villager article - how much ?

Articles from The Villager part 7

It would seem that a hearing aid can be bought and just popped in the ear; job done. If only it were that simple! Selecting the right hearing aid system for a customer requires thought and attention. With the range of hearing aids on offer these days, your choices  could be few and wide. It is useful to remember that what YOU have in mind may not be the best solution.

The decision making process involves questions such as this: Do you suffer from Tinnitus or Vertigo? How long have you experienced a hearing loss?  Do you need to get your ears cleared of wax by your GP on a regular basis? Ear canals are dark and for good reason, waxy. Hearing aids and too much wax are uneasy bedfellows.  Examination of the shape and size of your ear canals can also tell us whether or not in the ear hearing aids are an option. If too narrow and bendy, small hearing aids can be difficult to fit.

The smaller the hearing aids, the smaller the batteries which last from 5 to 16 days depending on their size and usage. It is important to keep your hearing aids clean so reasonable dexterity and eye-sight should be taken into consideration. Fitting one hearing aid may be enough of a struggle and since it is routine to fit hearing aids to both ears, your life-style could come into play here. Do you live a life of cocktail parties or quite the opposite? Somewhere in between? Are you becoming less active in your community because you don’t hear as well as you could?

Hearing loss is categorised as mild, moderate, severe and profound. The worse the hearing, the larger the hearing aid may need to be. Now there are tiny devices which hook over the ear with a very thin tube attached that bends into the ear to direct the amplified sound. These are much smaller than hearing aids fitted by the NHS and are suitable for quite severe hearing losses. If the ear canal is of “good proportions”, hearing aids fitted completely in the ear can also be made to cope with challenging losses.

The degree of hearing loss and the length of time it has been experienced may influence the complexity of technology chosen. If you have delayed getting help for a number of years, a hearing system with more features may be more beneficial. “Catching it early” should indicate fewer difficulties, less complex  solutions, less time AND expense.

And the cost? I advise that a hearing aid lasts 5 years. I usually spend 4-5 hours in the first 2 month period with every customer; from testing and selecting, to fitting and follow-up appointments and an additional 3-5 hours over the life-time of their hearing aids. The cost that Hear in the Community charges for this time is similar to that of Chiropodists, Physiothrapists and Chiropractors.  

When you balance this time with the most suitable and affordable hearing system, you arrive at the best solution to help you  Hear in your Community.