Got a question? Here are some answers to the most common questions our customers ask.


  • There are a number of factors that could be involved in hearing aids “not working”, and it depends on the interpretation of “not working”

    If you’ve tried hearing aids from a dispenser who has not programmed them correctly, it is most likely that you haven’t experienced an accurate representation of the real sound quality that is available. This happens disturbingly often, especially from online venders – see The Dangers of Buying Online

    If by “not working” you mean that they didn’t make a difference to your life? If you’re a first-time user, it can take a little acclimatisation. In the early days of becoming a hearing aid user, it is especially important to have a good relationship with your audiologist. You will most likely need several adjustments, and the audiologist should invite you in-branch as often as it takes to get your hearing optimised. You are essentially retraining your brain to hear sounds which you may not have experienced for some years. The average delay between experiencing some form of hearing loss, and wearing hearing aids is ten years. Yes…TEN years!! This is an awfully long time, and your brain needs time to adjust to hearing those sounds again.

    If you’re an established hearing aid user, it can also take a while to adapt to new technology

    Sometimes, “not working” can be used to describe a hearing aid which does not live up to your expectations. This is a more complicated scenario. If you have bought an ‘entry level’ hearing aid, and it does not meet your expectations, then maybe a higher specification product might help. Likewise, if you’ve bought a ‘mid-range’ product. If you have bought a ‘top-range’ product, and it still does not meet your expectations, then we may need to discuss whether there is another style of hearing aid which might be better suited to your needs, or whether your expectations are achievable.

    Many multi-national chains offer hearing aids that appear bargain-priced. The truth is, they are probably either out-dated, or inferior technology. You get what you pay for, and this is never truer than with hearing aids.

    With the latest, up-to-date testing equipment, the best selection of hearing aids on the market, experienced and professional audiologists, and extensive aftercare, the correct aids will definitely work!

  • It’s definitely best to remove them. Whilst the hearing aids are nano-coated, and designed to be water resistant, they are not designed to be submerged or receive any significant amount of water exposure. If you are looking for hearing aids that you can wear whilst swimming, we do have a range of hearing aids that would be suitable.

  • No, hearing aids are not designed to be worn in bed, laying on them may make your ear tender or sore. There should not be a need to wear hearing aids while you are sleeping. If you are concerned about hearing your smoke/fire alarm, ask in store or check our Online Store for our range of Ringers and Flashers for hearing impaired people.

  • Hearing aids, being in the ear for large portions of the day, are susceptible to wax ingress. They will need regular cleaning to ensure they do not block up. Most hearing aids will have a wax filtration system. We will show you step-by-step cleaning methods at your Hearing Aid Fitting appointment. If you struggle with cleaning your hearing aids, we will be more than happy to clean it in-house for you.

  • Whistling and feedback can be caused by the hearing aids fitting too loosely, or a build-up of earwax blocking the sound. It can also be caused by hearing aids incorrectly inserted into the ear. Other factors could include standing too close to a surface that reflects sound, like a wall, or you have the volume control turned up too high. You should be able to deal with most feedback issues yourself with a simple readjustment, but if the problem persists, book in to see us.

    The latest instruments are far less susceptible to whistling problems, as they feature improved feedback cancellation systems.

  • If you are a first-time user, it can take a little time for you to adjust and feel comfortable wearing hearing aids, so you will need to be a little patient. Regularly wearing your hearing aids and building up the amount of time you wear them will speed up this process, as well as constant and frequent correspondence with us. Hearing is exceptionally subjective, and people often have different experiences in the early days. Only by frank and honest communication with our trained audiologists, can a truly effective hearing solution be found.

    For experienced hearing aid users, it will be much easier to adapt to wearing new hearing aids.

  • A very good question, which we get asked a lot. There is no definitive answer, but we have tried to be as honest and transparent in our answer as possible…

    Industry wide, the average life-span for a hearing aid is between 3-5 years, assuming the hearing aid is well looked after. Technology moves at a very encouraging rate, but this does mean that your brand new hearing aids will be superseded within a few years. Great news if you are determined to have the latest and best technology available.

    For those of us that, having paid a significant amount of money, who want to get the most out of our purchases, it can be a little frustrating.

