any treatment.

 

SSHL usually only affects one ear. It can be diagnosed through a hearing test or audiogram. If the test results show a drop in hearing of 30 dB or more across three connected frequencies then SSHL is confirmed. To give an example of this. A loss of 30 dB in one ear would render a normal conversation down to a mere whisper.

 

People will notice the onset of SSHL in different ways. As I mentioned above some people will recognise it immediately upon waking in the morning. Some will only notice it when someone tries to speak to them on the affected side whilst others will get a loud popping sound in their ear just before their hearing disappears.

 

The good news is that about half of the people who get SSHL will recover either some or all of their hearing within a couple of weeks, and approximately 80% of those who receive specialist treatment will regain at least some of their hearing capacity.

 

What are the causes of sudden hearing loss.

This is where a major problem lies for the medical research community and SSHL suffers. There is so much still not known about the causes of sudden hearing loss. Only about 10 to 15% of those with SSHL have an identifiable cause.assistive listening systems

 

Here are some of the most common ones as outlined by the NIH (National institute on deafness),

 

Infectious diseases

Trauma, such as a head injury

Autoimmune diseases such as Cogan’s syndrome

Ototoxic drugs (drugs that harm the sensory cells in the inner ear)

Blood circulation problems

A tumor on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain

Neurologic diseases and disorders, such as multiple sclerosis

Disorders of the inner ear, such as Ménière’s disease

 

I do not have any medical expertise but keep an eye out for future posts looking into the effects of some of the causes mentioned here. Once I have gathered the relevant information I will provide you with full details. I will also be looking further into the various research and studies taking place to better diagnose the causes of SSHL.

 

Is there any treatment for SSHL.

The treatment received will depend on the diagnosis of the cause of your SSHL. If it is one of the causes mentioned above such as trauma to the head, then an operation may be available. If your SSHL is deemed to be caused by an infection then a course of antibiotics may suffice. Some medications can cause damage to the fine balance of the ear and if you are taking any of these then your doctor will more than likely change your prescription.

 

However if you are one of the many where the cause is not known, then the most common form of treatment will be steroids, or more specifically corticosteroids. They are used to help reduce swelling and inflammation. Whilst usually taken in pill form, the steroid can also be injected directly behind the eardrum, into the middle ear. From there it will travel down to the inner ear.

What help is available for people who suffer sudden hearing loss.steroid syringe

Outside of the medical assistance you may need, many people find it therapeutic and helpful to engage with people who perhaps have had a similar experience, or who at least can empathise with what you are going through.

 

You will be able to get information on local help groups from your local hospital or doctor or even from the local library. There are also the online forums such as this website where people can come and discuss any topic related to hearing loss. No one has to suffer this very frightening condition alone. There are always people here to reach out to.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. As always I would love to hear from you. Have you or someone you know suffered from sudden hearing loss? Was the reason ever diagnosed and how are they now? You can leave any comments below and I will answer them as soon as possible.

Why not sign up to my free newsletter and receive information on all the very latest innovations to help with hearing loss. You can also contact me directly at eddie@helpwithhearingloss.com

 

 

 

 

T’ Coil Hearing Aid Loop – Review

Product – TC192 Portable Induction Loop Kit   portable induction loop system                                                                                                                             

Cost – £300.00

Where to buy – AMAZON.CO.UK

Overall rating – 9 out of 10

 

Induction loop systems have been around for a long time. It used to be that you would have only used them at hospitals. Now, due to the advances in technology a T’ Coil Hearing Aid Loop System can be used practically anywhere.

 

What exactly is a T’ Coil induction loop system?

An induction loop system transmits an audio signal directly into a hearing aid via the creation of a magnetic field, greatly reducing background noise, competing sounds, reverberation and other acoustic distortions that reduce the clarity of sound.

 

For this system to work you must ensure that your hearing aids have what is called a telecoil or a “T” setting. Only hearing aids with this setting can pick up the magnetic field being transmitted.assistive listening systems

 

Where can the portable induction loop kit be used.

Rather than the older system (some of which are still in place) which involved the transmitter and a wire loop going right round the room or building, the TC192 Portable Induction loop kit can be used practically anywhere.

 

Because there is no hard wired installation required, this loop system is ideal for use in places such as, schools, shops, nursing homes, leisure centres, hotels, banks, GP surgeries, reception desks and many other private, public and civic areas. Pretty much anywhere.

