You are here:

Hearing loss - your questions answered

Here are some of the questions people ask us about hearing loss.

If we haven't answered your questions here, ask the Amplifon hearing aid audiologist at your local branch, phone our Contact Centre team or email us.

How common is hearing loss?

What causes hearing loss?

What symptoms indicate that I may have a hearing loss?

I think I have a hearing problem. What should I do?

My main difficulty is when I'm at parties or in traffic noise. Why is this?

I seem to hear better in noisy conditions. Why is this?

If I suffer from noises in my ears, can this prevent me from wearing hearing aids?

As I grow older, will my hearing worsen?

I have been advised that, because of complications of a middle ear infection, I shouldn't wear anything at all in my ear. Are there hearing aids that can still help me?

I have been advised that I have 'nerve' deafness and that, although I can hear some sound, hearing aids will not help me. Is there anything else that can help me?

What's the difference between 'hearing loss' and 'deafness'?

Why do I need an appointment for a free hearing test?

What happens when I go for a free hearing test?

How long does a hearing test last?

Does somebody need to attend the hearing test with me?

What if nobody can attend a hearing test appointment with me?

Who conducts the hearing test?

How soon could I get an appointment for a free hearing test?

Where is my nearest branch?

How much does a hearing test cost?

How much do hearing aids cost?

Do you offer any support once I've purchased my hearing aid from you?

Why should I choose Amplifon?

Our Price Promise

How can I keep my ears healthy?

Also see   Hearing aids - your questions answered

 

How common is hearing loss?

Hearing impairment affects many people at different stages of their lives. 55% of people over 60 years of age have some degree of hearing loss, rising to over 70% of people by the time they reach 70 and 93% of people 81 years and older. This shows that if your hearing is deteriorating it isn't unusuall at all. Hearing loss can affect your quality of life and it's never too late to do something about it, so if you have any concerns book an appointment for a free hearing test and talk to one of our qualified hearing aid audiologists who will be happy to help.

Top of the page

What causes hearing loss?

Most hearing loss is caused by the ageing process, however regular exposure to loud noises, heredity, and some illnesses can also cause hearing loss. Around 90% of all cases of hearing loss are because the microscopic hair cells in the cochlea (or inner ear) become damaged which limits their ability to detect soft, higher frequency sounds and means that they cannot send a complete signal to the brain. As a result, it becomes difficult to understand the consonants that allow us to understand speech.

Also see   How our hearing works      Types and causes of hearing loss

Top of the page

What symptoms indicate that I may have a hearing loss?

The first sign of hearing loss is a difficulty in hearing certain sounds or tones clearly. For example, you may be unable to distinguish similar sounding words or hear higher pitched voices, such as those of children. Other signs include difficulty with cross-conversations, hearing at a distance such as in meetings, listening to the TV or radio, or hearing in large buildings where there may be echoes such as in churches or auditoria.

Also see   Take our online hearing questionnaire        Symptoms of hearing loss

Top of the page

I think I have a hearing problem. What should I do?

If you think you have a hearing loss, the first thing you need to do is have a free hearing test at your local Amplifon branch. It may be that a build-up of wax or an infection has temporarily affected your hearing, in which case our hearing aid audiologist can advise you on the best course of action. All our hearing aid audiologists are trained to identify cases where a medical opinion or treatment is required, so they would refer you, if necessary, for treatment by your GP or at your hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat department. If your hearing loss isn't due to these problems, then our hearing aid audiologist will be able to recommend hearing aids suitable for the level of your hearing loss and your lifestyle.

Also see   Symptoms of hearing loss      Book a free hearing test

Top of the page

My main difficulty is when I'm at parties or in traffic noise.          Why is this?

There may be many reasons for difficulty in discriminating speech from background noise and this is usually an indication of sensorineural hearing loss. A hearing assessment will reveal the cause of this problem and properly prescribed and fitted hearing aids will normally provide significant improvement.

Also see   Types and causes of hearing loss

Top of the page

I seem to hear better in noisy conditions. Why is this?

This is a not uncommon phenomenon called the 'Paracusis of Willis'. It is thought to occur with certain causes of hearing loss because in the presence of background sound people raise their voices. This mobilises the ossicular chain of bones in the middle ear  and generally indicates conductive hearing loss, usually caused by otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the middle ear), which may respond to surgery.

Also see   How our hearing works      Types and causes of hearing loss

Top of the page

If I suffer from noises in my ears, can this prevent me from wearing hearing aids?

This problem is called tinnitus and hearing aids can often help as people with a hearing loss often suffer from this condition. Your first step should be to seek the advice of your GP, however if you also have a hearing loss, then your hearing aid audiologist can prescribe suitable hearing aids that can help you manage your tinnitus more effectively.

Also see   Tinnitus

Top of the page

As I grow older, will my hearing worsen?