    The good news is, whilst most dispensers provide a 2/3 year guarantee, at Hearing Healthcare Centre, we believe that if the hearing aid is supposed to last 5 years, you should be looked after for 5 years. When you purchase from us, we will provide a comprehensive Service Plan for the entire 5 year period. It is a Service Plan which has been in existence for over 50 years…and it works!! It comprises of regular checks, annual retesting and all tweaks, adjustments and repairs are included.

    Outside the guarantee period, repair prices can be steep. As with any technology, it becomes increasingly difficult to find parts, and repairs become more frequent the older the hearing aids become.

  • All hearing aids need batteries of some description, but the cost of running your hearing aids is likely to be a few pence per day, depending on the type of hearing aid and battery size. We have compiled an article on Helpful Tips about maximising your battery life. You can also sign up to our free-to-join Battery Club to make sure you never run out of batteries.

    Most hearing aids use Mercury Free Zinc Air batteries, however there are a number of Rechargeable Hearing Aids available too.

  • Normally, people have hearing loss in both ears, so two hearing aids would be beneficial. Wearing two hearing aids is also more comfortable because sounds are more natural and therefore speech is easier to understand. Two hearing aids will also allow your brain to process location information more effectively. Clients with unilateral hearing loss (maybe due to one ‘dead’ ear) can often benefit from one hearing aid, in conjunction with a CROS fitting. Speak to one of our audiologists for more information.

  • Normally, non-customised hearing aids are fitted within one week and custom aids within two weeks of your order, although they often arrive sooner. Hearing aids are not off-the-shelf products. They are designed specifically with you in mind, with your personal configuration. This takes (a little) time.

    Often, a good indication that a high street dispenser has ties with a specific supplier (and so may not provide exactly what you need) is when the customer can be tested and fitted in the same day. We do not keep stock, due to the huge availability of suppliers, styles and technologies available.

  • No. Most hearing aids can be programmed to work automatically, so all you need do is put them in and let them do the work for you. The hard work; programming and configuring them to suit your needs, is done by the highly trained audiologists. We’ll show you how to use your instruments. For those who want more manual control, there are accessories and even smartphone compatible hearing aids which allow minor adjustments to background noise suppression, wind noise suppression, microphone directionality etc.

  • Costs vary and we can advise you of the best aid for your hearing loss. Please contact us for information.

  • There are now more styles and sizes of hearing aids than ever before, all of which are easy to use, comfortable to wear, discreet and powerful. They’re tiny, intelligent high-performance instruments that will make a huge difference to your life.

    The choice of hearing aids is very much a collaboration between the client and the audiologist. The audiologist will use their wealth of knowledge and experience to firstly; ascertain, based on your hearing results, which style of hearing aids are most suitable for your hearing levels, and secondly; by considering your lifestyle, aesthetic tastes, dexterity, technology competence and personal preferences.

    At Hearing Healthcare Centre, we pride ourselves on making suitable recommendations to all of our clients, and will only prescribe what we feel is the best solution for the individual’s needs.

  • In certain cases, we can organise a home visit for you. Please call us to find out more. We also have wheelchair-accessible premises.

  • A full diagnostic hearing assessment is charged at £80, which is redeemable against the purchase of hearing aids from us.

  • We allow 90 minutes for our hearing assessment appointments, to ensure that our audiologists are able to conduct a full, thorough and comprehensive hearing test, perform all necessary procedures, and discuss all relevant medical history. The actual hearing test shouldn’t last more than about 15 minutes.

    Our audiologists do not rush! We will spend whatever time is needed to ensure we have all the relevant, accurate information to best advise you.

    For more information about what is included, please see our What To Expect section

  • No.

  • No, not really. You may want to look in more detail at our website, and in particular our Diagnostic Hearing Test page, but there’s nothing that you need to do to prepare.

    We encourage any visitors to our clinic to bring a support person, a family member or friend, if it would make them feel more comfortable. We work in a very relaxed environment, and there really isn’t anything to be worried about.

    If you know that you have a build-up of earwax, it might be advisable to have this removed before your appointment, so that it doesn’t interfere with your hearing test. Alternatively, it is another one of our services that we can offer. Please see our Wax Removal page for details.

  • There are a few indicators that might suggest a build-up of wax;

    1. Loss or ‘dampened’ hearing
    2. Feeling of aural fullness
    3. Wax discharge from the ear
    4. Slight discomfort in the ear
    5. If you are getting whistling or feedback from your hearing aids

    If you believe you may have a wax build-up, feel free to speak to us and we can investigate for you. Ear wax removal is a simple and pain-free procedure.

