hearing aids

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3feetpete
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:30 pm

hearing aids

Post by 3feetpete »

I will be getting my first hearing aide next week. An Oticon More. I'm looking for any tricks about use and care that isn't covered in the manufacturers standard recommendations. What about loss or damage coverage? Does Oticon cover this with warranty? Should I get additional through my homeowners insurance or other?
mortfree
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: hearing aides

Post by mortfree »

The boglehead way for hearing aids is through Costco.

If you are worried about insuring them, then you probably paid too much.

General use and care:
Keep them dry
Keep them clean
Alcohol wipes are good on the parts that get wax
Learn how to replace the parts yourself
Get a good, hard case to store them

Know your trial period and return policy if you are not satisfied.
Mid-40’s
randles
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:07 pm

Re: hearing aides

Post by randles »

Welcome to better hearing!

Oticon hearing aids come with a two-year warranty. You can get an extended warranty any time during the original warranty period. Be sure to ask your hearing aid provider.

Be patient as it takes a number of months to retrain your brain to all the new sounds you are going to hear. The best advice is to put them in when you wake up and take them out when you are ready for bed.

Good luck!
Last edited by randles on Thu May 26, 2022 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrBobcat
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Re: hearing aides

Post by MrBobcat »

mortfree wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:16 am The boglehead way for hearing aids is through Costco.

If you are worried about insuring them, then you probably paid too much.

General use and care:
Keep them dry
Keep them clean
Alcohol wipes are good on the parts that get wax
Learn how to replace the parts yourself
Get a good, hard case to store them

Know your trial period and return policy if you are not satisfied.
I lol'd about the Costco comment. I should have known.

I'm picking up my first set of hearing aides tomorrow... at Costco. I'm getting the kirkland brand (phonak).

I don't know anyone else my age (56) who's gotten hearing aides yet but the Mrs. was insistent that I get tested, and of course she was right.
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dwickenh
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Re: hearing aides

Post by dwickenh »

I purchased my 2nd set of hearing aids at Sam's and have received very good follow up. Wearing them all day is the best way to enjoy the improvement. Keep them clean and change the wax filters regularly. Mine have been great and are in the 2500 range for cost. I've had them for about 8 months. I enjoy the battery style over the rechargable as they seem to hold the same charge for a week(rechargable seemed to get weak late in the day).
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett
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Watty
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Re: hearing aides

Post by Watty »

3feetpete wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:03 am I'm looking for any tricks about use and care that isn't covered in the manufacturers standard recommendations.
Be aware that hearing aids have a huge markup and many audiologists are bit dodgy and will try to sell you high price hearing aids. For example they may try to get you to buy a more expensive "in the ear" model when a less expensive behind the ear model would actually work better.

Spend a lot of time selecting a reputable audiologist. Even with Costco different stores get different reviews so read those if you have more than one Costco near you.

Being successful with hearing aids will require a lot of follow up with your audiologist so be sure to use one that is convenient and will be willing to work with you a lot to get it adjusted just right.

My wife has the Oticon hearing aids that she was able to get at cost because she has a relative that is an audiologist. The relative is retired now so most likely she will get her next ones at Costco.

It was a couple of years ago but when the got hers she was told that the Oticon app worked a lot better on an iPhone than Android so she got an iPhone. I don't know if that is true now but you should research if it is new worth getting an iPhone if you do not already have one.

I do not wear hearing aids but in helping my wife research them one thing I learned is that you need to have reasonable expectations. People often expect them to work like eye glasses in that they can usually fix your vision so you see more or less like normal. You may need to have lower expectations with hearing aids since even when they are working well they may not completely correct your hearing but they will allow you to function a lot better. It may also take a while to adapt to the hearing aid so ask your audiologist about the importance of wearing it all the time and giving your brain time to adjust to it.

It will vary but be sure to talk with your audiologist about;
1) How long to expect it to last. It will vary but that might be about five years (+/-) so budget for that.
2) Keeping it clean. When my wife has a problem it is usually because it is dirty.
3) Rechargeable vs disposable batteries. My wife like disposable since when they get weak she she just put a new set in.
4) Be sure to understand all the details of the warranty and insurance that you get with it.

If you have time before you get them then consider getting a new credit card with a sign up bonus. The hearing aids will likely be enough to cover the "spend $x in the first 90 days" to get the signup bonus. You can also ask your provider if they will give you a discount for paying with a check instead of a credit card.
doobiedoo
Posts: 274
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Location: Southern CA

Re: hearing aides

Post by doobiedoo »

I first got hearing aids in 2011 from Unitron for $5200. Warranty was for 2 years. After 5 years, they stopped working.

