Help: Update: Advice Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

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Help: Update: Advice Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 8:50 am

Update:
Thanks everyone for your kind help.
I have a couple of these units plugged into our TV's and they have worked flawlessly.
I can now watch movies and binge on TV Series' and understand the dialogue, even whispers.
DW is happy and can watch TV at volume level 12.
Avantree HT5006 Wireless Headphones Earbuds for TV Watching, Neckband Earphones Hearing Set w/Bypass Bluetooth Transmitter
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1
I tried several others, earbud types and various transmitters and this one is the most trouble free, no static, no drop outs.

Will still have a hearing check at the Costco Hearing Center, but right now, this is the best fix for the times when I most need them.

My tinnitus is horrible after using the hearing helpers. Perhaps a price to pay for hearing more. Not sure.

Thanks again, everyone.
Aloha
j

..............................
OP:
Aloha everyone:

Okay. That's it.
DW and I watch a movie or TV series (binging) for 2 hours every night for the past many decades. Now, the TV is blasting and I am having a hard time understanding conversations and dialogue. Almost like a foreign language. Worse if a "British Accent". My upstairs TV is even worse. I call it the "foreign language TV". Now, DW is frustrated because she has to interpret for me what's said on the TV.

IE:
Me: (yelling) "Why did she say she's going to leave him with Slater?"
DW: " She said she's going to see him later."
Me: "Oh. . . . " :(
DW: "Be quiet and just listen". :twisted:
Me: "Why are you yelling?" :(
DW: :twisted: :twisted:
** With this, I'm commited to research the world of "Hearing Aids" and Audiologists and all that.

*Some background (no medical advice needed per forum guidelines): Retiree/Senior: I have worked or been on construction jobsites for 30+ years as well as running several indoor martial arts schools for most of my life (very very loud), also performing music in public, so my hearing loss and tinnitus has been progressive and very noticeable. So, this is not sudden hearing loss or from recent trauma or injury.

Have read past threads on the subject such as:

Forum thread archive: "Hearing Aids: How to Choose One"
viewtopic.php?t=280791

Questions for hearing aid users and those "in the know":

1. Any problems in service or device or scams, etc, that I should be aware of or look out for?

2. Do higher priced hearing aids mean it is better?

3. Am I better off with a speciality Audiologist Doctor or Costco Hearing Center or what?

4. I also have horrible tinnitus (ringing in my ears) and loud noises like using music headphones makes it really bad to the point where I can't sleep. Does the hearing aid amplification cause that because of increase sound levels. (technical question/not medical)

4b. Are "noise cancellation" hearing aids better and do they work well?

5. I've met other seniors over the years that have tried hearing aids and did not like them. Then gave up using them or don't use them but have them. Is this a common reaction? Is there a big learning or adjustment curve to these things?

6. If just for watching TV, are the Bose "Hearphones" practical for hearing conversations/dialogue?
https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/wel ... ones_black

7. Is there anything else I should know or be aware of?

Thanks everyone for your kind help.
Mahalo
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Shackleton » Mon May 18, 2020 8:56 am

No advice on hearing aids. My DH thought I was losing my hearing (I told him he talks too softly) so I went to an audiologist and was tested and was told my hearing is fine.

For the time being until you get a test/hearing aids, try turning on the closed captioning. It’s what we do for some British shows. 😄
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon May 18, 2020 9:14 am

In addition to turning on subtitles for British shows, and don’t get me started on Scottish accents, there might be something to do that works better than raising the volume.

We have a number of TVs with sound bars and they work well enough, I guess. We have only one room that has meaningful sound treatments (randomized wall surfaces, echo attenuators, bass traps) and also software/microphone tuning (Anthem Room Correction) for the sound system. I can understand every syllable in that room, and the sound is really a pleasure.
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by bt365 » Mon May 18, 2020 9:20 am

I also have bad tinnitus.
No advice for hearing aids, but suggestion for hearing TV sound more clearly and at lower volume.
You'll need a TV with headphone jack. Many TV's have one, many do not.
If your TV has a headphone jack, purchase set of noise-cancelling headphones. Most of the newer noise-cancelling headphones have an internal battery that require charging. I prefer older Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphone. This model headphone uses a single replaceable AAA battery for power. As you may or may not know, noise-cancelling headphones help most by reducing background noise in your environment. The Bose QC25 can still be found and purchased new, but anyone's guess how long they may remain available for purchase new. Bose sells replacement ear pads if needed at some point. If your TV has no headphone jack, but has a built-in bluetooth receiver, there are noise-cancelling bluetooth headphones. I didn't care for bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones I tried, as occasional sound drop-outs were irritating. Wired headphones are tried and true with no dropouts, though some headphone cables may develop shorts from rough handling. It is easy to find headphone extension cables if you sit farther from your TV. Best of luck with the hearing aid jungle.
Last edited by bt365 on Mon May 18, 2020 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by jym » Mon May 18, 2020 9:23 am

