View Full Version : Hearing loss and hearing aids

James Jaragosky
08-16-2010, 10:52 PM
I have been slowly losing my hearing over the years. In the past I had tried the $600 in the ear hearing aids with poor results. my hearing was getting to the point that I could no longer hear the rector deliver his Sunday sermon, I had to ask everyone to speak up and I still needed everything repeated. The movies have been out for years and I couldn't hear the TV without driving everyone from the room.
A friend recommended the digital behind the ear style aids that he was using, He was very happy with them and thought that they would help me as well.

After some discussion with the wife she allowed me to spend the money on this new style hearing aid. She was hesitant to let me the purchase the new ones because I quit using the ITE style ones shortly after we purchased them 5 years ago. The ITE style amplified everything, I have trouble with some tones more than others but the hearing aids I had amplified everything, including the sounds I did not need help with; so I still couldn't hear, things were just louder.

Tonight I got to walk and talk to my wife while enjoying a most wonderful Midwestern summer night. I heard crickets for the first time in years and nearly cried. I had no idea what I was missing.
God continues to shower me with blessings every day, and I am thankful.
I am so emotionally moved right now, I just had to share.
Thanks for listening
Jim J.

Zach England
08-16-2010, 11:05 PM
When my dad got hearing aids a couple of years ago he was like "Did you know that when rain hits the windshield while you drive it makes a sound?".

He blames his hearing loss on lots of power tools, rock concerts and guns when he was younger. Fortunately, I only like one of those, and I always wear hearing protection.

Walt Nicholson
08-16-2010, 11:06 PM
I went the same route a few years back with the ITE so they wouldn't show so much and finally decided (after lots of frustration with ringing and such) that I would try the others. The difference was remarkable and now I can carry on a conversation with my grandchildren and actually understand what they are saying. If anyone is reading this and has hearing issues, (no matter if you are 20 years or 120 years old) give your self and your family a huge gift and visit a hearing aid specialist. It will be one of the best things you ever did. ;)

Leigh Betsch
08-16-2010, 11:08 PM
Tell me more about these hearing aids. My ears are going, I;m going to have to do something soon.

Walt Nicholson
08-16-2010, 11:18 PM
Leigh, the electronic gurus got involved a few years back and are building some very sophisticaed equipment. The early ones were just an amplifier that made everything loud at once but most folks hearing loss is not the full range. We can hear bass just fine but not the high frequencies that make up speech. If the stuff we still hear well is amplified as much as the other, you really have little or no improvement. The new digital ones are programmed by a computer in the doctors office to match the exact frequencies that your particular ears are missing. they can be re-adjusted at any time if your hearing loss changes. Mine have 3 settings with a tiny switch on them, normal boost, slightly more for certain conditions, and off for when I am working in the shop. (you can still hear with them in even if they are off. Lots of good reading on the net but get a good hearing test and use a professional. the mail order type are not what you want for this type of product.

Mike Henderson
08-16-2010, 11:25 PM
Go to an ear doctor and get your aids there. You'll pay the same price and you'll get a lot better fit to your hearing loss. Additionally, here in CA, you have 30 days to try the aids. If you return them in 30 days, for any reason, you get your money back. I assume other states have similar laws.


Tom Winship
08-17-2010, 8:22 AM
One thing that has amazed me about the digital ones that I bought is the battery life. It "beeps" when the battery is gone (usually three days or so) and after the first one beeps it is usually just a short time until the other one beeps. Didn't know batteries were made that consistent.

Mine have certainly made a difference in my quality of life.

Belinda Williamson
08-17-2010, 8:32 AM
What wonderful news, Jim! I'm so happy that the aides worked for you. Thank you for sharing this also as I am going to share it with my dad. Following head trauma about 17 years ago he has total hearing loss in one ear and about 50% in the other. I don't think he has seen in doctor in a while and I'm going to suggest he ask about these aides.

Michael Weber
08-17-2010, 11:29 AM
Good that your hearing better. I know how important it is. Like you I lost my hearing little by little over the years. I'm 64 now and I joke I have 3 modes of hearing. Non hearing, poor hearing and creative hearing. All thanks to rubella as a child. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had missed school or whatever the day I was exposed. The creative hearing can be hilarious at times, though still frustrating.

Terry Beadle
08-17-2010, 11:36 AM
I use a hearing aid made by Sonic Innovations. It is digital and has programming in it to alter sound to the tones that I can still hear. It works great. Cost $1750 with a 2 yr warranty. It has a custom molded ear plug so it's very effective. Has two levels of sound.

Now I can hear bee's buzz and small bird chirps. The sound of clothing moving and nagging sales calls on the phone give you an idea of the range of sound.