I got my 2nd set of hearing aids in 2016 from Siemens for $4400. [They were listed at $6300, on sale for $5600, and my Kaiser Advantage insurance paid $1200.] I think the Siemens HAs are now called Signia.

I like the 2nd set much better than the 1st set. I can manually switch amongst 5 programs via a cell phone app. I especially like the "Noisy" and "Music" settings, which I use all the time.

In both cases, a local audiologist would service my HAs for free every 6 months or so.
AnthonyC487
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2022 4:42 am

Re: hearing aides

Post by AnthonyC487 »

My wife tried the Oticon More and the Phonak Paradise (Costco KS 10) and decided on the Oticon More.
jebmke
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Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: hearing aides

Post by jebmke »

doobiedoo wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 3:19 am I first got hearing aids in 2011 from Unitron for $5200. Warranty was for 2 years. After 5 years, they stopped working.

I got my 2nd set of hearing aids in 2016 from Siemens for $4400. [They were listed at $6300, on sale for $5600, and my Kaiser Advantage insurance paid $1200.] I think the Siemens HAs are now called Signia.

I like the 2nd set much better than the 1st set. I can manually switch amongst 5 programs via a cell phone app. I especially like the "Noisy" and "Music" settings, which I use all the time.

In both cases, a local audiologist would service my HAs for free every 6 months or so.
Do they have a “mumblers” setting to amplify soft talkers who turn their head away from you when they speak or wait until they have left the room to ask a question? Asking for a friend.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
PoemMan
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Re: hearing aides

Post by PoemMan »

mortfree’s suggestions are good.

I have a set of Philips 9030 from Costco. They are rechargeable which I prefer for environmental reasons. The “break in” period for me was about a month. The Costco tech programmed them to gradually increase sensitivity over about two weeks, so that is something to make sure is done.

They’re great when paired with an iPhone, when on calls the audio is sent through them (your voice would be through the iPhone’s mic, I understand that the Kirkland brand (Phonak) enables this bidirectionally through the aids). Music and movies can be streamed through them as well, but the quality is not as good as earbuds.

I can now hear birds and other creatures when outside in the garden.

An online resource is hearingtracker.com

Good luck!
“This old truck … I own it … it don’t own me” - Howlin’ Wolf in Cadillac Records
shunkman
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: hearing aides

Post by shunkman »

I'm picking up my Costco hearing aids next week. Now I'm worried that getting the rechargeable type was a mistake. No one warned me that the charge doesn't last a full day.
MarkerFM
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Re: hearing aides

Post by MarkerFM »

shunkman wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 3:03 pm I'm picking up my Costco hearing aids next week. Now I'm worried that getting the rechargeable type was a mistake. No one warned me that the charge doesn't last a full day.
You can always return them and select a battery version. I like the battery style because I don't have to worry about when I last charged or find an outlet. Just pop the old one out and the new one in, even at the dinner table when out.

One thing that I knew and then forgot is to make sure your ears are free of wax. I went to an ENT recently for something else and he found wax impacted on the eardrums (I have to stop using Q-Tips). Once he removed it, my hearing was instantly better, as was my tinnitus. Mods: I don't mean this as medical advice, more akin to making sure you check the oil or tires before setting out on a long trip.
Roadhog
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: hearing aides

Post by Roadhog »

I'm in the process of getting mine from Costco. Their brand is $1,700 for a pair. They have a warranty that is extended to five years if you pay for them using your Costco Visa card. I tried a pair recommended by the audiologist at my ENT's office from SoundOne that cost $5,000 - couldn't tell the difference from the Costco pair. I believe they're made by the same manufacturer. You can return then for full refund anytime in first six months. The Costco audiologist hearing report (audiogram) was pretty much identical to the one I got at my ENT's office. I'm going the rechargeable route because I don't want to have to keep buying batteries and I will put them in the recharger stand every night at the same time I take out my contacts. However, it's one more recharger I have to remember when I go on a trip.
jebmke
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Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: hearing aides

Post by jebmke »

