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Hearing aids for the first time - I'm worried!

(56 Posts)
Applegran Fri 25-May-18 17:47:01

I have been noticing that people speak more quietly than they used to - and finally decided I should have a hearing test. I've just come home from having the test. I knew it was likely that I'd need hearing aids, but I am feeling a bit unsettled by the news that I do need them. Silly, I know - thats the point of getting tested - but I am wondering what it will be like, and how easy it is to adapt to using them. I won't get them for a couple of weeks (I have to pour olive oil into my ears till I can have them syringed, first ) Can anyone tell me their experience and advise how to adapt? Will it be a great leap forward into better hearing?

silverlining48 Fri 25-May-18 18:00:15

They take a while to get used to, the sound can be strange. Persist if you can.
While some people, like my husband, has got used to them and puts them in every day.
I found the sound tinny and distorted and my ears were very itchy so I don’t use mine.
Take care of them though, he thought he had lost his while gardening this week. Luckily we found them but you have to pay if you lose or damage them. Which is fair enough.
Give them a go, good luck.

Davidhs Fri 25-May-18 18:15:41

If they are free NHS hearing aids there will be a tube from the aid which hides behind your ear they are a fiddle to put on at first but easier to adjust tone and volume and if you wear your hair long won't be seen.
If they are private "in the ear" they are less visible" , but, fiddly, difficult to adjust, small batteries have a short life and prone to getting lost or eaten by the dog ( expensive it did happen).
Both types are fine for normal conversation and daily routine, neither are any use in a noisy environment, pub, cocktail party, loud music. If noise is very loud they will overload and shriek, take them out.

Luckygirl Fri 25-May-18 18:25:20

I have not had a moment of trouble with my NHS aids. They tested my hearing and sent me home with aids programmed for my needs. I left them in for the rest of that day, put them in next morning and have worn them every day since - the last 2 years.

The noise of paper rustling, cutlery clanging etc. took about an hour to get used to.

I honestly think that some folk do make too much of all this - the aids have transformed my life and the sound of birdsong is once again a part of my life - wonderful!

Most people do not even know I wear them.

I think we are so blessed to have this means of hearing better - and for it to be free!

wildswan16 Fri 25-May-18 18:49:22

I am a little surprised that you have been asked to put olive oil in your ears and have them syringed. If you have enough wax in them to require syringing then surely you had enough wax to affect any hearing test that was done. Were your ear drums both visible to the technician who tested your hearing?

Forgive me if I have misunderstood.

Luckygirl Fri 25-May-18 19:17:00

Exactly what I thought wildswan!

NannyJan53 Fri 25-May-18 20:12:13

I have worn hearing aids for almost 15 years. I couldn't manage without them, they are a godsend!

Whoever invented them deserves and medal, and all free on NHS!

Grannynise Fri 25-May-18 20:28:31

Just put them in and leave them in - you'll get used to them really quickly then. But if your ears are waxy the test won't have been accurate anyway. The NHS wouldn't test my hearing until I'd dealt with the wax. Having your ears suctioned seemed to me to be much more effective than syringing.

NanKate Fri 25-May-18 21:21:42

I have a private bought hearing aid, but to be honest they don’t look much different from the NHS ones.

It took me a couple of days to get used to them then all was fine, wouldn’t be without them.

If they offer you ones with a little extra wire on them to secure them safely in you ear do accept them. I don’t worry about losing them now.

Deedaa Fri 25-May-18 22:48:27

It took a few days to get used to mine. I wore them for a couple of hours at first. Now I rarely think about them. My hair is short but I don't find people staring at me in the street or anything!

Saxifrage Fri 25-May-18 23:51:56

To confirm what others have said, I think they are wonderful. Quite a lot of friends and relations speak too quietly and they make conversations so much easier. I hate having to keep asking people to repeat things. I don't wear them at home unless there are visitors with low voices (DH and I just shout at each other!). You do need to keep ears free of wax and I have learn't to change little wax guards on the device. My hair covers my ears and so people only know if told.

silverlining48 Sat 26-May-18 09:16:43

No one need be embarrassed by using hearing aids, we don’t worry about wearing glasses do we?
Definitely microsuction if offered is better for the ears than syringing and I too am surprised they tested you with blocked ears which may have affected the result.

littleflo Sat 26-May-18 09:34:24

I have had mine for a year. I have a phone app, which can Switch them on an off. On the positive side, they mean I can now hear the tv, the grandchildren and don’t miss out on conversations when I am in a group.

I suggest that you don’t wear them Immediately but get used to them slowly at home. I have to tell my DH when I have them in as he is used to speaking to me in a loud voice. It sounds like he is shouting at me. Try them on the lower sound setting to begin with as some sounds become very unpleasant. If I have them high to listen to tv and then my DH goes into the kitchen, it sounds like he is crashing and banging about. Thing like people eating crisps, our dogs paws on the wooden floor are all amplified.

I know a lot of people give up on them because of the amplification of background noise. I am selective when I wear mine rather than wearing them all the time. Gradually I am wearing them more and more and I am so glad I got them.