 

Who would benefit from the portable induction loop kit.

The most obvious beneficiary of this induction loop system is the hearing aid user. They will enjoy a greatly enhanced hearing experience without background interference. The biggest benefit comes from use in busy areas such as reception rooms, schools etc… The induction loop allows hearing aid users to hear clearly without distraction.

 

The other beneficiaries of the portable induction loop system would be any business or public body who deal with people on a day to day basis. The vast majority of these places now have a loop system (the old style) in place for hearing aid users.portable induction loop system

 

For instance, up until now, a school that has a number of hearing aid wearing children, would pretty much have to hard wire the complete school at a phenomenal cost. This portable system would allow each child to carry their loop kit from class to class.

 

Likewise a a hotel could have one of these systems sitting at reception, rather than having to hardwire the whole reception area. In terms of business and bodies who deal with the public this portable system could be a real money saver.

 

What are the key features of the TC192 Portable induction loop kit.

This stand alone kit features,

Ready for use in seconds,

Generates a loop listening field of approximately 1.2m²

Free standing light weight design, ideal for counter, table or desk use.

Simple one button operation.

Short form instructions are on the rear of the amplifier

Compatible with any hearing aid with a “T” (telecoil) setting.

In excess of 5 years battery life in normal conditions

Integral cut-off timer settable to 10, 30 or 60 minutes.

Ideal for schools, shops, nursing homes, leisure centres, hotels, banks, GP surgeries, reception desks and many other private, public and civic applications.

Contents PL1/K3 Kit with robust case Includes PL1 portable amp c/w battery, integral mic., plug top charger.

Comes supplied in a robust plastic carry case.

 

Why should people buy the TC192 portable induction loop kit.

The easiest way to meet the requirements of the hearing impaired is to have a portable induction loop system available and ready to use at all times. Whether you are a business dealing with customers, a school with a duty to your hard of hearing pupils or a state body providing a service to the public, having a loop system in place shows that you care.

 

As someone who wears hearing aids permanently, I know the difference it makes to me when an induction loop system is provided for my use. It shows me that the providers of the service care about my needs. It shows me that they are aware of and interested in making my experience the very best it can be. That goes a long way to ensuring that I will be a returning customer.

 

If you want to give your customers the very best hearing experience then get the portable induction loop kit here.

Mobile Phones For The Hard Of Hearing

The very title of this post might sound like a bit of a contradiction in terms. After all, why would you want to produce a mobile phone for people who can’t hear? Surely there can’t be a market for mobile phones for the hard of hearing?

 

Wrong…..Wrong…..Wrong…..And here’s why,

hearing aids linked to apple
The ReSound LiNX 7

I suffer from a severe hearing loss but I am not deaf. Due to the great advances in technology, I can hear very well with the assistance of my two hearing aids.Also, deaf people can also use a mobile phone very effectively.

 

With the continuing advance of social media in taking over the communication world, the vast majority of “dialogue” now takes place by text, tweet facebook comments, and Instagram etc… How many times a day do you actually use your mobile to phone someone?

 

The hard of hearing or hearing loss community worldwide has approximately 360 million members. That’s how many of us the world health organization estimates exist today. That sounds like a very healthy market to me.

 

Are mobile phones for the hard of hearing any good?

Up to and including the first smartphones, the hearing loss community wasn’t really a consideration for phone manufacturers. If they bothered at all, then they simply put out a model that had a louder ringtone.

 

With the onset of Bluetooth technology, we were able to find ways around this and have a better connection with our phones. Thanks to telecommunication companies such as Amplicomms, who developed their Bluetooth neckloops we were able to link the neckloop directly to our phones and to our hearing aids. This allowed us to hear the phone sound directly from our hearing devices.

 

The problems with these neckloop devices are that the early models were very prone to cutting out. This meant that conversations were cut off in mid-sentence and it was a scramble to switch the hearing aid back to normal setting or in most cases, the call was just dropped altogether.

 

The development of smartphone technology.

Now, I don’t know for sure if the manufacturing companies were being lobbied by pressure groups, or if they realized the size of the hearing loss global community or if the advances in mobile phone technology just happened to mirror the advances in hearing aid technology but suddenly the revolution is upon us.

