Frequently Asked Questions about your hearing

  • General Information About Hearing Aids
    • How do hearing aids work?

        Hearing aids are electronic devices that pick up and amplify sound. They increase the volume of sounds that you normally wouldn’t hear. The hearing aids we offer at bloom hearing specialists do much more than amplify sound. The aid’s sophisticated circuitry is programmed by our hearing care professional to suit your unique hearing loss, and the high-tech features are selected based on your lifestyle. See our hearing aid range here.


    • How do hearing aids work in a technical sense?

        At their most basic, hearing aids are microphones that convert sound into electrical signals. An amplifier increases the strength of the signal, then a receiver converts it back to sound and channels it into the ear canal through a small tube or ear mould. A battery is necessary to power the hearing aid and to enable amplification.


    • What are the advantages of wearing two hearing aids?

        Advantages of wearing 2 hearing aids include: 

        More Natural:
        The hearing becomes much more natural with sounds coming from all around you.

        Safety: Being able to identify where the sound is coming from is only possible with two aids. e.g.. which direction is a car or bus coming from when you are out and about in the street?

        Speech: It is twice as easy to understand the words when others are speaking.

        Conversation: It enables your to participate in conversations when there is noise around you.

        Relaxing: Hearing is less tiring and listening more pleasant.

        Wider hearing range: A voice that’s barely heard at 3 meters with one ear can be heard up to 12 meters with two ears.

        More comfortable: Listening to loud sounds is shared.


    • How many years should I expect my hearing aid to last?

        The average hearing aid lasts between 3 – 5 years - but longer with regular servicing and maintenance. Free aftercare for life is just one reason to buy from bloom hearing.  

        Here is more about our full range of services - all part of the price when you do buy from bloom.


    • What are the different types and styles of hearing aids?
        Today’s hearing aids come in a wide variety of sizes and styles — from those that sit behind the ear to completely invisible hearing aids — and feature different technology levels to match your specific needs and budget.

        Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • What is the difference between analogue and digital hearing aids?
        Digital Hearing aids offer far better sound quality and clarity and have largely taken the place of analogue ones. They have a tiny computer inside which processes sounds and this makes it possible to customise them very precisely to suit each individuals hearing loss.

        Many digital aids can be programmed with different settings for different sound environments; for example, one program for a quiet living room and another for a noisy restaurant.


    • Will I need one or two hearing aids?

        Two-ear hearing (called "binaural") is better than one. If you have hearing loss in only one ear, you may only need to wear a hearing aid in your bad ear. However, wearing two hearing aids has been proven to improve speech understanding in noise, localization (finding the source of sounds), and overall sound quality when compared to wearing only one aid. 

        Age and noise-related hearing loss tend to affect both ears, but your hearing profile for each ear is probably different. If there is a loss in both ears, you will probably benefit more with a binaural solution. Today, more than 80 percent of all hearing aid fittings are binaural, or involve both ears. People report a higher level of satisfaction than purchasers of a single hearing aid.

        To book a free hearing test, contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

  • Usage of Hearing Aids
  • Cleaning and Care of Hearing Aids
    • Consult with us immediately if:
        • You experience discomfort or pain despite correct placement of the earpiece
        • Earwax can no longer be removed from the earpiece opening
        • The earpiece tube is yellow and brittle
        • You can no longer adjust to the desired volume because the hearing aid starts to whistle
        You can contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • Where should I store my hearing aids when they are not in my ears?
    • How do I clean my hearing aid?
        A simple cloth or tissue can be used to wipe down the hearing aids. A brush can be used to help remove more stubborn or stuck debris if necessary. 

        Refer to the User Guide that came with your hearing aid for more details. Gently clean your hearing aid with a soft, dry towel. Alcohol, solvents or cleaning products cause damage.

        If you need immediate assistance, you can call us at 0800 612 7978.

        Or see our page about looking after your hearing aids on other topics.

    • How often should I clean my hearing aids?
        Cleaning your hearing aids more frequently will help keep them in the best condition possible. Generally a good practice is cleaning them once every morning before you put them on.

        See also our general guidelines on maintaining your hearing aids.

    • How often does the wax filter need to be changed?
        It varies depending on how much wax your ear produces. Estimates range from once per week, to once every few months. Inspect the wax filter frequently, and change when wax or other debris becomes noticeable.

