One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

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msk
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One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by msk » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:57 am

My 91 year old Mom is complaining that one ear has been slowly going deaf over the past couple of years. Other ear is fine. Now she is thinking of getting a hearing aid. Practically all her 80-100 year old buddies who have one weak ear and who got hearing aids find the aid irritating and no longer use it. More pleasant/comfortable to simply rely on the good ear. Considering the $2000+ cost I suspect that I'll pay and she'll also find it irritating. Use it a few days, then junk it. So, any BH with one good ear and one bad finds a hearing aid pleasant to use, and actually uses it? NB of course the situation is entirely different for those with both ears not performing well.

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Sheepdog
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:04 am

That's a personal decision of comfort. 5 years ago at about age 80 I was tested at 5% left and 55% right hearing I started with just the left. The Audiologist suggested that I should have both, but I was being cheap. Four months later I went to both ears. For me, balanced hearing was more pleasant. (I saw a doctor of audiology, not a hearing aid technician.)

I wouldn't like not having hearing aids again. Music is more enjoyable and conversations are more pleasant, assuming I like the conversation, that is.
Last edited by Sheepdog on Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Golfview
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by Golfview » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:09 am

I have hearing issues as well,went to a hearing specialist and had a check up,the dr.said not all hearing loss can benefit from a hearing aid,in my case one wouldn't help. It all depends on the hearing problem.you may one to get the help of a specialist after all it's difficult for her to be in that situation!

spectec
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by spectec » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:16 am

She should probably get a medical evaluation first, but not buy the Hearing Aids from the audiologist affiliated with the doctor's office (assuming HA's will be of benefit). After the medical evaluation, she should go to Costco for a follow-up test and recommendation on HA's. Costco has the best prices hands down, and their 6-month return policy with no questions asked is unbeatable. This industry has been turned completely upside down by Costco. (My personal experience was $6K for my first set of HA's from my doctor's office, followed by under $2K for my second set from Costco. The Costco set is light years ahead of the first set in terms of features and quality).

Single ear HA's usually result in non-compliance, but the balanced hearing & control using HA's in both ears will encourage the user to stick with it. Going from poor hearing to having the sound seemingly originate inside your head is amazing. In any event, she will need to be aware that HA's do require some maintenance and persistence in using them to gain the most benefit.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

Rupert
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by Rupert » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:14 am

Does she think she's going deaf in only one ear, or has an ENT or audiologist made that diagnosis? If the former, then seeing an ENT should be the top priority followed by a visit to an audiologist for proper diagnosis. She might find that she's actually going deaf in both ears, but one is just slightly better than the other.

As for hearing aids, I have a child with unilateral hearing loss. She has completely normal hearing in the other ear, but she must still wear a hearing aid in order to locate the source of sound. Your brain relies on input from both ears in order to determine where sound is coming from; it triangulates. If my child is not wearing her aid and I call her name from across our home, she can't tell which room I'm in. As a result of this loss of the ability to identify the source of sound, losing hearing in one ear creates a safety issue. People with unilateral hearing loss are more likely to be involved in accidents -- as pedestrians, etc. So take that into account when helping your mother make a decision.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:02 pm

I would like to get an opinion on this. I just came back from the ENT doctor. When the audiologist
tested my ears, she found 10-20% loss between 250-4k frequency. At 8k frequency it jumps to 50%
in both ears. She went on about my needing a hearing aid in both ears and waiting could make the
deterioration too severe to have any affect. Something about the nerves not getting stimulation they
die more quickly. She said if I don't get a hearing aid, I should be checked at least every year,

When the Dr saw my results he said they were normal hearing decline for my age and I should setup
another appt in two years.

This is my first appt for this in almost 20 years - i am now 60.
Thought on people that know about this !

anonenigma
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by anonenigma » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:05 pm

My mother appeared to have lost significant hearing in her early 90s. I made an appointment with the ENT, and it turned out to be wax. See the ENT first.

msk
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by msk » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:19 am

OP here. Mom is slated to see an ENT specialist shortly, but the main thing that bothered me is her buddies who find one HA irritating and stop using it. We can all guess what 80 to 100 year-old ladies chat about. Last year she invited her buddies to dinner and later commented how pleasant it was to not be surrounded by kids' conversation all the time. Kids meant 70 and below :annoyed I am 74...

RickBoglehead
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Re: One ear weak, one good: Get hearing aid? 91-year old

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:54 am

Hige issue with people buying them and not wearing them. Brain needs to be trained to adjust, like with glasses. If you don't wear them, it doesn't. MIL went through two sets, would have done a third but we stopped it. She refused to follow the guideline to always wear them, so we didn't purchase.

I agree on Costco. Great return policy also.

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