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Hearing aid assessment

Hearing aids

Look like?
Do I need hearing aid?

Hearing aids these days are pretty amazing wearable technology, that can be made as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Bluetooth comes as standard on all of our behind the ear aids, and our larger in-the-ear aids, meaning that you can stream voice calls, music and podcasts directly to your hearing aids, and control them with an app if you want.


Do I need a hearing aid?

Nearly all of us will experience some degree of hearing loss during the course of our lives. There are many signs of hearing loss, but as it often happens slowly over several years, many people do not notice the gradual loss of everyday sounds.


If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may well have a hearing loss:


  • Speech sounds muffled and unclear

  • Difficulty hearing when there is background noise

  • Pardon? Asking people to repeat themselves

  • Turning up the TV volume

  • Difficulty using the phone

  • Feeling isolated or down

  • Tinnitus


Don’t delay doing something about it – older people wait on average a staggering seven years to accept that they have a hearing problem and get it managed. That’s SEVEN YEARS of missing out on hearing friends, family, birdsong and other sounds that you love.


What do they look like?

We supply a full range of Hearing Aid styles. From tiny in-the-ear models, discreet receiver-in-the ear styles, all the way to larger ones in bright colours we have you covered.

They look great, don’t whistle and are easy to put in and take out. Our range of rechargeable hearing aids makes changing little batteries a thing of the past. Just charge them up overnight, and you have a full day’s use the next day.

Hearing Aid styles
Do they ok?
Which hearing aids do Mills & McKinney provide?

Do hearing aids really work?

Well, in a recent UK survey 94% of people asked said that they improved their quality of life, and most people wished that they had got them sooner.

Which hearing aids do Mills & McKinney provide?

Mills & McKinney are truly independent, and therefore the choice of hearing aid make and model is only ever based on what is best for you. We supply hearing aids from Oticon, Phonak, Widex, Starkey and GN ReSound.


Fully customisable hearing care

Hearing aids can be fully customised to your work, social and leisure needs. They can be tuned specifically for your needs, and re-tuned should these change over time. They are there to enhance speech, filter out background noise, and make sounds clear and comfortable for you.

Oticon, Phonak, Widex, Starkey and GN ReSound
Fully customisable
Wireless accessories

Wireless accessories

We also provide a range of wireless accessories that help specifically with the TV, and microphones that are ideal for use in lectures and classrooms.

What happens

Can I refer myself directly to Mills & McKinney for a hearing aid?

We have a close relationship with some of the country’s most eminent medical specialists in the field of hearing loss.


You may have been referred by one of them, but you are also very welcome to refer yourself to Mills & McKinney. If we have any concerns we will make sure that you are referred to the appropriate specialist.


However, if your hearing loss has happened suddenly, and is not due to an ear infection, we advise that you contact your GP as soon as possible, and request immediate referral to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist.


If you are referring you child, we recommend that they are under the management of an Audiological Physician or Ear Nose and Throat specialist prior to referral.


What happens during the assessment appointment?

The appointment will last at least an hour, and we will spend time taking a medical history, but also finding out about your listening needs, normal sound environment, demands on your hearing, tinnitus, sound tolerance, and the general impact of your hearing loss.


An ear examination will show if there is any wax build-up, followed by some hearing tests if. Your ears are clear. If they aren’t we will arrange wax removal for you.


The hearing test will show us the level at which you hear sounds of various pitches, and how well you hear speech. We will also do a pressure test to check middle ear function.


We will then go through the results with you in detail and discuss how your hearing loss (if one is present) will affect your ability to hear speech and other sounds. You will now have three options depending on the outcome:

  • Option 1: Your hearing is fine, nothing to do now but we will put you down for an annual hearing check

  • Option 2: Your hearing is not a problem, but we recommend management for tinnitus, sensitivity to sound or any other auditory problems identified

  • Option 3: Your hearing warrants hearing aids and these are the recommended options

We will discuss all style and pricing options with you at this appointment, and provide a full written quotation as required. You then have as long as you need to decide on the best course of action for you.


