Harley Street Hearing

Author Archive

See Dr Greg Nassar from the Harley Street Hearing group being interviewed on BBC News after the landmark High Court judgement on hearing damage from loud music.

Anyone exposed to significant noise is prone to hearing loss, tinnitus, loudness discomfort or intolerance, and hyperacusis – where sounds that were once tolerable become intolerable.

This judgement will have implications about the risk of hearing damage for musicians and the leisure industry all over the country.

Dr Nassar talks about custom-made ear plugs and demonstrates the damaging levels of noise exposure in the second BBC News interview below.

We see musicians all over the UK.  If you have any hearing concerns for yourself or your employees please call us on 0207 486 1053 or e-mail 

Listen to Paul Checkley, Clinical Director at Harley Street Hearing on Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2.

Paul was asked to talk about acoustic shock syndrome after the landmark High Court judgement on hearing damage from loud music.  This will have implications about the risk of hearing damage for musicians all over the country.

How to care for your second best asset, your ears.

Jono Heale, from ACS talks to Paul Checkley – Harley Street Hearing & Musicians’ Hearing Services Clinical Director about hearing, how and why singers and musicians can damage this important sensory organ, and how to go about protecting this valuable asset.

Paul explains how the ear works, how it can get damaged, which particular frequencies and exposure times cause hearing loss and how to conserve your hearing as a singer/musicians. Did you know that our ears continue to grow throughout our lives? Weird, but true. It does mean you need to have your ear plugs and IEMs redone throughout your career.

The Musicians Hearing Health Scheme – brought to you in partnership with Help Musicians UK,  Musicians’ Hearing Services and the Musicians’ Union. This scheme gives all professional musicians in the UK affordable access to specialist hearing assessments and custom fitted hearing protection.

For a one-off fee of £40 (£30 for MU members) you will receive a package worth over £200.   To apply for the Scheme  click here

Interview was carried out for iSing Magazine – a hub for singers with find reliable information, resources and advice about all things singing.

Metro.co.uk reporter Coral Barry came into see our audiologist Jaspreet Bahra at our Harley Street branch as she felt her ears were blocked.

Jaspreet carried out microsuction – which is the fastest, least intrusive form of wax removal.

Come to our clinics in Harley Street and Golders Green, the cost of wax removal is £80. Appointments are normally available within 24 hours, for the next suitable appointment call 020 7486 1053.

You can also have a hearing test at the same time for £90.

For the Metro feature link click here

Zane Lowe

A few years back I became very aware of how much I was exposing myself to loud music. However, as a DJ I was concerned about using earplugs and losing some of the feel of the room. I have used these plugs now for 3 years and swear by them. Its only when I take them out mid set that I realise how dangerous monitor levels can get. I do not DJ without them.

Zane Lowe
BBC Radio 1 DJ

ALT-J - Mercury Music Prize Winners 2012

ALT-J - Mercury Music Prize Winners 2012We first met Alt-J  earlier this year when they came in for their on-stage in-ear-monitors.  Our Clinical Director Paul noticed that drummer Thom was wearing just one 10-year-old NHS aid – its pair was broken – and spoke to him about how digital technology has moved hearing aids on. “I was blown away by how little I knew about new hearing aids,” says Thom.

Thom returned for a full hearing test where, with Paul’s advice, he opted for a binaural pair of Widex Clear 440s. A couple of weeks later, in-between band commitments and touring, Thom returned for his fitting, an experience that up until that point in his life, he could never have imagined.

“The fitting with Paul was great,” he says. “It was overwhelming. I knew that I’d be surprised and it would be amazing but I couldn’t have imagined how fantastic it would be. The levels of my new aids are so good. I’m aware of my voice; I can hear the sound of my pronunciation.”

Harrogate-born Thom was born with Alport Syndrome, a condition that results in hearing loss, kidney disease and can affect eye-sight.

Because of his profession and the sheer volume of touring the band was set to take on in the coming months and years, at their initial consultation Thom decided to opt for CICs as opposed to the BTEs he had been wearing. “When you’re touring, you sleep wherever you can and more often than not, that’s in the van. If you’re trying to sleep with your head leaning against a metal pole your hearing aids get in the way. It’s amazing to now have that whole freedom away from my ears.”

During the fitting, Paul was careful to caution Thom that everything might initially sound strange, especially as Thom had auditory deprivation, having not worn the pair to his aid for over a year. “In situations like this, it takes time to get used to the new sound,” explains Paul. “It will initially feel strange and a bit surreal because the brain is re-adjusting to binaural hearing, which affects balance.”

