Hearing Aids UK

Hearing loss is a very common issue and millions of people living in the UK rely on hearing assisted devices to go about their everyday lives. But it can be hard to know where to start with hearing aids.

We’re here to help.

How to know when you need hearing aids?

There are three different types of hearing loss: mild, moderate and severe.

Even if you only have a very mild diagnosis of hearing loss, you can still qualify for hearing aids.

Most people first notice they have a problem when they find it hard to understand what others are saying, or if the TV or other source of background noise is suddenly duller.

If you‘re worried about your hearing ability, you can book a free test in your own home. Find out what happens in a hearing test and what an audiology assessment is here.

Hearing Aid Features

Nowadays, hearing aids come equipped with all kinds of technological features that can improve your hearing experience. Not all features are available on all models however, and some depend on how severe your hearing loss is and affordability.

Some of the most convenient features are:

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Bluetooth: This allows your hearing aid to connect to devices such as mobile phones and even wireless speakers.

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Age integration: A lot of modern hearing aids can be adjusted and controlled via smartphone apps.

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Rechargeable Batteries: Removes the need for worrying about purchasing extra batteries, is cheaper and more convenient for most people.

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Telecoil technology: T-coils are help hearing aids to better pick up signals from loop systems. They help the wearer better cancel unwanted background noise in public environments, including concerts and cinemas.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are endless features such as adaptive directional microphones, transient noise reduction filters, speech enhancers and music equalisers. Read more about hearing aid features.

Hearing Aids

Digital Hearing Aids

Virtually every type of hearing aid available to buy today is a digital hearing aid. ‘Digital’ as opposed to the older ‘analogue’ hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids have all the features that analogue hearing aids have, plus a lot more. They work by converting sound waves into digital signals, allowing them to produce a more accurate representation of a sound.

They can also be tweaked digitally to better match the level of hearing loss a person has. Without digital technology, almost all of the convenient features that hearing aids benefit from today would not be possible.

Learn more about digital hearing aids here.

Bluetooth Hearing Aids

Bluetooth hearing aids are very popular because they allow users to connect to wireless electronic devices with Bluetooth compatibility. Including smartphones, TVs, speakers, iPads and more.

You can listen to music, the sounds of the TV, and hold phone conversations — all directly into the earpiece of your bluetooth hearing aids.

This makes it much easier and clearer to hear. And it reduces the awkwardness of having to wear headphones or put a phone to your ear with a hearing aid inside.

Learn more about Bluetooth hearing aids here. 

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Rechargeable hearing aids are convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Plus you don’t have to worry about running out and going to buy batteries.

Rechargeable hearing aids in the canal type are popular.

Many brands of hearing aids come in two versions. One with and the other without rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable hearing aids usually come with a case that doubles up as a power pack — so you can carry them around easily and charge them when you don’t need them.

Learn more about rechargeable hearing aids here.

How our service works:

Step 1

Book your test
You can use the online form
or call us on 0800 810 8840

Step 2

We come to you
Our audiologist comes to your
house to perform hearing test and
discuss your options.

Step 3

Get your hearing aids
We deliver your hearing aids,
adjust them accordingly and
explain how to use them.

Choosing the Right Hearing Aids

There are many different types of hearing aids and it can be difficult to know where to begin. The ‘right’ one depends on what it is you want exactly.

Many people don’t want their hearing aids to be all that noticeable, and so many of the new models are getting smaller and smaller. But the smaller the hearing aid, the less powerful it may be. From the smallest hearing aid to the biggest, here are the different types of hearing aids available:

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Brands and Manufacturers

Although we supply hearing aids we do not make them. That is up to the manufacturers. All of the leading hearing aid brands are headquartered overseas. But they do have UK bases.

Click on each manufacturer name to learn more about each brand and the types of hearing aids they supply:

Read here for more information on the best brands for hearing aids available in the UK.

NO HIDDEN COSTS OR UNWANTED EXTRAS.

Frequently Asked Questions

How bad does your hearing have to be to get a hearing aid?

Even if you have a very mild form of hearing loss, you could still be eligible for hearing aids. ‘Mild’ hearing loss is defined as being unable to hear sounds quieter than 25 decibels (dB) for adults and 15dB for children. A very mild hearing loss might mean you struggle to hear whispered conversations, birdsong, or feet shuffling about on floors. Your audiologist will determine if you have some form of hearing loss by conducting a hearing evaluation on your ears. A ‘normal’ hearing range for a healthy adult is considered to be between 0-25dB across the hearing frequency range. The normal range for children is typically lower at between 0-15dB.

Is it OK to wear just one hearing aid?

Yes. Some people only have hearing loss in the one ear. You can even get special CROs and BiCROs hearing aids in such instances. Just remember to frequently test your “good ear” to make sure it is still hearing well.

Does your hearing get worse if you don't wear hearing aids?

Not necessarily. Hearing Aids are not a miracle cure to hearing loss, however, they help improve your hearing and reduce the effect of cognitive decline. There are nerves in the brain whose job it is to detect and hear sounds. If they aren’t stimulated enough, they might decline in function at a faster rate than they would have without hearing aids.

