Olivia talks about some of the latest hearing aids features in 2020 and how there is a common misconception that advanced hearing aid technology makes hearing aids hard to use. In fact it's the opposite! Most hearing aids are designed to be user friendly and do everything for you. Q- Does advanced technology in hearing aids mean they are difficult to use? A – I think sometimes that the idea that something is technologically advanced to can be a bit overwhelming and a bit off putting because it sounds like its going to be advanced and hard to use [...]
Olivia discusses assistive listening devices which are devices that can be coupled to hearing aids to provide the wearer with additional benefit in challenging listening environments. Q – What are the benefits of assistive listening devices paired with hearing aids? A – On top of hearing aids you can also get what we call hearing aid accessories or hearing aids assistive listening devices. Essentially these are technology devices that are compatible with peoples hearing aids, I think two of my favourite ones and certainly from the feedback that I get from my patients are a phone and a TV [...]
Olivia discusses the benefits of wearing your hearing aids as much as possible, whether a new user or experienced wearer, maximising the amount of time you wear your hearing aids is good for your health and your communication. Q- How often should I be wearing my hearing aids? A – So people are always really interested to know how often they should be wearing their hearing aids. I have quite a few jokes with people when they come in and they admit to me that they do not wear them all the time. Ideally really you should be exposing your [...]
Olivia explains the difference between different levels of hearing aid technology and why it's important to choose the best technology level to suit your budget, lifestyle and listening needs when buying your new hearing aids. Q - What are the advantages of a premium level hearing aid in comparison to an entry level hearing aid? A – So I think the difference between hearing aid technology levels is something that most people ask me about and I’m going to need to explain properly in the assessment before we actually choose which ones are right for the patient. I describe it [...]
Olivia answers a common question for first time hearing aid users. How long will it take for you to get used to and acclimatise to your new hearing aids.
Olivia advises on why it is important to treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. There are definite benefits for intervening with your hearing sooner rather than later, I have this discussion quite a lot because it isn’t something that you necessarily notice straight away and it is something that we are trying to encourage people to have a regular check. If you do discover that you have hearing loss then really for ease on yourself it tends to be something that most people end up with, you’re looking at over 70% of over 70’s having hearing loss so [...]
Olivia talks about the effects of loud noise exposure and the benefits of wearing hearing protection Do loud sounds damage your hearing? So, I think hearing is something that people take for granted, a lot of us know that we should be wearing hearing protection when we are being exposed to loud sounds, but we don’t necessarily always do so. Things like loud music events, when working with noise, like a musician or a DJ, there are all types of things that can cause damage to your hearing and its all kind of proportionate to the level to which you [...]
Olivia talks us through alterations in her practice to cope with COVID-19 including increased infection control precautions and wearing of PPE. What additional procedures have been put in place to maintain safety during COVID 19? So, I’ve been open throughout the coronavirus pandemic offering patients essential services for hearing care. Microsuction you will find that most the places locally have stopped providing ear was removal on the NHS, so I’ve actually been really busy when it comes to ear was removal. I’m one of the only local providers that offers microsuction as well, so that has meant we have been [...]
Olivia talks about ear wax, treatment of ear wax with olive oil or ear drops and answers the common question of 'What should I do before my microsuction ear wax removal appointment?' So generally when you come in for ear wax removal, the best advice would be for you to come along and for us to have a look at it and see what the wax is like in terms of the consistency and the location and then attempt to remove the wax at that appointment. A lot of people ask me whether they are going to get the [...]
So tinnitus is what we describe as any kind of sound, whether that be ringing, buzzing, whistling, rushing, any kind of noises that are experienced inside the ears or the head that aren’t being from the sounds around you, so there’s no actual noise there but you’re still hearing the sounds. It varies from person to person in volume, in pitch and the type of noise that it can be. So, I see some patients where they think “oh tinnitus is only the high frequency ringing” when it can be the sound of a jet plane taking off. Most people [...]
Olivia talks about how tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can be and indicator that of damage to your organ of hearing following to exposure to loud noises. She also discusses options with regards to custom-made hearing protection from Integrate Hearing. So, we’ve all been stood next to a speaker in a nightclub and come outside to hear our ears are ringing, so a lot of people ask me what that means? Essentially its means you have damaged the delicate hair cells in your organ of hearing and it can actually alter your hearing slightly at that time so you can [...]