Roadhog wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 5:16 pm I'm in the process of getting mine from Costco. Their brand is $1,700 for a pair. They have a warranty that is extended to five years if you pay for them using your Costco Visa card. I tried a pair recommended by the audiologist at my ENT's office from SoundOne that cost $5,000 - couldn't tell the difference from the Costco pair. I believe they're made by the same manufacturer. You can return then for full refund anytime in first six months. The Costco audiologist hearing report (audiogram) was pretty much identical to the one I got at my ENT's office. I'm going the rechargeable route because I don't want to have to keep buying batteries and I will put them in the recharger stand every night at the same time I take out my contacts. However, it's one more recharger I have to remember when I go on a trip.
A friend of mine has tried all kinds ranging from Eargo on the low end through Costco to high end ones from audiologist. He can’t tell the difference either. I suspect that is a function of the nature of the hearing impairment and not generalizable.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
shunkman
Posts: 569
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Re: hearing aides

Post by shunkman »

Roadhog wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 5:16 pm I'm in the process of getting mine from Costco. Their brand is $1,700 for a pair. They have a warranty that is extended to five years if you pay for them using your Costco Visa card. I tried a pair recommended by the audiologist at my ENT's office from SoundOne that cost $5,000 - couldn't tell the difference from the Costco pair. I believe they're made by the same manufacturer. You can return then for full refund anytime in first six months. The Costco audiologist hearing report (audiogram) was pretty much identical to the one I got at my ENT's office. I'm going the rechargeable route because I don't want to have to keep buying batteries and I will put them in the recharger stand every night at the same time I take out my contacts. However, it's one more recharger I have to remember when I go on a trip.
Did the Costco price increase recently? I paid $1,400 a few weeks ago.
bradinsky
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Location: Ohio

Re: hearing aides

Post by bradinsky »

MrBobcat wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:45 am
mortfree wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:16 am The boglehead way for hearing aids is through Costco.

If you are worried about insuring them, then you probably paid too much.

General use and care:
Keep them dry
Keep them clean
Alcohol wipes are good on the parts that get wax
Learn how to replace the parts yourself
Get a good, hard case to store them

Know your trial period and return policy if you are not satisfied.
I lol'd about the Costco comment. I should have known.

I'm picking up my first set of hearing aides tomorrow... at Costco. I'm getting the kirkland brand (phonak).

I don't know anyone else my age (56) who's gotten hearing aides yet but the Mrs. was insistent that I get tested, and of course she was right.
I’ve had hearing aids since I was 57. I would have a difficult time functioning around DW & others without them. I put them in first thing in the morning & take them out at bedtime. As other have stated, it takes time to adjust to them. Also, return to Costco as often as needed to get them adjusted to your satisfaction.
bradinsky
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Location: Ohio

Re: hearing aides

Post by bradinsky »

shunkman wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 3:03 pm I'm picking up my Costco hearing aids next week. Now I'm worried that getting the rechargeable type was a mistake. No one warned me that the charge doesn't last a full day.
I have Philips hearing aids from Costco. They are rechargeable & are 2 years old. I typically put them in at about 7am & take them out around 10:30 - 11:00pm, so (16) hours is my typical day wearing them. There is usually about 40% charge remaining. That’s not enough for me to get through a 2nd full day so I put them on charge every night. FWIW, my hearing loss is fairly severe, so that also requires more power. Someone with mild hearing loss might be able to make it through 2 full days.
bradinsky
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Re: hearing aides

Post by bradinsky »

Watty wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 9:14 am
3feetpete wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:03 am I'm looking for any tricks about use and care that isn't covered in the manufacturers standard recommendations.
Be aware that hearing aids have a huge markup and many audiologists are bit dodgy and will try to sell you high price hearing aids. For example they may try to get you to buy a more expensive "in the ear" model when a less expensive behind the ear model would actually work better.

Spend a lot of time selecting a reputable audiologist. Even with Costco different stores get different reviews so read those if you have more than one Costco near you.

Being successful with hearing aids will require a lot of follow up with your audiologist so be sure to use one that is convenient and will be willing to work with you a lot to get it adjusted just right.

My wife has the Oticon hearing aids that she was able to get at cost because she has a relative that is an audiologist. The relative is retired now so most likely she will get her next ones at Costco.

It was a couple of years ago but when the got hers she was told that the Oticon app worked a lot better on an iPhone than Android so she got an iPhone. I don't know if that is true now but you should research if it is new worth getting an iPhone if you do not already have one.

I do not wear hearing aids but in helping my wife research them one thing I learned is that you need to have reasonable expectations. People often expect them to work like eye glasses in that they can usually fix your vision so you see more or less like normal. You may need to have lower expectations with hearing aids since even when they are working well they may not completely correct your hearing but they will allow you to function a lot better. It may also take a while to adapt to the hearing aid so ask your audiologist about the importance of wearing it all the time and giving your brain time to adjust to it.

