6.7 million people in the UK would benefit from hearing aids. However, only 2 million of these 6.7 million people currently have hearing aids.
Some people don’t have hearing aids because they haven’t realised the extent of their hearing loss yet. Whereas other people don’t have them because of the stigma surrounding hearing aids.
However, modern hearing aids are nothing like the big, bulky hearing aids that people used to wear. Most hearing aids are extremely discreet so nobody has to know you are wearing them!
In this blog, we are going to outline symptoms of hearing loss, share our advice on what to do if you think you need hearing aids and explain the benefits of the different types of hearing aids.
Symptoms Of Hearing Loss
There are a number of signs and behaviour changes that can be linked to hearing loss. The most common symptoms and signs of hearing loss include:
- Regularly feeling like people are mumbling or talking too softly during conversation
- Wanting the TV volume to be louder even when other people can hear it
- Struggling to understand people when talking on the phone or when you cannot see their face
- Having to frequently ask people to repeat themselves, especially in noisy situations
- Being able to hear people yet struggling to understand them
- Struggling to work out where sounds are coming from
- Experiencing a persistent ringing sound
If any of these symptoms seem familiar to you, there is a chance that you have a problem with your hearing.
Do I Need Hearing Aids Or Ear Wax Removal?
Often, a build-up of ear wax can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ears, earache and other problems. If you have any of the above symptoms, it doesn’t automatically mean you require hearing aids. You may just have a build-up of ear wax that needs removing.
Ear wax can sometimes be removed safely at home. Using oils, such as olive oil or almond oil, you can soften the wax encouraging it to fall out on its own. This usually takes a couple of weeks. You can also buy over the counter medicated drops, which work in a similar way to the oils. However, if the build-up of wax is compact, at-home remedies may not work.
Instead, you may need professional ear wax removal. This is no longer a service provided by GPs in England, so it is best to speak to an audiologist.
A professional audiologist will use ear irrigation or micro suction to remove the ear wax. Micro suction is the safest and most effective method of ear wax removal and it is recommended that you visit an audiologist that provides this method.
It involves the use of a soft suction or vacuum to gently loosen and remove the build-up of wax from the ear canal. It is pain-free and gentle, unlike ear irrigation which can be uncomfortable and can compact the wax more.
How Do I Find Out If I Need Hearing Aids?
If upon inspection, there is no build-up of wax in your ear, an audiologist will recommend a hearing assessment. This is the only way to determine whether or not you need hearing aids.
A hearing assessment is a fast and straightforward test that can be carried out in the clinic or at home (if you choose Friel Hearing Services!). Our hearing assessment includes:
- A medical questionnaire and comprehensive history tasking
- Video Otoscopy – Allowing patients to view a video image within their own ear
- Hearing Assessment using the very latest, high specification, diagnostic equipment. Sound insulating headphones are also used to reduce ambient noise levels that may be present within the client’s home and which also allows specialist high-frequency hearing testing
- Tympanometry – Impedance testing used to assess the condition of the middle ear more accurately
- A comprehensive explanation of results
If the hearing assessment determines that you have a degree of hearing loss. A Master Hearing Aid may be used to demonstrate the benefits of hearing amplification.
Types Of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. As mentioned previously, they are no longer the big, bulky and visible aids that are obvious. Instead, there are various types of discreet and almost invisible hearing aids available.
Invisible In The Canal Hearing Aids (IIC), for example, are tiny, digital hearing aids that are custom made to fit discreetly deep within the ear canal. When properly fitted, these hearing aids are almost, if not completely invisible to see.
Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids (CIC) are slightly larger than IIC hearing aids but are still almost completely invisible when in the ear canal. In the canal (ITC) hearing aids are larger still but remain very discreet. The larger size means they are easier to insert, remove and adjust.
Other types of hearing aids include In The Ear Hearing Aids, Behind The Ear Hearing Aids, Open Fit Hearing Aids, Receiver In The Canal (RIC) And Receiver In The Ear (RITE) Hearing Aids. Find out more about the types of hearing aids here.
Book Your Hearing Assessment Today
If you believe you may need hearing aids, get in touch with Friel Hearing Services. We offer a range of hearing services in Lancashire from our clinics in Poulton-le-Fylde and Blackburn.
Our experienced audiologist Andrew also offers home visits and can carry out hearing assessments and micro suction ear removal from the comfort of your own home.
We also offer a 60-day free trial on all hearing aids. So, you can try out your new hearing aids for two months and if you don’t love them, you get your money back!