Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between analogue and digital aids?

Analogue hearing aids amplify sound signals picked up by a microphone and convert them into small electrical signals. These signals are transmitted into the ear at a greater volume. They can be altered according to the needs of the individual user within the limits of the analogue technology.

The new hearing aids use digital technology. These are quite different from analogue hearing aids. They have a digital sound processing unit, which is like a mini computer. It can amplify speech sounds with greater clarity and can be programmed. This means that digital hearing aids can be individually adjusted to suit the specific user.

Are digital hearing aids small ‘in the ear’ devices?

Hearing aid 4Hearing aid 2

No, there are small ‘in-the-canal’ or ‘in-the-ear’ hearing aids available privately, but not from the NHS. Digital hearing aids available from the NHS are worn behind the ear. When we talk about digital hearing aids we are talking about the technology, not how they look.

Anatomy of a Hearing Aid

Anatomy of a hearing aid

Does a digital hearing aid cut out all background noise?

No, digital hearing aids focus mainly on speech frequencies, which means good quality of speech. Because they are focusing on these frequencies they don’t amplify the lower frequency background noise as much.  

Background noise cannot be eliminated entirely, even people who have normal hearing will struggle in some noisy situations.

All of our current hearing aids have directional microphones and noise reduction which can effectively minimise distracting noise while emphasising the desired speech.

Does a digital aid only amplify speech?

Compared to analogue hearing aids, digital hearing aids provide dramatically better sound quality. They can be tailor-made to suit people’s individual hearing loss and listening requirements.

They are also designed to make communication easier. Speech is a complex signal to process, but digital technology treats the signal more effectively, without adding unwanted elements, so speech can stay crisp and clear.

How do I insert my hearing aid (Earmould)?

How do I insert my hearing aids (Thin Tube)?

How do I clean my hearing aids (Earmould)?

Daily Care

Your earmould must be kept clean to avoid wax build up. Wipe the earmould with a damp cloth or ‘wet wipe’. Check for any blockages in the tubing.

Weekly Care

Separate your hearing aid from the earmould by pulling the flexible tube from the rigid hook:

Take care not to pull the tubing from the earmould.

Place the hearing aid somewhere dry and safe.

Wash the earmould in soap and water.

You may use a small brush to help remove any wax.

Rinse with fresh water. Shake or blow out any excess water. Leave the earmould somewhere to dry, preferably overnight, before attaching to the aid.

How do I clean my hearing aids (Thin Tube)?

Keeping the Thin Tube clean is important for keeping the instrument in good working order.

Daily Cleaning

Use a damp cloth or ‘wet wipe’ to gently clean around the dome.

Checking for Blockages

Unscrew the Thin Tube from the instrument

Push the cleaning tool though the Thin Tube form the instrument end and out though the dome

Screw the thin tube back on to the instrument

Do not remove the dome from the Thin Tube as it may become loose. If you suspect a dome has become stuck in your ear, do not attempt to remove it yourself but attend the Ear, Nose & Throat Department at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm) or A&E Department (Weekends & Bank Holidays) to have it removed.

Do not immerse the Thin Tube or Hearing Aid in water

Why is there no sound coming from my hearing aid?

  • Check the hearing aid is switched on (battery drawer fully closed);
  • Check the battery – if it is a new one check that it is in the right way. If it is old, replace it;
  • Check the tubing for signs of moisture;
  • Check the earmould or thin tube – is it blocked with wax? Check and follow the cleaning advice detailed above. If you have made all the above checks, the aid may be faulty. Take it back to one of the repairs clinics at the Audiology department.

 

Why is my hearing aid making a whistling noise?

  • Check the earmould, tubing and thin tube, if the earmould or thin tube is not fitted properly or the tubing is split take it back to the Audiology department;
  • Check the earmould or thin tube dome is not loose in your ear;
  • Ask the Practice Nurse at your GP surgery to check your ears for wax (for more information on wax and hearing aids please consult the Advice on Ear Wax and Hearing Aid Use leaflet);
  • If you have made all the above checks, the aid may be faulty. Take it back to one of the repairs clinics at the Audiology department.