Is television a special challenge, or do you have trouble enjoying normal conversation out and about? If television is the problem, you might search out solutions for that specifically before going to hearing aids. Diving into the menus of newer televisions you may find audio setting designed to make voices easier to understand or a "night time" mode that reduces the difference between soft and loud parts of the film to make it easier to set the volume. Perhaps also headphones would let you listen at a lower volume with more clarity -- you mentioned one TV gives you more trouble than the other, and I assume that's somehow about clarity and not volume. If you haven't tried closed captioning it's worth a shot -- some shows do it really well (and sometimes it's terrible). If you find something here that helps, it might make TV more enjoyable even if you eventually go with hearing aids.

https://www.consumerreports.org/lcd-led ... ring-loss/

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by bornloser » Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am

Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you. And this is one of the big reasons people don't wear aids (they learn to lip read, avoid noisy places, etc.) You will be shocked at high expensive aids are and bewildered by the choices. Do plenty of research and fully arm yourself with knowledge. Costco has a good reputation and has come on strong as a low cost provider. If you go to an independent audiologist you need to be aware that there is a strong incentive to upsell you the Audi, even if a Prius would do, not bashing audiologist just giving you the straight poop. And please use closed captions. They are so helpful and make watching shows so much more enjoyable. Good luck!

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by jwa » Mon May 18, 2020 9:55 am

I have your problem. Hearing aids from Costco BUT I don’t use them watching TV. I take them out and use Sennheiser headphones. Love em.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 10:06 am

bt365 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:20 am
I also have bad tinnitus.
No advice for hearing aids, but suggestion for hearing TV sound more clearly and at lower volume.
You'll need a TV with headphone jack. Many TV's have one, many do not.
If your TV has a headphone jack, purchase set of noise-cancelling headphones. Most of the newer noise-cancelling headphones have an internal battery that require charging. I prefer older Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphone. This model headphone uses a single replaceable AAA battery for power. As you may or may not know, noise-cancelling headphones help most by reducing background noise in your environment. The Bose QC25 can still be found and purchased new, but anyone's guess how long they may remain available for purchase new. Bose sells replacement ear pads if needed at some point. If your TV has no headphone jack, but has a built-in bluetooth receiver, there are noise-cancelling bluetooth headphones. I didn't care for bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones I tried, as occasional sound drop-outs were irritating. Wired headphones are tried and true with no dropouts, though some headphone cables may develop shorts from rough handling. It is easy to find headphone extension cables if you sit farther from your TV. Best of luck with the hearing aid jungle.
Yes. I've had the Bose QC25's for decades and they were great until they fell apart. Used them for loud areas, travel, etc.
The newer one's were overpriced and not as good.
Tried the bluetooth ear noise cancellation and that was not good.

j :happy :happy
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 10:07 am

jym wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:23 am
Is television a special challenge, or do you have trouble enjoying normal conversation out and about? If television is the problem, you might search out solutions for that specifically before going to hearing aids. Diving into the menus of newer televisions you may find audio setting designed to make voices easier to understand or a "night time" mode that reduces the difference between soft and loud parts of the film to make it easier to set the volume. Perhaps also headphones would let you listen at a lower volume with more clarity -- you mentioned one TV gives you more trouble than the other, and I assume that's somehow about clarity and not volume. If you haven't tried closed captioning it's worth a shot -- some shows do it really well (and sometimes it's terrible). If you find something here that helps, it might make TV more enjoyable even if you eventually go with hearing aids.

https://www.consumerreports.org/lcd-led ... ring-loss/
Thanks.
Yes, we've turned up the treble and "voice feature" on our TV's all the way.
Close Captioning intrudes on the TV screen so DW and I both don't want that.
The loud parts of a film are way too loud for me. It's as if I have great hearing, except for understanding dialogue tones.

j :happy
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 10:11 am

bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am
Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you. And this is one of the big reasons people don't wear aids (they learn to lip read, avoid noisy places, etc.) You will be shocked at high expensive aids are and bewildered by the choices. Do plenty of research and fully arm yourself with knowledge. Costco has a good reputation and has come on strong as a low cost provider. If you go to an independent audiologist you need to be aware that there is a strong incentive to upsell you the Audi, even if a Prius would do, not bashing audiologist just giving you the straight poop. And please use closed captions. They are so helpful and make watching shows so much more enjoyable. Good luck!
This is great information!!!
Thanks!!!

Yes. I don't like noisy places, even using ear plugs in noisy restaurants. I prefer the TV on soft. Don't like visiting family if they have "boom boxes or video games blasting". It's as if my hearing is hypersensitive. Like you said, just dialogue is a problem with TV, cashiers, store clerks, etc. Otherwise, I'm fine with what I have.

