Different Types Of Hearing Aids Offered
Behind-the-ear hearing aidsA range of digital BTE aids are available to suit differing degrees of hearing loss.
Body-worn hearing aidsThese hearing aids are usually worn on the clothing and a cord links the device to an ear piece. Body-worn hearing aids may be suitable for patients with sight problems, or problems using very small switches or buttons.
CROS/BiCROS hearing aidsThese are for people with severe to profound unilateral or asymmetrical hearing loss. A hearing aid is fitted to the better ear with a separate microphone placed on the worst ear side. The microphone and hearing aid are wirelessly connected to each other. The purpose of this aid is to provide better sound perception on the worst ear side.
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.
How Can I Get Bluetooth Hearing Aids
Bluetooth hearing aids are available to purchase privately from hearing aid specialists. Following a hearing test, your audiologist will discuss the range of hearing aids available to you and whether you will require Bluetooth, wireless technology.
If you regularly use Bluetooth-enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and computers, your hearing care specialist may recommend a pair of wireless hearing aids, and if necessary, a compatible streamer.
Many private hearing specialists allow you to trial hearing aids for up to 14 days before you buy them. This provides a good opportunity for you to understand how Bluetooth technology works and to determine whether it is right for your lifestyle.
Don’t Miss: How To Pair Compilot With Hearing Aids
How Do I Use The Loop System
When activated, the loop or telecoil setting on your hearing aid should make it easier to hear in public places, e.g. train station, bank, post office, church, theatre or cinema. Look out for the symbol with a T in the bottom right corner.
To use the loop system you will need to select the loop program in your hearing aids details of how to do this in your specific hearing aid can be found in the manufacturers leaflet.
Are Nhs Hearing Aids Good
To summarise, obtaining NHS hearing aids requires some degree of patience. The quality of care and the performance of the hearing aids have grown significantly better in the last few years. Generally, the NHS will only provide behind the ear hearing aids unless the problem requires a different solution. In ear or Invisible Hearing aids are not provided and you will need to buy these privately.
As we said, we are big fans of the NHS and the work it does to help people with hearing problems. Hearing Direct was established to provide an additional alternative to the private provision of hearing aids with more affordable prices. We give people a wider range of hearing aids to chose from than the NHS and in a more affordable and convenient way than many private hearing aid providers. We offer affordable digital hearing aids which can be delivered to your door the very next day if required no waiting, no fuss, and no appointments.
Read Also: How To Say Sorry In Sign Language
Why Do People With Nhs Hearing Aids Choose Not To Wear Them
The Statistics of NHS Hearing Aid Wearers
They say that 1 in 5 people in the UK who currently have NHS hearing aids decide not to wear them. This is said to have something to do with ongoing technical problems or the wearer not seeing an improvement in their hearing when they are worn. With hearing loss being a huge sensory challenge globally, which affects 1 in 6 people in the UK , this is rather a worrying statistic indeed.
People who need hearing solutions and don’t use them are increasing their risk of developing dementia and cognitive decline. Hearing aids make a huge impact on the quality of life for those with a hearing impairment and help reduce this risk – they are the most successful form of treatment and rehabilitation.
Those who don’t wear their hearing aids provided by the NHS could be due to a number of reasons. One being, the lack of knowledge of the device itself – this can deter people from using them properly or not using them at all.
Hearing aid maintenance and management is key when they are dispensed. It is important to know as much about the device itself to get the most out of your hearing aids and for them to improve your unique hearing loss.
Level of Technology & Aftercare
The right hearing aid and aftercare will give you the right knowledge to understand your device and the confidence to wear them every day.
What Is A Hearing Aid
The hearing aid is a small electronic device which is placed in or around your ear. The device makes sounds louder and therefore clearer to the person wearing the hearing aid. Hearing Aids can therefore help those with poor hearing to communicate better with their loved ones, whether theyre in a quiet or loud environment.
Hearing aids are made-up of a microphone, amplifier and speaker. The device will receive sound through the microphone, which then converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them through to the amplifier. It is this part of the device which then increases the power of the signals and sends them to ear, via the the speaker.
Hearing aids can only help if you still have some hearing left so its important to get one as soon as you have any hearing concerns. According to the NHS, hearing aids can:
- Help you to hear everyday sounds around you, such as the doorbell or your telephone ringing.
- Help you to understand and hear the people around you, especially those talking directly to you.
- Boost your confidence during conversations both direct and indirect.
- Help you to enjoy media comfortably again, such as the TV or radio, without having to turn the volume too far up.
