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Hearing Aids Costs

(41 Posts)
ExD1938 Wed 15-Jan-20 10:10:30

I'm pretty sure I need a hearing aid.
Speaking to others who have the NHS ones (behind the ear - and quite noticeable) they seem quite happy with them although some people get rashes and infections from them (I suspect its simply hygiene but don't say anything).
However, I have a little money saved up and would prefer one that isn't as noticeable (vanity).
Have you noticed that adverts for private aids never ever mention prices?
It would be so helpful is they said something like "from £???
to £????

Where can I find some reliable information? My GP knows nothing and just offers an appointment at the NHS Audio clinic. (in fact all he ever seems to do is to get rid of me to yet another 'clinic')
I'd be interested to hear views from hearing-aid users as to their experiences.

harrigran Wed 15-Jan-20 10:31:00

DH bought his own hearing aids and they cost around £2,000 but that was 11 years ago. I wish he had just got the NHS ones because he never wears his aids, they amplify the background noise too much for his liking.

Squiffy Wed 15-Jan-20 10:37:09

I know several people who went to the expense (huge!) of buying their own aids and were very disappointed with them. The NHS aids are hugely improved these days and are very small and neat and undetectable if you have hair to hide the part behind the ear - which is also very small. Batteries are provided free of charge, as are frequent check-ups.

Caramac Wed 15-Jan-20 10:43:35

I’ve got the nhs ones and even with short hair people don’t notice them.
Apparently this type are more efficient than in the ear type.
However, I was quoted , by Specsavers, from £2000 for in the ear up to about £4000 for Bluetooth in the ear.
I was very happy with Specsavers service but went nhs via GP. The audiologist at the clinic said exactly the same as the audiologist at Specsavers.
I’ve been very happy with mine and like that I can turn the volume up or down as required very easily. Nothing is likely to be as good as good natural hearing but hearing aids have definitely been a boon to me.

ExD1938 Wed 15-Jan-20 11:22:08

Hmmm - Thanks Squiffy, sadly I hat havig hair around my ears (perhaos I'd better have a chat to y hairdresser). My Mum had the same problem with background noise like Harrigran's DH but that was with ugly behind the ear ones from NHS.

Are the stories about soreness and infections just urban myths? I can remember my first NHS specs giving me a blister on the top of my ear when I first got them as a child and can remember crying myself to sleep because it hurt (or maybe it was the jibes about spekky 4 eyes that hurt) smile

ExD1938 Wed 15-Jan-20 11:26:47

It takes me too long to reply and I see other people are the same, often replying to a post from 'way back - I've just done that.
Thanks for the details on cost caramac - that' exactly what I wanted to know. I have £1000 saved up, but it may be better spent on a new laptop and a dishwasher I'm beginning to think!

lucywinter Wed 15-Jan-20 11:28:56

A private hearing clinic in the next town to me states that their hearing aids cost about £1000 for each ear. I am thinking of going down that route.

My doctor seemed quite offended because I asked to go to Specsavers for a hearing test, rather than the hospital audio unit. Seemed to think I should have tests to "see what's going on". Nothing's "going on". I'm 78 and there is deafness in our family. hmm

Septimia Wed 15-Jan-20 11:29:11

If you can get NHS 'free', why not try them first? You will still have the money you've saved to buy an alternative if you can't get on with the NHS ones.

lucywinter Wed 15-Jan-20 11:31:14

Ooh. Having read Caramac's post I am now thinking I should go the NHS via Specsavers route.

vena11 Wed 15-Jan-20 11:38:56

I got NHS ones last year and DH has them too, I find them ok. The ones I have are moulds they are clear plastic and behind the ear is silver. My DH are smaller and flesh coloured you can hardly see his at all. I would try NH first if I were you ExD1938

Eglantine21 Wed 15-Jan-20 11:40:09

The nhs ones are unnoticeable from the front and my hair is very short. I do keep a bit more hair behind the ear to just curl over the hearing aid.

In my opinion, looking at friends, the ‘in the ear’ is much more noticeable. It sits there like a little plug because it has to be big enough for a battery, however small. The little receiver in ‘behind the ear’ goes right into the ear and the wire coming out is thin clear plastic that blends in with your skin.

