The Effects of Untreated Hearing Loss

Elderly woman looks sadly outside the window

Along with our sight, hearing is one of the most important senses to help us make our way through the world, but have you ever stopped to consider the impact of hearing loss on quality of life? 

It’s time to stop putting off that hearing test because you’re afraid of the results and you don’t want to wear a hearing aid. New technology in hearing aids means that they’re no longer the bulky, unattractive devices your grandparents wore. Modern hearing aids are small and inconspicuous, and you’ll be amazed at how much they can help you hear clearly. 

If you’re still not convinced, here are some of the effects of untreated hearing loss you may not have thought much about. 

General Safety 

We rely on our hearing to warn of us of impending danger, but your reduced ability to hear means you won’t be able to clearly hear shouts of warning at work or while you’re out and about, or hear a cry for help. 

Smoke alarms rely on sound to warn you of fire and give you time to get out of the building and call for help. 

Crossing the street becomes even more dangerous if you can’t hear approaching traffic, and driving becomes perilous for you and other road users. 

Not being able to hear warning sounds puts you at a significant risk wherever you are, awake or asleep. 

Socialising and Relationships 

As social beings, the impact of hearing loss on communication can be devastating. You’ll soon become frustrated and embarrassed by your inability to hear and follow the conversation of your friends and family, and they might feel annoyed at you. This, in turn, makes you want to avoid social situations which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

Left untreated, hearing loss reduces your ability to connect with people at a time when it’s vitally important for your mental health and wellbeing

Dementia 

Researchers have found a link between untreated hearing loss and dementia that suggests those with even mild symptoms of hearing loss may be twice as likely to develop dementia later in life. It’s the social impact of hearing loss that increases the risk because of the reduction in quality of life due to isolation, loneliness and even depression. 

The extra work your brain has to do in order to hear and understand conversation may also lead to changes that encourage dementia. It’s important to note that hearing loss is just a risk factor and doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop dementia. 

Balance 

Hearing loss can also cause dizziness and affect your balance due to the inner ear sending unequal nerve impulses to the brain. The brain perceives the information as distorted and sends messages to your eyes that create a spinning sensation which makes you dizzy and off-balance. 

Book a Free Hearing Test and Consultation 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for diminishing hearing can be embarrassing and stressful, but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

Industrial Hearing Loss – Causes and Symptoms

Worker Wearing Noise Reduction Ear Muffs. Loud Noises Job.

Industrial hearing loss, often called industrial deafness, occupational deafness or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), used to be a common condition affecting people who work in very noisy environments such as factories and the construction industry. 

This irreversible, but completely preventable condition still happens far too often despite increased awareness of the terrible consequences, resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss or tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ears. 

What is Industrial Deafness? 

Industrial hearing loss caused by loud noises in the workplace can be from repeated exposure over a long time, such as factory noise and machinery in a confined space, or sudden loud noises such as explosions. 

Long term exposure to excessive noise gradually causes hearing loss, so it isn’t noticeable until the damage is done; it’s also the easiest form of deafness to prevent. The constant loud noise damages the tiny cells in the inner ear which can’t be repaired, and the damage only worsens as the exposure continues. 

The Symptoms of Industrial Deafness 

If you’re constantly exposed to loud noises at work with no protection for your ears, it’ll take some time for you notice a significant reduction in your ability to hear properly. 

Often you may be the last to realise there’s a problem, but others will notice that you keep asking them to repeat themselves, or you’ll complain that people are mumbling or not speaking loud enough.  You might also notice that you need to turn up the TV or radio to hear it clearly, or you have trouble following a conversation when there’s a lot of background noise.  

How to Prevent Industrial Hearing Loss 

Preventing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is quite simple once you’re aware of the damage that occurs with constant exposure to loud noises. Workplaces can be tested for acceptable noise levels and steps taken to reduce the noise if it’s too high. Your employer is required by law to reduce your exposure to loud noise. You can also wear protective equipment such as ear plugs and ear muffs and ask to be moved to somewhere quieter if possible. 

Why You Should Get A Hearing Test 

If you work in a noisy environment and you suspect your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, it’s important to reduce your exposure to loud noises and have a professional hearing test as soon as possible to assess the damage. If left untreated, your hearing loss can have an effect on your work performance and even pose a safety risk to yourself and your work mates. 

Once your hearing is damaged, it can’t be restored, but there are ways to help you hear clearly again. 

