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Hearing aid virgin about to pop his cherry!

#1
So the time has come at the grand old age of 36 to get a hearing aid. I’ve known since leaving the army 12 years ago I had hearing problems, but life seems to be at the point now where I have to do something about it.

I currently have mild loss in the mid frequency range and moderate in the high, just in my right ear. The left didn’t show too good on the test, but I reckon that’s something to do with the tinnitus in my ears, right is much louder than left though! But as it stands, it’s only one needed for the right ear.

Anyway, I wondered what other Arrser’s experiences of hearing aids are? I’m sure from previous posts on here there’s a few hearing aid users on here and I have heard that they do take some getting used to, rather than something like glasses which you put on and think “Wow, I can see again”!


Also, as a small question, if you do have hearing aids, how long did it take to get everything sorted out from start to finish? I booked an appointment at my GP about the start of July, within 10 days I had the letter to go online and book an appointment (Given Withington hospital or Manchester MRI) which I could have got within 7 days, but took one 2 weeks later as I was off work that day. When I went in for all my tests, the nice young lady said to come back in mid-August to have it fitted??? That’s 3 weeks after the initial test, which is handy as I’m on holiday next week, returning 4 days before fitting!!

So realistically, I’m looking at about 6 – 7 weeks, from going to the GP to having it fitted, which could have been less than 6 weeks if I wanted. It was raised that the majority of this has come through service in the army, but no-one has mentioned about me being fast tracked due to being a veteran, so is this the standard speedy response from the NHS?


Many thanks

Deaf Ex_Doney_man!
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#3
I got my first set 3 years ago and I can't do without them now - they are a real benefit, improving high-tome sounds by some clever. Mine are "Phonak", a Swiss brand, and after three years still good as new. Not cheap though - around £3k for the pair. I went private because I could afford it, and the NHS ones are a generation or so behind - pretty god, though.

It took me around 3 months, start to finish. And as for fast tracking? Well, in theory it should happen, but a lot depends on the Trust's attitude.

By the way, no hearing aid on earth can replace hearing once lost. If you (like me) have lost the ability to hear certain frequencies (common problem due to weapons noise damage) then that's it, you've lost it for ever. What they CAN do, though, is by clever electronics stuff take noises in the Freqs you've lost, and convert them to one you can hear. After a short time, the brain adjusts, and you hear them as you would 'expect' to.
 
#4
NHS works on a clinical need rather than status (why the f*ck should you queue jump when a kiddy* needs something faster just 'cos you had a job once?) 6 weeks is not bad too be fair though.

* or a Somalian war criminal!
 
#5
Grow a Strawbridge, get a curly pipe and monocle, no on will notice the ear trumpet ;-)

More constructively, they are very discrete now, good luck Geoff x

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#6
Welcome to the club, I have been wearing them since I was 29, mine is hereditary and am now at a point where I have 2 and my left is completely buggered.

It depends on where you are as to how quick you are seen, but one top tip is build up gradually one our for few days then 2 etc etc. Also take them out and let your ears breath as you can quickly get infected ear canals, I have had 2 this year and both not pleasant. It also stops the overload that your brain will get, wearing hearing aids is very tiring as although modern aids are very, very good they still amplify all sound so your brain has to work harder to filter out the background stuff.
 
#7
I have been waiting three months for the NHS jobs I've had to fork out for private ones not cheap at all but it saves me looking more of a mong at work than normal the only side affect is that I now can hear every thing said in the office and at meetings so no more deniability for me.
 
#9
At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs etc. have you applied for a War Pension regarding your hearing loss. I am in receipt of £230 a month. I would of course prefer to have my hearing back but the money goes some way to make up for it.
 
#12
We're given a brown book and can go to most medical centres and pick batteries up when needed.
They give me about 4 packets of six batteries at a time.
Mine last a long time because I don't wear my aids in the house, just for medicals and meetings really.
Also the doctor said I should insure the aids against damage or loss, can't remember how much though.
 
