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Thread: Hearing Aid Questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Hearing Aid Questions

    For sure I've got a hearing problem. Hardrock tunneling with percussion drills and lots of shooting ruined me years ago.

    I don't doubt that hearing aids would help for normal face-to-face conversation in a one-on-one situation.

    My question: are they going to be of any help in the special case of a gym or other high-ceiling room with lousy acoustics to start with?

    Are they going to help in situations with a lot of background noise, such as a crowded hall, gunshow, etc.?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    They will help you hear the wife. I cannot wear mine at work, the amplification in mine will bring you to your knees. I work Construction, was sold a bill of goods . Said sweat would not bother them,,,NOT. Then told I needed to put them in a condom while at work. Of course all after the trial period was up. They do make a huge difference in hearing but I would not count on them for the work environment. Just my .02

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I am on my 3rd set of behind the ear aids. The first set was Siemens which were about 4000 dollars and were the best face to face, they could not compete with nearby TVs, radios, lots of other people talking, machinery running. My next pair were VOX by Southwestern hearing aids. They were not much better, in fact no better in the competing dept. Now I have Signia which are a spinoff of Siemens. I got them thru the VA Hospital. They cost $7000 and are no better than any of the other, in fact they have crazy little things happening every now and then, such as one will make a trilling noise and then reset the volume to maximum. I do not have a chose to shop around as I don't have the money to do so. I am going back to the VA Hospital and ask to have then checked out. I also can't not wear them because I am stone deaf without them. So there you are and here I am and that's the show!
    Ole Jack
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    I bought the top of the line SportEar, and I'm not happy with them. Price was about $3K. Advertised in NRA magazine. In a situation like a restaurant, I hear everyone just as loud as those at my table. At a followup with my audiologist, she explained there is a difference between what I bought and the top of the line which have features like front and rear microphones and circuitry that allows turning out some background noise. Also there are some that will tune out background noise like a running HVAC unit. Some googling resulted in a couple of sites that might interest you.
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...uide/index.htm
    https://www.everydayhearing.com/hear...ng-aid-brands/
    https://www.hearingtracker.com/blog/...rands-in-2018/

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I wear a set from Phonak and work reasonably well in such situations. Be aware that hearing aids will help make your life much better as you'll be able to hear a lot of sounds and conversations but they don't give you back the natural abilities to focus on said sounds and conversations. Also if your insurance won't cover the cost what you pay for a set of hearing aids will make a nice down payment on a car.. Go to an audiologist get your hearing tested they will then make recommendations on the best type of hearing aid for your type and level of hearing loss

  6. #6
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Let me ask her. Yes, she wears them to the movies, out to eat, etc. Sometimes noisy chatter bothers her. One friend has the uber expensive ones, he still has problems in the eatery, especially when they have music playing.
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master leeggen's Avatar
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    The worst problem with hearing aids is getting used to the backround noise that all the rest of us automaticly disregard. Like in restrants and such. Dad never could get back used to the backround noise.
    CD
    When you find you are in deep trouble, look straight ahead,keep your mouth shut, and say nothing.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    AZ Pete's Avatar
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    Hearing Aid Questions

    depends on the hearing loss frequencies, tinnitus etc. You will have to try some out to see what will work, and how well. All hearing aids are not created equally, but most...maybe all can be programmed, some have more than one mic. and with mine, I can turn off the rear facing mic. in restaurants, and venues where the noise over rides conversation, but they do not work well in all situations..

    Go to Costco and have your hearing tested and see what they can do for you. If you are a veteran go to the VA

    Don't expect miracles, but do not give up.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    NRA Endowment Life Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    The answer to both of your questions may be "it depends". I started wearing aids about 15 years ago. Back then they helped on almost every situation. As my hearing continued to go downhill I noticed that they didn't seem to help as much as they used to in situations where the speaker was further away from me or where there was a lot of background noise. I now have two of the high power aids. When the audiologist fitted them he told me that while I would hear more I might not understand more. Boy, was he right. I asked him how many of his patients needed my type of aid and he said less than 10%. So I'm definitely in the minority of people with an extreme hearing loss and most people won't experience what I have.

    Anyway, have your hearing tested by an audiologist rather than a hearing instrument specialist. I stayed away from the mass marketers because I wanted the provider to be able to select what was best for me without being locked into just one brand of hearing aid. You will also need service after the sale for things such as retubing, reprogramming, cleaning, etc. Find out what these things will cost as well as what sending them back to the factory for an overhaul costs.