 

Those of us with hearing loss can now avail ourselves of the exact same mobile phone technology as everyone else on the planet. If the iPhone is regarded as the most popular and technologically advanced mobile on the market then we can actually do more with it than people with no hearing impairment.

digital hearing aids
Top of the range hearing aid

 

Apple and a hearing aid manufacturer GN ReSound teamed together to produce a hearing aid compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. By downloading an app from the apple store you could enable your hearing aids to interact directly with your Apple devices. This would turn your hearing aids into a wireless Bluetooth stereo headset, a remote control for your hearing aids, an audio streaming programme and much much more. The hearing aid model used for this was the ReSound LiNX 7. Check out my review here.

 

Apple is not the first to get in on the act. In fact, manufacturers such as Amplicomms and Doro have a much longer history of developing communication devices for people with hearing loss.

 

In fact, it is the case with Doro that they have produced their latest amplified smartphone which really ranks up there with some of the so-called better smartphones on the market today and at a far better price. You can check out my review of the Doro Liberto 825 smartphone here.

 

So all’s well that ends well? Actually not quite.

I suppose it was too good to be true. Whilst we certainly have access to the same level of technology, it will cost those of us with hearing loss significantly more to acquire that technology.

 

The ReSound LiNX 7 hearing aids that I mentioned above, that can connect directly with your iPhone will set you back a cool £1395.00 and they are not the most expensive model on the market – not by a long way. Put that cost on top of an iPhone and you are looking at over £2000.00.

Phone for the hard of hearing
The Doro Liberto 825 Extra Loud Smartphone

 

Anyway, that is an argument for another day. The fact is that advances in technology mean that having a hearing loss does not have to be a barrier to the best that mobile phones have to offer. We no longer have to settle for second best.

 

My conclusion.

Mobile phones for the hard of hearing have come on by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. As technology continues to advance, hopefully, the pricing on some of the top models will come down to a reasonable level.

The recent changes to the law in America regarding over the counter hearing aids will also have an effect on pricing. More competition in the market will invariably drive prices down.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. As always I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. Do you wear hearing aids? Can you link them to your mobile phone? What sort of costs did you incur? Do you know of a cheaper way to access smartphone technology for people with hearing loss? All comments will be answered asap.

 

Regards,

Eddie.

Related posts,

Extra loud smartphone.

 

 

Wireless TV Listener – A Review

Product – Amplicomms TV 2510-NL Wireless TV Listenerwireless tv listener

Price – £129.99

Guarantee – Full 30-day money back

Where to buy HEARING DIRECT

Overall rating – 10 out of 10

 

Even when we wear our hearing aids it can be a real chore trying to listen to the television. Background noise or someone else talking in the same room can be very off-putting. A good quality wireless tv listening device could be the solution for you.

 

Who will this device work for?

The Amplicomms TV 2510 – NL Wireless TV Listener is designed and manufactured for people who wear hearing aids. It enables you to listen to the tv through the telecoil or “T” setting on your hearing aid rather than just through the tv volume itself.

 

It is worth noting here that those with cochlear implants may also be able to use this device as many of these implants now come equipped with the “T” function.

 

It is designed to block out all other background sounds so that you can listen to the television with clarity and without disruption. The Amplicomms TV 2510 – NL can also be used in an office setting or even a school and will allow the user a top quality listening experience.

 

How does the Amplicomms wireless tv listener work?

The device connects to your television (or other connected devices) wirelessly. If you want to connect to a digital tv then you will require a Toslink/F05 cable and your output device (tv) must be equipped with an optical output.amplicomms tv listener

 

Once connected you simply turn your hearing aids to the telecoil or “T” setting and you can begin to enjoy virtually guaranteed high-quality surround sound. The device will block out background sounds and the only thing you will hear is the programme you want to listen to.

 

One of the best features of this upgraded model and what sets it apart from most of the other tv listeners on the market is the new built-in microphone. You have the option of switching the microphone on if you want to hear what someone in the room is saying and then simply switch it off again to go back to the tv sound.

 

What are the main features of the TV 2510 – NL

Without wanting to get too technical here, the list of features of this model is very impressive. A sample of what is available is

 

Completely wireless – easy plug-and-play connection

Mute sound source when surrounding microphone is activated

3.5mm output in the receiver for optional connection of Ear Phones /Head Phones allowing Stereo sound transmission through the receiver

2.4 GHz Digital UHF Transmission through walls and ceiling

Adjustable Tone Control & Balance for optimising sound quality

Sensitive built-in microphone enables hearing surrounding close proximity area (personal on/off activation from the receiver)

Rechargeable receiver (2 batteries included) with speed charging mechanism for simultaneous spare battery recharge

For a fully comprehensive list of the technical specification please click here.personal tv listener

 

Who should buy the Amplicomms TV 2510 – NL Wireless TV Listener?

