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Hearing Aid Batteries

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Hearing Aid Batteries

Old 30th Aug 2018, 08:35
  #21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Stu666 View Post
I suspect the high costs involved are due to this being a highly specialised area with a limited market.
Or the high charge involved limits the market?

I am sure a lot of people need hearing aids but are dissuaded by the high cost of private aids or the inconvenience of the NHS route. I know people who have hearing impairment but 'get by'. I am sure many will have heard such people talking 'quietly' in a restaurant; you can hear them from several tables away.

I know one franchise that offers aids, including batteries, from under 500 for 5 years.
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 09:32
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Reference the monopoly comments, there are quite a few hearing aid manufacturers out there competing for your business. Unless they've formed a cartel, I suspect the high costs involved are due to this being a highly specialised area with a limited market.
Tbh, I don't know too much about the hearing aid market, but through third parties in different countries it's been very obvious that the devices cost a lot....."It's the technology, they are capable of so much etc etc....." I look around and see in most areas of life how electronic devices are ever smaller and ever more capable and.......cheaper over time. Yet hearing aids remain resolutely expensive for what they are. There must be millions of 'clients' using them in most countries, so it can't be a case of a limited market causing appropriate pricing. Obviously the manufacturers don't want the price points to change, but it amazes me that someone hasn't disrupted the industry, as has happened in just about all electronic industries.
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 09:40
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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'Inconvenience of the NHS route'? When I noticed my 'cocktail party ear' was deteriorating (I used to hear derogatory comments about me on the other side of the room at a disco, but was losing the ability) I was referred by my GP, tested, and issued with a free gift from the taxpayer, which didn't really help, so stopped using it. That was 15 years ago. 2 years ago things had got worse, so I went back to GP, got a new set of tests and in-ear aids that fitted nicely and worked brilliantly. They were also worried about the difference between ears, so booked me in for a brain MRI scan, but found nothing. I did explain that before the era of ear defenders, I did a lot of work with noisy jets one handed with a finger in my left ear, which would account for the difference.

There has been a lot of progress in the technology, I guess as the population ages and there is more demand. My free Zinc-air batteries (size 13) last about 2 weeks, the left one always runs out first - I guess current consumption difference.

I guess the difference from other mass-market electronic devices is that they are very carefully tailored to the individual user's audio detection spectrum, which means having quite sophisticated testing. The private suppliers price margins would be interesting to know.
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 10:03
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fitter2 View Post
I did explain that before the era of ear defenders, I did a lot of work with noisy jets
When I said those same words to the ENT specialist, he responded with; 'That will have buggered your ears!'
His subsequent diagnostic procedure was very superficial, and his closing comments; 'Go the audiologist and get hearing aids.'
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 10:28
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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the inconvenience of the NHS route
I know that the performance of the NHS varies from place to place but I have to say that my experience with the NHS and hearing aids was fantastic.
I made sure that I syringed my ears out before I went to the doctor and he agreed to make an appointment at the local hospital. A few weeks later I visited the hospital, had my hearing tested and walked out with a couple of hearing aids which have survived through several years of abuse ever since. OK, they are not as fancy as some of the privately funded jobs but have been perfectly adequate for me.
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 18:54
  #26 (permalink)  
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May I elucidate my NHS instinct remark.

You need an appointment with your GP, maybe a two week wait followed by a referral. Maybe another 3-4 week wait, I then had to see a consultant 20 miles away who agreed the bleeding obvious and sent me to the radiologist in the next room. We agreed on two aids though the consultant had said try one. Impressions were taken for ear moulds and 2 weeks later another appointment for fitting and tuning.

That, in contrast to the private route, is inconvenient.

Once in the NHS system things run smoothly, replacement when lost, new mould material when the first reacted, new mould when discoloured, new aids when u/s, free batteries etc.

I was not knocking the NHS but suggesting why people with defective hearing do neither private nor NHS.

​​​
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 22:11
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Funnily enough Mrs CloudHound was tested by a very nice Hidden Hearing Audiologist yesterday. Her Specsavers over the ear ones are 6 years old and not doing as good as they were. Also, she never liked the intrusive nature of the aids and regretted not having the in-ear ones.

The tests were carried out in a professional manner and the graphs displayed showed losses in the range expected. What wasn't expected was the 3300 cost.

The sales techniques were textbook and led my wife to the inevitable conclusion. However, I didn't pay any money an after reading this am inclined so not to do.
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Old 30th Aug 2018, 23:02
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We're now well off the thread title, so those in UK complaining about prices should take a deep breath and count themselves lucky. My Siemens were quoted in Australia at $A9,900 three years ago so the Romford Specsavers cost of 2,600 gave a savings big enough to cover the air fare from Oz!


