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Hearing
Old 11-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #1
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Hearing

Not the 'court' type of hearing, but what the ear does...
As age creeps in and the body finds new ways to cry out, this time, it's hearing...
The test took 2 hours.. very thorough... earphones, soundproof booth, voice recognition word tests, frequency and amplitude rating etc, etc.
This lead up to the hearing aid... $4K, and you need 2, so 8K.

Kinda strange, because we don't have much trouble communicating or listening to TV... The test was partly because it was free, and a bonus of a free Turkey.

So, now I come to the experts... here on ER ... some things that were said that I question...
First... If there is a delay in getting the hearing aids, the hairs in the cochlea become tangled and die. Stimulation is necessary to keep them exercised and strong.Hmmm... ? This by way of urgency, to buy the hearing aids now, and not to wait a month.
Next... Seems like $4K can go to as low as $1.5K but nothing mentioned about lower possible prices.
Then... the hearing "chart" showed loss in the higher frequencies at a 40% level. Doctor said this was severe... Doesn't feel severe.

Looking for advice. The doctor was very convincing and it was a hard sell. Actually he was doing very well, until he came up with " Don't you want to hear your grandchildren when they come to visit?"
Now I'd like to hear from anyone with thoughts on the matter. What about those $19.99 specials? Used hearing aids? One or two... (doctor said 2 were necessary).

Here's the thing... we don't see this as a big problem, but don't know if it's true that waiting will cause faster hearing loss.

Funniest part of the visit was when we were talking about price, and he rationalized the $8K cost by saying the hearing aids could last 20 years... and at that rate would only cost a dollar a day. At that point I realized he had memorized his sales pitch... sheesh... 20 years If I thought that would happen, I'd pay double the price.

Looking for suggestions and maybe a few good websites.
Thanks...
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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"...hairs in the cochlea ... need stimulation..." I heard they get brittle and break from age and over use. I hope someone knowledgeable comes along to clear this up.


In the mean time, take your free turkey and RUN!
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #3
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Well, I was told 20 years ago when I got out of the Air Force that I had lost significant hearing in the higher ranges, especially in my right ear. They never said anything about needing hearing aids to protect from further loss. To this day I only have real trouble hearing when there is noise from multiple sources where I can't differentiate. As long as I can understand most conversations I'm not getting any hearing aids. At a minimum I'd suggest you talk to an ENT doctor that doesn't do a hard sell.


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Old 11-19-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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Can you hear your grandchildren now?
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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There are things I know about, but I admit it - - this isn't one of them.

But I did read here on the forum that Costco is a great place to get quality hearing aids at much lower prices than elsewhere. If I ever think I might have a hearing loss, I plan to go to Costco.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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Now he lives in the islands
Fishes the pilings
And drinks his green label each day
Writing his memoirs
Losin' his hearin'
But he don't care what most people say
Through eighty-six years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he'll smile, and he'll say,
"Jimmy, some of it's magic, some of it's tragic
But I had a good life all of the way."
I'm hoping this is me in another 28 years.

But in response to your OP, I'd wait, research, shop, etc. I can't imagine that you happened to get a check up at the exact time that your cochlear stimulation system was going to fail. If you aren't noticing a big problem, you probably don't have a big problem. You might want to call the doctor's office and try to schedule an appointment next month. If they tell you he'll be on vacation you'll understand the urgency of the sales pitch.

Not to say you don't need hearing aids or that your hearing won't continue to degrade. But unless there's blood spurting I never make quick medical (or financial) decisions. And as you point out, this is just one of the systems that are degrading. It's not going to get much better no matter what. I'm (only) 58 and I can see that happening to me.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
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Well, I was told 20 years ago when I got out of the Air Force that I had lost significant hearing in the higher ranges, especially in my right ear. They never said anything about needing hearing aids to protect from further loss. To this day I only have real trouble hearing when there is noise from multiple sources where I can't differentiate. As long as I can understand most conversations I'm not getting any hearing aids. At a minimum I'd suggest you talk to an ENT doctor that doesn't do a hard sell.


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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.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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There are things I know about, but I admit it - - this isn't one of them.

But I did read here on the forum that Costco is a great place to get quality hearing aids at much lower prices than elsewhere. If I ever think I might have a hearing loss, I plan to go to Costco.
Here's the thread that included quite a discussion about Costco's hearing aid services (plusses and minuses). DonHeff's post was especially interesting, I thought. Al bought Lena's hearing aids at Costco after starting this thread, and they seemed happy with them.