The main point of the hearing aid is to make sounds louder and clearer. They wont be able to make your hearing perfect, but they will certainly make a huge difference.
Read Also: How To Pair Compilot With Hearing Aids
Meet The New Phonak Virto B Range
Phonak have now introduced the full range of their new Virto B in the ear products. They say that they are custom-made to perfectly fit in your ear, Phonak Virto B is the worlds first hearing aids with Biometric Calibration, which take your individual ear anatomy and hearing needs into account. That’s an interesting description.
They say that they will identify over 1600 biometric data points in and on your ear, and the unique calibration settings are calculated for each Virto B hearing aid. In this way, Virto B is able to more reliably sense where the sound is coming from, thereby giving you access to a better hearing performance.
What does that all mean? Well, we think that Phonak is the first ever hearing aid manufacturer to carefully map the outer ear to take advantage of its natural abilities. They say that the new process will deliver a 2dB signal to noise ratio improvement. Basically means it will make the signal 2dB higher than the noise.
2dB doesn’t sound like much but combined with all the other strategies that Phonak use it will be a marked improvement. Phonak Virto B is available in six models to match your hearing needs. It is also available in the usual four levels of technology, the 90, 70, 50 and 30.
Evolution Of Hearing Aid Applications
There are audio players designed specifically for the hard-of-hearing. These applications amplify the volume of the reproduced audio signal in accordance with user’s hearing characteristics and acts as music volume amplifier and assistive hearing aid. The amplification algorithm works on the frequencies that the user hears worse, thus restoring natural hearing perception of the sound of music.
There are also applications that do not only adapt the sound of music to the user’s hearing but also include some hearing aid functions. Such types of applications include sound amplification mode in accordance with the user’s hearing characteristics as well as noise suppression mode and the mode allowing to hear the surrounding sounds without pausing the music.
Also, some applications allow the hard-of-hearing watching the video and listening to the radio with comfort. Operational principles of these applications are similar to hearing aid application operational principles: the audio signal is amplified on the frequencies that the user hears worse.
Recommended Reading: Ear Infection During Early Pregnancy
Hearing Aids: Is Going Private Really Better Than The Nhs
A hi-tech device could set you back £5,000, while NHS models are good and free
When Alan Wright* decided to take the plunge and spend £2,800 on new hearing aids, he thought he was buying a significant upgrade on his old NHS-provided models.
The 70-year-old, who had largely given up going to the theatre and other similar activities due to being quite deaf in one ear, hoped that by spending the money he would be able to start going out again.
But instead of a new freedom, he and his wife Angela say they have endured 18 months of frustration as the hearing aids spent more time at the Specsavers hearing centre in Solihull than in his ears. In the end the couple became so disillusioned with the Widex aids that they demanded their money back.
It was a lot of money but we thought it would be worth it to improve his quality of life, says Angela. After 18 months of repeatedly having to return the aids, which would only work for a short time, he has now gone back to using his NHS version. We now wish we had saved our money.
The couple may have just been unlucky and, after Guardian Money intervened, Specsavers refunded the couple in full. It repeated its view that neither it, nor the manufacturer, could find any problems with Wrights hearing aids.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of services, says it is important to note that the NHS buys its digital hearing aids from the same manufacturers as private providers.
* Alan and Angela Wright are not their real names.
Help And Support If You Wear Hearing Aids
Adjusting to hearing aids can be difficult at first. It may take a few weeks or months to get used to them.
You’ll have follow-up appointments after they’re fitted to check how things are going, but get in touch with your audiologist at any point if you’re having problems.
Several hearing loss organisations can also provide help and support if you’re adapting to hearing loss or life with a hearing aid.
Read Also: Sign Language Hungry
When Is A Hearing Aid Unsuitable
Hearing aids could be unsuitable when other medical treatment options are available or required, such as surgery. The decision is generally made with an audiologist and ENT consultation. Hearing aids might also be unsuitable when the benefits of conventional hearing aids are limited, for example if a patient has:
- conductive hearing loss that fluctuates between normal and mild hearing loss within a relatively short period of time
- infected or discharging ears preventing the wearing of a closely fitting earmould
- profound hearing losses
- neural components in hearing loss as hearing aids are designed to compensate for sensory impairment
Patients individual communication needs and psychosocial aspects are of paramount importance when deciding whether to fit hearing aids or not.
