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Local Hearing Aids, Audiologists and Hearing Healthcare - Finding the Right Independent Hearing Aid Providers Near Me

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 1st January 2024
Finding the Right Independent Hearing Aid Providers Near Me

Hearing Aid Providers UK

Finding the right independent hearing aid providers and hearing aids near me

 

There are plenty of benefits to local hearing aid services

Discovering local hearing aid services can be a game-changer for those seeking to address their hearing impairment effectively. Local hearing aid providers offer a range of invaluable benefits, from personalised care and face-to-face consultations to prompt support and follow-up services.

In this article, we delve into the numerous advantages of choosing local hearing aid professionals. From the convenience of accessible appointments to the familiarity with local audiological nuances, local hearing aid providers can offer tailored solutions that go beyond mere device selection, fostering a lasting and supportive partnership in the journey to improved hearing and enhanced quality of life.

 

Discussing the value and importance of patient-centred care in audiology

A while back we published an article about Family Centred Care and how important it is during the patient hearing loss journey.  Understanding that all hearing loss is different and, therefore, should be treated as such.  We also talked about our experiences in the value of building trust and relativity with our patients, along with their families.

Here we discuss the role of the audiologist, the patient, and the professional relationship between the two.  Choosing to focus on not just the technical aspects of appointments and hearing health, but on connecting and building a rapport with patients. 

Ensuring that they leave completely happy with their digital hearing aids, the fit, the service and their future healthcare plan.  As well as being well-equipped to self-manage their hearing loss and maintain their hearing aids successfully.

 

How do I find hearing aids and a hearing aid dispenser near me?

Researching and educating yourself is important.  You might be looking for the "best hearing aid providers near me" or "hearing aid dispensers near me" - either way, we hope that this article will help you not only to find local hearing aids but also to find the right hearing aid provider near you. 

Before purchasing anything, most people look at the reviews and experiences that other people have had.  Why should hearing aids be any different?  Researching what hearing aids are available and where you can source your hearing healthcare locally is so important at the beginning. 

The right audiologist will make all the difference to your hearing loss journey and hearing healthcare future.

 

What is the patient-centred approach in regards to hearing healthcare?

In brief, it is when patient preferences guide the decision-making process.  When an audiologist fully understands the patient's needs and specifications, they can better inform and educate them and their families.  This could be about treatment options available and tailoring the information to suit the patient's worries and healthcare expectations.

 

How do I find the right hearing aid supplier near me?  What should I look out for?

The patient-centred care approach is the difference, and a true audiologist has this in bundles.  A professional who is able to think past the devices themselves can empower those with hearing loss.  A good audiologist understands that audiology appointments can be overwhelming for a patient because of the amount of information shared. 

With this in mind, they would dedicate the right amount of time to each of the appointments to cater to this.  So, what should you look out for when searching for the right audiologist?

 

 Hearing aid stores near me

How do I find a hearing shop near me?

Finding the right independent hearing aid providers is easier than you think

 

Good communication is key when looking for the right audiologist

Finding the right audiologist near you is paramount.  In life, we always say that first impressions are the most important and it is no different in the audiology industry.  The first point of call with your audiologist is the same and great communication is vital. 

Communication ‘best practices' have evolved over time and the audiologists of today should have access to tools to better communicate with their patients and this should be their main priority.

For example, spending time counselling in each appointment in areas such as the skills to hear better, communicate better, and live better.  It’s the little things that can make a big difference in beneficial communication between you and your audiologist. 

A good audiologist will provide you with a set of tools that you can access to help manage your hearing loss successfully.  Tools that are unique to your priorities and communication hurdles. 

 

Look out for skills such as:

  • Getting your attention with great eye contact before starting a conversation.
  • Maintaining face-to-face contact throughout your visit.
  • Using slow and clear speech during your appointment and in any of your follow-up calls.
  • Sharing everyday tips for good communication in your life verbally and in written form - so you can easily refer to them and share the information with friends and people you work with.
  • The staff within the clinic will be highly trained on how to communicate and use assistive technology when needed.
  • Your audiologist will know all the current assistive listening devices available on the market to give you the best advice on the larger scope of solutions available for different hearing situations.
  • Your audiologist will welcome communicating partners to appointments - for support and joint decision-making.
  • Your appointment will be efficient and they will ask questions and actively listen to your answers.
  • Your audiologist will offer recommendations as well as information and communication strategies to mirror your unique needs within your aftercare plan.
  • They will actively schedule a follow-up appointment to check how you are getting on with your new aids.

 

Hearing loss is personal - you're not just a number

Whilst finding the right hearing solution for you is the biggest challenge when embarking on your hearing loss journey – knowing all aspects of hearing healthcare will help you make more informed choices, individually or with your family, that are right for your hearing loss needs. 

An audiologist who welcomes and gets your family involved means you can share decisions and feel less burdened.  It will also educate your family on knowing the true effects of hearing loss and how they can help you going forward.

It is important to know that one very understated benefit of having a local independent hearing aid audiologist, like the professionals we provide, rather than a national retailer is that of continuity of service. National companies employ dispensers usually on a salary plus commission basis.

These dispensers typically move from one company to another as the 'grass gets greener' elsewhere.  This means that your hearing aid audiologist will probably change over the life of your hearing aids. With an independent business the hearing aid audiologist usually only changes when someone retires so you can expect a better and more consistent continuity of service.

 

Finding the best hearing aid providers near me?  We can support you with local hearing healthcare and hearing aids near you

We can support your hearing care locally with our nationwide network of hearing aid audiologists.  At Hearing Aid UK, we always put the patient first.  Wherever you live, we will have around 2-3 independent local audiologists available.  We also offer free home visits at a time and day that is more convenient for you. 

 

In conclusion

Choosing local hearing aid services provides several key advantages, including convenience with accessible appointments, personalised care, and face-to-face consultations. Local providers understand the unique audiological needs of the community and can offer tailored solutions.

Moreover, they often offer prompt support, quick adjustments, and ongoing assistance, ensuring optimal hearing aid performance. Building a lasting relationship with a local provider fosters trust and reliability, enhancing the overall quality of the hearing care experience.

These benefits make opting for local hearing aid services a wise choice for those seeking effective solutions for hearing impairment.

 

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Unlike most national retailers we are not owned by any manufacturer, this means we can offer the full choice of all makes and models of hearing aids

Need more support with a hearing aid provider and hearing aids near you?

Call us free at 0800 567 7621 to have a chat about how we can support your hearing loss and put you in touch with the right audiologist near you.  If you are wondering who is the best hearing aid provider – read the latest Which? Report and hearing aid providers' reviews below.  

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This article was written by audiology expert Paul Harrison

Meet Paul Harrison, Audiology Expert & Founder

Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Common FAQs when researching hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.

 

Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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