Hundreds Of Children In Afghanistan Receive Free Hearing Aids

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Last week the Bayat Foundation kicked off a partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing health care to people in need across Afghanistan. During the first hearing mission in the country, the two organizations worked together to provide more than 1,700 customized hearing devices to children and adults in need. The three-day event enabled many individuals to hear for the first time, including students with hearing loss from two schools in Kabul, Professional High School of Deaf (Lycee Maslaki Nashanawa) and National Deaf Association of Kabul (Lycee Mille Nashanawa Kabul) as well as patients from across the region.

Speaking about the impact of the humanitarian initiative, Ehsan Bayat, chairman of the Bayat Foundation, said, “To give the ability to hear for the first time is a life changing moment. These hearing aids will impact the children and their families for generations to come. By providing these hearing aids, we can give every child the opportunity to become a larger part of society. I will never forget seeing a child to hear his or her first name and witnessing the joy in their eyes.”  Joining Mr. Ehsan Bayat to help fit the patients were Mrs. Fatema Bayat, Mr. Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation; Mrs. Suraya Dalil, Minister of Health; Head of Human Rights, Nader Naderi, and five Senators.

In addition to fitting patients with hearing aids, Starkey Hearing Foundation also provided each recipient with counseling on the proper use and maintenance of the hearing aids, a generous supply of batteries, and access to follow-up care through its global AfterCare program.  The organizations also established a hot line for parents to call with further questions.

“Thanks to the incredible support of the Bayat Foundation, we are able to bring our dedication and passion for the gift of hearing to the people of Afghanistan,” said Brady Forseth, Executive Director of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We hope that by opening up channels of communication for people who might have otherwise lived in isolation, we are also helping to unlock the potential needed to build a brighter future.”

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to change lives around the world. Its work in Afghanistan is part of the dozens of domestic and international hearing missions conducted each year. Last year alone, the Foundation fit more than 175,000 hearing aids for people in need.

According to the World Health Organization, hearing loss is pervasive, affecting 360 million people worldwide. However, with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected, giving individuals the opportunity to better connect with family, the community and the world around them.

This partnership is just one of the many ways the Bayat Foundation continues to make an impact throughout Afghanistan.  The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has constructed over 13 Maternity Hospitals, which combined have already treated over 1,000,000 women and children and vastly improved the chances of survival in the country with the world’s worst maternity survival rates. They have also built orphanages, schools, roads and sports complexes and provide countless tons of food and clothing to refugees in need.

About the Bayat Foundation

Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation, a 501 c (3) charitable organization, has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. Founded and directed by Ehsan Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 300 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan; including construction of 13 maternity hospitals that have now treated over 1,000,000 mothers and babies.  Projects have included the construction of new facilities and sustainable infrastructure in needy regions, and the promotion of health, education, economic, and cultural programs. In addition to his charitable initiatives, Ehsanollah Bayat founded Afghan Wireless (AWCC) in 2002 – a joint venture between Telephone Systems International, Inc. (TSI) and the Ministry of Communications – which was the first GSM wireless and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan, and later established Ariana Radio and Television Network (ATN), which includes Ariana Radio (FM 93.5). For more information, please email [email protected]

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and change lives around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully campaign and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit

More information about Starkey Hearing Foundation’s work can be found at its website, or on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

For more information on the Bayat Foundation, please contact:
Montgomery Simus
702-809-6772/ [email protected]

For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, please contact:
Karen Webb
310-691-1411/ [email protected]

Taylor Joseph
952-947-4657/ [email protected]

SOURCE Bayat Foundation

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EarQ and the Kansas City Chiefs Huddle Up Against Hearing Loss

Raising Hearing Loss Awareness


EarQ and the Kansas City Chiefs Work Together to Raise Hearing Loss Awareness

EarQ members joined the Kansas City Chiefs on October 21, 2014 to offer hearing health screenings to the youngest members of the Kansas City community in support of the October 2014 NFL United Way Hometown Huddle event.

The EarQ team provided the children of Kansas City with greater access to hearing healthcare services as part of the 2014 event that was hosted by the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Audiologists from several organizations provided hearing screenings and video ear inspections to local children. Participating healthcare providers included representatives and audiologists from the EarQ teamTeam SmileBoys Town National Research Hospital, and Sertoma Speech and Hearing.