Is there something that just helps with dialogue / conversation clarity without making the rest of the world louder?

j :happy
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by bornloser » Mon May 18, 2020 10:22 am

Would definitely try aids, you have nothing to lose. The audiogram cost should be covered by insurance or medicare. The hearing aid costs are not unfortunately and this is also another reason people do not seek out aids, the out of pocket 4-8k hurts. The behind the ear (BTE) aids are real small, durable and most people won't even notice them. One way to approach it is to ask to try several aids. They will let you take a pair home and try it out. If you don't like 'em, no obligation to buy.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Watty » Mon May 18, 2020 10:24 am

By all means get your hearing tested but also consider;

1) The speakers on large TV's are tiny and worthless and not good for anything other than testing to see if the sound is working. They all assume that you will have a sound bar or separate sound system so they don't even try to put decent speakers in the TV.

2) Even with hearing aids my wife uses these headphones for watching TV and that makes a huge difference. If your hearing test results are not too bad then these may be enough.

https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-RS120 ... 227&sr=8-3

You can use more that one set of these headphones with the same base unit if both you and your spouse want to use headphones. That seems to work best for us since there is a slight lag between the sound from the TV and the sound in the headphones so turning off the TV sound eliminated a slight echo effect.

We still used closed captions for some British TV shows. :oops:

Most movie theaters also similar things you can ask for, but how good they are varies.
Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:50 am
6. Is there anything else I should know or be aware of?
One feature my wife loves with her hearing aids is that they connect with Bluetooth to her iPhone so she can hear the phone much better now and also listen to audio books on her phone. For her brand of hearing aids that works works much better with an iPhone than an android phone because of the hearing aid iPhone app is better so we got her an iPhone. Be sure your hearing aids do Bluetooth like that.

They also have a bluetooth TV adapter but we have not gotten that since it is expensive and the headphones work fine.

Unless you have special hearing problems use Costco. My brother in law is an audiologist so my wife got her hearing aids through him but when he retires she will use Costco. He works at a reputable doctors office but through him we have heard some pretty bad stories about what a ripoff some of the "brand name" hearing aid sales can be.

By far Costco is the best place to get hearing aid batteries. My wife has found that it makes sense to use those instead of getting the expensive rechargeable hearing aid batteries. A huge advantage of disposable batteries is you can just replace them if they die while you are out some where.
Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:50 am
5. I've met other seniors over the years that have tried hearing aids and did not like them. Then gave up using them or don't use them but have them. Is this a common reaction? Is there a big learning or adjustment curve to these things?
I do not wear hearing aids so take this with a gain of salt. From what I have read, and in talking with my wife, one issue is that you need to have realistic expectations about how well they will work. With eyeglasses when you use them your vision is usually corrected and you can pretty much see as well as someone who does not need glasses. People sometimes expect hearing aids to be the same but they often are not and the best result is often that you hear better but it is still not corrected 100%.

When you are shopping for hearing aids you need to really look into what their return and exchange policy is since be aggressive about trying different hearing aids to find one that works for you.

You will need to go for multiple adjustments to get it working right for you so be aggressive about doing that while you are still in the window where you can return or exchange them.

If they are just not working for you then admit that and return them within the return window.

Understand what sort of protection you get if you lose or damage a hearing aid. This will vary with where you buy it. My wife had worn hearing aids for over 20 years and she has only lost one once, but that was very stressful for her since it took a little bit until she could be sure it could be replaced for just a few hundred dollars. Forgetting about them and getting in a shower or pool is another risk.
Last edited by Watty on Mon May 18, 2020 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Watty » Mon May 18, 2020 10:34 am

bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:22 am
The audiogram cost should be covered by insurance or medicare. The hearing aid costs are not unfortunately and this is also another reason people do not seek out aids, the out of pocket 4-8k hurts.
Hearing aids are typically not covered by insurance but that is not universally true.

Before I retired I checked and much to my surprise my work provided health insurance actually did cover them so it never hurts to ask. It said nothing about hearing aids in the plan literature, you had to call and ask. :twisted:

My health plan was otherwise pretty average and not a Cadillac plan. It would only cover the cost of a basic hearing aid but even that helped a lot.

Normal Medicare does not cover them but it is possible that some Medicare Advantage plans could.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by eagleeyes » Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 am

Sandtrap,

Like you, my foray into hearing aids was spurred on by spouse. I am much younger than you. For perspective, I decided to get them after I realized I couldn’t understand my young kids talking.

Anyway, I went with Costco hearing aid. I figured if I didn’t like them I could return them. They have a six month no questions asked return policy. They also offer a one time replacement, for hypotheticals like if you take a shower in them (yes, done it) or left them in your pockets for a wash cycle (yep, did that too).

I would recommend strongly getting them. You’ll be amazed at the things that you haven’t been hearing all this time. When you write with pen on paper, apparently that makes a sound. I had forgotten about that. Or when you walk, you can hear your pants rustling.