As far as irritation and infection you do have to experiment with end pieces, both size and material. I had some problems at first because my ear canals were different sizes so the first ones were too big on one side. You can be allergic to some plastics so need to get what suits you. But this would be the same whether it was private or NHS, in the ear or behind the ear.

hillwalker70 Wed 15-Jan-20 11:49:17

I have very expensive hearing aids from Scrivens, £2,500 which I had to pay upfront because I don’t have any credit history. They charge overnight on a charger and never had any trouble with infections and they are barely noticeable but pick up far too much background noise for me, applause is torture. I would go with the NHS, they are greatly improved and the audiologist is not working on commission.

lucywinter Wed 15-Jan-20 12:02:30

I have just round to making my appointment with Specsavers. Don't have long to wait either, they can see me on Monday. Might as well try them out for free first to make sure I like them.

Caramac Wed 15-Jan-20 12:11:58

As an aside, I actually bling’ my hearing aids by wearing charms on the plastic tube or curly, coloured wire around them. The charms look lovely I think.
I’ve had no issues with soreness or infections.
I would say that with regard to background noise you do need to persevere for about 3 weeks at the level set by the audiologist and then turn the volume up or down as required. It was a little wearing initially but I worked with primary aged children with behavioural issues so could often be noisy.

Caramac Wed 15-Jan-20 12:14:34

Oops, pressed too soon, meant to add I have short hair and the aids are not that noticeable. I tend to see them on bald/balding men but not on women.

ExD1938 Wed 15-Jan-20 13:30:52

I wonder if I'm looking for them as I seem to see these ugly lumps of so-called flesh coloured plastic behind so many ears, from bald men to long haired women.
I also notice the flesh coloured gums of dentures and partial dentures with metal clips.

Calendargirl Wed 15-Jan-20 13:37:03

My DH needs hearing aids I’m sure! So do you get a referral from your GP, then go to Specsavers for your NHS hearing aids, or do you go to a hospital clinic? DH is vain about the look of them, I am happy to pay but not if he can get ones that are just as good from the NHS.

Caramac Wed 15-Jan-20 13:55:30

I went to Specsavers first and then to my GP. I told him what the audiologist at Specsavers had found out and he made an immediate referral to an NHS audiology clinic held at my GP surgery. The appointment was quite quick (2-3 weeks) for a hearing test then about 3 weeks for an appointment to collect hearing aids and be given all the necessary information. I get free batteries from my surgery. Not all surgeries offer this so some people have to go to their local hospital.

Xander Wed 15-Jan-20 14:02:26

lucywinter Knowing the financial problems with NHS if Gp suggested going to audiology clinic for tests to see what is going on I would follow GPs advice they do not suggest referral for the sake of it!

lucywinter Wed 15-Jan-20 15:30:15

Thank you for your concern Xander.

SueDonim Wed 15-Jan-20 17:42:31

My Dh has just got aids from Specsavers. We didn’t even bother try the NHS route as we knew it would be so longwinded.

He has the behind the ear ones and they’ve made such a difference to my quality of life as well as his! grin

The audiologist explained that the in-ear aids cut out all outside sound and he felt that it’s better to rely on your own hearing as much as possible, (use it or lose it, basically) until the hearing loss becomes too great.

ExperiencedNotOld Wed 15-Jan-20 18:25:57

I have NHS hearing aids and they’re fine to wear. The audiologist told me that you’ll never get such a comprehensive test going to the high street as they just can’t afford the equipment. I wore mine all the time when I first had them but it sent me a bit bonkers as my brain struggled to process all the sound. Now I wear them when I need them.

chelseababy Wed 15-Jan-20 18:34:02

My GP referred me and then I had the option of hospital or Specsavers, both on NHS. As an aside don't forget a hearing aid entitles you to a disabled rail card with discount for self and companion even at peak times.

Calendargirl Wed 15-Jan-20 18:40:29

Thanks for all the advice,

Hetty58 Wed 15-Jan-20 19:23:04

My mother spent £3000 on some, couldn't get used to them, then lost them when shopping. Her home insurance didn't cover them (should have been specified separately).

She bought some more for £2500, but rarely used them as she found them uncomfortable.

When in hospital, she got free NHS ones and was delighted with them. There was a local service for cleaning, new batteries and adjustment, all free of charge.

She felt bad about wasting so much money - so I'd say try the NHS ones first.