        Look up more information of managing excess earwax.

    • How do I clean the vent?
        Use a thin wire or the cleaning brush that comes with your hearing aid to clear the vent. If using a thin wire, insert it into one end, and push it through until it comes out the other end. Be sure to wipe off any debris with a cloth or tissue before removing the wire from the vent.

    • How to protect my aid from dirt?
        - Always make sure that your fingers are clean and dry before touching your hearing aid. The microphone input is very small and can become blocked if handled improperly.

        - Protect your hearing aid from moisture. Remove the hearing aid from your ear before showering, bathing or swimming. Due to high moisture levels, you should not leave it in the bathroom. Occasionally clean your ears before inserting the hearing aids. Moisture and condensation can damage the electronics in your hearing aid. We recommend that you remove the battery from the hearing aid at night and to leave the battery compartment open. You can use special drying systems that are available at your local bloom hearing specialists store.

        - Place the aid out of reach of children and pets. Hearing aids that are still switched on and lying around emit high pitched sounds that can irritate dogs. This has resulted in some aids getting eaten by pet dogs.
         

    • Important for Behind-the-Ear hearing aids:
        Always separate the earpiece from the hearing aid before cleaning it. The hearing aid should never come into contact with water! When you connect the earpiece to your hearing aid, it has to be absolutely dry. 

        It is best to dry the tube with a puff of air using an air puffer (do not blow air through the tube from your mouth). You can get this inexpensive accessory from your local bloom hearing specialists store.

  • Hearing Aid Batteries
    • What are the various sizes of hearing aid batteries?
        The standard sizes of the hearing aid batteries are 10, 13, 312 and 675. They are color-coded for easy identification: 



        size 675: blue

        size 13: orange  

        size 312: brown  

        size 10: yellow 



    • Why do I need to open the battery door at night?
        Opening the battery door at night ensures that the battery is not being drained, allowing for more economical use of your hearing aid. As well, it allows air into the hearing aid, which is helpful in preventing moisture build-up.

        See here for operating the battery door.

    • Why do Zinc Air hearing aid batteries have a tab?
        Zinc Air hearing aid batteries use air as an energy source, and the tab seals the air holes on the battery. Once the tab is removed, it takes approximately two minutes before the hearing aid battery is activated/charged.  At that point, the battery compartment can be closed. If not the battery can in the worst case be damaged and will not come back to normal Voltage level needed!

        Please remember not to remove the tab before the hearing aid battery is to be used. Reattaching the tab will not prolong the running time of the battery.

        You can buy batteries online here.
         

    • How long is the Zinc Air battery’s shelf life?
    • How should hearing aid batteries be stored?
        Optimal room storage temperature for storing hearing aid batteries is between 10 and 25°C. Heat may shorten the running time and a humid environment is not suitable for storage. Finally, avoid storing hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator.

        Contact with metal objects such as keys or coins can cause a hearing aid battery to short-circuit, therefore it is recommended to never carry individual batteries loose in a purse, wallet or handbag.

        Buy your batteries here
         

    • How does a hearing aid battery deliver its best performance?
        Make sure you protect the hearing aid battery air holes from moisture. Switching off your hearing aid when not in use will also prolong the life of the battery. If the battery gets wet due to sweating or other, dry it!

    • How long is the running time of a hearing aid battery?
        The running time of the hearing aid battery depends on the hours of use per day, the amplification and the type/features of the hearing aid being used. 

        Streaming has a direct influence on the running time of a battery due to the high currents the HI draws in this mode. As the streaming mode is activated automatically running times of batteries vary depending on how often and how long streaming is active over the day.

    • What do I do if a battery is swallowed?
        Hearing aid batteries, whether they are used or new, must be stored out of the reach of small children and pets to prevent them from swallowing a battery. If batteries are ingested, seek medical help immediately.

    • Do more air holes mean a longer battery life and greater power?
        An important factor for longer battery life and greater power is the quality and design of the electrodes. The number and size (diameter) of the air holes have as well an influence on the power of the battery.

        bloom hearing batteries are made by Rayovac - leaders in battery technology.

