A clinic on Eltham High Street is increasingly falling on deaf ears thanks to its cutting-edge treatments for people with hearing problems.
The audiologist team of Lee Fletcher, Lindsay Fletcher and Kirsten Booth at Regain Hearing have built up a practice of more than 400 clients in the three years since they set up shop in Eltham, SE9.
Offering the latest appliances and one-to-one consultations, the team is using the most up-to-date technology to improve hearing loss and tackle the problems of tinnitus.
Underpinning their work is a comprehensive aftercare service and a five-year guarantee of the products they supply, with as many follow-up appointments as necessary for them to reach their full potential. To add peace of mind, clients are given 60 days to decide whether to keep their new hearing aids or have their money refunded.
It was Lee’s training as a sound engineer which led to his career in audiology and has enabled him to adopt the many advances which technology has presented to improve hearing problems.
“Many clients come to see us with an old device which is still in its box, rather than their ear,” said Lee, who often sees patients who have first been through the NHS system.
“We can offer a bespoke service to individual clients, using state of the art technology specifically tailored to their needs,” he said.
It is estimated that there are more than 10 million people in the country with hearing loss; some are unaware of what they’re missing and others are trying to live with the condition.
“Losing one of your senses can have a serious effect on quality of life and can contribute to the onset of dementia,” he said.
“Our aim is to make our clients happy,” said Lee, who ran through a list of reasons why people can struggle to stick with their hearing aids.
“People sometimes have to be taught how to hear again, otherwise the new sounds can be overwhelming and off-putting,” he said. “In addition, there can be problems with batteries – we now offering the re-chargeable varieties – and the perceived image problems which many people have about wearing obtrusive ear pieces. There is now a wide range of hearing aids which are either virtually invisible or are extremely unobtrusive,” said Lee.
Regain Hearing only moved into Eltham High Street having built up a portfolio of clients in the local area and have recently opened a second outlet in Broadstairs.
The latest technologies are starting to make use of smartphone technology, where required, to enable patients to control their hearing aids and adapt their hearing according to their location, for example, challenging environments with background noise.
An initial free consultation enables Lee, Lindsay and Kirsten to explain to a client what kind of equipment is available, the cost and potential benefits, using their independent status to choose from over 300 available products.
As well as those clients who have difficulty hearing, there are many who suffer from tinnitus.
This means they can hear too much rather than too little, suffering a variety of continuous ringing, humming, roaring and hissing sounds in their ears.
Here, Regain really has been leading the field – by helping develop the latest technology and advances in treatment, they can offer treatments which counteract and manage the problem, with individually-designed action plans.
“We have a proven track record with an excellent success rate,” said Lee, who works with scientists from leading institutions on treatments.
Another service offered by Regain is a no-syringe, professional wax removal treatment, often without prior ‘olive oil’ softening which is the safest and most effective method of removal.
www.regainhearing.co.uk or 0800 028 6763.
Helping sufferers in developing countries
While expert audiology treatment and a free health service is available in the UK and developed nations, often there is nothing for sufferers in developing countries.
Lee and Lindsay have been enthusiastic supporters of the international Starkey Hearing Foundation, which works to provide equipment and expertise in poor countries.
They spend two weeks each year on missions with Starkey, most recently to Armenia, where they work in deprived communities to supply hearing equipment.
The movement is backed by a host of celebrities, including Elton John and former US presidents Clinton and Bush.
“To see the response of children being given their first experience of hearing and knowing the life-changing impact it can have is wonderful,” said Lee.
TO HELP: PLEASE DONATE USED HEARING EQUIPMENT TO REGAIN HEARING AT 201 ELTHAM HIGH STREET, ELTHAM SE9 1TS. STARKEY’S TECHNICIANS CAN SERVICE AND RECONDITION IT AND PUT IT TO WORK