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Hearing Aids -Advice needed re what people wear!

(24 Posts)
jenwa Thu 20-Nov-08 15:45:00

I have oticon spirit 3's (NHS ones) and I have a high frequency loss. Am going to be re tested next week (am nervous as convinced it has become worse) and now want to go private for more discreet aids.
I noticed the phonak ones are more discreet than my current ones but am keen to try the in the ear aids (although been told that this may not be appropriate for my high frequency loss).

Just wanted to know if there are any hearing aid users on here and what they use and if you have high frequency loss and what works best for you.

I know there were afew people who I spoke to last year on here re hearing aids but I am sorry I cant remember who you are blush, its just now I am ready to go down the private route and purchase some discreet ones to make me more confident.

Thank you smile

nowtygaffer Thu 20-Nov-08 16:59:45

My 8yr old DD has high frequency loss. She wears Phonak digital hearing aids.

My DH asked at her last audiologist appontment about in the ear hearing aids (thinking of her teenage years really!) but was told that these wouldn't be suitable for her type of loss.

Hopefully with new technology this may change over the next few years.

Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!

nowtygaffer Thu 20-Nov-08 17:01:10

Forgot to mention that the Phonak ones have been pretty reliable and are quite slimline compared to her first ones!

jenwa Fri 21-Nov-08 22:45:08

Thank you nowtygaffer
Yes I was told abut the in the ear aids too that they are not really any good as they block out the sounds that I can hear (as they are pushed right in to the ear) but the man in specsavers sais it depends on the person and what they feel comfortable with and what they prefer and he has had people with a high frequency loss purchase in the eat aids.
How does your DD fet on with her HA's? I find it so difficult as only been wearing mine for over a year now so having this prob in my 30's is a big confidence knock and a worry on how it will be in the future. I hope your DD has adjusted well to it smile

nowtygaffer Sun 23-Nov-08 10:14:30

Hi Jenwa. My DD has had HA's since she was 2 and a half so can't really remember not having them IYKWIM. I think it's a blessing really to have them from a young age and I do sympathise with you!

She does have days where she's self conscious about them and she has had a few problems with other children making a big deal out of them. I have said to her "well mummy has to wear glasses", I know it's not really the same but I suppose I want to normalise it for her.

I have noticed over the last year a big increase in the number of people wearing HA's so maybe it will seem a bit more normal. I do tend to point these people out to my DD (I hope I don't make them feel self conscious in the process!) as I want her to feel that it is a normal thing to have.

notcitrus Sun 23-Nov-08 16:18:56

I wear oticon spirit 3s too - i've had aids for 20 years now since i was 14, first in the ear, then bte as ite aren't powerful enough and the standard aids can now be programmed for my loss rather than needing to be specially made.

I've gone for black aids, magenta moulds, and I've added coloured metal rings round the tubing, making the whole thing look fantastic. And even with all that only about 1 person a year notices them without me mentioning it!

This is all on the NHS. High freq loss is the most common, but it depends on how severe your loss is. If it's 40/50 dB or more ites are unlikely to cut it, especially if you work with background noise, need the phone, etc.

I don't think ites are more discreet as you can see the bit in the ear easiest - the bit behind the ear and tubing no-onne notices. But as i said, people are dim and rarely notice at all.

Do you have problems at work etc with not hearing? After years of playing with aids and tech, the most useful thing by far has been boosting my confidence enough to insist people repeat themselves, write stuff down, etc. Other hard of hearing people say the same. Which means there's no point in my having 'discreet' aids.

I would be very wary of private sellers as they may not have all the expertise in tuning (not that the nhs always does, but at least each tweak is free) and many people find they've wasted money. other problem with ites is if they break you have to wait until new mould made so no aid for a couple weeks - with btes you can pick up a replacement same day.

smartiejake Sun 23-Nov-08 16:34:25

National Health digital aids are so good now I really would be wary of trying a private seller. As others have siad- if they go wrong you have to be without them while they are repaired.

The oticon spirit threes are very good (and the phonak eterna quite superb)and as other posters have said ITE aids are often not suitable for higher frequency losses (although there are some private sellers who will tell you they are.) I always notice ITEs whereas BTEs can eaisly be hidden behind the ear and under the hair especially with clear earmoulds. The ear canal aids (which have the little strings to pull them out and cannot be seen) will almost surely not be suitable for high frequency losses.

