So... tell me about hearing aids

I’ve had tinnitus in my left ear for about 25 years. During the summer after high school before I went into the Army I performed as a gunfighter at an old west town. I used hearing protection but it’s difficult to hear the dialog when there are plugs in your ears so I would loosen the left side because I would shoot from the right. I would try to get the plug back in if possible, but I still damaged the ear. The Army did its part too.

I had my hearing checked by the VA after I got out and the results were basically “Yep, you have hearing loss.”

My wife gets frustrated when I can’t hear her (I admit that I am pretty bad at hearing her when she says stuff with her back to me in another room) but it also gets frustrating for me when I am in a crowded or noisy place and I just can’t follow a conversation. I end up leaning in or just smiling and nodding and not really being present.

I had my hearing checked again and the doctor recommends a hearing aid. She said that they are around $2500 and rechargeable ones are $100-200 more. Insurance won’t cover but the doc also said that VA might be able to provide one.

So… tell me about hearing aids. You got one? You got tinnitus? Is your life better with one?

I’m about in the same boat, condition wise (although for different reasons) than you. Got tested and fitted for a pair last year, and ended up returning them. They just didn’t quite do what I guess I needed. Trying again this year in May. There are forums out there for those that wear, or soon will wear, hearing aids.

I have hearing aids through the VA. They are Resound brand. Not the best in the world but better than nothing.

I have had tinnitus since Infantry training when someone fired off a LAW when I was in a bad position. Couldn’t hear anything the rest of the day and the ringing has never stopped.

Go to the VA and get a hearing test. Next trip (4 to 6 wks) you get hearing aids.

The major thing is to wear them. You still have hearing loss and have to retrain your brain to hear again.

Missed the edit deadline. Wanted to add, the hearing aids did help, but there were enough distracting artifacts, assisted by the provider/software/hardware, not to mention the lifestyle change, that I had to return them whilst pondering my alternatives.

Also, my insurance reimbursed for the middle of the road models I got. I would have been out of pocket for top of the line types.

I have tinnitus. I have about a 90% hearing loss in the right ear and about a 40% loss in the left ear.

I have hearing aids, but I don’t wear them nearly as much as I should. Main reason is that I spend a lot of time in noisy places and the hearing aids just make the noise louder. They work best in restaurants, etc., where they make it so I can clearly hear SWMBO’s voice.

I have a profound hearing loss in both ears. I’ve worn hearing aids since I was 4. I get occasional tinnitus with them in, fairly constant without.

My current ones are Oticon brand. They have Bluetooth and are paired to each other. There is also a device I can pair to my phone (or other Bluetooth devices) so I can send calls and music directly to my hearing aids. It ends up being like wearing headphones, without actual headphones.

I have difficulty in situations like restaurants because I can’t sort out my companions’ voices from all of the ambient noise, especially if there’s TVs or background music. I also have issues if someone is facing away from me or covering their mouth (I rely on lipreading a lot). But then, it’s nothing compared to how little I can hear without them.

I been wearing hearing aids for 68 years and I only get my hearing aids from an audi office . A good audi will decide which brand of hearing aid is best for your hearing lost and will let you know if will help you hear better . Hearing aids won’t help if your have severe voice recognition in an ear . I know an elderly man who brought his hearing aids a from hearing aids dealer that only sold their brand and they didn’t tell the guy that he had poor voice recognition in one ear . So the guy end up getting ripped off . Your best bet would be to find a good hearing aid audiologist that will fix you with the best hearing aid for your hearing lost and made ear molds that are custom made so you won’t end getting a lot of feed back .
I use to wear 2 hearing aids but my car was T boned and I lost more hearing and an ear got damage and now I have poor voice recognition in one ear and can’t talk on the phone with that ear anymore . A hearing aid is useless in my damage ear now. If you get any mail saying they’re looking people to try their hearing aids for free file the letter in your recycle bin ! I met a woman at my audi office and she said her mom got a letter like this and got ripped off, the aids were junk ! I am sorry to hear you lost your hearing . Yes my life is better wearing a hearing aid , I got my first one when I was 8 years old . I sure wish it didn’t take this long for someone to realize I was hoh and not retarded which was very common when I was a child. It help me hear better but I still have trouble understand everything that being said .

I have severe loss in my right ear, which my doctor says isn’t worth wearing an aid. My left ear is bad, but the improvement with my hearing aid is remarkable. It cost around three thousand dollars and is worth every penny. My insurance paid zero. A #10 battery lasts me three days.

Last year I left my hearing aid on a coffee table and one of our dogs (Loki, unironically) crushed it into dozens of pieces. My doctor’s technician got me a loaner while I waited for the new one to be made. I hate to think how I’d have gotten through even one day at work without it.

Just FYI, a talk last year between my sister and mother went like this:

“Mom, you really need a hearing aid.”

“What the hell would I do with a hand grenade?”

My mom now loves her “hand grenades” and uses them a lot. Apparently they need to be charged often. And it tells her when they are running low with a little announcement directly into her ear. Kept scaring the crap out of her for the first week since she lives alone.

