As you may be aware, high frequency loss with increasing age is worse for males compared with females. My wife and I went to an organ recital it at Lincoln Cathedral a few weeks ago. At one stage when very high frequency notes were being played, I could hear absolutely nothing but my wife heard them just fine.
I had a hearing test done in 2022 at a well-known UK chain. I asked the audiologist if she would e-mail the results to me, but she said that that wasn’t company policy. I didn’t have the presence of mind to photograph her computer screen and was left with a somewhat unsatisfactory verbal version of my broadly adequate results.
Later, I reflected that this was a really unsatisfactory situation, so, on the advice of another forum member, I e-mailed the organisation, asking for my results and asking them to consider my message as a Freedom of Information request. Bingo! Full details arrived by e-mail shortly thereafter.
The difference between NHS and private is interesting - but no doubt varies from clinic to clinic. Where I am there is no choise of NHS provider, and, at least as far as I have been able to find, just two private audiologists.
I had a hearing test with NHS, and was given a printout of my results, as well as hearing aids. My sons then prompted me to go to a private clinic to see if they did anything better - not that there seemed anything wrong, just they assumed private would be better, and their birthday present to me was to contribute to any cost. I was expecting something more thorough, but the test was virtually identical, except that for the NHS one I was seated in a padded private cuticle, whereas the private one was in the consultant’s office, though he did turn a computer off first so its fan stopped running. I wasn’t offered a copy of the results, though I was shown them on screen. The hearing aids the private one offered me on trial are incredibly expensive - approaching £6k - and, now 7 weeks into my trial, I am still struggling with them despite a tweak after 3 weeks, when I was basically told I need to persevere as my ears will get used to them (like hifi “burning in”). Whilst I can cope with them a bit better now than at first, they still don’t sound right, whereas upon putting the NHS ones back in they sound much closer to natural. (I’n deliberately going to a very noisy crowded environment tomorrow to try carrying on conversations, something that had become impossible some time before getting aids, and not yet done with them. I will compare the two there and that will be my final decider as to whether the expensive ones actually have a benefit to be worth having them tweaked again and continuing the trial for its final month.
More details of my aids are on the current Hearing Aids thread, and I will continue with my experiences there rather than here, keeping this for just the hearing test side of things.
Thank you for that, it would have been useful detail if I was going to use a high street vendor. However, I have stopped using well known high street chains for sound and vision tests these days. I find them to be unsatisfactory in their approach to customers.
I am using a private practitioner that I know and trust.
These corporate chains are not interested in care in my opinion, just money.
Based on what I now know, I’m not sure that the private practitioners are any better. The level of expertise in the NHS seems far higher, based on my experience. I’m going to put something on the hearing aids thread about it, though I’ve previously posted briefly in system pics.
I understand your point HH, but I know this young lady. She actually works for the Deaf Association and is a very good Audiologist. If she detects problems I will make an appointment through the NHS for an another test to lead to remedial action.
The purpose of the initial test is to identify if there is a real issue and to gauge its severity.
From the experiences recounted here and elsewhere it seems that audiologists vary in their expertise, equipment level and cost, possibly to quite a considerable degree. The answer to finding one is to shop around - but the practicality and number of options will vary considerably according to where you live. Then how do you choose, unless you have multiple friends who have each used several and can give their experience? The answer I suppose is to for an assessment at multiple places, but not signing up for aids at the end of the session until you have been to several, which perhaps is the right way to do it with private audiologists, and include NHS if you can, and make an assessment of best for you from that based on how they test and what they say. But including NHS at all, let alone more than one, might not be easy - my sister in law in the NE England was refused: my impression from her difficulty hearing others is that her impairment is probably a similar degree to my own, but it seems where she is you have to have much more serious problems for them to help.