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Friday, January 15, 2016

Sorry, I Didn't Hear You

I went to the Audiologist today to have my hearing tested.

I had been putting it off. The last time I had my hearing tested was 2008. My husband and my daughter said it was time for me to go. I am having trouble hearing soft consonants, which makes it difficult to understand less than clear speakers, like my grandchildren. I have a hard time participating in conversation in a group with a noisy background. I need clear speech on TV shows or I miss a lot of the dialogue. English accents are hard to decipher, and that's most of PBS.

The results are in. I have significant enough hearing loss that I am now a good candidate for hearing aids. I knew it was true, but I have been dreading it.

Hearing aids are a miracle if they work, but so often they don't. My mother never found any that worked for her. But technology is vastly improved in the last few years. My older sister gave up on hers in the last two years, after trying two different sets. She said she couldn't find any that worked for her. 

Now I get to go down that road. I will be referred to an ENT specialist first, and then to the Hear Center, where an Audiologist will determine what sorts of aids will work for me. There will be a range of styles and technology levels to select from. I will make a guided choice. Then I will have 30 days to try them out. 

The technology will determine the cost, anywhere from $1300 to $3000 per ear. Of course there is no insurance coverage for hearing aids. Most people I know have had their aids replaced at least once as new technology comes along. There will be service appointments and parts replacements. Once you begin down this road, it doesn't end. 

Do any of you have experience with hearing aids? 

19 comments:

  1. My DH really needs hearing aids but due to the cost and the unreliable results ( from almost everyone we've asked) he hasn't moved forward on this. I hope you will keep us posted on how this works for you. All the best.

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  2. The problem with hearing aids is that people put them off for too long. It much easier to adjust at early stages of hearing loss. I am glad to hear you are working with an audiologist.
    I went with Mike for his first hearing test. Then I apologized for ever accusing him of being a poor listener. His loss was so great it was truly amazing that he functioned as well as he did. He told the audiologist he wanted hearing aids so he could hear crickets and birds singing. (Note that he did not mention my musical voice and witty conversation!) He was told he would never hear crickets and most birds again. He got the hearing aids anyway and he did wear them in the same way I wear my glasses (which is when I want to see).

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  3. Another life challenge. I had some tintinitis in my ears and went to the ear doctor. He tested my hearing and said it was perfect except for the ringing in my ears-charged me $300 and sent me home. Cheap compared to my new retina doctor who charges $1000 an appt of which my insurance pays about 60%. It's not cheap to get older even with insurance. Good luck with your hearing aids, I still have that to look forward to....lol!

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  4. My father uses them but apparently with little success. Hope you are one of the success stories.

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  5. No, I have never used hearing aids and hope I never do. Good luck, Linda.

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  6. My father was told he would lose all of his hearing if did not get hearing aids and that he had almost put it off too long. He had problems up and down with them, but did wear them more often than not.

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  7. I only have the experience of poor hearing. Mostly it's my wife I have trouble hearing as she tends to talk to me when I'm in another room. I'll be watching your blog to see what you discover. Good luck.

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  8. Oh my, sorry to hear you're about to begin this journey. I have hearing loss very similar to yours. Can't hear our grandson or either one of my children. No longer buy season's tickets to theater because I can't understand the old English used in so many productions. Bob's hearing aids have been in his chest of drawers for many years. We do have family members who wear them consistently but they tweak them, change batteries in them, take them in for maintainance and on and on it goes all the time. On the other hand there's little that's as isolating as hearing loss. I'd say it's worth giving it your best shot & with you that's better than good. It just may be that the good outweighs the annoyance.

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  9. So sorry to hear you've reached the hearing aid stage. The rest of us, if we don't have them already, are not far behind you, however! I don't have hearing aids yet, nor does my husband. He likes the t.v. volume cranked up to level 14; I like it at level 9 or 10. Yet, he insists, his hearing is fine.

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    1. Volume is a problem in our household also. To hear the TV, my husband turns it up high or leaves it off and reads the captions that he always has on. I find it irritating to try to watch TV with him because I don't like to JUST watch TV, so need volume on to watch/listen, but can't deal with the high volume either.

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  10. My Grandfather used to save the batteries for his hearing aids for Church on Sunday, the rest of the week they had no batteries. My parents both have hearing aids...can't say their hearing has improved...they are always going for some kind of hearing appointment.
    Good luck with your quest...I have heard of many people going to Mexico...have a friend who is going there next month for hearing aids;)

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  11. I guess this is a venture we will mostly all face and dread. I'm not there yet but I too have problem with accents--English or other wise. I have tinnitus so I am sure this is in my future. Please let us know how this goes for you. Wishing you good luck and hope you find relief.

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  12. My husband is on his third set of hearing aids. They are definitely better than nothing, and once he got them we could actually communicate a little. It's still exasperating for him as he doesn't hear everything and complains that everyone mumbles and doesn't look at him when they are speaking. It's exasperating for me because he is careless with the batteries and i live in fear one of the grandchildren will find one he has discarded. I have vision problems, so it really is the deaf leading the blind in our household. :(

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  13. Even my 56 year old sister tried a hearing aid for one ear.... She didn't like it.... Good luck!!

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  14. I am glad you are working with an audiologist, sounds as if you are getting good advice which will be of great benefit to you. My sister and I wear hearing aids and wouldn't be without them. You will never hear as well as you did when you were 20, but you will be able to hear better. One thing hearing people do not know is that they do not need to speak louder, they just need to speak slower. I go in annually for a hearing test and adjustment, if necessary. If you think you are having difficulty now, if you do not get hearing aids you will be totally out of the picture for any audio whether it is people or TV. One thing I really like about my hearing aids is that I only need to replace the batteries annually; the hearing aid charger is wonderful. With my arthritis I would be chasing the batteries around the room before they ever landed in the battery compartment.

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    1. Thank you, Cousin, for checking in on this topic. I really need to hear success stories. My sister-in-law, Jan, also gave me a positive report from her experience with hearing aids.

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  15. We were at a senior luncheon where a speaker talked about how important hearing aids where to keep your brain sharp. They also said technology had made huge improvements through the years. Art is supposed to get one too. I guess he'll have to ask about it next time we see our nurse practitioner because he was tested a few months ago. I'll look forward to hearing how your hearing aid works.

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  16. What's that you said? No experience with them but I wish you success!

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  17. I'm not sure if my last comment posted, so I'll try again. My husband has worn hearing aids for about six years. His hearing loss was causing me to think he had memory problems when in reality he could not hear me but would not let on that didn't hear. They are a huge investment, but worth every penny. (We have ours insured for loss on our homeowners.) When he first was looking into getting hearing aids, I had him talk it over with my dear friend Marilyn. I am linking this comment to her blog on hearing devices. https://heargear.wordpress.com She can help you sort through the many options available. If you contact her, let her know that you and I are blogging friends.

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