Getting new hearing aids?

NaidaUP

Well-Known 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.
My friend got ITE aids from NHS but only coz her ears are holes only as she has no ears.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
My friend got ITE aids from NHS but only coz her ears are holes only as she has no ears.
That's definitely a special case, then. I'm glad they at least provided something for her though in that case. Still, we'll see what happens - if anything I'm more keen to put my name down for potential trials of ITEs if they develop them further - which is potentially quite likely.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
I will :) I'm not sure how long it will be though - could be months depending on how many clients they already have, and how fast the referral is processed. But I'll do my best to come back and check. My main aim is just to find out the options available to me, but I'm glad I've had some feedback in general re. BTEs and that some people find them generally better. I'll see if I can find any more details re. ITEs and how people find using them as I go.
 

cdmeggers

Well-Known Member
Never tried CIC or ITE hearing aids, only BTE's. With my hearing loss levels, I need the power so BTE UltraPower is what I generally get when I get a new HA.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Hm, hearing of these different types does definitely make me somewhat disappointed I haven't been offered alternatives for some time. Still, I can resolve that now at least, but I'm surprised at the lack of discussion I've had available regarding HAs in the audiology department I frequented as a child.
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
Never tried CIC or ITE hearing aids, only BTE's. With my hearing loss levels, I need the power so BTE UltraPower is what I generally get when I get a new HA.
same here with CDmeggers only I'm moderate/severe to severe and I love my Safari P anyways :) but it does sound like the UP if you fall into that category like almost close to hers like me.
 

djchur

New Member
Hm, hearing of these different types does definitely make me somewhat disappointed I haven't been offered alternatives for some time. Still, I can resolve that now at least, but I'm surprised at the lack of discussion I've had available regarding HAs in the audiology department I frequented as a child.
If the audiology department you attended is anything like the one I go to they don't offer alternative HAs at all, just the ones they have available on contract, i.e. they only order Siemens so that's what everyone gets, the model depends on your hearing loss. Only under exceptional circumstances are you offered anything else. No colours other than beige are available either.

Also, they don't call you back for any follow up appointments except the initial one six weeks after you get a HA. After that you have to go to them. Even then if you go because you need new moulds or something they don't tell you about any new HAs that are available. I only know that Siemens Reflex have now been replaced by Impact, which have Bluetooth, because I saw it on the Internet, not because my audiology department have told me, and I doubt I'd get any unless my current HAs, Reflex DSPs, fall apart!

I should imagine with the present NHS cut backs the situation in this regard will only get worse too, not better. My advise to you is to do some research online to find out what is available and then tell the audiologist what sort of HA you would prefer. Good luck with that.
 

NaidaUP

Well-Known Member
If the audiology department you attended is anything like the one I go to they don't offer alternative HAs at all, just the ones they have available on contract, i.e. they only order Siemens so that's what everyone gets, the model depends on your hearing loss. Only under exceptional circumstances are you offered anything else. No colours other than beige are available either.

Also, they don't call you back for any follow up appointments except the initial one six weeks after you get a HA. After that you have to go to them. Even then if you go because you need new moulds or something they don't tell you about any new HAs that are available. I only know that Siemens Reflex have now been replaced by Impact, which have Bluetooth, because I saw it on the Internet, not because my audiology department have told me, and I doubt I'd get any unless my current HAs, Reflex DSPs, fall apart!

I should imagine with the present NHS cut backs the situation in this regard will only get worse too, not better. My advise to you is to do some research online to find out what is available and then tell the audiologist what sort of HA you would prefer. Good luck with that.
This is actually very true. You are actually allowed to get new hearing aids every 5 years but when you ring up to say, can I have new aids, you can wait over 9 months for them. As you say, only way to get them quicker is, if your aids break.

NHS will only provide ITE aids unless you have no ears like my friend.

NHS buy in bulk and they seem mainly to be Oticon BTE, Phonak BTE and then Siemens BTE aids. Most audiology departments only stock one make eg for Phonak, they do Phonak Nathos M, Phonak Nathos SP and Phonak Nathos UP for all types of losses.
 
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Lau2046

Well-Known 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).
I've worn both ITE and BTE models. The BTE outlasted all the ITE models I've owned and had significantly less issues. I got to really know the hearing aid dispenser because my ITE were always having problems: battery door breaking off, battery getting stuck in the aid, wax affecting the aid, aid broke in half when dropped. My BTE lasted more than ten years, never gave me an issue (ITE - four or five years max). While you may hear better due to the location of the microphone on the ITE, the BTE would give you more range and last far longer without repeated repairs.