At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians, and we’re here to help you with any problems you have with your hearing. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

Do you Struggle to Hear with Background Noise Present?

Senior couple in nursing home watching tv

As you get older, your hearing can often diminish, and one of the first signs of hearing loss is the inability to hear clearly in crowded places or where there’s a lot of background noise. This can result in people becoming frustrated and too embarrassed to go out in public and socialise with friends, so they decline invitations and start to feel lonely and isolated at home. 

However, all that can be prevented by visiting your local hearing clinic and getting the help you need. You’ll also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re doing everything you can to improve and retain your hearing. 

What Causes It? 

Often the person can hear well in quiet situations but cannot pick up the softer parts of speech with noise in the background, which means the brain can’t properly translate the sounds into something meaningful. This is because the tiny hair cells in the inner ear become damaged over time and die, which reduces your ability to pick up certain sounds, and filtering out background noise is a complex process that requires both ears to be working precisely. 

Even if we don’t always hear clearly what others are saying, our brains can usually fill in the gaps for us, which is why it sometimes takes a few seconds to understand what’s been said. 

Background noise tends to be at a lower frequency and can block out many of the important speech sounds you need to make sense of what you’re hearing. 

What is SNR Loss? 

The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is the gap between the other’s person’s speech (the signal) and the noise (the background noise), and people with perfect hearing are able to deal with a lower SNR. 

This means if your hearing is impaired, you need a higher SNR to hear clearly. The bigger the gap, the easier you can understand what’s being said – the signal is much louder than the noise. 

How Hearing Aids Can Help 

If you struggle to hear with background noise, it’s likely you have some signal to noise ratio hearing loss, and hearing aids can help. Hearing aids can determine the difference between speech and noise and separate the two so that the speech signal is amplified and the noise is suppressed, allowing you to hear much better. 

Book a Free Consultation 

It’s important to see a professional about any concerns you have with your hearing, especially if you’re struggling to hear with background noise, or you notice any sudden changes to your ability to hear. At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians, and we’re here to help you with any questions you have with your hearing. 

Call us on (07) 3366 9355 or contact us online to discuss your hearing concerns and book a free no-obligation hearing test and consultation. 

What Is Ear Wax, And How Do You Properly Clean Your Ears?

Earwax: it’s one of those things that we all get but rarely talk about. But have you ever stopped to wonder what earwax actually is, what it does and how you should be managing it?

Well, stick with us, because we’re about to go on a journey down your ear canal to learn some interesting facts about earwax.

All About Earwax

Earwax – also known by its medical name, cerumen – is a substance our ears produce to clean and protect themselves.  

It’s made up of sebum (a body secretion made up mostly of fat), skin cells, dirt and sweat and is created in our inner ears. When you move your jaw by talking or chewing, you’re actually helping earwax move from the eardrum to the ear opening where it can be removed.

What type of earwax you get actually says more about you than you might think. Wet earwax is more common in Caucasians and Africans. Dry, flaky earwax is more common among Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asians. But the consistency of your earwax will vary depending on your environment and diet. For example, if you work in a dusty environment, you may get more earwax and it may be darker in colour.

Dark coloured earwax is also a sign of older earwax which has trapped more dirt and bacteria.

When earwax can cause problems

Earwax is a normal and healthy secretion and a vital part of our overall ear health, but it can create problems for hearing when it builds up in our ears – a process known as impaction.

Some people may produce too much earwax and others may find their wax just builds up over time. Either way, a build up of ear wax is a common and easily treatable form of hearing loss.

Signs you may have too much earwax can include mild deafness or hearing impairment, an earache, a feeling of extra weight or fullness in your ear, tinnitus, or dizziness.

If your ears are a little on the waxy side, you can prevent build up and impaction using drops from your pharmacy.

How to properly clean your ears

Many people mistakenly believe that cleaning their ears out regularly is an important part of personal maintenance. Actually, the reverse is true.

Our ears were designed by nature to be self-cleaning.  Wax should take care of itself naturally and work its way to your outer ear, where you can remove it with a cloth or cotton bud.

Many doctors suggest sticking to the elbow rule – don’t put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear! That means no cotton buds, bobby pins or anything else that could potentially damage your ear drum.

Not only can you potentially damage your eardrum by sticking cotton buds into it, but you will likely make the build up of wax worse by pushing wax back into the ears.