But Thom soon got used to his new aids and the band embarked on a summer of touring and playing festivals from Japan to Los Angeles, and all over Europe.

As well as being fitted with Widex Clear 440 CICs, Thom now has the Widex M-Dex, an assistive listening device for use with the mobile phone, which has also helped in his life as a member of a Mercury Prize-winning band. “I do a lot of promo and phone interviews,” he says. “The M-Dex makes such a difference. It’s so unique.”

Lyric hearing aid

Lyric hearing aidIt works for 90% of people who try Lyric with us.  If you’re looking for help with your hearing – this is the only truly invisible device that will enhance your hearing loss and increase the clarity of your music and no one will know.

Known as the contact lens for the ear – Lyric can be worn 24/7, while showering, sleeping, gigging & even swimming with custom-made swim moulds.

For your completely free Lyric hearing assessment and free 30 day trial call now on 020 7486 1053

 

Coldplay testimonial

Coldplay testimonial

“Our in-ears are invaluable to us, as are MHS and Geraldine who look after all our hearing needs…”

testimonial-DJBicep4Musicians Hearing Services provided a perfect service when booking, fitting and collecting my earplugs. The quality is second to none both in build and sound, across a range of monitors I have played on since using. Once you start to use them you have much more control over the frequencies at higher volume and makes it much easier to manipulate whilst djing. Essential equipment for people who dj in my opinion

DJ Bicep

www.feelmybicep.com

Ben Drew aka Plan BMy life would be very different if I didn’t have the use of my ears. Without my hearing, I wouldn’t be able to work, write songs or act.

So looking after my hearing is essential, if I want a career in music or anything else creative. I use in ear monitors when I perform on stage and moulded ear plugs when I’m just going out on a social one and there’s loud music being played, all from Musicians Hearing Services.

It isn’t worth risking the use of your ears just to have a good time.

Ben Drew, aka Plan B

Matthew HorneAs a DJ I knew I should be protecting my hearing, I often have ringing in my ears after a gig. I tried the foam plugs but they just made everything sound dull.

Then I heard about Musicians Hearing Services. They made me custom fitted specialist earplugs which make things quieter but keep the fidelity of the sound. The service was great and the staff were knowledgeable and friendly.

Now I won’t play a set without my earplugs.

Matthew Horne

Pete TownshendI am very pleasantly surprised after my trip to Musicians Hearing Services. I have just fitted the monitors that they provided and listened to some music.

With respect to frequency range I seem to be able to hear a lot of high frequency sounds in my right ear, much more than I expected. Brass is brassy, strings are stringy, and I can hear hi-hats in drum kits. These in-ear monitors are fabulous, just as they predicted.

Pete Townshend
The Who

If you’re a DJ or a muso and you’re reading this and thinking ‘maybe its time I got some earplugs…’, hold that thought and listen: there is NO ‘maybe’ about it. I cannot stress to you how important it is to protect your ears, they are your living, and they are under almost daily barrage.

I’ve been on tour with The Prodigy and played gigs so big the monitoring is 30,000 watts of sound, but if you’re thinking ‘I only play little gigs’ it’s often those sh*tty little sound systems at Camden Monarch or some bar that will cause the most damage.

One day, years ago, my colleague Erol Alkan told me he’d lost 40% of the hearing in one of his ears and that he’d just discovered Geraldine and Paul at Musicians Hearing Services.

That recommendation changed my life. I’d get tinnitus SO badly after every gig, that I couldn’t sleep, and I’d ill as a result. My immune system was shot through and I was a mess.

Since getting MHS to sort me out with plugs, I carry them EVERYWHERE and use them at big gigs, little gigs, parties, anywhere with a sound system. Now I sleep, I’m healthy and my ears aren’t getting any worse despite my job.

They make it easy, they are nice people, they’ll even get rid of that horrid build up of years worth of wax for you.

The plugs come in varying degrees of sound reduction and they just reduce it, not muffle it like those spongy yellow ones you can get for free at festivals. You’ll still hear the sizzle of a hi-hat and the boom of a kick drum, just at less damaging volume.

Now if you’re final thought is ‘hmmm but its quite expensive…’ Stop. Its the best money I EVER spent.

Do it now. You will not regret it. Just guard them with your life!

PS – just one more thing – if you’re thinking ‘this is one of those free plugs for a plug thing…’ NO. This is from the heart and I paid the same for my earplugs

as you will pay for yours.