It will vary but be sure to talk with your audiologist about;
1) How long to expect it to last. It will vary but that might be about five years (+/-) so budget for that.
2) Keeping it clean. When my wife has a problem it is usually because it is dirty.
3) Rechargeable vs disposable batteries. My wife like disposable since when they get weak she she just put a new set in.
4) Be sure to understand all the details of the warranty and insurance that you get with it.

If you have time before you get them then consider getting a new credit card with a sign up bonus. The hearing aids will likely be enough to cover the "spend $x in the first 90 days" to get the signup bonus. You can also ask your provider if they will give you a discount for paying with a check instead of a credit card.
My Philips hearing aids from Costco have the Oticon chip. Out the door with a charger, they were $2700 two years ago. Returnable for the first 180 days, if you are not satisfied. Great value when compared to many providers charging $5000 up to $10000 per pair.
bradinsky
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Re: hearing aides

Post by bradinsky »

shunkman wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 3:03 pm I'm picking up my Costco hearing aids next week. Now I'm worried that getting the rechargeable type was a mistake. No one warned me that the charge doesn't last a full day.
You’ll be fine. The newer rechargeable batteries are so much better. And you have 180 days to return the hearing aids if you are not satisfied. Make sure you make the effort to return to Costco for needed adjustments early on. Very important!
suemarkp
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Re: hearing aides

Post by suemarkp »

jebmke wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:17 am Do they have a “mumblers” setting to amplify soft talkers who turn their head away from you when they speak or wait until they have left the room to ask a question? Asking for a friend.
My hearing aids have a phone app, and that app has a "mask" button to help understanding people wearing masks. That is similar to a mumblers setting. I would think they could put that setting into one of the hearing modes you can choose by button if you don't want to mess with the app.

Half of wearing hearing aids is training those around you to do things that help you, like:
Get your attention before talking (e.g. say you name and pause).
Look at you when talking to you.
Try to be in front of you, not behind and not in the next room.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
bradinsky
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Re: hearing aides

Post by bradinsky »

suemarkp wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 9:45 pm
jebmke wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:17 am Do they have a “mumblers” setting to amplify soft talkers who turn their head away from you when they speak or wait until they have left the room to ask a question? Asking for a friend.
My hearing aids have a phone app, and that app has a "mask" button to help understanding people wearing masks. That is similar to a mumblers setting. I would think they could put that setting into one of the hearing modes you can choose by button if you don't want to mess with the app.

Half of wearing hearing aids is training those around you to do things that help you, like:
Get your attention before talking (e.g. say you name and pause).
Look at you when talking to you.
Try to be in front of you, not behind and not in the next room.
+1 Sometimes when those around you who know you wear hearing aids refuse to look at you & project their voice towards you, you might consider ignoring them. For many of us, it seems to be an ongoing & frustrating issue. Just saying.
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MrBobcat
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Re: hearing aides

Post by MrBobcat »

bradinsky wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 5:47 pm
MrBobcat wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:45 am
mortfree wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 7:16 am The boglehead way for hearing aids is through Costco.

If you are worried about insuring them, then you probably paid too much.

General use and care:
Keep them dry
Keep them clean
Alcohol wipes are good on the parts that get wax
Learn how to replace the parts yourself
Get a good, hard case to store them

Know your trial period and return policy if you are not satisfied.
I lol'd about the Costco comment. I should have known.

I'm picking up my first set of hearing aides tomorrow... at Costco. I'm getting the kirkland brand (phonak).

I don't know anyone else my age (56) who's gotten hearing aides yet but the Mrs. was insistent that I get tested, and of course she was right.
I’ve had hearing aids since I was 57. I would have a difficult time functioning around DW & others without them. I put them in first thing in the morning & take them out at bedtime. As other have stated, it takes time to adjust to them. Also, return to Costco as often as needed to get them adjusted to your satisfaction.
I picked them up today. I'll get checked again in two weeks. Took a few hours but my brain has already adjusted to them. Bit weird at first especially hearing my voice and I don't know how exactly to explain it but the weird reverb, like your in a hall echo thing. Anyway I was damn near brought to tears when I was listening to BB Kings Bluesville on Sirius radio and Blind Willie Johnson came up and played John the Revelator. I would have never heard that woman's beautiful voice singing accompaniment before. It moved me, I didn't realize how much beauty and subtlety I had lost.
doobiedoo
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Location: Southern CA

Re: hearing aides

Post by doobiedoo »

PoemMan wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 3:00 pm ..
I can now hear birds and other creatures when outside in the garden.
..
Yes, I hear the birds now.
But I also hear the wind rustling the leaves in the tree.
And when I was working, it was really annoying to hear paper rustling in a meeting, coffee mug noises, pens dropping, etc.