  • If the blockage is caused by something more serious than wax, or if we detect anything audiologically abnormal, we are able to refer clients to a medical professional, such as a GP or ENT consultant. We hope that this situation doesn’t arise, but should it, you are in good hands. We have excellent contacts within the industry and have a well-established referral route to cater for all eventualities. We can even write a GP/hospital referral letter while you wait.

  • Often, contrary to what people believe, olive oil drops (or similar products) are not recommended to ‘cure’ wax blockages. In fact, wax is often very dry, and introducing olive oil can, counter-productively, make the blockage feel worse. The administering of oil simply makes the wax swell, and block more of the canal. It is recommended to soften and lubricate the wax, in order for a trained professional to remove it.

  • You can, of course, visit your GP. However, many surgeries no longer offer ear wax removal, and those that do still conduct the procedure, often have extensive waiting lists (often 6-8 weeks).

    Since early 2015, clients have been directly referred to Hearing Healthcare Centre by doctor’s surgeries and medical professionals. Consequently, we now have all audiologists trained in ear wax removal, to accommodate the high levels of demand.

  • No!! NEVER!! Hopi candles should be avoided at all costs! They do not work, and are the closest thing to charlatanism in current day audiology. They often make your hearing worse. The wax that they remove is actually just molten wax from the candle. Meanwhile, your ear may be filling with candle wax and ash, blocking your ear further and putting you at risk of an ear infection, burns and perforation.

    Contrary to what ‘celebrity’ Dr Dawn Harper may believe, ear candles are not safe.

    Please watch this video for information

  • No. Never! Don’t put anything in your ear (other than hearing aids). The ear canal has small hairs in the outer part which act like a brush, pushing the wax and skin naturally out of the ear. If the wax is pushed beyond the hair, then there is no natural mechanism to remove the wax and you will need it removed by one of our audiologists.

    The ear canal is on average 2.5 cm long, and pushing anything into the ear is very risky. The ear ear drum could be damaged, or even perforated, and require medical attention.

  • No. It is a painless procedure. However, there can be some slight discomfort in some cases, if the wax is hard (due to not using olive oil drops) or if the wax has been pushed deep into the ear canal (for example by cotton buds).

  • We are all very different, and so it is not always easy to say how often people need their ears clearing. If you’re worried about your ears being blocked, why not book yourself an appointment. If there is no wax, and no need to perform a procedure…there is no charge!

  • The removal of ear wax is usually very quick. Removals typically take five to ten minutes. It can, however, take longer if the wax is particularly stubborn, hard, or has been pushed deeper into the ear with cotton buds.

    As responsible healthcare professionals, Hearing Healthcare Centre advises all clients who have experienced problems with their hearing (under the presumption of wax blockage), undertake a post-procedure (15 minute) hearing screening. This screening is used to ascertain the true cause of the hearing loss, and determine whether there is any risk of a referable condition. There is no charge, and Hearing Healthcare Centre adopt an opt-out policy. If you do not wish to participate in this screening, please make your preference known to our audiologists during your appointment.

  • Yes, it is always helpful. We recommended that you apply Earol in your ear once/twice every day for 3/4 days before your ear wax removal visit. This is to ensure that the wax is soft and easy to remove. Earol, useful because it is contained in an atomiser and therefore sealed from bacteria and distributes an even amount of oil, is our recommendation. It is available from our website.

    Olive oil should not be used if there is a suspected perforation.

  • Our Aural Hygiene Specialists are highly trained, and very well experienced in recommending which method is most suitable for you. There are a number of factors that are used to form their recommendation, including: past history/complications, amount of wax, condition, location, depth, as well as the size of the ear canal.

  • Each method is different. See our Irrigation page, and our Microsuction page to learn more about each method.

  • At Hearing Healthcare Centre, we use three methods of ear wax removal:-

    Irrigation (aka syringing)


    Manual Removal

  • Ears, like anywhere else on the body, exfoliate skin. The wax helps collect the skin and move it to the outside of the ear where it will dry and fall out. The wax is also antibacterial, and it kills germs that enter our ears.

  • If you think a cochlear implant may benefit you or your child then you should first talk to your audiologist, GP or ENT consultant. If appropriate they will refer you to a cochlear implant centre. There, a team of cochlear implant professionals will undertake a thorough and detailed assessment, and determine whether you (or your child) would benefit from a cochlear implant. The assessment will include communication and psychological assessments, educational assessments (for children) and, of course audiological and medical examinations.

