Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act

  1. #1
    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wi
    Posts
    246

    Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act

    I've just discovered that there is a lot more competition in the hearing aid business than there was a while back. That's because, as I understand it, there is the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act( HR. 1652) enacted in 2017 which allows much more competition to the entrenched hearing aid industry.
    As a result of this I have ditched my 5000.00 hearing aids in favor of a pair for 800.00 which have many more features and have made it so that I can hear things that I couldn't before. They actually perform much better.
    don

  2. #2
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Right behind you
    Posts
    1,856
    Quote Originally Posted by GTHawk View Post
    I've just discovered that there is a lot more competition in the hearing aid business than there was a while back. That's because, as I understand it, there is the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act( HR. 1652) enacted in 2017 which allows much more competition to the entrenched hearing aid industry.
    As a result of this I have ditched my 5000.00 hearing aids in favor of a pair for 800.00 which have many more features and have made it so that I can hear things that I couldn't before. They actually perform much better.
    There's no question that the OTC Hearing aid act is a good thing. Hearing aids have been overpriced way beyond the cost of manufacture. And it may be that you can find the right ones for you for $800, but they aren't one-size-fits -all. And there are some out there as low as $400. They won't work for everyone, but will for many.

    I got mine at Costco. It's a simple deal. You get a hearing test, each ear independently and over a range of frequencies. There is no charge for the testing which takes about a half hour. My wife was tested first, and told that her hearing is within normal range at all frequencies. Nope, she doiesn't need hearing aids.


    I have significant hearing loss at high frequencies (likely due to too much shooting without hearing protection), so bought a pair, total cost $1500. I haven't spent a waking moment without them since the day I got them. It sure is nice to hear normally again.

    The guarantee is fantastic. Two free replacements (one for each ear) for three years for any reason. Loose it, flush it down the toilet, step on it - any reason, get a new one free. And batteries are $.18 compared to a dollar most places. And I can adjust the volume at home with an Ipad or Iphone.

    Costco's are Phonak rebranded. At a hearing aid store they are $4000/pair.

  3. #3
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Niotre Dame, IN USA
    Posts
    2,365
    A few years ago I was provided with this information. If you are a veteran you can probably receive hearing aids from the VA. I don't use the VA for any other service. If you are not registered take your DD214 with you and get in the system and then proceed. I received Phonak aids about five years ago and just received a new pair of Phonaks. This set is far better than what I replaced. The artillery units could make a lot of noise! The service provided by the VA is appreciated and from my perspective I have never been critical of the quality of their efforts. My dear departed wife used to suggest that I was just pretending I couldn't hear!

  4. #4
    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wi
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Bryant View Post
    A few years ago I was provided with this information. If you are a veteran you can probably receive hearing aids from the VA. I don't use the VA for any other service. If you are not registered take your DD214 with you and get in the system and then proceed. I received Phonak aids about five years ago and just received a new pair of Phonaks. This set is far better than what I replaced. The artillery units could make a lot of noise! The service provided by the VA is appreciated and from my perspective I have never been critical of the quality of their efforts. My dear departed wife used to suggest that I was just pretending I couldn't hear!

    Interesting; My hearing loss was service connected and further damaged severely by an inept medic while trying to clean a perforated ear drum he shredded or he simply blew it out. There is on longer an ear drum but in the fifties there was no hearing protection sought or offered. We did not know any better. This all took place in a remote location over seas and no such record exists. therefor I don't believe my DD214 will help much. Doctors are always amazed that I still have some hearing in that ear. I have had several extensive hearing tests and all this was taken into account with the $5000,00 aids, the self adjustment is limited to just high and lower volume. The over the counter ones I have now have the volume control plus three adjustable levels of noise suppression. It is also telecoil compatible for phone use.

    Make sure when purchasing OTC aids that you purchase Digital not analog. The analog will be the lowest price and the one they advertise so the digital will be a little higher but well worth it.
    don

  5. #5
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kentucky, USA.
    Posts
    6,082
    A couple of years ago, thanks to a tip from someone else, for about $50, I bought a set of, "Mickey Mouse Ears" for the gun range. They work just like regular ones, except they use AAA batteries, and have a volume knob, for a built in hearing aid. With volume turned up, I can hear folks talking 50 feet away. Better than my ears have been, for decades. I have thought about just wearing them around everywhere, everyday, but folks might think that a bit odd. LOL

  6. #6
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Niotre Dame, IN USA
    Posts
    2,365
    GTHawk: My reference to the DD214 was to use it as a tool to establish military service and put you in the VA system if you are not in already. It might be a good idea to be in the VA system even if you don't plan on using its services, as circumstances can change. They scheduled me for a medical physical which was part of the process before being evaluated by an audiologist. I have an array of doctors and didn't need the physical, but that was part of the process. When I was about six years old I had severe inner ear infections. One ear drum ruptured. The doctor lanced the other saying it was going to rupture and that a cut would heal better than a tear. For about three weeks I could hear nothing. I was drafted and over the years hearing loss increased and became a bigger problem. I benefit from my hearing aids and am glad you do, also.