Why is my hearing aid making a buzzing noise?

  • Check the battery as above;

If you have made all the above checks, the aid may be faulty. Take it back to one of the repairs clinics at the Audiology department.

Why is my Hearing Aid making a crackling noise that comes and goes?

  • Check the tubing or thin tube, if it is more than 6 months old it needs replacing;
  • Check the battery;
  • If you have made all the above checks, the aid may be faulty. Take it back to one of the repairs clinics at the Audiology department.

How do I re-tube my earmould?

The tubing in your earmould needs changing every 6 months. Below are some instructions and a video so you can change this yourself, or you can attend a repair clinic.

1.Cut one side of the tubing diagonally, so it tapers at the end. Avoid cutting too close to the bend.

2. Thread the tapered tube through the earmould to the bend.

3. Cut the tapered end of tubing flush to the tip of the earmould.

4. Using the old piece of tubing as a guide, cut the new tube at the same length. This can now be attached to your hearing aid.

New tubing can be obtained from the Audiology Department and
the NDA Listen Here Bus.

How do I change my thin tube?

Due to wear we usually suggest the tubes and domes to be changed every three to six months.

Unscrew the thin tube.

Replace with new tube taking note of the right (RED) and left (BLUE) markers on aid and thin tube.

 

Replacement thin tubes can be obtained from:

Audiology Department at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital and Cromer Hospital
By email: audioadmin@nnuh.nhs.uk
By post: Send in your battery card

Hear for Norfolk mobile clinic (timetable available here: Hear for Norfolk)

Changing your filters

Filters protect the microphones in your hearing aid from dust, humidity and other debris. These filters should be replaced every few months. If the sound from the hearing aid is muffled, it could be a sign that these need changing.

  1. The picture on the left shows you where the filters are. You will need the grey tool to remove them.

                 

  1. Use the grey tool to pop the filters out of their hole. The picture on the right will show you what the hearing aid looks like with the filters removed.

                             

  1. Line up the new filter strip with the holes and gently press the filter into place. Remove the plastic strip and the filters should remain in place.

I am struggling to hear the telephone/doorbell ring, even with my hearing aid in. Is there anything that can help?

It is a common misconception that a hearing aid will solve all hearing problems. A hearing aid alone may not solve all problems, sometimes additional equipment may be of benefit in a number of different situations, including:

  • Hearing the phone ring & following a phone conversation
  • Hearing the doorbell
  • Hearing an alarm clock
  • Listening to the TV or radio
  • Taking part in group discussions

Equipment is available to purchase from Connevans and Action On Hearing Loss (formerly known as The Royal National Institute for Deal People, RNID). Catalogues are available from the Audiology department or directly from the organisations themselves:

Connevans

Connevans Limited
Bridge House
1 Nutfield Road
Merstham
Surrey RH1 3EB

Telephone: 01737 247571
Fax: 01737 223475
Minicom: 01737 644016
Email: info@connevans.com
Action On Hearing Loss

Action On Hearing Loss
1 Haddonbrook Business Centre
Orton Southgate
Peterborough
PE2 6YX

Telephone: 01733 361199
Textphone: 01733 238020
Fax: 01733 361161
Email solutions@hearingloss.org.uk

 

 

How do I use the telephone with my hearing aid?

When using the telephone tilt the receiver edge slightly on your cheekbone in order to let the sound flow directly into the hearing instrument’s microphone opening. This way, the hearing aid will not whistle and you ensure the best conditions to understand the conversation.

If your hearing aid has a telecoil, or loop system, and your telephone has a built in telecoil, you can switch into the telecoil program in order to further improve the sound reception.

Further Information Videos

For further advice regarding hearing aids, please access the c2Hear free multimedia resource for hearing aid users on this link c2Hear .