Several are adjustable and compatible with iPhones. These apps are made for a certain demographic and would be easy to learn to use.

Your can also decide if you want one that has Bluetooth. This is helpful if you struggle with phone conversations. Problems is on Bluetooth when your in the phone, hard to understand anything someone not in the call is saying, because all you can hear the caller.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon May 18, 2020 10:54 am

Here is a previous post of mine that was in a link in one of the posts in the first link in the OP:
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:55 pm
I bought my first pair at a university medical center associated clinic this past summer. I paid $2600 for the HAs and the audiologist's time. I opted not to have all the bells & whistles as I knew that I would not use or appreciate them.

I do not know how many channels they are, but I would guess ~9 from viewing the graphs on the audiologist's display as he was making adjustments. For the first few months I was quite dissatisfied and suggested returning the HAs multiple times, but he kept adjusting and even extended my return window so that he could keep working to try to satisfy me. The final (so far) adjustment (in October) that sealed the deal for my keeping them was lowering the very highest frequency channel in one ear to reduce an amplification that sounded like hissing to me. I now have two settings--one with that frequency amplified higher than the other. Now when I am in an environment that becomes intolerable due to an excess of that frequency, I can switch to a setting that reduces it even farther. I am very happy with the HAs now.

Your hearing is obviously different than mine, but I doubt that I would have ever been satisfied with a 3-channel HA due to that idiosyncratic issue with my hearing. But as my audiologist kept telling me, everybody's hearing is different and requires different adjustments to achieve the optimal settings.

Good luck in your search. It can be overwhelming. My primary piece of advice would be to find a good audiologist in whom you have confidence.
The link to that thread is: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=270221&p=4335925&h ... g#p4335925

I had the same issues with clarity of conversations, television, etc that you are having. It was cause for denial for months or years as I knew I could hear volume ok. My MIL has the same issue but insists that she does not need HAs and that other people just need to speak louder and more clearly. My HAs have helped tremendously, but as a previous poster said and both my ENT doc and audiologist told me: nothing is going to restore your hearing to what it used to be.

I wore glasses for years. When I put them on there was immediate noticeable improvement in my vision which disappeared when I took them off. With HAs my experience is that when I put them in I only notice a small boost in volume. However, when I remove my HAs (usually while the TV is on) I immediately notice how dull and muddied the sound is. It is really a very strange contrast that I don't notice otherwise.

I suspect that many of the people you know who were dissatisfied with their HAs had experiences like mine in getting them adjusted correctly but rather than persisting, they simply gave up. I know the first several months were very frustrating and disappointing for me, but I am very happy that I stuck with it. I can't speak to HAs from Costco because I have not gone through them for HAs, but I can't imagine that they could have resolved my issues. I could be wrong, but ...

As for loud background noises (such as restaurants) causing issues, there are some steps you can take such as seat selection to mitigate those to some extent. Whoever fits your HAs should be able to give you advice about dealing with specific problematic areas of concern.

I could not be happier with mine. As for advice I would give: Do it, be persistent, and don't quit too early.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by suemarkp » Mon May 18, 2020 12:37 pm

I've given up on Costco for glasses, and maybe hearing aids too. I don't believe they train those personnel all that well, so it is going to be hit or miss depending on your particular store. I now use an audiologist in my medical plan. She indicated that my costco hearing aids had ear speakers that were too small (they come in 3 power levels depending on how loud they need to be -- I needed the middle ones whereas Costco put me in the smallest ones and was driving them too hard). The Costco guy was also always complaining about the software to tune/adjust my hearing aids. The aids have a life of 4 to 5 years, and after 2 years he wanted me to switch to Kirkland Signature ones because he knew how to use that software. For what they cost I'm not changing them every 2 years!

I have had another issue and that is they seem to degrade after 6 to 12 months. It isn't my hearing, it is the aids. For my most recent set, my audiologist sent them back as "intermittent". That got them replaced for free, and it was like night and day when I put in the new replacements (I wish it didn't take so long to figure out it was the aids and not ear wax or me). But now, 6 months later, the left one is giving the same symptoms again. The Costco ones did that too, but it wasn't as noticeable because they are never as good. Both hearing aids were from Siemens or a subsidiary of Siemens. I'm thinking the next ones won't be Siemens if they won't last for more than 6-12 months without having issues degrading.

For my medical insurance, durable medical equipment from costco is covered at a lower rate than from an in-network provider. So cost to me in the end is about the same. If I didn't have insurance, then Costco is definitely less expensive than many places. But only worth it if they have a good hearing tech.
Mark | Kent, WA

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by eagleeyes » Mon May 18, 2020 12:41 pm

One comment about Costco.

They have audiologists in sure as well as some other folks. The others are “hearing aid specialists” or some such titled employees. Would recommend specifically seeing the audiologist.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Fallible » Mon May 18, 2020 12:51 pm

Here is advice I've followed from the Mayo Clinic: See a physician first and now.

