Batteries Repairs And Replacements
If you have an NHS hearing aid, you can get free batteries and repairs from the NHS hearing aid service who fitted your hearing aids.
Ask your audiologist about how to obtain batteries and request servicing and repairs.
You may need to come in for an appointment, or you may be able to send off for a battery or repair in the post.
Your local hearing aid service can also replace hearing aids that have been lost or damaged, although there may be a charge for this.
If you have a private hearing aid, contact your hearing aid provider if you need it repaired or replaced.
You may have to pay for this service if it’s not already included in your payment plan.
How To Get Hearing Aids For Free
One thing many people worry about is the cost of hearing aids, as well as the maintenance that goes with them however, many of our hearing aids are not as expensive as you might expect. If you have visited your doctor about a decline in your hearing who has then referred you to Scrivens Hearing Care through the NHS, you may be eligible to receive hearing aids for free.
Scrivens Hearing Care works with the NHS to provide free hearing aids where possible, as well as the best hearing assessments and aftercare possible. The best bit is we can often fit many of our patients on the same day as their assessment appointment, so most people can start benefitting from clearer hearing straight away.
If you are concerned about your hearing but havent yet been for a hearing assessment, either visit your GP our pop in to your local Scrivens branch to discuss what the best options are for you. Many people get nervous about hearing assessments for a number of reasons, but there is nothing to be worried about the assessments are relatively quick, theyre pain free and our staff will do all they can to help resolve any problems you have been having with your hearing.
How Can A Hearing Aid Help Me
Hearing aids work by making sounds louder and clearer. They will not restore your hearing to normal, or cure your hearing loss, but they can make life much easier.
They pick up sound and make it louder with an amplifier. They are fitted with devices, which can distinguish between foreground noise, such as conversation, and background noise, such as traffic.
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S To Obtaining Nhs Hearing Aids
When it comes down to obtaining hearing aids from the NHS, the process is simple and straightforward. For now, the process is broadly as follows:
Step 1: Talk to your GP
The most common route is to make an appointment with your GP. They will run through a screening process to determine the nature of any hearing concerns. Some even offer diagnostic hearing evaluations within their practice although this is rare. Before you go, you can take an online hearing test to assess your level of hearing loss and show your GP your audiogram results.
Step 2: Referral
They will examine you to determine whether the hearing loss is being caused by a solvable medical condition. For instance, the only solution for age related hearing loss is to wear hearing aids, but an ear wax blockage is easy to fix. If they do not offer a diagnostic service, then after this initial screening process, you will will get a referral to your local hospital’s audiology department for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.
Step 3: Appointments
The appointment and indeed the entire process falls under governmental targets and almost all NHS hospitals/trusts meet these targets. As a consequence, the 2-year waiting lists have all but disappeared with most patients waiting no longer than a couple of months.
Step 4: Hearing Aid Fitting
Step 5: Final Appointment
How Can I Be Tested For Hearing Loss
If you’ve recently noticed problems with your hearing, the first step is to talk to your doctor and explain how these problems are affecting your day to day life.
Your doctor can carry out some basic tests to check for temporary, treatable ear problems, such as a build-up of ear wax or an ear infection. Your doctor will have a look into your ears using a medical instrument with a light at one end.
If there is no obvious cause of hearing loss, your doctor can refer you for a hearing assessment with an audiologist or an ear nose and throat specialist. They will look into your ears and test your hearing to see how well you can detect different levels of sound. This assessment will help find the cause of your hearing loss and what treatments would work best.
Your hearing assessment will indicate if a hearing aid would help you and which type would work best for you.
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What To Expect From A Hearing Assessment Appointment
During your appointment the Audiologist will:
- Ask questions about your hearing problems and your general medical history.
- Examine your ears
- Perform a hearing test this is done by presenting a variety of tones at different intensities and pitch via headphones in which you are required to respond to by pressing a button.
- Discuss the results of the hearing test with you and further management options. If hearing aids are recommended and if you wish to proceed with a fitting the Audiologist will where possible fit you with the hearing aid during this appointment. If you already have hearing aids then these can be adjusted or upgraded where necessary during this appointment. In some cases you will be required to come back for a second appointment where you will be fitted with your hearing aids.
