RAYOVAC® launches exclusive live virtual event for hearing industry in October

RAYOVAC®, a division of Energizer Holdings, Inc., has launched a live, three-day virtual event for the hearing industry in October.

The first ever RAYOVAC® Live event will open on the 7th October, offering visitors the opportunity to be the first to see the latest in hearing aid battery technology, book face-to-face ‘on stand’ meetings with representatives from the RAYOVAC® sales team and access useful information and updates.

Online registrations have opened, and participants can sign-up online to explore the hearing aid battery manufacturer’s virtual experience the latest in RAYOVAC®’s hearing aid battery technology and learn how RAYOVAC® can help develop their business.

Building on the foundation set by Active Core Plus™ Technology, introduced to the European market by RAYOVAC® at EUHA in 2019, the hearing aid battery manufacturer will be showcasing the next generation in hearing aid battery technology during the event.  

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Director of Marketing at RAYOVAC©, said: “We are constantly investing in and pushing the boundaries of hearing aid battery technology to develop our latest product that provides even longer lasting power in today’s most demanding devices, giving consumers the power to hear more.

“RAYOVAC® is committed to supporting our hearing industry customers and partners. The world has changed rapidly over the past few months with a number of key trade shows and events being affected.

“We are looking forward to welcoming delegates to our virtual platform on the 7th and 8th October, explaining more about the advantages delivered by our new technology and what this means for consumers, our professional customers and their business.”

Attendees from across Europe can also find out about the benefits of becoming a member of the ProLine™ Excellence Club and book a face-to-face live consultation with a member of RAYOVAC©’s sales team. The ProLine™ Excellence Club provides tools to audiology businesses to help grow their revenue through hearing aid battery sales, providing its members with exclusive programmes, loyalty schemes and marketing tools to help them stand out in a competitive marketplace and encourage repeat visits.

To register for the event and receive updates leading up to and during RAYOVAC© Live visit: https://www.rayovac.live , follow them on Twitter

@HearwithRayovac, Facebook @HearwithRayovac or find them on LinkedIn.


Audiologist of the Year Cancellation Announcement

It is with great sadness that we must announce the cancellation of the 2020 European Audiologist of the Year Award. The decision to cancel the annual award has been taken in recognition of the challenges we are all experiencing as a result of coronavirus COVID-19.

Organisers RAYOVAC®, a division of Energizer Holdings, Inc., in partnership with leading international audiology industry publication Audio Infos, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) would like to reassure entrants that applications already received for the 2020 competition will be included in next year’s judging process.

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Director of Marketing at RAYOVAC®, said: “RAYOVAC® is committed to supporting the hearing industry. In light of the developments around COVID-19 we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s European Audiologist of the Year awards.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact on people’s lives around the world, the ability to hear is a vital part of keeping people connected with friends, family and colleagues.

“We know that audiologists and hearing professionals across Europe are working extremely hard, under very challenging circumstances to ensure that their customers have access to essential hearing technology and audiology services, while balancing these needs with their health and that of their staff.

“We would like to thank our competition partners and judges for their ongoing support and reassure audiologists and patients who have submitted entries for this year’s competition, that these will be included in the 2021 judging process.

“In the meantime, we want to encourage all of our contacts to follow government and industry guidelines to stay safe. We are proud of the efforts the industry is making to ensure this, and we look forward to celebrating the exceptional work audiologists across Europe are carrying out now, in next year’s Audiologist of the Year awards.”


RAYOVAC® answers Coronavirus (COVID-19) related Frequently Asked Questions

Being able to keep in touch and communicate with one another is so important. As we are all being asked to spend more time apart, to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be thinking about your hearing aid battery supply and how to get the most from your batteries.

RAYOVAC® is committed to providing our hearing aid battery customers with the power to hear more. To this end, we have put together some answers to questions that our customers are asking.

How can I make my hearing aid batteries last longer?

With encouragement to visit stores as little as possible during this period, you may be wondering whether your hearing aid batteries are lasting for as long as they could be. There are a number of Factors affecting hearing aid battery life.