I am not very techie but being able to switch them on and off , and adjust the sound level with my mobile phone is very easy and means I wear them more. I got mine from Specsavers and they were very helpful in showing me how to use them.

Liljan Sat 26-May-18 10:04:48

My husband has just began to use a hearing aid in the last week (NHS). It has made a difference but it whistles which not only can he hear but I and everyone else can hear too. He was told that if his hands are near his head or if it's not in correctly it will whistle, but it's pretty constant. Any suggestions??

Luckygirl Sat 26-May-18 10:13:04

I fit is whistling constantly then it is faulty. Mine only do that if for some reason I have a hand over my ear.

No hearing aid is perfect - occasionally I switch mine off, for instance at choir when the paper rustling of 100 + people gets a bit much!

But they are such a boon; and this nonsense about being embarrassed about wearing them is just that - nonsense.

Panache Sat 26-May-18 10:28:00

My DH would tell you that since having his fitted by the NHS they are "The best thing since sliced bread!!"
They have totally transformed his life.

He really would not take it that it was his hearing that was at fault,so it was quite a while before he was persuaded to go and have the test.
At that time,always hale and hearty, I wondered how ever he would take to these H/aids.................and yet from almost day one he chooses to pop his in the very first thing after stepping out of bed each morning, then discarding same once he is actually in bed every evening.
It has not only transformed his life...........but mine!
No more talking loudly or having the T.V blaring, whilst he happily answers and speaks on the `phone..........something he by passed for a while before getting fitted up.

They are completely hidden and I can honestly say I would never know he wore them just by looking at him.

He has had the odd little difficulty but nothing that was not quickly fixed so on his behalf I can cheerfully not delay,make life worth living again and the one thing to add about these NHS aids.............they have got it right!!!

Applegran please do not hesitate or too will be singing their praises and I bet you will say you wished you had taken the test etc earlier............there really is nothing to fear.

Good Luck.

Luckygirl Sat 26-May-18 10:50:08

OP - cease to worry! it is wholly unwarranted. Rejoice in this wonderful technology.

Applegran Sat 26-May-18 22:52:20

I am so grateful for so many Gransnetters' information, support and advice. My DGD, on hearing that I needed hearing aids said "Is it good news or bad news?" which I thought was a great question! I have decided it is good news - I will be able to hear so much better. I am interested in the comments about wax in my ears - and I think it must be possible that it affected my hearing test. The one with most wax came out as the one with most hearing loss. I am also interested in the idea of having the wax removed by suction - I think you have to pay for this, but much nicer and better for the ears than olive oil and syringing. So I think I will go for this and ask at the same time if I should be tested again, without wax. Thank you!

Nelliemoser Sat 26-May-18 23:31:12

This must be difficult but look at it rationally. If you get good hearing aids you will not miss conversations and not irritate people when you cannot hear what they say.

I find it odd that most people will fairly happily wear glasses but there seems to be a bigger dislike of wearing hearing aids. I think advertisments are partly responsible for this.
The magazine and TV ads always seem to imply hearing aids are shameful we must keep it a secret.

Luckygirl Sun 27-May-18 08:39:28

I am very surprised that testing was done and aids supplied without getting the wax out of your ears first.

My DGC love my hearing aids and ask to try them - they think they are wonderful!

wildswan16 Sun 27-May-18 09:05:07

Definitely go for a re-test applegran. Hearing tests done whilst your ears are full of wax are not a good idea and to be honest I would question the competency of the person who did it. It may turn out that you still need the hearing aids, but maybe not. Would you be able to go to a different place?

silverlining48 Sun 27-May-18 09:25:43

Or if you still need them if there is a difference in your test result post wax removal at least they will be on the correct setting.
You don’t have to pay fir microsuction
it’s done at the hospital here, but not always easy getting an appointment.
Which reminds me, I need to get one myself. Good luck.

ReadyMeals Sun 27-May-18 09:33:17

Hold on though - if they're saying you need your ears syringed, then how can they know you'll still have hearing loss after syringing? Sounds like someone trying to sell you something you may not need - I say don't commit to buying till after the syringing. Sounds a bit irresponsible that they gave you the test beforehand.

GrannyBettie Sun 27-May-18 09:35:43

I was 42 when I was told I needed hearing aids. At first a toilet flush sounded like Niagra Falls! However, do persevere. As others have said they are worth their weight in gold. Even now, some 20 years later, I sometimes don't wear them when I am driving as I can't stand the road noise - some roads better than others. It wasn't until I got my hearing aids that I discovered the noise of the CD changer in the car each time a new disc came onsmile
My husband only uses his intermittently and often complains about background noise but the more you use them the more it fades. If there is a whistling noise it sometimes means that you have the wrong fitting on the end of the aid so do go back to the clinic and ask them to try a different size.

GrannyBettie Sun 27-May-18 09:37:34

I should have added that if you have NHS hearing aids you qualify for a disabled persons railcard but private aids don't qualify. Also people travelling with you qualify. If, however, you are over 60 then this maybe irrelevant as you can have a senior citizens railcard which is the same discount though not sure about accompanying person.