Hearing aids

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Allan
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Hearing aids

Post by Allan » Mon 01 Aug 2016 19:04

Lately, I have struggled to make out the dialogue on the TV, or to follow conversations with groups of friends. I have recently been using a free iPhone app called Petralex that turns an iPhone and a pair of earphones into a hearing aid.

The result is astounding, I can hear TV dialogue, crystal clearly.

I realise from this test that a proper hearing aid would make a difference, my days of being in denial are over.

But where do you start? I have always believed that the hearing aid industry is one of the great 'rip-offs' and is populated with thieves and rogues.

I don't mind spending money but for the prices charged I would need to find someone I could trust.

Any ideas anyone?

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Mon 01 Aug 2016 20:04

No idea. But if you have a mutuelle, they might have people they prefer to deal with. Which isn't much. Is there a hearing equivalent of a ophthalmo, who isn't trying to sell you stuff?

Sus
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Post by Sus » Mon 01 Aug 2016 21:48

I recently had to buy a lot of new electrical items and also needed info on areas new to me and discovered that you can sign up for the Which magazine for a trial month at £1. It was well worth it as the articles have such great info, I am sure they have also covered hearing aids at some point.

Allan
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Post by Allan » Tue 02 Aug 2016 18:59

Sus wrote:I recently had to buy a lot of new electrical items and also needed info on areas new to me and discovered that you can sign up for the Which magazine for a trial month at £1. It was well worth it as the articles have such great info, I am sure they have also covered hearing aids at some point.
Thanks for the reply and I'm glad you found Which magazine useful. I appreciate your willingness to offer advice and don't want to appear ungrateful but you clearly have greater confidence in Which than I do

My parents always relied on Which reviews and bought some awful products. Over the years I have read quite a lot of their reviews on product types that I know a lot about and more often than not I have thought their reviews were nonsense. Some years ago their Best Buy laptop computer was a model that was subject to a recall because it kept catching fire.

After that I have tended to think, why would their reviews be any better on products that I don't know anything about? and so I have never trusted them.

As far as hearing aids are concerned, my big problem isn't product selection, it is finding someone to test my hearing that doesn't have a vested interest in selling me something. I have a deep distrust of the entire industry and I'm sure it will be difficult to find someone I can trust.

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russell
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Post by russell » Tue 02 Aug 2016 20:23

Can't your medecin generale recommend a specialist. I agree that it is better to have testing independent of supply to avoid vested interests.

If you are registered with l'Assurance Maladie you can get up to 60% reimbursement on hearing aids provided you have a prescription. If you have top up insurance the insurer may have a list of preferred suppliers.

The site ameli.fr might have some useful info.

Russell.

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Tue 02 Aug 2016 21:58

You will need to see your doctor in the first instance. He should give you an ordinance for a hearing test. Because I lost my hearing in one ear overnight this was done in Centre Hospital, Perpignan because the audio centre in Argeles was closed. Once you have your test results you are free to use who you like for your aid/s. I bought my first one from Audika in Argeles but had to replace it when my dog got hold of it and chewed it. My hearing was very poor in one in and not too good in the other and I found having only 1 aid made my hearing unbalanced. The second time I went to Alain Affelou (sp) opticians/audio. I used the one just inside Intermarche, Argeles. The service was excellent and I had 2 aids for the same price as my previous one. Have no complaints whatsoever.
Last edited by Sue on Wed 03 Aug 2016 17:59, edited 1 time in total.
Dylan

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Post by Sus » Wed 03 Aug 2016 06:50

Allan wrote:
Sus wrote:I recently had to buy a lot of new electrical items and also needed info on areas new to me and discovered that you can sign up for the Which magazine for a trial month at £1. It was well worth it as the articles have such great info, I am sure they have also covered hearing aids at some point.
Thanks for the reply and I'm glad you found Which magazine useful. I appreciate your willingness to offer advice and don't want to appear ungrateful but you clearly have greater confidence in Which than I do

My parents always relied on Which reviews and bought some awful products. Over the years I have read quite a lot of their reviews on product types that I know a lot about and more often than not I have thought their reviews were nonsense. Some years ago their Best Buy laptop computer was a model that was subject to a recall because it kept catching fire.

After that I have tended to think, why would their reviews be any better on products that I don't know anything about? and so I have never trusted them.

As far as hearing aids are concerned, my big problem isn't product selection, it is finding someone to test my hearing that doesn't have a vested interest in selling me something. I have a deep distrust of the entire industry and I'm sure it will be difficult to find someone I can trust.
Thanks for letting me know. I have not had any bad experiences with Which yet but good to know.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Wed 03 Aug 2016 07:30

For me, the best and most objective place to go for a thorough hearing Che k is the clinic in Beziers on the canal du midi. It's supposed to be the best in Francd, people come down from Paris and all over the country, and it has the most advanced testing equipment.
The downside ( which for you is an upside) is that they don't sell any hearing equipment, they just give you a prescrption and you still have to find your own provider....but they do perform surgery, do implants where that is possible.
http://www.clinique-causse.com
Bon courage!