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/disc ... n-and-why/
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. ~Richard Feynman


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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by RudyS » Mon May 18, 2020 1:33 pm

What about those advertised in Discover magazine, and elsewhere, for around $300 each? There is a "no risk" trial period, but I'd like to know about any experience you folks may have had. Are the odds of success good enough to warrant the effort, compared to just trying Costco?

And BTW, thank you nisiprius for the thread back in 2016. I'm hoping for updated info.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon May 18, 2020 1:34 pm

Agree with Watty’s comment about the quality of TV built-in speakers. We added 3 external speakers with a good receiver which helped the sound clarity quite a bit.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by BL » Mon May 18, 2020 2:19 pm

One thing I rarely see mentioned is replacing the wax filter. I bought a supply at Amazon so have them ready (about 40 cents each in 5-pack pkg of 8 each).

Yesterday one aid quit and it hadn't given any warning; besides I just replaced it a few days ago. Anyway, I pulled the rubber cover off the end; stuck the stick straight into the end and tipped it out. Stuck the other end of the stick straight into the tiny hole left where the old filter came out and pulled it off leaving the new filter in place. The wax had gummed it up completely, even though I don't have a wax problem normally.

This happens maybe once a year and am glad I didn't have to go in to see the audiologist to get it done. My spouse plugs it more often than I. We have Widex brand and whatever the better VA brand is. Not perfect, but so much improvement with these over none.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by likegarden » Mon May 18, 2020 2:21 pm

My dad also needed hearing aids, was in artillery in WW2. I am an engineer, in college I was in a lab where jet afterburners were tested, had tinnitis afterwards. For the last 8 or 10 years I have Siemens hearing aids, let me participate in a conversation with male friends, but not in a group, like in a restaurant is too much background noise. I have trouble sometimes listening to my wife, high frequency does it. So I will buy new aids in a few years, but do not expect much improvements. Right now I don't wear hearing aids at home, watch TV at home without sound, read the ticker at CNN, but use them when buying takeout at McDonalds.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 2:36 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:34 pm
Agree with Watty’s comment about the quality of TV built-in speakers. We added 3 external speakers with a good receiver which helped the sound clarity quite a bit.
DW listens to the TV on volume #12
I need it at 24 so .......
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 2:37 pm

RudyS wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:33 pm
What about those advertised in Discover magazine, and elsewhere, for around $300 each? There is a "no risk" trial period, but I'd like to know about any experience you folks may have had. Are the odds of success good enough to warrant the effort, compared to just trying Costco?

And BTW, thank you nisiprius for the thread back in 2016. I'm hoping for updated info.
Those remind me of the overseas generic hearing aids on Amazon.com for between 40-120 bucks

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 2:38 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:21 pm
"Hearing Aid 101" by Nisiprius
www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=198872
Thanks Miriam
This is great!
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 2:54 pm

bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:22 am
Would definitely try aids, you have nothing to lose. The audiogram cost should be covered by insurance or medicare. The hearing aid costs are not unfortunately and this is also another reason people do not seek out aids, the out of pocket 4-8k hurts. The behind the ear (BTE) aids are real small, durable and most people won't even notice them. One way to approach it is to ask to try several aids. They will let you take a pair home and try it out. If you don't like 'em, no obligation to buy.
$4-8,000
Yikes
Maybe Supplemental insurance will cover after a Medicare.

Wonder if Hearing Aid posters follow up with portfolio reviews to pay for these things ??? (kidding😬)

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by kenbt » Mon May 18, 2020 3:24 pm

I felt like Charlie Cheap only buying the Audiologist offered pair for $3900.00. They felt I needed the "best ones" at $7000.00 per pair if I was going to hear in noisy enviroments. Returned $3900.00 pair and paid the Florida mandated $200.00 restock fee. Went to Costco, had their exam and bought their KS-9, $1500.00 out the door. I am an Android guy so I am very happy these connect to my phone. The $3900.00 pair just worked just with Apple. I say Costco is the way to go. If they aren't for you, return them. For my TV viewing I have Bluetooth earbuds, used with a Bluetooth Adapter all bought on Ebay. I don't like wearing the hearing aids around the house, but out in the world, I now know I needed them. By the way the Costco exam was more extensive and the results were the same.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by HomeStretch » Mon May 18, 2020 3:39 pm

The VA supplies hearing aids (batteries and repairs too) for certain veterans either free or at a reduced cost.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Nowizard » Mon May 18, 2020 4:04 pm

