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Anyone got NHS hearing aids?

(43 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 02-Nov-16 18:15:00

I have been offered aids before and decided I would bide my time a bit and see how things went, but next week I have an appointment at Specsavers who are able to supply both private and NHS aids.

Anyone with experience of the system? Are the NHS ones markedly less aesthetic than the private ones? I do not want to have to fork out if there is no need.

All advice and the benefit of others' experience gratefully received.

I have tried to find information as to how the NHS ones compare from the point of view of how they look and I cannot seem to find the pics I need.

Lots of thanks.

MiniMouse Wed 02-Nov-16 18:50:10

My DH has, at long (so very, very long) last bitten the bullet and has NHS hearing aids. They're hardly visible and are very goid. He only wears them part-time, so I'm often told, "There's no need to shout!" when he's put them in, unbeknown to me! He acquired his through the NHS hearing service and gets free batteries. Can't get much better than that!

MiniMouse Wed 02-Nov-16 18:50:52

Goid??!! Good 😄

grannypiper Wed 02-Nov-16 19:31:16

Hearing aids and fathers are the bain of my life at the moment, my DF was a navy gunner then a steelworker and is as deaf as a post unless you say something you dont want him to hear, he finally agred to see about hearing aids via the n.h.s, the clinic told him he really need them and gave him some really large brown hearing aids that look like they are as old as him. H asked about the tiny and almost invisable ones and was told only the younger patients were given them. Specsavers quoted over £2000 but DF says as he is not deaf he wont pay that amount( it's the t.v sound that isnt working !)

Luckygirl Wed 02-Nov-16 21:38:34

Specsavers start at about £495. I am sure he could get something cheaper there.

But I am horrified that the NHS does not provide the small ones for the elderly - I am elderly and I shall have something to say of they offer me big brown ones because of my age!

Jayanna9040 Wed 02-Nov-16 22:11:38

They're not that big. Nobody knows when I'm wearing mine and I've got short hair. Try the NHS ones. You can always go back and buy privately if you don't like them.

NfkDumpling Wed 02-Nov-16 22:16:29

I think I may be old - 69 next week. And I have NHS ones. Small ones that tuck behind the ears with a transparent tube into the ear which doesn't really show. And I had the choice of matt silver or 'skin' coloured. I picked the silver ones and have painted tiny flowers on them with nail varnish, just to be rebellious as they hardly show. I have very short hair so they do show a tiny bit but not a lot. I tried growing my hair a little longer over the ears but I didn't like it.
The test was easy. The usual sitting in a box and pressing a button when you can hear a sound sort of test. This was followed by having to sit still with headphones on listening to weird noises while some sort of magic happened and my 'aids were programmed and I came away with them straight after the test. They've take a little perseverance to get used - especially in the echo of the kitchen - to but the volume is turned down on the tv, I can hear high tweeting birds and voices are much more distinct. I'm quite pleased with them!

cornergran Wed 02-Nov-16 22:30:02

Mr C is delighted with his NHS aid - so am I! smile.

NfkDumpling Thu 03-Nov-16 12:19:13

I tried to take a picture of my ear wearing it - but couldn't aim straight! The wiggly tube bit is the only bit that really shows.

Why are you going to Specsavers and not the hospital Lucky? Is it all free?

kittylester Thu 03-Nov-16 12:24:34

I think Spectators have a contract to provide the nhs ones in some areas.

dh has Nhs ones and was told that they are only effective if worn all the time to allow the brain to 'adapt'! Of course he never wears them and it would all be ok if only I'd stop muttering.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 12:55:37

* NfkDumpling * - thank you for taking the trouble to do a photo - I love the flowers!

I am going to Specsavers because they have an NHS contract here and can supply free hearing aids. Logistically it is easier to go there because the hospital is a bit out of town and the parking there is mega-expensive.

* kittylester * grin. When I say that my OH is muttering it is true - his PD has affected his voice - so I start the day with pardon and finish the day with pardon!

Rosina Thu 03-Nov-16 13:33:55

I have NHS aids, and the lady who fitted them advised me strongly not to go for private aids as she said there is nothing available that you cannot get on the NHS, and also that private aftercare is expensive. (That said I have no experience of private aids - this was her professional advice) It is remarkable given that we pay for specs and dental treatment that hearing aids are still free. Mine are Siemens, digital, computer programmed and work very well.

KatyK Sat 05-Nov-16 10:19:24

My DH has NHS hearing aids. He's had them for a few years and they've opened up a new world to him! No one has really noticed them. I would imagine they are even less noticeable on women with their hair usually being a bit longer. His aids were free and he gets free batteries. He lost one of the hearing aids once and they charged him £50 for a replacement. A small price to pay.

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 10:57:07

I have two digital NHS hearing aids, they work fine. I cannot compare with private ones as I have never tried any others, but there is one comparison I can make -- the NHS ones and batteries are free.

My only concern with going somewhere like Specsavers is that they will try to sell you private ones. Also, surely you have to be referred by your GP to get NHS ones. Mine were supplied and maintained by a private company, but my GP referred me via the NHS.

Luckygirl Sat 05-Nov-16 11:02:15

Yes - round here your GP can refer you to Specsavers in the same way as to the hospital audiology department. This is what I have done and I am hoping that if they once again say I need aids I will be able to compare the NHS and private ones there from an aesthetic point of view because Specsavers will have both available to look at.

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 11:07:58

That's good LG. One thing to consider, the NHS ones are free and will giv eyou the experience of wearing them, and if you CBA to wear them. I don't wear mine very often as I CBA. Having NHS ones does not stop you investing in some smart private ones later on.

Luckygirl Sat 05-Nov-16 11:11:43

Good thought wobbly - I could trial the NHS ones and if I did not like them invest in private ones. Let us see what they say.

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 11:36:18

I don't really know, but I suspect that the NHS ones will work as well as many of the mid priced private ones, but will not be as discrete. To get markedly improved performance you would have to pay a significant sum.

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 11:44:42

LG These are how my NHS ones look, and I guess you may have a little more hair to hide them than me.

philocath Sat 05-Nov-16 11:48:06

I am a retired audiologist and chose to have an NHS hearing aid.It is quite small and unobtrusive and has a forward facing microphone.I find it very good for everyday life in fact so good I forget I am wearing it.Try the NHS aid if you cannot get on with it you have lost nothing.

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 12:22:44

My NHS ones have 3 settings, all round mic, forward facing, mic and loop. Oh yes and off, very handy at times grin

Luckygirl Sat 05-Nov-16 12:26:29

Thanks for all the advice - yes I do have a bit more hair - basically nipple length!

Wobblybits Sat 05-Nov-16 12:30:41

Hairy nipples ???

Luckygirl Sat 05-Nov-16 12:32:34

grin!!!

Mary59nana Sat 05-Nov-16 12:55:50

I was given NH aids 3 Years ago they were so big and I only have small ears so unpleasant to wear also I wear glasses. I went and spent £2000 on high street made ones smaller and less noticeable but still have problems with noise and whistling but I suppose nothing is going to be perfect. Would never pay that much again but I was living in hope of being able to hear and start enjoying social events and not feeling isolated because of deafness