Tue, 20/06/2017 - 13:26
Current Issue 41
Attending to Your Hearing Needs
The Hearing Solution Group is providing complete hearing and communication healthcare in Singapore, utilising the latest testing procedures available to restore and enhance hearing, speech perception and communication
Writer: Phoebe Calver
Project Manager: Callam Waller
The Hearing Solution Group is the region’s biggest and most professional Hearing Healthcare provider, headquartered in Singapore with subsidiaries in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Currently The Hearing Solution Group is operating 40 centres in Indonesia, nine in Malaysia and seven in Singapore; with the world getting noisier, people misusing portable music devices and the population steadily growing older but remaining physically active, the need for professional hearing healthcare is steadily growing. Along with the need, The Hearing Solution Group continues to grow in all three countries bringing better hearing healthcare to more convenient locations closer than ever to our customers.
Manfred Stoifl, Managing Director and Owner of The Hearing Solution Group explains, “Our vision is to Provide complete hearing and communication healthcare, using the latest testing procedures, equipment & therapy to develop, restore or enhance hearing, central auditory perception and speech.
“Complete Hearing Healthcare means providing all services and equipment necessary to provide a one stop solution for all hearing and communication related needs for our customers.”
To establish the degree of hearing loss, a series of tests are conducted to objectively asses a customer’s hearing and central & central auditory processing ability.
Developments in hearing healthcare
Hearing testing has changed a lot in the recent past and is still changing with new testing procedures that are becoming available regularly.
“To assess someone’s hearing problem, The Hearing Solution Group are not just assessing the functions of the ear (hearing) but also functions of the brain necessary to process heard sounds,” Stoifl continues. “The better and more detailed the assessment is, the easier it will be to select the necessary hearing devices technology and determine the short and long-term benefit and need for additional rehabilitation.”
The ear is converting every minute detail of sounds into millions of electrical impulses which are conducted to the auditory centers of the brain via the hearing nerve. The brain processes these impulses in patterns, to analyse, store, assign meaning to and retrieved when the same pattern is recognised again.
Whereas the conversion of sound into electrical impulses is an inert process, the processes in the brain are learned and depend of constant practice to keep functioning at an optimum.
Stoifl adds: “A hearing loss occurs when the ears ability to convert sounds accurately and fully into electrical impulses is impaired and results in less electrical impulses being conducted to the brain. The reduced input, over time, lead to deterioration of all central auditory processes and general cognitive abilities.”
The Hearing Solution Group has a complete Hearing product portfolio including and beyond the latest hearing aids offering help for a variety of hearing related problems.
For children who are born with no or very little hearing or Adults who’s hearing is impaired to the degree, where conventional hearing aids cannot provide sufficient audibility, The Hearing Solution Group carries Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implants. These surgically implanted devices stimulate the hearing nerve directly, bypassing the damaged cochlea and providing this electrical stimulation directly to the hearing nerve.
Tinnitus is the most common hearing related problem. In some cases, the ringing sound can become so disturbing that a normal life is not possible anymore for the sufferer. In such cases, Tinnitus Treatment Devices from Neuromonics, Australia, currently the only product for Tinnitus with approval from the USA FDA for the claim of permanently reducing Tinnitus disturbance can provide relief.
Where needed and requested by the local ENT community, The Hearing Solution Group provides full Clinical Audiometry Services for Children and Adults, ranging from Pure Tone Audiometry to Tympanometry to Otoacoustics emission (OAE), Central Auditory Test and ABR or ASSR tests.
“Adults who lost their hearing might not get immediate benefit from the use of Hearing Aids but need more or less extensive central auditory rehabilitation,” adds Stoifl. “For these patients, The Hearing Solution Group provides counselling and rehabilitation to help them to get gradually used to hearing all the sounds of life again.”
Children differ from adults as they have to learn first how to hear and develop central auditory functions and auditory memory. At select locations, The Hearing Solution Group offers Integrated Hearing and Speech Development therapy to help these children develop hearing and language skills to be able to attend mainstream school and lead a normal life.
Being an independent company, not affiliated or owned by any hearing device manufacturer, The Hearing Solution Group has access to the latest equipment from the most reputable manufactures around the globe.
The Hearing Solution Group sources its hearing devices from Starkey (USA), Siemens (Germany) or Bernafon (Switzerland). Advanced Bionic (USA) is The Hearing Solutions, supplier of the world’s only fully waterproof 120 channel Cochlear Implant and Neuromonics (Australia) provides Tinnitus Treatment Equipment. Equipment and software for Central Auditory Training and Testing is sourced from MediTech (Germany).
Stoifl adds: “Compassionately helping each individual to find his or her best personal long-term hearing and communication solution, regardless of age, hearing problem and budget is our mission.”
People affected by hearing loss often are isolated and insecure, to treat them compassionately, understanding their problems and help them to better understand their hearing is as important to us than to simply address the hearing loss; that is what the Company calls its holistic approach.
The necessary technology level of a hearing aid is determined by objective test results, the build, colour and advanced technology features, like Bluetooth capability are left for each patient to select. Hearing aids come in a wide array of designs and prices, to a certain degree price depend on design and size of the hearing aids, however mostly prices are determined by sophistication of technology.
Hearing aids today are miniature computers which are more or less sophisticated. Sophistication in a hearing aid means how high the resolution of loudness and frequency adjustment is and how good and how many adjustable parameters of noise reduction a certain technology provides.
The benefit of a more expensive higher technology hearing aid are three fold, with higher resolution and better noise control allows for the Hearing aids to be better adjusted to a patient’s initial amplification preferences while providing still the highest possible benefit.
As the patient’s central auditory system readjusts to more stimulation a high resolution device can be gradually adjusted to take best advantage of this progress allowing the patient to comfortably regain his hearing.
Last but not least some top line products today have advanced features which help you relocate a lost hearing aid, store unlimited environmental setting in the cloud and automatically activate them location based or connect them with your mobile phone and enjoy clear discreet telephone conversations.
Qualified staff is one of the many benefits at The Hearing Solution Group. Our size allows us to have a variety of specialists with different educational background to attend our customers. Regular training is provided to all our staff either from our in-house specialists, visiting trainers from manufactures or by attending international conferences and exhibitions locally and abroad.
Our staff consists of PhD, Master Degree, Bachelor Degree and Diploma Audiologists, supported by Hearing Healthcare Consultants, Hearing Aid Acoustician, Psychologists, Speech Therapists and dedicated support staff.
“The consequences of Hearing Loss go far beyond the obvious not being able to hear,” Stoifl says. “These consequences have been extensively reported and proven by institutions such as the National Council on Ageing, John Hopkins Medical Center, Better Hearing Center and many others.”
Adults with untreated hearing loss experience a 30-40 percent decline in cognitive abilities, and an untreated mild hearing loss has been linked to two times, a moderate hearing loss to three times and a server hearing loss to a five times higher likelihood to develop dementia.
Elderly are generally at a higher risk to suffer a fall with serious consequences. People with a mild hearing loss (25dB) are three times more likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10 decibel of hearing loss increased the chance of falling 1.4 times.
“Significantly higher incident of depression and isolation is another effect of untreated hearing loss, with studies showing older adults with untreated impaired hearing have a shorter lifespan than peers using hearing aids,” concludes Stoifl. “It is one of our aims to massively alter this and we hope in the future to see these instances drop through our work and the work of others in the industry.”