These include:

  • The size of the battery – the larger the battery the longer it will last, with the size depending on which hearing aid you have.
  • Battery freshness – a fresher battery will provide you with more power for longer. Make sure that you check the best before date on your batteries.
  • The extent of your hearing loss – the more severe your hearing loss, the more power your hearing aid will need.
  • How much you use your hearing aid – the more you use your hearing aid the faster your battery will drain.
  • The environment –Extremes of temperature and humidity (for example in the bathroom) can reduce battery life. By storing your batteries in a cool, dry place (but not in the refrigerator) you will help preserve their power for longer.

Please see our FAQ below on where to buy batteries, should you be unable to visit your usual supplier due to COVID -19 restrictions.

How should I store my spare hearing aid batteries?

Stocking up on hearing aid batteries? Make sure your store them correctly to ensure they last as long as possible. An unused battery (stored with the tab intact) will typically use less than 10% of its charge per year. By keeping track of your usage and making sure to use older batteries first, you can ensure that you have what you need without over-stocking and avoid reduced performance.Our tips for hearing aid battery storage include:

  • Store batteries in a cool, dry place to maximise their shelf-life (never in the refrigerator)
  • Keep batteries in their packaging, with the tabs on
  • If you do need to remove batteries from their packaging use a battery caddy to prevent loss and damage
  • Keep batteries safely out of the reach of children

Read more on how to get the most from your hearing aid batteries

My audiology practice is closed, where can I buy hearing aid batteries during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

Many of RAYOVAC®’s audiology customers are still able to supply their customers with hearing aid batteries online, even when practices are shut for face-to-face appointments. We recommend that you contact your audiology practice online or by telephone in the first instance, to see whether they can supply you with batteries.

If you are having trouble getting hearing aid batteries from your audiologist or regular supplier, you may be be glad to hear that you can get RAYOVAC® EXTRA™ hearing aid batteries delivered to your home from a range of online retailers.

To find a supplier, search for ‘Rayovac EXTRA’ Hearing Aid Batteries online. Some supermarkets and pharmacies may also have a stock of hearing aid batteries.

I can’t get hold of my usual brand of hearing aid battery – can I switch to RAYOVAC®?

Yes, there are 4 standard sizes of hearing aid battery and, as long as you use the correct battery size, brands are interchangeable.

RAYOVAC® hearing aid batteries are available in the following sizes

  • Size 675 blue tab
  • Size 13 orange tab
  • Size 312 brown tab
  • Size 10 yellow tab

You can find which type of battery your device requires by referring to your hearing device manufacturer’s manual or looking at your current hearing aid battery packaging.

What steps can I take to keep my hearing aid batteries out of reach of children

Small children have a habit of putting things in their mouths. With many schools closed and health services under pressure during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it is even more important to protect young children from risks associated with swallowing hearing aid batteries.

Some steps you can take include:

  • Warning children and other adults in your home of the dangers of swallowing batteries
  • Making sure batteries are kept out of sight and reach of children at all times
  • Never let a child play with a hearing aid or batteries

RAYOVAC® hearing aid batteries are mercury free, making them safer if accidently swallowed. They do however contain zinc, and you should seek immediate medical advice should they be consumed.

Find out more about battery safety.


The Top 3 Benefits of Being Open About Hearing Loss

Today is World Hearing Day. Each year on this day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) focuses on a different aspect of hearing loss, and this year, the theme is ‘Hearing for life: don’t let hearing loss limit you’. UK blogger, Angie Aspinall explores how we can all benefit from being more open about our hearing loss.

How many people are affected by hearing loss?

According to WHO, “Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss.”

The impact of hearing loss

One of the main impacts of hearing loss is on our ability to communicate. When we have difficulty communicating with others, it can cause feelings of loneliness, isolation, and frustration.

At times, we might feel stupid because we’ve said the wrong thing in response to a question that we misheard. We might be considered insensitive because we’ve commented inappropriately when someone has told us something sad, and we misread their body language and tone of voice, and rather than admit we didn’t catch what they said, we’ve nodded and smiled. And people might stop trying to talk to us because we’ve ‘ignored them’ too many times.

So, what can we do about it?

Besides seeking assistance from hearcare professionals, there’s a lot we can do to improve our communication with others – and one is to be more open about our hearing loss and let others know how best to communicate with us.

The Top 3 Benefits of Being Open About Hearing Loss

1. Improving and maintaining relationships

Hearing loss undoubtedly affects our relationships. From superficial conversations with strangers to meaningful heart-to-hearts with loved ones, our communications are fraught with the possibility of mishearing and misunderstanding. This can leave us feeling embarrassed and others feeling frustrated or confused.