“In partnering with the Kansas City Chiefs, our goal is to further hearing loss awareness and encourage greater adoption of hearing solutions in the community and beyond,” said Clifford Carey, communications director of EarQ. “It is appropriate to host the event in Kansas City, given that just last year Chiefs fans broke the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd noise at an outdoor sports stadium with a decibel level of 137.5.”

The October event in Kansas City was the most recent joint effort between EarQ and members of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to create community forums for providing hearing health care, discussing hearing loss and hearing health solutions, and encouraging people in various communities around the country to make hearing health a priority.

Source: EarQ

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Audiologist gives the gift of hearing in Peru

Tami Ike put the young boy’s hand on her throat, looked him in the eye and said, “One, two three.” She wanted him to see and hear her saying the words, even though he was hard of hearing.
Then it was his turn. Ike put his hand against his own throat and said, “One.” He repeated it back to her, very quietly.
“Two,” she said. He repeated it again, just under his breath.
“Alto,” Ike instructed, using the native Peruvian language. “Louder.”
The young boy started over and, with more confidence, said, “One.” His eyes lit up. “Two.” Even louder. His face broke out in a grin. A pair of hearing aids had changed his world.
“He’s hearing himself,” Ike said. “His buddy sitting next to him who is just getting his hearing aids turned on turns to him and screams really loud. Then he hears himself screaming and he gets scared, and then he started to find his voice.”
Ike, who has been working in audiology for 30 years, said watching the children find their voice was her favorite part of working in Peru. She was part of a group that visited the mountainous city of Cusco, Peru, with Starkey Hearing Foundation, a hearing aid manufacturer, to fit 1,300 underprivileged residents with appropriate aids over the course of three days.
Ike, an audiologist at The Hearing Clinic in High Point, sells Starkey hearing aids at her clinic. She also is a part of Hear Now, an organization that allows her to get free hearing aids for patients who can’t afford it, if she donates her time to the organization.
Starkey holds multiple missions a year to various places around the world to offer their services. Rotary Club International, the centerpoint of all Rotaries in the nation, helps Starkey go to Asia, Africa, Mexico and South America. 
“They asked me if I would come and help serve the people in Cusco,” she said. “It almost takes your breath away to think that these people have nothing, and they were standing in line for hours to see us. There were people there all day in a line around the building.”
Ike said before the trip was planned, the clinic invited residents who needed hearing aids to come to the clinic. They would have their hearing evaluated, and if they were found to have hearing loss, the clinic did ear mold impressions. Those were sent to Minneapolis, where Starkey’s headquarters are, and made into earpieces that returned to Peru. The entire process is free to patients.
When the group arrived in Peru on Aug. 28, they had a few days to get acclimated to the altitude before work began. Ike was joined by six other audiologists and hearing specialists, who all were sponsored by Audigy, a third-party management group that paid for half the trip.
When a patient came into the room, each audiologist would fit them with the lowest level hearing aid and adjust it from there based on verbal communication.
Multiple assistants and translators, as well as Carolina Sunshine, a famous actress, walked around the room to see who they could help.
When the hearing aid fit just right, Ike said most of her patients burst into tears of joy.
“One lady told me after she got her hearing aids, ‘I will pray for you every day. My life will be better,’” she said. “You get that stuff from everybody just about. They kiss you on the cheek and hug you.”
But it didn’t always end in happy tears.
A few people who came into the clinic were completely deaf and couldn’t be helped.
“There was a young man, maybe about 28, and I (wasn’t working with) him, but he started crying really loud,” she said. “Deaf people can be very loud, and they don’t know it because they can’t hear themselves. He became very angry because he was told he was going to get hearing aids. That was tough to see.”
Those who did find a successful fit went to a lecture, where they were taught how to take care of the hearing aids and what to do if they stop working.
Since Peru is a rougher environment for hearing aids than the United States, doctors at the clinic have been taught how to fix them, Ike said.
“It’s not like we just fly in, give all these hearing aids out and leave,” she said. “We actually have a clinic there.”
Starkey volunteers will revisit Cusco next year to replace lost hearing aids and fit more people. The company hopes to provide more than 100,000 hearing aids annually to people around the world. Ike said she hopes to be a part of that goal and work on more mission trips, whether in the United States or abroad.
Ike said the whole experience grounded her and made her look at her relationships with her patients in North Carolina.
“I know I’m impacting people’s lives when I help them with my hearing, but what I saw in Peru was a deeper level and more emotional level,” she said. “I think I didn’t realize that I also impact people every day in that same way, but I don’t think they express it in the way I saw in Peru. It was just an awesome experience.”