Yes, I needed the hearing aids to hear soft-spoken people. But I heard a lot of extra "clutter" too!
Last edited by doobiedoo on Sat May 28, 2022 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
doobiedoo
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Re: hearing aids

Post by doobiedoo »

I should also mention that driving is one of the worst scenarios for hearing aids.
There is often a lot of road noise plus a radio [aka background noise].
And you are not facing the people you are talking with. They are to the side of you or behind you.

And because my iPhone is connected to my hearing aids via Bluetooth, the iPhone won't connect to the car's speakers.
mortfree
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Re: hearing aids

Post by mortfree »

doobiedoo wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 12:19 am I should also mention that driving is one of the worst scenarios for hearing aids.
There is often a lot of road noise plus a radio [aka background noise].
And you are not facing the people you are talking with. They are to the side of you or behind you.

And because my iPhone is connected to my hearing aids via Bluetooth, the iPhone won't connect to the car's speakers.
Maybe your audiologist can program a car mode.

Can you disconnect the aids from the phone while driving?

Does your hearing aid app allow for directional adjustments as far as helping to hear others next to or behind you?

As far as the everyday sounds that hearing impaired people haven’t noticed before they get aids, supposedly your brain will start to tune that noise out as well once you adjust to the loud real world.
Mid-40’s
bradinsky
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Re: hearing aids

Post by bradinsky »

Busy, loud restaurants are some of the worst places for hearing aid wearers. Noise & voices come at you from every direction. For new wearers, check out the noise levels if you ever visit a casino, which I’m sure bogleheads never do.
doobiedoo
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Re: hearing aids

Post by doobiedoo »

bradinsky wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 1:49 am Busy, loud restaurants are some of the worst places for hearing aid wearers. Noise & voices come at you from every direction. For new wearers, check out the noise levels if you ever visit a casino, which I’m sure bogleheads never do.
I use the "Noisy" program on my hearing aids for busy restaurants. It helps a lot.

Basically, the software directionally amplifies speech only from the direction you are facing. So if you are talking to someone directly across the table, you hear them fine. [Sounds from all other directions are reduced.] When you talk to someone next to you, best results happen when you turn to speak to them.

Before this program I was basically incommunicado at a noisy restaurant. I couldn't understand anyone unless they were shouting.
shunkman
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Re: hearing aides

Post by shunkman »

suemarkp wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 9:45 pm
jebmke wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:17 am Do they have a “mumblers” setting to amplify soft talkers who turn their head away from you when they speak or wait until they have left the room to ask a question? Asking for a friend.
My hearing aids have a phone app, and that app has a "mask" button to help understanding people wearing masks. That is similar to a mumblers setting. I would think they could put that setting into one of the hearing modes you can choose by button if you don't want to mess with the app.

Half of wearing hearing aids is training those around you to do things that help you, like:
Get your attention before talking (e.g. say you name and pause).
Look at you when talking to you.
Try to be in front of you, not behind and not in the next room.
If I could get people to do that then I could probably get away without hearing aids.
jebmke
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Re: hearing aides

Post by jebmke »

shunkman wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 4:52 pm
suemarkp wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 9:45 pm
jebmke wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:17 am Do they have a “mumblers” setting to amplify soft talkers who turn their head away from you when they speak or wait until they have left the room to ask a question? Asking for a friend.
My hearing aids have a phone app, and that app has a "mask" button to help understanding people wearing masks. That is similar to a mumblers setting. I would think they could put that setting into one of the hearing modes you can choose by button if you don't want to mess with the app.

Half of wearing hearing aids is training those around you to do things that help you, like:
Get your attention before talking (e.g. say you name and pause).
Look at you when talking to you.
Try to be in front of you, not behind and not in the next room.
If I could get people to do that then I could probably get away without hearing aids.
Exactly
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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tc101
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Re: hearing aids

Post by tc101 »

I have a hearing aid that I like OK, but it is so small I am afraid
I will eventually loose it. Several times it has got caught on my
covid mask and almost got lost. Also the batteries are more
difficult to replace as my vision gets worse and my fingers get
clumsier.

I might like to get a larger hearing aid. Something the size of
computer head phones. Do they make these?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.
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MrBobcat
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Re: hearing aids

Post by MrBobcat »

tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:53 pm I have a hearing aid that I like OK, but it is so small I am afraid
I will eventually loose it. Several times it has got caught on my
covid mask and almost got lost. Also the batteries are more
difficult to replace as my vision gets worse and my fingers get
clumsier.