  • At Hearing Healthcare Centre we work in partnership with supplier Advanced Bionics which has developed its system to be fully upgradeable so that you can take advantage of tomorrow’s technology with today’s implant.

  • Most cases of “nerve deafness” are actually instances of cochlear damage rather than nerve damage. We will be able to assess what is causing your deafness and whether a cochlear implant would be of benefit to you.

  • Cochlear implantation is relatively simple and minimally invasive. In most cases, implantation is done in hospital on an outpatient basis. Many recipients return home the same day and resume their normal activities within a week.

  • Everyone is different and the hearing experience is unique to each person. The majority of recipients say that the sound they receive and understand improves with time. Regular practice is important to help improve listening.

  • As each cochlear implant user is unique, no one can predict exactly how much benefit you or your child will receive from a cochlear implant. Many individual factors contribute to the outcomes including:

    • Biological factors such as age at implantation, amount of previous hearing, duration of deafness, and health of the inner ear and hearing nerve.
    • While biological factors may present limitations to hearing potential, it is possible to move beyond these limitations through individual effort. A cochlear implant user’s brain is trained as he or she practices listening. Therefore, post-operative rehabilitation and educational support, as well as personal and family commitment, are key success factors.
    • It takes technology to bring sound to the damaged auditory system and therefore implant design and sound processing are also important factors. The advanced technology and flexibility of the HiResolution™ Bionic Ear System from Advanced Bionics, who we work in partnership with, are intended to help each person reach their highest hearing potential.

  • If you answer “Yes” to any of these statements, then it may be that your child could benefit from a cochlear implant:

    • Does your child have delayed speech and language development as a result of his or her hearing loss?
    • Does your child avoid social interaction or lack the appropriate skills to interact with other children or adults?
    • Does your child rarely respond to his or her name?
    • Do you have concerns about your child’s ability to participate and succeed in school with normal-hearing peers?
    • Do you have concerns about your child’s ability to hear speech in noisy environments?

  • If you are struggling to hear with hearing aids, you may be a candidate for cochlear implants. Your audiologist will be able to advise whether cochlear implants are the right solution for your hearing loss. A few simple questions might be helpful to determine if you need a cochlear implant; if you;

    • Have difficulty following conversations without lip reading
    • Cannot follow most telephone conversations, especially if I don’t know the person calling
    • Hear pretty well in quiet environments, but struggle in noisy environments or when in a group
    • Feel isolated and limited, both socially and occupationally, because of hearing loss
  • Significant hearing loss can make people feel cut off from the hearing world. They miss the everyday sounds normal hearing people take for granted and can feel isolated and left out.

    People have cochlear implants to significantly improve their hearing. This in turn gives them greater independence and the feeling of being included. They want to take part in conversations, hear their children or grandchildren talk, listen to music, or simply enjoy the sounds of nature. They want to be confident that they can hear in all situations, even noisy environments.

    Parents choose cochlear implants for their children because they want them to hear the sounds of everyday life. They want to provide their children with the opportunity to learn to listen, talk and communicate freely and independently. They want their children to participate fully in the world of sounds that surrounds them.

  • Cochlear implants help people with significant hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs when the very tiny hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea) have become too damaged or are completely missing. When this happens, sound — even sound amplified by a hearing aid — cannot be properly delivered to the brain.

    The process involves four steps:

    1. A sound processor captures sound with a microphone and then converts it into detailed digital information.
    2. These digital signals are sent to the implant, where they are converted into electrical signals.
    3. These signals travel to a tiny electrode array placed inside the cochlea.
    4. The electrode array sends electrical signals directly to the hearing nerve, bypassing damaged cells. These signals are then sent to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

    The entire process, from capturing sound to processing it in the brain, occurs so rapidly that the user hears sound as it happens.

  • A cochlear implant is an electronic device designed to provide enhanced sound perception and the potential for greater speech understanding for children and adults with significant hearing loss.

    There are two external components: a sound processor and a headpiece, which can be removed and re-positioned easily. It also has two internal parts, which are implanted during surgery and are not visible: the implant and the electrode array.

    Cochlear implants help people with significant hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs when the very tiny hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea) have become too damaged or are completely missing. When this happens, sound – even sound amplified by a hearing aid – cannot be properly delivered to the brain. The implant stimulates the hearing nerve directly.