If you have a significant wax build up in your ears and it’s affecting your hearing, the safest course of action is to visit your GP to have it removed. If the wax isn’t causing significant problems but you’d still like to remove it, there are a few products available which can help.

The recommended process to clean your ears is to apply ear drops, available at your pharmacy, a couple of times a day for a few days to soften the wax. Once the wax has softened, it can be washed out.

Tilt your head to the point where your ear canal is level and use a rubber bulbed syringe, also available at your pharmacy, to gently squirt water into your ear canal.

Stay away from ear candles, as these are proven to have little benefit. In fact, lighting a candle in your ear has – unsurprisingly – led to burns, as well as wax blockages. They can make the problem much worse and are not recommended.

Earwax and hearing aids

Earwax can cause problems for hearing aid wearers. Hearing aids can stimulate the glands in your ears and may cause an increase in ear wax production. They can also block the natural flow of earwax build up from your ear canals and become blocked and damaged by earwax. The solution is to clean and maintain your hearing aids properly. Ask our friendly team at Health & Hearing for a demonstration if you don’t already know how to do this.

What is single sided hearing?

Our ability to hear the world around us is vital to our understanding of – and ability to engage with – the world around us.

When hearing becomes impaired, so too does our connection to our environment and our friends and family. That can mean a quick and pronounced deterioration in our psychological wellbeing.

Hearing loss can impact different people in different ways and does not always show up to the same extent in both ears.

When one ear experiences hearing loss while the other ear remains unaffected, it’s called single sided hearing (SSH), single sided deafness or unilateral hearing loss.

The effects of single sided hearing loss are different for each individual, but many people who lose hearing in one ear will experience some social, psychological and physical problems as a result of their hearing loss.

Luckily, there are treatments available which can treat the condition, allowing people with SSH to live normal lives and to minimise any side effects.

Causes of single sided hearing:

Single sided hearing can come from a range of caused. It’s most commonly caused by physical trauma, a viral or bacterial infection in the inner ear, an acoustic nerve tumour or Meniere’s Disease, a disease of the inner ear.

The cause of the single sided hearing will impact on the way that your Hearing & Health specialist recommends managing it.

Signs and symptoms of single sided hearing

There can be a range of side effects and symptoms of single sided hearing, which give a clear indication when a person is experiencing the condition.

For example, people experiencing single sided hearing may have trouble working out the direction of sounds, making crossing the road a more dangerous task.

Others may not be able to hear any sounds coming from a certain direction, particularly speech. It can also be difficult to make out words when there’s any background noise around.

All of this can lead to stress and anxiety and generally contribute to making the person’s life more difficult.

These lead on to other side effects. Single sided hearing can cause people to develop problems engaging with others as they find it hard to communicate effectively. They may also experience difficulty concentrating, making the condition a particularly difficult one for children who experience it. Children with hearing difficulties in one ear may experience speech and language delays, communication difficulties, and emotional and behavioural difficulties. It’s particularly important that the condition is treated quickly when children experience it, to minimise the impact it has on their adaptation to their environment.

What are the treatments of SSH?

The effects of SSH can be severely reduced through effective treatment. In fact, many people who experience it can have any hearing loss reduced completely with the right treatment.

A few of the most common treatments for single sided hearing are:

CROS Hearing Aid:

A Contra-lateral Routing of the Signal (CROS) system includes a microphone and hearing aid. The microphone is worn on the side where hearing is poorer, and effectively transmits the sound wirelessly to the other ear.

It is worn behind the ear like a normal hearing aid.

There are different options of this technology is available and Health & Hearing is happy to talk to you about what the best option will be for your personal situation.

Bone Conduction Implant:

A bone conduction implant is a medical device that transmits sound by direct conduction through the bone to the inner ear, meaning it bypasses the outer and middle ear.

A bone conduction system consists of a small titanium implant and sound processor. Sound is transmitted as vibrations from the sound processor to the implant, through bone to the inner ear.

This can help people experiencing single sided hearing experience 360 degree hearing.

Again, Health & Hearing is happy to talk through this option with you to work out if it may be the best for your circumstances.

Cochlear Implants:

cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. It differs from hearing aids, which amplify sounds, by mimicking the inner ear to provide sound signals to the brain.

While the cochlear implant surgery is more invasive than surgery for bone conduction implants, you will be using the hearing nerve from the poorer-hearing ear as opposed to the sound being transferred to the better-hearing ear.