Dont Miss: What Is Poop In Sign Language
Nhs Hearing Aid Batteries
Humans still havent figured out how to integrate microscopic nuclear power reactors into hearing aids, which unfortunately means they cant run indefinitely theyre going to need some batteries.
But if youre using a couple of batteries every week for the rest of your life, you can see how this cost may add up over time. Since the hearing aid was covered by the NHS, could the batteries be covered too?
This was a lot of build-up for a simple answer yes, batteries for your NHS hearing aid are indeed free. Youll be able to collect them from your GP most commonly in sizes 13, 675, and 312.
Read Also: Sign For Poop In Sign Language
Purchasing Hearing Aids Privately
COVID-19 Service updates
Details on the Audiology service disruption, due to COVID-19, can be found on our front Audiology Service page.
NHS Audiology Hearing Care provides a free, high quality digital hearing aid service. However, if you would like to purchase more advanced technology and/or alternative fitting styles or accessories, you can now be seen by one of our highly qualified and experienced NHS Audiologists to purchase your choice of devices.
You will be seen by an NHS qualified Audiologist, who is also registered as a hearing aid dispenser. Our Audiologists have a wealth of experience and will assess your hearing and hearing needs to a high standard you can trust our Audiologists to advise you only of products that would be suitable for your needs allowing you to choose your preferred option.
During your initial appointment, your Audiologist will advise you about the various styles of hearing aids and accessories available from a selection of manufactures. This enables you to choose your preferred option from a wide range of products with the help of expert guidance.
Your Audiologist will then arrange the fitting of the device you have chosen within days of your initial appointment and fit them in line with best practice and national guidelines.
We can provide you with a hearing package that includes a three year guarantee and three years worth of batteries. You can be assured that there are no further charges for aftercare.
The Best Hearing Aids For 2019 What Can We Expect
The end of 2018 was fascinating in the hearing aid world. The LiNX Quattro release by Resound was closely followed by the Audeo Marvel release by Phonak. On top of that, Starkey pushed out their fall detection feature to some Livio users. Going into 2019 there were clear favourites in the minds of many professionals and consumers alike. 2019 has been a bumper year for new introductions by a few of the brands. Let’s talk about the stand-out favourites during 2019. The list right now is:
If you purchased a hearing aid online, would you expect to need follow-up help from a hearing professional?
Thanks for answering our little survey, it helps us to better understand hearing aid users across the globe.
You May Like: What Is Poop In Sign Language
Bluetooth Hearing Aid Prices
Bluetooth hearing aids make hearing a little easier in a modern world that prominently uses digital devices to communicate. As such, they tend to be more expensive than more basic types of hearing aids due to their high level of technology.
The average price for a pair of wireless Bluetooth hearing aids is approximately £1,500 to £3,000, although specialist iPhone compatible hearing aids tend to cost more between £2,895 and £6,995.
Whilst some come with Made for iPhone technology, most Bluetooth hearing aids will require you to purchase a streamer at an additional cost to access the wireless technology. Streamers typically cost between £200 and £500, and can be purchased from your hearing aid specialist at the same time as your hearing aids.
Clinic Compare has extensively reviewed opinion from hearing aid wearers and hearing specialists to provide you with a summary of some of the best Bluetooth hearing aids. These come in a range of fitting styles including larger behind-the-ear and receiver in-the-ear models, as well as more miniature types such as ones that sit in-the-canal .
The table below shows the average price for a pair of wireless Bluetooth hearing aids, and whether or not they require a streamer to function.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Hearing Aid Through The Nhs Vs Private
While any NHS appointment comes with some wait times, once you have the consultation, you might be able to collect your hearing aid almost immediately, depending on the kind you were prescribed. However, the lead-up to the acquisition of your hearing aid can take around six weeks after your GP refers you.
Source: NHS England
If you were given a BTE hearing aid, you may be able to walk out with it. But if an RITE hearing aid was more suitable for you, then youll need to wait a bit. A silicone mould of your ear canal will need to be made and sent off in order to customize the receiver that will be going into your ear.
The timings in these scenarios are the same in private settings, too, so you wont have any more or less of a wait in either scenario.
You May Like: How To Connect Phonak Hearing Aids To Iphone
How Do I Retube My Ear Mould
1. Remove the old existing tubing with either your hand or pliers.
2. Using replacement tubing , taper the edge of one side using a pair of scissors. Do not cut too close to the bend.
3. Thread the tube into your earmould from the outside, through to the part that fits inside your ear.
4. Next, pull the tubing through the earmould so that the remaining tubing is facing upwards at approximately a 50 degree angle.