  7. #7
    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wi
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    A couple of years ago, thanks to a tip from someone else, for about $50, I bought a set of, "Mickey Mouse Ears" for the gun range. They work just like regular ones, except they use AAA batteries, and have a volume knob, for a built in hearing aid. With volume turned up, I can hear folks talking 50 feet away. Better than my ears have been, for decades. I have thought about just wearing them around everywhere, everyday, but folks might think that a bit odd. LOL
    What ever works is okay.
    don

  8. #8
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Elko NV
    Posts
    739
    At age 56, I have had hearing aids for 13 years now. I had thought about waiting when I was younger, but the audiologist said that uncorrected hearing loss would cause the connections from ears to brain to diminish, and that hearing aids would be less effective later, as a result. This is my third set, and the electronics have certainly improved. I still struggle to hear in certain environments, but they are much better than not hearing anything.

  9. #9
    President Member 5brown1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fort Pierre, SD, .
    Posts
    978
    Quote Originally Posted by GTHawk View Post
    I've just discovered that there is a lot more competition in the hearing aid business than there was a while back. That's because, as I understand it, there is the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act( HR. 1652) enacted in 2017 which allows much more competition to the entrenched hearing aid industry.
    As a result of this I have ditched my 5000.00 hearing aids in favor of a pair for 800.00 which have many more features and have made it so that I can hear things that I couldn't before. They actually perform much better.
    What and Where?

  10. #10
    President Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Above the Equator
    Posts
    1,883
    One need only watch a TV channel like MeTV that seems completely supported by the "medical needs" industry to grasp what a big business it is. And while I'm sure there is some cost in the miniaturization, there are high quality audio products in the sound recording industry that cost a fraction of what is charged for hearing aids. These are designed to fit in a 19” rack mount and so, no, I’m not recommending they replace a hearing aid. What I am saying is that I find the high cost of hearing aids hard to justify.

    In essence what is being used is a circuit called a “gate” that determines when you actually start hearing sound. This can filter out subtle background sounds that can be annoying. There is the “limiter” circuit that prevents sounds from being too loud and an “equalizer” circuit that tunes the frequencies that need increasing for ears that are deficient in those areas. In the process you sit down with a technician and they ask you questions regarding how you hear. But, here is the point, it is YOU who are determining what sounds best and they are only there to step you through the process.

    Does it not seem strange to anyone that young people will walk around with ear phones dangling off the side of their head to a phone/"everything electronic device" the size of a stack of post cards and it is a status symbol to do so. But, if you’re an older person, hard of hearing, well..., all of a sudden vanity comes into play and that hearing aid had better not be seen.

    16 years ago I realized that I was having difficulty seeing close up. Remembering a pair of reading glasses in a car I had purchased, I tried them and have been using them ever since. Periodically the local 99 Cent Only Store has close outs of the $15-$20 quality reading glasses for..., yes, 99 cents. When available I stock pile up on them because I have a propensity to lose, break about 5-10 pairs a year. In essence my yearly glasses needs cost $5-$10 a year. My wife insists upon an eye exam (I’ve never had one) and a pair of new glasses about every two years (about $350). Hence, my glasses needs are far less than than 10% of her costs and yet we are able to see equally well.
    Likewise she was told she needed a $250 (1980's cost) "bite plate" because she grinds her teeth and that it lasts about 6 months. Instead she bought a .97 cent sports mouth guard, heated and molded it to her teeth, and then trimmed the excess because she was not going to be dreaming of smashing into LInebackers in her sleep. So, yes, I highly question the mark up on a lot of so called "health necessities."


    A scan of hearing “aids” on Ebay shows there are plenty of options available for well under $100. When the day comes that I need hearing assistance I will go that route first. As good as $1,500-$4,000 hearing aids (?) –probably not. But I’ll likely be an old man who nods off while reading a book (hearing not needed) and other than to hear “dinners ready” I’m sure a lower cost hearing aid will suffice.
    Last edited by wittsend; 06-11-2018 at 02:55 PM.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  11. #11
    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wi
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by 5brown1 View Post
    What and Where?

    MDHearingAid.com
    don

  12. #12
    President Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Right behind you
    Posts
    1,856
    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post

    My wife insists upon an eye exam (I’ve never had one)
    You ought to get at least one eye exam. Forget about how well you are seeing now, you could have glaucoma which will one day leave you totally blind. If needed, once a day eye drops can save your sight. If you wait until glaucoma (or some other eye disease) damages your sight, there's no going back. It's like having your blood pressure checked once in a while. If it's high, usually a cheap generic drug will get it under control. Never check it and you can unexpectedly drop like a dead rock.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •