Hearing Loss FAQs

How can I recognise hearing problems?

Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually, without discomfort or pain. What's more, family members often learn to adapt to someone's hearing loss, without even realising they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether hearing loss is present:

  1. Do I often ask people to repeat themselves?
  2. Do I have trouble following conversations with more than two people?
  3. Do I have difficulty hearing what is said unless I'm facing the speaker?
  4. Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?
  5. Do I struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?
  6. Do I have a hard time hearing women or children?
  7. Do I prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
  8. Do I experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?
  9. If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you do suffer from hearing loss.

If I had hearing loss, wouldn't my doctor have told me?

Not necessarily. GPs rarely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor's office), it can be very difficult for your physician to recognise this problem. Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, and which type would be best for you.

Doesn't hearing loss only affect old people?

Hearing loss can occur at any time, at any age. In fact, most people with hearing loss (65%) are younger than age 65!

Are there operations or medications I can take for hearing loss?

Only 5% of hearing loss in adults can be improved medically or surgically. In the UK, the vast majority with hearing loss are treated with hearing aids.

If I think I have a hearing problem, what do I do?

You should make an appointment with a hearing professional like an audiologist, hearing aid specialist or ENT doctor for an evaluation, consultation and hearing test. Many hearing care professionals offer this evaluation at no charge. Alternatively, contact your GP who can refer you to a hearing professional.

How do I find a private hearing professional?

When seeking treatment for hearing loss, be sure to select a hearing professional who understands the available technology and offers follow-up care. Use our enquiry form to find a hearing professional near you.

How can I get a hearing aid?

Hearing aids are available on the National Health Service. Your first point of contact can be your local GP who can then refer you to an audiology department for a hearing assessment. Alternatively you can have your hearing assessed privately and can access hearing aids privately from hearing aid dispensers. Contact us to find a professional in your area. ‘Hearing Aid Dispenser’ is a title protected by the HPC (Health Professionals’ Council) and only those registered with the HPC as Hearing Aid Dispensers can test, assess and prescribe hearing aids.

Won't wearing a hearing aid make me look old or weak?

While you are no doubt concerned about appearance, compensating for a hearing loss by asking people to repeat themselves, inappropriately responding — or not responding at all — to people talking, or even withdrawing from social situations is more obvious than wearing a hearing aid.

Today's hearing aids are small, discreet and more stylish than ever before. Some are even invisible. And, chances are that once you have a hearing aid, your quality of life will improve so much that cosmetics won't be as much of an issue for you.

How will a hearing aid improve my quality of life?

Research on people with hearing loss and their significant others has shown that hearing aids play a significant factor in a person's social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being.

More specifically, treatment of hearing loss has been shown to improve1:

  • Communication in relationships
  • Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
  • Ease in communication
  • Earning power
  • Sense of control over your life
  • Social participation
  • Perception of mental functioning
  • Emotional stability

When you consider all the benefits of better hearing, you can see that hearing aids hold great potential to positively change your life.

Are £100 hearing aids any good?

These inexpensive models are simply hearing amplifiers that will make everything louder (including all the ambient noises around you). They will not, for example, separate human voices from background noises, or hear directional sounds like today's more sophisticated hearing aids are designed to do.

Is there a guarantee with hearing aids?

Yes. In fact it was Starkey Hearing Technologies that first introduced the 30-day money-back guarantee, which is now industry standard. But it is important to give yourself a reasonable chance to adjust to your hearing aid.

Should I consider purchasing a hearing aid online?

We believe that you achieve the best possible results with your hearing aids by consulting with a hearing aid professional in person, so we do not endorse retailers selling over the Internet.

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