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Frequently asked questions

If you have a query about anything from hearing loss to ear wax removal, these FAQs may help you.

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Hearing Test

It depends on your earwax buildup. In the majority of cases earwax removal is not required before a hearing test. It is healthy and normal that a small amount of earwax is present, and it doesn’t affect the hearing test. With that being said, if you are aware that you get a considerable earwax build up, please let us know so we can examine your ears before your hearing test.

If you find yourself constantly saying ‘pardon’, struggling to follow conversations in restaurants or social gatherings, turning the television volume really high or you have difficulties hearing people on the other end of the telephone; it could be beneficial for you to have your hearing tested. Contact your nearest hearing centre and book your Initial Assessment with one of your audiologists.

At Worcester & Stratford Hearing Centres, we are an independent, family run business with a team of highly qualified audiologists. Please visit our Team page to get to know us.

If it is a self-referring general hearing concern, our Initial Assessment includes a full Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation which is comprised of Pure Tone Audiometry, Middle Ear Anatomy Test and Speech Discrimination in Background Noise Assessment. The cost is £95 but we are currently running a promotion for £35. The cost of the Initial Assessment is fully refundable if you make a hearing solution purchase.

If you have been referred by a clinician or other professional, our Hearing Test including a report is £90.

During your initial consultation your audiologist will assess your hearing and your needs based on your evaluation results and your lifestyle. Our diagnostic hearing evaluation includes:

  • Video view of the inside of your ear
  • Tympanometry and middle ear anatomy test
  • Pure tone audiometry
  • Speech in noise testing
  • Acceptable noise level testing
  • Explanation of your hearing results
  • Advice on a suitable hearing system if required

As it is a full diagnostic hearing evaluation, the appointment can take up to 90 minutes.

At Worcester & Stratford Hearing Centres we offer up to date hearing aids from the top manufacturers in the world, so you know you’re only getting the best. The first-class hearing instruments are just a part of the solution. We pride ourselves on being thorough, professional, friendly, and above all, approachable. We then continue delivering care to ensure that your devices are fitted perfectly and that you can get on with enjoying your life without difficulty. Our greatest pleasure is to see someone re-connect to their life.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is more common than most people think. In the UK, there are about 12 million adults living with hearing loss. That is about 1 in 5 of us.

Only 40% of people who need hearing aids have them. Many people with hearing loss wait as long as 10 years before they do something about it, the long wait only worsens the problem. If you or one of your loved ones is suffering from hearing loss, you have come to the right place. Contact your nearest hearing centre and book your Initial Assessment with one of your audiologists.

Contrary to popular belief, it is untrue to say that only older people suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can occur at any age. Although old age or exposure to loud noise are the most common causes of hearing loss; hereditary factors, illness, infection, injury, medication side effects and blockages of the ear (such as wax) can also be causes.

Understanding the source of your hearing difficulties gives our audiologists a deeper insight to your needs. We can offer bespoke hearing solutions based on your type of hearing loss and lifestyle needs. For more information, see our Guide to Better Hearing.

We are often unaware of how well or poorly we hear on a daily basis. Some of the early signs of hearing loss are:

  • People seem to mumble and not speak clearly.
  • You often ask people to repeat themselves.
  • It is hard for you to understand someone if they talk quietly or whisper.
  • You have trouble hearing high-pitched tones (For example: music, birdsong, children voices).
  • It is difficult for you to follow other people’s conversations in loud environments (For example: in restaurants or social gatherings).
  • You tend to go out less because it is hard to follow other people’s conversations.
  • People often ask you to turn down the volume of your television or radio.
  • You have difficulties hearing someone at the other end of the telephone.
  • You have trouble recognising the direction from which a car is approaching.

If you have agreed with four or more of these statements, we recommend you contact your nearest hearing centre to book an appointment for an Initial Assessment.

If you are experiencing ringing or humming in your ears, you could be suffering from tinnitus. You are not alone, nearly everyone has experienced tinnitus at one time or other, for most it is a passing incident. However, for some, it can be a constant companion. The definition of Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of any corresponding external sound. It is a Latin word which means ringing. Tinnitus can be heard in one ear or two or perceived centrally inside your head. It can be a ringing noise, a hissing noise and for some, it is even perceived as music!

It is not a disease in itself, it is a symptom of some underlying condition or problem occurring anywhere within the hearing system. Don’t forget, your ears are just the conduits for sound, hearing also involves the auditory nerve and the brain centres responsible. Most Tinnitus is associated with the presence of hearing loss, however, some people have tinnitus and normal hearing.

There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are hearing aids available that have built-in systems designed to help relieve your tinnitus symptoms. Request an appointment at your nearest branch, we are here to help.

Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease, it is associated with many forms of hearing problems. (It can also be a symptom of other health problems.) Tinnitus is typically caused by:

  • Hearing Loss –Most people who have tinnitus also have some kind of hearing loss.
  • Loud Noise –Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss become worse.
  • Medication –More than 200 medicines, including aspirin, can cause tinnitus. If you have tinnitus and you take medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine could be the cause.

Request an appointment at your nearest branch, we are here to help.

There are ways to get tinnitus relief, including management advice and sound therapy. There have been many advancements in the understanding of tinnitus in the last few years. Many hearing aid manufacturers now include tinnitus therapy options as core features of their hearing aids. Not just that, many have designed accompanying smart phone apps focused completely on tinnitus.

At Worcester & Stratford-upon-Avon Hearing Centres, we offer a full Tinnitus assessment, this includes:

  • 30 minutes with the audiologist to discuss your tinnitus
  • Complete a tinnitus assessment questionnaire
  • Explanation of outcome and discuss options going forward

Request an appointment at your nearest branch, we are here to help.

At Worcester & Stratford-upon-Avon Hearing Centres, we offer a full Tinnitus assessment, this includes:

  • 30 minutes with the audiologist to discuss your tinnitus
  • Complete a tinnitus assessment questionnaire
  • Explanation of outcome and discuss options going forward

The cost is £150. Request an appointment at your nearest branch, we are here to help.

Are you looking for a solution for your hearing needs?

Call us on 01905 617803 or book your appointment online now

Earwax

The fee for the ear wax removal appointment is £80.

This includes video otoscopy to record images of your ear drums before and after the procedure and ear wax removal for one or both ears as required.

The time allocated for the appointment is 30 minutes.

If in the rare case that the procedure cannot be completed during your 30 minutes, due to very impacted or stubborn wax, then a second appointment may be booked to complete it.

It is critically important to the outcome of your appointment that the advised olive oil treatment has been followed correctly. When booking, you will be advised how many days prior to the appointment you will need to treat your ears.

If a second, or follow up appointment is required, this will be charged at a reduced rate of £40.

If no ear wax is found, we will perform a Tympanometry test to measure your middle ear function and rule out any fluid or congestion in the middle ear, this will be a fee of £40.

We will give advice or arrange an onward referral to an appropriate medical specialist if required.

If you need to cancel your appointment this must be done at least 24 hours prior to the allocated start time.

Appointments that are not attended, or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice will not be rebooked unless a £40 no show fee is paid.

Our Audiologists are all hospital trained Clinical Audiologists. They have been trained in the specialist NHS Rotherham ear care unit and examined for competency in ear wax removal procedures by ENT surgeons. All our audiologists have also performed procedures on 100’s of ears in logged training under the supervision of Victoria Dixon, who has been teaching ear wax removal in the private sector for 15 years.

At Worcester and Stratford hearing centres we use medical ENT microscopes or high spec surgical loupes, which give a much higher level of magnification than magnified glasses commonly used by makeshift earwax removal clinics in many national companies, pharmacies and opticians. This ensures the Audiologist has a clear view of what he/she is doing and accurate depth perception maximises safety and effective outcome of the procedure.

We use clinical, highest specification, ENT suction units, made by Otopront. These suction units are substantially more advanced than the small portable off label home suction units commonly used by other companies.

We recommend to put in a couple of drops of pharmaceutical olive oil in your ears for 3 nights before you come to your appointment. Olive oil prepares the skin inside the ear for the wax removal, it creates enough moisture in the wax to be safely removed.

Olive oil does not remove the wax on its own. Olive oil prepares the skin inside the ear for the wax removal, it creates enough moisture in the wax to be safely removed by a Clinical Ear Care professional.

Please contact your nearest branch to book your appointment with one of our audiologists.

If you wear hearing aids, you can use olive oil at night when you take off your hearing aids to go to bed. Never put hearing aids in straight after putting olive oil in the ear.

We recommend you to stop using the Otex as it can be very damaging to the inside of your ear. Instead, please put in a couple of drops of pharmaceutical olive oil in your ears for 3 nights before you come to your appointment. Olive oil is gentle and protects the lining in your ear.

Request an appointment at your nearest branch, we are here to help.

You can pop into our practice and buy Earol, it is an olive oil spray that is very easy to use and it’s £5.99. Otherwise, you can get it from your local chemist.

Microsuction Earwax Removal:
The procedure is undertaken with a microscope and a finely balanced medical suction device.No liquids are introduced during the procedure, making it extra comfortable for you.Because we can see the ear canal and what we are doing clearly, it is exceptionally safe.

Ear Irrigation & Instrumentation:
This consists of pumping water into the ear canal at a controlled and steady rate, to dislodge and flush out ear wax. A metal basin is placed beneath the ear to collect the water and any earwax.This method is used if the wax is very soft and wet. This is often the case if the patient has been using lots of aggressive ear drops such as Otex.

