As hearing loss varies from person to person, finding the right treatment will depend on your lifestyle, the type of hearing loss you have and what works best for you. 
Treatment for hearing loss is evolving all the time, with new research constantly finding new methods to improve hearing when it’s been impaired by age, loud noises or medical conditions. 
The main goal of hearing treatment is to restore your ‘hearing function’, so you can continue to enjoy the sounds around you.

What happens after your hearing test?

The first thing you need to do before we can decide on your treatment is to have your hearing tested by an expert audiologist. These are non-invasive tests designed to find out what kind of sounds you’re hearing, and which ones you aren’t. You can find out more about the hearing test here.

Once we have the results from your test we can decide on how to treat your hearing loss. Your hearing test may show us that something is blocking your ear canal, such as earwax. Other times you may need to be assessed and fitted for a hearing aid to help restore your hearing. Your audiologist will talk you through the options available for you during your appointment.

Earwax removal

Earwax is one of the more common causes of hearing loss, alongside age. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest to treat, as long as the removal of the earwax is carried out by an experienced professional. If earwax build-up is affecting your hearing or producing any other troublesome symptoms, we provide a safe and efficient service.

Earwax removal service

Please don’t be tempted to try and remove earwax yourself as you’re more likely to compact the earwax or cause further issues.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are probably the most well-known treatment for hearing loss. 

There are many different types depending on your budget and needs, but all hearing aids include a microphone to pick up sounds, an amplifier to increase the volume of sounds received and speakers to let you hear the amplified sounds.

Once you’ve had a chat with one of our audiologists and decided on the hearing aid you want, your audiologist will tell you what happens next. You’ll need to find a time to get your hearing aid fitted — this can usually be done the same day as your hearing test, as long as the hearing aid is in stock. For some products, like open-fit or custom-fit aids, you may have to come back another day. 

If you choose an ‘in the ear’ style, a mould of your ear is taken to make sure your hearing aid fits perfectly. You only need impressions taken for custom-fit hearing aids or if you are having an ear mould made for your hearing aid.

A hearing aid fitting takes around 45 minutes, during which time your audiologist will check the health of your ears, show you how to use and fit your hearing aids and programme them for your needs. 

Browse our range of hearing aids

Cochlear (hearing) implants

If you have a more profound type of hearing loss, you may be recommended a cochlear implant. These are very small devices that are implanted directly into your ear. 

Cochlear implants don’t restore normal hearing, instead they provide a sense of sound to help you understand speech. So, rather than amplifying and isolating sounds or ‘turning up the volume’ like hearing aids, these devices bypass the damaged part of the ear to transmit sounds directly to the auditory nerve. Electrical impulses then travel along this nerve to the brain which interprets them as sounds.

Because of this, it can take some time to get used to the sounds generated from cochlear implants and to relearn hearing in a new way. 

Getting a cochlear implant

Getting a cochlear implant is quite a serious decision as they require surgical intervention and long-term therapy and guidance in order to gain the most benefit from them. 

Complications are a risk with every surgery, but cochlear implants are considered very safe in general. Guidance and therapy are required because the sounds generated by direct stimulation of the auditory nerve don’t sound like the sounds we are used to. It can take a little bit of time to adjust to the new type of hearing. 

People who experience significant hearing loss later in life have still shown that they benefit from a cochlear implant. 

If you need a cochlear implant, you’ll be referred to a specialist ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor to discuss your options.

Telecoil

While many hearing aids come with ‘hearing loops’ installed, they’re actually separate systems. Telecoils or ‘t-coils’ were first meant to make phone calls clearer but now work with all types of ALDs including loop systems and more.

One of the key benefits of a telecoil is that the receiver itself picks up and amplifies the signal, resulting in a clearer sound with less distracting background noise.

Hearing loop systems

Perhaps the most well known ALD, hearing loop systems are installed in many public settings like classrooms, airports and places of worship.

The loop picks up on electromagnetic energy supplied by a thin wire that is spread throughout the public space, typically under the floor and through the walls. You can find out more about hearing loops here.

Assistive listening devices

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) come in many forms and variations. Their main function is to help one-to-one communication and improve your ability to participate fully in your day-to-day life. ALDs can also be used in conjunction with both hearing aids or cochlear implants to amplify and isolate certain sounds.

Personal amplifiers

These are the most basic devices but are useful when the above systems aren’t available or installed. Personal amplifiers use a directional microphone to increase the volume of sound reaching the listener.

Are ALDs the same as hearing aids?

Hearing aids are the only hearing devices approved for the medical treatment of hearing loss. ALDs are often used to complement the use of a hearing aid.

Assistive devices refer to sound amplifiers, which increase the volume of all surrounding sounds. Some try to improve the quality of hearing by increasing the volume in a particular direction that would be useful to the user.

For example, amplifying the sound coming from the person in front of them rather than all sounds surrounding them.

FAQs

How do you treat conductive hearing loss?

Conductive hearing loss is caused by  blockage of some kind in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from properly passing through to the inner ear. Treatments depend on what is causing the blockage. For example, if an ear infection has caused a fluid build-up, your doctor will probably prescribe you some antibiotics to clear the inflammation from the infection, which should also help the fluid build-up drain away. If you’re prone to ear infections and they are a recurring issue, as often happens in children, your doctor may offer you a type of surgery where a small tube (known as a grommet or pressure equalisation tube) will be placed across the eardrum to help fluid drain from the middle ear to the eardrum and help prevent build-up. Occasionally an excessive build-up of earwax can also cause a conductive hearing loss. Where this is the case, you can arrange for this to be removed in store. 

Can you reverse sensorineural hearing loss?

Sensorineural hearing loss happens when the sensitive, hair-like cells within the cochlea or the hearing nerve become damaged. In the case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss especially, it’s important to see your audiologist as soon as you can (ideally within 72 hours) as some or all of your hearing could be recovered. If sudden hearing loss has been caused by infection or an ototoxic drug, you should see your GP first. Unlike gradual loss or congenital causes, sudden onset hearing loss can be reversed — as long as it’s identified and treated immediately.

For sudden sensorineural hearing loss, your doctor may prescribe treatment with corticosteroids. These come in two forms: tablets or an injection through the eardrum (intratympanic injection). If your hearing loss is gradual or congenital, however, it isn’t likely that it can be reversed. In that case, a hearing aid or cochlear implant can help to improve your hearing. 

Causes of hearing loss
Understanding hearing loss
Symptoms of hearing loss