It is generally accepted that our hearing worsens with age. Not only have older people's auditory system been exposed to noise for many years but also, as we age, all our facilities deteriorate, including our hearing. A free hearing test will quickly establish if you do have a hearing loss and our hearing aid audiologist will then be able to recommend suitable aids to improve your hearing. Regular hearing tests and Aftercare will ensure that any deterioration in your hearing is picked up quickly so that your hearing aids always provide you with the best possible hearing improvement.

Also see   Take our online hearing questionnaire

Top of the page

I have been advised that, because of complications of a middle ear infection, I shouldn't wear anything at all in my ear. Are there hearing aids that can still help me?

Providing that your hearing loss is mostly confined to the middle ear, you should have a good chance of hearing well with 'bone conduction' hearing aids. These work by transmitting amplified sound through the mastoid bone to the inner ear, so by-passing the affected middle ear. These types of hearing aids are most commonly designed as part of a pair of spectacles.

Also see   Types and causes of hearing loss

Top of the page

I have been advised that I have "nerve" deafness and that, although I can hear some sound, hearing aids will not help me. Is there anything else that can help me?

As a result of continuing advances in hearing aid technology, you may benefit from a hearing aid with the technology specifically designed for this type of hearing loss. Unless you suffer from total or profound "nerve" deafness, you could gain considerable benefit from wearing properly prescribed hearing aids.

Also see   Book a free hearing test

Top of the page 

What's the difference between 'hearing loss' and 'deafness'?

'Deafness' usually implies a severe or profound hearing loss that only affects a minority of the hearing impaired population.

Top of the page

Why do I need an appointment for a hearing free test?

Everyone's hearing starts to deteriorate from an early age but especially from 50 onwards.  So if you are having any hearing difficulties at all, it is worth having a free hearing test with one of our qualified hearing aid audiologists. During the test we can establish whether your hearing problems are due to medical reasons or simply 'wear and tear' (age or having worked in noisy environments are the usual causes of wear and tear). If you have not already seen a specialist and your hearing problems are due to medical reasons, we will refer you to an appropriate medical specialist, usually your doctor, for further investigation. If they are due to wear and tear we will discuss the results of the hearing test with you and discuss the options available.

Top of the page

What happens when I go for a free hearing test?

The initial consultation and test is quick and easy and your results are available immediately. This consultation is intended to be an informative, helpful and stress-free meeting with your hearing aid audiologist. He or she will ask you about the history of your hearing loss, explore when and where you have most difficulty with your hearing and the type of situations that your hearing aids will need to cope with. The hearing aid audiologist will examine your ears and carry out full audiometric tests. Based on the information you provide and the test results, he will be able to recommend whether hearing aids will help you and the most appropriate ones to improve your hearing.

During the test you will be in an acoustically controlled consultation room with the hearing aid audiologist who will check the health of your outer ear and, if they are healthy, he will continue to conduct a comprehensive hearing test. He, or she, will place a pair of head phones on your ears, ensuring you are comfortable, and will play a series of tones to you at different pitches through the headphones. The hearing aid audiologist will ask you to respond to the sounds you hear by pressing a button and he will plot these on a chart called an audiogram. This will tell us if there has been any damage to your hearing and, if so, which part of the ear is damaged and to what extent.

The hearing aid audiologist will then discuss with you the best options available. You will also have the opportunity to experience how hearing aids look, feel and sound.  This part of the consultation will give you a real understanding of just how much sound you have been missing and the potential benefits to wearing hearing aids.

Also see   What happens during your free hearing test?

Top of the page

How long does a hearing test last?

Due to the thoroughness of the test and the complexity of your hearing system, the full consultation usually takes up to one and a half hours.

Top of the page

Does somebody need to attend the hearing test with me?

We recommend somebody attends with you because:

  • A loved one may assist us in understanding the situations where you experience hearing difficulties 
  • Some people find it more comfortable to have a family member or a friend with a familiar voice with them
  • Hearing a familiar voice can often demonstrate the difference a hearing aid may make to you
  • During your assessment your hearing aid audiologist will give you a great deal of information and discuss with you the best hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle - having someone with you can help you to remember all this detail afterwards.

Top of the page

What if nobody can attend an appointment with me?

While it is beneficial for someone to attend with you, please don't worry if there isn't anyone available.  You can still come for a hearing test and we will explain the results and discuss the options with you.

Top of the page

Who conducts the hearing test?

Your hearing test will always be carried out by one of our fully qualified hearing aid audiologists.

Top of the page

How soon could I get a hearing test appointment?

We would expect that you could get an appointment at your local branch within a matter of days. If you have any difficulty obtaining an appointment please email us or call us on 1800 44 11 55, and we will help you find an appointment to suit you at a branch near to you.

Top of the page

Where is my nearest branch?

Click here to find your local branch

Top of the page

How much does a hearing test cost?

Our comprehensive hearing test is completely free and without obligation.

Top of the page

How much do hearing aids cost?