If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing single sided hearing loss, please book into Health & Hearing for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Six reasons why you shouldn’t worry about getting your hearing checked

After meeting with thousands of people to conduct hearing tests since 2012, the team at Health & Hearing know that it can be a daunting and anxious time.

For many people, the possibility of experiencing a decline in hearing is incredibly stressful. It can be viewed as a sign of the onset of old age, or something that’s going to cost too much money or leave them looking and feeling out of place.

Please know that if you do suffer from anxiety around taking a hearing test, you’re not alone! At Health & Hearing we’ve worked hard to create a stress-free environment to remove the worry from hearing checks.

We’ve also pulled together our top list of reasons you shouldn’t worry about getting your hearing checked below, to help put your mind at ease.

1. Hearing loss affects people of all ages.

Our clients are all ages and there is no set of characteristics that defines them. In fact, 75 percent of all Australians with a hearing loss are younger than 65 years of age. For some this is hereditary, for others it’s a result of damage to the ear.

Each person we see has a different and unique set of circumstances and we take all of that into consideration when working with you to assess your hearing.

Don’t let a pre-conceived idea that you’re the wrong age to be suffering from hearing loss stop you from going to get your hearing checked.

2. Correcting your hearing loss will improve your quality of life, not take away from it.

Ever wondered why you don’t really see those big, clunky hearing aids of days gone by anymore? Because today’s hearing aids are discreet, comfortable and technologically advanced.

You’ve quite probably interacted with many people who’ve been wearing hearing aids and have never known about it. We’re proud to offer “invisible” hearing aid technology that no one ever needs to know about – unless you want them to.

3. There are cost-effective solutions available.

We’re also proud to offer Brisbane’s most-thorough free hearing test, so you’ll be able to assess how serious your hearing loss is (if at all) without any financial outlay whatsoever.

If you do need hearing aids, it’s important to remember they come in a huge range of options, with price tags to match. If you’ve been worried about coming to get your hearing assessed for financial reasons, please don’t let that deter you. We’re happy to talk through your solutions with you to ensure you know what financial options are available to you. Health & Hearing is accredited as a Qualified Practitioner to provide free hearing aids to pensioners and veterans under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. If you would like to consider upgrading to a more advanced hearing aid instead, the team at Health & Hearing will happily talk you through the benefits and exact costs before you commit to anything.

4. It’s good for your overall health.

It can be easy to take for granted the role your hearing plays in your overall health. But, at Health & Hearing, we work to ensure you understand the nature of this relationship. When your hearing improves, so does your connection with the world around you. You’ll likely feel a significant emotional benefit from this. Losing hearing can leave people feeling detached from the people and places that are important to them. Introducing hearing aids effectively ‘plugs you back in’ to the world. That’s a great feeling!

Taking a hearing test early on can save a lot of future frustration, such as loss of connection to your loved ones. Recent research has also found a strong link to untreated hearing loss and dementia, loss of balance, reduced memory and depression, just to mention a few. It’s worth getting a check, just to be sure.

5. Even if you’re not sure you have hearing loss, it’s important to check!

Studies have shown that many people will wait between 7 and 10 years between first noticing hearing loss and getting your hearing tested. That’s a lot of missed conversations, songs, sounds and interactions! With a hearing test at Health & Hearing, we try and keep the process nice and simple so you’ve got no reason NOT to get your hearing tested.

6. Our team is highly experienced – and we’re good at what we do!

We have many many years of experience in what we do, and we like to think we’re pretty good at it too! We make it easy and convenient to get your hearing checked and there’s no pressure to take any further action unless you want to. We start with a free 30-minute consultation where we check your ear canals and conduct a hearing baseline measurement. From there, we’ll explain your results to you in detail and recommend what you can do.

Having healthy hearing can make a big difference to your quality of life, and we’d be only to happy to work with you to assess yours and recommend a plan of action if required. Please don’t hesitate to give our friendly team a call today.

What are Bluetooth hearing aids and how do they work with my smartphone?

Like so many other areas of our lives, technology has driven some serious advances in hearing aids in recent years. People experiencing hearing loss now have more options than ever before to ensure their hearing aids are comfortable, effective and discrete.

As hearing aids have quickly become more technically-advanced, it’s become possible to  connect them with other devices such as smartphones and tablets using Bluetooth technology.