Audiologistmummy Sun 23-Nov-08 16:44:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Audiologistmummy Sun 23-Nov-08 16:47:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenwa Sun 23-Nov-08 20:06:04

Wow, thankyou for those responses, really helpful. smile

nowtygaffer My mum said the same about glasses to me although I said it was more common then HA's but do understand where you are coming from and hopefully your DD will learn to grow up with them and as she gets older the teasing will go away, its just more embarrasment/confidence for me but that is because it is all new. I am always looking behind peoples ears now (as they pass not actually pulling at their ears to do so!) to see if they wear aids, it makes you feel better that there are other people out there (who are not elderly) who wear them.

notcitrus you are a smiular age to me and I dont know anyone my age who wears aids, you obviously are more confident after wearing aids for a longer peiod then. I am not sure my hearing loaa, will find out if its changed on weds (which I am dreading as always get soooo scared about losing it all together sad). Work can be difficult at times, I actually work in the hospital with patients so hate the fact I have to ask what people said, especially when they are very quietly spoken as I worry I will miss something they said that is very important, so in that aspect I have to ask them to repeat themselves but sometimes it takes several times for me to catch what they said!
The in the ear aids I want are the ones smartiejake mentioned with the strings, so they are actaully right in the canel but I have heard from alot of people that they would not be suitable as wouldd block out the low sounds I hear now!
Good for you though notcitrus wearing yours with pride and making a statement, I dont feel ready to do that yet and had all my long hair cut off to hide mine! Really upset me but I am just not ready, and feel like everyone can see them (even though I would prob never notice unless I was stood right behind someone looking at their ears!!)
audiologistmummy Mine are RITE I think? They are Oticon spirit 3's so just have the tubing going in the ear from the bit that fits behind the ear, is that the ones? Most people dont notice them but I find I end up pointing them out to people to avoid embarrasemt later if they notice them hmm! Silly hey!
Thank you all for your advice re private sellers though, never thought about needing them tweaked and having to pay for that!!!
My consultant is lovely and would continue to keep my NHS ones and appts there, was just an option to go private too more so for confidence with more cosmetic brands! Loving the look of the phonak ones a (BTE) as they are so much smaller!

Audiologistmummy Sun 23-Nov-08 21:41:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenwa Sun 23-Nov-08 22:17:25

audiologistmummy i dont actually have an ear mould, my wire has a small ?pod/tip, that fits inside my ear so you cant see it simular to the link you sent re Phonak, the Phonak look great though as they are smaller (the bit that fits behind the ear, but you can only purchase this privatly! Is your Dads NHS or did he get his private?

Audiologistmummy Mon 24-Nov-08 11:35:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenwa Thu 27-Nov-08 11:04:21

had appt yest and hearing has got worse again sad so depressing as am 32 and dont want to loose it altogether! Anyway, Consultant mentioned a steroid implant procedure he could try on mu that is usually unsed on people who wake up and have lost their hearing due to inflamation and he wonders if I have inflamation. I am wondering whether to have it done or not as there is a risk of losing it all together although he thinks it is such a small risk. I think if it is going to keep getting worse then maybe I should go ahead and have it done???!!!!
Any advice would be really helpful, thankyou smile

notcitrus Thu 27-Nov-08 19:17:34

How much hearing do you have atm? And how quickly has it gone? Do they have any idea why?
Wouldn't go for surgery unless they knew there was inflammation - or if there's no useful hearing to lose.

I admit that I only got to the point of being arsy about my hearing and insisting on people repeating/writing stuff down, getting speech-to-text reporters in important meetings, etc, after years of misunderstandings and when I was about to lose my job because I couldn't cope. Compared to actually having to tell people about my hearing loss daily, the look of the aids was a really minor issue (and what proved that 99% of people had never noticed the aids).

jenwa Fri 28-Nov-08 09:04:14

notcitrus I noticed hearing loss about 3 yrs ago after DD1 and it has slowly got worse, not sure what the range is, something was mentioned about my right ear being either 60 or 65 and now 70??? Does that seem right? Will need to ask DH as he came with me! I need to go back and see hearing therapist as she will print me a graph with it on, just not seen her since beginning of year and hoping can get back to see her as had to cancel may appt. They dont know why it has gone, it is not otoslorosis (spelt wrong!) (condition from pregnancy) but have had scans and blood tests but nothing showed up!

What is your hearing loss? Will yours get any worse or not? Do you cope well and do you ever feel fed up with it? Sorry but just want to hear how other people manage!!! You seem like you do though and I suppose once you wear aids it makes daily living easier rather than struggle with conversation etc!

notcitrus Fri 28-Nov-08 12:11:18

My loss is 50-60 dB, but at random frequencies mainly in the middle, so they have problems giving me amplification that doesn't amplify the sounds I can hear anyway. It's only got a bit worse in the last 15 years, but I started having problems in my last year at uni and then in certain jobs - basically I can't understand women or most foreign accents. After getting all the tech help from Access to Work and RNID, I've concluded I'm just going to stay working in fields that are dominated by loud straight-talking British men!