We don’t want people to think we’re rude, stupid, insensitive, or lacking a sense of humour, so the best course of action to avoid being labelled as such is to be open about our hearing loss so that others know that miscommunication is a possibility.

More importantly, we need to be clear in telling others what would help us to better understand what they’re saying to us.

For example, it’s more helpful to say, “Please could you walk on my right side, as I have no hearing in my left ear?” or, “Please can you face me when you speak to me so I can read your lips?” than it is to simply say, “I have hearing loss.” The latter leaves them to work it out a strategy for themselves, but the former educates the other party how best to communicate with you – and that in turn should improve the communication between you.

“For many years, I was never open about my deafness. My confidence was low, I felt slightly embarrassed about it, and I wanted to fit in amongst the predominantly hearing people around me. But that was challenging.

“As I got older (and wiser), I got more comfortable with myself and slowly but surely, I opened myself up little by little until I felt comfortable enough to talk about it frequently on the internet and to my close friends and families. One of the biggest benefit for me in doing this is that it has ‘set me free’; there isn’t a weight on my shoulder anymore and I felt like I could be myself and not pretend to be someone who I’m not just because everyone else is hearing.
“I wish I had done that earlier in my life. But I’ve learned it’s never too late for anyone to be more open about their deafness.”
Ahmed Khalifa, Founder, Hear Me Out! [CC]

2. Understanding medical advice

We all need to be able to understand information given to us by doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. No one should ever leave their appointment unclear about a diagnosis, treatment, or referral.

Worryingly, Access All Areas, a report by Action on Hearing Loss highlighted that:

  • One in seven (14%) of survey respondents had missed an appointment because they didn’t hear their name being called in the waiting room.
  • After attending an appointment with their GP, more than a quarter (28%) had been unclear about their diagnosis and nearly one-fifth (19%) had been unclear about their medication.
  • Two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents who asked for a BSL interpreter for their
  • GP appointment didn’t get one and two-fifths (41%) felt the quality of interpretation was not good enough.

By being open about your communication needs when you make and arrive at your appointment, you enable healthcare professionals to ensure that they can communicate with you effectively.

Action on Hearing Loss says:

“[In the UK], there’s a clear legal foundation for providing access to health services for people with hearing loss. The Equality Act 2010 (the Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland) requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to make their service accessible for disabled people.”

3. Getting support at work

If your employer isn’t aware that you have hearing loss, they won’t know that they need to do anything to meet your access needs. If you need reasonable adjustments making at work, you need to let your employer know.

If you’re profoundly deaf and use British Sign Language you’re likely to fit the definition of having a disability as recognised in The Equality Act 2010. Similarly, if your hearing loss substantially affects your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, for example, hearing and understanding another person speaking clearly over the telephone or understanding verbal instructions.

By getting the support and reasonable adjustments we need, we are all likely to feel less stressed and tired carrying out our jobs.

When we explain our hearing loss and how to meet our communication needs to colleagues, it means they are able to make communication more effective. As world-famous percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie told us:

“I have to address my hearing loss almost each time I work with a conductor, orchestra, collaborator or stage crew whom I have not worked with before. This is important for many reasons because my performances and engagements are based on teamwork. It can be something as basic as the position of a conductor’s podium so that I can see him/her at all times or knowing when the lighting technician will switch off the stage lights in a rehearsal. Being open is essential because it brings better awareness and understanding and thus better action and harmony.” Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, DBE

Further information

For more information on the benefits of being open about hearing loss, join us today at 1pm (GMT) on Twitter for #HearingLossHour or visit www.rayovac.eu/WorldHearingDay


Why you shouldnt ignore signs of hearing loss

Don’t ignore signs of hearing loss. Three steps to better hearing 

It can be very tempting to ignore signs of hearing loss as we get older. Perhaps we have become used to compensating by turning the volume on the TV, the radio and our smartphone up just that little bit more? Perhaps people around you seem to be mumbling and you frequently need to ask people to speak up, especially in noisy places so that you can hear them clearly?

These can be signs of hearing damage and hearing loss. If you are experiencing any of these it is a good idea to talk about it with a hearing professional.

