The human ear is an incredibly sensitive organ that can be easily damaged by excessively loud noises or repeated exposure to loud noise. For some people this damage occurs due to their employment in a noisy workplace, whereas for others the slow reduction in hearing capability can be a simple sign of old age catching up with them. In either situation, hearing can be assisted or improved significantly through the use of a hearing aid.
Long-gone are the days of the age-old ear trumpets, these days almost all hearing aids are digital and very significantly smaller and less obtrusive than their predecessors. There are various types available depending on size, levels of amplification and design. They are all battery operated and the main types are:
Behind the Ear – BTE, which rests behind the ear and sends sound into the ear through either an earmould or a small, soft tip (called an open fitting)
In the Ear – ITE, which sits in the ear canal and the shell of the ear
In the Canal – ITC, which has its working parts in the earmould, so the whole hearing aid fit inside the hearing canal.
Completely in the canal – CIC, this fits further into the ear than the ITC aid.
ITE, ITC and CIC hearing aids are not issued as standard by the NHS, but they are available in certain circumstances.
If you’re concerned about your hearing, your first port of call should be your GP who can refer you to a specialist such as an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Consultant, a hearing specialist (audiologist) if you are over 60, or a clinic run by audiology staff at your GP surgery, hospital or healthcare centre. The specialist will assess your hearing to find the cause of your hearing loss. Some people may not need a hearing aid – for example if the deafness was caused by an infection that can be cured. However if your specialist advised that you would benefit from using a hearing aid you will be referred to the audiology service who will recommend the most suitable type of device for you. All NHS hearing aids are now digital and are supplied free of charge.
What if my hearing loss was related to my job?
If you think your hearing loss is associated with your employment contact one of our solicitors today – they will swiftly be able to tell you if you have a claim, and if so, how much it could be worth.