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Old 01-09-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,632,813 times
Reputation: 46995

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I finally have to bite the bullet and get at least 1 hearing aid.
I dread doing it cause I tried about 10 years ago and failed miserably and lost some money.
But over the holidays i realized I was just nodding and in a daze most of the time cause I simply could not understand the conversations around me.

I know I have to go to audiologist but arent' most associated in a specific brand of hearing aid?
How do I decide what kind is best for me without losing a bunch of money?
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,632 posts, read 53,495,108 times
Reputation: 18538
Go to an ENT who has an audiologist on staff. They are are impartial and can recommend a type but not a brand.

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Old 01-09-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,402 posts, read 3,537,755 times
Reputation: 22615
Agree^^^ Audiologists usually have a variety of h aid samples and will sit and discuss with you. If you have audio test results, that of course is helpful.

All aids are NOT equal, in the way the work and price, so get the test to id exactly what is the issue and then, based on the meeting with the professional, you can decide on which one..
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,623,814 times
Reputation: 20198
Here's my experience with them:
I went to an ENT doctor in the area that I knew was highly recommended, and I also happen to know him and his family from my youth.

He has an audiologist on premise, and a special testing area in their medical suite. He saw me first, did a basic test, asked dozens of questions about my symptoms, and then sent me down the hall to the audiologist. She did the sound-proof-room testing stuff, a whole bunch more than the last time I'd been to one at work around 10 years prior (I worked for a company that had its own medical dept. and happened to have an on-staff audiologist, go figure).

I knew I had hearing loss, and I knew it was probably significant in one ear and less so in the other. This was confirmed, and my concern about tinnitus was addressed as well. Turns out people who are losing their hearing typically develop tinnitus, and hearing aids can actually -correct- this.

I have very small ear canals, so it took some time but she was able to get the foam molds done in my ears. She asked me what my hearing "habits" are - do I watch a lot of TV? Do I listen to the radio often? Am I in a noisy workplace? Do I fly often, or live in an area that is often subjected to construction/motorcycles/trucking? Does my job involve a lot of telephone work? Things like that.

Based on my answers, combined with the specifics of my hearing loss (chronic degenerative nerve damage - it's possible that I'll eventually go deaf), we went with medium-sized high-tech job. It doesn't go outside the ear (around the ear or under it) but is a twist-in to the canal, with its outer surface flush against the entry to my ear canal. Each one has its own volume control and two channels - one is omnidirectional, one is unidirectional. The left one also has a third channel which filters out room noise when I'm on the telephone. No remote control; this is all done right on the aid itself with tiny little buttons. Press once for omni, twice for uni, a third time on the left for phone, and hold them in to turn them completely off. Hold them in again, if you turned them off by mistake, and they will turn back on, defaulting to channel 1. They make AWESOME earplugs for flying

The pair cost me $3100. I've had them a couple of years now, and I really hate wearing them. I've grown so accustomed to not hearing, that sound is actually intrusive and troublesome for me. So I don't wear them at work but I -do- wear them when I watch TV. If I worked an office job or reception job, I would wear them at work. But I work retail and that kind of noise would be way to distracting for me.

You DO get used to the sound, and in fact after your first day, it only takes a minute for your ears to adjust to wearing them. The first day is just surreal. It is truly amazing to suddenly hear, after years of not being able. To suddenly realize that your husband is -not- mumbling - your hearing just really sucks. It is also pretty cool to be able to overhear someone talking on the phone in the next room. It's like you have superpowers. And truly, you do. Hearing aids, when fitted and matched correctly for the user, will give him/her *better* hearing than normal hearing. That's what volume controls are for.

I hear better than my husband now. To compare: previously, I'd have to hear the TV at level 22 volume, and he'd complain it was too loud. His comfort zone would be 18-20, max. With the hearing aids, my comfort zone is 16, and sometimes commercials are too loud even then.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Lompoc,CA
1,260 posts, read 4,533,893 times
Reputation: 1274
So Anon Chick,did it help your tinnitus? I have Resound wireless ones,they have helped a bit with my tinnitus. I hate wearing hearing aids,but they have helped and you cant see them at all.

Greenchili
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: southern born and southern bred
12,480 posts, read 14,371,322 times
Reputation: 19530
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I finally have to bite the bullet and get at least 1 hearing aid.
I dread doing it cause I tried about 10 years ago and failed miserably and lost some money.
But over the holidays i realized I was just nodding and in a daze most of the time cause I simply could not understand the conversations around me.

I know I have to go to audiologist but arent' most associated in a specific brand of hearing aid?
How do I decide what kind is best for me without losing a bunch of money?
no. Most will carry a variety of brands and types. It isn't as though they can wave a magic wand and make your hearing perfect though. It will take YOU being willing to work with the audiologist and the hear aids to improve your hearing loss--loss, meaning you've lost hearing that you won't get back without the aid of a device to help you.
The better ones are more expensive for a reason.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:20 PM
 
2,382 posts, read 6,077,446 times
Reputation: 2029
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I finally have to bite the bullet and get at least 1 hearing aid.
I dread doing it cause I tried about 10 years ago and failed miserably and lost some money.
But over the holidays i realized I was just nodding and in a daze most of the time cause I simply could not understand the conversations around me.

I know I have to go to audiologist but arent' most associated in a specific brand of hearing aid?
How do I decide what kind is best for me without losing a bunch of money?
If you are a veteran,go to VA,mine did not cost anything along with a pocket talker.I was fitted by an audiologist.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,623,814 times
Reputation: 20198
Yes, it has definitely helped my tinnitus. Hasn't cured it, but the squealing is less frequent, and the hissing is softer.

Another awesome "side effect" of hearing aids - it helps with word recognition. I heard the audiologist speak I think 25 words, and incorrectly identified almost half of them before I got the aids. After getting fitted, she tested me both with the aids that same day, and two months later, both with and without them. Check it out: WITHOUT the hearing aids, two months after I got fitted and was wearing them regularly, I got 21 out of the 25 words right. She uses a different set of words for each test so you can't rely on memorization.

The explanation for that, is that your hearing changes have an effect on your brain. Your brain deciphers what you hear - and translates it for you. Hearing aids improve that communication in the language center of your brain.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,459 posts, read 21,202,746 times
Reputation: 17675
I wear two hearing aids. They are expensive to begin with and price goes up depending on what type of hearing loss you have and what programs will best suit your type of hearing..I have never had trouble adjusting to any of mine and I wear them from time I wake up until I go to bed..Anyway, see an ENT as other suggest and he will examine your ears then his audiologist will test your hearing and recommend what will suit your needs.. I hope your insurance will pay because most don't

My last pair cost $7800-less $1000 discount. No insurance here..
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