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PostPosted: April 11, 2024, 12:15 pm 
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I have not been kind to my hearing over the years, and it's caught up with me. My family and students are patient with me, but I can tell they're tired of having to repeat everything for me.. Often I have to guess at what's being said. Although unintentional, I know it's my lifetime of carelessness that has lead to my moderate hearing loss and tinnitus.

So I'm about ready to bite the bullet and get a pair hearing aids.. The timing seems good as the hearing aid market has recently had a shakeup: They can now be sold over the counter, and prices have dropped significantly just this year. I'm not sure what I want as I've never had these, but I'm looking seriously at "Audicus: Spirit" bluetooth hearing aids. They're about 1600.00/ pair, and have the features I think I'd use (particularly blue tooth connectivity), and they're rechargeable. Link: https://www.audicus.com/adjustable-hearing-aids/ ..I'm not married to these, but they seem nice...

Anyone have good/ bad experience with hearing aids? Do's? Don'ts?.. I tried to get into my local Costco for a hearing test but they're booked out for several months.. I took a few online hearing tests and they all indicate moderate hearing loss. I have no issue at all wearing hearing aids (I understand some people won't go there.. ego? vanity? I don't know, but I'm actually eager to get mine). I'm sick of missing out on what's being said.. it's even gotten difficult to watch TV as I'm missing a bunch of dialog..

Anyway, before I plunk down the money, I thought I'd ask here, as most of us are gentlemen of a certain age, who might have some insights as to how I may go about fixing this problem.

Thanks guys-

--ccrunner

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PostPosted: April 11, 2024, 2:47 pm 
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They will not work well without an audiologist "Mapping" your hearing loss.
They will then program them to match the frequencies you have lost.
This may have to be repeated.
I am about to have mine reprogrammed as they are too sensitive to the high frequencies where I have the most loss, but are not working well at lower frequencies.
Getting the correct size bulb for your ears is critical, too large quickly becomes painful.
Cannot address brands.

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PostPosted: April 12, 2024, 12:03 am 
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Dean, last month I "installed" a pair from Costco. Excellent technicians there. I retested (they still had my previous test in their database from 7 years ago), and given my hearing changes I ordered a pair of Phillips units. Rechargeable, Bluetooth, multi programs, etc. for $1500. The testing was free and zero sales pressure. 30 days later took delivery and the technician dialed them in to the particulars of the hardware, my hearing loss and my (in)ability to process speech. The final tweaks made a big difference. I'm a happy camper. There is a reason why it takes a while to get that first appointment.

I have three programs I can select from via Bluetooth: General, Noisy Environment and Hi-Fi Music. Love that last one for streaming. Calls on my iPhone are handsfree if I choose to answer them. All good! BTW, my wife's cost over 5 grand several years ago and I don't think they are as good as mine.

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PostPosted: April 12, 2024, 1:01 pm 
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seattletom wrote:
Dean, last month I "installed" a pair from Costco. Excellent technicians there. I retested (they still had my previous test in their database from 7 years ago), and given my hearing changes I ordered a pair of Phillips units. Rechargeable, Bluetooth, multi programs, etc. for $1500. The testing was free and zero sales pressure. 30 days later took delivery and the technician dialed them in to the particulars of the hardware, my hearing loss and my (in)ability to process speech. The final tweaks made a big difference. I'm a happy camper. There is a reason why it takes a while to get that first appointment.

I have three programs I can select from via Bluetooth: General, Noisy Environment and Hi-Fi Music. Love that last one for streaming. Calls on my iPhone are handsfree if I choose to answer them. All good! BTW, my wife's cost over 5 grand several years ago and I don't think they are as good as mine.


Thanks for the insight guys.. super helpful.. I've just booked a mid-June appointment at Costco.. Tom- The Costco-Phillips set you have (9040??).. they have a setting for "Hi-Fi Music" that you said you like.. This is a major issue for me (listening/ streaming music).. Does this setting give you good sound quality for music? I ask because some reviewers for various bluetooth hearing aids warn that they don't reproduce music very well- they can be 'thin/ tinny' in sound.. Is this an issue with your Phillips set when you source music? I'm no audiophile, but I deeply appreciate good-sounding music :cheers:

Finally, does the Phillips set boost/ stream music loud enough to overcome a loud environment? As I further abuse my hearing, I currently try to listen to earbuds while I drive my motorcycle-powered microcar (loud motor/ high revving/ roadster with lots of wind noise).. In this harsh environment, I can hardly hear the music.. poor me, right? Maybe driving loud, obnoxious cars is the very source of my hearing loss? Go figure :roll:

Thanks- Dean

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1972 Honda N600 Restomod "ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower"

1963 Volvo P1800 Restomod
http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309

1959 Berkeley SE492 Restomod...
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=19397

"ccrunner's 1960 MGA coupe Restomod" found on MGExp.com


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PostPosted: April 12, 2024, 2:40 pm 
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Dean, let me ramble on a bit and see if I can answer your questions and give more background on my experience.

Costco offers several hearing aid brands. My technician recommended Phillips based on the functions I wanted and the nature of my hearing loss. Phillips is made by the same Danish company that makes my wife’s Oticons, so benefits from a large R&D investment. Several friends have the same units, also from Costco. My technician streams music a lot and Phillips is what he wears. Mine are model 9040 MNR TR.

The Phillips iPhone app I use is called Hear Link 2 and controls which of three programs I want at a given time, volume levels and a number of other functions. It also works via my Apple watch which is really nice when streaming.

The technician spent an hour with me on the individualization/customization process. This setup/ tuning process started with the frequency curve from my hearing test. Then the characteristics of my specific hearing aid hardware was layered on, followed by the individual characteristics of my auditory canals. This composite becomes R and L baseline curves. All of this magic happens before your eyes on a computer screen.

