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Old 03-12-2015, 06:01 PM
 
685 posts, read 565,425 times
Reputation: 1004

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sera View Post
Hello!

Haven't Posted here in a while, so enjoyed your caring responses and enjoyed responding to your
Threads.
It seems I withdrew after my DH transitioned to Heaven in February 2013, especially caring folks like yourselves. Life has been an adjustment of being single again after 41 some years of married life.

Youngest DS, his wife gave me a jigsaw puzzle with a brochure for a hearing center. "Why didn't you just tell me?" I asked. We did ! LOL Anyway, went to the hearing doc, he said 60% in one ear, 50% in the other ear. I hear just fine, I replied. He put aids in my ears and Oh! the noise. He also informed me I
may possibly have inherited the loss, through my maternal side. As I have sons, it has ceased with me
passing it on.

Wind---did you know it has a sound and rain can sound like hail? Everything is magnified and that is only at 70% of hearing. Thankful for modern technology to diagnose the situation as well as current aids.

So! Didn't know where to Post this, so being a senior, having chatted with you caring folk And maybe this
will help you decide to take action if you have been sitting on the fence post about something in your life!
Also, if you want something to do, Listen to, enjoy the Sounds around you. Folks who have cataract surgery are also surprised what they now see. Look, Listen, Smile, enjoy life !

Blessings.
This isn't InfoTech that was my career but it is dealing with hearing aids (HAs) (I have a cochlear implant). I knew I would be deaf one day. I know a bit of sign and my voice is not deaf sounding at all. When considering the implant (life after analog hearing aids), it was scary. To "process sounds" or not hear.

But again, I know HAs. I spent another part of my life protecting people from audiologists and hearing aid dealers. I protected myself, too. I helped a branch manager at our bank last year. I translated some things the audiologist told him. This year, I'm taking a retired nurse who has been complaining about usual age-related issues to a new audiologist in my prior ENT (ear doc's) place. We'll go through it together and I'm her guide. I like doing things like this. It sounds weird but I'm really interested in her speech recognition and it will be better with sound (masking - white noise) piped in to simulate background environments.

Sera, while my own hearing makes me a little bananas, I see you're doing fine. Congrats!
(Had cataract surgery in 2006 and boy, did it help. It wasn't scary at all and I could see!)
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
330 posts, read 348,984 times
Reputation: 575
This has been an interesting and helpful discussion for me. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and expertise!

As far as I can tell, based on my family history including lots of extended family, we tend to have hearing loss as we age. So a few years ago, at age 58, I made an appointment for my first ever hearing test with my HMO's audiology department. I'm glad I did. I learned a lot.

First, I was told by the audiologist that I had a slight hearing loss and was "borderline" as to whether HAs would be worth it. She also said that if I'd come in a year or so earlier, I wouldn't have even been termed "borderline" - the change was due to the recent advances in HA technology, so that even my slight hearing loss could now be helped by HAs.

Also, she explained that when it comes to hearing loss and HAs, the sooner you get the HAs the better. My takeaway (and I'm no scientist so this is very simple, perhaps too simple, LOL!), is that after awhile of our ears not picking up sounds, our brains forget how to process them, and if we wait too long to get HAs, our brains are kinda stressed to make sense of sounds that it's hearing for the first time in a long time. As I said, that's my very general take on what I'm sure is a very complex subject. But the takehome for me is, don't wait too long.

The audiologist also said that there's a period of adjustment with new HAs and you have to have the patience and ability to make several followup visits after the initial fitting, to get things just right.

The good thing about this, is that at that time my HMO didn't sell HAs and had no interest in finding that I needed them, other than my own best interests. So I felt I could trust what she said. I've gone back to my HMO's audiology dept. about once a year for hearing tests, and there's been no notable worsening of my hearing so I haven't yet gone for HAs. Based on input from friends, I'm going to Costco when the time comes, and so I was interested to read the comments here about Costco.

BTW, a year or two after my first hearing test, my HMO started offering HAs, and as I understand it, a lot it was motivated by concern that so many patients were getting ripped off by unscrupulous "hearing aid centers." My audiologist didn't beat it to death on our first appointment (when the HMO didn't carry HAs) but she did caution me about hearing aid dealers advertising buy one get one free deals - she said they were usually for outdated technology.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:15 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,426 posts, read 5,363,471 times
Reputation: 51411
Sera, thank you for starting this thread, and thank you to everyone for all the helpful information and for sharing your stories. I am 66 and have been aware for several years that my hearing is getting worse, but I procrastinated for all the usual reasons. Finally I got tired of having to say "What?" at least 20 times a day and made an appointment with my ENT. Yesterday I got tested and I was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. I have consulted with an audiologist and will be getting my first hearing aids in two weeks. It's scary, but after reading about all your experiences I've started thinking of this as just another new adventure on the journey of life, and I don't feel so alone any more.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:50 AM
 
685 posts, read 565,425 times
Reputation: 1004
I'm jumping back in, folks.