Connecting your hearing aids with other devices ensures a seamless and easily-controlled experience for the wearer, and gives you the ability to adjust your hearing aids quickly using an app on your smartphone.

If you’re researching Bluetooth hearing aids to work out if they’re the right choice for you, we break down some of the advantages below.

Why Bluetooth?

Historically, wearers of hearing aids have sometimes reported feeling frustrated at the limitations of their devices when it came to wanting to do simple things that other people took for granted. Their hearing aids needed regular adjustments, which involved removing the devices, and they were often not compatible with other technology.

For example, people who’ve worn hearing aids for years will be well aware of their previous limitations when it came to wanting to listen to music through a set of headphones, or wanting to quickly adjust sound levels for changes in your surroundings.

Bluetooth hearing aids have come to the forefront in recent years thanks to the way they allow wearers to seamlessly incorporate their hearing aids into their lives – not fit their lives around their hearing aids.

What are bluetooth hearing aids?

Bluetooth is a leading wireless connectivity technology, designed to connect two pieces of equipment over short distances using radio waves.

You may have used it to connect your smartphone to your car or other portable speakers, or seen it used in wireless headphones.

A Bluetooth hearing aid can recognise bluetooth signals and wirelessly communicates with them, using a Bluetooth subset called Bluetooth Low Energy.

A Bluetooth hearing aid can quickly pair with your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet to allow you to listen to music, podcasts or just conduct handsfree phone conversations more easily.

By connecting your hearing aids to the source – for example, your iPhone – you’re able to stream sound directly into your hearing aids. This gives you a better quality of sound and more flexibility to control your volume settings. There is no distance between what you’re listening to and your ear, meaning the signal is clear and crisp.

You will also be able to better control the sound levels around you, meaning you can quickly adjust your hearing aids to block out higher levels of background noise when required.

What are the sound controls like?

You’ll end up with a lot of control over what sounds you pick up from the world around you, and how loud you hear them. Bluetooth hearing aids come with a range of apps, meaning you can control your hearing aids easily from your smartphone, tablet or even smartwatch. That means not only adjusting volume but also treble and bass, making it easier to cut out the noise you don’t want to include and just keep what you do.

You can even save settings for your favourite places and geotag them so your hearing aids will easily adjust to your most-visited environments.

It also means that when a call comes through, you can answer it with the flick of a button and your call will be streamed directly into your hearing aids with an easily-controlled volume setting.

Do Bluetooth hearing aids work with all Bluetooth-enabled devices?

That depends on the hearing aid you select and the device you hold. Some hearing aids can use compatible assistive listening devices, often called streamers, to provide the link. Others don’t require this technology. A consultation with Health & Hearing in Brisbane can help you  determine the best aid for your needs – we’re happy to talk you through the options on the market and the pros and cons of each. Bluetooth hearing aids are a genuinely exciting piece of technology that can open up a whole new world of opportunities for people with hearing loss. At Health & Hearing, we’re excited about what they mean for our clients and would be happy to talk to you about the different options available on the market and how they could assist you.

Brisbane Veterans Give Their Video Testimonials For Health & Hearing’s Hearing Aids

Veterans give their testimonials of their experience at Health and Hearing. We are known for specialising in individualised and compassionate care.

Malcolm Allen Black

My name is Malcolm Allen Black. I was an infantry soldier. I served for 30 years. I joined in 1959 and got out in 1988 serving in Malaysia, Borneo, Vietnam. I first heard about Health & Hearing when Soren was at Mitchelton. He had his offices there. I had in fact been going to another agency prior to this, but they were using a fairly antiquated system where they put a whole heap of green gel in your ear to create a mold to make the hearing aids out of. I found them most uncomfortable. I met Soren and I learned that there were better alternatives than these big old-fashioned things. As a result of that I got to know him and it’s been great ever since.

I was a bit reluctant about having hearing aids, but my wife was a bit concerned because a friend of hers, her husband had… basically he’d had similar problems but he would zone out and it concerned her – the wife of the husband. She seemed to be always being ignored. My wife more or less expressed the same feelings, so it convinced me that I should at least do something about it. Of course it’s been a great experience with Soren.

The original ones I found bulky and difficult to operate. These, because of the lack of bulk, I find them a lot better. They’re lighter and the actual concept is more practical than the ones that are in your ear. The technology is better. It seems to be clearer. It’s more crisp. It’s more comfortable to wear.

