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Old 09-28-2017, 07:23 PM
 
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The cost of hearing aids are rarely covered by insurance. I was prepared for the substantial cost involved to buy digital hearing aids.


I went for my hearing test and was surprised when the receptionist asked if I had an AARP membership. It seems that several hearing aid manufacturers offer a discount if you are an AARP member.


While my new hearing aids are expensive, the AARP card reduced the price by $1100. Some places might not tell you about a manufacturer's discount, so be sure to ask.


Just thought I would pass this tip along in case there is anyone else considering the purchase of hearing aids.


And, I might add that even without the $1100 savings, once I tried these programmable digital hearing aids the improvement with my hearing was so remarkable there was no question I was going to buy them whether there was a discount or not.


What these new digital hearing aids can do vs old style hearing aids is like comparing the new smartphones to the old flip phones. And, now that I will be able to actually hear I will be buying a smartphone and giving up my 12 year old flip phone (which I only used about 2 times a year for emergencies)!


I am so glad I met through a friend someone who had been using digital hearing aids for a year. I got to ask her all sorts of questions and she was able to recommend a doctor with 20 years experience fitting hearing aids.


I compare buying hearing aids to that of buying replacement windows for your house - you could get the best windows on the market, but, if you have a lousy installer the end result will be disappointing. Same with digital hearing aids - it is not just the digital hearing aid, but, someone who can determine the most appropriate hearing aid for a specific individual and the programming of it to the specific needs of the individual.

Last edited by Mary2014; 09-28-2017 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:40 PM
 
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I highly recommend checking out Costco's hearing center.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Glad you actually found some value in your AARP membership. I let it go, as it was not worth the yearly dues to me.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,700 posts, read 751,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Glad you actually found some value in your AARP membership. I let it go, as it was not worth the yearly dues to me.
It's certainly worth it to me.

In 2015 I took a 5 year membership. That's $12.60 per year.

Every 3 years I take the online driver training course sponsored by the AARP for seniors. This year it cost me $13.97 to take the course.

Gets me about a $40 per year discount on my auto insurance.

On top of that I get 15% off at Denny's.
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:04 AM
 
Location: WA
605 posts, read 556,355 times
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Mary, thank you for sharing the information. My audiologist gave me "loaner" hearing aids. Then I went shopping at Wal-Mart, after 15 minutes I had a headache for all the noise. Come to discover, I had a genetic hearing loss, the hearing
had decreased little by little over 28 years ! Sorta like turning down a radio/television volume.

40% I was hearing in my left ear. LEARNING, I may have paid a lot (I averaged it out, so not too bad) though this doc
trained me to use my hearing aids. Wear them even in the house by yourself, so your brain gets used to hearing again.

1 1/2 years later, if I took my aids out for the evening, feel as if I am taking my ears off !


Wind, gentle breeze, it makes a sound !
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:51 AM
 
221 posts, read 190,534 times
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Mary, This is good to hear (pardon the pun), especially your emphasis on the importance of the fitter. I'm curious which brand you settled on. Did you try other bands, as well?
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Veterans can get them from the VA.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:43 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 1,557,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenah View Post
Mary, This is good to hear (pardon the pun), especially your emphasis on the importance of the fitter. I'm curious which brand you settled on. Did you try other bands, as well?
I have nothing against big box stores for many things, but, when it comes to my eyesight and hearing I want a professional who has reviewed my full medical history prior to making recommendations. That is why I chose someone who has 20 years experience and also came highly recommended by a person who had severe hearing loss and had been using her new digital hearing aids for a year.


Based upon my medical history, my specific type of hearing loss, my active lifestyle etc. I decided on a specific Siemen's hearing aid to which I added Bluetooth capability. While I have good hearing with low pitch sounds, in the medium range I had 30 - 40 % hearing loss and in the high pitch sounds 50 - 60% hearing loss in both ears. The particular model I selected allows the most flexibility for the settings to adjust and block out background noise of various types that you encounter in various situations. When we redid the hearing test to understand particular words I scored a 96% using the hearing aids.


The free testing and evaluation day included a hearing test by the doctor and then a Siemen's rep programing the data into one of their hearing aids suitable for my type of hearing loss. There was no pressure to buy that particular brand. I could have opted to have the doctor recommend other brands she carries that would also work and/or discuss a suitable hearing aid at a lower price point.


The cost of these free testing and evaluation days is probably picked up by the manufacturer as a way of getting their rep in to be able to demonstrate their hearing aids. It works! The improvement was so remarkable the only question I had was how soon can I get them.


The follow-up care after the purchase is also important. Did you know that as your hearing loss changes over time you simply go back in and they reprogram a digital hearing aid at no cost to you for the lifetime of your hearing aid? The price of the hearing aids also includes many other things at no charge such as annual hearing screenings, hearing aid cleanings etc. for the life of the hearing aid. Not sure how many of these additional services are available at the big box stores.


I prefer to buy local and know that if I do need service the provider is nearby.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:08 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 1,557,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sera View Post
Mary, thank you for sharing the information. My audiologist gave me "loaner" hearing aids. Then I went shopping at Wal-Mart, after 15 minutes I had a headache for all the noise. Come to discover, I had a genetic hearing loss, the hearing
had decreased little by little over 28 years ! Sorta like turning down a radio/television volume.

40% I was hearing in my left ear. LEARNING, I may have paid a lot (I averaged it out, so not too bad) though this doc
trained me to use my hearing aids. Wear them even in the house by yourself, so your brain gets used to hearing again.

1 1/2 years later, if I took my aids out for the evening, feel as if I am taking my ears off !


Wind, gentle breeze, it makes a sound !



My hearing loss was also gradual over 19 years. Did you also notice how you also loose the ability to tell where a sound is coming from - such as hearing the siren of an approaching fire truck? These new digital hearing aids have directional microphones and with my eyes closed I had no problem telling where the person was in the room. He even walked out of the room and down the hall 15 feet away while he was creating background noise by shaking pieces of paper and asking me questions. I could tell where the sound was coming from and could clearly hear his questions even at 15 feet away!


Without the hearing aids he could have been just 3 feet away with no background noise and I would not have been able to make out what he was saying.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:33 PM
 
Location: WA
605 posts, read 556,355 times
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Thank you for sharing Mary, now that I can hear, many folks are talking on their cell phones And I turn around to see if
they are talking to me ! LOL

Digital I do not have yet---will ask the audiologist about them. No batteries my new hearing aids will have, If I heard or remember correctly, so that may be digital.

Agree with you about a private audiologist, the personal attention, learning I receive from him as well as free batteries for the aids.
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