Suz (if that's not okay to call you that, tell me ). Here's what I won't questions:
1. Your age ,
2. The fact that when we don't hear or hear well, neuro-transmitter paths in our brain get rewired. This does
change how you "hear." I'm going through it with the implant but I have a feeling, I won't grow out of it and
establish new paths. You should be able to create new pathways.
3. Your audiologist told you the truth about unscrupulous dealers. I've dealt with them all my life. That's
why I try to help out people. But here's one catch that makes me a little concerned, your audiologist said:
"... borderline" - the change was due to the recent advances in HA technology, so that even my slight hearing loss could now be helped by HAs.
-- I don't know what borderline means without another word. Are you now verging on a moderate loss or just a normal loss? She appeared to talk about digital advances (recent technology) and it appeared to make you borderline.

That doesn't make sense . What would make your hearing worse is age. I don't know what else is going on though and there may be other things outside of age-related loss and I'd be curious as to what that could be. Your audiologist should not know much about this. If she does, be careful.

Bayarea4: Good luck. It will be a new journey in your life.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:09 AM
 
685 posts, read 565,425 times
Reputation: 1004
Folks: When it comes to hearing aids (analog or digital), if you have any if I can help, shoot me an email. Be more than cautious. If there's something the audiologist said that you can't understand, I'm here. My favorite unsuccessful story was helping Pappy in my 20s. My mom was tired of his lack of hearing as was his wife. The problem was I was away a lot and he got burned by buying five hearing aids. So, that's the bad. Pappy used to talk about "Dem boys and their flying machine." "Dem boys" were the Wright Brothers and he used to watch them experiment with their airplane. I just think that's so cool!

I understand borderline (thanks, Bayarea4!). I said, "Thanks, Bayarea4! " I go through the same thing. Huh? What? At least in sign language it's a little less annoying and it does make me feel embarrassed. I say the same thing or my smaller group of friends just know when I get a look in my face, repeat what was said.

For anyone looking for a digital aid (I couldn't wear them - they just didn't work for me and I had to stick with analogs, which was fine with me due to the cost), minimally look for this:

1. Return policy. If there's is none or credit given, leave or don't go in. All this info should be on the audiologist's website.
2. There shouldn't be a restocking fee.
3. Honestly, a 30 day trial is a low.* See if you can get a 45 day trial. Some audiologists are willing to bargain.
4. Depending on your loss (borderline moderate may be a little low for this), you may want to consider getting something
called Receiver in Canal (RIC). As hearing shifts, the RIC has volume and the processor has volume. You may get a bit more longevity this way.

*The audiologist has to make the settings for you and if you have to keep going back in for adjustments, 30 days won't cut it. It's too expensive to not get it correct and you do not want to be rushed.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:57 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,426 posts, read 5,363,471 times
Reputation: 51411
You're welcome, PeaceOut001. I said, YOU'RE WELCOME, PEACEOUT001!

The hearing aid I'm getting is a RIC, and it comes with a four-month trial period. Some models that the audiologist showed me have remote controls that you can use to adjust the volume or change the presets, and some even can be controlled by your smart phone, though she told me that these do tend to have some connectivity issues (signal dropout, volume changing unexpectedly, etc.). I opted for the type that has controls on the back of the ear loop.

The audiologist also said that the in-ear hearing aids such as the Lyric "are good, but only for a specific subset of people." The battery life is limited because they are so small. They can't be changed, either. You have to come back about every two months to get a new device. The audiologist also said that they can make your ear feel plugged up, you can't take them out (so no swimming), and sometimes they cause irritation, wax buildup or even infections.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
330 posts, read 348,984 times
Reputation: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOut001 View Post
I'm jumping back in, folks.

. . .
3. Your audiologist told you the truth about unscrupulous dealers. I've dealt with them all my life. That's
why I try to help out people. But here's one catch that makes me a little concerned, your audiologist said:
"... borderline" - the change was due to the recent advances in HA technology, so that even my slight hearing loss could now be helped by HAs.
-- I don't know what borderline means without another word. Are you now verging on a moderate loss or just a normal loss? She appeared to talk about digital advances (recent technology) and it appeared to make you borderline.