#13
Cheers folks!
I have read a few blogs (on people getting them in their 30's / 40's) and they say it takes time to adjust. I know the sounds can be strange as they are digital and not normal voice, again it's only one so normal voice in the left ear and digital in the right!
Oldsnowy - Cheers, I never really thought about how they worked, I thought they just enhanced the sounds that were there. I'm currently going for NHS ones, the over the ear same as Jock has put on here. I actually don't like the just in ear ones, mainly the look, if I've got a hearing aid, I've got one and I can't be arsed to try to hide it. I may go to the RBL or SSAFA, but I think it will be more advice than anything. Like I said the RBL did assist me when I left, but I think due to the fact that the loss is from 4000Ghz to 8000Ghz the MOD said that the overall loss isn't enough to qualify. I'm not after an sorry or anything, but it would be beneficial if there was a payment or something towards good quality private ones.

Maybe get used to this one first and then look at Private ones!

Edited to add: I have seen batteries on Amazon, something like £2.99 for 10 batteries! But I rmember thinking that the cost of the batteries wasn't really an issue! Do privately bought ones (Duracell etc) last longer than NHS?
 
#14
I asked my doc here for a test, got referred in two weeks, went last choosdy and got fitted with a couple of NHS items. I'm not rich, so the thought of spending £3000 on a couple of electric earole trumpets leaves me stone cold.

These are just fine by me. The fourteen-pound battery pack around the waist is something you just get used to, as are all the curly wires leading up to the over-the-head-set unit. Mine are purple and orange, so that I don't get them mixed up when I clamp them on my head. The double-trumpet units [high and low frequency sensors] are hardly noticed after a while, but I admit that I've had to trim my NHS wig to fit over them and ended up looking like the Elephant Man listening to an iPOD whilst wearing a door mat. There IS a downside, small but annoying, but the audiologist tells me that he can fine tune them next week. I'm finding that certain frequencies [the voice of mrs tac, fer'instance] sets up a heterodyning frequency response [screeching microphone effect] with my dentures, which leaves me foaming at the mouth while they vibrate in harmony with the frquency they are detecting. I

However, in general, these are small niggles set against the compensatory benefits as these devices have a handy on-off switch, easily accessable with a small key and constantly-changing code number sequence for the sake of personal security. As my memory is disappearing at a faster rate than my hearing that is of little use to me, but it's a comfort to know that there is a universal quick-change key readily available at any corner pharmacist in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As my carer is Lithuanian, she has offered to get me one next time she is back home.

I'm ugly, so they don't improve my non-existent looks, and I don't give a flying **** who sees me with NHS items - it's not as if I hadn't paid for them a thousand times over, never having been out of work in my entire life, so far.

tac
 
#16
I've had mine, NHS, for 12 months now and as already been said what a difference they've made. I should have gone for them earlier, mainly mid frequency loss in the left ear due to, according to my consultant, high frequency noise damage probably from shooting (Regimental standard for 22 years and range qualified for 14.). On his advice applied for a war pension but was f**ked off because I'd been out too long. Get your application in now is good advice.

NHS ones are good and batteries are free and you can ask to have them tuned up anytime.
 
#18
I wonder if the shape of our ears change over the years, my right mould seems to dig into my ear now.
The left one's ok though.
This is your lucky day indeed! I've just gotten back home from our local garden centre with some stuff that is guaranteed to get rid of mould no matter if it's the green or black stuff. Bear in mind that I'm not actually advertising this stuff here, as I've long ago ticked the 'no-advert' button, but I'm sure that you can find it on the net.

Just look under mould and fungal removers - the stuff for plastic double glazing won't hurt your hearing aids, either, but PLEASE remember to take them off before you apply the stuff. From past experience I know that it can sting like hell.
tac
 
#20
This is your lucky day indeed! I've just gotten back home from our local garden centre with some stuff that is guaranteed to get rid of mould no matter if it's the green or black stuff. Bear in mind that I'm not actually advertising this stuff here, as I've long ago ticked the 'no-advert' button, but I'm sure that you can find it on the net.

Just look under mould and fungal removers - the stuff for plastic double glazing won't hurt your hearing aids, either, but PLEASE remember to take them off before you apply the stuff. From past experience I know that it can sting like hell.
tac
One of the main reasons I joined ARRSE was for the top rate medical advice. ^_^
 

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