    • Why is my hearing aid not working despite having a new battery?
        Some of the reasons could be associated with:
        • Not enough time for battery to be activated/charged after removal of the tab.
        • Dented battery surface causes poor contact with battery terminal of the hearing aid.
        • Battery is dead (even if it is brand new). This is very rare. Can as well happen when not activated correctly. Built up dirt on the battery terminal of the hearing aid causes poor contact.
        • The battery does not fit into the battery door of the hearing aid (some battery doors are designed with a smaller cavity where the battery negative housing is placed).
        If the hearing aid is still not working then please contact us and our Customer Care team will help.

    • When might a hearing aid battery expand and leak?
        If the discharged battery is left in the hearing aid after end of life, humidity can influence the battery chemistry and lead to swelling, especially in extreme weather conditions such as a tropical environment. Once a battery is at the end of its life, it should be removed from the hearing aid.

    • Why does my hearing aid battery suddenly last a shorter time?
        In most of the cases, the reasons for a short running time are not necessarily production faults, but rather:
        • Environmental influences (e.g. humidity, temperature)
        • Personal hearing habits have changed (longer period of use per day, higher noise level, new features of the hearing aid are being used)
        • The hearing aid was in use longer than usual (e.g. night at the theatre)
        • The hearing aid is new, or the type or brand of the hearing aid has changed
        • The new hearing aid has additional features that require more energy
        Improper handling can also reduce the running time of the hearing aid battery, e.g.:
        • The battery tab is removed and activation period as too short. It has to be 2 minutes or more before it is inserted into the hearing aid
        • The hearing aid is not switched off over night or after a long period of non-use
        • The battery loses capacity due to a short circuit when mishandled (e.g. through contact with metal objects)
        • The battery is stored in a warm environment (e.g. in parked car in the sun)

    • How do I dispose a used hearing aid battery?
        Zinc Air button cell batteries are classified as non-hazardous waste. However, it is recommended to bring the batteries to the common local collecting points for batteries to make sure they can be recycled.

  • Hearing Aid Costs
    • Are cheap hearing aids any good?
        Inexpensive models are simply hearing amplifiers that will make everything louder (including all the ambient noises around you). They will not, for example, separate human voices from background noises, or hear directional sounds like today’s more sophisticated hearing aids are designed to do.

        We offer a wide range of hearing aids from the world’s leading manufacturers at prices to suit everyone's budget.

        Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • How much do hearing aids cost?
        Hearing aid prices vary widely depending on a number of factors including technology level and required features. We've ensured that our wide range of hearing aids has something for every technology level, lifestyle and budget. We also offer bloomPayPlans, including 0% over 2 years, so better hearing is even more affordable.

        Our hearing aid prices can be found here and if you'd like to find out more then please contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • Why are hearing aids that look the same different in price?
        Although the hearing aid casing may look the same, it's the technology inside that really determines the price. The more sophisticated the technology, the better the hearing aid can cope with many different situations and lifestyles - and this increased sophistication means that the technology is more expensive to produce.

  • Service, Repair and Customer Care of Hearing Aids
    • My hearing aid requires repair, can I send it to bloom hearing specialists?
        Yes, we can assist you with any problem with your hearing aids, even the ones which are not purchased from us. Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

        In the unlikely event of a repair being needed, if repairs are not possible on the spot, our aim is to return your hearing aids within 24 hours. Furthermore, when you do buy from bloom™ hearing specialists and you do have to wait for a repair, you will be offered a pair of courtesy hearing aids. This ensures you continue to hear well in the meantime.

    • How long does it take to get my hearing aid?
        Very often, and with hearing aids that do not require a custom-fit earmold, you can be fitted immediately after your hearing assessment.

        Custom aids, including in the ear models, are fitted within two to three weeks of your hearing assessment. All our hearing aids are selected and programmed individually to meet your specific hearing requirements. 

        If you want to learn more about the hearing aids then please contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • Do you offer any support once I've purchased my hearing aids from you?
        We will look after your hearing aids for life. This unrivaled program of support includes a regular assessment and evaluation of your hearing, expert help and advice, demonstrations of new hearing aid technology to ensure you continue to get the most out of your hearing aids.  

        Hearing aids come with a 4-year manufacturer warranty.

        These are two of several reasons to trust bloom hearing.


  • Getting Used to Hearing Aids
    • How do I know hearing aids will work for me?
        bloom customers often opt for a seven day free trial and have peace of mind with our 60-day money-back guarantee.

