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Old 11-21-2014, 08:04 AM   #41
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imoldernu, I listened to a People's Pharmacy program a few weeks back about hearing loss:

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2014/...etter-hearing/

Very worthwhile and interesting.


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Old 12-12-2014, 03:43 PM   #42
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Thanks to everyone who recommended Costco! DH had his appointment there today and he's very excited about how well the prototype worked (they tune a set to your specs then send the specs off so they can make you a pair). We know hearing aids are big business (we get lots of mailings) and he's run into the hard-sell types before. He didn't get that at Costco. This pair ran $2,600 (for both). His previous pair, bought 10 years ago, cost something like $5,000 and they weren't as good. He lost one a couple of years ago; the other just stopped working.


Costco is very convenient to our house, but there's just the 2 of us so we have no need for buying things in mass quantities; we'd never been there. We're already reaping the benefits of their discounted gasoline now!
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
My experience is the same including the Air Force, only it was over 40 years ago. My ability to hear in noisy environments is getting worse, but the experience my dad had was the hearing aids just made the background noise along with what you were trying to hear louder. I have had my hearing tested plenty of times and never got that kind of hard sell. As long as I can hear in a fairly quiet environment, I will not get hearing aids. I am curious about the ones they sell in the sporting goods stores. Seems they might work just as well.

Sounds like you may have a service-connected hearing problem. Why not contact the VA and get tested? They tested me a few years ago and issued me a pair of HAs that are valued @ $7K.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:33 PM   #44
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Sounds like you may have a service-connected hearing problem. Why not contact the VA and get tested? They tested me a few years ago and issued me a pair of HAs that are valued @ $7K.
Thanks mickeyd. You are probably correct. I may try that next summer. Right now I am trying to get Medicare set up for when I turn 65 in a couple of months. I can only take the pain and aggravation of one government bureaucratic issue at a time. And then I need a couple of months of down time in between to get my blood pressure back under control.

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Old 12-13-2014, 06:13 PM   #45
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+1 on what I've heard about Costco
for quality and cost.

The doctor sounds like he's related to the hygienist at the office I visited today for the first time in my search for a new dentist in our new town.

I've never heard so much upselling in my life, and there I was, a captive audience, hot lights in my eyes and a sharp instrument scraping around my gums.

I have clean teeth, but I'll keep looking. ��
++1 on Costco.

Lifetime adjustments. Mom just bought pair. 3K. Costco Tech makes a
difference. Heard the Kirkland brand is made my major mfg. who charges much more for the "brand" name.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:40 AM   #46
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Almost forgot this thread.
Revisiting hearing aids... The time has come... No more theoretical...
A bump to link the AARP explanation for the cost.

Hearing Aids - Why Do They Cost So Much - AARP


The real question is why should an item with a maximum of $445 materials cost, be priced at $4K? Hmmm... a pair costing as much as 10 IPhones?

Yes... I am aware that the price shown above, is at the upper end of the price spectrum, but even at the average price of 1/2 or less, seems to be an outrageous sum.

Based on the age of those who would typically be in need of hearing assistance, I would expect that items of this value, would be available in the
secondary, used marketplace. This does not seem to be the case, as there are few listings in places like Craig's List. Eeewe... who want's a "used" hearing aid? To save thousands of dollars?

I don't see much info on-line for alternates, except for the "generic" types, which always have very negative reviews. And yes... Costco... but still a very big expense item, with a high markup.

Overall, 20% of adults have some hearing loss, and one out of every three persons over age 65. 60% of the people who do have hearing loss are either in the workplace, or educational settings.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:15 AM   #47
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Seems to me like they are pushing snake oil. For a sanity check, I would say have them give you an Rx/specification for what is needed and then you can shop competitively for price. I assume part of the fee is for custom fitting to your ear canal size, but that shouldn't be a big part of the cost.

My hearing is OK except in crowded noisy environments with music playing and background conversations.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:01 AM   #48
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I'd rather buy a used set, properly cleaned and the parts inside of the ear replaced than delaying to get them if money is an issue.

It took my mom years to accept that she needed them. I learned:
Once communication in normal voice gets difficult better consider buying (and if you buy buy two!).
Otherwise it will make social life difficult. It is not possible to yell at someone in a friendly mood for more than a few short sentences. Try it!
If you get them late it will not be possible to retrain the ear. What is gone is gone.
A lot of the itching that might come can be improved if the material of the part in the ear is changed.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:30 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Seems to me like they are pushing snake oil. For a sanity check, I would say have them give you an Rx/specification for what is needed and then you can shop competitively for price. I assume part of the fee is for custom fitting to your ear canal size, but that shouldn't be a big part of the cost.



