Your hearing healthcare questions answered

What are the common signs of hearing loss?

Struggling to hear speech, especially in group conversations, and having to turn up the volume when watching TV are common signs of hearing loss. Family and friends might notice that they need to repeat themselves when talking to you or that you often mishear what is being said. If you notice these common signs, you should book a hearing test.

What causes hearing loss?

Age related hearing loss, called Presbycusis, is the most common form of hearing loss that people develop. The hair cells in our inner (cochlea) do not regenerate or regrow over our lifetime and do suffer irreversible wear and tear. However, not all hearing loss is age related, so it is important to get your hearing checked if you are suffering from loss. Exposure to loud noise, excess build-up of earwax, ear infections and some underlying medical conditions are all common causes of hearing loos.

Do I need a GP referral for a hearing check?

If you are over 18 you can have your hearing checked without a GP referral.

What happens during a hearing test?

We will ask you some simple questions to understand your lifestyle, family history and any concerns you may have. Then we will check inside your ear canal with an otoscope, to inspect your eardrums and outer ear for signs of damage or infection.

We will ask you to pop on a pair of headphones and test your hearing with different sounds played in each ear. Each time you hear the sound, you simply push a button so we can assess how well you hear different sound levels and pitches. We will also assess your understanding of speech through a series of words and sounds.

Lastly, we will explain your results and advise you on your options.

How long does a hearing test take?

A comprehensive hearing health check and hearing test takes up to an hour.

Does a hearing aid restore natural hearing?

No, hearing aids are designed to improve your ability to hear speech and everyday sounds, but they will not restore lost, natural hearing.

Can I wear a hearing aid all day?

Yes, you should only remove your hearing aids when in or near water, like the bath or shower, or when you go to sleep at night.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Our budget range starts from just £950 for a pair of hearing aids, and we offer a full selection, including sophisticated, custom made, digital hearing aids for up to £4,390 for a pair. All our hearing aids include free aftercare for the lifetime of the hearing aid, a 60 day moneyback guarantee and up to 5 years’ warranty as standard.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

This will depend on the result of your hearing test. If you have hearing loss in just one ear (unilateral hearing loss), you will only need one hearing aid. If you have hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss), you will benefit from using two hearing aids. They’ll work together to give you a balanced hearing experience and a 360-degree hearing range. You’ll be able to localise sounds and hear speech in group situations.

Can I sleep with my hearing aid on?

No, don’t wear your hearing aids to bed. If you do and cover the microphone with a pillow or duvet, it might whistle or create annoying feedback, which won’t help you sleep.

Can I get my hearing aid wet?

No. Most hearing aids are not waterproof, so you should always remove them if you’re having a bath, a shower or if you go swimming.

How long does a hearing aid last?

You can expect your hearing aid to last around five to six years. Of course, the longevity of hearing aids varies between models, so this might differ for your device. Many people find that their hearing aids continue to function beyond six years. Your hearing aid might require some tune-ups or repairs in its lifetime, but this will help it last longer in the long-run. If your hearing aid isn’t working effectively, then you should seek professional advice.

Do I need to inform the DVLA that I wear hearing aids?

No, not unless you hold a bus, coach or lorry driving licence. The DVLA don’t impose any restrictions on car drivers who are deaf.

Is hearing loss classed as a disability?

Possibly, yes. The Equality Act 2010 is in place to ensure disabled people have equal access and opportunity without discrimination and this could extend to individuals who are deaf or who suffer with hearing loss.

Can I hold my phone to my ear if I’m wearing a hearing aid?

Yes. If you have a behind the ear hearing aid you might need to hold your phone slightly higher so that it’s closer to the hearing aid microphone, but otherwise you can use a phone as normal.

Is there an adjustment period with hearing aids?

Yes, although this does differ from person to person. It can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but your brain will always adjust to a hearing aid that has been correctly fitted.

Can you help with ringing in my ears?

Ringing in your ears is a common symptom of tinnitus, as is hissing, buzzing and humming. This condition affects about 1 in 3 people at some point in their lives, and whilst it is not usually a sign of anything serious, it can be irritating and distressing. Tinnitus treatments include ear wax removal so you may like to book an appointment with us to check if you have excess ear wax, hearing aids with tinnitus masking modes and sound therapy. Book an appointment with our audiologists and they can examine your ears and establish whether the cause of your tinnitus is something that can be treated.