Everybody’s hearing is different and hearing loss can range between mild, profound and severe. In addition, people can seek out hearing devices which help with more than hearing loss such as Tinnitus. At the Liverpool Hearing Centre, our Audiologists tailor their approach using the best technology and the best techniques to give you a hearing aid type and quality that is suited to your hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
Invisible hearing aids are small hearing devices which sit inside the ear canal. They can be called Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids or Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids. IICs are generally slightly smaller than CICs. When people discuss invisible hearing aids they can also be referring to a very specific hearing aid called the Phonak Lyric which is a type of hearing aid that sits in the ear canal 24/7. It is not taken in or out and stays put during your daily activity. Only exceptional hearing care centres become certified Lyric providers.
There are many different styles of hearing available and there are numerous factors to consider when choosing your hearing aid such as:
❖ Your hearing loss
❖ Your lifestyle needs
❖ Your budget
❖ Your aesthetic preferences
Many models of hearing aids are now available with rechargeable batteries and iPhone or Android compatibility.
Many rechargeable hearing aids have built-in lithium-ion batteries. They work like a mobile phone or laptop battery. You recharge the built-in battery by plugging the hearing aids into a charger. The hearing aids themselves are placed in a charging box at the end of the day, some people call this ‘docking’ and from a full charge, they will last all day. The small charger box itself can be carried around in a pocket or bag and used for a few charges if needed while away from home or a power source. Some hearing aid brands even offer a super quick charge for 15 minutes which will give 2 hours use with the hearing aids.
Other rechargeable hearing aids use zinc rechargeable batteries which look much like a disposable hearing aid battery. A zinc battery hearing aid is also placed in a docking station to recharge daily and the rechargeable zinc battery is replaced roughly once a year. Many people prefer the ease of rechargeable batteries compared with swapping out disposable batteries.
The price of hearing aids vary so there is no direct answer to this question. Prices can differ depending on the functions, quality, suitability, size, rechargeable and many more aspects. Figuring out what you need from your hearing aid is a great first step and an Audiologist can help you understand what options are available. It’s worth noting that where you purchase your hearing aid is also going to impact the cost. A Which? survey confirmed local independent retailers are best for product range and suitability, and are also in the top range for overall price and value for money. Private hearing aids on average cost between £300 and £3000 depending on the make, model and supplier.
If your hearing aid seems quieter than normal or is crackling (buzzing, squealing, cutting out, beeping, whistling, static) or there is no sound at all coming from the device we recommend you clean your hearing aid(s). Regular cleaning and maintenance can often resolve issues regarding your hearing aid and will save you a trip to your hearing centre. It’s a good idea to become familiar with how to clean your model of hearing aid which can be found in your user guide. However, some general cleaning points to remember are:
Other useful cleaning and maintenance tips:
Hearing aids, if maintained, generally last between three and five years.
If the hearing aid is insured please contact your insurance provider straight away. Some people opt for Specialist Hearing Aid Insurance while others have it included in other insurance policies such as their home insurance. If the hearing aid was not covered by an insurance policy the cost of the hearing aid and any custom moulds will need to be paid for in full. It is strongly recommended that you insure any purchased hearing aid.
It is always best to return to the hearing centre that originally provided you with your hearing solution. Insurance companies will often try to advise you to go somewhere else to benefit their own interests. This is not recommended and you have the right to decide where you go.
All UK hearing aids come with a minimum 2-year international manufacturer's warranty included and many come with up to 5. You may be given the option to extend a 2 year warranty to 5 years but this can only be done at the time of purchase. A warranty is not insurance so your hearing aid warranty will not normally cover loss or accidental damage. It will cover manufacturer defects and faults much like other electronic product warranties.
Many people find using a hearing aid helps their tinnitus and offers relief or reduction. Whether you have been recently diagnosed with tinnitus or lived with the condition for years, you should seek expert advice from an audiologist to learn about the latest developments in tinnitus research.