I might like to get a larger hearing aid. Something the size of
computer head phones. Do they make these?
Can't help you with the size issue, but get the rechargeable variety next time so no batteries to deal with.
clip651
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Re: hearing aids

Post by clip651 »

tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:53 pm I have a hearing aid that I like OK, but it is so small I am afraid
I will eventually loose it. Several times it has got caught on my
covid mask and almost got lost. Also the batteries are more
difficult to replace as my vision gets worse and my fingers get
clumsier.

I might like to get a larger hearing aid. Something the size of
computer head phones. Do they make these?
Talk to your audiologist about different options. Rechargeable batteries (with an easy to use charger) will help with the battery issues. And there are several different types (shapes) of hearing aids. Not all have a component that goes behind the ear, and maybe one of the ones that don't would be harder to lose (less likely to get pulled off accidentally when putting a mask or glasses on or off).
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tc101
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Re: hearing aids

Post by tc101 »

Why do all the hearing aid places insist on doing a hearing test before they will say anything about prices?

The only exception I know of is COSTCO which openly advertises their prices.
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Topic Author
3feetpete
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Re: hearing aids

Post by 3feetpete »

tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:53 pm I have a hearing aid that I like OK, but it is so small I am afraid
I will eventually loose it. Several times it has got caught on my
covid mask and almost got lost. Also the batteries are more
difficult to replace as my vision gets worse and my fingers get
clumsier.

I might like to get a larger hearing aid. Something the size of
computer head phones. Do they make these?
The taking off a mask with hearing aides is a problem. I don't take a mask off I'm sitting in your car or at home. Even then, I hold onto the HA with my free hand. Also, consider getting some Heargear (available on Amazon). They have ones that include a retention strap.
clip651
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Re: hearing aids

Post by clip651 »

tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:00 pm Why do all the hearing aid places insist on doing a hearing test before they will say anything about prices?

The only exception I know of is COSTCO which openly advertises their prices.
Because they want to know what you need before they make a recommendation? My parents both wore hearing aids, and the same audiologist recommended different model types for each of them based on the severity of their hearing loss, the dexterity of their fingers, their eyesight, etc, to find something that would really work for their hearing loss and other abilities and lack thereof.

Or because they don't want to spend all day talking about prices with people who aren't going to do business with them, anyway. I've worked reception for a different service business years ago. Price shoppers who have no intent of ever coming in can keep a receptionist occupied all day long when the receptionist/staff should be helping actual paying customers instead.

The hearing tests usually aren't expensive. If you don't already have an audiologist, and haven't had a recent hearing test, pick someone you might like to work with and at least get that done so you can get personalized advice. Those of us on the internet can only help you so much. :D
Ricola
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Re: hearing aids

Post by Ricola »

I have had the Kirland KS9 models for a few years now. No problems and Costco maintains them while you go shopping. Amazing what you don't hear. When I first put them on in Costco I felt I had entered a jungle, just stood and listened in awe (BW vs Color hearing). Also, got the Perfectdry Lux at Costco that dries them out at night. My GP did a hearing test on me and was the one that suggested I to go Costco.
illumination
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Re: hearing aids

Post by illumination »

Any advice for convincing someone to get hearing aids that doesn't want them? I'd buy them in a heartbeat for my father to wear them. His next birthday he'll be 80.
mrb09
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Re: hearing aids

Post by mrb09 »

clip651 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:16 am
tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:00 pm Why do all the hearing aid places insist on doing a hearing test before they will say anything about prices?

The only exception I know of is COSTCO which openly advertises their prices.
Because they want to know what you need before they make a recommendation? My parents both wore hearing aids, and the same audiologist recommended different model types for each of them based on the severity of their hearing loss, the dexterity of their fingers, their eyesight, etc, to find something that would really work for their hearing loss and other abilities and lack thereof.

Or because they don't want to spend all day talking about prices with people who aren't going to do business with them, anyway. I've worked reception for a different service business years ago. Price shoppers who have no intent of ever coming in can keep a receptionist occupied all day long when the receptionist/staff should be helping actual paying customers instead.

