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Thread: hearing aids and snake oil....

  1. #1
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    hearing aids and snake oil....

    After just recently spending another 4k on a pair of hearing aids I've come to the conclusion that they're just more snake oil.. Since retiring this is my 4th pair in 15 years with the promise of "these are better" every time.. Am I the only one that has found that they are marginal at best?? One in the pair I got one week ago has just quit and will only work if I hold pressure on the battery door.. Can anybody hear with a hearing aid?

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    Well, they keep making them smaller and thus easy for people to lose. It must be part of their marketing strategy. But, yes, I'm finding things like this to be ridiculously overpriced.

    Years ago my wife was told she needed a dental bite plate because she ground her teeth in her sleep. In 1980 dollars it was $250 and was told it needed replacement every 6 months. Instead..., we went to the local K-Mart and for literally $0.97 (that's ninety seven cents) we bought a sports mouth guard, she heated it, molded it to her upper teeth and then for comfort trimmed it to just cover her teeth. It worked just fine and there were never any negative aspects to it. I figure by the time I need a hearing aid I won't be concern about vanity. There are likely serviceable aids on ebay for a fraction of the cost. Basically they are just miniaturized audio compressors/expanders and equalizers. Besides, I might just find I enjoy the quiet and have an excuse for not hearing I was told to do something.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    A lot depends on what type of hearing loss you have whether it is nerve loss or inner ear problem. While I have nerve loss in both ears and they help a great deal some people with inner ear problems like the eardrum seem to have problem with them. Another thing no hearing aid will ever make your hearing completely normal and there will always be words and sounds you can not understand or seem to hear, they should improve you hearing. My loss is service connected and every 4 years I get tested for a new pair so 4 in 15 years seems to be about. One thing I have noticed is that the ones I had when I first got out seemed to last longer and I felt were better then the ones I have gotten over the last 10 years.

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    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    I need hearing aids but the whole field is too complicated to understand. So many options. In this age of advanced electronics it seems that really good hearing aids should be available for about 1/10 of the going rate. For now I just say "speak up" a lot.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

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    I got my first & only pair back in 2007 & I've only worn them about 10 times. I don't hear any better, I just hear differently. There is no way to focus in on hearing as one does in seeing. You can't filter out the background noise that comes in louder than ever which just make this cacophonus jumble that makes it even harder to hear the person sitting next to you. My sister paid a bundle for a pair that are controlled by her iPhone and she swears by them, but I'll just continue to wait being the true CASO that I am. I just smile & nod my head & most people think I'm paying attention.
    "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Hey... It could be worse...

    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

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    And there are just SOME people, you just DON'T want to hear either! <G>

    Jim
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    Silver Hawk Member Studedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ragtop View Post
    And there are just SOME people, you just DON'T want to hear either! <G>

    Jim
    I can relate. "When you find the problem, it''s gonna be a ground."

    Dave Lester

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    Speedster Member sasquatch's Avatar
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    My hearing aid amplified the background noise so much it was totally worthless. Better to learn to read lips.
    Rick
    Kingman, AZ

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    My late father, the king of understatement, used to say, "Do you really want to hear everyone talking to you?"
    "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
    R.W. Emerson

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    Hey... It could be worse...


    That bell the lady is showing was the exact same thing a doctor used on me.. IT WORKED TREMENDOUSLY !! However he did not sell hearing aids, just demonstrating..

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    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benaslopoke View Post
    After just recently spending another 4k on a pair of hearing aids I've come to the conclusion that they're just more snake oil.. Since retiring this is my 4th pair in 15 years with the promise of "these are better" every time.. Am I the only one that has found that they are marginal at best?? One in the pair I got one week ago has just quit and will only work if I hold pressure on the battery door.. Can anybody hear with a hearing aid?
    Recently spent 5,000 dollars plus for the so called top end hearing aids from well known hospital clinic and have had one (rebuilt)? already and the second one now acting up. My wife went to Walgrens and purchased a 34.95 cheapy and is much louder and can be adjusted. I only wear it occasionally
    don

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    President Member 63 R2 Hawk's Avatar
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    My wife had extreme hearing loss. After going to a specialist, she found she had a condition called otosclerosis where the stapes was not able to move, thus sound wasn't conducted to the rest of the ear. She had a procedure called a stapedectomy where they surgically replace the stapes with a prosthesis. Two surgeries, one for each ear, several years apart and she can now hear me snore at night. I can now get into her car after she's been driving it without getting my ears blown out by the volume setting she used to use before the surgery.

  14. #14
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    The benefit of hearing aids depends upon the person wearing them and their deficits in hearing. I have worn them for about four years. If I am in a situation with a noisy background they are of no help, as they amplify those sounds, also, and conversation is a struggle. If there is conversation in a quieter environment they are helpful. Admittedly, I think I read lips some, as it helps me to distinguish what the person is saying. I learned that skill before I got hearing aids. In my opinion the services of an Aud.D. can be beneficial because of their level of training. Wearing hearing aids will never compare with normal hearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTHawk View Post
    Recently spent 5,000 dollars plus for the so called top end hearing aids from well known hospital clinic and have had one (rebuilt)? already and the second one now acting up. My wife went to Walgrens and purchased a 34.95 cheapy and is much louder and can be adjusted. I only wear it occasionally
    I think your wife is smart. I have hearing problems and have passed on the expensive aids. I have a pair that I bought on Ebay about a year ago for $6 each. They seem to work just fine. They do amplify the background noise and at times that can be anoying but adjusting the volume usually helps. The cheapies eat batterys alive but I can get a pack of 4 batterys for a buck the the local dollar store.

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    Go to Costco. The evaluation is free, and they know what they are doing. If they can help you, they will tell you how much they can help. Their hearing aids are programmed for each individual. My case was typical. I needed little help at low frequencies, more at mid-range, and lots more at high frequencies. I wear them every day, and I love being able to hear normally again.

