Posts Tagged 'binaural hearing aids'

Easter Bunny Loses Ears In Tragic Accident

The Easter Bunny lost his ears on Friday night, after they apparently became entangled in a chocolate egg wrapping machine during a last minute rush to meet this Sunday’s confectionery deadline. Paramedics were called to the scene, but frantic attempts to re-attach the ears failed when they were found to be contaminated with Walnut Whip. The batch of eggs he was working on at the time has now been destroyed.

There were fears that Easter would have to be called off, but surgeons treating the Easter Bunny in a Glasgow hospital say he is recovering well after being given a pair of NHS hearing aids. A hospital spokesperson said that, unusually, the decision to take a binaural fitting approach had been made purely for cosmetic reasons in this particular case.

Report courtesy of Reuters

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A New Dawn

As I trotted down the corridor at Clinic O yesterday behind the hearing aid chap in scrubs who had just called my name, I noticed he seemed to have his hands full.

“Take a seat, Mrs Dancer”, he said, carefully releasing his pile of stuff on to the table beside the silicone ear model. What was in those boxes? I watched intently as some familiar wires appeared from the drawer…it couldn’t be, surely?

It was.

“Today, we’re going to fit you with a second aid, but technology has moved on plus Siemens no longer hold the NHS contract here, so you’re getting two new ones…do you have your current aid?”

Holy Smoke, this was a turn up for the books. Like Christmas and winning the Lottery all in one. I handed over the Siemens Chroma S, and felt a slight twinge of betrayal anxiety as I saw it cast aside, with its nearly new dome pulled inside out by its hasty removal. It looked like a beige beetle on its back with a defiant leg in the air, and I wondered if I might come to regret parting with it so easily. Being the fickle sort, I was soon distracted by the opening of the boxes, and I leant forward eagerly to see what was inside.

The first three majestic notes of Also Sprach Zarathustra rang out in the phantom music department of my auditory cortex as some tissue paper was unwrapped on the table in front of me. Da…daa…daaaa… Gosh, this was exciting. An earhook and some unidentifiable bits fell out first and were put to one side, then another earhook and some more unidentifiable bits. The tympani section of Also Sprach pounded away dramatically inside my head while another tissue paper package prepared to be unwrapped. It took a while. As Also Sprach reached its dramatic climax, the first Danalogic i-FIT 71 emerged slowly from its cocoon. Then the second. I could bear it no longer.

“What colour are they, what colour are they?”

An outstretched hand gave me my answer.

“Ah. New NHS Beige”, I said, not realising that colour was going to be the least of my concerns in half an hour’s time.

It’s A Miracle!

My hearing aid service yesterday turned out to be the fitting of a nice new tube. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t a complete dis-assembling of every component under an electron microscope as I’d imagined, but I was also slightly relieved, because that meant no trace of my temporarily removed illegal self-adhesive bling would be found.

“Have you been shown how to clear the tube of wax?” said the hearing aid lady cheerfully, as she noted that my last visit to Clinic O had been in 2010 and I seemed to be somewhat clueless about basic hearing aid maintenance.

“Yes, but I’ve never had to unblock it even once, my ears don’t seem to produce much wax”, I announced proudly. I was glad that cascading cerumen was at least one problem I didn’t have in the hearing aid department. Now that the conversation was flowing, I seized the opportunity to casually drop in my desire for stereo hearing.

“I was wondering if I could try two hearing aids, my sound localisation is absolutely crap”, I opined eloquently, watching carefully for a potentially negative reaction. There wasn’t one, so I pressed on. “I teach a group of fifty students…I can’t tell where voices are coming from in discussions….it’s worse with the hearing aid than without…in fact, I wonder if you can tell me why they’ve given me the aid in the marginally better ear…wouldn’t that accentuate the difference between the two?”

I thought I detected a slight frown. I had to tread carefully.

“Of course, there’s not much difference between the two ears…the right one sounds different to the left one, but the audiograms are similar…” I decided to quit while I was ahead.

“Do you mind if I look in your ears?” said hearing aid lady, reaching for her otoscope after verifying onscreen that both audiograms were indeed similar.

“No, not at all”, I said, glad that things were going so famously.

“Hmmmmmm”, said hearing aid lady, there’s no wax in your tube because it’s all stuck inside your ear canal. The right ear is totally blocked and the left one is partially blocked. I can’t see your right eardrum. You’ll need to get that cleared out.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

“I knew it!” I said, “I always knew there had been a terrible mistake!” My heart soared as I saw myself pictured on the front page of next week’s Metro newspaper. I was clutching a ball of earwax in a specimen tube in one hand, and a no longer required hearing aid in the other. The headline was sensational:  EX-COOKIE BITE WOMAN WEEPS AS SHE HEARS HER BARITONE VOICE FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER GETTING EARS SYRINGED. “ENT CONSULTANT, 3 GPs AND HIGH STREET HEARING CHAIN ALL TOLD ME I HAD CONGENITAL HEARING LOSS, WHEN IT WAS WAX ALL THE TIME” SAYS STUNNED 45 YEAR OLD LECTURER.

“Steady on”, said hearing aid lady without even seeing the front page of the Metro. She was detecting the familiar sound of straws being clutched. “It might not make that much of a difference to your hearing, but it’ll probably make some. Make an appointment with your GP to have the wax removed and then make an appointment with us to see about fitting a second aid.”

Two Ears Are Better Than One

Bored with my very successful experiment to see how long I can make a single hearing aid slim tube last, and motivated by sensational reports of increased hearing ability from my cookie bite buddies with two hearing aids, I decided to phone Clinic O to see if it was possible to investigate the possibility of hearing through both ears on the NHS. I dialled the number on the back of my ‘What can I expect from my new hearing aid?’ leaflet, noting the use of the singular ‘aid’, and prepared myself for a life changing conversation.

“Oh, ear day linit”, said the person at the other end of the line.

I paused for a second while the cookie bite cortex deftly reassembled the sounds into ‘Hello, hearing aid clinic’. Satisfied I was through to the right place, I continued in my usual assertive manner.

“Errrrm…I…er, I was given a hearing aid from you a couple of years ago, and errm, I wonder if it’s possible to make an appointment to see if I could try two…I’ve got similar loss in both ears, I’ve heard two are better than one…”

There was a pause from ear day linit, and the sound of computer keys rattling.

“You don’t seem to have had your hearing aid serviced…”

“Serviced?” I spluttered, “Oh! I didn’t know I had to get it serviced…nobody told me that…”

“Oh yes, you’re supposed to get it serviced every six months. I’ll book you in for a service, you’ll find you’ll hear much better with it after that.”

Not in the right ear I won’t, I sighed to myself, reeling off my date of birth and anticipating a nice quiet Monday afternoon next week.


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