Hearing Aids Pros and Cons

2

Comments

  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited April 15
    Will do, Huia. I am interested for both the extra clarity through bone and also the captions. I miss things in discussions.. You could give the audiologist the links in my first post. I have known of the headphones a while but learnt of the other concept only yesterday at family meeting held outdoors. We have such a meeting every week and I miss things.

    At first I thought new concepts were instead of aids but they are in addition
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I'd like to be updated too. I've just come back from a weekend away with a group of friends. I manged fairly well, but I've been deaf since I was five (though my hearing has declined a lot in the last few years). I have National Health Service aids with moulds and they seemed powerful enough to cope. A newly deaf friend has just spent a lot of money on private aids. They didn't have moulds, but were Bluetooth which I would find really useful, but she was really struggling with general conversation. . I gently tried to explain that I thought she needed to go back and get them sorted, but she was thinking there wouldn't be anything that would help, and was looking so depressed. Something like speak see might help us both.
    She has been to lip-reading classes which she said helped, something I've not done. I'm going to see if there are any in my area as it would be a useful skill. Has anyone else done them? Another friend is learning sign language as she has made some deaf friends who sign. It sounded like she was having a lot of fun doing that.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I will post on boards as to anything further. I have not done classes, can lip read just a bit.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited April 18
    Update:Unknown to me, son ordered a set of the earphones yesterdayfrom Queensland. First positive thing is that they arrived here in 30 hours. Second thing is the obvious pride taken in product, genuine, not a copy. Extremely well packed.

    I had unpacked them and started the installation when son arrived They will take a bit of getting used to for wearing the. home from his double physio session. They are now linked with Bluetooth on both phone and iPad. They came charged.

    I hear my voice very clearly but with a different tone, acceptable. Headset feels odd but I have never used headphones for music etc as that is just “not me.” Headphones are very, very light. I had to fiddle with eye glasses. More comfortable with earpiece of glasses under headphones but that lifts the earpiece off my face. I imagine in a day or so it will be fine, it is just unusual. Sound is very clear for both conversation and phone calls. Tested it on YouTube and that was much better too. I think it will be fine in a coupleof days. It just sounds odd now.

    Next test will be dinner tonight . This is one area where clarity of my hearing has been poor. It will be interesting to see how much clearer things are. Stay tuned for updates.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    On my sister's advice, I've given hearing aids a second try. I've had them for two months now and am quite satisfied. The initial getting-used-to period is over, and I hardly realize that they're in anymore but I do hear much better. I guess it pays to go to a vendor who will pay close attention to how you're fitted, as opposed to a discount chain which is where I got the first pair that I was dissatisfied with.

    My only complaint is that in restaurants or other noisy environments, I can hear everyone behind me clearly but I can't hear people in front of me. This, even in "party mode," which is supposed to sharpen the pickup pattern so as to eliminate background noise.

    And I do have to put them in "quiet mode" when I play the piano, as it sounds tinny and honky-tonk otherwise. Not as bad, though, as the old pair that I returned.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    My only complaint is that in restaurants or other noisy environments, I can hear everyone behind me clearly but I can't hear people in front of me. This, even in "party mode," which is supposed to sharpen the pickup pattern so as to eliminate background noise.

    In a restaurant I ask to be seated with a wall behind me if possible.
  • Moo wrote: »
    [quote=
    In a restaurant I ask to be seated with a wall behind me if possible.

    Oh thank you Moo, I never thought of that.

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Miss Amanda, as I tell my brothers "You should always heed your sister's advice" :wink: .

    I went to a somewhat dodgy outfit because they were offering a special deal. I felt really uncomfortable with the salesman, (and he did come across as a salesman, rather than an audiologist), so followed the advice of a cousin who had a hearing disability and went to a different audiologist. They discussed my lifestyle and found hearing aids to suit me, rather than trying to fit me to the hearing aids. It made a crucial difference.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    I went to a somewhat dodgy outfit because they were offering a special deal. I felt really uncomfortable with the salesman, (and he did come across as a salesman, rather than an audiologist), so followed the advice of a cousin who had a hearing disability and went to a different audiologist. They discussed my lifestyle and found hearing aids to suit me, rather than trying to fit me to the hearing aids. It made a crucial difference.

    Exactly @Huia. I'm afraid this is what has happened to my friend I mentioned above. She's got herself pretty hearing aids that fit one of her criteria (Bluetooth enabled) but don't actually let her get on with being able to hear people easily in day to day situations. My aids are ugly NHS ones and I'd love to have Bluetooth/ rechargeable batteries and all the other things that aren't provided on the NHS but I can get by pretty well in most situations which is the point of the things. Mind you if I ever have some spare cash I'd be tempted to go somewhere reputable for ones that would sync to my phone etc etc.

  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I was surprised to see comments about sales people. I have only ever been to audiologists for testing and help with aids. They have all been wonderful.careful to onvestigate what would be best. Down here, government gives free aids ever five years to those on pension. I bought the first pair years ago, some thousands of dollars. Two more years till next pair. A contribution of just under $50 covers all batteries and maintenance for a year
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I saw my audiologist today for the yearly hearing test and adjustment of volume. Apparently my bone conduction would not suit extra assistance from the headphones. (damn).

