Page 1 of 1

Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:35 pm
by Gabrielkk
Hi there,
I've heard stories of people getting specially fitted ear plugs through the NHS, I'm interested to find out where they went to get these, i.e. where they were referred to. As when i spoke to my doctor about it, they said that if they knew where to refer me to, then they would do it.
Hope you can help!
Cheers,
Gabriel

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:28 pm
by LSCCboater
Get refferred to the ENT or the audiology department, these two departments should speak to each other anyway. By the way good luck in getting refferred for me it took an ENT consultant to write to the local GP to get me reffered and then it took a couple of months to get a date arranged for the moulds to be taken. Even then I had to cancel the first date due to ear drum perforating. Luckilly was able to arrange a new appintment before they usually start the clinic due to being internal otherwise I would of had to wait for about another month to get a new appontment through. I think the biggest probelm you might have is getting the initial refferal to the specialist clinic, it took a eye consultant to write to the ENT consultant to get the initial referal. The local GP at the start of the problems was not particularly in favour of reffering me to the local ENT specialist. Good luck you'll need it you might want to consider getting it done privately it shouldn't cost that much by comparison. Think if it costs about the same as a high spec paddle but it saves all the pain, earinfections and dare I say perforations then it is definently worth it. Believe me from what I have heard about cochlea implants you want to be putting that option off for as long as possible.

Go Private

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:11 am
by hodgkins
I had mine made in a hearing aid shop. Just walked in, made a 30 min appointment at a time of my convenience then collected them a week later. They cost £50 but a lot less hassle than the NHS.

Having spent the whole of December deaf a couple of years ago, I'd pay much more than that to never have to go through christmas day not being able to hear anything!

http://www.maryhare.org.uk/?id=adult_theteam

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:34 am
by Lowri Davies
I am currently deaf in one ear and trying to get myself some of these proper moulded ear plugs. I don't think we have a hearing aid shop in Aber, but we do have an ENT dept at the hospital and my GP has given me the number of the consultant's secretary. Not yet managed to get through.

To be honest, I don't mind how much I pay as you can't put a price on keeping your hearing! If I can get it done as quickly as you managed at a hearing centre and pay a bit more, I'd do it.

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:38 am
by Lowri Davies
p.s. whilst looking up Mild Deafness - causes and treatments on the NHS Direct website I was amused by the option: "Would you like to hear this website?"

Ha - I'd like to hear anything right now!

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:49 am
by Simon Westgarth
I have custom fitted silicon ear plugs supplied by the NHS. This style of ear plug I have been using for 10 years or so. At the beginning I got an emergency referral from my GP to an ENT appointment. The resulting 2 appointments, both led to an operation by the ENT dept and swimmers ear plugs supplied by the audiology dept.

Now that I have patient notes at the audiology dept, I simply call up for an appointment for a new set. From my understanding you are likely to be referred from the ENT dept to the ENT to the audiology dept, however why not call the audiology dept and ask for a swimmers ear plug fitting.

The hospital I use in Bristol charge for the supply of ear plugs. I paid £25 a set, and always get 2 sets a time. Normally I go through a set a year, these plugs do not float, but I have not had an ear inflection for 10 years and can hear reasonably well when wearing them.

Good luck

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:22 pm
by Millsy
I got a set of these silicon ear plugs about 3 years ago, and they are the dogs..

I explained to my Dr what I needed, and he suggested "swim plugs" (a dubious name for them if there ever was one). He said he would refer me to the hearing dept at the local hospital. 3 weeks later there I was with a load of silicon in my ears having moulds taken. I was told it would take about another month for them to be competed, and asked what colours/textures/float or non float extras I wanted.

The cost in total was £20, and they keep the moulds and if I ever need a new set then they can knock them up for me.

the only thing with them is, that some water may get in the ear canal, and does slosh around a wee bit, so you do have to take them out every now and again just to drain them quickly.
Otherwise everything is hunky dorey.

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:38 pm
by Chrace
I have some custom made from NHS as well, but contrary to Simon I can't hear a thing when wearing them. Sign language all the way with those.

I use Doc Pro's for coaching and leading on easier trips, and wear the bad boys when on water where the river is too loud anyway.

But went to the doc when my ear was hurting, said I did WW kayaking with a fair amount upside down (ahem..) and was sent to the ENT.

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:53 pm
by Gabrielkk
Thanks for all your advice,
very much appreciated!

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:13 pm
by ChrisMac
simon d westgarth wrote:I have custom fitted silicon ear plugs supplied by the NHS. This style of ear plug I have been using for 10 years or so. At the beginning I got an emergency referral from my GP to an ENT appointment. The resulting 2 appointments, both led to an operation by the ENT dept and swimmers ear plugs supplied by the audiology dept.

Now that I have patient notes at the audiology dept, I simply call up for an appointment for a new set. From my understanding you are likely to be referred from the ENT dept to the ENT to the audiology dept, however why not call the audiology dept and ask for a swimmers ear plug fitting.

The hospital I use in Bristol charge for the supply of ear plugs. I paid £25 a set, and always get 2 sets a time. Normally I go through a set a year, these plugs do not float, but I have not had an ear inflection for 10 years and can hear reasonably well when wearing them.

Good luck
Very similar to my experience. In Nottingham you can ring the hearing services department directly with no referral from anyone, its on the Ropewalk, and book an appointment directly, you tell them you want some swim plugs.

Simon - I asked about getting some that float and was told they can be ordered to float its just that they arent normally so maybe worth asking next time.