If you are like me and wear hearing aids but still struggle to hear the television if there is background noise or if someone else is talking in the room then this device is ideal for you.

 

I currently have the previous model (the NL 2410) and the sound quality is fantastic. I can also connect it to my mobile phone and when someone calls I get their voice directly from my hearing aid.

 

My older model does not have the built-in microphone feature, which means if I am watching tv and someone speaks to me I have to mute the tv, turn off the “T” setting on my hearing aid, answer them and then turn everything back on again. With this new model all that is simply done with the flick of a switch.amplicomms wireless tv listener

 

If you know someone who wears hearing aids and want to give them the very best experience in tv listening then this is the perfect device for them. Another key point when buying through Hearing Direct is their full 30-day money back guarantee. It allows you to try the product and if for any reason you don’t want to keep it then simply send it back for a full refund.

 

If you think this wireless tv listener is for you or someone you know then get it here.

As always, your comments are very much appreciated. Just leave them in the box below.

Regards,

Eddie.

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Vibrating Alarm Watch.

 

 

 

Jobs For The Hearing Impaired. Whats The Problem.

Today, in 2017, with all the various equal opportunities and anti-discrimination laws that exist, why do 1 in 4 deaf or hard of hearing people still face job discrimination? What are jobs for the hearing impaired?

Let’s have a look at the whole application – interview – workplace process.

 

OOP’S, Let me rephrase that first sentence!!

When I say that 1 in 4 has suffered discrimination in the workplace, I am sure that the figure is much higher. The 1 in 4 that I refer to are actually the numbers of deaf or hard of hearing people who have been forced to leave their place of work due to discrimination.Hearing safety at work sign

 

With the almost total automation of modern production and huge advances in communication technology, you would think it would be easier now more than ever for deaf and hard of hearing people to thrive in the workplace. There should be very few barriers to jobs for the hearing impaired.

 

Sadly it is not the case. There still appears to be a complete lack of understanding and empathy for the ability of the deaf and hard of hearing community to be integrated into the modern workforce.

 

It all begins at the interview stage.

Actually, it begins before that. Even putting a C.V together can be a problem. Do I tell my prospective employer that I have a hearing impairment even though my condition would have no bearing on the job I’m applying for?

 

My answer to that one is yes. I have always declared my hearing loss. I don’t think it is the right way to begin a relationship by omitting something that is such a big part of my life. Also, the way I see it is this. If the employer is so narrow-minded that they wouldn’t even consider me because of my hearing loss then is that really a company I would want to work for?

 

That is not to say that my way is the correct way. I know other hearing loss people who never declare their condition on their C.V. They’re argument is that if they can get to the interview stage then they can explain their condition and how it won’t affect their performance on the job.

 

It’s a personal thing and whichever works for you then that is the way to go.

 

Now back to the interview stage.

This is where things can get really embarrassing. Not for me but for the interviewer! When I walk into an interview I look to see what the conditions are like. If it is just myself and one or two other people in a quiet room then it is fine.a job interview

 

If the interview is being conducted somewhere where there is background noise I will either ask them if they have an induction loop system in place or if we can go somewhere quieter. This usually knocks the interviewer off-kilter straight away. I also know at this stage that they haven’t read my C.V properly or my covering letter. As I explained earlier I am always upfront about my condition.

 

As you can imagine this doesn’t set a very good tone for the rest of the interview. What it shows me is that the company or the interviewer haven’t prepared properly. This will lead to one of two things happening.

 

Firstly, the interviewer will resent me for putting them in this position, in which case I can say goodbye to the job. Secondly, the interviewer will recognise that I am a strong enough person to stand up for myself. They will see that as a good character trait and it will only enhance my prospects for getting the position.

 

The other thing I have consistently found in my interviews is the lack of willingness of the interviewer to mention my condition at all. It is right there in front of them on my C.V but 99 times out of 100 it is me who introduces it to the conversation. I want it discussed. I want to ensure that the role I am applying for is compatible with my hearing loss.

 

The workplace can be a lonely place for the hearing impaired.

The modern workplace, with all the automation and communication technology available today, should really be a place for hard of hearing people to feel welcome and at ease. Sadly, all too often, that is not the case.

