Monday, January 29, 2007

Hearing Aids: NHS or Private?

So I've set my goals and I know what I want. The only question that remains is how I go about achieving those goals. The topic of this post is hearing aids: NHS or Private?

Suitable candidates for HAs are offered them from the NHS. However they're all "flesh tone" BTEs. I have a problem with flesh tone/beige! I'm white and so those BTEs would have been designed to blend in with my own skin. Why would I want them to blend in? I certainly would not be ashamed to wear hearing aids! In fact I would go so far as to pay several thousand pounds (perhaps £1000 per ear) for a privately dispensed aid that I could have made with a specific coloured case.

I'm a fan of the transparent purple ones from Phonak.

The NHS buys their aids in bulk so they can get a bulk discount. The way I feel about socialised medicine (and socialism in general) is that those who have the means should pay for their own devices such as hearing aids. Leave the NHS ones for those that really need assistance with them!

Soon I will have the means (and will) to pay £1000/ear to get a personalised aid. And that's the real goal: personalisation!! People build houses because they can personalise them. People buy wheelchairs and tailor them to their own preferences (including frame colour). Why should a hearing aid be any different?

Not to mention that the NHS is currently backlogged up to four years in some areas of the country for hearing aids. I like the idea of removing some of the burden from the NHS and having the aids 'right now' (as in a few weeks as opposed to years).

Why BTEs and not some other style of aid? I like the way BTEs look and they are often more powerful and capable to higher degrees of hearing loss (which doesn't mean they can't be used for mild loss).

Aestetics, socialism, and "want it right now"-ism. That's the name of the game.


Anonymous said...

When you do get your hearing aids, would you cover them with your hair, and why?

Marie said...

I have long hair and people with long hair have a habit of tucking it behind their ears. I suspect that with a BTE there it will be hard to do that so I may just tie it back or let it fall as is.

I will make no attempt to cover any hearing aids (even lame beige ones) with my hair.

Why? Well, why would I? It'd be silly for me to be afraid of how I appear with them I guess. Besides I like the way BTEs look. ;)