Eddy Temple-Morris

The Remix on Xfm
Remix Allnighter at Matter
Losers on Distiller Records

www.twitter.com/eddytm
www.facebook.com/eddytm
www.myspace.com/losersuk

DJ tre lowe shades Picture 1 copy (3) (2)

DJ Tre Lowe’s Crusade for Tinnitus & Hearing Awareness for DJ’s, Broadcasters & Entertainers

The AIM is:

  • To have no one ask the question- What is Tinnitus?
  • To empower people to take action to protect their hearing.
  • To ensure that no one needlessly suffers from what is an easily preventable condition.

Click here to go to our page on “Make Noise for Tinnitus”, a campaign to get DJ’s broadcasters and musicians to get their hearing tested.

Ben Cullingworth, drummer in 'Let It Be'

Ben Cullingworth, drummer in 'Let It Be'

“The whole process, from fittings to finding the perfect mix for the show was so smooth! The sound is the best I have ever had live and they sit so well in your ears that you forget you are wearing them! Thanks, as always these in-ears are serving me very well!”

Let It Be square image

Charlotte DevaneyI first got tinnitus in March 2012. For the first couple of weeks it turned my life upside down, but I’ve got used to it now and use my ear plugs every time I DJ, am in the studio or go to a club, and can hear perfectly with them!

Musicians Hearing Services were recommended to me by Eddie Temple Morris, he said they were the best in London and that Geraldine would look after me! They were great, Geraldine was really friendly and helpful and they got my ear plugs to me really fast!

The earplugs have saved my ears from further damage, and pain from loud music.

Id say to all DJ’s, or people who are constantly around loud music before you get Tinnitus, invest in some ER15 earplugs and save your hearing!

Charlotte Devaney International DJ, Producer, Actress & Model
www.djcharlottedevaney.com

chris_whatleyI’m not a musician but a history professor who listens to lots of music.  I have to travel a lot and take a long trip by rail or plane with a set of Geraldine’s custom-made, perfectly-fitting ear plugs – into which can be slipped into the earphones from an i-Pod or Walkman – and you could be on your way to paradise. Lose yourself in the sounds of your music, uninterrupted by anything other than a ticket inspector if it’s a train journey, or an air hostess if it’s a plane – who’ll ask you to take them out for landing and take-off.  They’ll struggle to attract your attention though; the ear plugs are that good, and you’ll be lost in another world.

Chris Whatley, Vice-Principal and Professor of Scottish History, University of Dundee

mark_wilkinson_alexandra_houston_carrollI wanted to let you know of my experience with Earplugs over the last 18 years of DJing.

A few years back one of my DJ partners got bad Tinnitus in his ears and had to protect them, as we were working together a lot at the time he urged me to get some, which I didn’t.

Anyway, I had a scare 1 day when I couldn’t hear properly after a gig and went and got some fitted in Harley St, at the time I got the weakest  available (–15 Decibels), but I found them very difficult to use in Clubs as personally I think they are for bigger systems (like stadiums etc?), I felt cut off from the atmosphere of the club and it was impossible to mix with them in, totally defeating the object,  having spoken to others I know a lot of DJs have the same experience.

So I didn’t wear them for a while, and kept on DJing without them, and guess what, ended up with a ringing in my ears so bad that it felt like it was deep inside my head, I have heard that people have killed themselves having Tinnitus and after that experience I can understand, thankfully mine was temporary, but the next day I went back for new earplugs, and here’s my point, they’ve now developed –9 Decibel earplugs, my girlfriend Alexandra and I got fitted with them that day, and haven’t looked back, they’re the best thing for club systems, I put them in as soon as I walk into a club now (even if I’m not playing), I DJ all night long in them, and take them out at the end of the night and feel great!

Also, Alexandra is a club chick, not a DJ, she was very dubious before we got them, but now she swears by them, trust me on this one, if you want to enjoy long club nights and not be deaf in later life protect yourself with these NOW, they take a mould of your ear and the filters in the plug are changeable so if you felt that you wanted stronger at any point you could upgrade to –15 or even -25 (which some DJ’s do use)

Mark Wilkinson
DJ

(Picture of Mark Wilkinson – DJ & Alexandra Houston Carroll – Club Chick)

ben_mckeown_mustangsI play bass with the Mustangs, which is a blues/rhythm and blues band.  We play in a wide variety of venues large and small, and frequently have very little control over sound levels/monitoring. I tried the ER15s for the first time last weekend at two separate gigs, and was amazed by the difference they make.  I could hear myself and the other members of the band with total clarity, but the excessive volume and “wash” of sound was completely gone.