Children and babies can experience hearing loss too. Here are six signs that a child you know may need to have their hearing checked by an audiologist.

Where to go for a hearing test

For many of us, the first port of call if we suspect that we, or a child we care for is experiencing a problem with their hearing is our family doctor. Your GP will be able to offer advice, check for simple causes like a build-up of ear wax before referring you to a hearing professional called an audiologist.

Private audiology practices, dealing exclusively in hearing care, are available to help you with all your hearing concerns. Many high-street optical chains also provide free hearing testing in-store with an audiologist.

Many audiology practices offer an online hearing test. These tests can help you get a clearer understanding of your hearing health and determine whether you could benefit from a face-to-face hearing test with a hearing professional.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find that services are running a little bit differently – but contact your local provider to find out how they can help you, including remote support. As an essential healthcare service, hearing providers are still operating, with additional precautions to keep you safe.

What to expect at your first hearing appointment

Don’t worry – everyone feels a bit daunted before their first hearing test but going along can make such a difference. Your first appointment will be an opportunity for the hearing professional to get to know you and find out what your concerns are.

Remember – they do this day in, day out. Although things might feel a bit different at the moment, They will put you at ease and help you to relax.

The audiology provider will be operating under the latest Government guidance and you will notice measures in place like social distancing, screens, use of PPE and hand sanitising stations, to combat the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe. But that won’t change the warm and friendly welcome that you receive.

Depending on your individual circumstances, some of the pre and follow up care may be done remotely – but the team will guide you through everything.

After discussing a few questions and finding out a little more of your medical history, the audiologist will look inside your ears to check your ear drums and ear canal.

Typically, the next step is the hearing test. Here, you will put on a pair of headphones and you will be asked to press a button every time you hear a sound. The audiologist is testing different pitches and intensity levels, to see how you respond.

When the test is complete, the audiologist will run through the results with you and discuss your treatment options so that a plan can be put in place to help you.

Every practice is slightly different so things may run in a slightly different order and the techniques will be tailored to the individual, , but ultimately they want to find out how they can best help you and address any worries or concerns you have. 

If hearing aids are recommended, the audiologist will talk everything through with you in detail. They will be programmed to your needs and you will be shown how to use them. A follow up appointment will then be arranged. [1]

We have created a handy video which explains what to expect from your first appointment. [Link to Emily Balmer WHD 2020 video]

Aftercare

Our hearing changes over our lifetime. Once you have had your hearing checked your audiologist will advise you of the outcome and will recommend any next steps in your treatment plan. If your hearing test does not indicate any hearing loss, they will be able to advise you on when you should book a hearing test in the future.

Read our guide to healthy hearing for more tips to keep you hearing more for longer. Many people find it daunting to talk about hearing loss. We have also put together some advice on discussing hearing loss with a loved one

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Why you should consider getting your hearing tested

10 reasons to get your hearing tested

Though many of us are used to getting our sight checked on a regular basis, we often neglect our hearing. Being more aware of the need to protect our hearing, opening-up about difficulties we are experiencing and speaking to our GP or a hearing professional about getting a hearing test is the first step to ensuring we will hear more for longer. We want to empower people with the information they need, so that they can get the right support for them. 

Here are our top 10 reasons to get your hearing checked:

You’re over 50

Deterioration in hearing can be a normal part of ageing. More than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70[1].  If you are over 50, having your hearing checked can help identify any change in your hearing and take steps to address this.

You work in a noisy environment or habitually use earphones

More than half of all hearing loss is preventable[2]. At the same time, hearing loss caused by environmental factors including loud noise and music is increasing[3] If you work in a noisy environment or habitually use earphones, in addition to using hearing protection and taking care in controlling volume levels, a hearing test will help you ensure that your hearing is healthy.

There is a history of hearing loss in your family

Heredity can play a role in whether we will go on to develop hearing problems. If there is a history of hearing loss, tinnitus or other conditions in your family, it is a good idea to get your hearing checked.

Hearing problems are more common than you think

One in six people in the United Kingdom[4] and around one in 12 in France[5] are suspected to have hearing loss. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss and that one third of over 65s will be affected by disabling hearing loss.

