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When it got to the stage where it was impacting my work I contacted a hearing aid supplier. Siemens's top line hearing aid is called the Artis e2e model and consists of wireless technology. Complaints: My research has revealed that even the most well known brands have their share of problems. Starkey Digital Hearing Aids: Starkey is the largest make of digital hearing aids, and offer warranties and trial periods. They told me that while there was some deterioration, it wasn’t sufficient to warrant a hearing aid.
They manufacture the Aspect, Cierra, and Mesa models, including their top line model the Eli that can be used in conjunction with Bluetooth. They will assist you with selecting the correct device and will assess your lifestyle determine the best choice for you. Another claimed he has gone through three sets of Siemens hearing aids and is not at all happy with the quality. That evening, I went to a smallish dinner party (ten people in a private room in a pub) and could actually follow conversations across the table: it was amazing. He says they are too expensive in cost and repairs and he would just rather do without hearing aids.
There were more complaints against Siemens than other brands, and the average cost was approximately between $2400 and $3000. During my nursing career, I had many elderly patients, and I can't remember not one of them who was happy with their hearing aids. The cost is outrageous, as well as the repairs, not to even mention the fact that insurance won't cover them. If insurance began to pick up the tab for hearing aids and the cost associated with them, they would be out of business quicker than you could say "Huh? It all started when I was complain to my wife about the poor diction on the TV.I reluctantly decided to have a home hearing test and was astonished at my loss of of hearing. This type of hearing aid fits snugly into the ear and held in place by power dome which is made from soft rubber. The power dome is very comfortable to wear and in no way chafes or rubs the outer ear.I find this type of hearing aid very practical although any audible adjustment needed or anything more technical then the whole hearing aid must be sent off to the manufacturers. Cleaning is simple and can be done at home if one follows the instructions.This type too because it is small hides nicely within the ear and is not really too noticeable. Anyone standing up close may recognise you wearing it but in my experience only if they are facing from your side.On the whole I find this hearing aid comfortable to wear, reliable, easy to maintain and fits into the ear comfortably.
In fairness to my genes, mine didn’t become bad enough for friends to persuade me to buy hearing aids until I was in my 60s. As it is the home to at least two hearing aid manufacturers, I guessed it might be a good place to start my research on hearing aids. In late 2007 I went to a Danish hearing aid shop and rapidly decided that the make and model I wanted was an Oticon Epoq.


I paused to check the price in England but found there were large savings to be made in Danmark.
Including the cost of the flight, parking at Stansted and renting a car for 5 days, I saved about ?2000. I was staying with Danish friends.As standard, they supplied the aids with a 4 year warranty.
Until recently, the Danish health system provided those because I bought the aids in Danmark although they knew I was a Brit. They posted them to England!I spoke to the audiology department of my local NHS hospital in 2007 but then they were only offering analogue hearing aids and if I had accepted one of those, I would have gone to the back of the queue for a digital aid.
I presume that all NHS hospitals now supply digital aids.I went ahead and bought the Oticon Epoqs in Danmark.
I was advised to be available for at least 3 days for fitting, acclimatisation and testing. They now have my hearing profile on their computer and they can monitor changes in my hearing and adjust the aids accordingly.
It would be impossible to buy them on-line.I chose Oticon Epoqs because they were the latest digital aids and they are sold to be used as pairs. We are all used to hearing stereophonically and it is that which enables us to detect the position of the sound source. If one buys a single hearing aid, we are then hearing properly from one ear only and so cannot properly sense the position of the sound. Anyway, I converted to stereo in the late 1960s and I didn’t feel like going back!The two Epoq aids communicate electronically with each other so as to maintain a balanced stereophonic image.
The Epoqs also have a selection of correction algorithms for hearing in different environments; general use, live music, conversations in cars etc. Great fun!When choosing the aids I considered whether to have the type which fits right in the ear or sits behind the ear. That is connected to the main piece behind the ear by an almost invisible electrical cable about 1mm in diameter. Negligible!After the initial fitting I walked down to a local cafe for lunch with a friend. Conversation, music, background chatter and noise were all clearly distinguishable and none interfered with the other sources.
I was happy with the unit, giving good individual volume control, reliable and effective, good directional pickup, low wind noise and no whistle or hiss during normal use.Battery life was good, in excess of the time stated.
I was not able to get used to the earmoulds, finding them intrusive and irritating to the ear canal. They are bluetooth compatible, (with an additional control pad) for hands free mobile phone use.
Because of this I wear hearing aids in both ears.These hearing aids helped in direct one to one situations where I would normally miss the odd word.
Wind noise was also a problem and I found using the telephone near impossible.I visited the audiology department 3 times over 12 months, as I felt that the hearing aids could not be set up correctly.


There were also some people, with softer voices or perhaps an accent, that I could barely understand at all.
I also had problems focussing sound; if I was in a group situation and somebody spoke, I had to furtively look around to see who was actually speaking.
The reason I needed to do that was to see their expression and facial movements, which gave me some visual cues that helped me understand what they were saying.
I was becoming increasingly aware and concerned that my hearing had been deteriorating for a long time.A few months ago I happened to walk by my local opticians and noticed they were advertising free hearing tests. So people with deeper voices (typically men) were easier for me to understand than those with higher pitch voices. It was that loss of information that was causing my difficulties.Wearing hearing aids proved to be something of a journey of discovery.
I could hear things I had not been aware of for a very long time (I’m 50 incidentally). The hiss of air passing the car window, the click of my computer mouse, the rustle of paper and so on.
I can now hear speech so much better than before, I rarely have to ask anyone to repeat anything.
I change the batteries on a Sunday night and have never had them run down before the next change.Adjustable volume. There are two buttons which allow the volume and program to be changedThree preset programs for different environments. I had three programs setup; for a normal environment, a noisy environment and a right side only programSimple to use. He also offers an annual review, to check my ears are healthy and that my hearing aids are still programmed up exactly as I need them to be.During this journey, I had two problems I can recollect. This is pointless, because the sound is picked up by the hearing aid on the outside of the ear. I also found initially that the aids were not so effective in a large space where there was a lot of background noise such as a supermarket. A quick visit to my audiologist soon fixed that, he added a third program which I could easily switch to. That program is tailored for a noisy environment and dulls the background sounds, making the closer sounds much clearer.I wish I had consulted an audiologist many years ago, I feel that I left it way too long before doing so. I cannot go through life without my glasses, I cannot see any great distance and certainly could not drive without them. I realise that I’d gone for many years taking good care of my vision, but had totally neglected my hearing. There will still be situations where you mishear something or miss the sound of the doorbell while you’re down the garden.



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