In some cases hearing aids can be fitted and taken away on the day of assessment, however we usually require a minimum of two days between assessment and fitting, slightly more if we are using a custom-made solution.

Fittin appointment
What happens at the hearing aid fitting appointment?

What happens at the hearing aid fitting appointment?

The hearing aids are carefully fitted, and then tuned to your hearing loss. We check that the sound that you are getting in your ear canal is exactly what it should be and is clear and comfortable for you. We can set up customised listening programmes, or we can set the hearing aids to be fully automatic.


Where required the hearing aids will be paired to your smart phone, and we will set you up with the appropriate app to control them. We will also give you a practice phone call to make sure that this technology is working well.


If you have a favourite piece of music, or podcast please bring it with you.


We will also show you how to put the hearing aids in and take them out, charge them, replace batteries, and clean them.


Review appointments

You will be offered a review appointment at both two and four weeks after Hearing Aid Fitting, but more frequently if you feel that it is necessary.


These appointments are there to check on your progress and make any fine tuning or fitting adjustments. These are usually the appointments when we go through care and maintenance of your hearing aids in further detail, and make sure that you have all the supplies that you need. 


 We would typically offer you further reviews at 3 months and 6 months after fitting, and thereafter on an annual basis. However, our hearing aid prices include unlimited reviews for the lifetime of the hearing aids meaning that we are always delighted to see you if you have any concerns. 


Annual reviews are an excellent time to re-check your hearing and make any necessary adjustments to your hearing aids. And because technology changes rapidly, we will always discuss anything that might be of additional benefit to you.

Remote care

Remote care

We offer remote care options too. 


Whilst we always prefer to assess and manage your hearing care face to face, we recognise that this is not always possible.


Initial assessments can be carried out via video call, however we do need to see you for testing and initial hearing aid fitting. 


After that it is possible to fine tune hearing aids remotely – you will need a mobile phone connected to your hearing aids, and a good internet connection.

How does hearing change as I get older

How does hearing change as I get older

Most people as they get older retain good hearing for lower pitched sounds but have real difficulties with mid to higher-pitched sounds.


It is these mid to higher pitched sounds that give speech clarity – so if you don’t have good hearing for higher pitches then people will appear to mumble even though the volume is ok.


To make matters worse, background noise or echo simply masks out high frequency sound, so people with even a small degree of high frequency hearing loss can really struggle in noisy conditions. Auditory Training can really help.

Does a hearing aid prevent brain ageing

Does a hearing aid prevent brain ageing

In short – yes! There is a lot of evidence that unaided hearing loss is associated with poor memory, social isolation, a faster rate of cognitive decline, and a general increase in brain ageing.


It is also true that the sooner something is done about hearing loss, the easier it is. In other words, treating a mild hearing loss will be far more effective than waiting until it becomes severe, as well as protecting you from brain ageing.


Part of this is keeping the brain active and alert, but a large part is also reducing listening effort. Listening effort makes us process sound more slowly, and can lead us to avoid work, social and leisure activities that involve talking to people. Social isolation is a huge factor in how our brains age.


So, hearing well helps to:
  • Reduce listening effort

  • Boost brain stimulation and possibly slow the decline in people with Dementia

  • Reduce a major factor in social isolation

  • Maintain better cognitive function

  • Maintain better communication skills


Hearing well is not one of life’s optional extras – it is key to keeping us fully engaged in life, and we need full access to sound to keep our brains working as well as possible.


Don’t keep putting it off – pop in to see us for a hearing assessment. You have everything to gain, and Hearing Aids really are life changing.

Looking after your hearing aids

After investing in your hearing aids, you will no doubt want to keep them performing to their optimum level and for as long as possible. A regular cleaning routine will help to keep your aids functioning exactly as they should.


It is essential that you have a daily cleaning routine and replace wax filters and domes every four to six weeks. You also need to keep the aids clean and dry.


If you do not do this, the receiver (the component which provides sound into your ear) may become blocked with wax and will gradually become weaker, affecting performance. If not cleaned regularly, it will eventually stop working altogether, requiring repair or even replacement.