I understand about the BTE maybe not being as comfortable. I shoot myself and always found them a pain when I put on my gear or wear protective glasses, but they were dependable. I'm personally not bothered if people see them or not. As large as they were, people I knew for five years had no idea I wore them. :D
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
Wow....just got back from the audiologist and learned that I was misquoted; the $2100 per aid was for the Widex 220; for the Widex 440 Fusion, which I just bought today, it was $6,150.00. :eek3: I've got to say, I find that no matter what model you get, there's always some discomfort in getting hearing aids....in my case, financial. :aw:
 

ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Wow....just got back from the audiologist and learned that I was misquoted; the $2100 per aid was for the Widex 220; for the Widex 440 Fusion, which I just bought today, it was $6,150.00. :eek3: I've got to say, I find that no matter what model you get, there's always some discomfort in getting hearing aids....in my case, financial. :aw:
I got surprised by the $500 in fitting fees yesterday :eek3:
 

lindtoholic

New Member
This certainly gained more responses than I expected, but thank you so much! Firstly, regarding the new hearing aid situation, some time ago I did try and get new ones but they said they wouldn't do so unless they broke. I spoke to some of the other patients and it seems this place seemed intent on only providing replacement ones if there was serious damage, so sadly that never happened for me. But in going to a new department, I'm thinking not only will I be able to access a different model of HA, but perhaps get something better suited to me. Since, as you say, it does seem to depend on the branch you get the HAs from, so hopefully it would work in my favour.

In response to the ITEs vs BTEs, thank you so much for that. I agree about them being uncomfortable sometimes haha, and that they're dependable, but I'm still frustrated with them to a degree. I think it might be that I need a new type to be honest, perhaps they aren't functioning as well as they should be now - but that's exactly why I need the new audiologist option as getting to/from the other audiologist department from where I am at university is very difficult, and made even more awkward by the fact that getting appointments with them is extremely difficult too! So - this should definitely be the right step for me. I guess I'll see what they say re. ITEs, but I'll definitely bear those comments in mind! :D

Ouch re. pricing too :/ I'm quite glad I haven't had to pay anything so far, but that's purely down to the NHS. Still, I don't think I would be happy buying HAs, even if they're fully reputable. I say this because at least with the way it works in the UK, I know the NHS are selling me what's suitable, and not what would earn them the money - I don't know if anyone here has gone into a private HA retailer, but I've always gotten the impression that they're just willing to say "yes, that's totally suitable for you" regardless of the facts. Then again, definitely would be different for you guys in the States for having to pay for them, but that's just the impression I get from the ones over in the UK :(
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
lindtoholic - Get the best brand they'll offer and get what you're most comfortable wearing, and if it's not coming out of your wallet, get the ITE. It sounds like it'd be a good match for you given what you're looking for comfort wise. A good set of hearing aids is life changing. Believe me, I'm feeling the pain in my wallet, but bitch as I may, they'll be worth every cent. Good luck and have a great summer....:wave:
 

NaidaUP

Well-Known Member
I will be VERY surprised if they give you ITE hearing aids. They require more maintance as they break so much more and in over 20 years of having aids, never seem anyone with them if they have normal looking ears.

I would say you have an 0.01% of getting some ITE aids without going private.
 

djchur

New Member
I will be VERY surprised if they give you ITE hearing aids. They require more maintance as they break so much more and in over 20 years of having aids, never seem anyone with them if they have normal looking ears.

I would say you have an 0.01% of getting some ITE aids without going private.
Agreed! I've only seen them on a few people in forty years of wearing aids and they were all bought privately.
 

djchur

New Member
some time ago I did try and get new ones but they said they wouldn't do so unless they broke. I spoke to some of the other patients and it seems this place seemed intent on only providing replacement ones if there was serious damage, so sadly that never happened for me.
I think you'll find this is the case in virtually all NHS audiology departments. I've had aids for over forty years and have attended various places over the years and found it's the same everywhere.

Many years ago, when only analogue aids were available, I had to keep the same HA for almost twenty years because the blasted thing just wouldn't break down. Because my hearing hadn't changed they still considered it to be appropriate. I think that we are fortunate today to have such good HAs available on the NHS, with features such as DAI and directional microphones etc., even if they are not always what we would choose for ourselves.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Thanks guys :) I'll see what they can offer, but I'll definitely be aiming for the better ones where possible.

I'm glad (in a sense) to hear I'm not the only one who has had trouble getting new HAs. It's a pain in the neck to sort out but I'm hoping that this does work out. :/
 

NaidaUP

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys :) I'll see what they can offer, but I'll definitely be aiming for the better ones where possible.

I'm glad (in a sense) to hear I'm not the only one who has had trouble getting new HAs. It's a pain in the neck to sort out but I'm hoping that this does work out. :/
If you are going to a new audiology department, you are highly likely to come away with new aids.

Which means in turn you will get better aids as the technology has got a lot better in the last few years and nhs are not keeping the better bits out of the aids now.
 
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