        During this time, we will work with you to ensure your complete satisfaction. After buying, you will have follow up visits to fine-tune your hearing aids and make any other required changes.

        Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • Is there a guarantee with hearing aids?
        Yes. bloom™ hearing specialists offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. For further peace of mind, there is a 4 year manufacturer's warranty for the majority of our hearing aids.

    • Is there an adjustment period to wearing hearing aids?
        Yes. Most people need an initial adjustment period before becoming fully acclimated to — and receiving the full benefit from — wearing their hearing aids. However, you should expect to notice obvious benefits during the seven day trial period.
        1. Be realistic
          Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual; over the years you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds in the speech spectrum and normal sounds of the environment, such as traffic and wind noise, the hum of machinery and other background noises.
        2. Practice
          When you begin to wear hearing aids, these sounds will be restored but your brain will need practice and reeducation in order to selectively focus on and filter sounds. Some sounds may even startle you at first. Know that your brain will acclimate to these sounds again over time.
        3. Be patient
          It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Wear them as much as possible at first to become more skilled at recognizing sound direction and to learn which hearing aid settings work best for you in different situations
        4. Rest
          The adjustment period may be tiresome. It’s a lot like retraining a muscle that hasn’t been used in a while. But the benefits will be worth it after you’ve made the adjustment.
        Remember, we are here to help. Do not be afraid to contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • My hearing aid whistles sometimes when I am putting it in my ear. Is this normal?
        It is possible to hear a whistle when putting a hearing aid in your ear. If should not, however, whistle when it is in place in your ear. If it does, make an appointment with your local bloom hearing consultant to have your hearing aid checked.

        To do this, contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • My ear gets hot and damp when I am wearing my hearing aid, what can I do about it?
        A hearing aid stops warm and moist air from escaping from your ear canals - some ear pieces/hearing aids have a small hole or air vent running right through them to allow air to circulate.
        Your Audiologist may be able to add this to your ear piece/hearing aid but if this is not suitable, just remove the hearing aid occasionally during the day to allow your ear to ‘breathe’.

        If the problem continues, then contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

  • First Steps in the World of Hearing Aids
    • I suspect I might have a hearing loss. What should I do next?
        By visiting bloom’s website, you've already taken an important first step in understanding and treating your hearing loss. The next step is to take our free Online Hearing Test and if you do find you're experiencing difficulties hearing then contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

        If you suspect your child has hearing loss, it’s best to talk with your paediatrician first, who can then refer you to a paediatric audiologist for testing and treatment if necessary.

    • How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
        Hearing problems rarely cause discomfort or pain and because the hearing loss process is gradual, you may find yourself adapting to it without realising it - in fact, others may notice it first.

        Here are some very common signs of hearing loss:
        • People seem to mumble all the time
        • You hear, but have trouble understanding
        • You often ask people to repeat themselves
        • Telephone conversations are difficult
        • You can’t hear household sounds, like a faucet dripping or a clock ticking
        • It’s hard to hear without seeing the speaker’s face
        • You are told you speak too loudly
        • People say your television or radio volume is set too high
        • You have ringing or buzzing in your ears
        • Conversations are difficult in a large group
        • You have trouble following conversations with more than two people
        • You struggle to hear in crowded places, like restaurants
        • You have a hard time hearing women or children
        If you answered "yes" to any of these then take our free Online Hearing Test. It only takes five minutes and is a great indicator of how well you can hear.

    • If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor have told me?
        Only a relatively small percentage of doctors routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor's office), it can be very difficult for them to recognise this problem. 

        Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, and which type would be best for you.

        However, you can have your hearing screened online - here - as an initial first step to see if loss is evident in the first place.

    • Can hearing aids enhance my quality of life?
        Hearing aids can improve your quality of life by boosting your self-confidence and reducing your stress level. It’s hard to be confident and relaxed when you are unsure of your hearing. 

        After using a hearing aid, 39% of the users reports having improved their ability to communicate effectively. 32% stated they improvement in their social life today and 35% feels more confident about themselves. 

        They also can improve:

        - Personal relationships. After all, successful relationships depend on successful communication.

        - Job performance. Hearing aids eliminate the need to constantly ask “What?” or “Can your repeat that?” and keep you on top of your game.