Wax blockage is regarded by manufacturers as your responsibility, so they are within their rights to reject any warranty claim for damage caused by wax blockage – so even more reason to prevent it.

If you have difficulty in changing domes or filters or need to go over the cleaning regime again, please contact us and ask for help – we would prefer you to do this rather than have the aids block with wax and not perform as they should do.

We also provide a range of drying boxes, which both sanitise and dry your hearing aids.

Cleaning routines and equipment vary according to the make and model of your hearing aid.

You can find further information on care of Oticon RITE aids here:

Insert links to Oticon RITE with custom moulds resource, Oticon RITE with domes resource, Oticon CIC resource and Oticon ITC resource.


Here are some useful videos & links:

Changing Oticon Domes



Changing Oticon ProWax minifit guards

Changing Oticon ProWax guards

Changing Oticon T-cap filters


Changing Phonak Domes

Changing the dome (


Changing Phonak CeruSheild filter

Changing the CeruShield filter (

Pairing your hearing aids to your phone

All our behind-the-ear and the larger in-the-ear hearing aids will pair to modern smart phones, both Apple and Android. This allows you to stream voice calls, music and pod-casts directly to your hearing aids. You can also use a dedicated app to adjust your hearing aids settings. Your hearing aids will be paired during the fitting appointment, however you can also easily do it yourself if, for example, you upgrade your phone.


Here are some useful links to guide you through the process. It is slightly different for made for iPhone hearing aids (such as Oticon) and for other hearing aids (such as Phonak).


How to connect Oticon hearing aids to an iPhone
 How to connect Oticon hearing aids to an iPhone
How to connect Oticon hearing aids to an Android Phone
How to connect Oticon hearing aids to an Android Phone


How to connect Phonak hearing aids to an iPhone
Connecting Phonak hearing aids to an iPhone® (video)
  1. Go to your iPhone home screen and tap on the “Settings” icon. 

  2. In the settings menu, tap on the “Bluetooth®” icon. 

  3. Tap on the slider to turn Bluetooth “on”. 

  4. First open for 5 seconds and then close the battery doors or switch the hearing aids off and on again if you have a rechargeable Phonak hearing aids. 

  5. After several seconds, the name of your Phonak hearing aids will appear on the iPhone screen.

  6. Select the hearing aid from Bluetooth enabled devices list.  

  7. A beep from the hearing aid confirms successful pairing. 

Your iPhone is now connected to the Phonak hearing aids.

iPhone Tips and Tricks
  1. Make sure the phone is updated to the latest iOS version: Settings – General – About – Version. 

  2. If your phone call is not automatically heard in the hearing aids, change call audio routing on your phone: Settings – General – Accessibility – Call Audio Routing – Change to Bluetooth Headset. 

  3. If you hear keyboard sounds in your hearing aids, turn off audible alerts: Settings – Sounds & Haptics (iPhone 6s and higher) or Sounds. Scroll down and turn off Keyboard Clicks and Lock Sounds. Select the ring or alert tone for each option (text, voicemail, email, ringtone, etc) and manually change each alert tone from the currently selected sound to “none” or “vibrate”. 

  4. Close open apps: From the Home screen, quickly press the Home button (at the bottom) twice then swipe the screen left or right to view the list of apps. Scroll through the list of apps, hold the app then swipe it up and off the screen. 

  5. Close open apps (iPhone X and newer): From the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause near the middle of the screen until all open app cards appear. Scroll through the list of apps, hold down on the app and then tap the red minus sign.

How to connect Phonak hearing aids to an Android phone

Connecting Phonak hearing aids to an Android™ smartphone (video)
  1. Go to the Android phone’s home screen and tap on the “Settings” icon. 

  2. In the settings menu, tap on the “Bluetooth®” icon. 

  3. Tap on the slider to turn Bluetooth “on”. 

  4. First open for 5 seconds and then close the battery doors or switch the hearing aids off and on again if you have rechargeable Phonak hearing aids. 

  5. Select the hearing aid from Bluetooth enabled devices list.    

  6. A beep from the hearing aid confirms successful pairing.   

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