The hearing tests usually aren't expensive. If you don't already have an audiologist, and haven't had a recent hearing test, pick someone you might like to work with and at least get that done so you can get personalized advice. Those of us on the internet can only help you so much. :D

Agree, and adding: some people just need mild amplification across all levels. For others, it may be that they need one frequency band amplified more than other frequencies. For myself, I have complete loss of hearing at high frequencies, doesn't matter how much it gets amplified, I'm not going to hear it. For me, I need frequency compression, which takes the frequency I can't hear and move it to a frequency I can hear. As one can imagine, there are very different price points for these different types of hearing aids.
mrc
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Re: hearing aids

Post by mrc »

illumination wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:41 pm Any advice for convincing someone to get hearing aids that doesn't want them? I'd buy them in a heartbeat for my father to wear them. His next birthday he'll be 80.
Not really. Selecting and maintaining HAs is an interactive process that's nearly impossible without the cooperation, consent, and willingness of the wearer.
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Ricola
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Re: hearing aids

Post by Ricola »

illumination wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:41 pm Any advice for convincing someone to get hearing aids that doesn't want them? I'd buy them in a heartbeat for my father to wear them. His next birthday he'll be 80.
You can never know the benefits until you try them. If a person appreciates other advanced technologies like smartphones they might be more agreeable to try them. It is like having a device that gives you superpowers. But you can also take them off to enjoy a level of silence that most others cannot. I think people visualize old fashion hearing aids. Mine are tini behind the ear and almost not visible, you just look like everyone else with earbuds and other headgear nowadays. You can bluetooth them to your phone or tablet, take calls talk&hear without touching your phone. Watch/listen to movies or music from your phone while standing in lines. :) Medically there are serious reasons to consider. As you lose your hearing you also lose you ability to understand what people are saying. Your brain looses the cognitive ability to decipher language. I knew it was serious with I started to not understand people even when we were face to face and volume was not an issue. Also waking and balance is associated with your hearing. The brain picks up on the little nuances of sound to make coordination judgements. Hearing lose is also associated with anti-social behavior and loneliness. I remember not being able to hear or understand conversations with a group of people around the table or conference room, which you then try to avoid those situations because of your disadvantage. It is serious and needs to be taken seriously.
Last edited by Ricola on Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lykko
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Re: hearing aids

Post by Lykko »

I am a doctor of Audiology and I licensed hearing aid dispenser in California so I thought I might chime in. I am currently a hospitalist and am not actively selling hearing aids so there should be no conflict of interest.

Costco does a lot of hearing aid sales and moves so much volume that every few years they get one of the big 6 manufacturers to rebrand a slightly de-featured version of their premium hearing aid. Costco is known for wanting to get you in to buy, but is not known for their follow-up care. When you buy from Costco make sure you get a good feeling for the type of provider the hearing aid dispenser is, if you get a bad vibe from them go elsewhere.

My view on hearing aids is that they are a therapy, not a cure. Your job as the person receiving the therapy is to wear the hearing aids every waking hour (when your body is dry) and to complain. The hearing aid provider, as the person providing the therapy, has the job of listening to your feedback, and making adjustments to the hearing aids based on your feedback. The therapy does not work unless both people on each side of the relationship are doing their job. If you aren't wearing the hearing aids full-time, then the provider can't know how best to adjust them when you report problems. If you aren't feeling that you are heard when you report feedback, then the hearing and provider is not doing their job. You are buying the provider just as much as the product.

I have dispensed hearing aids for private practices, chain stores, the VA, and hospitals. The warranty that comes with hearing aids is anywhere from 1-3 years and is based usually on the performance level of the hearing aid that you purchased, the higher the performance level typically yielding the longer warranty period. This is also based on the contract that the individual business has with the manufacturer. Most warranties cover any replacement parts and even loss and damage replacement (with a small fee if the hearing aid is lost or completely destroyed).

In most states there is a return/exchange period for new hearing aid purchases (in CA it's currently 45 days after purchase) in which you can take the hearing aids home, get to know them, and make sure that they are working for you. If you don't like them you can exchange them, and if you're not ready for hearing aids then you can return them for your money back and revisit them later on in life. It's very low-risk to try.
illumination
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Re: hearing aids

Post by illumination »

Ricola wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:19 pm
illumination wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:41 pm Any advice for convincing someone to get hearing aids that doesn't want them? I'd buy them in a heartbeat for my father to wear them. His next birthday he'll be 80.
You can never know the benefits until you try them. If a person appreciates other advanced technologies like smartphones they might be more agreeable to try them. It is like having a device that gives you superpowers. But you can also take them off to enjoy a level of silence that most others cannot. I think people visualize old fashion hearing aids. Mine are tini behind the ear and almost not visible, you just look like everyone else with earbuds and other headgear nowadays. You can bluetooth them to your phone or tablet, take calls talk&hear without touching your phone. Watch/listen to movies or music from your phone while standing in lines. :)
That's an interesting idea. I might do that.

