Why should someone get hearing aids?

When loss of hearing is starting to have an impact on your quality of life, such as missing out on conversations or having to turn the television up, you should consider hearing aids.

They may also be worth considering if you’re feeling fatigued from concentrating on people speaking just to hear them.

What problems do hearing aids solve?

Hearing aids can help with a range of hearing difficulties, such as hearing conversations in both one-to-one and noisy situations, difficulties with speech clarity and understanding and hearing the TV properly.

There is also wider ongoing research into whether hearing aids can help to reduce the cognitive load (the amount our brain has to work in order to take in new information) a person experiences, which could ultimately help reduce the risk of dementia and improve cognitive fatigue.

Hearing aids have lots of benefits but it’s important to know that they won’t cure your hearing loss. Hearing aids are personal listening devices and are designed to make one-on-one communication easier. In busy or noisy places, you may still struggle with your hearing even while wearing them — just the same as someone who has no difficulty with their hearing may.

Getting your new hearing aids

Once you’ve chosen the hearing aids that best address your hearing loss, style requirements and budget, your hearing aid audiologist will arrange a time for you to have them fitted. This might be the same day as your hearing test if the hearing aids are in stock, or alternatively, it can take up to two weeks for either an open-fit or custom-made product.  

If you choose an ‘in the ear’ style, a mould of your ear is taken to ensure your hearing aid fits perfectly. You only need impressions taken for custom-fit hearing aids or if you are having an ear mould made for your hearing aid. A hearing aid fitting can take up to 45 minutes during which time the clinician will check the health of your ears, show you how to use and fit your hearing aids and programme them for your needs. 

What happens in the first few weeks?

Suddenly being able to hear again can be a bit overwhelming, that’s because you often lose your hearing gradually and your brain adapts accordingly. When you are fitted with your hearing aids you get an instant benefit, but you will need time to adjust to hearing again.

Your clinician will talk you through ways of getting used to your hearing aids by wearing them more and more each day – this allows your brain to retrain itself to hear sounds at a louder level. If your hearing aid fits in the ear, you’ll also need to adapt to any feelings of your ears being ‘blocked’. The clinician will book an appointment for two weeks after your fitting, which will either be by phone or face-to-face, to check how you’re getting on with your hearing aids and to see if you require any further adjustments.

How long does it take to adjust?

It can take up to 12 weeks to fully adjust to your hearing aids – during this time your brain will retrain itself to acknowledge sounds around you at a louder level. The aim is to wear hearing aids as often as possible to give you the best chance of adjusting.

What happens if my hearing aids don’t feel right?

If your hearing aids don’t feel right just get in touch with your store.

Our hearing aid package comes with free aftercare – we want you to have the best experience possible with your hearing aids.

Are there any reasons why hearing aids may be unsuitable for me?

From a technological standpoint, the range of styles offered by Specsavers ensures that there is nothing that would make hearing aids unsuitable for you.

However, it’s important to be in the right mindset before proceeding with hearing aids. From worrying about what people might think to your own fear of what wearing a hearing might mean for your lifestyle, it’s important to discuss any negative thoughts with your audiologist.

Wearing hearing aids with glasses 

Many thousands of people across the UK successfully wear hearing aids and glasses together. 

If you are having difficulty sitting your hearing aid behind your ear, return to your Specsavers Audiologist and ask them to check on the fitting. A simple adjustment to the tubing may be all that is required.

Contact your local store for more information.

Hearing aid top tips

We want you to get the most from your new hearing aids. So our hearcare professionals have put together some tips and advice we hope you'll find useful:

  • Be sure to keep your hearing aids away from water, damp and direct sunlight
  • Your hearing aids may have settings or programmes to help filter out excessive background noise. Check your supplier guide or ask an audiologist to find out how to adjust them (some hearing aids do it automatically)
  • Always make sure you store your hearing aids in their case overnight or when you're not using them
  • Keep ear wax at bay by cleaning your hearing aids regularly, following the advice given by your audiologist
  • When recharging your hearing aids, check your power pack is plugged in correctly, switched on, and that your hearing aids are sitting correctly in the power pack
  • Assistive listening devices, such as remote microphones or TV streamers, can wirelessly link to your hearing aids to help in the most challenging situations. Ask your audiologist to find out more
  • Many of our hearing aids let you adjust volume or even change programmes using a smartphone app. Speak to your audiologist to find out more
  • Your hearing aids will have a coloured tab printed on them to show which ear they are for - red for your right ear and blue for your left ear
  • If your hearing aid uses batteries and not rechargeable batteries, you will need to change them regularly. Most hearing aids will beep when batteries are running low

Common questions about hearing aids

What kinds of hearing aids do Specsavers produce and provide?

Specsavers provide a huge range of different options and styles of hearing aids to suit the varied needs of our patients and their hearing loss — from our own advanced digital range to NHS digital hearing aids.

These include custom-made options to fit the patient’s ear, rechargeable aids that remove the need to change batteries, and aids that provide a direct connection from mobile phones that allow users to stream phone calls and audio from their phones.

What kinds of technologies do Specsavers hearing aids use?

To ensure users have a flexible approach to their individual conditions, our hearing aids use the latest technology, including lithium-ion batteries.

In addition, we work with world-leading hearing aid manufacturers: two of which provide hearing aids that use Made for iPhone technology, and another is the first to produce Made for Android. This ensures we have the latest features and the fastest processing available, and users to have a flexible approach to their hearing loss.

How much do hearing aids cost and how much does it cost to maintain them?

The price you pay for a pair of hearing aids depends on the level of technology of the aid, so our entry-level aids start from £495 for a pair.

At Specsavers, we provide four years’ worth of batteries (for non-rechargeable options) as well as a four-year warranty with our hearing aids.

There may also be additional costs of wax filters, which prevent wax from going into the devices or domes, which start at £7.95 a pack. It’s recommended that they are changed every three months.

How long do hearing aids last?

Hearing aids generally have a life span of at least four years, however, if you take care of them they can last longer than this. It is recommended that hearing aids should be updated every four years, to ensure you are wearing hearing aids that are providing the biggest benefit for your hearing loss and lifestyl

Are new hearing aids always better than old ones?

Getting new hearing aids will be dependent on various things such as your lifestyle needs, the change in your hearing and money.

Whenever you get new hearing aids, they will always feel better than your previous pair. However, like a pair of shoes, you will need to take some time to adjust and adapt to them.

Would I benefit from a hearing aid when I have a heavy cold?

It is very common for people to report a loss of hearing when they are suffering from a heavy cold.

It is thought to be the result of mucus blocking the Eustachian tube (that connects your middle ear space to the back of your throat) which means that its normal pressure equalisation function is not possible.

We, therefore, experience a sensation of 'dullness' in our hearing. It is not normally recommended that hearing aids be used in this situation as over-the-counter decongestants are more effective.

However, if you have any concerns over long-lasting damage to your hearing then you should speak to your GP.

Find out more about hearing aids

Remember that our hearcare professionals are always happy to help. If you need advice, just ask. They may be able to adjust your hearing aids to give you better results. For more information about hearing aid options, head over to our hearing aid learning resource. You can also book an appointment here with your local Specsavers audiologist, who will be able to take you through the steps further.