    The NZ government gives a subsidy of $50 per hearing aid every 6 years and anyone with a Community services card ( very low income) is entitled to some offset on the ongoing visits to an audiologist, and if necessary the ear nurse, but nothing extra toward the hearing aids, which, for me cost around $5,000 for two. The ability to be able to replace my hearing aids is the main focus of my budgeting.

    Loth, the first man I spoke to may have been an audiologist, it's just that he came across more as a salesman, determined to sell his product rather than meet my needs. Also he was based in Auckland so any small repairs would mean the loss of the aids while they were posted there to be fixed (with the added risk of being lost in the post) whereas the current practice has two walk-in clinics a day where small adjustments are made on the spot.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    My first aids had to go to Brisbane for maintenance.

    I knew from previous testing that the difference in hearing through bone was pronounced. That was why I decided to go ahead with these which cost $140 with postage. I am happy with a couple of provisos. Bluetooth connection sometimes takes a while to iPad. My ears were sore at first on cartilage. Behind my ear was rubbed as things were crowdedx. Tubes for normal aids, fitting for head phones , and the ear pieces for eye glasses all had to bed down and settle in.

    Using phone is ever so much easier than it used to be. Much clearerand phone sits on lap or table and works through headphones and Bluetooth. That in itself is a huge improvement for me. Dinner is also better as I do not miss out on bits and pieces of conversation..
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I am delighted for you. That is such a small cost for a major improvement.


    (I am also somewhat envious as I had been hoping they might work for me too).

    Noticed a mistake in my earlier post. NZ Government subsidy is $500 per hearing aid - not $50.
  • Barnabas_AusBarnabas_Aus Shipmate
    I have just upgraded my aids after five years. The new aids are rechargeable, thereby eliminating the battery compartment which caused problems when I perspired heavily while working outdoors on hot days, as the sweat would shortcircuit the battery and the aids would shut down and have to go into the dehumidifier. They were priced at just under AUD5000 full retail, but with the government subsidy and a very healthy refund from our health insurance, about 90% of that will be covered.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Good to hear.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I'm jealous. Medicare as a matter of policy doesn't usually cover hearing aids at all. Some Medicare Supplement plans do, but the deductible is usually high.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    There used to be a similar scheme for eye glasses. You could stick to govt limit or choose something more expensive and pay the difference. The scheme is now basically wiped apart for a few circumstances. However the provision of hearing aids is still there, every five years mine are free, and the small fee covers batteries and maintenance all year. I ring audiologist and they arrive in mail a couple of days later.
  • Barnabas_AusBarnabas_Aus Shipmate
    edited May 8
    If I'd wanted to continue with battery-powered aids mine also would have been free, but after paying large fees for repairs when one of the aids was damaged by perspiration, I figured that the investment in the newer generation was worth it.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited May 8
    Definitely.this pair have not needed any maintenance but when it was needed before that, it was covered by the $50 annual fee which also covered batteries for a year. Must ring and get more sent in mail

  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    Wondering what others in US do with old hearing aid batteries? I am getting quite a collection and have no idea how one recycles them.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    If the hearing aids are still functional, your audiologist may be able to give them to patients who can't afford them.
  • I googled and there seems to be a problem with recycling batteries in NZ.
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    Same when I googled here in US. "Put them in trash," Do not put them in trash as they contain Zinc." They do not contain Zinc." "Put them in trash unless they contain mercery."
    "None contain mercery, some contain mercery." ???????? It is a puzzle.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I have a large zip container which had hairbrush or similar in it. I put the batteries in there and it is in an easy spot for me to get. We have another container for other batteries although mostly now we have rechargeable or similar. With the tiny size of hearing aid batteries and changing them 8-9 days, there is room in the zipper pouch for many years worth of them.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I googled and there seems to be a problem with recycling batteries in NZ.

    Not sure where you got that from. My audiologist accepts hearing aid batteries for recycling, as do Bay Audiology, one of the largest chains in NZ.

    Also some supermarkets now have collection points for a lot of different kinds of batteries (this is a fairly new innovation).
  • Looking, a policy document from May 2014, that suggested the next recycling project should be batteries as they are either cased in concrete in landfill or shipped to Australia. However, looking again, I found this which is an Auckland company setting up recycling in New Zealand (possibly the exporter to Australia). I can't find any dates on that page. (I've been caught by a VHS recycling project in the UK that don't any more when stuff is sent to them.)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I think the project is now in place with the roll out of the used battery collection points in Supermarkets.