        - Safety. You don’t want to miss hearing a smoke alarm, a window breaking, a dog barking at a stranger, an oncoming car when you’re walking, or a siren when you’re driving.

        The easiest way is for you to ask bloom for a free, no-obligation, hearing aid trial - to prove to yourself the full benefits of hearing aids.

           


      • Will hearing aids restore my hearing?
          Although it is not possible to restore your natural hearing, hearing aids allow you to hear better. They will let you hear sounds that you couldn’t hear before and, most importantly, they will also help you better understand speech, especially in noisy environments. Conversely, they prevent loud sounds from becoming uncomfortably loud for you. 

          Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

      • Will I be able to hear in noisy places?
          While no hearing aid can filter out all background noise, our advanced hearing aids are designed to reduce some types of background noise so that you can enjoy conversation and improve communication in places like restaurants, business meetings and social gatherings.

          To find out more, read what we say about the Unique hearing aid range.

      • I think a relative/friend of mine has a hearing loss. What should I do?
          If you think a person close to you has a hearing loss, you should recommend them visiting a hearing specialist. If they'd prefer not to see someone initially then they can take our free Online Hearing Test which takes only 5 minutes.

          If you'd like to find our more then please contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

      • How often does hearing loss occur?
          One out of five people between the ages of 45-74 have a hearing loss however, it is prevalent at all ages. The brain is an important part of our hearing, and needs to interpret signals to "make meaning of the sound", therefore it is important the brain is fed with signals to keep in good shape.

          Because hearing deteriorates slowly, a routine check every two years is a good way to monitor the situation as we get older. They are free of charge and you can arrange it online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

      • How can I maintain a good hearing?
          You need to keep exercising your hearing to maintain good hearing. By using hearing aids you can actually minimize the level of hearing loss in comparison to not taking action.

          If you are worried that you might have a hearing problem, then take a free Online Hearing Test. You can also contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • Tinnitus
      • What is tinnitus?
          Tinnitus is often described as ringing in the ears, buzzing or humming noises but it can be experienced differently from person to person. It can be very difficult to concentrate and can keep you from sleeping well at night leaving you exhausted during the day. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a non-specific symptom that can be brought on by a mental or physical ‘change’, not necessarily related to hearing in the ear or the auditory pathway.

      • How common is it to have tinnitus?
          Around 250 million people worldwide suffer from tinnitus. And many people with hearing loss experience tinnitus at some stage. 

          There are certainly factors which can exacerbate tinnitus such as: stress, anxiety, depression, tiredness, some medications and there is some weaker evidence that some aspects of a person’s diet can also have an impact. 

          As tinnitus itself can lead to anxiety, stress and sleep deprivation, this can create the feeling of being trapped in a vicious cycle.

          Find out more about tinnitus


      • What causes tinnitus?
          Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, some of them not under your control, such as simply aging. Most often, tinnitus is caused by repeated exposure to excessive loud noise. 

          The good news is, tinnitus is not a sign of a serious medical problem, and it can be managed.

          The most common tinnitus triggers are:
          Loud sound. Whether it’s a great concert or a plane taking off, exposure to loud noise can damage your hearing.
          Stress. Stress from difficult life circumstances can affect your entire body, including your hearing.
          Alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol and quinine water, found in the ‘tonic’ used in many mixed drinks, can trigger tinnitus.
          Smoking. Smoking narrows the blood vessels that bring oxygen to the sensory cells of your ears. 
          Medication. High doses of aspirin and NSID pain relievers are a known trigger for tinnitus, as are some antibiotics and anti-depressants.
          Salt. Too much salt can cause tinnitus
          High blood pressure can increase tinnitus symptoms, so sufferers should cut down on salt. 
          Caffeine. Coffee, dark tea, cola, and energy drinks all contain caffeine, and some sufferers say eliminating them helps control tinnitus.

          Click here to get more information about tinnitus


      • How can I treat tinnitus?
          At bloom, we are expert hearing specialists with a unique methodology. Widex Zen Therapy is a proven method that combines counselling, sound stimulation, stress reduction and amplification.

          Contact us online to find out more or call us on 0800 612 7978.

      • Will tinnitus relief effect my daily life?
          It will improve your quality of life and help you relax from the tinnitus. You will be able to sleep better, have conversations, read and watch TV with less effort releasing the stress that tinnitus can cause.

          More about tinnitus