First, hearing aids are often recommended as part of treatment for tinnitus, so they should theoretically improve that rather than interfered with it. Second, hearing aids have traditionally had huge mark-ups like many other medical devices or pharmaceuticals. If your difficulty is primarily a noise induced loss affecting higher sounds primarily and there is no history of neurological issues of a broader nature or other ear, nose throat issues, you have a basic problem as far as hearing is concerned based on what I have learned.
I would not even consider the ads that downgrade anyone other than an audiologist unless I had a complex case. Costco, for example, charges nothing for the hearing evaluation, replaces a lost aid (s) in a year at no cost, has liberal return policy if you don't like them, do annual check-ups, give free domes and microphone protectors, etc. Cost is a fraction of hearing aid centers. Mine, for example, were the top priced ones a year ago at $1599 a pair, and I cannot imagine a more thorough evaluation. If concerned, you might go to an ENT for a routine check and not purchase from Costco, but I would at least go there for an evaluation since it is no cost. Follow-up, alone can cost $500 over time, easily, at typical resources. I would also go to hearingtracker.com It has many users and threads that should answer any questions. As for television, your complaint is common, and I have difficulty even with my hearing aids. There are devices that can stream the voices directly, and Bluetooth works great with telephone calls and handsfree calls in automobiles. I do not use a television device but have heard positive comments.

Tim

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 6:18 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 4:04 pm
First, hearing aids are often recommended as part of treatment for tinnitus, so they should theoretically improve that rather than interfered with it. Second, hearing aids have traditionally had huge mark-ups like many other medical devices or pharmaceuticals. If your difficulty is primarily a noise induced loss affecting higher sounds primarily and there is no history of neurological issues of a broader nature or other ear, nose throat issues, you have a basic problem as far as hearing is concerned based on what I have learned.
I would not even consider the ads that downgrade anyone other than an audiologist unless I had a complex case. Costco, for example, charges nothing for the hearing evaluation, replaces a lost aid (s) in a year at no cost, has liberal return policy if you don't like them, do annual check-ups, give free domes and microphone protectors, etc. Cost is a fraction of hearing aid centers. Mine, for example, were the top priced ones a year ago at $1599 a pair, and I cannot imagine a more thorough evaluation. If concerned, you might go to an ENT for a routine check and not purchase from Costco, but I would at least go there for an evaluation since it is no cost. Follow-up, alone can cost $500 over time, easily, at typical resources. I would also go to hearingtracker.com It has many users and threads that should answer any questions. As for television, your complaint is common, and I have difficulty even with my hearing aids. There are devices that can stream the voices directly, and Bluetooth works great with telephone calls and handsfree calls in automobiles. I do not use a television device but have heard positive comments.

Tim
This is Great!
Thanks for all that information.

Yes. I've been using an in ear BlueTooth with my iPhone for a long time and conversations are terrific.
I'll look into a "bluetooth" for watching TV, not sure how that works (I'm low tech).
Will call Costco Hearing Center to make an appointment as you suggest.
Thanks for the reassurance that the hearing aids might or might now help with tinnitus.

mahalo!
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by mortfree » Mon May 18, 2020 6:35 pm

Costco if you can

Regarding understanding dialogue, as part of your hearing exam you will be tested for a word recognition score.

HA’s will not give you super hearing powers. Your hearing still sucks.

Born with hearing loss. Managed to go without HA’s until age 38. Costco.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 6:36 pm

mortfree wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:35 pm
Costco if you can

Regarding understanding dialogue, as part of your hearing exam you will be tested for a word recognition score.

HA’s will not give you super hearing powers. Your hearing still sucks.

Born with hearing loss. Managed to go without HA’s until age 38. Costco.
DW may have some comments on my "word recognition score".
She calls it "selective hearing" . .. . :shock:

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by mrb09 » Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm

bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am
Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you.
This has not been my experience. I have "profound" high frequency hearing loss, which is pretty common. Basically I can't hear much above about 3000 Herz. Too much motorcycling, loud music and test stand blower fans in my youth. I'm on my second set of hearing aids after first getting them about seven years ago, and both them did/do "frequency compression" which is to take things I can't hear at all and compress them into frequencies I can hear. Hearing aids were a complete game changer for me.

I was lucky to find a good audiologist to work with for my first set. She worked with me over months giving me more amplification/compression each visit until I get used to it -- I was hearing sounds I had not heard in years, and it took some getting used to. My next set, since I moved away from first audiologist, I went to Costco and since I knew the drill at that point, I had a single exam and one follow-on. Not sure how it would have worked for me to have just gone to Costco at the beginning.

> 2. Do higher priced hearing aids mean it is better?

There's a probably a cost/benefit for really high end ones, but if you need some kind of frequency compression, you'll need to pay for sound quality. Also for the really cool bluetooth streaming features :) I do all my phone/zoom calls streamed to my hearing aids.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon May 18, 2020 9:25 pm

mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm
bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am
Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you.
This has not been my experience. I have "profound" high frequency hearing loss, which is pretty common. Basically I can't hear much above about 3000 Herz. Too much motorcycling, loud music and test stand blower fans in my youth. I'm on my second set of hearing aids after first getting them about seven years ago, and both them did/do "frequency compression" which is to take things I can't hear at all and compress them into frequencies I can hear. Hearing aids were a complete game changer for me.