    If you need them, get them. The one thing that I have learned over these years is that some hearing is much better than no hearing.
    If you get your shots in the black, the 10s and Xs will take care of themselves.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Now this is timely!

    I'm finding that I'm losing the a ability to understand conversation with very much background noise. It strange that I can hear a squirrel cutting nuts in the woods, but have a hard time with folks who don't pronounce their words well, my grandchildren are especially difficult to understand. My dad has been wearing them for years and when I said I was thinking of getting some because of having difficulties in noise cluttered environs, he said, "they just make that worse"! I know my electronic hearing muffs seem to help at times because they only have forward facing mics. Large diesel engines, loud music, shooting, a hostile work environment, and getting older seem to be working against me as well.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
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    About ten years ago I had my hearing tested to determine if I was a candidate for aides. Insurance requirement. Shopped around and Costco had the best prices, almost half of what the dedicated hearing aide suppliers wanted. IIRC, the cost was @ $2500. They are digital and programmable, to the point of customization. They can program for sports events, restaurants, background noise, outdoor activities and wind reduction. I think there are 6-7 program circuits. They had an optional hand held remote that allowed you to change programs, to a degree. They were Bluetooth compatible and you could even sync them to your television so you wouldn't disturb the other viewers. They were the cat's meow and I wore them for about four years.

    PITA....IMO. Haven't worn them since I moved to Arkansas, five years ago. Almost lost them in the woods, on two different occasions. I wear face masks, while bow hunting since they were so comfortable, I would forget about them and they would come off when I removed the face mask. Good luck finding them in the leaf litter. Same with shaving and showering, I don't shower immediately after waking, so I have to remember to remove them.....they aren't compatible with water. I do a lot of shooting at the backyard range........no need to amplify that or the weed wacking or grass mowing. BTW, lost the support of Costco when I moved. Nearest one is in Memphis, Tennessee @ 3 hours away. More trouble than they are worth..........YMMV.

    Winelover

  12. #12
    Boolit Master opos's Avatar
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    My Wife and I are both hearing disabled...she got "miracle ear" hearing aids about 4 or 5 years ago...some $4000...she didn't wear them at all after about the first few months...As time went on and her hearing got worse she again tried to dig them out and learn to wear them..they have been adjusted (for a cost..the "warranty to adjust for a lifetime" is a joke...and she now wears them to some degree daily...It's a real fight for her to wear them but in certain circumstances it is simply necessary.

    I'm a cheapskate. I went to the ENT and had my ears cleaned and checked....he said I definitely need hearing aids. I'm now 80 and don't spend too much time where I have to really concentrate on things...I can do fine with face to face or small meetings..the phone is not so good but I seldom ever answer the phone as it's usually someone wanted to sell me hearing aids or something. I got to reading about hearing aids and saw that Seimens was the largest supplier in the world and that in India the people wear Seimens hearing aids that are exactly what they sell through E Bay..so for a few hundred bucks, guaranteed money back I went for it..bought a set of behind the ear aids that were supposed to deal with my kind of hearing loss...They didn't do bad....I wore them off and on for about a month...my ears sweat inside and it was not pleasant and caused itching and irritation.....so I returned them and got my money back....no problem.

    I've chosen to just deal with it...If I were in business where I might have to really listen and be alert to things it might matter but to listen to the babble that goes on in most situations I just sort of nod and smile and nobody seems to notice or care...Teaching an old dog new tricks is difficult in my life and frankly I'm not going to blow $4000 or $5000 on something that will probably end up in a drawer collecting dust...Not having the free ones from VA and no insurance to cover hearing loss it's just not my deal.

    One thing..Our government is nuts..we all know that...I can get medical service and prescriptions for every thing that ails me except for hearing, seeing and tooth issues...the main thing that hits older folks...and none of it is covered..They will feed me pain killers if I complain (I don't)..they will give me sleeping pills if I stay awake (no problems sleeping) but if I can't see, chew or hear I'm on my own...

    The wife is ok with her hearing aids and I'm passing and we do jsut fine...I agree...YMMV on hearing aids.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Going through this right now myself. My biggest issue is my wife gets up and heads for the kitchen and halfway there starts talking. Goes around a corner and I can not hear her well enough to understand.

    If she would talk first then walk there would be no problem. But it is all stream of conciousness with her, and if she tries to wait until she is close then she forgets.

    I know I have some high freq loss especially in the left ear. Years of riding a tractor that was just a little too high pitched and loud.