 

Far too many workplaces still do not provide adequate support, guidance or resources for people with hearing loss. Ensuring that a particular position is fit as a job for the hearing impaired should be neither costly nor inconvenient for an employer.

 

In the workplace itself, there are constant hurdles to overcome, such as communicating with employees who fail to recognise or accommodate the needs of deaf and hard of hearing employees. Then there are other activities, such as using the phone, taking part in meetings, and even having to take time off work to attend hospital appointments and hearing aid clinics.man at work

 

These are the areas we struggle in and it would take very little effort from companies to put us on a level par with our fellow workers. When we talk about discrimination of the hearing impaired in the workplace we don’t mean direct discrimination from fellow workers in the form of verbal or physical abuse (although that can and does happen).

 

The discrimination we refer to is the lack of support, the lack of resources and the lack of an ability to give us the tools to let us do the job we were employed to do. Having to struggle every day in a meeting to hear what is being said will eventually wear you down. If you cannot hear the conversation, how can you do your job properly? A small portable induction loop system would solve this problem in an instant.

 

They are not all bad.

I have worked with some fantastic companies. One, in particular, went above and beyond to ensure that I had every facility needed to allow me to do my job. Not just me I might add. This company had a positive attitude to employing people with various disabilities. It is perhaps no coincidence that the company owner himself was totally deaf.

 

There are so much talent and insight among deaf and disabled people, and companies today could benefit hugely from including them in their workforce and giving them the necessary tools and respect they require to work to their full potential. We are not looking for more than anyone else. We simply want to have the same opportunity as everyone else.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site. As always I would love to hear from you. Have you ever suffered discrimination at work due to a disability? How did you react? What more can be done to make the workforce more diverse?

Please feel free to leave your comments below. I will reply as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie.

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Cheap Hearing Aids – Where To Get Them

Buy hearing aids can be a very expensive business. Top of the range models can cost upwards of £/$2000. This sort of cost can put people off having a better quality of life. Can you buy cheap hearing aids and if so then where is the best place to buy them.

 

What you need to know when buying cheap hearing aids.medi fit behind the ear hearing aid

I am going to review three cheap hearing aids here but there are a few fundamental things you will need to have before you make any decision on what type of device to buy.

 

Firstly, and most importantly you need to know the level of hearing loss you have. This is critical to ensuring that any hearing aid you purchase will meet your needs. To determine your hearing level you should have an audiogram done. This can be done by your doctor or by going to a hearing aid supplier who will generally have this facility on site.

 

Once you have established your hearing loss level, mild, moderate, severe or profound then you need to ask yourself what you want your new hearing aid to do. Is it primarily for use at home? Will you be wearing it to work? Will it need to be able to work in a noisy environment? Do you want it to be hidden from view?

 

Make a list of all the things you want from your hearing aid. Then set yourself a budget. My advice is always to set your budget as high as possible. After all, you are investing in your future quality of life and generally speaking the more you spend the better the device will be.

 


Where is the best place to buy cheap hearing aids?

If you know your hearing loss level or have a recent audiogram and have made a list of what you want your hearing aids to do then the best place that I have found for cheap devices is Amazon.

 

There are thousands of products to chose from and they range from a few £/$’s up to the very expensive models. I have chosen 3 different models to look at here and all of them are under £/$100.

 


Med-Fit Discreet Medically Approved Digital Hearing Aid.

Where to buy – AMAZON.

Price – £39.95medi fit hearing aid

This is what I would call an entry level hearing aid. It fit’s both ears so doesn’t require any custom fitting and There are no bells and whistles with it but it does have a volume control. The main features are,

 

Digital technology delivering quality sound to your ear

Comfortable fit and almost invisible

Adjustable Volume -Fits Both Left & Right Ears

Medically Approved Digital Hearing Aid

Intelligent volume control

It is a pleasant looking device and comes in a sturdy presentation box. On the negative side, the description doesn’t tell you what level of hearing loss it caters for or where it is best used.

 


Infini Ear – The Digital Rechargeable Hearing Aid – Double pack.

Where to buy – AMAZON

Price – £74.95infini ear hearing aids

If you have done the homework that I mentioned above then the information provided for this hearing aid will allow you to make a better choice before you purchase. The main features of this device are,

 

Discreet design

This amazing new super small device fits in your ear – in fact, it’s so discreet you can hardly notice it.

