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Hearing aid FAQs

Do you fit digital hearing aids?

We have been fitting digital hearing aids since 2004. All the hearing aids we currently fit are digital.

What type of hearing aids do you fit?

We mainly fit hearings aids made by Phonak. Please visit the Phonak website for further information on these hearing aids. We sometimes fit Oticon hearing aids for patients with severe to profound hearing losses.

The type of hearing aids that you will be fitted with will depend on factors such as the level of your hearing loss, whether you have previously had any surgery on your ears and what features would be most suitable for you. Your Audiologist will discuss this with you at your hearing assessment and you will be given a choice as to which aid you prefer. We have a choice of colours including beige, sandalwood, chestnut, silver grey, and black.

Here are the types of hearing aids we fit:

Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss

hearing aid 1

Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss with the option  of a volume control                                                          

hearing 2

Suitable for moderate to severe and profound hearing losses.

hearing aid 3

 

Can I have a hearing aid that just sits in the ear? 

We only fit in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids through the NHS for patients who are unable to wear behind-the-ear (BTE) aids. This normally means the patient will not have an outer ear (pinna) to place the hearing aid, or that their pinna is not of a shape that will hold a hearing aid.

How do your hearing aids compare with hearing aids that I can buy privately?

The companies that we purchase our hearing aids from also supply hearing aids to private dispensers. All our hearing aids are digital and are fitted to precisely match a target generated for your hearing loss and for the size and shape of your ear. We follow national guidelines set by the British Society of Audiology for fitting our hearing aids.

We offer behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE) through the NHS. These can be thin tube open fit hearing aids or hearing aids with moulds, depending on your hearing levels and the appropriateness of each type for you.

Where can I get batteries for my hearing aids?

Batteries are provided free of charge by the NHS. During your fitting appointment and at each annual aftercare appointment you will be given a year's supply of batteries. If you run out you can collect more batteries at the Audiology reception in Southmead Hospital or St Michael's Hospital. You will need to show your battery card which will be given to you during your fitting appointment. Alternatively you can contact us and we can post batteries to you.

I have lost or damaged my hearing aid, what do I do?

We can replace your hearing aid for you in the repair clinic. You may need a further appointment if you have also lost or damaged your ear mould as we will need to take an impression of your ear. Please note that we charge £75 per lost or damaged hearing aid. If you are on income support, you may be exempt from this charge if you can provide us with evidence of this. 

How often should I have my tubing changed?

If you wear your hearing aids all day, you will need to have the tubing changed at least every 12 months. We will contact you every year for an aftercare appointment to service the hearing aids. During this appointment we will change the tubing. Some hearing aid wearers will need to have their tubes changed sooner. You can tell when your tubes need to be changed as they will feel stiffer and may start to discolour. 

Can I change the tubes myself?

Yes. Please ask your clinician to guide you through the process at your next visit. We will issue you with spare tubing so you will be able to change your own tubes for the next year. You can also view the instructional videos on this website for guidance on this.

I can change my own tubes but have run out of tubing. Do I need another appointment?

No. Contact us either by telephone or by email and we can post some spare tubing out to you. 

I get lots of problems with condensation. Is there anything I can do?

Try to leave your hearing aids in an airing cupboard or somewhere where they can dry out completely over-night when they are not in use. You can buy drying kits that will help draw moisture out of your hearing aids over-night. You can also make your own drying kit using an air-tight container and a drying agent such as rice. Please talk to us about this if you would like some further information. 

Do I need to attend the repair clinic myself or can I send someone with my hearing aid?

It is advisable for you to attend with your hearing aid. This is in case we need to check your ears or to ensure that you are happy with any changes we may make. If you are unable to attend yourself, please make sure you let the person who attends for you know exactly what you think may be wrong with your hearing aid. 

Where can I access the hearing aid repair clinic?

We have dedicated booked repair clinics at the following departments. You will need to contact us to arrange an appointment:

  • Southmead Hospital: Monday - Friday
  • St Michael's Hospital: Monday - Friday

We also offer walk in repair appointments for emergencies on Monday mornings in Southmead Hospital and St Michael's Hospital. 