    I have tried 3 different sets of the under 150$ aids which do help, but they do all increase the background clutter noise which does not help comprehension any. Mostly it gets to be just a pain.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Last summer I bought a set from Signia. Background noise was distracting at first but, I quickly adapted. Cost was $4000. When the weather is warm enough I sit outside and listen to the birds sing. I can't remember the last time I could do that. Same for noises in the woods when I am hunting. For me it was a good buy.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    My hearing problem started in the service laying behind a M-60 with out hearing protection and the problem got worse working in construction. I went to the VA first and the loud ringing I have I had problems hearing the tone and the guy twisting the dial jumped it up above and down again fast that made me jump and he said nothing wrong with your hearing and sent me out the door. So much for the VA.
    My word comprehension is 23% the last test I had and I have the high end Starkey aids with hand control to tune them for the environment I'm in but this is just more or less for volume. When the little cookie munchers are around I cant understand the question they ask or carry on conversations with them. Air handlers running or coolers TV or any background noise I'm in my own world.
    What I think would help is getting the software so I can tune my aids in my world I live in and not in a quiet 12 X 12 room with the audiologist asking how is this sound and when I leave and get in the truck heading home the wind noise or engine wipes out everything my wife said and the aids sound like the old gramophones.
    A low tone like a idling diesel engine running at night on the train tracks 1500 yards away is not a problem for me to hear at night when all is quiet.
    I have learned to live with my hearing loss and except it but I'm still hopping something will come along in time that will work other then a implant that they have been trying to have me get done.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    my wife gets up and heads for the kitchen and halfway there starts talking Amen to that. They don't talk to you, talk at you. Maybe it worked for them when they were kids - parents hollering across the house. But houses were smaller then. Personally IMHO they don't want you to hear, then if you didn't they can blame your hearing (usually something they thought they told you).
    Whatever!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I have a really nice set. Sometimes I'll wear them when we eat out or to family functions, or when we go on trips. I couldn't wear them at work, as I had to use hearing protection, same at the range, or a lot of things that I did I didn't need amplified noise. Most of the time they sit in the clamshell box awaiting use....
    Tom
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks everyone for taking time to respond. This has been a real education.

    I've read through your comments, as well as two of the links offered by Rattlesnake.

    It's disappointing to learn that so many problems plague so many users of hearing aids. From what I've learned on this thread, I rather doubt I'd have the patience to put up with the annoyances - at least not yet.

    For me, cost would be a major consideration. I was going to ask if anyone has tried the MD brand of hearing aids, especially the one advertised in the February 2018 American Rifleman (page 33) for under $200?

    I"ll take the advice offered here and schedule a visit with an audiologist to see exactly what the score is.

    Maybe I'm not so bad off after all. I do OK on the phone. Have no TV, no crumb grabbers, no wife going around the bend leaving a trail of expletives. All the guys at the gym, in the gunshops and on the range are OF's like me who yell at each other.

    Thanks again.

  19. #19
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    I can ad my experiences. I have them and like them, and yes there are drawbacks but the overall good outweighs the bad.
    1. Not all hearing aids are created equal. I have been using Resound for 15 years after giving up on the junk the VA was giving me.
    2. I get them from a provider. I tried an audiologist but found the hearing exam and the quality of the aids they offered to both be inferior to my provider.
    3. My wife has Costco aids and they are junk. Only Costco can adjust them and you need to be a member. I am not and never will be. She cannot wear them as they are poorly adjusted and kill the battery in a day.
    4. Background noise. It is what it is, but it also depends on the degree of your hearing loss and how your aids are set to compensate to how much it will annoy you. Mine annoy me in certain environments and not others. With four channels each set differently and the ability to change the volume in each ear I can find a setting that allows me to tolerate most noise.
    5. Large group gatherings in a hall with poor acoustics, I am not going to be able to hear anything.
    6. Remote control via cell phone apps and a pocket remote really help.
    7. Clip on mike Bluetooth links to my cellphone, without it I cannot hear on the phone.
    8. TV mike plugs into the TV and broadcasts directly to my aids, this IS the way to watch TV.
    9.I lost my hearing in RVN as an M48A3 tanker, the main gun and machineguns really blew my hearing out.
    10. For quality of life, hearing aids are important, I would not be without them. They are technology, if you can embrace the change they offer you they will help - a lot.

    Lots of people complain about them, see above. But they offer a chance hear better. And a lot depends on the amount of loss and the type of loss, ie: what caused it.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I was blessed. I got mine when I was on my wife's insurance, and it didn't cost us a dime. I have found that Duracell batteries work the best and last the longest, Don't get the Walgreen's store brand. They might last two or three days, max.
    Tom
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    Adults are just children with much better toys..

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