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Questions about Hearing Aids

 
 
Eva
 
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 03:21 pm
I thought I'd start a new topic on this, since I am beginning the process to get hearing aids. I know I'll have a lot of questions, and I'm sure that sozobe and others will have some knowledge about these things.

If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it!

First question...

I've been reading about the various styles of hearing aids (BTE, ITE, ITC & CIC.) I assume that an audiologist can recommend the best type for me, or is it strictly my choice? Any recommendations/experiences?

Second question...

Does anyone know anything about implantable aids? (More info on this link...not sales-related, don't worry.)http://healthlink.mcw.edu/article/1014763100.html
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 03:35 pm
<waving!>

The different types of aids (I only know BTE and ITE right off -- behind the ear and in the ear) are usually of different powers. Basically, as in anything, bigger= more power. The behind the ear aids are bigger and more powerful. The ITE's are smaller and less powerful.

I think your loss is right on the cusp, so you could probably get away with an ITE. Definitely check with your audiologist.

Here's more info about implantable aids:

http://www.hearinglossweb.com/Technology/HearingAids/implant.htm

The informal buzz on it is that it's too new of a technology for people to be comfortable with implanting. There is already new nanotechnology. Anytime you are actually physically going into the ear there is a risk of permanently damaging the ear and losing any residual hearing. What I've seen about this is that it seems promising but too new -- wait a while (5-10 years) and then see.

With your level of loss, I really don't think you'll need anything so drastic. There are a lot of really good, high quality hearing aids out there that can make a big difference for you.

But yes, your audiologist should be able to really recommend the best for you.

I had a behind-the-ear aid, because my hearing fluctuated all over -- I was able to adjust it myself. Sometimes it was more power than I needed, sometimes not enough. (When it was more, I could sit at one end of a long [like 150 feet] hallway in school and hear the whispers of kids at the other end -- but I digress.)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 03:39 pm
Ah, in the canal and completely in the canal are the other two. Basically, they just get less and less powerful. It's a matter of esthetics -- how little power you need vs. how little hearing aid you want showing. If you have very little loss, then a completely in the ear aid might be fine, and then nobody would even know you have a hearing aid.

I think you could probably wrangle an ITC and up -- let me check what they say about decibel ranges.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 03:44 pm
And - there's some good info on this thread.

I STILL haven't got mine....

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8646
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 03:54 pm
The other thing about implantable aids is that different hearing aids all have their own little idiosyncracies, and the most useful thing to do is try a lot of them and see what matches up best. With the implantable aid, that's it, you're stuck with that one. (Or else just have a magnet rattling around in your ear, which doesn't seem like a good thing but maybe it wouldn't have any particular effect...)

The main thing for me is that surgery is surgery is surgery -- always a risk, and when you have as much residual hearing as you do, and when there are so many good NON-invasive options available, that makes me nervous.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 04:00 pm
[whistling]
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 06:05 pm
I had my left ear drum blasted about 30 years ago. its given me a permanent tinnitus that Ive learned to ignore. However, its beginning to affect my hearing in that ear at the upper registers. AM I a candidate also? should I go see a doc or just keep ignoring my wife?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 06:17 pm
See a doc. Why not?
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 06:35 pm
cuz my wife likes to yak when were watchin a movie. I haven it made by keeping her on my left side and all i have is a ringing .
I had it closely doctored when I came back to the states
there was not much to be done except take out all hearing in that ear.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 06:42 pm
Ah. Then, don't see a doc! <shrugs>

There have been a lot of recent developments, therapies, technologies -- baby boomers are aging and various companies see $$$. So probably worth it just to see what the latest is, whether you have options you don't know about.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 07:04 pm
will I be able to play the flute and hear the high notes?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 07:06 pm
Um.

(Did you know the left ear is the music ear? I didn't either, cool article in the nyt yesterday.)
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 07:10 pm
What I try to do when talking with either Eva or Soz is sit in a crowded noisy room, cover my right ear with my hand like it was a cell-phone and cover my mouth with the other hand and mumble "can you hear me now?"
They usually answer with a sign gesture but I think it's in Italian and I don't know Italian. Do they make aids that translate from Italian to Enguish?
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 08:10 pm
Yes soz, that was a cool article. I read it with great interest.

Dys, we would just TELL you what the gestures mean, but that would spoil all our fun. Besides, it would just show up in asterisks here anyway.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 08:25 pm
<high fives Eva>
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 09:06 pm
Audiologist? Should I dig one up, see an eent doctor, or the hearing center run by the local hospital? I specifically don't want someone motivated to recommend a particular brand and type - which he just happens to sell, by a remarkable coincidence. I also don't want to go broke running from one specialist to another. Completely open to suggestions. Who knows? I might run into someone with something important to say.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 09:16 pm
I'd suggest ENT with a staff audiologist. My experience with audiologists has been they make the recommendation, but I have to buy the thing elsewhere.

By the way, if anyone's looking for a cause to agitate for, it's criminal that cochlear implants are covered by most insurance policies but hearing aids almost never are. (For the first time in 20 years (gulp) of having hearing loss I'm elibgible for some insurance coverage of hearing aids -- but that's still something like $1,000 towards a device that would cost much, much more than that.) (For me, mind you -- I'd need the most powerful thing they've got. Lots cheaper ones at less powerful ranges.)

I've not had a hearing aid for the last 7 years maybe a quarter because I don't like them and 3/4 'cause I can't possibly afford one. I have a friend who worked for eToys from the beginning pretty much (remember them?) got stock, cashed out, was suddenly rich, and bought top-o-the line hearing aids -- something like $50,000. He said they were great.

I don't need $50,000 ones, but I know technology has gotten WAY better than the last hearing aids I had, which were made about 15 years ago.

So I want to venture back into this myself, see what happens. Absolutely sucks that they charge so much for them, though.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 09:21 pm
Thanks. I'll make sure the ent has an audiologist. If not, I suppose I will go with the hospital. I actually went so far with my doctor's office to have been given the choice.

No, nobody around here has anything to say worth $50,000.00 either.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 10:21 pm
I'm listening. I need them, estimate at $3,000. Tap, tap, tap.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2004 10:24 pm
You say them at $3,000. That better mean it an no more than $1500.00.
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