[email protected] | 888-3617 | @HPEStephanie


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Woman sues Perth drum shop over claims cymbal strike caused tinnitus

A woman is suing a music shop for £20,000 damages after she claims she developed tinnitus when a cymbal was struck as she was visiting to buy earplugs for her son.

Dorothy Brannigan, 54, maintains that she became aware of pain in both ears immediately after leaving RWJ Drum Store in Perth.

She claims that as she was getting ready to leave, owner Kevin Smith struck a large cymbal with force at least twice, allegedly to demonstrate the effects of the condition.

In the action it is said she told Mr Smith that her son, who was taking a sound engineering course, had been suffering from the condition and his doctor had advised he use ear protection.

She maintains that having made her purchase she turned and walked towards the door of the shop on February 15, 2011.

But she alleges Mr Smith shouted for her to wait and walked towards her holding a drum stick and cymbal.

Her counsel Stephen Laing said: “He lifted the cymbal up to around level with the pursuer’s ear with his arm outstretched. The cymbal was approximately four to five feet away from the pursuer’s ear.

“Without giving the pursuer warning the defender proceeded to strike the cymbal with force at least twice producing a sudden loud, high-pitched, bell-like sound that resonated towards the pursuer and had a long sustain.

“There was approximately 15 seconds between each strike with force upon the cymbal. He said to the pursuer: ‘Imagine that all the time’.”

Ms Brannigan, of Crieff Road, Perth, said that after she got home she became aware of ringing in her ears which became louder over the following weeks.

She tried to go to her work as a nursery assistant but struggled because the noise aggravated her tinnitus and the condition made it hard for her to sleep.

The court also heard that she bought custom made ear plugs which she wore constantly at work for two years.

Mr Laing said his client’s hearing has returned to normal but the tinnitus persists and she avoids noisy surroundings. She uses ear plugs when carrying out tasks such as vacuuming or using a blender and when going to the hairdresser or dentist.

He added that she is anxious about flying as she had found that increases the volume of the tinnitus.

Ms Brannigan is seeking compensation for her pain and suffering and various expenses. It is claimed by Mr Smith’s lawyers that he is not liable in the action and the sum sued for is excessive.

The case called at the Court of Session in Edinburgh before Lord Jones on Thursday ahead of a full hearing.

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Which? reveals hearing aid prices

20 October 2014

Two mature women chatting on a sofa

Buy your hearing aids from a reputable provider for the best service and aftercare

A lack of transparency in the hearing aid market makes it tricky to know whether you’re getting a good deal. Which? has spoken to the biggest hearing aids retailers and can now reveal typical costs.

Which? contacted the four largest private hearing aid providers – Amplifon, Boots Hearingcare/Damid Ormerod, Hidden Hearing and Specsavers, plus an independent shop – and asked them to quote for basic, mid-range, high-end and iPhone-compatible hearing aids.

We found that you can pay as little as £500 or as much as £7,000 plus for digital hearing aids.

But because the price of hearing aids is bundled up with service and follow-up, with some retailers including items such as batteries and wax traps for free and others not, it’s tricky to compare packages even once you know the cost. 

Our table of hearing aid prices includes details of what features you should expect for your money to help you when you’re shopping around.

Best and worst hearing aid providers

The difference between a good and a bad hearing aid outcome is often not the aids themselves – it’s more to do with the fit and service given by the provider.

We surveyed 372 Which? Connect members in March to April 2014, asking them to rate providers on products and pricing, staff and service, and arrangements and facilities.

