Sarah Bauermeister

Associate Professor, Oxford University

Sarah Bauermeister is a cognitive neuropsychologist and epidemiologist. She manages scientific research for Dementias Platform UK and is Principal Investigator for ‘Blossom Early Adversity & Brain Health Programme’ and ‘Modify: Modifying Dementia Risk Through Lifestyle Programme’. She has a keen interest in raising awareness around the link between dementia, hearing loss and hearing aid use. She is passionate about removing the stigma of hearing tests and wearing hearing aids.

Ruchi Sharma

Audiologist
Ruchi

Ruchi Sharma is an experienced hearing audiologist helping individuals improve, fine tune and rehabilitate their hearing needs. Her patients' needs are always a priority where she focuses on improving their overall lifestyle and quality of life. A typical day can be working in care homes, doing home visits, working in hearing clinics and even visiting hearing aid patients in opticians! She has two beautiful children and loves to travel, yoga, and spend time with family outdoors.

Frazer Paterson

Director & Clinical Audiologist (bsc, pgdip, hcpc, mshaa)

Frazer, a degree trained audiologist has extensive and varied experience in the world of Audiology. With two spells in the NHS he was held to the highest clinical standards in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. His experience working for one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers has exposed him to the latest hearing aid technology and how to maximise its potential. Frazer is passionate that hearing loss should not be a barrier to employment, limit a person’s ability to communicate with friends and family or curtail any aspect of their life.

Adam Bostock

Founder, Alto Hearing and Tinnitus Specialists

Adam Bostock founded ‘Alto Hearing and Tinnitus Specialists’ following a career in the audiology sector which began in 2005. He has extensive experience working in NHS ENT clinics, alongside both adult and paediatric audiology. Most recently Adam was ‘Head of Commerical’ at Boots HearingCare. He worked as a regional manager and director of sales, leading a large team of audiologists and hearing care assistants. 

Michelle Hu

Paediatric Audiologist

Dr. Michelle Hu is a paediatric audiologist. She was diagnosed with mild hearing loss as a toddler and by the age of 10 had profound sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally and was fitted with hearing aids. Alongside her day job as a paediatric audiologist, she provides online courses that provide support and guidance for parents of children with hearing loss. She loves being with her family, experimenting in the kitchen, gardening and exploring new places.

Carly Sygrove

Hearing Loss Coach

Carly Sygrove is a Hearing Loss Coach and a hearing health advocate who has single-sided deafness. She blogs about living with hearing loss at My Hearing Loss Story and manages the My Hearing Loss Story online support group for people with hearing loss. She is also the founder of the Sudden Hearing Loss Support website, a source of information and support for people affected by sudden hearing loss.   

Iain n Edgar

Director & Clinical Audiologist (ba pgdip hcpc mshaa rccp)

Iain studied for his postgraduate diploma in Audiology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. He has 8 years of experience as an NHS audiologist. For the past 5 years, alongside ENT and Hearing Aid clinics, he has taken tinnitus clinics and been involved in the Scottish Tinnitus Advisory Group. In addition to his NHS work, Iain has recently opened a private clinic in his local community of Clarkston, where he is eager to make a small but meaningful difference in improving people’s quality of life.

Mr Joseph Manjaly

Consultant Otologist, Hearing Implant & ENT Surgeon

Joseph Manjaly is a Consultant Otologist, Auditory Implant & ENT Surgeon, specialising in ear and hearing problems for adults and children. He is fellowship-trained in otology and auditory implant surgery and takes pride in effectively treating patients with hearing loss, ear discharge, discomfort, tinnitus and dizziness. He has a busy NHS practice at the renowned Royal National ENT Hospital in Central London, part of University College Hospitals NHS Trust.

Peter Lucas-Herald

Clinical Audiologist (msc bsc (hons) rccp hcpc)

Peter has a strong academic background, first graduating with a biology degree from Edinburgh University before moving on to study audiology at Queen Margaret University. He then completed a master’s degree in audiology, researching vestibular testing methodology.

Peter has been working as a clinical audiologist within the NHS, taking a particular interest in vestibular assessment and reassessment. Balance problems can be incredibly debilitating and Peter has a passion to work with these clients to regain their confidence and help them return to a normal life.