    I do think NZ has been a late developer in this though, but now the Green Party is part of the coalition that makes up the Government
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    I wish some wise soul would invent something by which you would turn off the background music on the TV. Often when watching a program even with hearing aids on I have trouble catching all of the dialogue because the background music is so loud.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I think that's why I no longer watch TV. Having a hearing loss and hating loud noise is a difficult, but not uncommon combination.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    And add in accents and it is even worse.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Subtitles are your friend in those situations, if the programme has them of course and they are accurate! Mind you inaccurate ones are a good for a laugh.
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    Yes, I tried subtitles, but hubby finds them very distracting and hates them. He says he can not stop seeing them and trying to read them, and then gets lost from video.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    What irks me is when the subtitle software stalls over something it can't parse right away, and the talking heads babble on while the subtitles remain frozen.

    Trying to read Spanish subtitles is worse. But then the problem is me trying to parse the Spanish before it disappears into the next subtitle.
  • JoanofArcJoanofArc Shipmate
    I have had mine for 9 months...I was told to wear them all the time as it trains your brain to hear again...

    This is the current medical thought. I care for a family with dementia (from a brain injury). He does wear hearing aids. I would say his functioning and behavior is better since receiving this pair. Hearing aids have improved greatly over time.

    The audiologist also stressed that people with any form of dementia are known to function better with hearing aids.

  • caroline444caroline444 Shipmate
    edited June 1
    I wear Sony wireless earphones (RF811RK), minus my hearing aids, when I watch television. The earphones work very well

    I also listen the radio via the television set (which has a freeview box, does this make a difference re accessing radio?) The quality with the earphones is superb, and you can listen to the radio or television all round the house.

    It only works with one person though, as the general sound into the room stops once the earphones are plugged in.

    PS These earphones are great, but it is a real challenge trying to remove & replace the cover over the battery container. I just threw the cover away, and leave the batteries exposed.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited June 1
    My Aftershok headphones with Bluetooth connection are an enormous help in clarity of sound.. relatively inexpensive but worth ever cent for benefits. I use mobile now with it on table and both transmitting and receiving work well. This is an unexpected bonus as in a long conversation my fingers with arthritis get cramped and sore very easily.

    Dinner conversation is also much improved as I can hear!!!! the conversation instead of hearing general noise. Will be investigating new hearing aids soon. Govt. subsidy gives new aids every five years without cost to me and this pair had new technology which helped a lot. But there are now better aids. Subsidy can be topped up by me towards better aids.

    BTW, welcome aboard.
  • JoanofArcJoanofArc Shipmate
    It does seem that hearing aids, like other types of consumer electronics, are almost obsolete when they are purchased.

    @Lothlorien sounds like you and others have come up with some very creative solutions. In our case, the less there is for him to fiddle with, the better. One thing this thread really emphasises is the fact that not two people or situations are the same. And thanks, nice to be here.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I have had the headphones about a month and did fiddle with strangeness at first. They have settled in and I now get them connected easily. Extra stuff behind my ears with glasses etc was awkward at first, but I persisted.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Well done Loth- glad it was worth it. I was disappointed that they wouldn't work for me,

    I get new hearing aids next year. It's a 6 year cycle for the $1,000 subsidy here, which will leave me with about $3,500 to $4,000 to pay) - with fingers crossed it's not more.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Not a subsidy here if you don’t want something more. There is a range for various needs, current pair has been best I have had. No cost. I know someone who needed just one and paid more to get the style completely in ear. Years and years ago, my first pair was about $3500 and I had to pay for them
  • Barnabas_AusBarnabas_Aus Shipmate
    I would have gone for the free ones as well, but they were still battery-powered, which was the problem with my previous aids and the excessive sweating in hot weather. My new aids are sealed units which charge inductively and thus are moisture resistant. With the government subsidy and an excellent refund from health insurance, they were affordable, especially in the context of a large repair bill for just one aid in the last twelve months. Massive advancement in technology over the five years between purchases.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    As long as the massive advancement doesn't result in a super massive price increase I'll be happy. :wink:
  • Barnabas_AusBarnabas_Aus Shipmate
    Slightly cheaper at full price in fact, Huia!
  • I wish some wise soul would invent something by which you would turn off the background music on the TV. Often when watching a program even with hearing aids on I have trouble catching all of the dialogue because the background music is so loud.

    I noted this a while ago when GI posted it, as I used to work somewhere where projects were ongoing in this area. Well, it seems that finally (perhaps because TV-over-internet is now as developed as it is, as opposed to 'normal' terrestrial broadcast) something has come to fruition - more details here.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    What an excellent idea - I've long thought that the background noises - be they sound-effects or incidental music - on TV dramas have been getting louder at the expense of the dialogue.
  • Yes Yes Yes, tried it and found it very helpful. Hope it is soon available.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Right, smashed the piggy bank and went for both ears and rechargeable batteries, so we’ll see how that goes.

    So far I notice that the TV is audible at a much lower setting (whether this is a good thing or not is another matter).
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Well done Firenze - that's what piggybanks are for.

    I will investigate rechargeable batteries next year when I replace mine.
  • If they are similar to my new rechargeable aids, they are resistant to moisture damage as well. Batteries are meant to have a five-year lifespan, which may mean that I can get the aids for free next time given the progress in our national scheme.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I had to buy some new batteries today. The audiologist has changed their supplier and instead of $8 for a card of 6, they now cost $5.

    Every little helps. :smiley:
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