Olivia talks about how she offers demonstrations and test-at-home free trials on all hearing aids before purchase and how this contributes towards finding the perfect fitting hearing device for every customer. OA: So, a hearing aid purchase is a really big investment really. A lot of the time it’s a considered purchase and you want to make sure that you're getting the best advice for all of your needs and you’re going to be happy with them. And I think that its only fair for the patient for me to give them something and for them to try them [...]
Q: Are there any benefits to seeing people, who have hearing loss in their own home environment? OA: So, a lot of the time I think it’s actually better to see people when they are at home because the patient is more comfortable and also in their own environment. That’s where they’re going to be, particularly for hearing assessments. That’s where they are going to be most of the time. So if I do a hearing aid demonstration for them for example, they can put the hearing aids on and we can put the tv on or they can have [...]
Hearing Aid Audiologist Olivia Austin outlines a typical treatment process when being fitted with new hearing aids at Integrate Hearing.
Once somebody has the hearing aids fitted, they will have quite a few follow up appointments to make sure that the hearing aids are fine-tuned for their individual needs. So, there’s a lot of personal preference that goes into hearing and I need to make sure that the hearing aids are set up for how they like to hear in different hearing environments. So, they will go out and use them in their own home environment and then they will come back and give me feedback on how they feel that things sounded. So, if somethings and bit too loud, [...]
Olivia Austin, Audiologist at Integrate Hearing discusses the improvements in hearing aid technology and how some of the new features available are helping to change the attitude towards wearing hearing aids.
I think at the moment because of technology, hearing aids are vastly different to what people imagine them to be. I still get a lot of people coming in to see me and saying ‘Oh, you know, I’ve put it off because I thought it was going to be some huge, huge thing behind my ear.” And they are really, really pleasantly surprised with the new technology. Within the hearing industry we are trying to raise awareness of the fact that hearing aids have changed. The styles are much more discreet; often they are invisible a lot of the time. [...]
Integrate Hearing Audiologist Olivia Austin giving a brief overview on what it is like experiencing hearing loss and some of the common issues it can cause.
Hearing is massive and it is something that has been linked to things like Dementia, increased hospitalization and also depression as well. Particularly in the ageing population if you imagine being isolated already maybe down to other ailments which mean that you are housebound for example and you watch the television a lot of the time and you interact with people mainly by the telephone, you might get the odd visitor once a week or something like that – if you can’t hear them when you’re socialising, it’s really, really isolating. Coupled with the fact that you might have sight [...]
Hearing professional Olivia Austin gives her advice about reassessing your hearing aid needs, replacing or grading your hearing aids.
Everybody ask me whether or not you need new hearing aids every time your hearing changes, and the answer is no. Because hearing aids are set up on the computer for your prescription, all we have to do is re-test your hearing and then re-prescribe the hearing aids to the new prescription. So they last quite a number of years. On average we say that hearing aids last between 3 and 5 years, but that’s based on numerous things. So, it might be that your hearing really changes, but that’s probably not going to be the case. Most of the [...]
Hearing specialist Olivia Austin talks about the benefits of modern hearing aid technology and the difference between digital hearing aids and older style analogue hearing aids.
So hearing aids used to whistle, you used to constantly be turning them up and down the volume, because they used to amplify everything by the same amount, whereas now the digital hearing aids that we’ve got will automatically change depending on what volume they’re exposed to, so that they won’t amplify loud sounds the same way that they amplify quiet sounds. So, you will not have your head blown off by a loud siren going past, but they also automatically adjust depending on where you are. So, if you’re somewhere that’s really, really noisy then they’ll be trying to [...]
Audiologist Olivia Austin discusses some of the feedback she has received from her patients about the improvement in their hearing after starting wearing hearing aids.
I think all of my patient stories are good. I love hearing about anyone with positive results, because you might get it be something that we take for granted, like hearing the bird song. It’s the ones that catch me off guard that even I take for granted like, “Oh I could hear the sound of my feet when I was walking along.” Which you just don’t think about when you’ve got perfectly normal hearing. And you don’t think about it when you’ve got hearing loss as well, but then when you get the hearing aids and you realise that [...]
Olivia Austin describes the day in the life of an Audiologist in the UK and the rewards of seeing instant results when fitting her patients with hearing aids. I always say to people I absolutely love doing my job. I get to see results straight away in front of me. As soon as you put a pair of hearing aids on somebody you can instantly notice the difference in their hearing. Although sometimes it’s not the easiest because there still is a little bit of a stigma behind wearing hearing aids, which we are trying to change within the industry, [...]