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$5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-08-2007, 07:52 PM   #1
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$5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!



So I went for a follow up visit to the audiologist yesterday. A lot of what she said needed to be repeated except when she said, "You know, when you're spending $5000 for hearing aids..." Well, I heard that and after a little discussion the model selected was "only $3800".

She cringed when I told her that for those "must hear" situations, I whip out my $300 ebay hearing aids. I was really impressed with the fidelity and comfort of the new models but that was in a small office, not a real world experience.

Anyone love their hearing aids... anyone??





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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-08-2007, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

I have an aunt who is 95 years old that can't hear very well. I couldn't get her to go see a doctor so I bought her a 'Walker Ear' that has worked fairly well. It's not perfect by any means but it does help her, al least when she puts it on.

I got the idea from an article in the Wall Street Journal. The writer stated that many people were using these in lieu of paying several grand for the traditional ear devices. I think I paid around $250 for it 2 years ago.

http://www.walkersgameear.com/
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-08-2007, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM

So I went for a follow up visit to the audiologist yesterday. A lot of what she said needed to be repeated except when she said, "You know, when you're spending $5000 for hearing aids..." Well, I heard that and after a little discussion the model selected was "only $3800".

She cringed when I told her that for those "must hear" situations, I whip out my $300 ebay hearing aids. I was really impressed with the fidelity and comfort of the new models but that was in a small office, not a real world experience.

Anyone love their hearing aids... anyone??
I don't wear a hearing aid, but I have heard of people paying more than $5K for them. Maybe it depends on what they need. If I ever had hearing problems and ended up needing one, I'd probably pay whatever it cost for the best one I could get. They're probably counting on that. :
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-08-2007, 08:59 PM   #4
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

My FIL spent 5 grand or so to get some. After awhile he stopped using them. Just didnt like dealing with them. Its unfortunate I need to yell at him to hear me. Or on the other hand maybe that his excuse to avoid conversation
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-08-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

VA provided, they work but I seldom use them. Price was right, I guess, 5 years or so listening to very loud Artillery.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 01:28 AM   #6
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

I have a $4,000 set of hearing aids setting in my night stand. They do work good and I do hear better with them but after about 5 hours of wearing them I get tired. I will wear them if I am meeting with someone I want to make sure I understand what they are saying like the IRS man. A lot of times it is nice not to hear everything especially around a bunch of teenager!
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 01:42 AM   #7
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

My wife uses Starkey analog hearing aids. She tried the digital high end units that adjust automatically and did not like their performance. We ended up getting the old ones refurbished.

I remember that when she first got them, 15 yr's. ago the most important advice was to force yourself to use them every day for a couple of months. I guess when you loose your hearing its usually gradual so putting an aid in your ear to amplify sounds is at first very unsetteling.

I think their still a pain but it sure makes communication with her a lot easier. Sometimes. ha ha
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 06:39 AM   #8
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

I'm pretty much ok but for young female waitress, when they go into their sing-song, "Hi, my name is Amber and..... ". Usually I can pretty well keep up, just from experience and just guess what participation is needed. Sometimes I guess wrong. But that's where my wife steps in and translates. The frustrating part is trying to pretend I know what's going on.

It occured to me just now that I should just tell my wife, from now on, to just say, "Oh he's deaf and trys to lip read." That scenario ought to be worth a few laughs, whatever I get to eat.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

My 88 yo father finally got digital hearing aids -- at a cost of $3,600 -- and admitted that he had never heard as well as when he got them. Unfortunately, they generally sit in the case rather than in his ears. He says they're too much trouble...only wears them when the conversation is "important".
So, we have stimulating exchanges like this one:
ME: Dad, the gate across your driveway needs some work.
DAD: No, not too late, I guess about 11.
ME: (slowly and much louder) No, the GATE on the DRIVEWAY.
DAD: Oh, I thought you asked me if I stayed up late.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 09:48 AM   #10
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

Remember that hearing aids aren't just for you, they are also for the people who talk to you and have to repeat everything they say. I finally convinced DW to get a hearing aid. It cost $2395 in 2002, and worth every penny for me. Fewer conversations like this:

Me: What shall we have for dinner?
DW: Who was there?
Me: What?

Note that we only got one. For about half the price of two, you can fix most of the problem. The hearing aid fits totally in the ear canal, and no one would know that she has it unless someone posts that information on a public forum.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 10:04 AM   #11
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

"The hearing aid fits totally in the ear canal, and no one would know that she has it unless someone posts that information on a public forum."


At least she doesn't have to worry about that.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 07:38 PM   #12
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!




Of all the things I can't hear, familiar music is the most shocking. Missing some parts of common conversation doesn't seem as important as listening to a tune for a couple minutes then realizing, "The Girl With Kalidescope Eyes sounded like, "a girl with colitis goes by". :P



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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #13
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

My Dad thought the Barry Manilow song "Looks Like We Made It" was actually called "Looks Like Tomatoes" until he heard it with his new digital hearing aids...
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 10:05 PM   #14
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

I got hearing aids about 6 months ago, and I think they were about $2400 each (but free to me!). Initially it was very difficult to get them properly adjusted, but once they were it was quite an improvement - my sister commented at the end of our Christmas visit that I hadn't said "what?" once the entire visit!

Now they seem to need adjusted again, as I am back to not understanding DH if he's in another room. The audiologist warned me that would happen, so I am hoping she can tweak them again to get the improvement back.

It is nice having them, although I'm not sure I'd pay $4800 out of pocket for them. DH might say it was worth it, though!
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 11:08 PM   #15
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

My FIL has had a couple sets of hearing aids. One thing I learned, if they don't seem to be working as well, or feedback (squeal) a lot - get them checked. He went on for a year with these problems and it was simply the tube plugged up with a little moisture or wax. Another time, the tube just came loose.