I was lucky to find a good audiologist to work with for my first set. She worked with me over months giving me more amplification/compression each visit until I get used to it -- I was hearing sounds I had not heard in years, and it took some getting used to. My next set, since I moved away from first audiologist, I went to Costco and since I knew the drill at that point, I had a single exam and one follow-on. Not sure how it would have worked for me to have just gone to Costco at the beginning.

> 2. Do higher priced hearing aids mean it is better?

There's a probably a cost/benefit for really high end ones, but if you need some kind of frequency compression, you'll need to pay for sound quality. Also for the really cool bluetooth streaming features :) I do all my phone/zoom calls streamed to my hearing aids.
Frequency Compression??????

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by mrb09 » Mon May 18, 2020 10:38 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:25 pm
mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm
Blah blah blah frequency compression
Frequency Compression??????

j🌺
Here's an article about the brand I have now: https://www.hearingreview.com/inside-he ... l-patients. I think each major manufacture has something like this.

Basically for people with severe or profound high frequency loss (like me), there's no amount of "treble" amplification that will let me hear any kind of upper registers. So the digital technology takes the entire spectrum of sound and compresses it into a range I can hear. It's lossy, so I don't get the nuance of sound in the lower ranges, but at least I can hear now.

That's why I responded to the earlier post that hearing aids were just amplifiers. That's true of cheaper ones, or of older ones, but newer (and pricier) hearing aids are pretty sophisticated.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by baritone » Mon May 18, 2020 11:11 pm

I use Audibel hearing aids though I got them before I learned that Costco has good ones. My aids work with my iPhone as a previous responder mentioned and I love it. It's a big difference when you can hear the phone in both ears.
Get hearing aids that are mostly outside the ear. My first 2 pair were inside the ear and I really didn't like them.
Get the batteries at Costco. They're just fine and pretty cheap.
I use closed captioning on the tv and don't mind a little obscuring of the picture. Simultaneously I use wireless phones.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue May 19, 2020 12:17 am

I am borderline nearing hearing aids; I went to a hearing doctor and an audiologist. They said it would not restore my hearing to what it once was and the ringing is bad, but tolerable. One thing I did learn which makes me feel better about spending the money is that in VA there is a 30 day return guarantee under state law. You might want to see if the state where you live has such a return provision. I know two people who have gotten their hearing aids at Costco (the same location) and were very happy. One got a simple pair - for lack of a better term; the other got it with all sorts of things, such as the phone is connected to it; both are very happy.

§ 54.1-1505. Return of hearing aid by purchaser or lessee
https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/tit ... 54.1-1505/

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 19, 2020 8:09 am

mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:38 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:25 pm
mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm
Blah blah blah frequency compression
Frequency Compression??????

j🌺
Here's an article about the brand I have now: https://www.hearingreview.com/inside-he ... l-patients. I think each major manufacture has something like this.

Basically for people with severe or profound high frequency loss (like me), there's no amount of "treble" amplification that will let me hear any kind of upper registers. So the digital technology takes the entire spectrum of sound and compresses it into a range I can hear. It's lossy, so I don't get the nuance of sound in the lower ranges, but at least I can hear now.

That's why I responded to the earlier post that hearing aids were just amplifiers. That's true of cheaper ones, or of older ones, but newer (and pricier) hearing aids are pretty sophisticated.
Thanks a lot for the links.
Great info.
Mahalo,
j :happy
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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Hockey10 » Tue May 19, 2020 11:26 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:36 pm
DW listens to the TV on volume #12
I need it at 24 so .......
😬
Those are the same volume levels that my wife (24) and I (12) used for the TV. I told her for several years that she needed a hearing aid. After the majority of our kids told her the same thing, she started to look into it.

She started with an audiologist who wanted several thousand $ for the hearing aid :shock: . After reading many threads here, I suggested she try Costco. She ended up going with the Costco model ($1500 or $1600 as I recall). She has been happy with the experience so far (about a year now). She did go back after a few months to get it adjusted. There was no charge for this, but she did have to wait a week or so for an appointment to be available.

One pitfall of the hearing aid however - if I am eating a bag of nachos in the family room while she is sitting in the same room, the crinkling noise from the bag hurts her ears. She now has me trained to put the nachos on a plate instead of eating out of the bag.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Arlington2019 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:26 pm

I have had a moderate to severe bilateral sensineural hearing loss since birth, 60 years ago. I have been wearing hearing aids for decades. As an adult, I have never had insurance coverage for them, and was used to paying $ 3-5,000 out of pocket every three to five years from the audiology practice. For the past ten years, I have been going to Costco, and pay around $ 3,000 out of pocket for their top of the line model. I have been quite satisfied with Costco, and there is a reason they are the largest hearing aid dispenser in the country, after only the Veterans Administration.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by bornloser » Wed May 20, 2020 3:31 pm

mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm
bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am
Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you.
This has not been my experience. I have "profound" high frequency hearing loss, which is pretty common. Basically I can't hear much above about 3000 Herz. Too much motorcycling, loud music and test stand blower fans in my youth. I'm on my second set of hearing aids after first getting them about seven years ago, and both them did/do "frequency compression" which is to take things I can't hear at all and compress them into frequencies I can hear. Hearing aids were a complete game changer for me.