General Signs Of Hearing Loss
Early signs of hearing loss can include:
- difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in group situations
- asking people to repeat themselves
- listening to music or watching television with the volume higher than other people need
- difficulty hearing the telephone or doorbell
- finding it difficult to tell which direction noise is coming from
- regularly feeling tired or stressed, from having to concentrate while listening
In some cases, you may recognise signs of hearing loss in someone else before they notice it themselves. Research suggests it takes 10 years from the time someone notices they have hearing loss, before they do anything about it.
If you also hear a ringing, buzzing or whistling sound in your ears, this could be a sign of tinnitus, which is often associated with hearing loss.
Read more about losing your hearing
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A General Lifespan Of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids have undergone something of a revolution in the past decade. With trends parallel to advancements in digital technology, hearing aids are packed with extraordinary features to treat a range of hearing loss.
On average, hearing aids have an estimated lifespan of three to seven years. Depending on the style, some may last longer. In-the-ear hearing aids tend to last four to five years, while behind-the-ear hearing aids have a five to six year lifespan. This is due to the construction of the hearing aid, and the way they are worn. In-the-hear hearing aids are exposed to more moisture and higher temperatures due to the way they are worn. As a result, they may experience more exposure to sweat and earwax. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are housed in a compartment that sits on your ear, keeping it away from the moisture of everyday wear.
At the same time, the lifespan of hearing aids is also dependent on how they fit into your life. If your hearing has changed, the performance of the hearing aid may not have the power to accommodate your changing hearing abilities.
Other Types Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs if the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea are damaged, or as a result of damage to the auditory nerve . In some cases, both may be damaged.
Hearing loss caused by age and exposure to loud noises are both types of sensorineural hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by:
- the genes you inherit some people may be born deaf or become deaf over time because of a genetic abnormality
- viral infections of the inner ear such as mumps or measles
- viral infections of the auditory nerve such as mumps or rubella
- acoustic neuroma a non-cancerous growth on or near the auditory nerve
- meningitis an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
- encephalitis inflammation of the brain
- multiple sclerosis a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system
- a head injury
- malformation of the ear
- stroke where the blood supply to the brain is cut off or interrupted
Some treatments and medicines, such as radiotherapy for nasal and sinus cancer, certain chemotherapy medicines or certain antibiotics can also damage the cochlea and the auditory nerve, causing sensorineural hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and hearing aids are often required to improve hearing in these cases.
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What Do Hearing Tests Do What Do They Measure
When we test your hearing, we first ask questions about why youre visiting and in what ways youre having problems with your hearing.
We then get to know about your lifestyle, any hobbies you may have and where and when youd like to hear well, followed by a detailed medical history of your hearing. We also check both ears to make sure they are healthy and safe for us to proceed with the hearing test.
When we test your hearing, we play you a series of tones through headphones at different pitches and intensities to find the quietest sound you can hear and move forward from there.
Dont Remove The Tab Until Youre Ready To Use The Batteries
Hearing aids take a unique type of battery known as a zinc-air battery. Each one has a plastic tab covering tiny holes on the top of the battery. Immediately after the tab is removed, air enters the holes and stimulates the zinc.
Once this takes place, the battery is active and the power will begin draining . Thats why you should pull the tab only if you plan on using the battery immediately.
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Hundreds Of Hearing Aids Lost Amid Face Covering Rules
NHS Tayside is now appealing for the publics help to reunite the lost devices with their owners.
Hundreds of people have lost their hearing aids since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with many reporting theyve gone missing after taking off their face covering.
NHS Tayside is now appealing for the publics help to reunite the lost devices with their owners if they find one in the street.
Since April, the health board has replaced 849 lost aids with 159 in September alone.
Samantha Batty, head of audiology and balance services for NHS Tayside, said: A number of patients have contacted us as they have lost their hearing aids when removing their face covering.
This could be outside shops, when they get off the bus, outside hospitals and so on.
All NHS hearing aids are traceable through their serial number, so if found they can be returned to the correct patient.
Ms Batty added: I would ask any member of the public that finds a hearing aid to return it to us.
