My hopeful journey into the Wireless Bluetooth hearing aid world. With Danalogic ifit cs71w hearing aids, Resound phone clip+ and a mini mic.
I started off by asking my local NHS audiologist for wireless enabled hearing aids. I wanted to have the function available to take calls straight to my hearing aids from my mobile and even play music without wires and to hear music properly for the first time.......what a dream come true!
I was fitted with the danalogic cs71w, during this I learnt that they don't automatically offer this function. The nhs is simply only there to provide the necessary hearing aids to get you through daily living not keep up with technology per se. Majority patients are elderly too apparently!
If I wanted to go wireless I had to pay up to £250 for an extra piece of equipment to connect my phone to my hearing aids. This I could not afford to do plus what if it turned out to be a complete flop, I'd be sick having spent that much money.
Luckily for me the Molly Watt Trust were able to source the 2 pieces of equipment I wanted to try from Resound and I've had them on trial for 3 months.
They arrived, I set up the phone clip with hearing aids and phone and decided to try music first. Well it was the strangest thing on the planet because I had to ask my 6 year old son if he could hear the music because I couldn't tell if it was working, where the music was coming from! It turned out it was working it was absolutely amazing I started laughing because only I could hear the music plus I could hear my son talking at the same time too. My normal means of listening to music is the volume on full blast with in the ear headphones and I would get a muffled version of the songs. I've never been able to hear lyrics etc. I tested phonecalls with family members and it was great to be handsfree.
Next, I tried the mini mic with my tv. I'd stopped watching TV because subtitles aren't fast enough, the sound doesn't carry well or clear enough and Lip reading is hit and miss especially with dark scenes or action movies so I gave up trying.
I only attempted this a few times because it gave me an extreme headache using this function and I still couldn't follow the programmes. It was too much hardwork and not enjoyable experience for me at all. :-( I think the mini mic would be best for one on one use in a lecture or noisy restaurant.
I went back to concentrating on the phone clip, I tried to activate the mute function to cut off surrounding sounds when taking calls or listening to music I wanted to have the choice. This meant I had to go back to the hospital to be programmed for this function on my hearing aids.
It led to a learning curve for my audiologist who was absolutely fantastic and couldn't do enough to try and give me what I wanted within her means. It turned out there wasn't a specific mute button in the programming for my hearing aids, so we tried a different method while she contacted Resound for advice. Our attempts failed and she later emailed me to say that due to the phone clip being 2nd generation and my hearing aids not being as advanced I was unable to use this function on the phone clip.
To sum up my entire experience it has been disappointing. I carried on trying the phone clip but the sound of the music was tinny and horrible sounding to me and it gave me headaches. I am so glad I'm not out of pocket finding this out. The NHS is not equipped to provide the necessary hearing aids for the deafblind to utilise the latest technology. Nor am I financially equipped to get the best hearing aids for me. I'm not happy with these hearing aids they need so much tweaking to stop me suffering I am unable to pinpoint all the issues with my audiologist plus with the waiting list to see her it's a long drawn out process. So, for now it's been an experience but it all remains a dream.
I would like to say a huge thank you to The Molly Watt Trust for giving me this opportunity and my audiologist for doing her utmost to give me the best sound she could.