I was lucky to find a good audiologist to work with for my first set. She worked with me over months giving me more amplification/compression each visit until I get used to it -- I was hearing sounds I had not heard in years, and it took some getting used to. My next set, since I moved away from first audiologist, I went to Costco and since I knew the drill at that point, I had a single exam and one follow-on. Not sure how it would have worked for me to have just gone to Costco at the beginning.

> 2. Do higher priced hearing aids mean it is better?

There's a probably a cost/benefit for really high end ones, but if you need some kind of frequency compression, you'll need to pay for sound quality. Also for the really cool bluetooth streaming features :) I do all my phone/zoom calls streamed to my hearing aids.
You have "ski slope" hearing loss which is a subset of SNHL, frequency compression may not be applicable for the OP.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by manatee2005 » Wed May 20, 2020 4:53 pm

bt365 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:20 am
I also have bad tinnitus.
No advice for hearing aids, but suggestion for hearing TV sound more clearly and at lower volume.
You'll need a TV with headphone jack. Many TV's have one, many do not.
If your TV has a headphone jack, purchase set of noise-cancelling headphones. Most of the newer noise-cancelling headphones have an internal battery that require charging. I prefer older Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphone. This model headphone uses a single replaceable AAA battery for power. As you may or may not know, noise-cancelling headphones help most by reducing background noise in your environment. The Bose QC25 can still be found and purchased new, but anyone's guess how long they may remain available for purchase new. Bose sells replacement ear pads if needed at some point. If your TV has no headphone jack, but has a built-in bluetooth receiver, there are noise-cancelling bluetooth headphones. I didn't care for bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones I tried, as occasional sound drop-outs were irritating. Wired headphones are tried and true with no dropouts, though some headphone cables may develop shorts from rough handling. It is easy to find headphone extension cables if you sit farther from your TV. Best of luck with the hearing aid jungle.
How do you deal with tinnitus? I just got it a month ago (I’m in my mid 40s so I doubt it’s hearing loss) and it’s driving me nuts.
I was never in the military, quiet office environment my whole working life, my son doesn’t like loud music so I’ve never had a sound system or sound bar while watching tv at home.

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Re: Help: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by mrb09 » Wed May 20, 2020 5:10 pm

bornloser wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:31 pm
mrb09 wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:39 pm
bornloser wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:32 am
Sensorineural hearing loss is very common, maybe in your case exacerbated by exposure to loud sounds but also likely typical aging related damage to the cochlear hair cells, estimated 30-40 million persons in US. The good news is that hearing aids have significantly improved over the last few decades (digital, blue tooth, etc.). The bad news is that hearing aids result in mild/moderate improvement because they are simply amplifying volume per the audiogram curve. Key take home message is that these amplified sounds are up against damaged hair cells so you will lose clarity (consonants are the worst, ie. did he say Bob or Rob or Tom). Your hearing will improve with aids, but only to a mild/moderate degree, that's what you need to know going into the process, no matter what rosy picture the audiologist tells you.
This has not been my experience. I have "profound" high frequency hearing loss, which is pretty common. Basically I can't hear much above about 3000 Herz. Too much motorcycling, loud music and test stand blower fans in my youth. I'm on my second set of hearing aids after first getting them about seven years ago, and both them did/do "frequency compression" which is to take things I can't hear at all and compress them into frequencies I can hear. Hearing aids were a complete game changer for me.

I was lucky to find a good audiologist to work with for my first set. She worked with me over months giving me more amplification/compression each visit until I get used to it -- I was hearing sounds I had not heard in years, and it took some getting used to. My next set, since I moved away from first audiologist, I went to Costco and since I knew the drill at that point, I had a single exam and one follow-on. Not sure how it would have worked for me to have just gone to Costco at the beginning.

> 2. Do higher priced hearing aids mean it is better?

There's a probably a cost/benefit for really high end ones, but if you need some kind of frequency compression, you'll need to pay for sound quality. Also for the really cool bluetooth streaming features :) I do all my phone/zoom calls streamed to my hearing aids.
You have "ski slope" hearing loss which is a subset of SNHL, frequency compression may not be applicable for the OP.
Agree, I tried to be careful to relate my own experience only.

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Re: Help: Update: Any Problems or Pitfalls or Advice When it Comes to Getting Hearing Aids? What? What?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:21 am

OP: Updated with product review on TV hearing helper and Costco Hearing Center appointment.
Thanks everyone.
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