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Hearing Aids - what to expect?

(56 Posts)
ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 18:41:15

I have an appointment next week to have hearing aids fitted and I just wondered what to expect.

I think I thought that they would take my levels again (my test was around 9 months ago) and maybe do a mould of my ears, and then I would be back for a later fitting, but now I am not sure. The appointment type is called Adult HA Issue Open Fit and it says in the letter that you are welcome to bring a friend with you. I imagine this is because they will be fitted on the day?

Why would I want to bring a friend?? Will I be disorientated? Will I be able to drive home? I don't really have anyone to come with me as DH will need to look after the kids. I could ask a friend if necessary but don't want to waste their Saturday if it's something I can do alone.

It's also my DH's birthday weekend - would I want to go on from the appointment for a day out, or am I likely to want to go and bury my head in a pillow and hide from the world? (Or should I just take them out again and have a day out??)

I'm feeling a bit anxious about it all, as well as quite fed up as I am only in my 30s sad.

Thanks for any advice!

AdaColeman Fri 01-Jun-18 19:04:29

As it's so long since your last appointment, I'm guessing they will take impressions at this visit.
But if they are fitted, you should be fine to drive.

If the sudden volume of noise is too much for you, you can always take them out, and put them in again later. It's a while since I first got mine but I seem to remember wearing them for half days etc, so after four or five days I was wearing them all day.

At first the level of noise is a surprise, eating toast is like hearing a noisy washing machine! Supermarket visits are incredibly noisy!! But you'll soon get used to it.

Hop all goes well for you.

AdaColeman Fri 01-Jun-18 19:08:15

You won't have to hop at your appointment!!
Try not to get anxious, you will be fine.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 19:26:23

Thanks so much for replying, Ada. I have now started thinking about what it will be like at work and whether I will struggle with all the competing noises that I now merrily don't hear! Maybe silence is bliss. I guess I can just take them out if it all gets too much.

AdaColeman Fri 01-Jun-18 20:10:01

It's to your advantage that you are young, as you will adapt much more quickly to aids than perhaps an older person would.

Also, the generation older than you, those in their 50s now, spent their youth listening to the loudest rock groups in the Universe, they will all be hard of hearing....
So there will be huge leaps in audiology technology, prices may come down, there will be lots of choice, as the market will be vast.

Take heart, keep your pecker up. thanks

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 20:24:32

Thanks Ada, you are very kind. I will try to look on the bright side.

I am finding work quite hard at the moment as having to talk to people is quite a big part of my job. There are two men I work closely with who I can barely hear. I have to ask them both to repeat almost everything they say, and then I still quite often miss it and am sometimes too embarrassed to ask again. I have made mistakes because of mishearing things or smiled and nodded, before realising that was the wrong answer. So I find myself thinking 'it's alright for older people, they don't have to go to work all day'. Not very gracious of me - I suppose I am just feeling sorry for myself.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 20:25:20

By the way, when you say prices will come down, do you mean you pay for your own hearing aids and don't use NHS ones?

AdaColeman Fri 01-Jun-18 20:59:10

Oh I know just what you mean about struggling at work, I had all sorts of tricks and strategies to cover the fact that I could hardly hear. Getting clients to jot down their name and address on a notepad was one, and also keeping phone calls very brief and to the point.

Yes I do pay for my hearing aids, I get them from Specsavers audiology. The way it came about was that my GP wasn't very interested, saying there was a very long waiting list etc etc.
So I thought in the interim I would go privately.
The audiologist was fab, very knowledgable, gave me loads of advice, state of the art testing equipment, quick turn around of HA, fits me in his lunch hour if I'm in trouble....
So I've stayed with them.

Of course your problems might be complex and best dealt with through the NHS, with a Consultant overseeing your case.

I'm hoping I've cheered you up, Colouring not worried you more! smile

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 21:13:14

You have cheered me up, thank you. It's nice to know someone else understands. I hope things are going well for you since you got your hearing aids.

I actually went to Boots first as that seemed less of a big deal than going to the doctor and I was hoping they would sell me some ear drops. I was so ready to spend £££ on ear drops grin, but they referred me on to the GP and he sent me to the audiologist. Unfortunately it has been a really long wait now for the actual hearing aids, which seems to be a bit of a lottery depending on where you live. I just hope it works out!

Toofle Fri 01-Jun-18 21:14:14

Impressions? Are you sure? I thought that technology was way out of date for most new users.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 21:17:33

Are you asking me? If so, I have no idea. I am new to all this smile

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 21:18:26

And by the sounds of it, Ada has had hers a while, so maybe things have changed

AdaColeman Fri 01-Jun-18 21:27:17

Oh have you had some made recently without an impression Toofle? Did they laser scan your ear canal? How interesting!

theotherendofthesockportal Fri 01-Jun-18 23:23:06

@ColouringPencils I am partially deaf in both of ears and wear hearing aids in both.

I haven't had mould impressions done for at least 10 years. My experience is that you go in to see the audiologist would give you your hearing aids then will hook the hearing aids up to specialist equipment.

