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Hearing aid

(22 Posts)
Bicycle1 Mon 28-Dec-20 10:07:57

Has anyone any thoughts on hearing aids , the waiting list for nhs app is very long , has anyone any experience of private ones ie specsavers etc

Luckygirl Mon 28-Dec-20 10:41:17

In many areas Specsavers are agents for the NHS and your GP can refer you there for a free test and free aids. Indeed I believe that you can opt for free aids there even if you approach them directly.

It took 10 days for me to get an appointment at Specsavers via my GP; my hearing was tested and free NHS aids supplied on the spot. Job done!

Lindylou23 Mon 28-Dec-20 11:16:16

I have had 2 lots from Boots and they are excellent, I went for middle range as I was still working , they have a brilliant range battery or or rechargeable. 2 of my friends went to Specsavers and not had good customer service, as I have had with Boots.
If you can afford go for it.

grannysyb Mon 28-Dec-20 11:24:20

Have had NHS aids for years, I was seen at a local hospital. Bear in mind, that if you go down the private route you will have to pay for the batteries, which are free if you have NHS aids.

Davida1968 Mon 28-Dec-20 11:43:10

I started wearing hearing aids in Feb - after a "routine" hearing test in Jan. Mine are NHS ones and they are great! Everything is free including batteries. The important thing (as advised both by the audiologist and by a friend who's worn hearing aids for decades) is to wear them all the time. I don't think that this can be stressed strongly enough. (And my friend advises seeking help from the audiologist if there are problems, though I didn't need to do this.) I'm now so used to mine that sometimes I find I still have them on when I get into bed....

kittylester Mon 28-Dec-20 11:57:04

Dh found that the NHS ones were not brilliant after persevering for ages. He initially though they were very good but he developed tinnitus. He opted for private ones - they are rechargeable and can be adjusted to suit lots of different venues by using an app on his phone.

David0205 Mon 28-Dec-20 12:15:32


In many areas Specsavers are agents for the NHS and your GP can refer you there for a free test and free aids. Indeed I believe that you can opt for free aids there even if you approach them directly.

It took 10 days for me to get an appointment at Specsavers via my GP; my hearing was tested and free NHS aids supplied on the spot. Job done!

You used to need a GP referral, probably this has been waived during the Covid 19 emergency, Specsavers are excellent Optical as well as Hearing.

Granny23 Mon 28-Dec-20 12:18:50

I had a free hearing test at Boots, but was singularly unimpressed with the "Audiologist" whose prime focus seem to be as a salesman. After a 4/5 minute test he decided I needed identical hearing aids for both ears. I phoned the GP who agreed to refer me to NHS Audiology - I had an appointment within 2 weeks at the local community hospital, 40 minutes of thorough testing then was told left ear was really bad, right ear only slightly, but advised best to have 2 aids as helps balance. Aids arrived by post (because of Covid) within a week, with a number to call for guidance re first fitting, etc. Also a sort of ration book for collecting new batteries, which can be delivered by post, collected from various health board premises or any local Library (what a brilliant idea!

My DH had 2 hearing aids + Dementia. They cost over a £thousand each. Of course he keep losing them, taking them out and putting them 'somewhere safe', even going in the shower with them in. I spent a whole week searching for one (and having to shout all the time) until I phoned the private audiologist, who advised me to claim on my house insurance. I did and another week passed before I got the go ahead and then a fortnight for the aid to come from manufacturer in Germany and the Audiologist to deliver and fit it. If DH had NHS Aids they could have been replaced (free of charge) the following day.

When DH was in hospital both aids were lost (removed and left in XRay, along with his teeth) If his aids had been NHS the hospital could have replaced them same day, but as they had no 'prescription' on record, he remained deaf as a post (and gumsy) until they were found.

midgey Mon 28-Dec-20 13:21:55

When I hear that you can pay for hearing aids over a period of time it makes me wonder how much they actually cost. I’ve tried researching the price but so far no joy.

Moonlight113 Mon 28-Dec-20 15:11:58

I can't get on with my NHS (Specsavers) ones. It's the way they magnify every little background sound as well as the speech. Wearing them life seems to be full of loud rustles, creaks and knocks. I know they say you get used to it, but I don't want to hear all that noise all the time. I've given up.

GrandmaKT Mon 28-Dec-20 15:29:08

I have NHS ones from Specsavers. Over my many visits for hearing issues, glasses and contact lenses I have found their customer service to be outstanding. Although they also provide private hearing aids they have never tried to persuade me to go down that route.
Moonlight113, I was just like you with my first NHS aids, I couldn't get on with them at all. I tried on and off (mostly off!) for over a year and then went back to Specsavers. I found that they now had newer, much better, models on the NHS and I was given those. I now wear them all the time and, although they aren't perfect, they certainly help a lot.