We offer a wide range of hearing aids from the world's leading manufacturers at prices to suit everyone's budget. The cost of a hearing aid depends mainly on the type of hearing loss you have and the variety of different situations that your hearing aid will need to cope with. The more varied the situations and lifestyles, the more sophisticated the hearing aid's technology needs to be. At your hearing test we will advise you on the various options available to you and the most appropriate level of technology required for your individual hearing loss and lifestyle.

Top of the page

Do you offer any support once I've purchased my hearing aids from you?

Amplifon's free Lifetime Aftercare programme looks after your hearing and your hearing aids for life. This unrivalled programme of support includes a regular assessment and evaluation of your hearing, expert help and advice and demonstrations of new hearing aid technology to ensure you continue to get the most out of your hearing. 

Once your hearing aids have been fitted, your hearing aid audiologist will arrange your programme of free Lifetime Aftercare to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from your aids and that they continue to work at maximum efficiency. The hearing aid audiologist will also advise you on how to take daily care of your hearing aids to maintain their performance and what to do when batteries need replacing.

During your regular six monthly Aftercare appointments, we offer expert help and advice, new technology demonstrations and a 5 Star Service check which includes:

  • Cleaning or replacing tubing and adjusting your hearing aid contacts
  • Cleaning the hearing aid casing and microphone duct
  • Checking for acoustic feedback
  • Checking your hearing aid performance
  • A free pack of hearing aid batteries

We will also assess your hearing on a regular basis to monitor changes in your hearing aid to ensure your hearing aids continue to give you the best possible hearing improvement.

Also see   Free Lifetime Aftercare

Top of the page

Why should I choose Amplifon?

Amplifon offers a wide choice of hearing aids in many styles with the latest technology to suit your every requirement. This includes customised In the ear hearing aids where nothing is worn behind the ear. These types of hearing aids are often preferred by hearing aid users for their more discreet appearance.

We also offer an unrivalled Aftercare programme that includes a regular assessment and evaluation of your hearing, expert help and advice, new technology demonstrations and a 5-Star Service Checks. So you know you are in very safe hands.

We recommend that you come back every six months for your Aftercare appointments so we can adjust your hearing aids to ensure they continue to provide you with the most effective and comfortable hearing experience.

You can also arrange an appointment to see a qualified hearing aid audiologist at your local branch between your Aftercare appointments and at a time to suit you should you have any concerns.

Top of the page

Our Price Promise

Because we want you to be completely satisfied we guarantee you won't buy cheaper anywhere else. We offer a wide range of hearing aids using the latest technology to suit your hearing requirements, your lifestyle and your budget and our hearing aid audiologists will be happy to discuss and advise on the right hearing aid for you.

Also see   Our Price Promise

Top of the page

What guarantee should I expect when buying private hearing aids?

To ensure your peace of mind, when you buy a hearing aid from Amplifon, you not only receive a manufacture's warrenty but we also give you a year's guarantee.

The National Hearing Aid Guarantee Scheme covers your hearing aids against:

  • Accidental loss or damage
  • Repairs
  • Faults due to wax or moisture
  • Ear moulds
  • Receivers
  • Malfunction and breakdown for one year from the date of purchase 

After the first year you can extend the warranty for up to four years if you wish, for an additional cost. Most other companies only offer a manufacturer's warranty that covers manufacturer's faults with the hearing aid but Amplifon's cover offers these extra benefits including accidental damage and loss - at no charge.

Top of the page

How long does it take to get my hearing aid?

Normally non-customised hearing aids are fitted within one week and custom aids are fitted within two weeks of your hearing test. All our hearing aids are selected and programmed individually to meet your specific hearing requirements and this can take between one to two weeks dependent upon the type of hearing aids.

Top of the page

How can I keep my ears healthy?

  • Never poke anything into your ears. The lining of the ear is delicate and can easily be damaged.
  • To keep ears clean, wash the visible part of the ear and behind the ear using a little soap. Then wipe the soap away with rinsed fingers and dry with a thin towel.
  • Don't use cotton buds to clean ears. They can irritate the ear canal and push wax back inside, making it more difficult to remove.
  • Don't immerse ears in bath water as body bacteria may enter your ear canal and could cause an infection.
  • A drop of medicinal olive oil inserted into each ear once a week for people with dry, flaky skin helps to lubricate both the skin and any earwax, encouraging natural movement of wax out of the ear.
  • Don't ignore ear problems; they won't improve without proper treatment. The longer an ear problem is neglected, the longer it may take to treat.
  • If you experience any loss of hearing, whatever the possible cause, get it checked. We offer a comprehensive hearing assessment and expert advice completely free of charge.
  • Use earplugs to protect ears from dust and loud noise. There has even been some research to suggest that antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and betacarotene, supplements that contain magnesium, or even a glass or two of red wine from time to time, help to minimise noise-induced hearing loss.

Also see         Hearing aids - your questions answered          Protect your hearing

Top of the page