The audiologist then adapts the hearing aids to the results of your hearing test plus your feedback on that day. They will also show you how to put your hearing aid in. Now days the hearing aids are tiny little nearly invisible tubes.

You will also be given spare batteries and tubes and something to clean your hearing aid with. And a brown book so you can order more spares when you run out.

I always find my voice sounds a little robotic to my ears when I have new hearing aids in, but you get used to it. I am then aware of all noises such as my feet shuffling.

I've been wearing hearing aids for 27 years now, ever since I was 5. The newest ones are amazing and work as a pair so they communicate with each other e.g if you have something noisy on your right side the left hearing aid will turn itself up.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but will soon become as routine as brushing your teeth!

purpleme12 Fri 01-Jun-18 23:31:26

Yes previous poster Theotherend's experience is the most like mine. I have hearing loss so have been wearing them for several years now.

Helloflamingogo Fri 01-Jun-18 23:40:36

You don’t need molds for open fit - if you google it shows you the type. They tend to be fairly wee but it depends on your hearing loss and the frequencies you’ve lost.

They may try you with one not two, if you hav hearing loss in both ears it is absolutely worth pushing for two (I did this as I was offered one initially despite equal bi lateral hearing loss). Studies show a link to dementia and poorer outcomes (ie social isolation) when only one is given.

Helloflamingogo Fri 01-Jun-18 23:41:11

Also, they don’t automatically give you a return appointment where I am which is infuriating.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 23:46:32

Thank you both, Sockportal and Purple, that is reassuring. I think I was a bit freaked out by the idea that I might need someone to accompany me. I had been telling myself it was just like getting glasses (which I also wear) but it seems it is not.

Any advice for getting used to all the noise? Or do you have to just grin and bear it?

Aurea Fri 01-Jun-18 23:51:48

I'm in my mid 40s and have worn hearing aids since I was 34.

I first realised I had a problem when I couldn't hear whispering and found listening in background noise difficult. I have moderate to severe hearing loss in upper frequencies.

I pay for my aids - £3600 a pair as they are top of the range. My life has been transformed and I would feel utterly miserable and isolated without them.

At first I was upset as everything appeared very loud and echoey but your brain and hearing rapidly adjusts to the new noises. Some noises are quiet novel and amusing like the scrunching of paper - it s undos so loud.

I'm sure you'll come to love them too....oh, one more thing - I managed to get out of jury service permanently which was a blessing as I cannot hear soft noises.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 23:53:17

Sorry Flamingo, I think I was writing at the same time as you. I am getting hearing aids for both ears, as far as I know. I had slightly more loss in one ear, but they were both down.

Quite depressing re stats for poorer outcomes. I guess I am just getting used to this and my experience is not currently that limiting, although even in my own - not too bad - case, I can feel myself shying away from social situations and prefering the uncomplicated-ness of my own company.

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 23:57:29

Thank you Aurea, I am now looking forward to the scrunching of paper smile, although not the crunching of crisps...

What about those new eco hand-dryers in public toilets? I find those aggressively loud now, I hope they don't get any worse!

I always kind of liked the idea of jury service... Any other perks??

Helloflamingogo Fri 01-Jun-18 23:58:02

Don’t let it get you down - my mum came with me but not into the appointment. Driving home would be no bother. I got the most ridiculous set of instructions to wear them for an hour a day for the first week then step it up. I wore them full time immediately and it was fine.
The outcome thing was a study specifically related to only being given one hearing aid (a lot of boards do this now to save money).

Helloflamingogo Fri 01-Jun-18 23:58:24

You can get a disabled persons railcard!

ColouringPencils Fri 01-Jun-18 23:59:58

Ooh that's exciting. Even if you don't get DLA?

Freetodowhatiwant Sat 02-Jun-18 00:03:24

Hi colouring, I’ve been meaning to come on here and ask some questions myself. I was fitted for NHS hearing aids a few months ago but I confess haven’t worn them yet except when I went home from the hospital in them. I felt like I had superpowers! The nhs ones I have (in a box in the drawer) didn’t need moulds as they go behind the ears. One reason why I haven’t worn them is that the little plastic things that stick in your ears were uncomfortable on one side as they didn’t have a smaller one in stock at the hospital at the time so I ended up with one larger sized than the other. I keep meaning to go back for an appointment but I’m in denial. It was awful a few weeks ago when I actually had to host a q&a on stage and I couldn’t hear the questions from the audience. Luckily the people on the panel - who the questions were directed at - clearly heard exactly what everyone said but I found myself looking at them in disbelief that they could hear everything and I couldn’t.

Like you I’m finding myself withdrawing from some situations. I’m now worried about the increased dimentia risk associated with hearing loss. Also did I read correctly that if you don’t hear well the little hairs in our eyes will get lazy and your hearing with get worse...? Either way it looks like I really need to start wearing them. I’m 43 but I think my hearing has always been bad.

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