Thanks for the responses everyone.

Thanks for your input, purplehearingaid. I liked the audiologist that I talked to on Monday and she said that they would make sure they fit me correctly and get the right one. She also suggested the VA, which I am looking into now as well.

The ENT doctor wants me to get a MRI in my head as well to check for anything other than nerve damage. That seems a little severe, imo.

My mom got hers in 2008. She’s constantly frustrated with them. They don’t fit well. They squeal. Certain sounds too loud.

I think that’s most of the reasons she gives for not wearing them. :wink:

She’s been to the audiologist several times. I haven’t been able to get her to go back since 2013.

It’s frustrating that these things haven’t improved. I can remember my grandmother’s complaints 25 years ago. Nearly identical to Mom’s.

OTH A guy I’ve known since elementary school has always worn a hearing aid. He’s adjusted well and happy. It’s older people that find hearing aids bothersome and won’t make the effort to use them.

From what I understand, that’s standard procedure. I had an MRI prior to getting my hearing aid to rule out some rare possibilities. Your ENT is covering his ASS.

The ENT may want to see if have you anything going with your ears, if VA will pay for the MRI it won’t hurt to have one . It sound like you found a good audi . Biofeedback is said to help get rid of tinnitus , I never tried it so I can’t say if it works . I try to block it out . I have a very hard hearing people when eating out too
I can read lips so that help , do you know how to read lips?

LOL, this was me, to the constant amusement of husband and myself. I found it so funny when I did that that sometimes I did it on purpose even though I heard perfectly well what he said. And yes, when the audiologist told me that there would be a little voice telling me when the batteries were low I couldn’t help commenting “so… another voice in my head?” But that’s my sense of humor… dark, with a twist.

But they have, in the newer model aids. It’s worth talking to an audiologist about the newer models. They’re so fancy now that they can adjust to turn down certain sounds (pitches or frequencies?) while leaving the things you want to hear amplified to your needs.

My ENT had me get an MRI also. I didn’t mind, and it was both fun and disturbing to see the inside of my head. They imaged my entire head, not just the ear area. Looks to me like I have a normal brain (despite what hubby says!) which is good. Creepy to see slices through my eyeballs, though!

So, I’m chiming in here because I just got hearing aids for the first time, yesterday. When the audiologist told me I’d have to replace the batteries every second or third day and they couldn’t be recharged, I’d have done a spit-take if I’d been drinking something. In this day of rechargeable smart phones and ipods, that’s flat out fucking unacceptable. Then she told me that Starkey was coming out with a new model that is rechargeable at the end of Feb, so I went for those. They’re pretty nice. If you find yourself in a crunch without your charger (left it at home on a business trip, say), you can put regular hearing aid batteries in them to get you home. If anyone is interested, they are the Starkey Muse model, rechargeable (sub-model? there seem to be several).

Mine are close to invisible when I have them on. I got the over-the-ear models, so the body is hidden in my hair and there’s just a tiny clear tube running from it down into my ear. I also got the smaller in-ear receiver rather than the kind that fills up your ear canal. Sooooo comfy, I forget they’re on. Everything sounds crisp and just a bit louder. I love them, day two. I expect I’ll wear them a lot the way these first few days are going.

How do the various aids work for crowded conditions like Restaurants, parties and bars? My hearing problems are at their worst in situations where there are other conversations and/or music playing fairly loud.

I was told that part of the reason my aid costs three grand is because it filters out background noise.

I call bullshit on that. My ability to follow conversations in noisy environment sucks. I miss my gf asking a question, but can hear the woman at the table next to us.

In extremely noisy settings, where people are already speaking loudly to be heard, I do better removing my hearing aid.

Good to know, I was fearful of that. I can hear low volumes when nothing else to interfere but conditions I described above don’t work for me.

No tinnitus, but age-related loss of hearing. Got a pair several years ago, but stopped using them as they made everything louder, but no clearer. Went back to the audiologist last January, and got a pair of Widex. It was like putting on a pair of glasses. I could hear EVERYTHING. The audiologist said that every 5 years or so, hearing aids get more powerful, so if you’ve had a bad experience in the past, maybe you should give them another go.

I was a  party once and this real handsome guy came sat down beside me  and I guess he  was hitting on me by whispering to me , I  couldn't hear him b/c  the music was so loud .  The guy asked my g/f  who was having the party what was wrong her friend and when the guy found out I was HOH he lost interest .   I was told  a few times men were trying to get my attention and I didn't hear them. :smack: And some people think is it cool  being deaf or HOH !  WTF !  It sucks !  I have a  horrible hearing in noisy setting too , it sounds like monkeys


That’s true for people with good hearing, too. Often I wear my headphones (the old fashioned style with a little black sponge outside the ear), not because I’m listening to music, but so I’ll be able to hear myself think.

My brothers and I view Mom’s hearing aids as a safety aid - for our sanity. Convincing her to get them was one of our greatest victories in our ongoing crusade to keep her from driving us nuts.