Simply slip it in your ear and adjust the volume to suit your hearing needs and away you go! The design is so compact and comfortable that you’ll soon forget you’re wearing it.

Advanced Circuitry

The advanced microelectronic amplification circuitry will give you enhanced hearing without any whistles or interference that you find with cheaper imitations.

And because we are selling direct to customers we are able to offer the Infini Ear at an affordable price.

Other companies like you to believe that improved hearing costs a fortune, but not with Infini Ear.

No more batteries!

And what’s more, you’ll never have to worry about the cost or having to replace batteries.

The Infini Ear is fully rechargeable!infini ear rechargeable hearing aids

All you need to do is pop it into the charger and turn it on. You can charge it while you sleep. It’s so much more convenient than having to fiddle about with batteries.

As it doesn’t need to carry batteries it’s smaller than other devices. Ditch your old-fashioned fiddly device and try the new Infini Ear.

 

There are a few positives regarding this device that should be pointed out. The fact that you get two hearing aids will please a lot of people and also that they are rechargeable, so you no longer have to worry about batteries. Their small size will also be pleasing to those who don’t like their hearing aids to be seen by others.

 

On the negative side. Once again there is no mention of the level of hearing loss that these devices cover. I would also like to have seen information on how long a fully charged battery lasts.

 


New Siemens Touching hearing aid 100% Digital High Power BTE Behind the Ear Device.

Where to buy – AMAZON

Price – £97.58siemens touching hearing aids

One of the first things noticeable from the product description is that it actual tells you what level of hearing loss this device is aimed at. The rest of the information is very comprehensive and will allow you to make a very informed choice regarding this product. The main features of this device are,

 

Siemens is the largest manufacturer of hearing aids all over the world. This LATEST DESIGNED TOUCHING model is, Ready-To-Wear, 100% Pure Digital, Mini Size, Super High Power, Behind-The-Ear hearing aid. It suits for moderate to severe hearing loss. TOUCHING provides superior sound quality with low distortion – at a very competitive price. Unique in its class, TOUCHING uses a highly advanced feedback cancellation system, for comfortable hearing.

 

Features 1.100% digital signal processing chip 2.Low distorted, low noise digit acoustic fidelity output 3.Microphone noise abatement 4.Excellent feedback elimination system 5.New robust design with reinforcement, moisture-proof new outward appearance 6.Rocker volume control 7.Single easy to adjust NH Trimmer 8.Button control with two functions: Soft/Loud 9.Suit for the people with moderate and severe hearing loss.

 

Specification 1.Sturdy and good looking housing in fine finish. 2.Use one AA battery (not included) 3.For Moderate to severe hearing loss 4.Low frequency noise reduction mode 5.Siemens is the world’s largest manufacturer of hearing aids with 6.superior quality – at a very competitive price.

 

Package Content 1 BRAND NEW Siemens TOUCHING, 100% Digital, Mini Size, Super High Power, Behind-the-Ear, hearing aid 1 User Manual 3 different size ear plugs to fit your ear 1 carrying case.siemens hearing aid

 

Instructions 1.The wire plug connected to the headset.Then earplug connector (hard) to the headset, earbuds (silica gel) to connect to the headphone connector pedestal 2.The battery installation: Gently open the battery compartment cover, put a battery into the battery compartment in the right direction, then close the battery compartment. 3.Before you use this item, you have to turn the ON-OFF switch to Off, and turn the sound volume to minimum 4.Then put this item on your ear, keep it tightly 5.Next, turn this item ON, adjust the volume until you hear a clear sound.

 

It is clear to me that this is the most sophisticated of the three devices I have looked at. There is a good description of the device and they have even included the fitting instructions. It also comes with a 1-year manufacturers warranty.

 


To round things up

 

So there you have it, 3 different models, at 3 different prices and all under £100. This is only the tip of the iceberg. As I have said above there are thousands of hearing aids available online.

 

Amazon is one of the biggest and best sales platforms in the world. That is why I have endorsed them here. They have a reputation second to none and their returns policy also offers you a good measure of protection.

 

If none of these products is what you are looking for and you want to browse more, then just click the Amazon link at the bottom left-hand side of this page and type in hearing aids. This will bring you up many many more choices.

 

As always I would love to hear from you. Have you ever bought a cheap hearing aid online? How did you find the experience? Was the device what you expected? Please feel free to leave a comment below and I will answer it as soon as possible.