That doesn't make sense . What would make your hearing worse is age. I don't know what else is going on though and there may be other things outside of age-related loss and I'd be curious as to what that could be. Your audiologist should not know much about this. If she does, be careful.
I'm not quite sure I get your meaning. My takeaway message from that session was that the audiologist definitely did NOT tell me "yes, it's definitely best for you to get hearing aids now," but instead the message was essentially "you might find hearing aids helpful but your hearing loss is minimal and you might not."

I absolutely can NOT remember her exact words, but my takeaway from the conversation was that as to whether I "need" or could benefit from hearing aids, I'm "borderline" - and I can't swear she used that word. She DID give me a detailed printout of my hearing test results, as I've received each time I've gone back to my HMO's audiology dept for hearing tests.

Those followup tests have shown very little change, if any, from the first test results. I am not experiencing any trouble following conversations even in noisy environments, nor do I have to crank up my TV or car radio to hear them well.

So, I'll continue to have approximately annual hearing tests. I'm in my late 60's and grateful for overall good health. I won't be surprised to experience some hearing loss as I age further - if I'm that lucky.

Thanks for all the info you provide on this subject.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,688,776 times
Reputation: 35450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
A few things I've found since I started wearing them

I only wear them when I must. They are not comfortable and the, "Give it time and you will not notice them" is, for me, bunk.

In noisy environments they don't really help. All I get is the same roar of noise with no language discerned, except it's louder. On the plus side my aids have a phone feature that transfers everything one picks up to the other one. So when we go to dinner or a bar I set the one on my wife's side to transmit to the other one. Works pretty well.

No one knows when I am wearing them. The color matches my hair and the tube leading to the unit in my ear is very hard to see. I've had people clean my teeth and not see them even when I mention them.

They have four possible settings. One of them cancels (more or less) anything not in front of me. Very strange at concerts when that one is on, but it can help some when the person is in front of me in a non noisy place.

Things I really, really noticed when I first started wearing them: Birds. Birds are LOUD! Direction. I find it easier to discern the direction of sounds when I wear them. Without them in and on I can be off by 180 degrees.

Quarters. I did not realize I wasn't hearing in that range (of course I didn't because I wasn't LOL), until I was handed a couple of quarters in change and I heard this high pitch "tink, tink" sound. It took me a minute to figure out what it was. Now when I get them in change I always bounce them in my hand just to hear them.

I find that if it gets too noisy I turn them off. Reminds me of my father. We used to have friends with a daughter that had the highest, screechiest laugh ever. As soon as dad saw her coming in the door you would see hand hand go to his ears. My right ear is the one that normally gets shut off.

Low end sounds I didn't hear then I don''t hear now. They tell me my loss is high end, but there are things I know I'm not hearing in a lower range because others tell me they hear them.

I like having them, but I do find it too easy to forget to put them in. Mainly because it's not a habit. If they were more comfortable I'd wear them all the time.
Yeah, I'm pretty much like you. I have had them for a few years and I can't stand them all day long. If I am home all day, I don't wear them. I don't have anything I need to hear. I use close captioning on the TV and I turn the volume up. I asked my neighbor to be honest and tell me if she can hear my TV if so I would turn it down but she says she can't. I live in an old building with lots of thick walls and I am on a corner on the ground floor so she is the only one it would bother if she could hear it.

Even with the hearing aides when the CC says "crickets chirping" I don't hear them and some stations come in better than others for sound with or without the HA's. Likewise some people.

There is one lady at the registration desk where I check in at the clinic where I go twice a month who talks with her head down. I tell her to please look at me while she is speaking because I can't hear her with her soft voice when she speaks with her head down. She won't do it so she has to put up with my "What? What?" Whenever I am in this situation I always point to my ears and show people my HA's. They say "Oh" but they still mumble. Well that just means they have to repeat themselves.

In places where there is dead sound like large rooms it's difficult to hear with the HA"s. Places like banks and large waiting rooms. Maybe if I had better HA's it would be better but my insurance doesn't pay for them and I got what I could afford. They are still better than nothing when I am out and about.

I was complaining one day to my doctor that I wasn't hearing as well with my HA's as I could before I began losing my hearing. I used to brag I had "20/20 hearing." She said no matter how good a prosthetic, it's never as good as what you're born with. So true at least in my case.
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