If they were the price of say some AirPods, I would do it in a heart beat. But the "good ones" are way more.

I have zero problem buying them for him, I just hate the idea of them sitting in a drawer and he wont use them. I actually think much of it is a "vanity" issue of not looking elderly. Sounds like the newer ones are largely hidden.

I remember my mom bought her dad some of those most expensive ones you could get in like the 80's. They basically just sat in a drawer.
Lykko
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Re: hearing aids

Post by Lykko »

Nothing makes you look older than saying "What?" all of the time.
curmudgeon
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Re: hearing aids

Post by curmudgeon »

tc101 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:53 pm I have a hearing aid that I like OK, but it is so small I am afraid
I will eventually loose it. Several times it has got caught on my
covid mask and almost got lost. Also the batteries are more
difficult to replace as my vision gets worse and my fingers get
clumsier.

I might like to get a larger hearing aid. Something the size of
computer head phones. Do they make these?
The size can be a real challenge. Modern electronics can be packed very small, and the manufacturers try to make the HA unobtrusive. But many of the new ones require manual dexterity that can be a problem with age. I help an elderly relative (age 97) who has a hard time putting on her hearing aids because they are so small. She's also had a problem with losing them. It seems to me what would be useful would be the old style rigid larger behind-the-ear case from the 1960's with modern electronics. The idea would be to make them harder to lose and easier to put in without worrying so much about appearance. Costco didn't have that option; I'm not sure if others do.
Ricola
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:38 am

Re: hearing aids

Post by Ricola »

Lykko wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:35 pm Nothing makes you look older than saying "What?" all of the time.
Bingo +1
When I first started wearing them my family was amazed how my voice level went down. The hearing loss had caused me to speak loader and loader over time to compensate. They liked me better :D
cbeck
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Re: hearing aids

Post by cbeck »

Hearing aids are wonderful devices. I should have gotten mine years earlier. I have the Costco KS 9.0 aids now which I like very much because of the bluetooth capability. Having a phone conversation with the aids and my android phone on bluetooth is the only time I can fully enjoy talking on the phone.

Consumer Reports found a few years ago that 75% of users overwhelmingly like their HAs even though 40% of the aids were not correctly fitted.

That said, hearing aids are at the same time a scam. Unlike all other consumer electronics, the prices of hearing aids have been going up steadily for years and it isn't because there is anything special about the technology since digital signal processors are widely used in cell phones and headphones, which devices have benefitted from economies of scale as expected. So, if the HA technology is not the cause of increasing cost, what is? Well, hearing aids are the only medical devices that you buy from a person wearing a white-coat the bulk of whose income comes from the extreme markup on the devices he or she sells. In addition, since the first time user will have a difficult time choosing his first pair of aids, the customer is especially ripe for upselling by the audiologist, all the more so since users overwhelmingly like their aids even when they are not correctly fitted. So, basically the audiologist chooses the product and has an interest in selling the high margin models.

The manufacturers therefore cater to the white-coated retailer, not the customer. As a result they add useless features, such as ever more channels which do not actually improve speech recognition for the vast majority of users, in order to drive up the price and therefore the margin.

The future of hearing aids, however, might be getting better. I expect that eventually your cell phone will test your hearing to produce an audiogram which it will then program into your aids, eliminating the audiologist altogether in most cases. I look to China for such devices.

In the meantime, Costco is the vendor of choice for many reasons especially that their audiologists are not commissioned.
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flossy21
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Re: hearing aids

Post by flossy21 »

Here's a previous post and discussion that you might find useful.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=270221&p=4335925&h ... g#p4335925

I'll reiterate what I wrote in that post here...

OP -- You should think of hearing aids as a service...not a product. The skill, or lack thereof, of the person who fits your aids and provides your follow up adjustments is the most important factor by a wide margin. It's a hearing instrument that is specifically tuned to your hearing loss and it needs to operate well in all the environments you will encounter; noisy, quiet, speech, music, etc.

You can get the best hearing aids that money can buy and have them fit by a lousy provider and those aids won't serve you near as well as a cheap set of aids that are fit by a skilled provider.

As with any profession some Audiologists are great and some are not. Just like some non-Audiologists.

The question you need to answer is how do I find the most skilled provider whether they be at Costco or in private practice because comparing the aid just based on price or model is not the best solution.
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