9
   

hearing amplifiers?

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:15 pm
Wally has started going to yoga, and realizes he can't always hear the various instructors, who do tend to speak in a softer voice.

I've heard/know that those "as seen on TV" things are apparantly pieces of crap, but has anyone had experience with something that did help in situations where it's difficult to hear?

We don't want to go the all out hearing aid route, and they are not covered by our insurance, and from what I'm seeing are WAY expensive.

Advice?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 2,935 • Replies: 34
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dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:17 pm
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/hearing-aid-7.jpg
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:30 pm
A frieind of mine who could not get those expensive hearing aids to work bought one of these and is using it. She says it works better and is a heck of a lot cheaper. Tell Yoga-boy to go for it.

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:44 pm
@chai2,
Ina hurry -- FM loop. More later.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:47 pm
@chai2,
"the (local) hearing society" (a non-profit organization) will likely give the best advice .
i have a little attachment on the phone that allows me to modulate the loudness and the tone - size of cigarette-pack and cost $60 - half what the "hearing-aid centre" wanted .
our hospital ent-clinic advised me to go to the "hearing society" - good advice - and no charge .
hbg
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:48 pm
@sozobe,
Actually scratch that since it works best with hearing aids I think.

This device is $100 and doesn't require hearing aids:

http://www.harriscomm.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1248_1253_1260&products_id=18002

Harris Communications is a great resource, here's their general "assistive listening" category:

http://www.harriscomm.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=1248_1253_1260
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 03:50 pm
@hamburgboy,
Yep, that's good advice. They frequently have programs where they give gadgets away, or offer it at a reduced price.

This seems promising:

http://www.txsha.org/

Or else these guys:

http://www.hearingloss.org/
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:03 pm
@sozobe,
soz :
they lent me the little gadget for several days and said : " try it out first , if it works for you , we'll order you one ."

btw i had my hearing tests last fall at the ent clinic .
the finding : old age plus arthritis in my ears !!!
the ent doc told me " if anyone tries to sell you a $1,000 plus hearing aid , don't buy it . it won't help you . " , followed by : " i see you are beginning to lipread a bit - that's good ! just tell people to look at you when they are speaking to you " .

good advice - and no charge !
take care !
hbg
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:37 pm
@dyslexia,
You sure that thing is intended for hearing. We had something like that when I was a little fella. The big end was filled with water, and the little end - well, you know. . . .
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:41 pm
@roger,
did you need an amplifier for that ?
hbg
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:45 pm
@hamburgboy,
There were frequent disagreements on the subject, believe me.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:46 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Actually scratch that since it works best with hearing aids I think.

This device is $100 and doesn't require hearing aids:

http://www.harriscomm.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1248_1253_1260&products_id=18002

Harris Communications is a great resource, here's their general "assistive listening" category:

http://www.harriscomm.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=1248_1253_1260


soz, I'll look closer later. I'm on my way out the door....

one thing about that though...the wires...doing yoga you're all over the place, need maxium mobility

sully, no picture....try again.

I'll be back.

thanks
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 08:07 pm
Sorry, but I am multitasking and haven't read the whole thread.....

I have hearing issues also - they sound similar to your hubby's. My doc told me to explore hearing aids, but also said (in the same breath) that they might not help. Given that cheap aids are hundreds of dollars and good aids are much much more expenzive, I haven't followed through. I just tell people that I am having trouble hearing and make adjustments. I am pretty sure one can test out various hearing aids to see if they work before buying them, though.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 08:27 pm
@littlek,
I blew out my left ear drum and have had tinnitis and high frequency hearing loss for years. SO, I tried a really good hearing aid and used it like a week before I gave up. It made Everything on my left side so uniformly loud that I couldnt discriminate among birds , whispers and trains. There was this cacophany. I kept feeling like I was going nuts. Being a little deaf on my left side aint to bad when Im sitting on the right of someone I dont wish to listen to.

Poor hearing has its advantages when you are painting and need to be alone.
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 08:50 pm
Forgive me if Soz or someone else has already said this...

You have to give yourself a good amount of time to adjust to hearing aids. Your brain has to make all these new neural connections. They don't work nearly as well at first as they do after you've worn them awhile. Most places want you to give new aids at least 30 days to see if you will adjust. Even after that, most people need to go back every few months to fine tune the programming (should be no-charge) because the brain keeps compensating.

