Head of Customer Content Experience
Audiology Expert & Founder
In the UK alone, more than 40% of people over the age of fifty have some level of hearing loss, so it is surprising that not everyone decides to do something about it - even when there are huge benefits to wearing hearing aids.
In this article, we go through why hearing at your best will ultimately keep you engaged, make moments more memorable and connect you to your loved ones and the rest of the world.
Hearing aids are devices that innovatively amplify sound, making it easier for those with hearing loss to hear and understand speech. They can greatly improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss by allowing them to participate more fully in social and recreational activities, improve communication with loved ones, and even improve cognitive function.
In fact, one of the main concerns of hearing loss in individuals is the reality that you may lose the lifestyle you are used to. Hearing aids help maintain your lifestyle by supporting your hearing loss, so it doesn't disrupt your quality of life.
One of the most obvious ways that hearing aids improve quality of life is by allowing individuals to better hear and understand speech. This can make it easier to participate in conversations, follow along in meetings, and enjoy social events more.
It can help improve communication with loved ones and work colleagues, which can lead to stronger relationships - both emotional and professional. Hearing aids can also help improve safety aspects of life by making it easier to hear warning signals, such as alarms or traffic.
Wearing hearing aids will enable you to approach work life, social life and home life situations more confidently - without feeling isolated not a part of society.
Hearing aids can have a positive impact on the mental and emotional well-being of those with hearing loss. This is because hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, and can even unfortunately lead to cognitive decline. By improving the ability to hear and understand speech, hearing aids can help reduce these negative effects on your life.
Hearing aids help improve performance in work environments or school settings. For example, those with hearing loss may have difficulty following lectures or participating in meetings, which can negatively impact their ability to perform well. By improving their ability to hear and understand speech, hearing aids can help them succeed in these settings.
Furthermore, hearing aids come in a variety of styles, sizes and technology that can be customised to the specific needs of the individual. For example, some hearing aids are designed for specific types of hearing loss, such as those caused by damage to the inner ear or nerve damage.
Others are designed for specific activities or environments, such as those that can be worn during sports that are resistant to moisture. There are even waterproof models available today that you should consider if you lead an active lifestyle.
Finally, many hearing aids now come with additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, which allows the hearing aid user to stream sound from a phone or tablet directly to their hearing aids. Most modern hearing aids also come with apps that allow the user to control the settings and make adjustments on their own in real-time.
In conclusion, hearing aids can greatly improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss by allowing them to better hear and understand speech, improve communication with loved ones, and participate more fully in social and recreational activities.
They can also help improve safety, mental and emotional well-being, performance at work or school and the technology available today allows for customisation to the specific needs of the individual's hearing loss level, as well as other personal factors.
Unfortunately, so many people only realise how important hearing is until they have lost it. If you think your hearing has changed - no matter how small - contact your local audiologist for a hearing consultation as soon as possible. AN early diagnosis is key to a more successful form of treatment.
If you would like to ask us anything surrounding this article, need additional support on hearing aids, hearing loss or booking a hearing test - call us free on 0800 567 7621
Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.
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.
If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
When we refer to a product as 'Latest Launch', we mean it is the latest to be released on the market.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is the newest hearing aid model on the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.