ChrisMac

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:22 pm
by hazey
Been having ear trouble recently. Tried Arrowe Park Hospital but they only take referrals from the doctor. The Countess of Chester will do floating silicone earplugs for £25.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:29 pm
by denchy1
I got 2 pairs from the ENT clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich for free, with a referal from the GP.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:36 pm
by TechnoEngineer
Just goes to show how variable this all is.

I got referred to the local hospital's audiology department for some tests (Maidenhead). They don't make plugs, so referred me to a private trust in Windsor. The plugs cost £30 EACH (i.e. per ear), don't float, and the impressions are not kept (they said that the ear changes shape). They do work (possibly a bit too well) but block out most sound. I specified a leash which they provided, but it's not glued in.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:53 pm
by eeonz
Leicestershire:

I phoned my G.P. who sorted out an appointment at the audiology department. Impressions were made and I was told the plugs would cost £15 a set, or £25 if I had a leash fitted. They fit perfectly, very comfortable and I can still hear pretty well when wearing them. The box they came in is pretty paddler-proof as well. I asked the doctor to take a look at my ears as well and was told that I had no signs of extoses at all, after paddling in winter for 3 years using pro plugs :)

They've kept the impressions on record, in case I want more. I took Simon's advice and had two sets made though, so i should be sorted for a while.

Re:

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:26 am
by p.r.unicycles
[/quote]
Very similar to my experience. In Nottingham you can ring the hearing services department directly with no referral from anyone[/quote]

how do i go about doing that?
out of curiosity, will my prescription exemption certificate do me any favors?

P.R

Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:38 pm
by Simon
p.r.unicycles wrote: Very similar to my experience. In Nottingham you can ring the hearing services department directly with no referral from anyone
how do I go about doing that?
Phone your local hospital and ask to be put through to the audiology department and explain what you want. But this is quite an unusual request in some places so you might have to be persistent and ask around to get through to the right person
out of curiosity, will my prescription exemption certificate do me any favors?
I don't know for certain, but they might want something from your doctor saying that there is a medical reason why you need these things before you get them for free.

Simon

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:59 pm
by p.r.unicycles
Nottingham is my local hospital, Chrismac said i could just ring up, i was wondering if he had any more info on that.
P.R

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:58 am
by davidmaltby
if you know where your local ENT/audiology centre is(usually found together) go there rather than calling. As with most things talking face to face with a smile on will get you a lot further faster.
I went to my gp who told me i would have to pay and that they didnt refer. i called audiology who said i had to pay for plugs. then i went to talk to them and was told 'oh you just want swim plugs...i can do you an apointment next week for those and they are free'
although i was given no other options. if you wanted anything like floating/fancy colours/attachment strings it was extra. (entirely reasonable the nhs was never designed to fund recreational saftey kit!)
but i just made a small superficial hole in the outside of the plug and glued cotton cord into it....perfectly solid atachment point to my helmet.

btw all plugs private/nhs are all made by the same company in the same factory in this country.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:34 am
by Malcolm
I now have Tinnitus, apparantly not due to kayaking, but intend to start using ear plugs anyway.

I've had a look at the internet and "ear plugs-direct" product looks OK - anybody had any dealings with the company/product

Malcolm

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:56 pm
by mattdennies
I'm 15 and live in Leicestershire.

Tried to get ear plugs from the GP after going to her 3 times for ear infections in a very short space of time. She said she'd put my request forward to a referal board but it was declined.

I guess i'll stick to having constant ear infections which will probably damage my ears. Blooming marvellous. Long live the NHS....

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:21 pm
by Ieuan Belshaw
mattdennies wrote:I'm 15 and live in Leicestershire.

Tried to get ear plugs from the GP after going to her 3 times for ear infections in a very short space of time. She said she'd put my request forward to a referal board but it was declined.

I guess I'll stick to having constant ear infections which will probably damage my ears. Blooming marvellous. Long live the NHS....
I know its the last thing you want to do but go in with your one of your perants/guardians and I guess don't leave until you have what you need.
Just be stubborn...

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:26 am
by eeonz
I got mine made in Leicestershire no problem. Phone the audiology department at Leicester Royal Infirmary directly. The guy who fitted mine was really clued up on Surfer's ear and very keen to help.

Don't give up mate.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:43 pm
by Lowri Davies
There's a much more recent thread than this that I started which has loads of good advice regarding ear plugs, have a search and see if you can find it. This is the article that spurred the thread, which also might be useful for you.

If you can't get the NHS to help you, try Surf Plugs.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:10 am
by C.I.W.W
Surf Plugs back in Cardiff 26th November, get yourselves fitted....

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:30 am
by Lowri Davies
Lowri Davies wrote:There's a much more recent thread than this that I started which has loads of good advice regarding ear plugs
I'd just like to clarify, the thread has loads of good advice from lots of knowledgable people or those who've been through Surfer's Ear themselves… not just a load of advice from me! Realised that read like I thought I had all the answers, sadly I don't.

Re: Ear plugs through the NHS

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:47 am
by Simon Westgarth
mattdennies wrote:I'm 15 and live in Leicestershire.

Tried to get ear plugs from the GP after going to her 3 times for ear infections in a very short space of time. She said she'd put my request forward to a referal board but it was declined.

I guess I'll stick to having constant ear infections which will probably damage my ears. Blooming marvellous. Long live the NHS....
Find out where your local audiology dept is at the ENT ward, and make an appoint direct, or you can go to hear aid shops and have them make a mould of your ear's and order the plugs for you. You do not need to wait for your GP's surgery to decide whether they will pay for it or not, take charge and pay the £25 or so charge. You are already living with the alternative.