Moonlight113 Mon 28-Dec-20 15:44:06

Thank you GrandmaKT. I will go back again once all this lot is over.

NotSpaghetti Mon 28-Dec-20 16:25:11

In a town near to me there is a specialist hearing aid business which offers what I consider a great service. I haven't used them but did some research for my mother-in-law. They sell about seven or eight different manufacturer's products and as part of your hearing test discover which you are most likely to suit. Then you are offered a trial to see what you think.

Deposits are obviously involved and you have to of course buy the bit that fits in the ear anyway but I'd personally much prefer somewhere like this if I was about to spend thousands of pounds.

If I wasn't going to use the NHS I would want to know I was buying the best option for me.

MrsJamJam Mon 28-Dec-20 16:38:13

My DH was referred by our GP to the local Specsavers. Appointment within a week and free hearing aids that day. Brilliant service. When he later lost a bit of vital tube they put a spare in the post straight away.

WOODMOUSE49 Mon 28-Dec-20 18:15:43

Mid 2019 I went for a Specsavers hearing test. They did it but then said I needed a GP referral to enable them to give me NHS aids.
Saw GP and was sent to hospital for full hearing test as I also have tinnitus but there was 6 month waiting list for tests. Said I couldn't go back to Specsavers for NHS aids.
Had the test at hospital just before first lockdown. Much more detailed than the Specsavers' one.
Had a letter from hospital after lockdown to arrange a video conference call to discuss type of aid I would getting.
July 20 - video call
September - back to hospital for NHS hearing aids. All free but if I loose an aid I have to pay for replacement.

So - looks like if you have any additional problems e.g. tinnitus then it is a much longer process. Hospital and not Specsavers.

Getting on really well with them. The app you can download onto your mobile is brilliant. Hospital set it up with various programmes.

WOODMOUSE49 Mon 28-Dec-20 18:44:02

Some have mentioned that NHS aids are replaced free of charge if one is lost.

Sorry but this is not always the case. My step-mother lost one of hers and I rang to ask for a replacement. They sent one (free of charge) as she had additional needs. She was registered blind.
The hospital said that if she lost another, she would have to pay for it.

silverlining48 Mon 28-Dec-20 19:18:18

Yes these aids are expensive and if lost, especially if not fir the first time, you may be charged about £75. A drop in the ocean considering their actual cost.
Private aids can cost thousands per aid and the tiny ones get lost so easily.

Franbern Tue 29-Dec-20 11:44:37

Whenever you have new hearing aids, it can take upto a fortnight for your brain to 'catch up' with thme increased efficiency. So, for that time, they may sound very loud and picking up all sorts of sounds.

I have worn NHS Hearing aids for the last twenty plus years, They have got smaller and smaller and more and more efficient. I have them in boith ears. So very grateful for these as it allows me to lead a nearly normal life. Severe Hearing Loss is just about the most isolating of all conditions.
In London, I had always attended the Audiology dept at my local hospital, but on moving to Somerset, I was sent to Specsavers. Was a little suspicious at first, fearing they would just try to 'sell' me private aids. But they were really good, excellent test in proper sound proof booth, new aids supplied on the spot, no attempt to try to talk me out of using NHS ones.
Only problem I had is that at the hospital Audiology on the two occasions over the years I have lost an aid, they have replaced it free of charge. When one was lost recently (pulled out when taking off a mask) I had to pay £70 for a replacement.

Davida1968 Tue 29-Dec-20 12:00:15

Moonlight113, when I first began wearing my (NHS) hearing aids I was just the same as you - hearing every "creak & rustle" for a while. But after the first week or so, my ears "adjusted" and since then I've had no problems. I put up with the inconvenience of getting used to them, in order to gain the advantages of improved hearing.

Grandmama Tue 29-Dec-20 17:27:36

DH had to pay £80 for a replacement NHS hearing aid last year when he lost one.

Oldbat1 Tue 29-Dec-20 20:47:33

It depends on your local Health Authority IF you can use Specsavers for dispensing of nhs hearing aids. My health authority have not bought into the scheme so I’ve waited from Sept 20 for a hospital audiologist appointment. The date of my appointment is mid Jan21. If you choose to go private expect to pay £3000 for exactly the same aids as the nhs ones. Husband already has aids as does my daughter. I’m hopeful for good outcome.

Ashcombe Tue 29-Dec-20 21:17:06

I’ve successfully worn NHS hearing aids from our local hospital for six years. Initially, I was overly aware of every little sound but I was warned that it can take the brain up to six weeks to adjust to the aids being worn. It was a delight to hear the sounds of other birds, not just the seagulls in Torbay! And to follow conversations in noisy environments.

An acquaintance, whom many of us think has a hearing problem, was reassured by a five minute test in Specsavers that her hearing was fine. No doubt it depends on the particular branch one visits.