Changes in Your Hearing
Better hearing is something many people can enjoy with the right treatment

Changes in Your Hearing

As we get older, our ability to hear begins to change. This change in hearing is a gradual process and it takes time for people to become aware of the impact it has on their lives and their loved ones. Especially as it is often the case that someone may struggle to hear certain sounds, but are still able to hear others perfectly well. Some of these situations will be familiar to someone having difficulty with their hearing:

  • Other people tend to mumble when speaking
  • Being told that the television is turned up too loud
  • Group conversations are difficult to follow
  • Telephone conversations are difficult to follow
  • Having to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Hearing is difficult when there is a lot of background noise, such as on a busy street

Coming to terms with these changes in your hearing can be a daunting experience, but with the correct help and advice, better hearing is something many people can enjoy.

  1. Getting Help
  2. Why is it happening?
  3. Hearing Aids to Suit You
  4. A Lifetime of Aftercare

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Getting Help with Your Hearing

You should look after your hearing in the same way you look after your eyes. We recommend an annual hearing health check for anyone over the age of 50 and every two years for the under 50s.

A free hearing health check carried out by a qualified Hearing Aid Dispenser is the best way of finding out why the change in hearing may have occurred and what steps need to be taken to address these changes. We have teamed up with The Hearing Company to ensure you receive a full and detailed assessment of your hearing.

There are two different types of assessment available at Barracloughs:

Hearing Screening

This is a quick and simple check that takes just 15-20 minutes to complete, Using a simple testing device called a hearing screener, it shows how well someone is hearing across four sound frequencies (from low to high pitched). The results of this simple test will indicate whether the more thorough 'Full Hearing Health Check' is required.

Full Hearing Health Check

This check is also free. It is a more comprehensive assessment carried out by our qualified Hearing Aid Dispensers, who are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). We recommend that a friend or family member also attends, as a familiar voice is a useful reference during the testing procedure.

The Full Hearing Health Check will take approximately 45 minutes and is made up of four steps:

  • Step One: Initial discussion
    Our Hearing Aid Dispenser will ask about your medical history, as well as your lifestyle and occupation. You will be asked about any hearing difficulties you may be experiencing, if you have worn any hearing aids before and in what specific situations you would like to hear better.
  • Step Two: Checking the health of the ears (Otoscopy)
    An instrument called an Otoscope is used to look inside the ears, checking for any blockages or abnormalities of the ear drum and the ear canal. Should any conditions be discovered that are best addressed by your GP, our Hearing Aid Dispenser will refer you for further investigation.
  • Step Three: Checking the level of hearing (Audiometry)
    A computerised aidiometer is used to establish how well you can hear. By playing different tones at a set range of frequencies and volumes, our Hearing Aid Dispenser is able to determine your level of hearing. Should the results require it, we will also fit a hearing aid at this point, to demonstrate the the improvements to your hearing that are possible.
  • Step Four: Explanation of results
    It is extremely important that you fully understand the results of your Full Hearing Health Check and any implications. Therefore, we ensure that we take the necessary time to explain the results at the end of the appointment. If your Full Hearing Health Check determines that a hearing loss is present, our Hearing Aid Dispenser will advise you of the most appropriate solution.

Book a Free Hearing Test

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Our ability to hear can change for a number of reasons. It may be as simple as excessive ear wax or an infection, both of which can be easily treated. A long term change in hearing may be due a number of factors, including:

Age related hearing loss

This is the most common form of hearing loss and affects as many as 50% of people over the age of 60.

Noise exposure

Prolonged and repeated exposure to noise can damage hearing. This may be caused by working in a noisy environment or taking part in certain activities such as DIY, attending concerts and listening to personal music players.

Within the inner ear is the organ called the cochlea. Situated inside the cochlea are a number of tiny hair cells that receive the sound signals entering the ear and pass them on to the brain. Each of these sets of hair cells are 'tuned' to a particular frequency and over time some of these literally wear out, which is why certain sounds become muffled and difficult to hear.

Book a Free Hearing Test

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Receiver in Canal Open Fitting Hearing Aid

Receiver in Canal - RIC
One of the most popular styles, they are small, discreet and come in a range of designs and colours, including ones that can match your skin tone. The body of the hearing aid sits behind the ear, while the speaker sits in the ear canal, making for a smoother, sharper, more natural sound. They are suitable for all levels of hearing loss, from mild to severe.

Completely In Canal Hearing Aid

Completely in Canal - CIC
The most discreet hearing aids available, the entire hearing aid sits inside your ear canal, making it all but invisible. They use custom-made moulds of the inside of your ear, making them extremely comfortable and secure. They are best suited to people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.

In The Canal Hearing Aid

In the Canal - ITC
Slightly larger than a CIC hearing aid, they are only visible to others looking at you from the side, and are matched to your skin tone to help them blend in. A custom-made mould is used so the ITCs are extremely comfortable and secure. They are best suited to people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.

In The Ear Hearing Aid

In the Ear - ITE
These hearing aids sit in the shell of the ear rather than the canal. They come in colours that blend in with your natural skin tone, and use a custom-made mould giving greater comfort and security. They are best suited to people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.

Behind The Ear Hearing Aid

Behind the Ear - BTE
The best known style of hearing aid, they sit behind the ear. The sound is transmitted down a tube that connects to a custom-made mould inside the ear. This design means it can provide a lot of power and handles moderate to severe hearing losses with ease, and is even suitable for people with a profound hearing loss.

Our Hearing Aid Dispensers will be able to give you advice on the best fit and style to suit the changes in your hearing and your lifestyle.

Book a Free Hearing Test

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Deciding to buy a hearing aid from us is the beginning rather than the end of your relationship with us. Having a hearing aid means you need to learn to hear all over again, and your Hearing Aid Dispenser will be with you throughout your journey.

Rehabilitation is a vital part of the process, as adjusting to the new and different sounds you are hearing takes time. When you first receive your hearing aids you will need to gradually build up the amount of time you wear them.

This is where expert help and advice is essential. You will be invited back to see your Hearing Aid Dispenser within six weeks of your hearing aid fitting in order for them to make any adjustments based on your comments, and answer any questions you may have.

Our hearing aid wearers understandably become very reliant on their hearing aids to help them in their daily life. As such, it is important that they are able to get immediate help should they encounter difficulties. Apart from our high street presence, we also have a dedicated UK based Customer Services team on hand to ensure any queries are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

With us, you will receive an aftercare service that ensures you get the best out of your hearing aids. Changes in your hearing don't have to mean changes in your lifestyle!

Book a Free Hearing Test


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