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Q&A with Hearing Aid UK's Audiologist

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 27th August 2020 in: Latest News, Articles
Q&A with an Audiologist

Q&A with Hearing Aid UK's Audiologist

Introducing David - One of Our Audiologists

Audiologists identify and access hearing problems and rehabilitate those who have hearing loss with hearing aids.  David graduated as an audiologist in 2003. He worked for many years dispensing hearing aids for the high street chains and later as an independent audiologist before joining the staff of Hearing Aid UK.  Here are some common hearing loss Q&A scenarios from David.

 David - Audiologist  View David's Bio

I have pretty old hearing aids and although the volume is good, I keep having to push them back into my ear canal - plus the speech is really distorted. I hear a lot better if people raise their voices and I've recognised that my family are getting very irritated with me for not understanding what they are saying.  What would you advise my next steps to be?

It is difficult to be definitive about this, as I do not know what hearing aids you have, however, a common problem with some older hearing aids, especially the more basic ones is that they can be great at providing volume, but don't really help with "clarity" which is what most people tend to need. Modern hearing aids are designed to enhance speech sounds above all others. Also, it sounds like your aids may not have been fitted correctly as they should sit in the right position and shouldn't need pushing further into your ears.⠀

My best advice would be for you to have an assessment with one of our audiologists so that we can see if we can do anything to improve your situation and let you have a look at and listen through some different hearing aids to compare the difference.⠀ ⠀

 

I have profound hearing loss in my left ear and across the whole range - due to previous damage caused by an ear infection. My left ear has a significant loss at higher frequencies. I think that a premium aid will be a good solution, particularly in social environments. Selecting an appropriate brand seems difficult so I would appreciate your opinion.⠀ ⠀

There may be several options, depending on how your test results come out. If your left ear is aidable, then having a high-end hearing aid in that ear with a powerful receiver, paired with a standard powered one in your better ear would be the best solution.

If your left ear is not aidable then we could either go for the best aid you could get and just help the better side, or do the same but also with what is called a "BICROS" system which would enable you to hear sounds coming from your offside into your better ear as well. Knowing what solution is going to be optimal and working out which brand would best suit you is something that only the audiologist you see in person could do.⠀

 

I have been wearing NHS aids since last year and find them good for speech and everyday use, but music is a huge problem for me. As a pianist, I am interested to know if there are any aids which would give my hearing clarity whilst avoiding terrible distortion.  This seems to happen even on the music setting, so I have to take the aids out when I am playing.  There is a loss of distinction in the treble register in particular.  Can you help me?

NHS hearing aids, whilst they provide good if basic hearing amplification they are not particularly natural sounding. The music setting you have on them still uses the same underlying technology and therefore is limited in the way it amplifies the different frequencies.

Generally speaking, in order for the music to be more natural you should look at trying either a hearing aid with more channels so that it can more accurately represent your hearing loss, or my personal preference would be a Bernafon hearing aid as these aids have no channels at all and preserve the full natural sound and are therefore particularly good for music.

 

I have a complete hearing loss in my left ear after an operation for Meniere’s some years ago. I now have narrow ear canals because of this and they need cleaning regularly.  My right ear needs enhancement due to the operation. I would prefer an in the ear aid - is this still possible?

Generally speaking, if you have narrow ear canals - wearing an IIC is not possible.  This is due to the ear not providing enough space to fit a hearing aid in with all the relevant components comfortably, securely and with the right technology for your needs.  However, other possible alternatives could be larger inner ear hearing aids, as these sit just within your ear canal rather than completely inside, or models with a slim RIC. ⠀ ⠀

It is impossible to tell on description alone, as we would have to look inside your ear and determine how narrow, narrow is.  Therefore, to give you a more accurate source of advice we would advise you to book an appointment with an audiologist.⠀ ⠀

 

My husband has significant damage and sensitivity in his fingers due to his old type of work.  He has had a behind the ear NHS hearing aid in the past but it hasn't been much use.  What would be the best type of aid, as his hearing and dexterity have worsened over the years?

There are several options which might make it easier for him. Either an easy to put in custom made aid which is moulded to the shape of his ear - which we can attach a small handle to help with the insertion, alternatively if his main problem was the changing of batteries, a behind the ear rechargeable aid might be best. We can let him have a try with some to see how easily he handles them.

 

I have a pair of Siemens behind the ear hearing aids currently.  These are about five years old and now I'm thinking about getting an upgrade to a pair of Bluetooth aids.  My current ones aren't great when using the telephone and also in social gatherings.  As well as my age-related hearing loss, I have ear wax, so any new aids must be easy to clean. Would an upgrade to Bluetooth aids be better?

Hearing aids have changed a lot over the last five years. Yes, Bluetooth will certainly help with hearing on a mobile telephone as the conversation can go directly to both hearing aids in stereo. Other technologies not related to Bluetooth are what will help you to hear better in background noise. Most manufacturers have made significant advances in speech processing in background noise. As to cleaning your hearing aids, that side of things hasn't changed much. It is still important to have a daily cleaning routine, otherwise hearing aids may get blocked with wax. 

 

Do you have a question about your hearing loss or hearing aids?

Please feel free to call one of our audiologists free on 0800 567 7621 or alternatively contact us on our 'Ask the Expert' form at the bottom of this page and we will be happy to help.

 

Read Next:  Hearing Loss Facts

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Paul Harrison
Hearing Aid Advisor
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