/ Hearing Aid advice - what's out there and what actually works?
Following a visit to Hidden Hearing he is currently trying out the Oticon K210 Rite [P] hearing aid. So far however this hasn't brought any real improvement versus the NHS hearing aid.
I understand the main problem is in crowd settings where it seems that all sounds are getting amplified and voices for example, on TV or amongst friends, merge into the general sounds.
I think there may be a degree of acceptance / resignation going here i.e. there's really not much that can be done. I can't believe however that there aren't more than 2 options (NHS issue and Hidden Hearing's recommendation) out there to try.
So, if anyone can suggest other hearing aid types that may be worth looking into and where to get these, it would be much appreciated.
If it helps, I believe the hearing loss is conductive but I will check.
My stepdad's had hearing aids for years, with varying degrees of success - he now has some very fancy digital ones that have pretty much changed his life, as he's able to hear conversations, drown out background noise, have a handsfree function on his phone that really works... The downside to them is that they're £2k per ear... I'll find out what sort they are though.
This might be unrelated, but my sister-in-law's sister is a design journalist and she curated a show a couple of years ago at the V&A called 'hearwear', all about developments in hearing aid technology (and raising awareness of hearing issues) - her interest is personal as she's profoundly deaf.
I persuaded my Dad to spend £2000 on his, I'm not sure how much benefit he got though because the aftercare wasn't as good as it might have been (mind you, he did live on top of a hill) and he was a stubborn old beggar anyway.
A number of opticians will provide hearing services, usually via a 3rd party, if you choose a good independent optician they will have their own reputation to consider and will also provide a location where your relative can physically go to have the instrument serviced, get new batteries etc.
My understanding is that it is very much a world of diminishing returns, i.e. you have to pay quite a lot more for quite a small increase in performance, but it may well be worth it.
Digital hearing aids, at least the ones I've used, come with a choice of settings or channels as such that can be changed by pressing a button on the hearing aid. You can hook the hearing aid up to a machine and have it altered while its in your ear. This allows you to have settings for noisy environments as well as 'phone' and 'outdoor'. I have had all this under the NHS and it works fairly well. Especially the 'Off' setting for exceptionally boring people you have to socialise with.
I must stress that with ALL hearing aids you cannot get a clear idea of how well it is performing for you until you have worn it day in day out for a good few weeks (audiologist recommendation) to allow your brain to adjust. The sound is likely to be subtly different and will require 'new paths' as such to be established in the brain. It took me a lot of headache and concentration to focus on general conversation when i got my first one.
I know this does not exactly answer your question on models but it may help. Ive no experience of top end hearing aids but mine i think is worth about 500 squids and many people are shocked when i say i wear a hearing aid (mine is a visible but in the ear model and they are not as good as the hook over the ear jobbys which i would imagine your relative has been offered)
i got my hearing aids yesterday and absolutely love them (very standard basic NHS oticon spirit zest) and having them tuned to how my hearing is at the moment i am amazed by the difference
Sorry to be intrusive but answers to the above might help shed a bit more light on what's possible. Thanks.
i have 2 and i have only just got them, i have had always had hearing loss which i as a child i was told that no assistance was needed (35 years later i realise that was untrue). my level of hearing loss is the severe end of moderate and having worn my aids for almost 2 days now the level of improvement is 100%+ (i'm simply hearing sounds in a way i have never heard before). my hearing test was only done about a month ago so they have been able to tune my aids to how my hearing is at the moment which i think is one of the most important things. only settings i have is the normal mode and t mode
don't let vanity put you off even my cheapo nhs aids arent exactly noticeable unless you look for them, from the front all thats visable is a small clear tube and from the side i dont think anything is visable. i have found a few noise annoyances but i have the choice to turn off
I've had this pair for 6 years now, may think of investing in more modern ones soon.
i ended up realising that my hearing loss was more of an embarrassment than i perceived hearing aids would be
It just isn't the case these days. About the most annoying thing about wearing a hearing aid initially is catching people looking at it. You get over that very quickly once you become comfortable with the aid. The key is to give it time. Every single hearing aid I have ever used I initially hated as the sound was so different each time.
I can guarantee that this time next year you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Its just that initial leap out of your comfort zone.
If you live in Manchester I can strongly recommend going to Withington Hospital and chatting to head of audiology there. She used to be in the private sector and is very knowledgeable/helpful.
What do you think is the "best" aid out there now?
Depends on your loss level too. Best bet is to have a chat to a specialist audiologist.
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