You have noticed a change in your hearing

It’s time to talk about hearing loss if you:

  • Find that you often have difficulty hearing other people clearly, particularly women and children
  • Frequently misunderstand what has been said, causing frustration for you or those around you
  • Find it difficult to follow conversations in a group, especially if there is background noise
  • Need to turn up the volume on the TV or radio, or do people complain that it’s too loud?
  • Regularly have to ask people to speak more loudly or clearly

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies, children and adults 

It is easier than you think to get a hearing test near you

Once you have decided that you would like to have your hearing tested there are a variety of options available to you. You can speak to your GP to get a referral to a hearing specialist called an audiologist. Alternatively, you might decide to visit a local audiologist based in a private audiology practice or as a hearing specialist in an optical business near you. 

Your local provider will be able to advise on the measures in place to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting your hearing checked helps you to understand what is ‘normal’ for you

If you are over 50, spend prolonged periods in noisy environments either for work or in your leisure time or are a music lover with a history of listening to loud music through headphones then you could benefit from a hearing test to evaluate your hearing and check for damage.

Knowing what is ‘normal’ for you and whether you have sustained any age or noise related hearing loss helps you to be more aware of your hearing, take steps to address it and prevent any future deterioration.

A hearing test is painless

Your hearing professional has a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal to check your hearing. Just like a sight test, a hearing test is painless.

Healthy hearing helps to keep your brain plastic for longer

According to Action on Hearing Loss, many more people could benefit from hearing aids than are currently doing so – only around 40% of people who need hearing aids have them.[6]

Yet, recent research has revealed that people who wear hearing aids to combat age related hearing loss maintain better brain function over time than those who do not.[7]  The results suggest that wearing a hearing aid helps older people retain memories and attention for longer and react faster than those who do not.

A hearing test is the first step to ensuring you hear more for longer

Europe has an ageing population. When you combine this with higher rates of environmental noise and headphone usage it’s clear that figures around hearing loss will continue to increase.[8]

Talking about hearing loss and making time to get our hearing checked in the same way we do with our eyes is the first step to making sure that you maintain healthy hearing and hear more for longer.

Get in touch with your GP or a local audiology provider to arrange a hearing test. There are simple online hearing tests you can try too, which will advise you if you need to have a face-to-face test.

Find out what to expect from your first visit to an audiologist [Link to/embedded video content]

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Who should get a hearing test

Who should get a hearing test?  

RAYOVAC® wants to empower our customers to hear more, so they can live their best lives. The first step is recognising there is a problem and taking a hearing test, before consulting with a hearing specialist called an audiologist.

For many people it is their friends and family who first recognise the, sometimes gradual, changes in hearing in their loved ones. Don’t be afraid to talk about hearing loss. Do you recognise yourself or anyone you know in the following examples?

What hearing personality type are you?

We’re all different and our attitudes towards hearing loss vary. Do you recognise yourself in one of our hearing personas?

‘I’m ignoring it’, Ivor

Ivor has noticed that he has to turn up the volume on his radio louder with the passing years. And sometimes he has missed calls from his daughter, despite the phone being in the same room as him. He has a sneaking suspicion his hearing is deteriorating but he’s managing it well so for now he’s just getting on with life until it becomes really bad. Then he’ll go to the doctor.

‘I’m compensating’, Constance

Constance has known for a while that her hearing isn’t as good as it once was, but she’s become really good at compensating. She’s taught herself to lip read, always asks her guests to sit close by and has a list of stock answers that allow her to gloss over most conversations, so even if she’s not picking up the whole conversation, she can piece it together.  She’s coping, so there’s no need to seek help.

‘It’s not my problem’, Peter

Peter often thinks his partner has the TV volume to quietly, thinks people mumble in conversation and that they’re just being too noisy at parties. It’s easier to do his own thing – turn the volume up, ask friends to repeat themselves or avoid the party. This problem with hearing isn’t his problem, it’s theirs.

‘I know I need help’, Helen

Helen knows that her hearing is not what it was. Her family have been pushing her for a while now to go and get her hearing checked. She is ready to speak to someone about it, she just doesn’t know who. Helen is unsure of what a hearing test might involve and what it will cost. She is worried about what the outcome of the test might be and about the possibility of having to wear a hearing aid.

Find out more about identifying the symptoms of hearing loss in adults, children and babies.