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Wed 03 Aug 2016 13:11

I went to the Clinique Causse too as my doctor also said it is the best in France. However having been to Centre Hospital, Perpignan first I found the equipment was much better at the hospital and the tests far more thorough. The listening booth at the clinic wasn't even soundproof. If I hadn't been to the hospital first I wouldn't have known what sounds I was meant to be hearing.
Dylan

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Post by Webdoc » Wed 03 Aug 2016 14:37

I really question the need to travel to a hearing clinic that is "the best in France".

Age-related hearing loss comes to us all in time and typically results in loss of clarity with background noise and loss of the higher tones. (I used to be able to hold a conversation with the kids in the back of the car but now I can't clearly hear the wife sitting next to me.) The story gives the diagnosis.

Proper "medical conditions" that effect hearing and require some action by a doctor are incredibly rare and would cause UNILATERAL hearing loss or tinnitus.

Doctors therefore have no role to play in the supply of hearing aids - any competent technician can supply, fit, and adjust an aid. And a very accurate measurement of hearing defect may sound like a good idea but it has little or no influence on the adjustment of an aid, plus the measurement will be different (worse) in 6-12 months anyway.

It is of course in the doctor's interest to "medicalise" age-related hearing loss because it generates income. I believe there's a pretty hefty mark-up on hearing aids so one might get an assessment and quote for a particular aid, the ring around other suppliers and see who'll give you the best price for it.

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Wed 03 Aug 2016 15:18

Without having a test you are not able to be fitted with an aid. I also had to have a letter from my doctor saying that I needed 2 AIDS before I could be seen at the Audio shop. Personally I was sent to the clinic because when I went to bed the hearing was fine in both ears but when I woke up I could hear nothing in my left ear. The system here is very different to that in he UK.
Dylan

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Post by Florence » Wed 03 Aug 2016 17:34

If you had sudden hearing loss, you may need to see an ORL (ENT). Maybe it's treatable without heaing aids.

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Wed 03 Aug 2016 17:55

Florence I had every test imagineable at Centre hospital including having cold water and then hot water being put into each ear, being spun around many times in a rotating seat. Prior to that I was Sent to Clinic St Pierre where I went twice a day for a week into a hyperbaric chamber, the worst experience of my life. I really don't think the French medical system could have done more for me and believe me hearing aids were the last resort but a much needed solution. It was not something taken lightly by either myself or the medical system. As it is I have 2 aids that match very well with my hair colour and are extremely discreet.
Dylan

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Post by Florence » Wed 03 Aug 2016 19:48

Pleased that you got it sorted.

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Post by EILEEN » Fri 05 Aug 2016 15:13

My husband realised ( or admitted!!) a few years ago that he needed hearing aids. We have a Mutuelle and firstly went to their audio shop to ask about things. They sent him to a "specialist" in Perpignan who did a comprehensive test, giving him a prescription which then entitled him to a small payment by the Assurance Maladie and in our case , a ten percent discount on the hearing aids plus their contribution to the Assurance. The Audiophonist in the shop confirmed the prescription with her own testing and then showed him the full range of devises available to him. The prices varied a lot. So we took a few weeks to go away and compare with other shops, including Specsavers in UK who were doing a big discount on the same HAs we were interested in. As a matter of interest, our own Mutuelle were selling cheaper anyway. We ended up paying net 1100€ x2 . (Specsavers were 1500€ x2 at the then exchange rate.) . "Free" maintenance for the life of the aids.
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 06 Aug 2016 13:15

EILEEN wrote:My husband realised ( or admitted!!) a few years ago that he needed hearing aids. We have a Mutuelle and firstly went to their audio shop to ask about things. They sent him to a "specialist" in Perpignan who did a comprehensive test, giving him a prescription which then entitled him to a small payment by the Assurance Maladie and in our case , a ten percent discount on the hearing aids plus their contribution to the Assurance. The Audiophonist in the shop confirmed the prescription with her own testing and then showed him the full range of devises available to him. The prices varied a lot. So we took a few weeks to go away and compare with other shops, including Specsavers in UK who were doing a big discount on the same HAs we were interested in. As a matter of interest, our own Mutuelle were selling cheaper anyway. We ended up paying net 1100€ x2 . (Specsavers were 1500€ x2 at the then exchange rate.) . "Free" maintenance for the life of the aids.
It goes without saying that €1100 per ear is staggeringly more than the kit must cost the providers. You could buy most of the Apple range for that, and they are not notorious for giving it away. And that was Allan's concern. But maybe you just have to bite the bullet at a certain point, if you can at least be satisfied that you have identified the right kit.

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Post by Sue » Sat 06 Aug 2016 18:26

I can't remember what I paid but I know it was buy one get one free and they are made by Siemens so not cheapos.
Dylan

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Hearing aids

Post by Libby » Sun 07 Aug 2016 11:21

I've been with Audika for some years. I find their service good. The man who works in Argèles on Tuesdays speaks English too.
The price you quoted seems within the normal range.
If you're still on the British system you can get them free on the NHS, but don't have the choice of types.
If you're in France full time, then biting the bullet is the only answer.

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