For instance, when I lost half of my hearing 4 or 5 years ago, I couldn't make any sense of music whatsoever...with or without hearing aids. It was just a chaos of clashing, unorganized sounds. But after about 3 years, I began to hear music as I knew it should be, and now I get most of it.

So....don't give up on the hearing aids.

(P.S. to Farmerman: I agree. There are times when I'm very glad I can't hear everything! And the best part of wearing hearing aids is taking them out just before I go to bed. Everything suddenly gets very, very quiet, and I fall asleep so fast!)
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 10:38 pm
@Eva,
True. When you first start wearing one, you feel you are under constant assault in a hostil world.

Best solution is to get Wally's yoga instructor to a speech therapist.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 10:52 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Yep, that's good advice. They frequently have programs where they give gadgets away, or offer it at a reduced price.

This seems promising:

http://www.txsha.org/

Or else these guys:

http://www.hearingloss.org/



That's very interesting Soz.

Do they control somehow for the sound of the thing brushing against clothing?


I really need aids...but just can't manage the cost...and it is all so damn confusing!!!


A friend just bought, I think, $6.000 worth of hearing aid...and they are great (I sampled them)....but I get so confused re cheap, expensive...and anyhow I can't afford right now.

I'd look at forking out for the devices you mention here, though....I will check whether they are available in Oz, where I might test them.

I had also heard that there are semi-disposable ones at around $50 bucks, that last a while, and had read that, for a lot of folk, they seem to do about as good a job as the really expensive ones.

I have no idea if these are available here.


0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 06:25 am
@Eva,
Eva wrote:
(P.S. to Farmerman: I agree. There are times when I'm very glad I can't hear everything! And the best part of wearing hearing aids is taking them out just before I go to bed. Everything suddenly gets very, very quiet, and I fall asleep so fast!)


Ha! I remember that.

Nice to get the update on how you're doing, too, glad things are going so well for you!

I definitely agree that hearing aids often need time before they work well for the person using them. The problem is, sometimes even with time they don't work well. (I had been wearing them for about 10 years and had been at the same hearing loss level for about 6 years when I gave up on mine -- just really didn't help. I recently went to an ENT to just kind of do a tech check -- see where things are these days and whether a new-fangled hearing aid would help. They said no.)

Hearing levels are usually the best indicator as to whether it's worth sticking with it. (Both decibel loss and frequency loss.) Not sure what farmerman's hearing levels are like... or littlek's (that one's more surprising to me, seems like hearing aids would help from what I know of her situation). I do remember that you, Eva, are right in the sweet spot, hearing-wise. (Severely enough impacted that it's very difficult to function without hearing aids, but not so severe that there isn't enough hearing left for the hearing aids to be successful.) Again, so glad it's going well for you!

As for the questions about alternative hearing aid/ assistive listening devices, I really can only offer resources. I had a standard hearing aid and used extras like an FM loop and so I know a lot about that, but I don't know much about these other devices.

Littlek's right though that in the U.S. you can get loaner hearing aids and just see how things go. (Also various advocacy groups keep pushing for hearing aids to be covered by insurance -- it's insane that cochlear implants are but aids aren't.) And there are frequently programs that help provide technology to people who have a hard time affording it. Here's an example:

http://www.iltech.org/

Massachusetts:

http://ma.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=MADR_Athome
another one, long url
This one looks good!: http://www.massatloan.org/

Texas:

http://techaccess.edb.utexas.edu/
(that one seems to be the main game in town.)

The local Department of Rehabilitation (or Vocational Rehabilitation) often has resources, too.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 07:05 pm
@sozobe,
soz wrote :

Quote:
The local Department of Rehabilitation (or Vocational Rehabilitation) often has resources, too.


i'm assuming that you have something similar to the "canadian hearing society " in the states - though couldn't find anything .
i was very impressed by the help i got from our local branch of the CHS - and we live in a small city of 150,000 .
i'm sure you have something similar where you don't have to pay up-front , but can have a trial period to find out is the aid is right for you .
i remember that the ent doctor told me : " don't pay $5,000 for something that won't work for you ! " .
i think people are being mislead by some "hearing centres" in believing that they somehow are affiliated with hospitals , CHS etc. - but they are just stores selling hearing aids - they like to set up shop near hospitals and ent clinics - buyer beware !
hbg
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 07:45 pm
@farmerman,
I always feel like I am able to turn a deaf ear LITERALLY. And I kind of like it.
 

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