If it was me, I'd say forget about the vanity of an in-the-ear or in-the-canal type device. Two big disadvantages - the extra miniaturization required costs more $$$. More importantly, a behind the ear type can work much better - there is more distance between the microphone (outside the ear) and the speaker (in the ear). So you can get the amplification you need w/o the feedback.

My FIL still got the in-the-ear type the second time around, too. I think what happens is they associate the high price with high quality. 'Oh, these are the best ones the doctor sells'..... Best for the doctor maybe.

I also read an interesting post by a recording engineer with Hearing aids. He got access to the computer program that the audiologist uses to tweak the settings. He said all the extra stuff that was set just interfered with his ability to hear well. He turned most of it off, left some hard limiting in, and then started gently tweaking settings. He said it went from being unusable to a real benefit.

some links:

http://www.hearinglossweb.com/discus...rd-topics.html

http://www.hearingresearch.org/Dr.Ro...o_HAs_Cost.htm

-ERD50
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-09-2007, 11:34 PM   #16
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

ERD50,

My FIL had feedback problems too. Its unfortunate but we think that and sticking something in his ears really turned him off to them.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-10-2007, 07:50 AM   #17
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

I have a profound hearing loss in my left ear and have a Cochlear implant in the right ear. Since the implant is in my right ear, my right ear is essentially dead. I don't use the Chochlear implant (now that is a real pain in the a** - have have an older one) but depend completely on my hearing aid in my left ear. I would pay a pretty penny for another good digital hearing aid if mine would go on the blink. I really miss music...everything sound monotone....absolutely no tune - I can't make out any words or use a regular phone.
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-10-2007, 07:53 AM   #18
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwsinron
ERD50,

My FIL had feedback problems too. Its unfortunate but we think that and sticking something in his ears really turned him off to them.
I had trouble convincing my in-laws (and wife) that the feedback was a sign of problems (you think they would listen to an electrical engineer that worked with audio and has music/audio/hi-fi as a hobby!).

They kept saying 'but he can't hear that squeal'. But it *is* a probelm whether he can hear it or not.

A) Excessive feedback means it is not working properly - get it checked out.

B) Even though they can't hear it, that loud signal is most likely overdriving the circuits and distorting the sound they can hear.

C) Even though they can't hear it, that loud squeal right in their ear is doing further damage to the hearing. If the nerves were dead in my hand, it would still be damaging to it to hit it with a hammer, whether I feel it or not.

D) The feedback squeal drains the battery.

E) That feedback is really, really annoying to those of us that *can* hear it, especially when we are aware of A-D!

BTW, my hearing is holding up pretty well, despite some occasional loud music, garage band rock n' roll, and many hours on some VERY loud farm machinery (worst offender I think - way past current OSHA limits). But now I always wear some ear protection when cutting the grass, or using a loud power tool for more than a minute, or hammering anything loudly. I'm told the impact noise of hammering is esp bad. Just trying to protect what I have left.

-ERD50
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-10-2007, 08:03 AM   #19
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bretired
I have a profound hearing loss in my left ear and have a Cochlear implant in the right ear. Since the implant is in my right ear, my right ear is essentially dead. I don't use the Chochlear implant (now that is a real pain in the a** - have have an older one) but depend completely on my hearing aid in my left ear. I would pay a pretty penny for another good digital hearing aid if mine would go on the blink. I really miss music...everything sound monotone....absolutely no tune - I can't make out any words or use a regular phone.
Sorry to read that. I think people forget just how much of our awareness of our surroundings comes from sound - it's an almost subconscious thing. We tend to focus on our visuals and sound is just sort of 'there'.

I read that one doctor with severe loss had to do w/o his aids for a week, and he felt like he was in an isolation chamber. The sensory deprivation was really hard for him to adjust to.

I'm curious about the Choclear implant. I know people think they restore hearing, but as I understand it, it is more like they restore some sense of sound, but nothing like hearing as we know it. Kind of a series of buzzes? A visual analogy might be like the sense of some flashing lights to let a blind person know that something is ahead, but nothing quite like the shapes, colors and variation that we know as 'sight'. Is that about it? I know the newer ones have more channels and are better, but still very limited I assume.

I wonder if there is a sound file on the web that simulates the sound of an implant for people with hearing to experience. I assume most would be surprised at it.

-ERD50



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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!
Old 05-10-2007, 08:23 AM   #20
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Re: $5000 For Hearing Aids???...I heard that!

The implant itself consists of implanted electrodes inside the cochlear (deep inside the ear). I believe mine was the second generation. I can't remember for sure but I think it was 21 electrodes. They now have a new generation that, again, I think consists of 22 electrodes. Since I am behind with an older generation, in order to be upgraded I would need to have my head opened up again, remove the implant and have the new one implanted. It is a little much for upgrades.

Anyway, they still make the outside componets for mine but, since there are no doctors in my town that handles them any longer, I would have to go to another city to have mine fixed or calibrated. Plus they are very touchy, anyway, mine was.

The sound, when you first begin wearing one sounds like a calliope, anyway that was what it sounded like to me. It was just a lot of musical notes, randomly playing in my ear. The BRAIN then has to sort out those sounds and the BRAIN will then begin associating those calliope notes with other sounds, creating sounds that sound more like what everyone else hears. It's hard to explain. Before my last unit broke down, I was beginning to really understand how it worked....all of those sounds began to meld and they were beginning to sound real, not artificial.

I have a feeling that some day, if my other ear goes, I will get the new up to date generation implanted, but those suckers are expensive. My first one was $25,000 and that was many years ago. At that time, my insurance covered it, but, I don't know about that any more.
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