what is hearing loss?
Many people ignore the symptoms of hearing loss for far longer than you might expect.Do you find that you miss bits of conversation or have to turn the TV up louder than the rest of the family?
You may have found yourself making excuses: blaming the quality of the phone connection, the acoustics of the room or accusing people of mumbling when speaking to you.
If any of these symptoms seem familiar – it’s important for you to come and see Vikki as soon as possible. Chances are, you could be among the four million people in the UK who could benefit from a hearing aid.
There are two main types of hearing loss: the most common is ‘Sensorineural’, the second is ‘Conductive’.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be the result of simple ageing, exposure to high noise levels or from a previous infection of the inner ear. You might not even have realised you have this type of hearing loss, as you will experience very gradual hearing deterioration over a long period of time.
A personally-tailored hearing aid could potentially make a significant difference to your everyday life if you are suffering with sensorineural hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss is more likely the result of a problem with the outer ear. In many cases, this type of hearing loss can be corrected through pharmaceutical or surgical means.
We offer a huge range of services, from hearing assessments to specialist hearing protection and earwax removal. At Vikki Swift we take aftercare very seriously and pride ourselves on offering the very best service.
- A full hearing assessment
- Home visits by arrangement
- Noise protection advice and products including shooting and motorcycle protection
- Hearing aid advice
- Custom-made swimming earplugs
- Repairs and servicing
- Tinnitus Advice
- Wax removal
- Hearing aid accessories and batteries
- Hearing Aid Reprogramming
About hearing loss
We often take our ears for granted and they do amazing things. They are built from 3 sections - the outer, middle and inner ear - that work together to send audio information to your brain. Your brain translates this sound information into what we hear.
Who it affects
It is estimated that at least 8 million people in the UK suffer from some degree of hearing loss (source Action for Hearing), which is roughly 1 in 6 people. It can affect anyone regardless of age and is usually a gradual process. Nearly all people suffering some hearing loss can be helped with a hearing aid.
One of our hearing specialists will be able to advise you on the best course of action if you suspect that you are being affected by conductive hearing loss.
A hearing test with us is the first step to see if you have hearing loss so why not book an appointment today.
Signs of hearing loss
- People seem to mumble.
- Often asking family and friends to repeat themselves.
- Miss most of the conversation when background noise present.
- Mishearing conversations.
- Struggle to hear what children/grandchildren are saying.
- Trouble hearing a speaker from a distance
Causes of hearing loss
- Natural ageing process.
- Exposure to loud or constant noise.
- Ear infections or injury.
- Medication that is toxic to the auditory system.
- Illness or complications at birth.
- Do you find it difficult to follow a conversation in a crowded room?
- Do you frequently ask people to speak up or repeat themselves?
- Do you find yourself turning one ear towards the speaker to hear better?
- Do you often find it difficult to hear whilst speaking on the phone?
- Do you find young children's voices difficult to hear?
- Do you feel that people are mumbling and not speaking clearly?
- Do friends and relatives comment on your inability to understand clearly?
- Do you have ringing in your ears?
The consultation includes:
- An examination of the ear canals and eardrums
- A hearing test in a sound proof booth to produce an audiogram. This determines the type and degree of hearing loss.
- Speech Discrimination test – measures speech understanding
We will then clearly explain the results of the test to you. If a hearing loss is found we will give our recommendations for the best solution to meet your hearing needs.
Online Hearing TestDo A test
First of all we will listen to you. It is a recommendation that you bring someone close to you along to your appointment as it they can often provide useful information.
We want to know how you feel about your hearing and when you feel that you might be struggling.
We will ask some medical related questions so that we have a good understanding of your general health and history.
Next we will examine your ears. We have the latest technology and can show you images of your ears on screen if you are interested. If you have any wax in your ears we are able to gently remove that for you so that we get the most accurate test results.
We will test the quietest sounds that you are able to hear, check that your middle ear is functioning correctly and also test how well you are able to understand speech. At Vikki Swift we have a soundproof room which means that we can test how well you are hearing with your hearing aids in if necessary.
We will discuss all the results thoroughly and answer any questions that you may have.
If appropriate we can make a recommendation on next steps and organise for you to have a FREE trial of one of our hearing aids. There is absolutely no obligation to purchase, our main concern is to ensure that your ears are healthy and that you have all the facts you need to hand.
STEP 1: THE CONSULTATION
The first stage is that we spend some time discussing the difficulties you are having with your hearing, the type of lifestyle that you lead and we take time to understand your listening needs, goals and expectations.
STEP 2: THE HEARING TEST
We examine your ear with an otoscope, we are looking at the health of your ear, ear canal and ear drum, we are also looking for obvious obstuction such as wax or infection, if wax is found we can remove your wax quickly and safely with micro-suction wax removal, if infection is found we may have to refer you to your GP.