I would say it’s by far the best I’ve seen and the best I’ve heard. A number of my friends have had similar hearing problems. Exposed to gunfire for 30 years and some of those were quite loud, so there’s quite a lot of us with damaged hearing. I think Soren is by far the best. He’s given the best, he’s quite passionate about his subject and he keeps up with all the latest technology. I’d say I’m not going to get any better.

I’m ever so grateful. They’ve done a brilliant job, the staff outside and the reception and things like that. They’ve always looked after me very well. I can’t fault them.

 

Don Cunningham   

My name is Don Cunningham. I served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1970 to 1990. I was a shipwright which is the ol’ ship’s carpenter in the old days. So if it was broken we’d fix it as long as we didn’t have to play with the electrics. Didn’t like that stuff.

I heard about Health & Hearing through a flyer that arrived on my workstation which is the little desk at the back that I sit at. I’d been having trouble with the hearing in my left ear. It wasn’t much good at all so I thought I’d give it a shot. Go along and see about a hearing aid. I’ve had good results because now I can hear out of the left ear relatively normal and I can understand what everybody’s talking about at our social gatherings and what have you whereas before it was just a big jumble. It’s extremely frustrating when you can’t hear what’s being said for start. You just sit there and try and lip read and that doesn’t work so you just sit there and nod when you’re supposed and shake your head when you’re supposed to. You’re not in it.

Working with Soren as a veteran, he understands, he gets it, he gets us. It makes it a lot easier to explain your problems and everything like that. He’s been really good in dealing with it. He looks after you. I guess he understands the reasons half of us are deaf or going deaf. You don’t have to explain it. He understands, he knows about gunfire and stuff like that. That’s what sent us deaf, or certainly didn’t help. Ships themselves are very, very noisy things. Lots of us do have hearing problems because of it. Because the noise never stopped.

Since I’ve had the hearing aid, to start off I can hear properly. I’ve also suffered from tinnitus and by wearing the hearing aid it’s reduced to where I don’t even notice it. Then I was hoping it’d do that and it did.

I can’t answer why I didn’t get a DVA hearing aid but I can tell you a few mates have got them and they sit in the drawer.

My life has changed with the hearing aid because I can watch TV and most times I know what they’re saying except for somebody [inaudible 05:13] and nobody knows what they’re saying, but my wife doesn’t have to repeat everything she says a dozen times, usually only a couple will do. But really I can hear it the first time. I just go along with it and say what’d you say because I don’t really know if she’s asked me to do something that I don’t want to do. It’s been good. It helped.

To get a good hearing aid, you got to spend a bit of dough I think and that’s obvious with the DVA that don’t seem to work. It ended up that I got private health so I use that plus the other DVA stuff. It made it manageable. It would have been out of my league if I didn’t have that really.

All my dealings with Soren and his guys has just been really good. I can ring up if I need something or whatever, I can just ring up, no problems at all. It’s been good. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t, I tell you.

 

Max

Hi, my name’s Max. Like many of Soren’s clients, I served in the army for a period of 21 years and resigned my commission at a time where I was diagnosed with a severe hearing loss in the army. The army issued me hearing aids and I spent nearly 25 years going to the audiometrist to try and resolve my problem. Now I would work and my experience was always just an audiology just throwing me in a cabinet, showing me a graph, and sending me on with a recommendation for [eyes 06:47]. No mention of tinnitus, no mention of my broader health issues, no discussion on the impact on my family and on that goes. Soren on the other hand was quite different. Everyone sells hearing aids, but Soren sells health. There’s a reason why his company has Health number 1 and Hearing last.

As a group of people who have served, we are a strong network and I was referred. Most of us have issues – mental issues, most of us have social issues. I have discovered that hearing is a serious part of the healing process.

I was issued hearing aids in the army. They did not work. Technology took awhile to catch up. But even so, with the current technology, Soren differentiated himself with this health care first, and aids second. Anyone can get – buy – sophisticated hearing aids. But few if not no audiometrists spend time on health hearing – hearing and health combined.

I have been back to Soren several times. He has greeted me with warmth. He has asked me about my health, he has asked me about the impact of the hearing aids, and I’ve been doing that for six months. Soren was a [ex-Dutch 08:20] veteran. He understands, he gets it. He delivers. He’s very active in the veteran community.