Find out what to expect from your first visit to an audiologist

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How to talk to a loved one about suspected hearing loss


What to do if a loved one has hearing loss 

Around one in six people are affected by hearing loss, so chances are we all know someone who is living with it. Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it – their husbands, wives, daughters, sons, grandchildren, friends and wider family are often affected too.

But it can be difficult to have a conversation with our loved ones about hearing loss, or even know what the right thing to do is, particularly as it is such a personal thing. We have some top tips to help you if you find yourself in this situation.

Recognising the signs of hearing loss in others

Often hearing loss is gradual and even the person affected may not notice the signs straight away. In fact, you may notice a change before your loved one does. The sooner it is spotted, the better, as treatment is more beneficial if started sooner.

According to Emily Balmer, Head of Audiology at The Hearing Suite[1], one of the biggest indicators is small changes in behaviour and feedback from family and friends is really important.

If you notice signs  such as being asked to repeat yourself, or if the person is struggling to keep up with conversations, misunderstanding what people are saying, and listening to music or watching TV at a higher volume, it could point to hearing loss.

It can be tiring and stressful for your loved one to concentrate intensely while listening so it’s important to look out for signs and check on how they are feeling more generally.

If you spot the signs…

Talk to your loved one about your concerns[i]. It is a delicate and personal subject, and it can feel like a difficult conversation to have as people often don’t want to admit that there is a problem and it can be upsetting for them. But as a family member or friend, of course it’s natural that you want to help.

There are ways to have the conversation sensitively, putting the person at ease and helping them recognise that things can be much better with the right help and support:

  • Choose an appropriate place and time to talk – ideally somewhere quiet and private, a safe space.
  • Be empathetic and understand their concerns – let them express their feelings and reassure them.
  • Be compassionate, not accusatory – come at it from their perspective.
  • Encourage them to visit a hearing professional, offer to go along with them to get their hearing checked and support them with any treatment.
  • Focus on the benefits – and the positive outcomes of doing something to address the problem.

Communicating with someone with hearing loss

There are some simple things you can do to make things easier for people who have hearing loss and Action on Hearing Loss[ii] has some handy tips to help you communicate clearly with them.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, video calling is a great way to stay connected and can be easier for people with hearing loss than a phone call. The guidance below can be adapted for a video call too.

  • Lipreading – the ability to recognise the lip shapes, gestures and facial movements of someone when they are speaking to better understand what they are saying. Bear it in mind and try to speak clearly, using normal lip movements and facial expressions. It’s a good idea to turn your face towards theirs so that they can see your lip movements more easily.
  • Before you start speaking – if you can, try to find a place away from loud noises and other distractions and somewhere that has good lighting. Don’t stand too far away and make sure you have the person’s attention. 
  • In conversation – don’t feel like you have to shout as it can be uncomfortable for the person you’re speaking to. It’s best not to turn or look away and don’t cover your mouth with your hands.  Try to say things in a different way if they don’t understand what you’ve said. Don’t say “it doesn’t matter”.
  • Ask – if you are struggling to know the best way to approach communication, ask the person you are talking to. Everyone is different and what works for one person, might not for someone else.

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A Guide to Healthy Hearing

What do we mean by healthy hearing? Why is it so important?

According to the World Health Organization, more than 50% of all hearing loss is preventable. Hearing loss caused by loud music, headphones and other environmental noise is on the increase.

Knowing the risks and taking steps now to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss, while addressing age-related hearing loss and preventing further damage, gives you the power to hear more, for longer. We caught up with Audiologist Emily Balmer, Director at The Hearing Suite to find out more and have put together some guidance on maintaining healthy hearing.

How can you prevent hearing loss?

Healthy hearing starts with looking at your daily activities, identifying the ways you could be damaging your hearing and taking steps to prevent further hearing damage. There are small changes we can all make in our everyday lives that can have a big impact on our hearing health.

Be more aware of your hearing and ear care

Many of us are used to getting our own and our family’s eyesight checked on a regular basis. We are aware of the need to protect our eyesight and are used to wearing glasses or seeing other people wearing glasses for reading, driving and other activities. Being able to look after your hearing starts with identifying what is normal for you and familiarising ourselves with the signs and symptoms of hearing loss.

Adjust your appliances and devices to prevent hearing damage

Noise induced hearing loss is on the increase. Once you are more aware of your hearing and the importance of preserving it you may want to look at the devices you use on a regular basis. This includes adjusting the volume on your TV, radio and smartphone, especially if you are using headphones.

