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Old 01-16-2010, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,348 posts, read 10,319,107 times
Reputation: 5182

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I've put off for years getting hearing aids and now it looks like it's time to finally break down and buy them. I was tested last week by the audiologist and examined by the Dr. Profound hearing loss was the diagnosis which came as no surprise to me.

I've only talked to one person at work and he spent $4000 a couple years ago on some digital hearing aids (I assume they are all digital now?) and he gave up on them for a variety of reasons. I was told by the doc that I could expect the range to run from 800-1000 and up to 2500 each for the higher end ones. Since I'm still working and in law enforcement he recommends the igher ones but not necessarily the most expensive.

Can anyone here share what they like or dislike about their digital hearing aids and does the cost listed above seem pretty typical?
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:21 PM
 
2,381 posts, read 6,073,907 times
Reputation: 2029
My wife and I are in same boat needing hearing aids but expense keeps us away.My brother has in the canal aids and gets irratation from them,dryness.He said he would recommend over the ear aids.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
244 posts, read 592,329 times
Reputation: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot424 View Post
I've put off for years getting hearing aids and now it looks like it's time to finally break down and buy them. I was tested last week by the audiologist and examined by the Dr. Profound hearing loss was the diagnosis which came as no surprise to me.

I've only talked to one person at work and he spent $4000 a couple years ago on some digital hearing aids (I assume they are all digital now?) and he gave up on them for a variety of reasons. I was told by the doc that I could expect the range to run from 800-1000 and up to 2500 each for the higher end ones. Since I'm still working and in law enforcement he recommends the igher ones but not necessarily the most expensive.

Can anyone here share what they like or dislike about their digital hearing aids and does the cost listed above seem pretty typical?
My story- 2 years ago I was finally so frustrated by my inability to do my job (b/c of lack of hearing) that I started doing some research. I found Vocational Rehabilitation and b/c I was working full time and I demonstrated a need for hearing aids, they paid for them. I believe since I received mine they have started requesting financials (W-2's. tax returns) to determine eligibility. I have the Widex Flash inner ear model (digital) and I believe they were in the $2,000 range. The negatives: background noise in crowded places is often overwhelming and when you first get them you can hear your own voice and it's a rather strange (out of body type) experience. But, all that said, there is no way I could be productive at work without them. Plus, I can hear some really cool stuff now, like water features, hubby whispering, and my nieces telling me crazy stories. I have attached the link to Vocational Rehabilitation of VA: http://www.vadrs.org/vocrehab.htm

Good luck to you! If you have any questions, let me know
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Florida
244 posts, read 592,329 times
Reputation: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBev View Post
My wife and I are in same boat needing hearing aids but expense keeps us away.My brother has in the canal aids and gets irratation from them,dryness.He said he would recommend over the ear aids.

I have inner ear ones, but don't experience that problem. Has he told his audiologist about this? I'm sure there is a product that could be applied(in ear maybe?) to help him. As far as the type of aids, I think it depends on the type/severity of hearing loss.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Florida
725 posts, read 1,320,922 times
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Have any of you tried those inexpensive Sound Amplifiers?

I have one - paid $8.00 for it at my grocery store; they are advertized elsewhere for $20. It does work. I was thinking of getting one in the $40 range that fits into the ear.

My hearing has been destroyed from years of reactions to MSG and Citric Acid. I have constan tinnitis of varying volume. It gets pretty noisy in here, and it really interfers with hearing anything else.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,672,363 times
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I'm a long time wearer of aids (35+ years, I'll soon be 60 years old)). I'll give you a quick overview based on my personal experience and opinions. There is a wealth of information available on the subject, just Google hearing loss/hearing aids and read it (if you already haven't). Purchasing a hearing aid can be confusing and unnecessarily expensive. Its best to stay with units from the major brands, el cheapos just don't work well. Programable digital is definitely the best way to go. The old analog technology is on its way out and available models don't offer some very important features I'll discuss shortly.
You stated your audiogram showed profound loss, was this in both ears? You should have been given a copy of your audiogram, if not request it. Its handy to have the copy in electronic form. If they can't email you an electronic version, either scan the hardcopy or take a picture of it with a digital camera and upload it to your computer. I'll explain why later.

I expect that your audiologist already explained the following information, but just in case - There are 5 types of aids, ranked in size (largest to smallest):
1) Body aid - a hearing aid with a separate pocket sized pack and wires to your ear insert. Very few companies are currently making these anymore. There are some very low end units available that are simply amplifiers with no additional features. I wouldn't recommend trying a body aid unless you are very $$ constrained. 2) BTE - Behind The Ear, used with either a custom ear mold or an open fit ear bud. I use BTEs with ear molds. I have profound loss in one ear and moderately severe loss in the other. 3) Full clamshell, 4) Half clamshell, 5) CIC - completely in the canal (smallest). Generally speaking, the smaller the aid the less powerful it is.

My experience with body aids is zero, can't really comment much on them. Profound hearing loss usually requires a BTE unit. I'm fairly sure that would be your required type. There is a huge degree of sophistication (and price) available within the BTE products. Multi-channels, directional microphones, feed back suppression, different hearing mode selections, etc. Over the years I spent some serious money oh the higher end units and finally came to the conclusion that, for me, a simple high quality, programmable (the aid is programed for your hearing loss profile) digital aid with directional mics and good feedback control (thats the suppression of squealing) was the best solution. All the other bells and whistles didn't buy me any value. Siemens, Unitron, Sonic Innovations, Starkey, Widex, Oticon, Rexton and Bernafon - these are brands I've owned. This list covers the majority of major suppliers and one's I would consider purchasing again. Definitely stay away from TV specials and no-name units.

I'm currently wearing Unitron Latitude 4HP (high power) units that work well for me. They cost me $995 each from a web supplier that I've dealt with for 10 years. They custom program them for me based on my audiogram (that's why an electronic copy of your audiogram is handy). As an experienced wearer, I do my own fittings and simply buy my custom ear molds through an audiologist. The do it your self ear mould kits didn't work well for me. My new moulds ran me $65 apiece last month. I wouldn't recommend that a new user do their own fitting, it takes some experience to get it right.

Beware of an audiologist that tries to sell you the best and most expensive units. You absolutely should be offered a free try and return option (and do check out any restocking charges) on any units you buy. Hearing aids are uniquely personal and you may find the precise sound of two different quality units to be quite different to you. A competent audiologist that is not into the sales game is invaluable. Hope this helps, give a shout if you have more questions.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 01-23-2010 at 01:54 PM..
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