Do you need a prescription for a hearing aid?

Yes. But if you suspect you have a hearing problem, you can arrange for a test with a doctor or an audiologist unless you’re under the age of 40, in which you should seek GP assistance first. A hearing aid specialist will examine your ears and recommend you contact your GP if they suspect any other issues, such as an underlying medical condition.

How long does it take for your brain to adjust to a hearing aid?

It can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. This is because your brain will have to relearn how to interpret the sounds it has been missing. Keep listening and interpreting sounds, and practising, and you’ll soon be hearing much better.

Can you sleep with your hearing aids in?

We wouldn’t recommend it. Your hearing aids could fall out while you’re sleeping and get damaged. Nighttime is also a good time to let your ears rest and to recharge the batteries. Most hearing professionals would recommend not sleeping with hearing aids in.

What is a Hearing Aid and what do Hearing Aids do?

A hearing aid is a small, battery-powered amplifying device that fits on or around the ear.

They help people with hearing loss problems to better hear sounds and to understand speech. They can also help to reduce external noises so that the wearer can hear more clearly in loud environments.

How Hearing Aids Work

A typical hearing aid device is made up of a microphone, amplifier and speaker.

They usually have three main components:

  1. The microphone detects and picks up external sounds.
  2. The amplifier makes the sounds loud enough for the user to hear them properly.
  3. The speaker then transmits the sounds directly into the ear.

Find out more about how hearing aids work here.

1

A microphone

2

A processor

3

A loudspeaker

Getting used to hearing Aids

Getting Used to
Hearing Aids

It can feel quite different and take a while to get used to hearing aids. Many people find it a weird sensation to suddenly have their hearing restored to a high quality — and ear moulds make feel strange at first, but it is something you will get used to.

At first, your own voice might sound unusual. It can also take some time to get familiar with the devices and to learn how to handle them. The important thing to do is slowly introduce and train yourself to them.

The important thing to do is slowly introduce and train yourself to them.

Start by wearing them at home, take lots of breaks, and practice listening to all of the heightened sounds and pick out where they’re coming from. In time your hearing aids will start to feel normal.

Putting on your
Hearing Aids

Every type of hearing aid requires a slightly different process when it comes to putting them on and fitting them into your ears. But all of them are simple and convenient to fit.

Make sure you insert the correct hearing aid into your left and right ear. Hearing aids are normally colour-coded red for the right ear, and blue for the left ear.

Check out our guide on how to properly fit the different types of hearing aids to your ears.

Hold your RIC hearing aid so that the full cord (the bit that you use to remove the hearing aid) sits at the bottom and is resting on your thumb. Then gently place the hearing aid into your ear canal towards your nose.

This process also works for tiny or mini hearing aids including both invisible in the canal (IIC) and completely in canal (CIC) hearing aids. Though both models go slightly further into the canal and when they are properly fitted, will be completely hidden behind the tragus of the ear.

Hold the ITE hearing aid so that the bottom prong is lined up with your ear canal. Then push it gently into your ear, so that it tucks nicely into the concha of the ear. The top prong should sit comfortably under the flap of skin at top of the ear, while the bottom part slides down the ear canal. Make sure the hearing aid is fitted snugly. If it isn’t and is protruding out a bit, it may make your ear sore and cause an unwanted whistling sound.

With these types of hearing aids, you will have an ear mould that has been specially made to fit inside your ear. Hold the mould with your thumb and first finger with the prongs pointing forward. Then bring the mould up to your ear and push it in, tucking the top prong into the flap at the top of your ear, before then sliding the bottom prong into the canal. Make sure both are tucked in correctly. Then place the hearing aid behind the ear with the tube running neatly over the top.

The process here is much the same as the Receiver in Canal (RIC) process (see above). They may be quite different technologically, but they look similar and are fitted in the same way. Begin by placing the unit behind the ear. Then take the receiver gently and push it into your ear canal towards the nose. Finally, give it a wriggle to ensure that the tube fits flush to the ear.

Cleaning

Cleaning Hearing Aids
and
Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance will help to keep your hearing aids in tip-top condition for many years to come.

So it’s important to learn how to do this properly quickly after you purchase your first hearing aids.

Because hearing aids are by their nature subject to a lot of moisture and earwax inside the ear, they can become dirty quite quickly.

So we could actually recommend cleaning them once a day and ideally before bed. Don’t worry, cleaning a hearing aid isn’t complicated and doesn’t take long.

The different types of hearing aids all require slightly different cleaning methods, but the following care tips will go a long way to maintaining every hearing aid:

Your hearing aid provider will tell you which ones are the best for the type of hearing aid that you have.

Important tools include the hearing aid cleaning brush and the wax pick. But you can also buy multi-tools that do the job of both. Both are used to help pick and brush away earwax, which over time can accumulate and damage a hearing aid’s receiver. These are the main cleaning tools to use. If you try cleaning with anything else, you could accidentally damage your hearing aids. Do NOT try cleaning them with alcohol wipes or other chemicals.