When Soren diagnosed my hearing loss, he recommended a type of hearing aid that would suit my hearing loss perfectly. I couldn’t afford it. I left his office. He found me two days later and said come back. He gave me the hearing aids that I needed. How he did that, as a businessman, I have no idea. I am in debt.

I’ll refer Soren to every veteran and ex-soldier. It’s not only veterans who have served overseas that have got a hearing loss. It needs to be appreciated that even training is in my part of the army anyway, can be quite rigorous. So hearing loss is not uncommon for those who have been deployed. I am a very big referrer of Soren’s services. I have done it several times. They’ve all enjoyed their experience. The point I’ll make again is the issue is about well being and health. The resolution to the hearing problem contributes to that, but that’s his discussion. It starts with the health needs. The holistic approach.

Soren’s business, his staff, himself, significantly differentiate the audiometrists that I’ve experienced in Brisbane and elsewhere. And there are many. There are many audiometrists, there are many that I have visited. But Soren is the only one, and I’ll repeat, that satisfies my wider health needs as part of his resolving my hearing problems.

 

Dave McDonald

My name’s Dave, Dave McDonald. I joined up in 1967. The Sergeant in the police thought it was a good idea and he took me down to Sydney from Newcastle and he got me up the steps at York Street. Three months later I was in the army.

It affected me a bit in as much as I’d missed the point that something that my wife would say and that was the cause of a big argument. Then when she found out I was deaf, she couldn’t be more sorry and apologizing but that lasted about a week and then I went back to being abused for not listening. Honestly, in lectures and things like that, I couldn’t grasp what was going on. Sometimes it was the crux of the matter, and you missed out. I have no problem now. I still have the habit of looking at people’s lips, but that’s just me from now on that’s my way of looking you in the eye when we’re talking. I hate people who don’t look each other in the eye when they’re having a conversation.

The one I had before was a big elephant ear – it looked like Dumbo. You’re rushed through as a veteran – sign here, they’re ready, and away you go. Don’t forget to keep wearing them. No follow-up. That’s what this place excels at. Soren wouldn’t let me go until he made sure everything was [tiggity boo 11:56].

As a veteran, Soren related. He knows what we want. We don’t want those big ears that DVA gives you when you first go for a hearing test and they give you the hearing aids. Soren came up with these in-the-ear. Much more comfortable. Much better looking. But the after service. Julie and Soren, they chase you up. It’s plain to me be known. There’s no hassle. None.

I’m an avid member of the golf club down at Ashgrove. There was a flyer down there. [unintelligible 12:42] I wasn’t impressed with the one over the road there because I still had that big booth. I was a bit claustrophobic on that stage. I hated that booth. I’d do anything to get out of it. Soren with this new technology and everything – it was just easy.

I’ve heard from Mel Black and Max Moran who were out there. Mates of mine, good mates. It just goes on like that. I’d tell anyone I know – look at me. Oh, ear plugs. As I said before, I give Soren’s name out left right and center. So does Mel, so does Max, we all do. Julie is so bubbly on the telephone, my gosh settle down. What’s happening here. I have nothing but praise. If I had a fault Soren would know it and he knows, I’d tell him anyways. More than happy.

 

Terry Curtis

Terry Curtis. I’m from Brisbane. I live in Bridgeman Downs. I went away to Vietnam with the Ninth Battalion in the old Australian Regiment in 1968-1969. In fact we did 13 months overseas. Went on the advance party and came home on the… so didn’t do 12 months we did 13 months, or some of us did. When I joined the army, they didn’t do a test like they do here now. A fella stood behind me and whispered 55 or… and I passed. I had 20/20 or whatever it is, hearing. So technically, I guess I had a hearing loss before I joined the army. Then it’s progressively gotten worse maybe because of old age, I don’t know. We put it down to gunfire.

A friend of mine is sitting out there, Bob [Buick 14:50], told me that he just got hearing aids and he can’t hear. He never met a more professional outfit in the way that this technology. He had hearing tests from people from acoustic laboratories all around Australia like we did in those days – in the army days. He told me about it and I said, well I’m due for hearing aids. Rang up, made an appointment, came here, and I got mine yesterday. Driving home in the car I had to turn the volume down in the radio [chuckles] , that’s how good they are. This morning my wife was talking. She talks so much louder you know, so I just got to put up with that.

