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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frequently asked questions

Can’t find an answer? Email us at contact@thisisheard.com

hearing loss

What are the main signs of hearing loss?

People with sensorineural hearing loss that comes on slowly over time may find that they:

  • Turn the TV up loud and cause their family to complain
  • Struggle to follow conversation where there is background noise for example, in pubs and restaurants
  •  Struggle to hear children or women, and feel like people are mumbling
  • Struggle more with unfamiliar speakers or people with accents
  • Find that they have to ask people to repeat themselves  often
  • Struggle to hear people on the telephone, particularly those with softer voices
  •  Feel exhausted after socialising in group situations
What causes hearing loss?

Some of the most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Age related hearing loss
  • Noise induced hearing loss
  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Head / Ear injuries
  • Genetic factors
  • Impacted ear wax
  • Ototoxic medicines

How do I go about getting an in-person hearing test?

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

  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
What are the benefits of hearing aids?

For many people, hearing aids have been shown to improve their quality of life as they may:

  • Find it easier to communicate with friends and family
  • Improve their ability to communicate in loud environments such as noisy restaurants and in larger groups etc.
  • Be able to hear new sounds that you haven’t heard for some time, like the birdsong.
  • Be able to hear speech clearly on the telephone.

There is also an increasing body of research that suggests hearing aid use in adults with a hearing loss is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, cognitive decline, loneliness and depression.

hearing health

how do I protect my ears from loud sounds?

It’s important to tune in to the world around you and be conscious of any noise that could damage your hearing. Here are some everyday tips to help you navigate this noisy world.

  • Where possible, limit time exposed to loud noise.
  • Use hearing protection when loud noise can’t be avoided.
  • Take regular breaks from noise.
  • Distance yourself from the source of noise, i.e. from a loud speaker at a party.
  • Lower the volume on electronic devices

how do I protect my ears in the work place

HSE estimates that more than 2 million people in the UK are exposed to unacceptable levels of noise at work. The good news is that hearing loss caused by work is completely preventable and your employer has a legal obligation to take the necessary steps required to protect your hearing (HSE).

If you suspect that noise levels at your work are unsafe, speak to your manager or supervisor and request that the noise levels are assessed. 

If your employer is already aware of dangerous noise levels at work and has taken appropriate steps to protect your hearing, ensure that you follow their guidelines closely. Always wear hearing protection when you are exposed to loud noise and make sure that the protection fits properly for maximum effectiveness.

brain health

how is the brain involved with the process of hearing?

Hearing is a two-step process, which involves your ears and your brain.

Your ear encodes sounds from the environment around you into electrical signals, which are transmitted to the brain. Your brain then decodes these signals into actual meaning.

The decoding occurs primarily in the brain’s temporal lobes which sit above the ears. What is miraculous is that the brain manages to convert the message from the ear into meaning in real time!!

what is the link between hearing and brain health?

Hearing has been found to be an essential part of brain health and it has recently become clear that untreated hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and dementia.

The 2020 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, information and care found that 40% of dementia cases are potentially preventable through addressing 12 modifiable risk factors.

The largest modifiable risk factor was found to be ‘mid-life hearing loss’ which accounted for 8% of the 40% modifiable risk of dementia. 

The paper suggests that treating hearing loss with hearing aids or protecting ears from excessive noise exposure may help to reduce these risks.

can hearing aids reduce my risk of dementia?

There is mounting evidence to suggest that, for adults with hearing loss, hearing aid use is associated with a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive decline. 

A recent study providing the most extensive research to date on the topic, in fact, suggests that adults with hearing loss who wear hearing aids have the same risk of developing dementia as those with normal hearing. 

This, therefore, insinuates that whilst hearing loss can increase a person’s risk of dementia, hearing aids can help to lessen that risk.