Different manufacturers will have different names for the same hearing aid features, so you’ll need to ask questions to compare products.

While some members were extremely pleased with the service they’d received, others said they had been encouraged to buy more expensive hearing aids than they felt they needed.

The retailers’ scores range from an impressive 84% to a less-inspiring 62%. Find out where each provider ranked in our guide to the best and worst hearing aid retailers.

Private versus NHS hearing aids

Hearing aids typically last for three to five years, but – whether you buy privately or go through the NHS – you’re entering into a long-term relationship with your provider.

Which? members rated both NHS and private providers. There were significant differences in how customers scored the NHS versus private clinics on most measures, although – you may be surprised to hear – not for the cleanliness of facilities or the professionalism of staff. 

To compare satisfaction scores, check out our guide to NHS versus private hearing aid providers.

More on this…

  • Want invisible hearing aids? Here’s all you need to know about hearing aid types
  • From light kettles to accessible laptops, explore our pick of easy-to-use products
  • Need some help getting around? Check out our Best Buy mobility scooters

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Silicon Valley company develops technology to silence tinnitus

A Bay Area company is introducing a new technology that could help thousands of patients finally silence an irritating and debilitating condition.

If you’ve ever had that annoying ringing in your ears, imagine what life is like for people who can’t make it stop — sufferers of a condition known as tinnitus.

Jeff Carroll, Ph.D., is the clinical director of a Silicon Valley company called SoundCure. He’s made it his mission to turn down the volume down inside the brains of tinnitus suffers, using a unique type of sound wave, known as S-tones.

“The hardest part, wasn’t actually producing the sounds from a device themselves, but in fact finding the right type of sound that would interfere with tinnitus in a specific way,” Carroll said.

First it helps to understand that tinnitus is typically a neurological condition caused by the brain’s misinterpreting neural signals as sound. Common therapies involve distracting the brain with the use of counter-sounds, such as white noise, also known as broadband noise.

But Carroll says S-tones work more like a scalpel, in comparison. First audio technicians test each individual patient to identify exact type of sound being produced by the tinnitus.

Sophisticated software then helps generate a precise S-tone designed to distract the brain from that specific tone. The S-tone is then delivered though a portable device known as “the serenade”.

A recent study led by researchers at the University Iowa, found a majority patients were able to find relief using S-tones producing about half the volume of their normal tinnitus.

“To the patient, what that really means is sounds can be effective in interfering with the tinnitus at much softer volume than traditional masker,” Carroll said.

SoundCure was founded by CEO Bill Perry, who’s suffered the debilitating effects of tinnitus himself. He said, “Patients who describe being debilitated by, who describe not being able to sleep, being depressed, not being able to work. The results can be quite dramatic.”

It is relief produced by tones that some patients might gratefully describe as the sounds of silence.

Written and produced by Tim Didion

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Caffeinated coffee may help quiet tinnitus

In the 2007 film “Noise,” Aussie constable Graham McGahan battles Melbourne’s bad guys – and his own deafening case of tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Luckily, when the din from a car horn cancels out the racket in his head, he hears his nemesis sneaking up on him.

It may seem unlikely that loud honking really could nullify internal humming caused by nerve activation in the inner ear and brain, allowing him to hear faint sounds.

But you know what? It could have happened. Tinnitus sufferers often use white noise machines to cancel out the internal din and help them get to sleep.

Tinnitus can result from damage to sound-transmitting hairs in your inner ear.

Or it may be from muscular or nerve problems associated with a neck injury, TMJ, circulatory problems, medications or age-related hearing loss.

Tinnitus affects about 14 percent of people age 60-69.

Treatments usually focus on trying to stop the racket or, if that doesn’t work, calming your reaction to it. But the latest good news? A caffeine study found that drinking three to four 8-ounce cups of coffee daily (450-600 mg of caffeine) reduced the incidence of tinnitus by 15 percent.

Seems caffeine does more than decrease your risk for nine cancers and help you dodge age-related cognitive problems! It’s possible that caffeine stimulates your cen tral nervous system and alters the nerves that are jangling in your inner ear and brain. Just be aware of other sources of caffeine in your diet, and have your last dose at least four hours before turning in.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit


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