Wear ear protection at concerts and noisy work settings

There are a range of discrete options available to protect you from permanent hearing damage while at work or listening to your favourite band. While music venues are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when things open back up, pay attention to the volume and how close you are to the speakers. It is a good idea to take time out at a noisy venue and to give your ears a break following exposure to loud music.

Keep your ears in tip top shape

A build-up of naturally occurring ear wax can have an impact on your ability to hear clearly. Speak to your pharmacist about over the counter remedies and if problems persist, speak to your GP. Find out more on ear wax build-up[1] from the NHS.

Protect your head when cycling or taking part in other sports

Traumatic head injuries can cause several issues related to hearing including tinnitus and hearing loss. It is a good idea to take steps to protect your head when working in environments where there is a risk of head injury as well as wearing appropriate headgear when taking part in sports like cycling, boxing and cricket.

Have your hearing tested

Heredity, exposure to loud noise and ageing are all commonly related to hearing loss. Working in a noisy environment can result in hearing damage. A family history of hearing issues could also be a red flag that is an indication that you need to watch out for early symptoms of hearing loss Moreover, it is estimated that more than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70.[2] If you are in one of these higher risk groups or have noticed a change in your hearing, a hearing test, either through a referral from your GP or directly with a private hearing specialist will provide you with a baseline for your hearing and a greater understanding of any steps you can take to ensure that you hear more for longer.

Read more about the importance of hearing loss awareness and healthy hearing at www.rayovac.eu/WorldHearingDay

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Applications open for 2020 European Audiologist of the Year Award

The hunt for Europe’s top audiologist has begun as online entries open for this year’s ‘European Audiologist of the Year’ competition.

Now in its thirteenth year, the competition offers the opportunity for audiologists from across Europe to compete for the title of country winner as well as for the coveted top spot, Europe’s Audiologist of the Year 2020. The award is organised by RAYOVAC®, a world-leading hearing aid battery manufacturer*, together with sponsors Audio Infos, a leading publication for the audiology industry, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), which represents the major European hearing instrument manufacturers, offering smart hearing aid and implant solutions for people hard of hearing, and the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH).

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at RAYOVAC® said: “This annual event celebrating excellence in the hearing care profession has become one of the highlights in the industry calendar. The competition continues to grow, providing outstanding audiologists from across Europe with the recognition they deserve. “The competition continues to grow and this year we have made it even easier for audiologists and their nominating patients to enter, by bringing the application process online. This is being supported by a step-by-step entry guide which interested audiologists and their patients can review for advice on crafting a winning entry. We are looking forward to another bumper year of applications for 2020.” 
Europe’s top audiologist will receive not only the recognition from their peers in the Industry, as the award is presented at an Evening of Excellence at EUHA, later in the year but also a cash prize , a PR package to help them promote their practice or department, as well as a year’s subscription to Audio Infos magazine. The patient who submits the winning entry will also receive a cash prize. 
Winner of the European Audiologist of the Year title in 2019, Paula Cook of Aston Hearing in Amersham, went into audiology following her own experiences as a parent of two children with hearing loss. She impressed the judges by going above and beyond in her dedication to patient care, travelling to Turkey and giving up her holiday time to fit a former patient and her neighbour with hearing aids.   Describing her feelings on winning the award she said: “I am really honoured to have been crowned European Audiologist of the Year 2019. Who would have thought that my journey, starting with my children being born with a hearing loss, would bring me here? It’s amazing.”

General Secretary of EHIMA, Dr Stefan Zimmer, said: “We are delighted to support the Audiologist of the Year 2020 competition and showcase the outcomes of exceptional patient care. Audiologists across Europe are having a profound impact on their patients’ lives, affecting them at a deep and emotional level. “This impact is what the judges are looking for in a winning entry. What audiologists are doing through outstanding patient care and through the sharing and application of new technologies can be life-changing for patients. This award is about so much more than hearing.”  Entries for the Audiologist of the Year competition for 2020 will close on Friday 26th June. Nominations are invited from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. For more information and to download the step-by-step guide or make a nomination please visit: www.audiologistoftheyear.eu
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*Based on internal company estimates of worldwide market share.