You can book an appointment in a number of outreach centres which may be closer to your home. To book an appointment at any of our sites, please contact us on 0117 342 5854 or email us at audiology.dept@uhbristol.nhs.uk*

Can I send my hearing aid in the post for a repair?

If you are unable to visit one of our centres, you may post your hearing aids to us. We cannot accept responsibility for any hearing aids that are lost or damaged in the post. We aim to service hearing aids posted to us as soon as possible, usually on the day they are received. Hearing aids will be returned to you by 2nd class post unless you enclose a self-addressed envelope.

If your hearing aid was issued at St. Michael's Hospital / Stockwood Health Centre / Tower House Medical Centre/ South Bristol Community Hospital, please post to:

Adult Audiology Department
St Michael's Hospital
Southwell Street

Bristol

BS2 8EG

If your hearing aid was issued at Southmead Hospital / Clevedon Hospital / Cossham Hospital / Thornbury Hospital / Harbourside Family Practice / Yate West Gate Centre, please post to:

Adult Audiology Department
Southmead Hospital
Gate 36, Brunel Building
Southmead
Bristol

BS10 5NB

How can I contact you for an appointment? 

Telephone: 0117 342 5854 (St Michael's Hospital / Stockwood Health Centre / South Bristol Community Hospital / Tower House Medical Centre / Southmead Hospital / Clevedon Hospital / Cossham Hospital / Thornbury Hospital / Harbourside Family Practice / Yate West Gate Centre)

Email: audiology.dept@uhbristol.nhs.uk*

How can I find further advice and support?

For further information and support with managing hearing aids and hearing loss or for information on additional listening devices please see the services listed below:

  • Action on Hearing Loss: For information about hearing loss, for purchasing equipment and for regional news and events

Website: http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/ 

  • Access to work: For information about how to access help with making adjustments at work including grants for additional equipment in order for you to hear better in all situations e.g. when using the telephone or in meetings.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

  • Centre for the Deaf - Bristol

The Centre for the Deaf provide a wide range of equipment ranging from pager alarms, minicoms and flashing light systems to  clock alarms, vibrating pillow  alarms and  fire alarms, for people living in Bristol. They have Environment Equipment Officers who can visit you at home and assess your needs before installing any equipment for you.  The Equipment Officers will also repair devices if necessary and give you any advice about the equipment. There is no charge for this service.  There is a charge for some equipment such as television aids.

Address: Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2QQ
Drop-in opening hours Monday - Thursday 10:30 -13:00

Website: http://cfd.org.uk/ 

Phone: 01179 398 653

SMS: 07749313085

For Home Visits:

Phone: 03459 007 830
SMS: 07766 561 560
Skype: bristol.deaf.equipment
Email: equipment@centrefordeaf.org.uk
Website:  http://www.cfd.org.uk/

  • Hearing Impaired Support Scheme (HISS)

Please ask your Audiologist if you would like to be referred to HISS who can visit you in your home if you have difficulty attending a hearing aid clinic for regular service appointments. Volunteers are trained to help with the maintenance of hearing aids.

HiSS are looking for more volunteers. Please see the advert below:

 

We need more volunteers!

          "I can hear so much better now you have changed the tubing!"

          "I know to get the light on his face, so I hear him better now."

          "I am so pleased: I can hear the front door bell!"

Someone local needs you to service their hearing aids when they are not able to get to the NHS clinics.     

Full training given.

Work locally at times to suit you.

PLEASE contact: 

info@HISSbristol.org.uk

www.HISSbristol.org.uk

0117 9277336

Charity Number 1003715       Bristol and surroundings. 

 

 

  • Phonak: For information about Phonak hearing aids and assistive listening devices.

Website: https://www.phonaknhs.co.uk/

  • Sarabec Limited: "Access to Sound, to make life a little easier for those with hearing difficulties.  A wide range of products help you listen to the TV and radio, hear voices and conversations, as well as use phones, doorbells, alarm clocks and baby monitors". https://www.sarabec.com/
  • Gordon Morris:  "Free Advice, Professional Care & Reliable Products. With a knowledgeable sales team, qualified sound technicians and warranties on all installations and hearing products you'll be assured of a hearing solution that fits your needs and budget." https://www.gordonmorris.co.uk

 

*Please note emails sent to this address are insecure.