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  1. #1
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    Default OT......Hearing aids

    My wife is looking at possibly getting a pair of hearing aids. Truth be known we likely both need them. I'm guessing because of the environment we all work/worked in there is a pool of good knowledge here.
    She has been demoing a pair from Oticon. They seem to help but at $5K to $6K per pair it's a bit of a gulp to swallow. I think she mostly wants them to watch TV and understand the dialog.
    As an aside when she's wearing them her own voice seems louder to her and so she talks more softly. The result is the most used phrase from me is "Say again".
    Any advice OR insights would be appreciated.............Bob

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    Bob, Consumer Reports did a review a while back. The Costco "Kirlkand" ones came out to be the best value by far. Maybe around $1500 for a pair, with a several months money back trial guarantee, and free replacements if lost or broken in the next couple years. They'd probably be perfect for watching TV.

    Most hearing aids these days are Bluetooth equipped - so they can act as wireless earbuds for a phone, TV, car audio, or music system.

    A sort of honorary niece earned her doctorate in audiology over a decade ago. Once in a while she'll fill me in on the latest technology. There are some hearing aids with exceptionally powerful processors that do a better job of responding to noisy and changing environments. Likely more than $6K per pair.

    Not much to lose in trying the Costco ones if your wife has only moderate hearing loss. If nothing else, she'll have somethng to compare to and might save $4500.

    As for you, there are some advantages to pleading deafness at times . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Bob, Consumer Reports did a review a while back. The Costco "Kirlkand" ones came out to be the best value by far. Maybe around $1500 for a pair, with a several months money back trial guarantee, and free replacements if lost or broken in the next couple years. They'd probably be perfect for watching TV.

    Most hearing aids these days are Bluetooth equipped - so they can act as wireless earbuds for a phone, TV, car audio, or music system.

    A sort of honorary niece earned her doctorate in audiology over a decade ago. Once in a while she'll fill me in on the latest technology. There are some hearing aids with exceptionally powerful processors that do a better job of responding to noisy and changing environments. Likely more than $6K per pair.

    Not much to lose in trying the Costco ones if your wife has only moderate hearing loss. If nothing else, she'll have somethng to compare to and might save $4500.

    As for you, there are some advantages to pleading deafness at times . . .
    Yes indeedy. I know that game VERY well.
    No need for blue tooth etc.
    We'll look into the cosco aids. Thanks...........Bob

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    I can't resist the opportunity.

    A guy goes to his doctor and complains that he thinks his wife is losing her hearing. The doctor tells him he can check it. "Without her seeing you, say something to her at 20 feet away, then at 10 feet, then at 2 feet, which will give you a sense of how severe her loss is. Guy goes home, and sees his wife at a distance, cooking dinner. He says, "What's for dinner?" No response. So he gets within 10 feet and asks, "What's for dinner?" Still no response. Finally, he's right behind her and says, "What's for dinner?" She says, "For the third time, chicken."

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    Costco is very good, Sam's Club as well.

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    Bob -

    I'm 70 and got hearing aids a year and a half ago - should have done it much sooner (for both my wife and grandkids), but that is another story, fighting with the VA took a couple years, etc.

    Based on what Consumer Reports had at the time I got mine at Sams. Would have checked out Costco but nearest is 100 miles or so. Mine work fine, no problems and have made a huge improvement. Could have been out the door with a pair for about $1,500 but I did an extended warranty/insurance so it was a bit more. I was worried I'd trash them somehow. About 8 months a go a good friend was looking and after our talking he went to Costco. He is a couple years older than me and had old ones that he was not satisfied with. He is extremely happy with what he got. Also, my 90 year old uncle got his at Costco in FL a little over a year ago and they have been great for him.