My hearing is OK except in crowded noisy environments with music playing and background conversations.

I have noticed the same above now also. I hope it is not the precursor to hearing problems as I my hearing is sensitive and usually tell people they are talking too loud. Maybe its just because I am not out in those environments much anymore so it bothers me. My parents have their tv at blaring volume and neither one wear hearing aides. I have to give Imolder credit for taking on the problem. I am afraid I will be one of those types that think my vision problems are my problem and my lack of hearing is your problem.


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Old 05-11-2015, 11:49 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Almost forgot this thread.
Revisiting hearing aids... The time has come... No more theoretical...
A bump to link the AARP explanation for the cost.

Hearing Aids - Why Do They Cost So Much - AARP


The real question is why should an item with a maximum of $445 materials cost, be priced at $4K? Hmmm... a pair costing as much as 10 IPhones?

Yes... I am aware that the price shown above, is at the upper end of the price spectrum, but even at the average price of 1/2 or less, seems to be an outrageous sum.

Based on the age of those who would typically be in need of hearing assistance, I would expect that items of this value, would be available in the
secondary, used marketplace. This does not seem to be the case, as there are few listings in places like Craig's List. Eeewe... who want's a "used" hearing aid? To save thousands of dollars?

I don't see much info on-line for alternates, except for the "generic" types, which always have very negative reviews. And yes... Costco... but still a very big expense item, with a high markup.

Overall, 20% of adults have some hearing loss, and one out of every three persons over age 65. 60% of the people who do have hearing loss are either in the workplace, or educational settings.
Same reason why an Intel processor costs $.05 in raw materials, yet sells for hundreds of $: the total costs.

--Marketing
--Legal issues
--FDA review/testing/involvement (?)
--Sales staff/network
--General overhead
--R&D
--Markups along the wholesale chain

The issue is that one's hearing can take a much wider range of issues than vision (volume as well as pitch), and can't always be as easily gauged as to what the exact issues are. Plus, unlike vision, it's not as easy to simply put a simple filter on the hearing aid with a set step-up on the volume (imagine if light sources varied as much in intensity as sound sources do?). Plus, you can have various sound sources mixing pitch and volume at the same time - not likely with glasses and your vision.

So unfortunately, hearing aids aren't quite easy to 'fit' for each person.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:48 PM   #51
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With digital technology and miniaturization it seems the hearing aid industry is nothing more than a huge rip off for the baby boomer generation.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #52
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Hi,


I have worn hearing aids for seven years (my dad and brother also wear them). My first pair cost $4200 and now they do not work so well. Audiologist says my hearing has deteriorated and had me try a newer pair. They were awesome - though everything seems to work much better in his office. Best news is my insurance pays $1600 per ear these days. (Insurance paid nothing when I got my first pair). We are not near to meeting $3000 family deductible, so it will still mean a serious cash outlay.


I do not need them so much while at home, though do not quiz my husband about that. Apparently, my hearing loss is very common type -I can hear low sounds, but not higher pitches. I can (mostly) hear my DH, but never hear alarms, microwave, phone, etc.


Our closest Costco is 200 mi away and I am sad about that after reading these posts.


I have always used a local audiologist, but have considered visiting the "hearing expert centers" whose ads arrive in our mailbox fairly frequently.


Honestly, I do not like wearing them. They make things sound funny. And, they are not supposed to replicate "real sound" ; I read the brochure. But, sometimes, you just really need them for what they can do.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:59 PM   #53
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Hearing

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Hi,


I have worn hearing aids for seven years (my dad and brother also wear them). My first pair cost $4200 and now they do not work so well. Audiologist says my hearing has deteriorated and had me try a newer pair. They were awesome - though everything seems to work much better in his office. Best news is my insurance pays $1600 per ear these days. (Insurance paid nothing when I got my first pair). We are not near to meeting $3000 family deductible, so it will still mean a serious cash outlay.


I do not need them so much while at home, though do not quiz my husband about that. Apparently, my hearing loss is very common type -I can hear low sounds, but not higher pitches. I can (mostly) hear my DH, but never hear alarms, microwave, phone, etc.


Our closest Costco is 200 mi away and I am sad about that after reading these posts.


I have always used a local audiologist, but have considered visiting the "hearing expert centers" whose ads arrive in our mailbox fairly frequently.


Honestly, I do not like wearing them. They make things sound funny. And, they are not supposed to replicate "real sound" ; I read the brochure. But, sometimes, you just really need them for what they can do.