    I have a friend who they evaluated. In his case they said "we're sorry, but we cannot help you enough to make it worthwhile."

    Their guarantee is fantastic:

    If you decide you don't like them any time in the first six months, take them back for a full refund, no questions asked.

    If you lose, smash, drown or otherwise need a replacement, they will replace up to two, free for the first two years.

    Three year guarantee against failure.

    Free cleanings and tune-ups forever.

    These are the same exact aids as Beltone which cost $4000/ pair. $1799 at Costco.

    Check it out on line. Just type "Costco hearing aids" into any search engine.

  17. #17
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Like many physical maladies, disabilities, and deficiencies...how we are affected, and how we react, is a highly individualized experience. There is a reason, the work of medical professionals, is called a "Practice." While certain aspects are considered "standardized," those same characteristics vary widely between individuals. For several years, after college, I worked in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation. I specialized in the visually impaired (Blindness). But, I also had much experience with hearing impaired (deaf) people as well.

    As part of my "continuing education" program, I was enrolled in graduate school, at a University Research/Treatment facility in Virginia for a couple of months. While there, we were tasked with psychological counseling and treating clients with a broad spectrum of physical impairments. From paralyzed accident victims, amputees, blindness, and hearing loss. Our interactions with patients were video taped, and recorded. Then, reviewed and critiqued. For the time, it was a rather sophisticated, yet pressure situation for us students.

    One of the most important lessons, regarding hearing loss, came to me, not from a text book, a professor, or a review of a video taped counseling session. Instead, it was in the common Lobby/rec room of our dormitory, on a wet, rainy weekend. Bored, no where to go, I had picked up a tennis racket, and began hitting a tennis ball against a brick wall in the lobby. Burning off pent up energy, by playing the ball off the wall. Suddenly...I felt hot breath on the back of my neck. I turned around to see an enraged, red faced, fellow student. I'm glad she did not have access to a knife, or I might not be here. Not only was she a fellow student, but a "deaf" student. So deaf, that she was provided a "signer" interpreter in class. She could talk, but with odd speech patterns so often noted from hearing impaired individuals.

    She angrily demanded I, "stop hitting that ball!" I was shocked. I immediately apologized. But, then, I asked if she would explain. I told her, knowing she was deaf, I had assumed she would not notice. She calmed down, and explained to me, that for people with hearing impairment, certain vibrations, and noises are not only irritating, but in some instances, even painful. Until then, I had believed that loss of vision was the most severe disability a person could have. However, hearing loss is just as bad, and in some instances, even worse. In terms of how society treats the blind, paralyzed, or amputees...there are usually obvious signs of the disability. But, for the deaf, there are rarely such obvious signs. That leads to lots of misunderstandings, and awkward social encounters. In addition, unless addressed, it can lead to isolation, and a strain on relationships. People tend to withdraw, and avoid those where communication is difficult.

    My wife's hearing began to deteriorate before she retired. Being a Registered Nurse, the ability to hear correctly is important enough, that we decided to get Vocational Rehabilitation involved. They assigned her a caseworker, diagnosed her hearing problems, and provided hearing aids. It was not a simple process of jamming a tiny amplifier (hearing aid) into her ear and calling it "done." It took some testing, trials, and adjustments. If any of you are not satisfied with your hearing treatment, or hearing aids...let your provider know. With the money involved, you have a right to demand results, explanations, or referral to another provider. It's not a perfected science. Even now, when my wife leaves the room, I'll turn the TV down from "Donnie Volume," to reasonable volume.
    John Clary
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    President Member mapman's Avatar
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    I had the same experience as jnormanh. My father in law recommended Costco and I have been very pleased with the improvement in my ability to understand. Even my fast talking nephew is understandable now. I have only had them for a month now but am able to hear in many social situations that I was useless in before.
    So yes! They do work for me.
    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch View Post
    My hearing aid amplified the background noise so much it was totally worthless. Better to learn to read lips.
    I have been hard of hearing since birth. I started school at age 4 to have help with my disability. Learned to lip read and it has helped me survive all these years(now 65). If a person is facing me I do very well, if not then not so good. If I am listening to 2 people converse I naturally look at the current speaker meaning a lot of head movement back and forth to whoever is speaking. Like others here lots of background noise makes it worse. I tried hearing aids on a trial basis off and on over the years with no good results. Some people they help(I am glad for them), others like me less so. I have been coping with this all my life so I guess I will continue doing so in my own way. Although I have been tempted to try some of the cheap disposable ones.

  20. #20
    Speedster Member GTHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benaslopoke View Post
    After just recently spending another 4k on a pair of hearing aids I've come to the conclusion that they're just more snake oil.. Since retiring this is my 4th pair in 15 years with the promise of "these are better" every time.. Am I the only one that has found that they are marginal at best?? One in the pair I got one week ago has just quit and will only work if I hold pressure on the battery door.. Can anybody hear with a hearing aid?
    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 which have made it so that I can hear things that I couldn't before. They actually perform much better.
    don

  21. #21
    President Member Dwain G.'s Avatar
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    I've learned a little about hearing aids since moving my Mum out west to be closer. I wondered why her hearing aid batteries only seem to last a few days. One thing I learned is that you are supposed to pull the little tabs off new batteries, then let them sit for a minute or two before installing them. Read that on line and confirmed it in print on the new batteries I just bought. They can be turned off at night (just open the battery compartment) to extend battery life, but the downside to that is no hearing at all in case of an emergency.

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    Being married I have taken after our Golden Retrievers and have chosen selective hearing. I am sure years ago standing next to several thousand horsepower top fuel cars didn't do much good either.
    Bill

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