I’ve always had a hearing aid in this ear, but never in this one. And this is my really bad ear. This one in here – it’s just amazing, you know? I can take this one out and hear quite well with this one which I could never do before. Even though I had hearing aids, this was the best I’ve ever had. I told Bob this morning when we were coming along. I’ve never had a hearing aid as good as this in this ear. Amazing, isn’t it?

What I used to have before. I have two hearing aids and in this one he wore one – I’d get an echo. You might speak and I’d get it here, then I’d get it here in this one. That doesn’t happen now.

He has such a presence about him. You sit down and you feel confident to let him take you over. That’s what I did. He looked professional, I know he was professional. You just do what he says. It wasn’t all that hard to do. You just sat there and I trusted what he was doing. That’s what you expect a professional to do. I was happy with it. He took a lot of time to set up and I appreciate that. I will come back in two weeks I think and readjust or whatever. That’s what I call professionalism. I recommend it for vet friends or someone who’s got a hearing aid. You’ll be treated like you have a hearing loss and we’re going to improve it. Improve your hearing. That’s what you want. Not someone who’s going to take the money from the government and give your buddy something to stick in your year. Up until this day I used to call them ear plugs. This is different now. Anyway. That’s me. [Laughs]

 

Graham Palmer

My name is Graham Palmer. I’ve been in the Australian Defence Force for the last 45 years. I’m from Brisbane. During that time that I’ve served in Malaysia, the Solomon Islands, and the Middle East on a short deployment to the UAE. I’ve always come back to Brisbane in the time that I’ve been in the Defense Force. I’m now a part time soldier but I’m on contract with the [Gulligly 17:59] barracks.

I have a friend of mine who I’ve been putting up with tinnitus for about 25 or 30 years. I’ve a friend of mine in Harvey Bay who sent me to a mate of his at Harvey Bay and said that I needed hearing aids. From there I got allocated the standard DVA hearing aids. Through that gentleman I met Soren. Then about three months ago I lost my hearing aids, or they were stolen from an activity I was at. I come and saw Soren and that’s how we formed our relationship.

There’s a vast difference. The ones that I was originally issued by the DVA, they certainly helped to improve my hearing a little bit, but I suffer from tinnitus quite badly. The ones I’ve now got through Soren, they not only help my hearing but they also improve my tinnitus. They block it out a bit. They’ve actually got a hearing mechanism where I can Bluetooth from my television to that so I don’t annoy my family anymore having the television loud. So the television can actually be muted and I can still hear the TV generally about wherever I walk in my house. That goes for radios or stereos or whatever I want. It’s actually improved my quality of life and made me much more pleasant at home to be around.

Since I came to see Soren where I got these new hearing aids, my life has actually got vastly improved – just the quality of life because the hearing aids are better. I’m not as self-conscious they’re a little bit smaller as what I did before, and as you can probably tell in the video I’ve got no hair, so I wear my hair very short and the other ones were quite bulky. These are refined so I tend to wear them more outside than I ever have before.

As a veteran, I’ve found that they are very pleasing and comfortable experience. I have dealt with a few different organizations as a veteran and it’s always – you get the feeling that you’re not, I won’t say treated as a second class citizen, but you always get the opinion or the feeling that you’re trying to take the system for something. However, you come here, you’re very, very welcome. Soren puts you at ease and immediately puts you at ease and you feel like okay I’m at the right place. I’m actually going to be looked after. I’ve been to a few hearing specialists and you always get this, you know you’re trying to take the system or whatever, but you don’t get this here at all. They’re really welcoming. You get the impression that they’ll go the extra mile to look after veterans.

Even at work I wear them where I wouldn’t before. I wear these now. Also just being able to listen to conversations better because I’m wearing them. It does help my tinnitus. I have tinnitus nearly 24 hours a day and it does help to block it out. It’s just improved so much it’s unbelievable.

When Soren discussed them with me originally, I was thinking that it’d have to be out of pocket because I hear all of these terrible stories, however it cost me completely nothing. It was absolutely free which was really good. From what I understand that Soren does this as a service to veterans, he either takes no money at all out of it or very minimal cost to himself. I think that’s fantastic.

I recommend Soren’s Health & Hearing to any veteran to come on in and speak to Soren. I give you my assurance that in my job I have to be very confident and be upfront and honest. I’m a welfare officer in the Australian Army. He gives you exemplary service to a veteran so I highly recommend him.

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