Frequently Asked Questions about hearing loss:

How long do hearing aids take to be ordered, or made?
When you visit us, it is very likely that you will be fitted with your new hearing devices on day one. Especially if you’d like to try the PHONAK AUDEO B DIRECT, the OTICON OPN 1, the RESOUND LiNX 3D or the WIDEX BEYOND FUSION 440. You might prefer to try or indeed, be advised to try in-the-ear hearing aids. In this case, we will take ear impressions, the hearing aids will be manufactured and you’ll see us again about 1-2 weeks later. Remarkably, we still offer you a FREE TRIAL.

How long do hearing aids last for?
The majority of our hearing aids have a five year warranty. In-the-ear aids last for an average 5 years, RICs for an average 8 years. Actual individual experiences will vary. Hearing aids do need to be well maintained and above all, you need a good ongoing relationship with your audiologist. We, as an independent practice are perhaps more likely to deliver that longevity of continuous service as our qualified staff are partners, and not employees.

Can hearing loss be prevented by the use of hearing aids?
A physical sensorineural hearing loss (the most common type) is generally permanent. It’s unlikely that this type of hearing loss can be reversed, or held back from getting worse. However, your ability to LISTEN, that is your cognitive (brain thinking) skills CAN be improved. The part of the brain that deals with concentrating on speech etc. can be helped by using hearing aids. The brain tends to adapt to its current situation, so when an individual has a hearing loss that has been left for a number of years, they tend to become less socially able. The person may interpret a worsening ability to hear speech in noisy places as a worsening of their PHYSICAL hearing levels, but often it is simply that they are getting more and more used to not hearing. The brain is gradually losing its skill in that area. Hearing aids can help that part of the brain re-focus and then over some months, become better tuned to hearing in those situations.

Why should I do something now rather than later?
Untreated hearing loss is linked to higher rates of cognitive decline, dementia, falls, feelings of isolation and social withdrawal. Many studies conclude that the extra brain effort required to strain to hear – to use more mental effort to make out what is going on in background noise – may become a bit of a habit. Over time, you might be socially adjusting without even realising that you’re doing it. In effect, you are deskilling the part of the brain that deals with listening effectively. This is turn is linked to increased likelihood of dementia.

Will a hearing aid help my tinnitus?
Most of us with tinnitus will also have hearing loss. If this is the case, there is a good chance that a hearing aid will both relieve your tinnitus and help you hear better. This is probably because the extra level of ambient and life sounds distract you from the tinnitus sound; that is – replacing the noise with natural external sounds.

If you do not have a hearing loss OR your tinnitus is persistent or severe, an extra sound used as a masking SOUND GENERATOR / MATCHING SOUND might be suggested. Most hearing aids now have masker functions incorporated into them. An introduced sound will generally be more tolerable or pleasant than the tinnitus, and it will be a sound that you’re in control of, rather than the tinnitus, which you’re not. Your audiologist will advise you how hearing aids or a sound generator might help with your tinnitus.

Professor Ross Coles, Tinnitus Researcher, Beeston resident and former colleague of one of our audiologists.

What if it’s just ear wax?
If you have excess ear wax, we can verify this for you with a free ear canal inspection. If your ears are blocked up, we can refer you back to your GP – or we can remove the obstruction for you, often on that 1st appointment.

What is the difference between NHS and private hearing aids?
In 2018, NHS aids are generally easily available in your area. So, you would ask your GP about possible hearing loss, and you’d be referred on to the audiology dept. or an AQP local provider. You will get hearing aids that are modern but arguably not as up-to-date as they could be. Another factor is that hearing aid success increases with the number of hearing aid appointments you attend. The NHS will usually not offer more than 1. Private hearing aids will probably be a little more modern. You will have more choice and time to discuss model preference, and with our free trial period you will be able to try what we suggest first. We find this tends to be quite a popular option.

Why should I come and see you, and not someone else?
We are a well organised family-run business that advises on the whole of the hearing aid market, but the thing that makes us special is our completely FREE TRIAL of any hearing aid. A Free Trial is such a good idea as individual variances in cognitive listening skills can mean that each of us could respond quite differently to the same hearing aid. This unpredictability in response is why you need our FREE TRIAL first.
You will be able to test our recommendation – without paying anything. If it doesn’t work out for you, we will just try another – better than worrying about asking for a refund, or feeling obligated.

How can I check my hearing before I come to see you – or online?
Give us a call (0115 857 2900) and we’ll send you our free one-minute hearing tester, an electronic fold-out card with 4 buttons. Simply press each in turn and check how many of the 4 beeps you can hear. If you cannot hear ALL 4, you need to see us. Or, Phonak have a great test you can do now.