Your Questions Answered

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

This will depend on the result of your hearing test. If you have hearing loss in just one ear (unilateral hearing loss), you will only need one hearing aid. If you have hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss), you will benefit from using two hearing aids. They’ll work together to give you a balanced hearing experience and a 360-degree hearing range. You’ll be able to localise sounds and hear speech in group situations.

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids are small electronic devices and work because of three crucial parts — the microphone, the amplifier, and the speaker. First, the microphone receives sound and converts it into a digital signal. Secondly, this signal is boosted by the amplifier. Lastly, the speaker produces the amplified sound into your ear for you to hear clearly. Hearing aids are powered by replaceable or rechargeable batteries, depending on the brand and model of the device.

What types of hearing aid are there?

There are various hearing aid types available, such as:

  • Behind-the-ear (BIC) – these sit behind or on top of the outer ear
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – these are worn inside the ear canal and are usually custom fit
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – these sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) – these are worn deep inside the ear and are the most discreet style

Each has its own pros and cons and different people will have more success with certain styles.

What are the common signs of hearing loss?

If you are finding that your inability to hear is affecting your daily life, then you might have hearing loss. Common first signs include struggling to hear speech, finding it difficult to take part in group conversations, and having to turn the volume up when watching TV. Your family might notice that they need to repeat themselves when talking to you, or that you often mishear them. If you notice these signs then you should get a hearing test.

Which hearing aids would suit me?

Different hearing aids suit different people. The best hearing aid for you will depend on your degree of hearing loss, the size and shape of your ear canal, the shape of your outer ear, and your ability to adjust the device. Your Audiologist will give you a range of appropriate options and help you make your decision. You should also take into account whether a certain hearing aid offers particularly useful features for your hearing needs.

How long does a hearing aid last?

You can expect your hearing aid to last around five to six years. Of course, the longevity of hearing aids varies between models, so this might differ for your device. Many people find that their hearing aids continue to function beyond six years. Your hearing aid might require some tune-ups or repairs in its lifetime, but this will help it last longer in the long-run. If your hearing aid isn’t working effectively, then you should seek professional advice.

Does wearing a hearing aid make your hearing worse?

No, wearing a hearing aid does not make your hearing worse. If you suffer from hearing loss and your Audiologist recommends that you get a hearing aid, this means you have a type of hearing loss that can be improved by the use of a device. Though hearing aids cannot restore the natural functioning of your ear or slow the progression of your hearing loss, they can tackle the symptoms.

What is the most common reason for hearing loss?

Ageing is the most common reason that people develop hearing loss and this type of age related hearing loss is called presbycusis. It is common for your hearing to decline as you get older as irreversible wear and tear on the nerve cells in the inner ear (cochlea) occurs throughout life. Chronic exposure to loud noise is also a common cause of hearing loss and an excessive buildup of earwax can temporarily reduce your ability to hear, so it is worthwhile having your ears checked for wax and arranging for excess ear wax removal if necessary.

Can I check my hearing loss online?

While online hearing aid tests can give you an indication of whether you might have hearing loss, these tests are not accurate and factors like the headphones and speakers you are using affect the results. It is always recommended to see an Audiologist for a conclusive and comprehensive hearing test, and so they can check the health of your ears to make sure you are clear of any ear infections or excess ear wax. Your Hear Always Audiologist will be able to diagnose your type of hearing loss and recommend the best treatment for you. Book a hearing test here.

Can I connect my hearing aid to my phone?

While many brands make hearing aids that you can connect to your phone, you will need to check the specifications of your model of hearing aid. If your hearing aid has Bluetooth compatibility it will be able to connect to your smartphone. This will allow you to stream audio and control your hearing aid via an app. Just make sure you check that any new hearing aid purchase will work with your specific smartphone. Your Hear Always Audiologist will be happy to advise you and help set up your new hearing aids with your phone.