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Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:34 PM

Hearing Aids?

I'm trying to decide whether to get one or not. I've gone to an otolaryngologist and he did confirm that I have hearing loss (he said that I can hear men's voices better than women's). He told me to be sure to talk only to men frequently (ha-ha). But, seriously, I accumulate a lot of cerumen, so I have to go back to him twice a year to get my ears cleaned. I have noticed that my television sounds some-what muffled at times. I can't make-out or understand television programs which feature actors/actresses with British accents (Downton Abbey) very well, so I have to blast the sound even more, but it really doesn't help that much. AND, my co-workers complain that I can't hear because I always ask them to repeat what's been said (in a jovial manner).

So, do hearing aids help quite a bit? Are we allowed to name brands of hearing aids here, and if so, which ones are the best, and which are the most discreet?

Thanks.

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Response to kjackson227 (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:22 PM

1. I've got a whole box full of them that are useless with my tinnitus. Good luck....

 

... I have constant ringing, lots of it. I have great trouble hearing soft voice, male or female, and almost any dialogue on the teevee.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 8, 2012, 01:09 AM

2. Tinnitus here too.




From what I read hearing aids don't help that much so I just live with it.


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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 8, 2012, 02:16 PM

3. My doctor told me I have tinnitus also...

but I don't notice it much if at all. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. No, I don't think hearing aids will help with tinnitus. I've read articles about supplements that MIGHT help with this problem. Have you guys tried any of those?

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Response to kjackson227 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 8, 2012, 02:54 PM

4. Nope, I just say "what?" a lot.

 

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Response to kjackson227 (Original post)

Thu Mar 8, 2012, 04:38 PM

5. They've helped me a lot, and I highly recommend getting them

I wrote an essay on the subject: http://www.dvorkin.com/essays/hearing.html

Since I wrote that, I've switched to Costco for my hearing aids. I got good -- if not great -- ones at a price I can afford. With them in, I can' t hear perfectly, by any means, but the improvement is enormous. I can understand people far better, I can hear bird and insect sounds, and I enjoy music much more. When I'm wearing them, I'm not aware of tinnitus at all.

As for TV, we have closed-captioning turned on, and that helps immensely.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:30 PM

6. Cool, thanks for the essay, David...

Glad to hear you've found some that work for you. Do you have insurance, and if so, did your insurance cover the cost or part of the cost?

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Response to kjackson227 (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:47 PM

7. Insurance covered a small part of the cost

for the first part I got.

Now I have Medicare and it doesn't cover them. Fortunately, the ones from Costco are cheaper than the first pair was, even with the small insurance contribution.

But they aren't cheap, in any case. In general, the over-the-ear kind are cheaper than in-the-ear ones (which I have) because the over-the-ear ones aren't custom fitted.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:09 AM

8. It's interesting, I know I am missing a lot of sounds but I don't like

hearing aids. I think it has to do with starting to wear one as a very young child in school. It helped marginally with voices, if at all, but it sure did make me aware of a lot of other noise I never wanted to hear like shuffling papers, pencils scratching away, and feet scuffing grit on the floor. Unfortunately, I broke it when trying to clear the "ear boogers" out of the tube.

A few years ago my Dad insisted I try his digital ones, saying the technology has improved, but it seemed the same to me. All the wrong things were too loud again. I guess I would rather live in a muffled world?

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 01:08 PM

9. The modern digital ones are completely different from the old king

and vastly superior.

Do you mean that you put your father's into your ears? That tells you nothing. Modern digital hearing aids are programmed for the individual. A pair programmed for your hearing profile would give you a completely different result from his, unless -- not very likely -- your profiles are identical.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:06 PM

10. It's something to consider for when I get tired of saying, "What" or

"I can't see you so I can't hear you."

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 08:55 AM

13. I really enjoyed your essay.

I had a similar experience with my first pair of glasses.

I have a great deal of trouble distinguishing individual voices over background noise, but otherwise my hearing isn't really that bad. (For example, in an otherwise quiet room, I don't need to turn up the TV loud in order to hear it.) Thinking about going to get my hearing tested to see if my particular problem can be helped by hearing aids or not. I also socially withdraw and am bored to tears when I am in a group at a restaurant or someplace where there is background noise. I can't hear any of the conversation and it is mind-numbingly boring to me.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 11:45 AM

14. Thanks

I still sometimes tune out conversations in a restaurant or other group settings, but that's because the habit is so deeply ingrained after all those years of not being able to hear when there was background noise.

But most of the time, the problem is pretty much gone. It makes me constantly glad I have the hearing aids.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 11, 2014, 10:06 PM

20. background noise

 

"I have a great deal of trouble distinguishing individual voices over background noise, but otherwise my hearing isn't really that bad."

I have the same problem. In my case it's high frequency hearing loss. It's gotten to the point that I'm going to find out more about hearing aids.

What I find interesting is that normally I have no trouble at all understanding people when there's no background noise, but occasionally there's someone who's almost completely unintelligible.

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Response to kjackson227 (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:18 AM

11. Thanks for the replies...

Based on what you guys have posted, I think I'll try to wait a little longer before buying one. I will visit my oto within the next two months to get my ears cleaned, and tested again. I'll come back and let y'all know what's happening.

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Response to kjackson227 (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 04:53 AM

12. Your requirements re "best" and "most discreet" may be mutually exclusive.

 

For the best, you might want to try an open-fit design because the sound that you will hear will be more natural. I don't know whether all hearing aid sellers let you try it out for a while, but I think that Costco's policy is to let customers try hearing aids for up to 30 days. It's been a while, but that's where I got mine.

You mentioned that you're "trying to decide whether to get one or not." After wearing hearing aids for years, my recommendation is that if you need two, get two.

Also get a remote so that you can increase or decrease the sound level.

Since you mention that your co-workers are already aware of your hearing loss, and have to repeat themselves from time to time, they won't respond in a negative way if you get one or two behind-the-ear hearing aids. After they notice the initial difference, they won't even pay attention to what you're wearing. The batteries in the behind-the-ear hearing aids are also easier to replace.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 02:12 PM

15. Thanks, AnotherMcIntosh. I'll try to remember the "open-fit design"...

and since this is the second vote for Costco, I'll try their's first

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Response to kjackson227 (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 02:44 PM

16. You're welcome. Please remember when getting them fitted, the ear canals may not be symetrical

 

with the result that the size of the silicon pieces for the open-fit design may vary. I.e., a good fit with the left ear with one size silicon piece does not necessarily mean that the same size will work in the right ear.

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Response to kjackson227 (Original post)


Response to kjackson227 (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:03 PM

18. Brand

Hi there, i just read you post and I do hope it is not late for me to ask this, have you already bought a hearing aid?

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