I would also ask anyone who has unused NHS hearing aids at home to return them to us.
All NHS hearing aid users are advised to take particular care as they remove any face coverings to help prevent losing their hearing aid and the inconvenience this causes patients.
If you find a hearing aid in the Tayside region, return it freepost to the Audiology Department, Tayside NHS Board, Freepost SC0 6181, Dundee, DD3 8ZR.
How Long Do Hearing Aids Last
Hearing aids are small devices characterised with a high level of complexity and fragility, which naturally reduces the period of their technical life. In general, they can be expected to last up to five years, although it is possible to keep them in a good condition even longer.
The lifespan of a hearing aid depends on a number of issues.
First of all it is crucial to choose the right type of hearing aid and model that will fully correspond to your individual condition, necessities and requirements. This should be done by a professional audiologist, who will also be able to give you practical advice on proper maintenance. Usually, you will need to wear the device constantly, which leads to the natural wearing out of its components due to daily use.
At all times it should be handled with care in order to minimize the possibilities of breakage or accidental damage. Furthermore the hearing aid is constantly exposed to different bodily substances, such as perspiration and earwax , that can easily damage its electronic parts.
The climate and weather of can also lead to disturbances in the devices performance, especially if the place is characterised with constant humidity or high temperatures. Exposure to skin and hair care products, for example hair spray, might also have a negative influence.
It is important to choose batteries suitable for the specific device and take the necessary measures to prevent corrosion.
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How Much Do Hearing Aid Batteries Cost
However, if you are responsible for paying for your own hearing aids, you will also need to buy hearing aid batteries. Luckily, hearing aid batteries are very inexpensive, usually costing between £1 and £3 for a multipack. Depending on the size of your battery and the hearing aids that you wear, this will impact how long your batteries actually last and thus how expensive they become. However, if you are wearing your hearing aids for up to 16 hours a day, a battery should, on average, last between one and two weeks.
Hearing aids and hearing aid batteries do not have to be an unwanted expense visit your local Scrivens Hearing Care branch to discuss your options with a member of staff.
What To Do If You Need Replacement Batteries/hearing Aid Tubes And Domes
If you require batteries, please attend a Hi-Kent drop in clinic or send your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped addressed envelope to the Audiology Department at Maidstone Hospital.
If you require new tubes and you have a hearing aid with standard tubing and a moulded ear-piece, please attend a Hi-Kent drop in clinic where the volunteers are able to do this for you. If you are happy to retube the earmould yourself then we can send you tubing through the post please send us your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped addressed envelope . If you have a hearing aid with slim open or life-fit tubing, please attend a Hi-Kent drop in session or send in your brown hearing aid book and a return stamped addressed envelope and we will send you spares. If you have a hearing aid with a wire and a dome then please post in a stamped addressed envelope with your brown book for any replacement domes/filters.
Hi-Kent run clinics in the community and these are often closer to your home and easier to access than the hospital. The volunteers are able to exchange hearing aid batteries, retube earmoulds and supply spare tubes/domes. They are unable to repair faulty hearing aids or make any adjustments to the sound of the hearing aids. If you think you have a faulty hearing aid or your problem is more complex than a battery exchange or replacement tubing, please contact the Audiology department directly.
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How Can Hearing Aids Help
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a persons hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.
Should I Be Offered Two Hearing Aids By The Nhs
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on hearing loss, there is extensive evidence that fitting two hearing aids rather than one benefits people with hearing loss in both ears.
The benefits include helping people identify which direction sound is coming from, and suppressing tinnitus.
RNID’s research found that 96% of providers interviewed offer two hearing aids where clinically appropriate.
But four providers only offer two hearing aids if the person requests this. In addition, one provider in England provides two hearing aids ‘by exception only’.
So, do ask if you think you need two hearing aids but are only offered one.
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How Often Should You Replace Your Hearing Aids
If you are one of the estimated 48 million Americans with a hearing loss, you may wear a hearing aid device. Hearing aids can be a life changing investment. They can open up a world of sound.
Once youve adjusted to your hearing aid devices, its hard to imagine no longer having them. But like everything else, hearing aid devices dont last forever.