Endoscopic Earwax Removal:
This method has clear advantages over any other removal method. Newly introduced procedure that removes earwax with the help of an endoscope. The endoscope is used to view the ear canal while the earwax is being removed. The endoscope allows us a high definition, extra wide view of the ear canal –making the removal even safer and easier to perform.

Our clinical audiologist will assess your wax build up and decide the most appropriate method of removal for you.

Earwax is not created as a bad thing. It is a protection mechanism for the ear canal; the issue only occurs when there is too much. You may need it removed if you have:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear.
  • The sensation that everything you hear is muffled.
  • Mild Tinnitus (a ringing in the ear).
  • Sudden hearing loss after swimming or showering.(Earwax is like a sponge, it soaks up the water and expands within the ear canal, completely blocking it.)

It is not advised that wax is cleared using cotton buds, as this very often pushes it towards the ear drum and can cause even more problems and it is difficult to remove. You should never poke anything down your ear with the view of relieving the problem yourself; the lining of the ear is very delicate and can easily be damaged. Leave it to one of our registered Clinical Ear Care specialists to remove the wax for you.

We recommend to never poke anything into your ear. The lining of the ear is delicate and can be easily damaged. The use of cotton buds in the ear may just push wax down the ear canal and make it more difficult to remove.

  • You’ll be greeted by our friendly reception staff who will assist you with the registration process.
  • Our clinical audiologist will then assess your wax build up and decide the most appropriate method of removal.
  • Removal of wax via the appropriate method (microsuction, instrumentation, irrigation or endoscopy).
  • Application of cetrimide antiseptic cream (to ensure the ear stays calm and no dry skin irritation occurs).
  • A post procedure assessment to ensure all wax is cleared and a healthy ear is observed.

Hearing Aids

There is no “one size fits all” answer to hearing loss, as each solution is as unique as its wearer. When choosing a hearing instrument, there are many factors which have to be taken into account; such as your degree of hearing loss, the anatomy of your ear and your personal lifestyle requirements.

We recommend you book an Initial Assessment with one of our audiologists to find out which solution is best for your particular hearing needs.

  • ‘Lyric’ -Completely invisible. No batteries needed. 24/7 wear.
  • Custom made in the ear -Almost invisible depending on size/shape of the ear.
  • Micro over-the-ear -Small and feather light. Disappear behind your ear.
  • Rechargeable – No batteries to worry about, simply charge them overnight.
  • Hearing glasses – Combining sound and vision.

At both our hearing centres in Worcester and Stratford-upon-Avon, we can offer you the finest selection of hearing aids from leading global brands. As an independent business, we are not tied into a particular brand. All of our hearing solutions are bespoke to you, our best interest is to provide you with the best solution for your particular needs.

We don’t just fit your hearing aids and never see you again, we offer continued care and support. Our promise is that you will receive the continuing time, care and attention, that you both need and deserve, to hear better. We believe that hearing better and reclaiming your joy in life is important. Our job is to help you achieve both of these things through dedicated care.

Yes, we offer our Premium Care Plan. It is an on-going service to keep your ears maintained and devices programmed efficiently. We have 4 different types of plans available to suit your needs. All plans include a full rehabilitation protocol consisting of 3 appointments after your fitting, a full review protocol every 6 months with a clean & check and insitu audiometry to ensure you are getting the best out of your hearing systems, a full 12/18 month reassessment, drop-in repair and clean & check services, hearing aid loan service, warranty cover of your hearing devices, a lifetime clean & check service and earwax removal.

 

You can have a look at our Premium Care Plans here.

We are more than just hearing aids, we are the team that looks after you.

Yes, finance is a fantastic way to spread the cost of your purchase. To make it easy we’ve partnered with Duologi whose smart technology lets you apply for and then complete the loan application quickly and entirely online. The quick application form takes no more than a couple of minutes to complete and then you’ll receive an instant decision.We offer a range of interest-free finance options to help you spread the cost of your purchase over 12 months. Your audiologist will discuss your finance options with you during your assessment.

Check your eligibility
Before you apply please note you will only be considered for finance if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old;
  • Are in regular full or part-time employment (minimum 16 hours per week or £5,000 per annum, unless you retired and receiving a private/company pension or in receipt of disability allowance);
  • Are a permanent UK resident and have lived in the UK for at least 3 years;
  • Have a good credit history with no late payments. debt relief orders, CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcies.

Children

We do not do wax removal or hearing tests for young children as we do not have the facilities required. We can offer appointments for children from 13 years old, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, please contact your nearest hearing centre to speak to one of our team members.

Accesibility

Yes, you can. We offer step-free consulting room options at both practices for anyone with mobility issues. When booking your appointment, please let our team members know.

Opening Times

Worcester & Stratford Hearing Centres are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

We don’t offer weekend appointments. Worcester & Stratford Hearing Centres are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Request Appointment

Call us to make an appointment on 01905 617803 (Worcester) or 01789 264111 (Stratford-upon-Avon) or complete the form below.



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