Women's voices still give me some problems. Especially the very soft spoken ones but I push the little button and that gives me at least a 70% chance of knowing what they are saying. That's not bad considering 70% of the time I don't under stand any way ! Hoot !

I take it out for shop time and hunting situations.


Jim Rimmer
08-17-2010, 1:38 PM
Go to an ear doctor and get your aids there. You'll pay the same price and you'll get a lot better fit to your hearing loss. Additionally, here in CA, you have 30 days to try the aids. If you return them in 30 days, for any reason, you get your money back. I assume other states have similar laws.

+1 on seeing an ENT who usually has an audiologist associated with the office. I did and at this point am opting out of the hearing aids (maybe later). Texas also has the 30 day return policy but don't know if it is nationwide.

The new ones are programmable to your specific hearing loss and it takes a credible audiologist to match you up. Stay away from mail order and door-to-door salesmen (my Grandmother used that type of hearing aid).

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-17-2010, 2:25 PM
Ash your doctor about the Cochlear implant.

Pat Germain
08-17-2010, 2:33 PM
Stay away from mail order and door-to-door salesmen (my Grandmother used that type of hearing aid).

You know, it's too bad, but I think a lot of people tried those gadgets, got lousy results and gave up. My wife's grandmother had cheap hearing aids. When she did use them, they did little. And she rarely used them because she constantly complained how expensive the batteries were. I work with people who have the new devices and they report great results. I tried and tried to recommend new hearing aids to Grandma; all to no avail. She died last year. Sadly, I think she had forgotten what she was missing from her ears.

So, indeed, if you or someone you know is having hearing trouble, seek out the latest technology. It really works and is an amazing improvement over the old devices.

It's the same with eyeglasses. I have a pair with titanium frames and lightweight lenses. They work very well and I hardly know I'm wearing them. I have a coworker who can't see much of anything beyond her nose. She has a pair of "reading glasses" that do little for her. Yet, she won't buy a good pair of glasses. What's the del-e-oh, people? What price is your sight worth?

Mitchell Andrus
08-17-2010, 3:05 PM
Momma always said, "buy the right tool, first".

Glad you're back on track, Jim.

David G Baker
08-17-2010, 4:14 PM
I had a similar experience with getting cataract surgery. I waited until I couldn't read signs any longer while driving. I can now drive with out glasses but still need them to read.
Hearing aids are next. I wore one for years while I worked but when I retired I stopped wearing it except when I felt it was necessary. My ex wife threw it away after I left.
I have excellent hearing in the low frequencies, I can hear thunder before anyone else around me but mid and high range frequencies drop off the higher they get. I am starting to get frequent complaints from SWMBO. She is getting tired of repeating everything several times and I frequently hear noises but can't tell what they are and I have to ask her what the noise is. The ones that were recommended by my DR cost $3000. Don't remember the brand. I will check to see if they have the 30 day return policy.

Steve LaFara
08-17-2010, 11:12 PM
Thanks for sharing James and glad to hear that you're able to enjoy the sounds of life again.

I've been dealing with some dizziness for the past couple of months and after going to the doctor, he said I had vertigo. Off to the ENT for a hearing test and some other stuff and found that I've lost about 20% hearing in both ears. I'm sure at some point I will end up needing some hearing aids if I live that long. By that time, I'm sure there will be something that will help.

On the diziness side, they found out today that it is being caused by my right ear and THINK that it will go back to normal in time. No surgery or medicine that can help so I hope they are right.

David G Baker
08-17-2010, 11:51 PM
My Mother had vertigo, her doctor suggested taking Dramamine. She said that it did help. The side effects were dry mouth and sleepiness.

Tom Hamilton
08-18-2010, 7:54 AM
Greetings hearing impaired Creekers: From one who is also!

Just a word of encouragement to get a hearing test from an audiologist and invest in good hearing aids. I've been using in-the-ear (but not in-the canal) Widex Sensa Diva aids for 6 years. As others mentioned up-thread they are programmable to my specific frequency loss and have user managed settings for different situations.

Also, know that you and the aids need to be tested and reset every 6 months or so. You'll know it's time when you start turning the TV up louder and asking folks to repeat what they said. Yes, our hearing loss continues to increase as we age. Sad but true.

Prices vary widely but my experience is you get what you pay for in hearing aids. YMMW.

Best regards, Tom, in Douglasville GA

Harvey M. Taylor
08-19-2010, 2:26 PM
I began losing my hearing due to the heavy eqpt. I was operating. Tried the cheap route. Worse. Swallowed hard, bit the bullet and went to an audiologist. Before the aids, wasnt even on the charts. After the aids, right down the center. Now, life is really worth living. Used to have to be told what page the preacher was on, now I beat them to it and show them where he is reading. What are you going to do with your money, anyway, if not enjoy life. Max