Regards,

Eddie.

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Hearing Loss And Depression – My story

I have suffered depression due to my hearing loss. Not a statement I ever thought I would make but it is true. It is not an easy thing to admit or to come to terms with because hearing loss and depression are two hidden conditions. Separately they are serious health issues but together they can be lethal.Man sitting all alone on a bench

 

My personal journey into the abyss.

I have suffered hearing loss most of my life. Just over 4 and a half years ago I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. My hearing loss became severe and other related issues such as tinnitus and balance came into the equation. My life was literally turned upside down. Three key elements contributed to this.

 

My working life.

My working life came to a shuddering halt. I had been a sales manager for a large company travelling all over the country. I loved my job. I had an accident whilst driving linked to my hearing loss and balance and that was that.

Hearing safety at work

 

Suddenly, from being in a position I loved, with a great network of colleagues and customers, I had nothing. I simply stopped being a productive part of society. I had no prospects. My condition had become so severe that my consultant would not contemplate me going back into the workforce. I was viewed as a danger to both myself and to others.

 

My home life.

With the loss of work came the indignity of not being the main provider for my family. I felt that I had let them down. They knew it was all outside of my control and continually reassured me but in my head, I had failed them. That, coupled with the unrelenting boredom, of being at home every day was like a massive weight pressing down and I didn’t know how to lift it off.

 

My social life.

I had always had a very active social life. From playing sports to going out with friends and family I was always up for a laugh. Now conversations were almost impossible to hear. I had to give up playing football because I couldn’t hear the other players.

 

I began to withdraw more and more from myself and others. Outwardly I seemed fine. I would continue to go out with family and friends and smile and nod my head as if I understood everything that was being said. Inwardly, however, I was just withdrawing further and further into a place where I didn’t recognise and didn’t know how to escape.

 

I didn’t know it immediately but my hearing loss and depression were not only merging but also playing off each other. The more I learned about my condition the more depressed I was becoming.

 

My salvation.

My salvation came, not from doctors or health professionals, because not once did any of them ever ask about the state of my mind or how I was coping with the diagnosis or how I was adjusting to my new conditions.

 

My saving grace was my family. Even though I did know something was wrong, I didn’t see it as depression. After all, people like me didn’t get depressed!! My shutting myself away inside was my way of coping but obviously, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.light at the end of the tunnel

 

My wife and daughters are a damned sight smarter than me. They saw it and forced me to seek help. Without their intervention, I dread to think what the consequences would have been. Once I sought help and once I recognised that I was indeed depressed, then I was able to begin the fight back. It has not been an easy road but with the right support and my own determination, I am now in a far better position to face the challenges that lie in front of me.

 

The link between hearing loss and depression.

At last, recent studies are beginning to show a strong link between hearing loss and depression. The question for me is why are we only discovering this link now? Yes, I have the benefit of hindsight, but the link seems blindingly obvious.

 

Take away someone’s ability to hear and communicate the way they are used to, take away someone’s sense of worth in the community, take away someone’s social interaction and take away their sense of worth to their family.

 

Couple all that with the feeling of isolation from people and the confusion and fear of what the future may hold due to their hearing loss and it isn’t hard to see why depression can set in.

 

Prevention is better than a cure.

Treating depression can be a long and complicated process. Even in my case, it was well over a year before I finally felt that I was getting back on top of things. It is a condition that can come back very quickly if allowed.

 

Identifying that depression can be a real risk to someone who has just been diagnosed with hearing loss, could help to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are plenty of support groups out there that people can be referred to.

 

Perhaps even a referral to a mental health professional as part of the hearing loss diagnosis or at the very least a counsellor to talk through the various implications that hearing loss can have on someone’s life.Ignoring the problem

 

I certainly don’t profess to be an expert on hearing loss, nor indeed mental health, but I know from personal experience that being diagnosed with a life-changing condition and being left to get on with it doesn’t exactly prepare you for the challenges ahead.

 

This has been an incredibly hard post to write. I know that sharing personal issues isn’t easy but I would love to hear your story. Have you suffered depression due to hearing loss? Have you come out the other side? What help did you get? Depression is a terrible illness. If we can help even one person to identify the signs and seek help then I believe that is a great result.

 

Please leave any comments in the box below. Hearing loss and depression can be a lethal combination. Don’t hesitate. If you would like to talk about this do so NOW.

Regards,

Eddie.

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