“You know Ginny, I could kick myself!”
Why is that Aunty Kate?
“Because when Tony died I just gave his hearing aid away – and it was a good one too.”
Tony was her husband and he died more than 25 years ago. My aunt is now 89.
“Hearing aids cost a fortune. I’m going to have to splash out and buy a decent one this time.”
I fondly imagined that a hearing aid costs a couple of thousand rand, tops. Turned out I was horribly wrong.
“My last one cost R12,000. And now one side is broken. It’s terrible not being able to hear you know. You feel so isolated.”
I could quite imagine that it’s terrible and I was totally gobsmacked at the price of a “cheap” hearing aid. So I decided to do a bit of research myself.
Firstly I learned that a hearing aid comes with a whole lot of accessories – necessary ones – like batteries, cleaner kits, air puffers (WTF) and amplifiers. You get those in two versions it would seem “inner ear” and “outer ear”. I found some books too – stuff like understanding your hearing aid and overcoming hearing aid fears. In among these books I also discovered one called “Foreign Relief Aid – 1947 hearings held in session…..” Me thinks Google was a tad confused.
I trawled though the website and right at the end it said you had to make an appointment to find out which was the best hearing aid for your needs. Not a single price for an actual unit. Eventually I did find a site that mentioned hearing aids ranged from R5,000 to R65,000! It depended on what your needs were. Please make an appointment!
My aunt was saying that she hated being in big crowds with her hearing aid on because everything sounded so very frantic. It’s the same with the phone – she usually takes it out when she’s chatting on the phone – then she does not always hear what the other person says.
I guess this is where the price comes in – the more sophisticated – the more cash you are going to have to outlay.
My aunt finished up the conversation by saying that she was going to tell her son that he should definitely not throw away her hearing aid when she passed on – he should keep it in case he needed it one day!
Indeed… with a large percentage of today’s population walking around with earphones stuffed in their ears, listening to music at horribly high volumes (if I can hear it whilst standing next to you I am damn sure it’s too loud for your ears) I can only imagine that the hearing aid industry is either going to be revolutionized or there are going to be a lot of isolated people in the future.
Love your ears people!
Anybody reading this use hearing aids? I’d love to hear your take on this subject.