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

(57 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?

Coconut Sun 27-May-18 09:53:42

My daughter told me my telly was always loud, so when I had my eye test I also had my ears tested. I have intermittent tinnitus, and on that particular day, it was so loud I couldn’t hear when the test beeps started !! I haven’t done anything about it as yet but will if it starts to become a nuisance.

Applegran Sun 27-May-18 10:01:23

Wow! I had no idea how much I'd learn from GN - I will now certainly get the wax removed from my ears by suction, and ask to be re-tested. And I am now more ready for what I'll have to get used to, when I do have the hearing aids, as well as the great benefits. I will have NHS hearing aids and think I am very lucky to be able to have them - without payment. I find I am not worried about hearing aids showing - at my age, it is not a worry, but maybe I would have minded when I was younger.

vickya Sun 27-May-18 10:11:04

I got NHS ones, behind the ear. I was turning the tv louder and having trouble in noisy places and group chats, pub, restaurant etc. Mine fight with my glasses and any hood or hat and fall out and jump away easily. Grandchildren have helped find them and once I lost one and then you pay £50 for a new one. Then, months later, I found it sad. They do help but not to tell which direction the bird is singing from, necessarily. But it is nice to hear more birds.

HurdyGurdy Sun 27-May-18 10:13:13

I have no personal experience of them (but driven to distraction by mother in law who refuses to use hers and then gets antsy with us when she can't hear us!) but a friend who works in the area said that when you get them, you have to wear them all the time, even if you are just pottering around at home on your own.

That way, your brain gets used to hearing what everyday life is like, and can get used to the sounds is it processing, rather than everything being quiet or muffled, and then having to suddenly process a barrage of new noise, when they are worn

TellNo1Ok Sun 27-May-18 10:13:18

Please have a care when your ears are being cleaned.... I have only just been signed off from the ENT dept at the hospital after suffering a major ear infection since November after my ear canal was grazed when being syringed .... Would try to insist on suction or nothing another time...

Lindaylou55 Sun 27-May-18 10:15:58

I work in a private hearing aid shop and you should not have been prescribed aids if you have wax in your ears. Our audiologists always go back to someone once the wax has been removed to do a hearing test. Also Liljan if your aids are whistling you may have a bit of wax in your ear or aid which is causing the sound to "bounce off" the aid causing the whistling. Also, we find our clients are getting younger 50 onwards think this us due to all the loud music we used to and still do listen to. Hope this helps.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 27-May-18 10:19:51

I have been thinking that I needed a hearing test but when I saw the Dr he looked in my ear and couldn’t see the ear drum because of wax. So I have an appointment for syringing but in the meantime It seems I have to soften the wax. Bought some stuff from Boots as it claims to do away with the need for syringing so we will wait and see. Once it’s all done then the Dr will look at whether I need a hearing test. Feels like my ear wants to go pop.

JaneA Sun 27-May-18 10:25:45

GrannyBettie - Private Hearing aid wearers do qualify for a DPR and this includes the person accompanying them.

Beau Sun 27-May-18 10:57:34

Here the hearing tests and prescription of hearing aids has been outsourced to Specsavers and Boots (not sure if that's just in Bucks?) I chose Specsavers and got private aids as they showed me the NHS aids were much bigger and bulkier. I used them while I was still working (only had hearing loss in one ear due to an old untreated ear infection but still had to pay for the pair, very expensive!) My GP thought they would be good for my tinnitus which they were. However my tinnitus has almost gone since retiring so I don't bother with them now - having perfect hearing in the other ear, they mainly helped pinpoint direction of sound, which was more important at work. I am puzzled by references to altering sound levels etc. though - mine were set by computer and was told never needed to be adjusted by me? I did mention to my GP that I was not really offered the NHS aids and he said he would look into it as that was not really what Specsavers were supposed to be doing - I just thought it was unfair on people who could not afford the cost of over a thousand pounds.

sarahellenwhitney Sun 27-May-18 11:13:38

My problem is TV. I can hear the news and documentaries its the mumbling actors in drama's and films who were it not for seeing their lips move could assume their lips had been stitched together.

CrazyGrandma2 Sun 27-May-18 11:35:49

I've been wearing NHS hearing aids since 2002. It took a time to get used to them but well worth the effort. Initially they irritated my ears and also the world seemed to be a much noisier place. That was because I was hearing things that I hadn't been hearing for years. It does all settle down. I have a programme for noisy environments and a telecoil setting which is truly brilliant. My main advice is you have to persevere to give your brain time to adjust to all the new information that it is receiving. Good luck!

Marieeliz Sun 27-May-18 12:32:49

Just a bit worried re all this advertising for hearing aids. Especially, "you need two". It seems a money making game. I am 78 and can hear extremely well and worked in a noisy factory at one time. My friend is 82 and certainly doesn't need one. I do wonder about these hearing tests.

When I worked in the factory we had them regularly. Problems, if any, were flagged then. We did not wear hearing defenders either.

