Happy New yEAR - top tips for choosing your hearing healthcare!

Hello everyone,

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and have a fantastic year ahead.

I would like to say thank-you again to those that have chosen my Audiology and Education services in 2017; it really is appreciated.

Having worked in the NHS as a Senior Audiologist (which I still do as a locum!) and training/mentoring clinicians across the UK and Ireland in the private sector, I know how hard it can be to understand where to go for your hearing healthcare; it can seem a complete maze, what with so many different products available and various high street and independent places to go, all claiming to be the best and offering the “cheapest” or most amazing products.

I know from speaking with my NHS clients that they worry about seeing a private Audiologist for fear of being pushed into buying something that they don't need, and others have returned to the NHS because they just haven't been given the right thing in the first place for their hearing or lifestyle, or have had little follow-up and have been left high and dry. If this sounds like you, I am sorry, really, I am. Please let me reassure you that this is not how all private Audiologists operate, there are some good guys and gals out there who simply want you to be able to hear better.

I also want to tell you, that hearing aids that are on dazzling “good value” offers or alternatively are at the opposite end of the spectrum and are really expensive, don’t always mean they are better.

I remember a case when I was mentoring an Audiologist where a patient was offered a particular hearing aid for £2000, they then went to get a second opinion from another private dispenser, who, for the IDENTICAL hearing aid charged £6000….not thinking that the cheaper price could POSSIBLY be any good because it was so cheap; they went with the £6000 hearing aid and so paid £12,000 instead of £4000 for 2 hearing aids (that, I have to say, is a rare case, or at least I hope it is!). They didn’t need to do that – always be alert, where possible, to what you are looking at and if you are unsure, contact the likes of Action on Hearing Loss.

Try not to focus on the cost of the hearing aids when you are shopping around, think about the overall service you are getting.

For example, I price myself in a way which integrates in to the cost of the devices: unlimited follow up appointments which don’t have time limits - this means, if Mr Jones needs a 3 hour appointment to get his hearing right, that is exactly what he will get, alternatively, if Mrs Evans needs to see me every other week for 30 mins, we will do that too. You will also get free batteries for the first 2 years, as well as 4 years free warranty so if something goes wrong, it’s covered. You can also contact me any time by email, telephone, Whatsapp…or even carrier Pigeon 😊 Whatever works for you – you are never alone in this journey to better hearing.

Oh, and before I forget, a % of my profits go to fund local outdoor education programs for children and adults in and around the Cardiff area through my project Green Earth Adventure - we have just partnered with Innovate Trust to deliver sessions to adults with learning and physical disabilities!

I will always tell you if you’re better off going to the NHS first. As a tip, I would say, the NHS do good digital hearing aids, but if you have a varied lifestyle where you are going out for meals, socialising, maybe you enjoy being outdoors, going to watch live music or the theatre, or maybe you talk on the phone a lot…then this is where private hearing aids come into their own as there are so many more options.

There is so much more I could tell you, but I hope this has been useful as a starting point.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Have a wonderful 2018 and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Best wishes,

Sonja

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