The boominess of my bass disappeared, with the result that I could clearly hear every note as I played it.  I was able to play as tightly as I have ever played without any strain or effort.

Best of all, after each gig I was able to fall into bed without the usual ringing in the ears and feeling of being noise-battered.  The whole experience was far more enjoyable and less fatiguing,

The ER15s are an incredible piece of kit that I would recommend to any musician.  I intend never to play a gig without them again.

Ben McKeown
The Mustangs

pete-goodingWhy wait until you damage your ears? This product from Musicians Hearing Services is fantastic and you can still DJ and produce with them in as your ears adjust very quickly. Money well spent!

Pete Gooding
DJ

ben_watt_everything_but_the_girlIt is hard to overestimate the importance of ear protection in clubs.  I still believe in not wearing them for short periods to experience  the sheer tumult of load music as a physical experience from time to  time, especially on a well-tuned sound system with no distortion (the main culprit for ear damage), but as a DJ, I wear them for five out of every six minutes, removing them only to hear the transition from one record into the next as the club hears it. Otherwise I wear them at all times these days in all clubs.

I have used moulded earplugs from Musicians Hearing Services for five years now.  The sound reduction is pretty even across all frequencies allowing for accurate sound mixing. It also actually improves your ability to hear conversations as extraneous non-voice frequencies and distortion are reduced. I make use of the different filters too. 9db – 15db reduction in small clubs. 25db reduction for big systems. If I could make one improvement it would be a modification where you could open and close the filter without removing the plug itself. This would make life much easier and prevent loss of both the plug and filter on the dark floor of every nightclub!

I would also like to see clubs obliged to provide improved and user-specific ear protection for all employees; bar staff particularly, who take orders from people shouting into their ear as well as enduring the loud volumes of the music. Foam plugs are not enough.

We live in an age where live music is loud and constant. Ear damage is for life once it strikes. When you are young you expect the ringing in your ears will go away in the morning, but without precautions one day you will wake up and it won’t.

Ben Watt
Everything but the girl

andy_spence_new_young_pony_club3 people in NYPC use Elacin earplugs and we all agree they are the best way to protect your ears without ruining the sound you hear. Musician Hearing Services have always been very professional and considerate when fitting the plugs so we don’t hesitate to recommend them for ear protection or any other hearing needs.

Andy Spence – guitarist
New Young Pony Club

tahita_bulmer_new_young_pony_clubIt’s incredibly important to try and protect your hearing as a singer or musician. I had been using cheap foam earplugs and was definitely experiencing the on-set of tinnitus. Andy Spence, my song writing partner found Musicians Hearing Services at Harley Street Hearing and booked both of us appointments. I am fairly squeamish about having things put into my ears and the staff at the clinic were very sympathetic to that and let me take the consultations and fittings at my own pace.

I have had my earplugs for about a year now and I find them to be infinitely beneficial in enjoying music in many different environments, as well as performing.

Tahita Bulmer – lead singer
New Young Pony Club

tom_meadows_and_duffyMy hearing is the most precious tool of my trade. Geraldine and the MHS have taught me how to look after my hearing and make sure that night after night, show after show, my ears are in perfect shape. Their care and services are truly second to none.
Hearing is believing.

Tom Meadows
Drummer – Duffy, Girls Aloud, Lucie Silvas, Jamelia

foreign-beggarsI have been dj-ing over the last 10 years and have used Musicians Hearing Services ear plugs for half of that, now everyone in the group have a pair!

After a few times performing with the -15 db filters it became completely natural, and now I can actually hear things a lot more clearly on stage and in the dj booth than without them.

Tinnitus is a problem that a lot of young people I know have and proper hearing protection is the best investment I have ever made. Geraldine is the best in the game”.

James / DJ Nonames (Foreign Beggars)

DJ HiatusI love my hearing, though you wouldn’t have guessed from the way I used to treat it. I’ve spent the last fifteen years producing electronic music, often on headphones to avoid annoying neighbours at antisocial hours; I’ve spent countless weekends in clubs, clinging to speakers when I wasn’t DJing myself; and I’ve played keys in several bands, often seated within deafening distance of an ear-piercing arsenal of cymbals. I occasionally bought disposable earplugs from the chemist and left them to gather dust in a drawer: like many musicians, I chose not to think about long-term damage to a sense I believed I’d be able to rely on forever.