With the hearing aids in place, my response to a variety of speech-like sounds was measured and the curves tweaked to reflect my speech processing abilities. Then with a little massaging this became my General program.

The technician can also set up other programs with different characteristics. I also have a program for Noisy Environments like restaurants, which seems to filter out background noise while allowing focus on the persons one is talking with.

Hi-Fi Music gives a much richer sound than the other two programs. I use it to stream everything from the Grateful Dead to Mozart from my iTunes library. I love it!

Each program has a “mute” capability that shuts off the external microphone so environmental sounds aren’t amplified. I discovered this after trying to listen to music in a gym and all I was hearing was treadmills and dropped weights. All is good now with mute pressed.

Hope this if helpful.

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PostPosted: April 12, 2024, 3:42 pm 
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seattletom wrote:

Hi-Fi Music gives a much richer sound than the other two programs. I use it to stream everything from the Grateful Dead to Mozart from my iTunes library. I love it!

Each program has a “mute” capability that shuts off the external microphone so environmental sounds aren’t amplified. I discovered this after trying to listen to music in a gym and all I was hearing was treadmills and dropped weights. All is good now with mute pressed.

Hope this if helpful.

THIS is the info I was unclear on, and your answer is the best I could have hoped for! When in the Berkeley, my earbud inline microphone is picking up all of the ambient noise and my Iphone is detecting it and is dropping the volume automatically... The mute function on the hearing aids is exactly what I need in this situation.. I'm also jazzed that the music program EQs the signal out to sound good for the end user and his specific needs.. My hearing has been deteriorating slowly, almost imperceptibly for many years (I'm 56), and it's gotten so bad I now find myself withdrawing from people as conversing has become a real chore..

Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.. Makes me really look forward to my appointment and seeing where this goes :cheers:

-Dean

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1972 Honda N600 Restomod "ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower"

1963 Volvo P1800 Restomod
http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16309

1959 Berkeley SE492 Restomod...
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=19397

"ccrunner's 1960 MGA coupe Restomod" found on MGExp.com


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PostPosted: April 13, 2024, 12:54 am 
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My wife has poor hearing but feels that nothing can be done (based on a decades-old diagnosis). I on the other hand, suspect that enormous improvements have been made since then and think that she should see what can be done. The problem: getting her in for an exam. If nothing can be done, okay, then we know, and if something can be, great. How would you guys suggest getting someone in for an exam who feels that there's no reason to go? The worry is that it may turn into a "so you don't love me the way I am" sort of thing.

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PostPosted: April 13, 2024, 1:08 pm 
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Kurt that's a tough question. Establishing a current baseline and emphasizing the life and health benefit to the hearing aid user might be an approach. For me the motivation was improved interaction with grandchildren and better engagement in social conversations. The technology available today is pretty amazing.

Dean, in addition to the frequency corrections that are default settings for each of the three programs, the Phillips app also has an equalizer function similar to base and treble knobs that the user can tweak via their iPhone. I haven't played with these yet, but another option. "Born to be Wild" can always use a little more base...

I forgot to mention previously that part of the installation customization was setting the max volume levels to something I was comfortable with. I think this applies across the boards for both comfort and protection.

To paraphrase JD, I ain't no audiologist and your results might vary.

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PostPosted: April 13, 2024, 3:28 pm 
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Kurt, Though it was now 20 years ago, I would like to relate a story of my Dad's experience with loss of hearing.

He had worked for the railroad for over 35 years. From his early exposure to rifles (he was a sniper in the military, back when no one ever considered hearing protection) and the loud noises from the railroad equipment, he was having major hearing loss by his 50's. So much so, that as a General Yard Master (senior middle management) he was getting complaints from fellow workers that he was diffucult to work with. The RR finally forced him to retire on medical grounds.

The early analog hearing aids did almost nothing to help him with the problem.

Fast forward to about 20 years ago and the advent of the digital hearing aids. I convinced him to give it a try. When the aids arrived and he heard them for the 1st time, he stood in shock. He could follow conversations and hear the birds!

Within a few days my Wife and I took him to a Classical Piano Recital in Chicago, he had always loved the piano. In the middle of the concert it could see him, next to me, with tears coming down his cheeks. I assumed it was because he was missing my Mom, who had recently passed. When I asked him about it, he said "it have not been able to enjoy hearing music like that for over 25 years".

I am now in my 70's and I just scheduled at Costco for my wife and I prompted by this conversation. We have been joking about what the other thinks they heard when we are trying to converse. It has now gotten where it is no longer humorous.

So, unless your wife is like my Wife's oldest sister who is completely deaf in one ear and damage to the other ear so bad that there is almost no respond to even amplified sounds, your wife can have the possibility of improvement.

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PostPosted: April 17, 2024, 7:53 pm 
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Both my wife and I have hearing aids. She is 3 years in and I am about 18 months. We have different brands (mine is Oticon) and both are Bluetooth capable, although hers is more capable than mine because mine aren't fully compatible with our particular android phones. She watches TV and uses her phone 'remotely' so to speak whereas I am limited to controlling volume. That limited capability is worthwhile since corrected hearing reminds me just how noisy the truck actually is at speed ...

It probably took a year to dial in the settings and the in-ear 'caps' but now they are comfy and secure. The hearing aid not only improved my hearing (usual high frequency loss) but also reduced my tinitus.

During the last year I had a strange middle ear problem and lost 70dB across the board on the left ear. The hearing aids meant that the audiologist could crank up the amplification to address the symptom while the ENT doc addressed the problem. We never got a solid diagnosis, but poking a hole in the eardrum and injecting steroid into the middle ear finally addressed it. The solution sounds a bit brute force but the real life experience wasn't anywhere near as bad as I anticipated!

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