It's taken a long time to get here though because apart from aids I got no help as a teenager so I didn't know that lip-reading is seriously tiring (I was a lot more deaf as a child, not allowed in the local school, but an old-fashioned private school and already being able to read meant I had no problems then). I found I stopped being depressed when I started using subtitles on TV - conversations can still be a problem in noisy areas. I use the phone as little as possible as I can't understand if there's any background noise. I suspect my hearing is part of what's prevented my promotion at work but now I'm on maternity leave I'm less fussed.

High freq loss is the typical age-or-noise-related loss, so could be you're just getting it young? A 60-70 dB loss in those frequencies would make sense if you're now really noticing problems - you may well find amplified phones useful, maybe subtitles on TV, and training your friends to meet in well-lit places without background noise - I think I said that I'd found that confidence to insist on what I need had helped way more than all the technology in the world...

jenwa Fri 28-Nov-08 14:11:44

thank you, that is helpful. i also have difficulties with foreign accents and work in the hospital so there are alot of nurses and doctors from different cultures who I really struggle to hear and like you say i find it easier to understand loud british men! So is my loss worse or better than yours? or is that just the range I cant hear? I suffer more with high frequencies, I have problems with films on telly as the rest of it is so loud (background noise) that its hard to hear the conversations!
What help did access to work and rnid give?

I am also on maternity leave grin nice isn't it!!! It makes me less worried as not mixing with different people all the time, just my family and friends.

The phone is a problem with me unless its someone I know, are amplified phones available through RNID?
I do try sitting with my back against the wall when out as heard that is better. Why has well lit places? Is that more lip reading and expressions?

Thank you for your info/help, it is reassuring to me smile

JHKE Fri 28-Nov-08 14:44:47

Hi.. I am deaf, have been since I was about 2 and am 31 now. I would carry on using your hearing aids from the nhs as they are not cheap and if they do have a fault you at least know that you can go to the hospital to get a replacement or get them fixed. Added to that you also get you batteries supplied on the nhs.

Interestingly I also wear oticon spirit 3, just got them last week and am not getting on with them as well as my old ones.. going back next week for a tweak on tuning.

I usually have problems hearing people who have accents, talk quietly, deep voices. I also have problems having conversations where there is background noise and in groups. I use subtitles on tv. I use the phone on loudspeak. You can buy amplified phones but if you go to the social services who deal with deaf people you can get some equipment cheaper. They can also do an assessment of equipment you may need. In my case I got doorbell, fire alarm, phone alarm and baby alarm (wore a vibrator on me and under pillow at night) I also got a loop system for the tv.

I understand how hard it is to have to ask people to repeat something but I usually get round it sometimes (especially on phone) by repeating whats been said so they can correct if I have got it wrong.
I used to nod my head (even when I didn't hear) when a boss gave me instructions till quite a few times she would say to me 'what did I say then', So I then started asking if I didn't hear her. Most people once they understand you can't hear so well are fine to repeat..


jenwa Sun 30-Nov-08 11:32:02

JHKE Thank you for your info, it is really great knowing there is support out there and others in the same situation or at leoast simular wink
It is shame you are not getting on with your oticons, but then they were the only ones I had so I dont know any different, what did you have before and why did you change? Are yours NHS?

That is interesting re social services, is it worked out on your finances re how much help they give? And how does a loop for the tv work? I dont really understand it!

I think it is a big confidence know for me and I always hate asking people to repeat themself especially after 2 or 3 times blush but do know that once they realise that it is me with a problem it usually is better, just embarrases me!

jenwa Mon 01-Dec-08 09:46:05

Spoke to my family on weekend and mixed reactions re op or not! hmm Like you say about having good hearing in other ranges but then the other side is will this prevent it getting worse if I go ahead? just wish I could fix it sad

jenwa Fri 12-Dec-08 19:55:09

had appt today and been re tuned but I am having discomfort when dd screaming! I think I need them turned down abit! They did a comfort test which I never had before and think i should not have tried to say it was comfy all the time, I did not expect it to squeel down my ear so much!!!!

polin Fri 23-Sep-11 13:04:52

I think that the best hearing aid is the one that you won’t have any problem using and work good for the degree of hearing loss that you have. There are two types of hearing aids: analogues and digital hearing aids. Analogues hearing aids are less expensive but have less features as well. Digital hearing aids in contrast, are like mini computers. They amplify the sound and adjust the level it. In – the – are hearing aids are prescribed mainly to older pa-tients. On the other hand, a person with a profound hearing impairment can use a behind the ear model, but nit a hearing aid that is placed completely in the canal. For more infor-mation, check:

aliceliddell Fri 23-Sep-11 13:20:00

My Dad and his partner both have ha's; they both went semi-private, Dad's was worse than useless as the in the ear type made his ear produce too much wax. He had endless legal wrangles to gert a refund. Now has NHS digital one and is really pleased. Partner won't get NHS one and cannot hear too well at all; Dad continues to nag her.....

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