Next we perform your hearing test with Pure Tone Audiometry to produce your Audiogram. The hearing test involves you wearing headphones and pressing a button in response to a series of pure tone beeping sounds, we perform two different pure tone tests to give us all of the information needed to advise you on the type, degree and nature of your hearing loss.
STEP 3: THE EXPLANATION OF RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We take the time to explain your hearing test results.
We would at this point decide whether you simply need a check up in 12 months for a hearing retest or if we feel that you would benefit from using hearing aids we will talk to you about the most appropriate option for you from the full range of solutions available in our centre. We will take the following into account:
- Technology. The right manufacturer and level of technology for your needs.
- Style. The right style of device for you, we look at size, shape, type of hearing aids and discuss all of the options.
- Comfort. The most appropriate fitting hearing aid for your hearing loss and ear shape.
- Price. We have a wide range of hearing aids to suit evey budget.
STEP 4: THE HEARING AID FITTING
You can expect to hearing aid to be fitted within 7-14 days after your test dependant on the style of hearing aids dispensed.
At the fitting we will program your hearing aids to your exact requirements, to do this accurately we use methods called:
In Situ Audiometry:
This is where we play sounds through your hearing aid whilst it is in the ear to check what is actually being heard whilst wearing your hearing aid which again provides a much better fitting. We will then program the hearing aids to your own personal settings, you will now be ready to take them home and start using them. We will arrange a follow up appointment within 2 weeks of your fitting.
STEP 5: USING YOUR HEARING AIDS
It is a good idea to get used to wearing your hearing aids in a familiar and comfortable situations, such as at home with the family, you maybe comfortable building up your wearing time as you get used to wearing them. Once you are used to wearing your hearing aids you can wear them all the time apart from sleeping and bathing.
You may notice several things when you start using your hearing aids:
- Speech, music and television will all sound louder and clearer making it easier to hear.
- Consonants such as 's', 't' and 'ch' will be more defined.
- You may hear other sounds around you that before were very quite such as taps running, footsteps on tiled floors and ticking clocks.
- Your own voice will also sound different, this is something that you adapt to over time.
As you adapt to your hearing aids in your normal life, you wil then be able to come back to your follow up appointment and discuss any adjustments to sound that you would like, it is a good idea to make a list of anything you notice you would like adjusting so we don't forget to discuss it.
STEP 6: YOUR FOLLOW UP & FINE TUNE APPOINTMENT
We shall discuss how you have been getting along over the last 2 weeks, at this point we can make fine tuning adjustments to your hearing aids to further personalise the sound for you. These adjustments can make all the difference in the long run and help you get the most from your hearing aids.
STEP 7: REGULAR HEARING AID AFTERCARE
Once you have completed your follow up appointments we shall recall you regularly for a check-up this is important as we shall check your hearing aid
When you hear ringing, humming or buzzing constantly in your ears,
this is known as Tinnitus.
If you have a nerve issue in your ear it is usually associated with spinning or dizzy sensations.
You can often experience some sort of Tinnitus after a loud concert,
but this is only temporary and goes away after a few hours.
Tinnitus a life affecting condition.
For some people this is a permanent feature of their lives and greatly affects their lives..
Do you suffer from tinnitus?.
If you believe that you may suffer from Tinnitus then Vikki Swift Hearingcare can provide you with the help that you may need..
The British Tinnitus Association.
They has created a new online resource for those suffering with this condition – www.takeontinnitus.co.uk. The website gives you all the facts about Tinnitus and some ideas on how to manage it.
Have an assessment.
If you suffer from Tinnitus and would like to have your hearing assessed why not book a no obligation assessment with us?.
Ear Wax Removal
Ear wax microsuction is performed with the aid of a microscope and a finely calibrated suction device, without the introduction of any materials or liquids. Better than syringing, micro suction is the expert professional ear wax removal treatment. Micro-suction is the safer more effective solution to having your ears unblocked.
We specialise in the micro suction technique of removing ear blockages. This is generally accepted to be the safest and most effective method and is completely syringe free with no need for weeks of softening with oil. The procedure commonly takes a few minutes for each ear.
Seeing into the Ear Canal
The hearing specialist has an ideal view of the ear canal and the earwax blocking it making it safe for you.
No need for water
This is a dry procedure & there is no need for water to be flushed through the ear. This helps to greatly reduce the risk of infection.
safe for perforations
Micro suction is safe for perforated eardrum or mastoid cavity as opposed to ear syringing and ear irrigation.
With micro suction there is not necessarily a need for ear drops before the procedure unlike ear syringing or ear irrigation..
We understand that sometimes it’s not easy to get in to see us – so we can come to you for home visits
At Vikki Swift we can visit you at home to test your hearing and offer advice.
Ideally it’s best for you to come into our centre so that we can test your hearing in state-of-the-art sound-proofed surroundings, however we understand that this isn’t always possible. We also appreciate that some people have very busy schedules – if it is easier for you to see us on a Saturday or in the evening, we can be there.
Please let us know what we can do to accommodate you.