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New Hearing Aid for first time - nhs vs private

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Messages: 1 - 7 of 7
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Heatherjp-k (U14704853) on Sunday, 28th November 2010

    I have had my hearing test both privately and with the local hospital - and I have been confirmed as requiring at least one hearing aid - in the left - with a review within the year to see if I will need one in the right ear too.

    I am going for a mould tomorrow for my nhs aid - but the private clinc suggested that the mould would be particularly bad for me and I really need an open ear aid

    I liked the light weight open ear aid they let me try out but didn't like the price £2000+

    What experience have people had with the NHS aids with the ear mould? I have very small ears and generally have never got on with earphones and am on face value pretty anti the mould but if it works properly would prefer the nhs to having to pay out so much

    thank you

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by thekumquat (U5850906) on Monday, 29th November 2010

    I don't know about small ears in particular, but general advice is to keep going back if you have problems with earmoulds - either sore ears from rubbing/infection, or whistling. Also I've heard some people have got open fit aids on the NHS so you could ask about that.

    NHS Trusts vary in what aids they offer (more down to lack of training on some brands, rather than just price) and often assume you'll want what most people do (as small and 'discreet' as possible and all automated controls rather than any buttons etc, apparently). So if you want neon pink glittery moulds and purple aids, or open fit, it may just be a question of asking.

    Only if a few adjustments to moulds lead to you having problems in some months' time would I suggest considering private. They're much more geared to vanity than anything else.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Heatherjp-k (U14704853) on Monday, 29th November 2010

    Thank you for this.

    I went to see the audologist at the hospital this morning and asked about an open fit rather than a mould and she agreed that my type of hearing loss would be ok with open fit but just assumed I would go for a mould

    I also asked about the channels available and she is going to get me one from oticon with 12 channels - the private clinic on friday said I would only get 4.

    It was quite small and so I am happily going to try my nhs one and see how I get on - at this stage, having never worn one before I can't really see that spending all that money is the best solution

    I should have my nhs one before Christmas she said

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by standardCindy (U14081089) on Monday, 29th November 2010

    Hi Heatherip-k

    Please tell me what is an open ear aid.

    Many thanks.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Heatherjp-k (U14704853) on Tuesday, 30th November 2010

    Hi Standard Cindy

    The difference basically, as I understand it, is that with an open fit hearing aid - the microphone sits behind the ear with a small wire going into the ear with a tiny little cage around it at the bottom

    The moulded model is exactly the same - but instead of the wire in your ear ending with a tiny cage - the wire is fitted into a mould that has be pre moulded to the shape of your ear - and the mould fills your outer ear

    I really didn't fancy the plastic mould because I just felt that I would feel blocked up somehow - and preferred the idea of having the open wire instead which I found very comfortable

    The private audiologist told me that the open fit would also allow natural noise in to the ear which he thought I would benefit from

    The nhs audiologist said they did do the open fit - but don't offer them routinely - if you don't ask, you get the mould basically - although she also suggested that the open fit doesn't actually help all types of hearing loss - so it depends on requirements

    I also have unusually tiny ear canals - and again they all thought the open fit would suit me quite well.

    I was happier once I had seen the nhs audiologist - the private guy was good - but whis comparison with the nhs aids wasn't entirely true as it turns out - the nhs deal was much better than he lead me to believe.

    I am going to have my nhs aid and assess whether I need a fancy expensive one - maybe next summer because £2100 is very expensive for me right now


    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by thekumquat (U5850906) on Tuesday, 30th November 2010

    Glad to hear you're getting good service on the NHS! That's what should be the NHS 'deal' but sadly in many areas it doesn't happen. Where in the country are you?

    I'm happy with my moulds, luckily (I ended up with four sets in various wrong colours...) - I have big problems with background noise so suspect open fit wouldn't work for me, and also I'm so used to moulds that my ears get cold and painful if I go without!

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by AndyfromCornwall (U14342750) on Tuesday, 30th November 2010

    Open fit and vented moulds are only suitable for people with a fairly mild hearing loss.
    This is because the more powerful aids will feed back very badly and so they need in the ear moulds.

    Report message7

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