    If you are a veteran make sure to try the VA before anything else. All my friends who are vets have been very pleased with the VA on that. The fact I was turned down is kind of a local joke, I'm the only guy anyone knows who was refused. VA could not find my active duty medical records - I did 2 active and 31+ reserve components. They had the reserve records (which even if causal is not covered - and showed hearing loss). When they could not find my records they called and the guy begged me to look to see if I had anything. Lo and behold I found that I had my entire active duty medical file. Thinking back when I went through the transfer point the guy asked me if I wanted my medical records and I said yes - he never should have done that. So being a good guy I scanned the physicals - entry and release from active duty. I had to be the only guy who's hearing improved while serving - at least that is what the paper says! But then in those days (tail end of Nam) I doubt the hearing test was important to either me or the guy doing it.

    Dale

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    Both my wife and I have Starkey brand aids. They are behind the ear with a speaker at the end of a very small tube in the ear canal. Hers have rechargeable batteries mine do not. She has had some trouble with the reliability of rechargeable batteries. My batteries last about a week for 16 hour a day. Hers also communicate with one another. If she changes programs on one ear the other does also. Mine are not that smart.
    I prefer ours to those that fit inside the ear for 2 reasons. One the ear canal is not blocked and with the microphone and speaker separated feedback has not been a problem. Ours did not come from Costco but we have friends who did and are pleased with the price.

    Bob
    WB8NQW

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    Depends entirely on your needs. If you're just now considering aids I'd say start with the VA if eligible, Costco if not. My dad (95yrs old) is profoundly deaf in part because he was a 50cal gunner on a B24 for 2 1/2 years plus the training. Although he's VA qualified their devices don't work for him. He's on his second set of high-dollar Oticon devices and if the room is quiet he can converse to some degree. For him the cost is worth it.

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    I got a hearing test at a local business and he showed me the results of the higher frequency loss. No surprise. He tried a couple different sets on me (starting with the $7,000 ones) but I begged off to think about it, partly because we'd just had a house flood and I didn't need one more big money decision to deal with. Months later when things were more settled I went to Costco. Their audiologist also tested, showed similar results, but said he didn't think I'd benefit enough at this point for the added trouble of dealing with hearing aids. He said he doesn't work on commission so he was giving his honest opinion.

    Semi OT A woman has a pet Schnauzer that had gotten hard of hearing so she took it round to the vet. He checked it out and said it was probably just a problem with hair blocking the ear and suggested she just go to a druggist and get some depilatory cream for it and that would probably just fix the problem.

    At the druggists, he asks if she's ever used this product before and she says, "No."

    "Well," he says, "if you're using it on your face try mixing it half and half with cold cream. If you're using it under your arms, try just a quarter of it."

    She laughs and says, "Oh, no you don't understand. This is for my Schnauzer."

    He gets a real serious look and says, "Ohhh. In that case just use the tiniest little bit and I wouldn't try riding a bicycle for a week."

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    for profoundly deaf i think cochlear has implants that they sell a lot of its more effort to get them. i am not a audiologist so go see them if they are appropriate or just buds.
    Its a Australian company.

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    That joke is so old IT has hair on it, but still funny..............Bob

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    I have worn hearing aids for 45 plus years. I can say that the new ones work so well that any one with a loss should get them sooner than later. I have two phonacs that I bought online about 3 years ago for a total of 2600. I dont belive tou can do that anymore. I compared to the phonacs that Costco was selling and there's were a striped down model. Mine have the speaker on the ear, and cross over, where what one side hears gets transmitted to the other one also. Comprehension is great. I have been encouraging my brain sister to get them , she is concerned with people noticing them. But they are almost invisible and they make a hugh difference in your life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surplusjohn View Post
    I have been encouraging my brain sister to get them , she is concerned with people noticing them.
    According to a few friends, noticing the aids is the point. Even with dead batteries, hearing aids help them. People see the aids and look at you and speak up.

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    Needs to be a disruption in the software/adjustment arena for hearing aids. Re-using them is difficult due to tie-ins with specific audiologists -- who aren't interested in sharing access and software for adjustment.

