At Hearing Healthcare Practice, every client is an individual, with their own highly specific needs and their own Personal story.

There are, however, a number of questions we’re asked on a regular basis. We’ve listed a few of them here in the hope that they’ll assist our visitors but if, of course, you have your own personal questions to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be delighted to help.

When I go to a party or restaurant I can’t seem to focus on speech around the table. It seems the background noise dominates everything. Why is this?

Everyone’s hearing changes as we age. For some this happens faster than for others. One of the most common symptoms is that it becomes increasingly difficult to follow a conversation at a party or in other crowded places. In quiet, the symptoms seem to go away. A simple hearing test can quickly confirm if your hearing has deteriorated. It’s also the first step in finding a solution.

I am always terribly tired after mixing with a lot of people and I sometimes feel that I’d prefer to stay at home as I don’t enjoy social get togethers anymore. My doctor can’t find anything wrong. Could my hearing be the cause of this?

If your family doctor can’t find anything, it could well be that you have developed a hearing loss. It is quite common that the extra concentration required to listen to conversation in background noise can be very tiring. Treating a hearing loss can dramatically improve well being and self esteem.

My work place is very noisy. I do have hearing protection but I don’t always wear it. Am I going to have hearing problems? How much noise can I tolerate?

Exposure to noise is the second most common cause of hearing loss. Noisy work places increase the risk of developing a hearing problem. It’s impossible to say if you will or won’t be affected by noise, as everyone is different. One person can tolerate more sound than another before their hearing is affected.

We recommend the use of the highest quality hearing protection possible. Custom-made HHP hearing protectors with specific passive filtering should be used whenever your ears are at risk.

Hearing problems are often discovered many years after exposure to excessive noise and although hearing aids can help, they won’t allow you to hear as well as you did before your ears became damaged.

For some time, I have had a constant ringing noise in my ears. I have heard that this is called tinnitus, is it dangerous?

Although not dangerous in itself, tinnitus can be a symptom of another underlying condition. We would suggest discussing this with your family doctor.

If you have already done this, then it could be a sign of excess noise exposure or more commonly that you are suffering from hearing loss which is less noticeable to you than the internal noise itself.

We would suggest having a hearing test to confirm your hearing levels. If you have suffered with a loss then the use of hearing aids can have the effect of improving your external hearing so that the tinnitus is less noticeable.

I seem to hear best when I am looking at someone’s face. Do you think I have a hearing problem?

Although common courtesy teaches us to face a speaker, it is actually easier for someone who has a hearing loss. Lip reading is a skill we all acquire but this becomes more acute with a developing hearing problem. Communication is more enjoyable when you can see the face and body language of the other person. But if you are unable to follow a conversation when you can’t see their face, you may suffer from a hearing problem.

Again our advice is to arrange a full hearing assessment so that you know exactly what the problem is and consider any possible solutions.

I know that I have a hearing loss and I know should wear hearing aids. So why do I still need a hearing test?

Before we can recommend hearing aids for you we are obliged to carry out a full hearing assessment. The tests, which are painless, will help us give you the best advice on how to deal with your hearing loss. This may entail referring you to your family doctor or to an Ear, Nose and Throat consultant; it may require you to wear hearing aids or, it might mean only a special adaptation fitted to your telephone or television.

We are legally required to carry out hearing tests before we can give you any definitive advice or help. Unfortunately, the legislation also restricts us using test results carried out elsewhere as a basis for this advice.

I have heard about the digital hearing aids which can eliminate background noise. Do they work?

Digital hearing aids are now the norm as the older analogue aids are being phased out. The range is now quite large with each manufacturer producing hundreds of different models with varying degrees of complexity.

None can restore lost hearing but some are better than others at dealing with the perennial problem of noise. A rule of thumb to consider is the more advanced the aid, the more it can analyse and classify sound. Hearing aids that can recognize the difference between speech and noise should deliver the best quality sound possible.

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