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Questions about Hearing Aids

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2005 11:35 am
The behind-the-ears still have an earmold -- there will be something in your ear, no matter what. But the earmolds for BTEs often do feel less stuffy. When my hearing wasn't so bad I had an earmold with a hole in it, so I'd get "real" sound as well as the amplified sound, and that also lessened the feeling of stuffiness. I liked BTEs better but can't remember if it was for that reason or just 'cause they worked better (more powerful.)
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2005 12:42 pm
Listening in.

Hello everybody. McTag
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2005 12:51 pm
Hi, McTag!

Yes, the BTEs are the most powerful from what I've learned. But there's a new "PAC" type (?) that doesn't require an earmold, just a tiny clear plastic tube from the BTE unit over the top of the ear and into the canal. Supposed to be much more comfortable, virtually invisible. Don't know if I'd qualify for that, though. Will have to see how the CICs work first.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 10:46 am
Hello, everyone!

I just got my hearing aids this morning...a couple of hours ago. The world is a VERY noisy place! Smile

Will have to get used to the feeling of wearing earplugs, I suppose. Weird...not comfortable yet. The first thing I did was come home and listen to my sister's gorgeous (original) piano compositions recorded on our digital piano. God, I had forgotten how good music can sound.

Okay, everyone. You can stop shouting now. Wink
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 10:55 am
Yippeee!! This moment has been a long time coming. Congrats!!!
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:06 am
Thanks, soz. ((((BIG HUG))))

I didn't realize until now how quiet a world I've been living in for the past year.

They advised me to wear them for a few hours a day and work my way up to all day. Now I can see (or hear) why. It's very intense.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:06 am
Yep.

Big hugs back!!
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:11 am
[size=7]eva, can you hear me now?[/size]
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:20 am
YES!
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:22 am
ok then Eva that's the end of whispering in your ear. I mean it!
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:25 am
Great news! I'm happy for you, Eva. Very Happy
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:53 pm
dyslexia wrote:
ok then Eva that's the end of whispering in your ear. I mean it!


Huh? Huh? What'd he say??? Laughing
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 03:56 pm
Good news (though I'm still steamin' on your behalf).
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:11 pm
Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still angry myself. But then, life isn't always fair. Thanks for the virtual hug, beth. I needed it. It's been a very weird day.

At least our insurance picked up the FULL COST of the hearing aids less the $30 office co-pay. That was a shock. The final tab came to slightly over $7,000 with sales tax. Shocked (I got the latest & greatest model, naturally. I figured I deserved it. Cool )
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:12 pm
damn!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 08:13 pm
You know I'm sympathetic, Eva.. hang in there!

Oy, $7,000...
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:33 pm
Well, that is top end.

Still.... Shocked
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2005 11:52 pm
I guess that's what I always wanted to know, but was afraid to ask.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2005 12:45 am
Roger -- That price was not discounted, and was for TWO top-of-the-line hearing aids. You could probably cut the price in half if you really needed to...check out discount sources (hearingplanet.com, walk-in stores, etc.), go with larger models, not the very latest technology, etc.

That said, it's hard to put a price on the ability to hear. (What is enjoying music worth to you? What is the ability to hear your loved ones' voices clearly worth? Etc.) I would have taken money out of the bank if I had to. Without batting an eye.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2005 08:46 pm
Just got this via email, FYI:

Editor: How well does your hearing aid provider fit your hearing aid? I don't mean the physical fit. I'm asking about the acoustic fit. It seems that at least one prominent audiologist believes that, in many cases, the answer is "not too well."

Here's an article from NVRC News. Please visit http://www.nvrc.org to learn more about these wonderful folks. If you share this article, please be sure to credit them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Audiologist Robert L. Martin, Ph.D., writes about fitting patients for hearing aids in his article Nuts & Bolts for the October 2004 issue of The Hearing Journal. Excerpts from his observations are divided into four categories: hearing, occlusion/fitting mechanics, feedback and word understanding in noise.

Hearing - Martin asserts that audiologists tend to focus on hearing thresholds in the mid-frequencies, overlooking the fact that patients often have a substantial hearing loss at 4000 Hz that needs to be corrected. There are almost twice as many speech cues in the octave band at 4000 Hz (23%) as in the band at 500 Hz (14%). If the hearing aid fitting provides inadequate amplification at the high frequencies, the patient is deprived of a lot of speech information.

Occlusion - When sound passes through an open unaided ear, it is amplified naturally by the pinna. A hearing aid obstructs the normal pathway of sound, so considerable amplification is needed just to get back to unaided hearing. Audiologists might be unaware of how serious occlusion is unless a measurement is taken of the hearing-aid-in-the-ear-turned-off curve, also known as the REOR (real-ear occluded response). Many hearing aid fittings have to produce over 30 dB of amplification just to get back to the open ear level.

Feedback - Audiologists strive to maximize venting so the patient is comfortable with his or her voice. In doing so, feedback problems can be created that are usually solved by reducing gain in the higher frequencies. But when the gain in the high frequencies is reduced, the speech cues in those zones are often eliminated.

Word Understanding in Noise - The problem of insufficient amplification in the band at 4000 Hz does not show up until patients wear their hearing aids in an adverse listening situation. Then, when noise reduces speech cues across all zones, patients need all the speech cues they can get. If the fitting is starved for speech information, word understanding deteriorates rapidly when listening conditions get worse. But if the fitting maximizes speech information, patients are still able to hear and recognize words even in substantial noise levels. Audiologists can be unaware that many hearing aid fittings fail to provide sufficient gain in the high frequencies because interaction with the patient is in a quiet office and fittings aren't verified with real-ear measurement.

A Solution - Martin maintains that completely open hearing aid fittings have a significant advantage over occluded fittings when it comes to delivering real-ear amplification in the high-frequency zone. Giving patients significant useful gain in the high frequencies markedly improves their ability to understand words in noise. When audiologists give patients as many speech cues as possible, the likelihood is strong that they will hear well in all listening situations.

NVRC News, February 20, 2005
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