Your situation made me laugh about my assistant when I was working. I would have several ladies express their dissatisfaction with him because they said he would occasionally ignore or not respond to a question directed to him.
I thought they were nuts as he was the nicest person there. Then a few months later he comes to work with hearing aides. I thought it odd because he never had a problem hearing or discussing anything with me. He told me found out he couldn't hear the high pitches. No wonder he ignored them, he never heard them!


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Old 05-12-2015, 07:26 AM   #54
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Your situation made me laugh about my assistant when I was working. I would have several ladies express their dissatisfaction with him because they said he would occasionally ignore or not respond to a question directed to him.
I thought they were nuts as he was the nicest person there. Then a few months later he comes to work with hearing aides. I thought it odd because he never had a problem hearing or discussing anything with me. He told me found out he couldn't hear the high pitches. No wonder he ignored them, he never heard them!


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Yep, it was them, not him!

(My family deductible is $5000, not $3000 as I posted earlier).

We have a Sam's Club about 25 min away. Guess it would be wise to at least stop in their hearing aid spot and talk to them.....
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:33 PM   #55
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I started having 3 problems, hearing MsG, birds(bird watcher), and rattlesnakes. So I heard about a product a personal sound amplifier.

Personal Sound Amplifiers | Sound World Solutions

It looks like a Bluetooth phone receiver, and it can be that too. It has an app that lets me change like 10 different levels of pitch/sound all from a smartphone or tablet. Has 2 rechargeable batteries that last 8-9 hours each. I love it because I don't have to travel 2-3 hours to an audiologist to get adjusted. All for $250-300.

The product was developed for rural countries, where an audiologist is no where to be seen, but a smartphone may be in their back pocket.

Ms G is happy with it and when momma is happy.....................
So the software checks your hearing and adjusts the device (acts as the audiologist)?

Is this a trick to get me to buy a smart phone? I definitely have an interest. It sounds easy to use once it is set up. I would like it if I could get my mother interested.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:23 PM   #56
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I'm certain I'll HAVE TO get hearing aids in the next couple of years. My hearing has deteriorated. I went to my ENT and his audiologist ran formal hearing tests.
She pushed the $4000 pair, which I had just sampled (there was a noticeable improvement). Conveniently, the next lower priced pair was currently out of stock so I couldn't compare. I decided to wait as my general quality of life has not been affected. Yes, I now use closed captions on my TV about 1/3 of the time, and just started using those hearing assistance devices at Broadway plays.
But I suspect it'll get worse. Problem I have is I can't trust objectivity of anyone who tests hearing. I don't belong to Costco, but when the time comes I think I'll join just for the hearing aids.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:21 AM   #57
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Several folks have mentioned not having a Costco membership so feel they can not access their hearing aid values.
It is my understanding that like their Pharmacy (which is consistently rated highly for values), you have access to the hearing dept without a membership. It is my impression is something about being a medical service so can not be limited. Now, this may be a WA State regulation, but suggest you call your nearest Costco and ask the question there.
FWIW, my DW just got hearing aids at Costco after she had a professional audiologist complete a full assessment (covered by Medicare). The technician customized her devices to match the audiologists results. She chose the Kirkland brand (made by Siemans), which come with a 3 year warranty and no charge cleaning and modifications whenever needed at no charge. Cost was $1800 for two ears. In the ear with the most lost, she immediately noticed the improvement, and less so in the other ear. She has only worn a day now so we expect to have them further tuned as she get's accustomed to them
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:53 PM   #58
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Several folks have mentioned not having a Costco membership so feel they can not access their hearing aid values.
It is my understanding that like their Pharmacy (which is consistently rated highly for values), you have access to the hearing dept without a membership. It is my impression is something about being a medical service so can not be limited. Now, this may be a WA State regulation, but suggest you call your nearest Costco and ask the question there.
FWIW, my DW just got hearing aids at Costco after she had a professional audiologist complete a full assessment (covered by Medicare). The technician customized her devices to match the audiologists results. She chose the Kirkland brand (made by Siemans), which come with a 3 year warranty and no charge cleaning and modifications whenever needed at no charge. Cost was $1800 for two ears. In the ear with the most lost, she immediately noticed the improvement, and less so in the other ear. She has only worn a day now so we expect to have them further tuned as she get's accustomed to them
Nwsteve


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Thanks for the info. I am probably going that route and have no COSTCO membership (have Sam's Club).
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:34 AM   #59
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If anyone wants to try the in canal Lyric Phonics you can do so for 30 days at no charge. These are inserted into the canal and stay there for 6-8 weeks. You can shower, exercise, etc., everything but submerge your head underwater.
They are not visible at all and are left in at night. A game changer for those who hate the other models.

The drawback is that they are about $3,300 PER YEAR. this includes changing them every two months or whenever you need them changed.


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