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Hearing aids

(15 Posts)
Mamgy Sun 29-Jan-17 11:40:54

I need hearing aids and tried one from the NHS but wasn't that happy with it: just having one made me feel that the other one had cotton wool stuffed in it. Then I forgot i was wearing it one day and showered...

Anyway, I'm considering splashing out on private ones and wonder if anyone has any advice to offer?


Luckygirl Sun 29-Jan-17 11:51:47

Don't bother - it is a waste of money - you get the same aids but have to pay though the nose for them, for the batteries and for the consultations - all of which is free on the NHS. And if you are likely to go in the shower in them, then all the more reason to stick to the NHS!

My GP referred me to Specsavers (which is an agent for the NHS round here). I got appointment in a week, walked in, had the test and walked out with 2 aids programmed to my hearing loss. I have not looked back - I am delighted with them. I was given dark grey aids because I have very dark hair; and my DDs did not notice I had them until several weeks later when I told them. They were amazed at how invisible they are.

If I want batteries, I just stroll in to my local Specsavers and walk out with the free.

You can get slightly more high tech ones privately (e.g. rechargeables) but they cost an arm and a leg and there really is no point.

Hearing aids do take a little while to get used to. Everything suddenly sounds a bit "tinny" and not what you are used to. But I left mine in all day every day and I got used to them very quickly - and the bird song that I can hear now is fabulous!

Get another NHS appointment, explain the teething troubles you have had and I am sure they will set about sorting it out.

suzied Sun 29-Jan-17 14:27:25

I met someone recently who told me he had hearing aids which cost £3k which you can operate via an app on your smartphone to suit the environment e.g. It was a noisy pub, so he pressed " noisy pub" on his phone which cut out the background noise. I was very impressed, I doubt if these are available on the NHS at that price. He told me they were made in Germany. I know one of the criticisms of hearing aids is that you pick up background noise you don't want to hear, so maybe this is an attempt to control that. I guess new technologies are becoming available which will take the NHS time to catch up.

Nearly60 Sun 29-Jan-17 14:39:31

I am going in a few weeks to be fitted with NHS hearing aids.Does anyone know if I will be offered the in ear aids or not.Thanks

NfkDumpling Sun 29-Jan-17 15:06:43

I've had mine six months now. Little silver ones (my choice and now customised with flowers), which sit behind the ear with a tube to a tiny plug inside my ear. No one seems to notice them.

I have tinnitus which had become depressingly loud and it transpired it was because I'd lost much of the upper range. Yes, the world did seem tinny to start with and kitchen noises impossibly loud but within two or three months this reversed, I forget I'm wearing them and now if I don't have them in everything is muffled. Now I can hear the higher ranges again my tinnitus has returned to manageable levels and I can hear the birds so much better!

(I did loose one on holiday and had it replaced easily although apparently I have to pay £55 + VAT. Don't know exactly how much as I still haven't had the bill. This seems very reasonable when you consider the aids costs several thousand pounds.)

HildaW Sun 29-Jan-17 15:16:02

My OH got his excellent ones through NHS via Specsavers.....must admit I was a bit sceptical about it all but they have been very good and the back-up service has been good, including free batteries!

Nearly60 Sun 29-Jan-17 17:51:00

My first post ! Thank you for replying.Interesting to hear it has helped your tinnitus, as that is partly the reason they have been prescribed, it's reassuring to hear they have helped on both counts. Feeling a bit unsure, but going to give them a try.Sure my husband will be pleased, he must be fed up of having to repeat everything !

Liaise Sun 29-Jan-17 18:36:22

NEARLY60 I have in the in ear hearing aids. I think they are for mild hearing loss. The ones shaped to fit your ears are for worse hearing loss as far as I know.

Mamgy Mon 30-Jan-17 08:21:39

Thanks everyone. NfKDumpling: are yours NHS too? I think I'll go back to NHS and see how that goes - maybe just getting the single one wasn't helpful. But I'm still struggling to imagine that anyone would spend £3k on something that wasn't substantially better than NHS ones... Surely all those private companies would go bust if they weren't offering a superior product?

NfkDumpling Mon 30-Jan-17 16:04:27

Yes, mine are NHS, fitted and supplied at the local hospital. I have hearing loss in both ears, both about the same. You know, the age related sort! If you find the single one isn't working it would be an idea to go back although it does take quite a while to get used to them so do persevere if you can.

I met a lady on holiday who had similar hearing loss to me and had paid for her aids - and the hearing test. They looked just the same, only a little smaller. And she has to pay for batteries which only last a week, while I have a year's supply. I think hers cost between £2,000 and £3,000. The nurse had told me mine cost the NHS over £2,000 - "so be careful with them" - and I promptly loose one! I can only think people go privately because they believe NHS ones are the big pink ones that sit in the ear and don't inquire.

Luckygirl Mon 30-Jan-17 19:19:33

Mine are small and dark grey and virtually invisible. I have dark brown hair and all you can see, if you examine closely are the clear pipes that lead into my ear. No-one notices them at all. They are of course NHS.

Going private has a cumulative cost for virtually no benefit - you have the tests to pay for, and the batteries and repairs. Every retest you have will cost you money - ditto upgrades. It is not a one-off cost.

I am sure that there are some highly sophisticated aids available privately, but if you have the normal age-related loss, then what the NHS has to offer is just fine.

Izabella Tue 31-Jan-17 09:51:32

Agree with luckygirl. And mine are dark grey and no one ever notices them although I admit to growing my hair a little longer at the side when I got them

NfkDumpling Tue 31-Jan-17 14:23:54

I grew my hair a little longer too, but I don't like it so back t normal now. They may show a bit if you look really carefully, but no one seems to have noticed yet. Anyway, I wear eye aids (specs) and they show, so why worry about hearing aids.

ggmarion Tue 31-Jan-17 17:20:43

I had in the ear private hearing aids which I thought were o.k. until I got up to date ones on the NHS. They are silver (I have silver hair) and very discreet. I can now hear the top octave on my piano which I had completely lost. I had a few teething problems in that one of them was inclined to whistle. I saw the audiologist at my local hospital and she reprogrammed it and I am now delighted. They are digital and said to filter out background noise though I do still struggle a bit in a very noisy situation where sound is all around. I now try to position myself in front of a wall so there is less noise from behind. In a face to face situation they are excellent.

Nearly60 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:57:55

Oh thank you so many positive stories.Feeling much better about giving them a try now.