Until I first heard the ringing – similar to the sort I used to get after a night of heavy clubbing, but infinitely more unsettling. I was running around the park when it started, and the sound was so sudden and distinct that I found myself having to sit down, a single word forcing itself to the front of my mind as I struggled to banish it from my thoughts: tinnitus. That night I lay in bed listening to what sounded like a distant orchestra tuning up in a part of my head to which I had no access. I didn’t sleep a wink, and the next morning I called my friend Eddy Temple-Morris, a DJ and musician who has long been campaigning for greater awareness of the condition he’s suffered from since his early teens.

Some of the things Eddy told me about tinnitus – that’s it’s generally permanent and incurable, for example – compounded my fear; others, such as the number of famous musicians working with the condition, were reassuring. Most memorably, he told me that at that moment I was in a bad place – my most trusted sense turning against me, my head filled with dark thoughts and a distressing sound I couldn’t control – but that things would get better; that my brain would learn to tune the sound out and turn it down, something I didn’t dare believe at the time, but which has mercifully proved to be true. In the meantime, he told me that as soon as I had a chance I needed to get myself to a specialist clinic and do the thing I’d been putting off for the better part of two decades: I needed to buy myself a pair of professional ear defenders.

Eddy put me in touch with Geraldine at Harley Street Hearing, who saw me the following day. The ear defenders turned up a week later, just in time for a DJ gig I’d been dreading since the onset of the ringing. I needn’t have worried; with the earplugs in I found myself capable of hearing what was happening on stage better than I ever had in the past – the plugs filter out resonant frequencies, which means there’s no booming bass, no deadening mid-range or screeching top-end to drown out acoustic subtleties while they batter your hearing. I was even able to pick out the voices of people around me in the club, something I’d not been able to do for years. I’ve since played more shows, all of them with the earplugs in place, and the sense of hope it’s given me to know that I can still perform as well as produce music is priceless.

I only wish I’d started wearing them fifteen years ago, but hindsight isn’t a whole lot of use in these situations. Music has the power to make us feel invincible, and it’s easy not to think about long-term damage to our hearing when it’s a sense we rely on so much. But if you’re cranking up headphones to hear yourself mix in a club, if you’re producing your own music on maxed out monitor speakers, if you’re playing on stage near a drummer annihilating a set of cymbals – or if you are that drummer – if you’re doing any of these things and you’re not wearing ear protection, then you will have to think about long-term damage to your hearing, and it’s not going to be in a hypothetical, reading-an-article-on-the-internet sort of way. If you love music, then you love your hearing. Get some proper ear defenders, and your hearing will love you back.

DJ Hiatus

Hear the World is a global initiative to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss.

The initiative addresses the social and psychological effects of hearing loss, and provides information on prevention and solutions for a problem that affects more than 16% of the world’s population. Bryan Adams, Jenson Button, Joss Stone, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Annie Lennox and many more world-renowned personalities support Hear the World as ambassadors.

The Hear the World Foundation is committed to improve the quality of life and promote equal opportunities for people with hearing loss globally. To achieve this, the Foundation provides financial funds, hearing aids and assistive listening technology. The Foundation has a special focus on projects that support children realize their full potential in life regardless of their hearing loss.

To help raise awareness of this important campaign, we would encourage everyone to come along and have a  hearing test with us. Obtaining a graphic representation of your hearing levels in an audiogram helps you to understand your hearing and monitor changes.

www.hear-the-world.com/foundation

To book your appointment please telephone 020 7486 1053.

Krankbrothers“We are delighted to have these ear protectors – didn’t want our DJing careers to cost us our hearing so can’t recommend these highly enough!”

krankbrothers

kieran@krankbrother.com
www.krankbrother.com

Skype: kierandclancy

Eats EverythingMy name is Eats Everything, and I am a DJ/Producer.

I first noticed tinnitus and hearing deterioration in around 2003 I think, it has got ever so slightly worse ever since!

I came to Musicians Hearing Services because I had always used over the counter plugs, so I needed some proper ones. They have made a massive difference to my life and I cannot thank you enough for helping me out.

My advice would be to other musicians and DJ’s to get yourself a pair of proper Earplugs as soon as it is human possible, otherwise it will be too late.  The service from Musicians Hearing Services has been absolutely outstanding, Very professional and lovely.

www.facebook.com/eatseverythingmusic

testimonial-thescript_square

“I will not go on stage without my in-ear monitors from Musicians Hearing Services” http://www.thescriptmusic.com/

 

The Sunday Times

"Geraldine Daly – audiologist to the stars". Read more.

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Rick Finlay – West End drummer

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Zane Lowe

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Coldplay

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DJ Bicep

DJ Bicep

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