Miriam Warcup

Co Founder (BA MSc MSc)
Pink

Miriam undertook a Master's at Kings College London in 2020 in 'Gerontology and Ageing'. It was here that she specialised in 'Dementia Prevention' for her thesis, where she learnt of the little known fact, that untreated hearing loss is the biggest risk factor for dementia that we can do something about. Miriam's thesis was later published in the journal of 'Working with Older People'.

Since then, she has been on a mission to help spread the word and to empower individuals to reduce this risk factor by taking simple steps to prioritise their hearing, not only for the benefit of their brain health, but for their physical and mental health too. 

Her background is economics and business, but her passion has always been to help others. She's long had a keen interest in helping to reduce the monumental global impacts of dementia. 

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Hearing tests

1 in 6 of us in the UK are affected by hearing loss, so it is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just part of being human. If you have any of the signs of hearing loss or are just looking to get a hearing check as part of your overall health checks, we’re here to tell you all you need to know about how and where you can test your hearing. We'll also walk you through what actually happens in an in person hearing test and provide you with a list of questions that you might want to ask your audiologist at your appointment.

Ruchi
Ruchi Sharma
Audiologist
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Online hearing test

Online tests like RNID’s in the link below are a quick and easy way to check your hearing to see if you need an in-person hearing test. It takes just 3 minutes, so it is as quick as making a cup of tea!

https://rnid.org.uk/information-and-support/take-online-hearing-check/

Whilst online tests may be convenient, in person hearing tests conducted by professional audiologists can help to decipher the cause of any hearing problems and rule out any other medical conditions. So, if you suspect that you may have hearing difficulties or your results from RNID suggest that you do, please ensure that you follow up with your GP or local audiologist at first opportunity.

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In person hearing test

There are two ways you can go about getting an in-person hearing test.

  1. Contact your GP who will check your ears and discuss your hearing with you before providing you with information on the next best steps. If there is no obvious cause of your hearing loss, such as an ear infection or ear wax build up, they will refer you for a hearing test.
  2. Book a hearing test directly with your local private hearing care provider. They will check your ears too and test your hearing. These tests tend to be free, but any treatment or follow up care would be billable.

The NHS recommends to always see your GP first if:

  • You have any ear pain or discharge
  • If you are concerned about your child’s hearing
  • If the hearing loss comes on suddenly in one ear

So, what exactly happens in an in-person hearing test?

  1. The audiologist will examine your ears thoroughly to ensure the ear drum, canals and outer ears are healthy and normal. If there are wax blockages, the audiologist will inform you to book in for a wax removal appointment. This treatment usually entails using olive oil/bicarbonate drops before the wax removal for at least a week. If there is wax, the audiologist should not perform a hearing test.
  2. Next, a brief history of your hearing should be taken. Questions pertaining to your hearing difficulties, 1:1 or group conversation, tv, telephone, tinnitus, cause of hearing loss are all assessed and referrable conditions are identified.
  3. The audiologist will perform a comprehensive test which should take 30-45 minutes. A series of sounds through the headphones are played and you will be asked to respond by pressing a button no matter how faint the sound appears to you.
  4. Finally, the results should be explained to you by the audiologist.

Questions to ask your audiologist

It can be very daunting if you have never had an appointment with an audiologist before, so here are Heard’s suggestions for the top ten questions you might want to ask before or during your hearing consultation.

  1. Should I bring any support to my appointment?
  2. What might have caused my hearing to deteriorate?
  3. Do my current medications impact my hearing?
  4. What are you looking for when you examine inside my ears?
  5. Can you explain the results of my hearing test?
  6. What speech sounds/frequencies am I missing and how does it impact my conversational skills?
  7. Can I wear a single aid if I have a loss in one ear only?
  8. What are the various examples of hearing aids?
  9. What does my aftercare look like?
  10. How do you clean the hearing aids and change batteries?
Ruchi
Written by

Ruchi Sharma

Audiologist

Ruchi Sharma is an experienced hearing audiologist helping individuals improve, fine tune and rehabilitate their hearing needs. Her patients' needs are always a priority where she focuses on improving their overall lifestyle and quality of life. A typical day can be working in care homes, doing home visits, working in hearing clinics and even visiting hearing aid patients in opticians! She has two beautiful children and loves to travel, yoga, and spend time with family outdoors.

Learn more about Ruchi
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