Frequently Asked Questions about your hearing

  • About hearing loss
    • 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 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
        • 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 which only takes a few 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 check your hearing online for free 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 - because hearing aids eliminate the need to constantly ask “What?” or “Can your repeat that?” and keep you on top of your game.
        Safety as you won’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 for you to find out is ask us 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 range will certainly allow you to fully enjoy conversation and improve communication in places like restaurants, business meetings and social gatherings.

    • 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 will take only a few minutes of their time.

        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 sounds - whether it’s a concert or a plane taking off, exposure to loud noise can damage your hearing.
        Stress - difficult life circumstances can affect your entire body, including your hearing.
        Alcohol - excessive use of alcohol can trigger tinnitus.
        Smoking - this 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.
        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

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

        To find your perfect fit, head over to our fitting types page.

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

        The average hearing aid lasts between 3 and 5 years, but longer with regular servicing and maintenance.

    • 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 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, so contact us online 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 2 year manufacturer's warranty on our hearing aids.

    • What is the difference between analogue and digital hearing aids?

  • 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 process directional sounds like our sophisticated hearing aids are designed to do.

        However, hearing aids need not be expensive and 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 finance, including interest free credit, 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.

  • Using hearing aids
    • Can I wear my hearing aids when I take a shower, bath, or when I swim?
        Even with the water resistance capabilities of modern hearing aids, we recommend you remove your hearing aids prior to any aquatic activity.

    • How do I tell the right hearing aid from the left hearing aid?
        Your hearing aids will have some form of visual indicator to indicate which side they are to be worn. Blue will be for the left ear and red for the right.

        For maximum benefit from hearing aids it is advisable to wear two hearing aids.

    • Why is my hearing aid whistling?
        The whistling that you or those around you hear is called feedback. Feedback may occur because something has changed with the way the hearing aid fits in your ear. This can be because your hearing aids need to be cleaned, your ears have accumulated debris in the canal or your ears have grown (your ears continue to grow as you age).

        If you are experiencing feedback, try cleaning your hearing aids and your ears themselves. Also check whether the hearing aid or ear-tip/earmould is correctly and firmly seated.

        If that does not stop the feedback, then please contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • How do I turn my hearing aid on and off?
        To turn the hearing aid on, close the battery door. To turn the hearing aid off, open the battery door. If your hearing aids have a button then this may also have been programmed to turn them on and off too.

        It is not harmful, but not necessary, to remove the battery completely from the hearing aid.

        Here some more information on looking after your hearing aids.

    • Is it OK for me to sleep in my hearing aids?
        When going to bed for the night, you should remove your hearing aids and open the battery door to help conserve battery life. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, then place them in the charger so they will be fully charged in the morning.

    • What does the button do?
        If there is a button on your hearing aids, then generally it is set up to select different listening programs or environments. Some buttons can be multi-functional and also change the volume or turn the hearing aids on and off. Your Hearing Aid Audiologist will have talked through the options and the information can be written in the instruction manual.

        If you have a smartphone then, if compatible, you can also use an app to control your hearing aids.

    • My hearing aid is beeping, what does that mean?
        If your hearing aid is beeping, this can mean a variety of things. Beeps can indicate that a battery is getting low, that the hearing aid program is changing (usually activated through a button on the hearing aid, remote control or smartphone app change) or there are changes to the volume.

        If you are unsure of what the different beeps mean, you can always contact us online or by calling 0800 612 7978.

    • What are the white things that go into my hearing aids?
        These would be the wax filters! They are there to prevent wax from getting into the delicate components of your hearing aid.

        When they become clogged with wax or other debris, you will need to change them to ensure your hearing aids stays in good working order.

        Find out more on how to maintain your hearing aids.

    • What is the hole next to the wax filter on my hearing aid?
        That is the vent. The vent allows for some sounds to enter your ear naturally as well as provide ventilation for your ear canal. 

        Natural ventilation is important because it prevents the 'plugged up' or occluded sensation you would get if your ear was completely closed off with the hearing aid.

        For more information about looking after your hearing aids, contact us on the above number, or go to our page on hearing aid maintenance.

    • What is the clear antennae thing on my hearing aid?
        Some smaller hearing aids, like the CIC (Completely In Canal), have a retrieval cord to assist you with the removal of your hearing aids. When the hearing aid is in your ear, grasp the line firmly and pull to remove your hearing aid.

    • My custom hearing aid has a volume control. Which way do I turn it to change the volume?
        Rotate the volume control wheel forward/towards your face (when wearing the hearing aid) to increase volume. Rotate the wheel backwards/away from your face to decrease volume.

    • What do I do when my hearing aid sounds quieter than usual / no sound?
        First check whether the volume control is working, and whether you can make it louder. To do this, take the hearing aid in your hand and clasp it. The hearing aid should now emit a whistling noise. Check the hearing tube and earpiece for earwax or moisture and clean if necessary.

        Check whether the battery is correctly inserted and fitted in correctly. If there is no improvement, replace the battery. If the problem persists, please contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

    • What should I do if the battery discharges too quickly?
        Insert a new battery and take note of exactly how long it lasts. If you feel it hasn't lasted as long as it normally would then please get in touch.

    • What do I do if I hear crackling or buzzing noises?
        Check the hearing tube and earpiece for earwax or moisture. Check the hearing tube for damage (colour changes, hardening, or cracks) and replace it if necessary. 

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

    • What do I do if I experience pain or inflammation in my ears?
        Remove the hearing aid and contact us online or call us on 0800 612 7978.

        If the problem persists, please contact your doctor.

    • 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.

  • Hearing aid batteries
    • What are the various sizes of hearing aid batteries?
        The standard sizes of the hearing aid batteries (from smallest to biggest) are 10, 312, 13 and 675. They are colour coded too for easy identification:

        10 - Yellow
        312 - Brown
        13 - Orange
        675 - Blue

    • Why do Zinc Air hearing aid batteries have a tab?
        Zinc air hearing aid batteries use air as an energy source with a removable tab in place to seal 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 which point you can insert it into the hearing aid's battery door.

        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 hearing aid batteries from us 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 is my hearing aid not working despite having a new battery?

    • 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, for example:

        • 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 overnight 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.

    • 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.

  • Hearing aid cleaning and care
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 to buy online.

        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 and this has resulted in some getting eaten!

    • 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.

  • Service and repair 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 as quickly as possible. Furthermore, when you do buy from us and you have to wait for a repair, you will be offered a pair of courtesy hearing aids to ensure you continue hearing 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 ITE (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?
        Our aftercare service ensures we will look after your hearing aids for their lifetime. 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.