Costs have now dropped as Specsavers have opened up audio outlets in Australia and are dragging prices down, replacements were recently quoted at $A6k or so: their prices include all tests and programming. My replacement was put back once Specsavers re-programmed my current pair, which I'd been quoted by my long term audiologist at $A850. SS did it for $A98, indicative of the ripoffs going on in the market.
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Old 31st Aug 2018, 10:13
  #29 (permalink)  
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There is a sale at the moment that starts at the equivalent of 62/per year per year including batteries. I don't know how these differ from the free NHS aids but just over 12/m for a set can't be bad.
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Old 1st Sep 2018, 10:46
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I have had NHS aids for about 5 years now, they work fine. Zinc air batteries, I never bother with the one minute waiting stuff, last around 18 days, longer in hot weather, almost got 3 weeks out of them. Just use the aids, no bluetooth or whatever. Very efficient service from our local clinic, Friday drop in clinic for any (and I mean any) problems, 3 yearly recheck/reprogram and new aids if needed, free batteries. Before I had these I did go to a local private consultant, his prices were out of the world.
And worth saying that hearing aids must be worn at all times you are awake, not put in that top drawer. They are just part of me now.
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Old 1st Sep 2018, 14:43
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I don't find it necessary to wait a minute before inserting the battery, I just blow on the newly-exposed side a couple of times.
I started off with the old analogue aids in the mid-90s - they were terrible when it came to playing in a brass band. The present-day NHS digital ones can be adjusted to suit musicians - mine cope even with the very low notes of the contrabass tuba.
As regards price, my local trust charges 135 for the replacement of a hearing aid lost or damaged. I have no idea why over-the-ear aids should cost much more than that.
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Old 1st Sep 2018, 14:57
  #32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Shandy52 View Post
my local trust charges 135 for the replacement of a hearing aid lost or damaged. I have no idea why over-the-ear aids should cost much more than that.
My trust replaced mine for free. I wasn't wearing them every day. Found the lost pair the following year in a pair of summer shorts.
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Old 2nd Sep 2018, 12:35
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Allow me to pass on a cost saving tip for UK hearing aid users:
If you use hearing aids, either NHS or privately supplied, you may be surprised to learn that as far as rail travel is concerned, you are classed as disabled.
You are entitled to a Disabled Rail Travel Card for just 20. This entitles you to a third off any rail ticket...even peak travel. Better still the reduction
also applies to anyone travelling the whole journey with you as they are classed as your carer.
I only found out having bought a more expensive Seniors Card that only covers off peak and no carer!
Just collect the leaflet from your local rail station or Google "Disabled Rail Travel Card".
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Old 2nd Sep 2018, 15:28
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lou Scannon View Post
Allow me to pass on a cost saving tip for UK hearing aid users:
If you use hearing aids, either NHS or privately supplied, you may be surprised to learn that as far as rail travel is concerned, you are classed as disabled.
You are entitled to a Disabled Rail Travel Card for just 20. This entitles you to a third off any rail ticket...even peak travel. Better still the reduction
also applies to anyone travelling the whole journey with you as they are classed as your carer.
I only found out having bought a more expensive Seniors Card that only covers off peak and no carer!
Just collect the leaflet from your local rail station or Google "Disabled Rail Travel Card".
Here in this Southern Colony, I am also classed as disabled for Tax Purposes!
There are tax breaks.
But not a lot
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 08:23
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Senior Rail card covers any train unless you are travelling wholly in the Network South East area, then it is off peak only. 70 for 3 years if bought online. I don't consider myself disabled by any stretch - although once the chap at the station pressed the wrong button and gave me a disabled ticket rather than senior.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 10:20
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Coming late to this thread, so I apologise if this has already been discussed.
My wife and I both went for hearing tests to a well known UK High Street chemists (perhaps they should sell shoes) and remarkably our test results were extremely similar.
However, whilst I admit I have lost some sharpness, I can still hear things well before my wife.
I therefore am sceptical about the ability of the "hearing test" to accurately determine hearing loss.
My major issue is that suddenly my earwax has increased in amount (I was going to say "volume" ) and also hardens against the eardrum much more quickly than previously.
It now can block one ear, especially when I sleep with an ear against a harder pillow.

... I only opened the thread as the battery life does seem remarkably low.
I hadn't realised that even switching them out still runs them down. What's the point of removing them, as I thought that was to preserve the battery life!
I didn't know they were zinc/air with a small hole... perhaps one way to reserve the battery life would be to stick the patch back on the batteries when not in use.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 14:19
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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It may amuse you to hear (sorry!) that I lost my left aid somewhere up a snowy mountain - presumably the result of lots of woolly hat/cycling helmet exchanges - and was annoyed to find that the LH speaker in my car radio had apparently failed as I returned to Edinburgh. Feeling very sheepish, I confessed to NHS, and was uncomplainingly given a replacement aid toot sweet. They seem to be used to old geezers losing the things.
However, the point of this post is that I had retained an old pair of aids (which NHS were going to bucket), so I now use these whenever I am out on the hills. The problem is, of course, that when I do occasionally use them, I find that the switched off batteries have gone flat. Although replacement batteries are "free", I now keep the spare aids empty of batteries, and swap in the current batteries from the new aids when required.
It's funny that a lot more birds start singing when I switch the aids on.
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Old 3rd Sep 2018, 15:43
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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The nearest I got to losing an aid was when I got tangled in my hedge trimmer lead and it pulled one of the aids off its tube, leaving the mould still in. Took a few minutes to find it buried in the undergrowth... Never had to get a replacement from the clinic but understand there is a charge.
When I got new aids a few years ago they kept the old one and swapped the batteries from it to the new, which totally confused my careful record of when I had changed them as they also swapped them between left and right!
As for the disabled rail card, I was looking at the terms and conditions. It seems you only need a photocopy of your NHS brown record book, suppose that means you don't even have to wear the aids while travelling by train. But it also suggests that you qualify if you find your disability makes it difficult for you to travel by train - when I have my aids in I have no problems whatsoever hearing all the announcements (some of which get very boring quite quickly!).
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