Redrobin51 Sun 27-May-18 12:56:45

I have had hearing aids (NHS through Specsavers) for about 2 months now. I had was in my ears and my GP said that had to be addressed before they would accept me for a hearing test as the reading would be all wrong and it might appear I had a hearing problem when in fact it was the wax. He gave me drops and then my ears were syringed at the doctor's. Specsavers were fantastic and I was given the hearing aids at the first consultation set at the lowest setting as unfortunately at that time anything higher made me feel sick, probably hearing noises Itnhwdnr heard in years, lol. There was a follow up call in 2 weeks to see how I was getting on and a more or less immediate appointment to have them turned in fully so I could adjust them. I find them difficult in crowded places or where I am near heavy traffic but can hear beautiful birdsong again, every bite of music and one to one conversation is now bliss. I have nearly lost the one several times, have one funny ear and if I wear them constantly I do get an Itchy ear so take them out when I am on my own. Just to for it.x

homefarm Sun 27-May-18 13:05:00

I have two NHS hearing aids - magic. Not difficult to get used to at all. Just keep wearing them, they really make a difference. I did have to have new moulds made as I was allergic to the acrylic. It's all about perseverance. Lots of luck for the future.

blueskies Sun 27-May-18 13:25:43

I have worn nhs aids for twenty years. I trust our nhs audiologists as they are not selling a product. Hearing aids are very cheap to produce so I wonder why we are conned into paying so much for “private” hearing aids. Are we comfortable with so many of our services being outsourced? What will we do when our precious nhs is completely lost.

JacquiG Sun 27-May-18 15:45:10

When I started going deaf(ish) and then suffering some attacks of vertigo, I thought about getting my ears syringed. Went to the chemist as last resort and she suggested Otex. It has not only oil but something to float the wax to the surface where it can be gently wiped away with a tissue. You don't need to dig in your ears, and you shouldn't anyway. Give it a whirl, you may not need anything else doing.

Meanwhile, the TV is a bit louder than my children like it, and when the GC have used the Playstation headphones we need to turn the volume up again, but no need for aids yet.

GreenGran78 Sun 27-May-18 15:51:49

I have worn hearing aids for some years. Many of my friends didn't even notice them, although I have short hair.. They are the type that loop over my ear, with a part that goes inside.
I wouldn't say that my hearing has improved 100%. I still have some trouble if I am with a group of people, with a lot of background noise. However they have made a huge difference to my life. You need to persevere with them, though. They feel strange at first. If you have problems, go back to the audiologist to have them adjusted. Don't just throw them in a drawer. I felt very self-conscious when I first got them, but quickly adapted.
I know several people who are somewhat deaf, or whose sight is poor, but they are too vain or embarrassed to get help.

Catlover123 Sun 27-May-18 17:03:28

thanks for posting this. I have just had a hearing test which showed significant hearing loss in one ear and minor hearing loss in the other, and now booked in for a scan at the ENT in the hospital. I am worried because I have very small ears - I often find earplugs too bulky. Also, I wonder what the difference is between the NHS ones and the private ones?

NfkDumpling Sun 27-May-18 17:47:36

I have NHS ones for high register hearing loss (old age in other words) which was making my tinnitus seem louder. I met someone who’d paid £2000 for hers and they were virtually the same.

I decided that since I wear specs there was nothing wrong with hearing aids so painted tiny flowers on them with nail varnish. The downside of having very short hair is that the aids are more vulnerable and I lost one when it caught in my scarf half way up a mountain. It cost £50 + VAT to replace it.

It took a while to get used to being able to hear distinctly again, it sounds tinny at first, and I do take them out sometimes, such as on planes, where there is a lot of background noise, and do try to remember not to wear them when swimming!

NfkDumpling Sun 27-May-18 17:48:40

The difference as far as I can remember between private and NHS is about a millimetre in size. Definitely worth trying NHS first.

GrannyBettie Sun 27-May-18 18:07:40

@janeA. Thank you. I was unaware of private clinic clients being able to get a DPR.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 27-May-18 20:52:30

I've had my NHS hearing aids for nearly a year now and I love them. There's nothing to worry about. The world will be a lot louder when you first wear them - I notice traffic by the front garden, can hear the cat mewing and the clock ticking. The radio and the telly have been turned down a few notches. They're great, go for it and don't feel worried or embarrassed about them. You practice using them in the clinic. You'll get used to putting them in/taking them out and caring for them. Good luck.

stevej4491 Sun 27-May-18 21:01:18

Do'nt go private ,you'll pay an arm and a leg for them. I have NHS ones and can honestly say they are fantastic. I had no trouble adjusting to mine,oh what a difference they makGood luck.

stevej4491 Sun 27-May-18 21:01:38


stevej4491 Sun 27-May-18 21:09:24

When I first went to the Doctors about my hearing he suggested I use oil to soften any wax ,then go back in a couple of weeks to have ears washed out. Lovely warm feeling , and then see how hearing was for a couple of weeks.If no better get back to him and he would refer me to hospital.Got sorted there in no time at all,definatley NHS all the way.