    My sister got my late mom's aids from her estate, but could not get an audiologist near her to fit/adjust them, because they didn't sell them to her. And the selling company was 1000 miles away from where she lives. All she needs is just louder -- no frequency shaping. I sent her some links to software on the web, but nothing would work on them. Competent semi-hearing adults should be able to make small adjustments, or re-set to flat, safely following directions, without coughing up travel and appointment money. Or get existing devices adjusted by qualified specialists without buying new hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielG View Post
    Costco is very good, Sam's Club as well.
    I could no longer understand my 7 year old granddaughter any more and my poor wife pretty much repeated every other sentence.
    I started out trying a pair of hearing aids that cost close to 4 grand and was not totally happy with them. The lady that preforms my yearly hearing tests told me that I should check out Costco, I did , 1,500 out the door with a boat load of battery's and a good warranty. I am sold on Costco for hearing aids.

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    Will Costco do the whole hearing test and evaluation in the store or do you need to go see an audiologist first?

    I dispatched a raccoon last fall at close quarters in a confined space with a .357 magnum and I have suffered severe ringing in my ears ever since and my hearing has never really recovered. My wife is tired of repeating herself and I have a hard time hearing people talk in rooms where more than one person is talking.

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    MG - Costco does tests, but not a medical diagnosis. If it's just old age, exposure to noise, etc. - they'll likely do fine in setting up a hearing aid to boost the needed frequencies. If there is an underlying medical issue in need of treatment, they'll likely miss it. Wouldn't hurt to do both - the doctor visit not so expensive. Hearing aids from them -- another story.

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    Motion. Go to a dr.
    In regards to letting people know you have a hearing loss, I avoid it. Well meaning people start shouting at me or worse in my ear. Just enunciate so I can see your mouth and that will be as good as it gets. Womans voices, thrust talkers and Big mustaches are a problem. Throat talking woman with big mustaches are the worse.

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    I went and saw both an ENT and an audiologist when it first happened, they put me on prednisone for 10 days - no improvement after 3 weeks so they told me the damage was permanent and that the ringing would likely decrease over time.

    I went back a few weeks later complaining that it seemed like mid range noises were so loud that they hurt my ears - they called it "recruitment" and said to wait another 6 months before trying to get hearing aides because until the recruitment process ran its course my hearing would continue to change. So now I think I am ready for hearing aids as things have been pretty stable for a month or so . . . just wanted to make sure Costco could give me a hearing test to determine the best hearing aid for whatever hearing loss I have now.

    My left ear has lost the most hearing - almost like I have a bad cold and it is all plugged up, but it isn't - just deaf in my left ear. My right ear is significantly better, but I still have trouble hearing my wife . . . (and I am fortunate that I still like to hear what she has to say and don't want it to be a chore for her to talk to me.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    Will Costco do the whole hearing test and evaluation in the store or do you need to go see an audiologist first?

    I dispatched a raccoon last fall at close quarters in a confined space with a .357 magnum and I have suffered severe ringing in my ears ever since and my hearing has never really recovered. My wife is tired of repeating herself and I have a hard time hearing people talk in rooms where more than one person is talking.
    Firstly, that must have been a VERY big ferocious rocky to need a .357! Did you cross cut the bullet? Armor piercing?

    For what happened, I would recommend a ENT or hearing specialist. I had a pair of COSCO aids but was not satisfied with the follow up. The technicians at the local COSTCO are not professionally trained, a person off the street trained by a current staffer. I thought I was getting good service until I talked to another that had severe hearing problems, went to that clinic and was amazed at the difference. The hearing center that is staffed with specialists that have had several years of college training in hearing problems but will not treat anyone with truly medical issues.

    The aids were more expensive but I expected that. You can go from simple amplifier aids to complex multiband processors. I won't go into the variety of aids available or services as that will depend on the center you go to.

    The ringing is is called tinnitus and may or may not go away. It usually is the result of damage to the inner ear. I personally have had it for nearly fifty years. There is no known cure for it. You just learn to live with it. Some days I don't even know I have it, others its distracting, but....

    Tom


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