Getting new hearing aids?

lindtoholic

New Member
Hi there! :)

I've recently been to see a doctor at my university's health centre re. my hearing, and have now been referred to the nearby audiology department as it's been quite some time since I last had a hearing test. I'm thinking about potentially asking for some new hearing aids whilst I'm there too, as the department I belonged to whilst living with my parents had more provisions for elderly patients, with around 90% of their patients being over the age of 60. It's quite a small department to be honest, and they really only supplied BTEs for their patients.

I've been looking into it though, and it turns out I can technically get some other types of HAs from the NHS free of charge - obviously it depends on which ones are suitable for my hearing loss, but I really would like to get out of BTEs and look at getting some which are within the ear instead. But, having said that, I need some opinions on what ones are best.

So - that's where you guys come in! What type of hearing aids do you wear, and how do you find them? Any comments about them? I currently have a loop system on my hearing aids too which is a lifesaver when watching TV and/or in areas which use an induction loop, so if you could provide additional details about that I'd really appreciate it. I'm just looking for opinions from people with firsthand experience now really, since I've done some research on opinions from professionals etc, so... shoot!

(P.S. I'm not really interested in the CIs if I'm honest - so no need to discuss them).
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

I had the option of getting CIC/ITEs - but specifically chose BTE instead because they are (for me) much more comfortable. It also allows me to chose to either make them invisiable or stand out (different colour moulds, BTE colour, superseals covers etc).

I can't see ever chosing anything other than BTE for myself. All around better technology, better cost, and easier to maintain & repair.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Different colour BTEs?? I never had that option myself, in fact, I have had no option aside from coloured moulds which even then were quite limited. I had no idea they were reasonably easy to customise to that extent, but then again, I guess that's more down to department I was at rather than anything else! I do find BTEs a bit uncomfortable from time to time though, which is why I'm curious about any other types - it'd probably be nice to try some out before making a decision though. But thanks for that in any case!
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Haven't had a consultation yet, so I have no recommendations just yet. However here what tends to happen is that people will request a specific type, and then the audiologist will confirm whether or not that option is possible for the individual based upon their test results. So essentially I just want to know a bit about each different type so I can make a more informed request on the day :)
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Rather than a recommendation based on my own audiogram, I am rather more interested in personal opinions on the different types. I am aware that different types of HAs will not be available to me depending on my audiogram, but this I will deal with once I am in the room with the audiologist.

I simply just want to know what others have experienced with the different types of HAs - for instance, how it is to maintain batteries for a smaller hearing aid in the ear? Do they have an option for the loop system that I use? What are the battery lives like? How easy are they to use in general? All of these questions can be answered simply with the experience you have had - without the need for my audiogram.

I cannot supply my audiogram as I have never been given a copy. My parents have it, but have never supplied me with one.
 

ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
The severity of loss is going to be the main criteria of what hearing aid you should get. How severe is your loss? ITE aids are for mild to severe hearing loss. Is it possible to lose more hearing? If so you don't want to pick an aid that may be under powered in the near future. If you have more hearing loss in one ear than another you can use a CROS system.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
I have severe hearing loss in one ear, moderate in the other. My hearing loss has been consistent for the last 6 years though, with no drastic changes.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Haha, nice! Mine are quite old now actually - had them since the age of 12 when they were just coming out, so that's probably my main reasoning behind wanting to get out of having them. I guess maybe this place I'm going to might have more options for me there, too.
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
LOL thanks, I thought my hearing aids looks cool!!!
I had my 1st hearing aids when I was 6 months old, 2nd pair at 10 years old and my 3rd pair after I turned 16!
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Wow, nice! I had my first set at the age of 4 - when I was first diagnosed as deaf. Then kept those ones until 12, and haven't had another which is why I'm thinking I'm due a change, haha. We'll see. But I'm glad to see more customisable options are available now.
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
wow and btw, I still have my 1st pair (the left looks good, right aid needs a new door as it falls apart LOL!!!!!!!!!
2nd pair, kinda hated it by the time I started my 2nd year of high school-seriously, NO VOLUME SWITCH??
but I do love mah 3rd pair now the fact it's purple :D
 

lindtoholic

New Member
I no longer have my old ones - they were taken back by my audiologists to give to the NHS :) but ouch! I'm not too bothered by the lack of a volume switch on these current ones actually. They're really well programmed so I haven't had any issue with the sound changes, it's just I'm thinking I'd like a different set. They work fine aside from perhaps condensation issues here and there, but hey ho. Purple's a really cool colour for hearing aids though. Mine are a horrid brown colour xD
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Lind, the dinky aids tend not to be powerful enough for more then mild losses......i speak from experiance. got them in jr high, and thought i could hear with them. i could but i was mostly just speechreading.Plus the BTEs are more durable etc........
 

AJWSmith

New Member
I've never seen ITE HAs available on the NHS (not saying they're not, just that I've never seen them in all the years I've attended NHS audiology clinics). I have seen some small BTE ones though with very small ear molds.
(also see in this link Hearing Impairment (Deafness) - Treatment - NHS Choices

I've never had a choice myself as my profound hearing loss has always meant that I've have to had the most powerful aids available which are the BTE ones. The larger size allows more power, etc.

Another advantage of BTE is that you can get streamers (not available on NHS) that allow you to connect your aid wirelessly to phones, TVs, MP3 players, etc. You get a better sound quality than using the loop. Here's a model made by Oticon (Siemens do an equivalent)
Oticon - ConnectLine presentation
 

lindtoholic

New Member
That's extremely helpful, thank you so much. I'll take a look into that. I haven't got profound hearing myself, and there's actually a small chance my hearing has improved slightly, but obviously I'm keen to explore all options that are available. Smaller BTEs would be better if anything at all to be honest.

And thanks for that additional link, too. I'll take a look into it :)
 

djchur

New Member
I've never known anyone who has been given ITEs on the NHS either. I know a few people who have small BTEs with thin tubing, but they only have a mild hearing loss. My guess is that you'd be better off with standard BTEs, with ear moulds, for your loss. As you are at university they have the advantage of having direct audio input for use with fm systems, as well as a t-coil and directional microphones. I have a severe loss and use super power BTEs which have power in reserve should my hearing get worse, which is always worth having. ITEs are unlikely to have anything in reserve.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
I don't actually use my FM radio system any more, as I simply don't need it - my university does, however, provide a loop system which I can use as a back up if I do require it in the end, so that does come in useful. But okay, thanks. I'd be interested in the smaller BTEs then if anything if it's possible.
 
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