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Thread: hearing aids

  1. #1
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    hearing aids

    Most here know that I'm so old, I can't risk buying green bananas anymore. The post about slippery decks encouraged me to make this post.
    About two months ago I was fitted with hearing aids and am not a happy camper, or listener.
    I was told there would be 'adjustments' I would have to get used to but never thought the experience would be like this. Certain sounds, like crinkling cellophane, or a fork clanking against a plate about tear my head off. I now put on hearing protectors (used to use plugs) for almost any shop related project.
    But, most maddening is how they feel. I don't know if it is perspiration or ear wax but something is running down inside and causes a major tickle. Pure torture, I hate it.
    Any of y'all wear these demon devices? How do you handle these problems?
    BTW, I STRONGLY advise use of hearing protection whenever working with any machinery. Believe me, you don't want to wear hearing aids.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
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    my attitude still is; "there`s not much i want to hear that i can`t amplify"


    don`t have any advice frank but thought i`d toss that out there to stir some conversation...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clardy View Post
    Hope I don't ever have any.

    My father had 1 in one ear his last few years.
    I never seen him wear it much, as he couldn't get used to it either.




    Somewhere I seen some headphones that did the same thing as a hearing aid?
    Most of my friends are retirees and many have, but don't use, theirs either. Pity, these things cost about $5,000.00. Shame to have them sit in a drawer. I still have my mothers. She called them her "$5,000.00 ear plugs.". Hate to throw something that cost that much in the trash even though they are worth zip now.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
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    LOML was born hearing impaired and wears them. I tried them out so I could relate to her complaints that mirror your's. The tuning of the "curve" is obviously very important as the clinking-fork-against-plate sound that feels like it is piercing your brain is not an exaggeration.

    My biggest complaint on these items is the cost. They are vastly inflated as many costing many thousands of dollars are no more adaptable than a $15 toy from Radio Shack. It is criminal that the industry is allowed to make so much money off of folks and their insurance companies which eventually results in higher costs for us all. For 6 grand they should at least be as adjustable as a car stereo.

    JMHO. ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 09-20-2007 at 08:05 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    It is criminal that the industry is allowed to make so much money off of folks and their insurance companies which eventually results in higher costs for us all.
    You got that right. Don't get me started. There are a few other things going on in this country that should be added to the list also.

  6. #6
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    I made the sad mistake of flushing the toilet wearing mine. They now live in a box on a shelf.




    DT

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Bookout View Post
    You got that right. Don't get me started. There are a few other things going on in this country that should be added to the list also.
    I agree as well. The retail costs are scandalous. I got mine through the VA. Not a brag or gloat. Just a fact. My hearing took a real bashing while in service, I'm willing to accept the entitlement.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    Your entitlement is well deserved I am sure Frank.
    Last edited by Allen Bookout; 09-20-2007 at 10:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    I've worn hearing aids since I was in my late 30's. I'm also an electrical engineer so I drive the audiologist crazy making adjustments to the aids. The aids have gotten much better but they're still not as good as natural hearing.

    Couple of comments: (this assumes you have purchased digital aids that can be adjusted by uploading data to the aid)

    First, make sure you purchase your aids from a reputable source. A doctor's office is one of the best places, although you'll pay a bit more. The worst place is one of those hearing aid places in the mall. You will pay a lot and the technicians are not as competent as those in a doctor's office.

    Regarding how irritating certain sounds are, such as crinkling cellophane, the problem is that you haven't heard high frequencies for a long time. While this takes a while, the best approach is to tell the audiologist to reduce the high frequency gain when you first get the aids. Reduce the gain such that those high frequency noises are not irritating. After you've used the aids for awhile - several months - go back and get the high frequency gain increased. You'll find that the noises are not as irritating. Go for a couple of months and then get the high frequency gain increased again until things are "normal" for you.

    You need to work with the audiologist to achieve the best results that you can get out of the aids. A good audiologist will be more than willing to work with you and give you the time to get the best out of the aids.

    Sweat is a problem with aids. The best thing is to wear a sweat band. Some people take their aids out but you risk losing them. I keep them in all the time, except when sleeping.

    Finally, regarding the cost of aids. I don't like the cost either but I understand why they are so expensive. The digital aids have semiconductors in them. When semiconductors are made (in wafers) a mask must be made to print the semiconductors on the wafers. As the geometry of the semiconductors gets smaller, the cost of the mask goes up. On current geometry, a mask is close to $1,000,000. If you're going to sell a lot of parts, that cost gets spread over a lot of chips but with hearing aids, the number sold is fairly small. Same with the engineering - it's expensive and has to be paid for by the units sold. Finally, your audiologists will spend a lot of time with you working to get the best out of the instrument and that has to be paid for.

    While hearing aids are expensive, there's competition in the market and the costs fairly represent the cost to produce and market the instruments. If one company tried to charge too much it would lose market share to the other companies in the market. And for most people, insurance will not cover hearing aids, or will only pay a nominal amount (like $250) towards the aids. For the vast majority of people, payment is out of pocket.

    One final comment - my present set of aids cost me $6,600 for the two and they're quite adjustable - in too many ways to relate in a short note. If anyone is interested, I can go into detail but I expect the interest level will be low.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 09-21-2007 at 08:12 PM.
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  10. #10
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    hearing aids

    Hi guys,

    I've been reading this post with great interest. I have hearing loss but coupled with something more, "Tinitus", or the constant, irritating, high pitched ringing in my ears, ALL the time. I guess I got this from all the loud exhausts on the tractors, race cars and such I drove and worked on plus all the banging and grinding on metal doing body work and steel fabrication through most of my earlier life. Oh, and all those groovy songs at full volume. How do we tell the kids of today to turn down the volume or lose your hearing?

    I was fitted with some hearing aids that included a masking frequency to kind of cover the ringing. (Which by the way NEVER goes away but only gets louder and more irritating and distracting with age.)

    My audiologist did her best to make these aids help me but it doesn't seem to work. I have lost most of my ability to hear much of normal conversation, voices on T-V and phone conversations. I have tried to use my aids but like some of you have experienced the same problems. But, when you add those to the Tinitus, you get a combination that drives me nuts. Right now, sitting here typing, I can bearly hear the keys as I hit them, but the noise in my head is almost deafening. (It's a pitch somewhere around 10hz or above.)

    When I had a fever, my wife took my temp with a digital thermometer. She told me to let her know when it "beeped" so she could check it. Fifteen minutes went by, I never heard a thing. When I ride our elevator where we live, there is a beep at every floor, not loud, but there anyway. I can't hear but maybe one or two floors go by. And I'm supposed to wear the aids with the masker turned on. It doesn't help. I find that I talk louder than normal, and have been told about that. My wife says it sounds like I am yelling when I talk on the phone. Wow.

    I wear good hearing protectors now. A little late, but most any loud sound will cause an increase in the ringing for a period of time after. I even sometimes wear those spongy ear plugs AND my over-the-ear muffs too.

    I know I will have to get used to using my aids, but with the Tinitus it is really hard to do. Even driving with my windows open, hearing a car's tires on the pavement is loud with the aids on.

    Hope there aren't any of you out there with the same problem. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. (Well, I have to qualify that, I HOPE Bin Laden has the same affliction.)

    Aloha, Tony
    Last edited by Tony Baideme; 09-21-2007 at 08:15 AM.
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

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