Do this every night and let them breathe. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, then you’ll probably want to dock and charge them up overnight anyway. While the batteries are out, brush the battery compartment with the cleaning brush.

You won’t be using them while you sleep. So a good pre-bedtime clean will let them air out nicely before putting them back in again.

Try to get into the habit of pre-bedtime cleaning, making sure to always wash your hands before doing so.

Find out more about how to clean the different types of hearing aids and how to provide deeper, more comprehensive cleaning.

Batteries, Repairs and Replacements

If you’re not sure what batteries your hearing aid takes, just ask your hearing aid service provider. They will also recommend how routinely it should be looked at to keep it in working order.

Some audiologists allow you to send off for a battery or for hearing aid repairs in the post.

Cost

The Cost of
Hearing Aids

The cost all depends on what type of hearing aids you want — along with how severe your hearing loss is. We appreciate that the cost of the hearing aid isn’t a cheap one. However, we believe that the investment is a small price in exchange for a life-changing device.

We only recommend hearing aids from the leading and most reputable brands. And because we believe everyone should have access to quality hearing aids, our customers can stagger out the cost by paying in interest-free instalments.

So, how much are hearing aids? Contact us for a FREE consultation and no-obligation quote. 

Your hearing aid provider will tell you which ones are the best for the type of hearing aid that you have.

Important tools include the hearing aid cleaning brush and the wax pick. But you can also buy multi-tools that do the job of both. Both are used to help pick and brush away earwax, which over time can accumulate and damage a hearing aid’s receiver. These are the main cleaning tools to use. If you try cleaning with anything else, you could accidentally damage your hearing aids. Do NOT try cleaning them with alcohol wipes or other chemicals.

The only NHS hearing aid models are behind the ear hearing aids — so they will be visible to other people.

They tend to be at the lower end of the technology scale with fewer features

Waiting times may be long

You only technically “loan” out your NHS hearing aid. They aren’t really free hearing aids. If you damage them through negligence you may have to pay a NHS hearing aid replacement cost

Read more about how NHS hearing aids compare to private hearing aids.

Hearing aids are getting smaller and more powerful all of the time. Because of this, they can be easy to lose or damage, and costly to replace. Even the NHS will charge you to replace your NHS hearing aids if you damage or lose them.

With this in mind, it’s very important to make sure that you insure your hearing aids. Here are some key things to check when taking out a policy:

The amount of money you will get back if you make a claim. Some insurers will only pay out a fixed sum

How long it will take for the insurance company to reimburse you

If the payment will be a one-off or regular payment across the life of the policy

How such a claim will impact your no-claims discount

If the type of hearing aid you have is covered

It’s also nice to check if your hearing aids are insured for overseas travel and for “all risks”. Some insurance companies may cover you for some types of accidents — but not all — and in that case, it’s best to choose a policy that you think will serve you best.

Check out our guide on how to take our insurance on your hearing aids.

Other hearing assisted devices and solutions

Hearing aids aren’t the only tools available that help with people who have trouble hearing.

Here are some other hearing devices:

Sometimes also known as ‘conversation listeners’, these are small portable devices that help you to hear in noisy places or over long distances.

These devices allow the user to channel directly into the TV and to hear the sounds clearly and louder through the hearing aid without the need for turning up the volume.

You can also invest in alarm systems, such as smoke alarms, that help to warn people who are very hard of hearing. Such devices may vibrate to attract attention another way.

Hearing implants

Some people need hearing implants rather than hearing aids. It all depends on their situation and degree of hearing loss.

There are four common types of hearing implants:

In cases of severe hearing loss, and problems with the auditory nerve, an auditory brainstem implant is often considered. The implant works by picking up sound signals and sending them directly to the brain. The effects are somewhat limited, but users can expect their hearing to be improved to some degree.

This is a type of hearing aid that requires a minor operation to attach it to the inside of the skull. It is usually an option considered for people who have inner ears that are difficult for sounds to get to. The hearing aid itself collects the sounds and transmits them directly.

Bone anchored implants can be clipped on and off for convenience, for example, if you are planning on taking a shower or going to bed.

These implants are often used in cases where the hearing loss is so severe that regular hearing aids cannot help. The implanting procedure involves placing a device inside the skull to pick up sounds collected from the outside before then passing them on to the cochlea in the ear.

Some people may need an MEI if they are allergic to some of the materials hearing aids are made from. Or if they have trouble fitting regular hearing aids into their ears.

An MEI consists of a small device on the surface of the skin that picks up sounds and transmits them along a wire underneath the skin to the hearing bones in the body. With the effect of making the sounds louder and clearer.

Book your UK Hearing Test

Do you suspect you might need hearing aids? Then we can help. Our audiologists will come to your home and conduct a FREE at-home hearing test.

While we’re at it our HCPC registered audiology experts will give you all the necessary information and impartial advice you will need to take the next step.

In addition to free hearing assessments, we also offer demonstrations with all of the different hearing aid models so that you can be absolutely sure on the model and type that you want.

At the end we’ll give you a no-obligation quotation. All this in the comfort and privacy of your own home, and all completely free of charge.

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