Hearing Aid Advice
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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Actually he was doing very well, until he came up with " Don't you want to hear your grandchildren when they come to visit?"
I think this line just "screams":

1) Just shut up and give me your wallet

2) Hey "'hole", you have to believe me, I'm a doctor.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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My hearing has been getting worse over the years, just like my Dad's did. I finally got tested about three years ago and my hearing deficit was moderately severe. At that point I was still working and it was problematic. The first estimate was about $4500 for the pair of behind the ear type with the thin tubes, that donheff described. I said I would think about it. I shopped around and got the pair for $4000 (including lifetime service and batteries). They are very easy to wear, and people say they don't notice them (till I take them out to change a battery) even though I have short hair. They make a big difference for understanding conversation, though, interestingly, I find that orchestral music now sounds more tinny because I can hear better in the upper registers.

I have never heard any evidence to suggest that not getting hearing aids will make your ears deteriorate faster. And I think you should be able to find a cheaper set than what you are being offered.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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There are things I know about, but I admit it - - this isn't one of them.

But I did read here on the forum that Costco is a great place to get quality hearing aids at much lower prices than elsewhere. If I ever think I might have a hearing loss, I plan to go to Costco.

+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. 👀
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #12
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I'm not a doc but the line about stimulating your ears to maintain them sounds like a BS line to scare you into buying now. As I understand it, hearing is something that is "used up" over your life, by sounds causing cumulative damage by breaking off the little hairs in there. At least this is what I've gathered from researching my own hearing damage which I've incurred from over stimulation, not under.

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Old 11-20-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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It could be worse.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Here's the thread that included quite a discussion about Costco's hearing aid services (plusses and minuses). DonHeff's post was especially interesting, I thought. Al bought Lena's hearing aids at Costco after starting this thread, and they seemed happy with them.

Hearing Aid Advice
Yup, check out Costco. I am very happy with mine as are DW and a neighbor. I was just in the other day and the technician replaced the receiver unit (the little in-ear piece with the tube attached) with no charge. Such periodic replacement is part of the purchase price. That may be the case for equivalent devices elsewhere.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:04 AM   #15
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DH's has hearing aids; his problems come from being too close to too many jet engines while in the military. He's 76 and especially has problems with higher frequencies and background noise. There are times we've walked out of restaurants before being seated because the noise level is too much for him. (He has tinnitus, too.) Sometimes when we're dealing with a person who's got a high voice, talks too fast and, especially, has an accent on top of that, I have to "translate".

About 8 years ago he got Elan Diva hearing aids. (May have been Diva Elan). They helped a lot; what really worked for him was that they had bi-directional antennas, one that amplified sound coming at him and another that amplified sound from elsewhere but not as loudly. It was also tuned so that it amplified higher frequencies more. That's what you get for extra $$$- the ability to tune the hearing aids to your particular issues. My Dad just got similar types- not the same brand. He had to go back several times till they got the tuning right but now he's happy. DH's cost $2,500 each.

Unfortunately, he lost one and the other stopped working. I keep telling him to get fitted for new ones, especially since this is our last year in a higher tax bracket (I retired in May). You can lead a horse to water...


Hearing aids are definitely a sales-type business. Some of the flashiest mailings we get are from hearing aid companies. At one point when he was considering new ones, DH called a company that supposedly provided "discounted" pricing through my employer health insurance. It was 30 miles away (we live in a large suburb and I can think of 3 firms of audiologists within bicycle-riding distance) and they were really vague about how the discounts worked and on what brands. He said it really felt like a sales job.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:46 AM   #16
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Hearing can't degrade so fast that you can't get another medical opinion and shop around. The sales pitch sounds creepy to me.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:21 AM   #17
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"we don't have much trouble communicating or listening to TV..."

wait until you want/need to hear better!
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:32 AM   #18
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I have two very expensive hearing aids sitting in a drawer. I quit wearing them after I quit working. My hearing has actually really improved since I have retired (I have Meniere's related hearing problems). I found the hearing aids to be a pain to wear. they made my ears itch so I would periodically take them out to scratch my ear. And, it doesn't restore your hearing to "20/20" hearing, so things don't quite sound the same with hearing aids.

I have heard the line that you did about hearing loss getting worse if the hair isn't stimulated. I was never presented with medical evidence to support that statement.

How bad is your hearing? Do you think you'd wear the hearing aids if you bought them?

I agree with the Costco idea. After doing a lot of research, I decided that I will buy any future hearing aids through them. Be sure and find out about the return policy. I believe there is a law that allows a person to return hearing aids after x amount of time. If you don't think you will wear them, don't buy them.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #19
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What?
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:17 AM   #20
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What?
Reminds me of an incident at the Home Depot service desk the other day as I was handing the young lady my charge card. She rattled off three of four sentences and I know I had a blank look on my face and told her I didn't understand a word she said. She said "Sorry" and told me what she wanted in plain English. I think I will just start asking the young people to "Please translate to plain English for me."
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