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richg99
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6,893 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Having put off buying these d#$% things for too many years, I finally broke down and got a pair. I thought that, anyone whose hearing is slipping, might enjoy my notes from that first week. Rich

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Thought you'd enjoy this....

The first week.

I picked up my new hearing aids yesterday. The audiologist, who holds a doctorate in her craft, fitted me and adjusted the aids to solve my specific hearing issues. She also showed me how to insert and remove the batteries, and how to place the devices properly into my ear.

I walked out and heard, for the first time in many years, a strange sound. Ha! It was the clinking together of the car keys on my chain. Strange, new, and seemingly very sharp sounds emanated from the keys that I carry with me!

The next shock came after I turned on the radio. I had heard, many times before, the song that playing. What I had not previously been able to discern, however, was the exact words the singer was singing. In the past, a good song was just a good tune. No specific words were heard. Wow, that was a revelation. These new devices may be worth the money, after all.

Arriving at home, I explained all of this to my loving wife. She’s put up with me not hearing lots of things for a long time. Suddenly, the world was louder and clear!

That evening, we experimented with TV sounds. I felt I still needed some help with the volume. I set the volume on the hearing aids higher, but finally went back to my wireless earphones to fully enjoy the programs. I will discuss this issue with the audiologist soon. It might just be the particular program that we were watching. On some of them, my younger, better-hearing, friends have problems, too.

One additional sound that I didn’t share with my wife was the tinkling that I heard went I went to the bathroom. I guess the sound has always been there, I just hadn’t heard it in many years!

****

It is 7 p.m. of the first full day wearing my aids. Twenty-nine hours since I picked them up.

Amazing…Amazing…...Amazing.. All of the things that I hear now. Tiny clicks when my keys hit the steering wheel in the van. Something loose and tapping in the back when I drive. Still laugh at the tinkling sound when I use the bathroom. Last night I touched a wine glass with a spoon by mistake. Music !…true musical sounds emanated from that simple act.

I’ve adjusted well to the initial “itching” and feeling of something in my ear. I still reach up to scratch or rub the area from time to time. As soon as my finger touches the tiny wire or the microphone stem, I remember…“oh, I’ve got hearing aids on.”

I took them off for an hour’s nap this afternoon. Once again, when I tried to slip them in place, I tried putting the left one into my right ear. The bent wires and shapes should have told me I was on the wrong track…but…they didn’t.

The manufacturer put a little dot of red on one aid and blue on the other, to help the wearer…WHY, then…did they put the dot INSIDE of the battery case? I have no reason to open the case fully. All that I have to do to disable the units is pop the case open a fraction of an inch. A colored dot on the outside makes more sense.

This model has a volume control, … actually two volume controls. One on the left to reduce the sounds…and one on the right to increase the volume on both pieces. I’ve changed the levels a few times, but, mostly, the audiologist has me set up pretty well right where the adjustments are now. That is amazing to this old codger, since I thought my hearing loss was special. Ha!

The instruments that they have today can accurately find our weaknesses, and adjust for them. Wish they had one that worked for my golf game.

I went to lunch with an old friend today. We were in a quiet corner of a golf course luncheonette. Shucks, I needed to be in a crowd, so I could check out my new aids. The audiologist said they will automatically adjust for such conditions. So far, I haven’t had a chance to test that promise out.

I noticed a “shhh/hsss” sound when my friend talked. Hmmmm… “must be the aids” I thought at first. Then, I remembered what the audiologist told me. My own voice, at first, seemed to have that “shh/hsss” sound on the end of each word. She said ….“Those are sounds that I haven’t heard in many years. I will adjust to them naturally, because they are natural, just new-to-me.” Sure enough, after ten minutes or so, the apparent sounds disappeared. My mind is doing a lot adjusting these days.

My wife and I experimented with the TV sounds again this afternoon. She set the TV volume where she liked it, and I found that I was hearing it just fine. That is a BIG improvement. Prior to wearing the aids, I had to have the volume a good 15/20% higher to hear the words well.

As a “crutch” I put a set of wireless earphones in. That system worked well enough, and I will still use it when she is reading if I want to watch a program of mine. Turn all of the volume off; slip on the wireless earphones, and we can both enjoy the same room in complete comfort.

These hearing aids have a blue-tooth option. My TV has a Bluetooth system. For now, I won’t spend the extra money. I know how my remote earphone system works, and I wouldn’t like the extra “hang-around-the-neck” controller system that the hearing aid Bluetooth system uses. It is not that I am cheap….“just frugal“…. I say all of the time.

Hmmm… 8:30 p.m. of the same night. I thought I was done with this note for the night, but I decided to break away from my TV program….to record a very good observation. I am watching a Masterpiece Contemporary detective program. As it is with 99% of these…it is from the BBC and, of course, all of the dialog is with a British accent. I CAN HEAR AND UNDERSTAND THE ACTORS! Prior to the new aids…I needed the closed-caption system to watch a British program. Even Downton Abbey, which my wife and I love, needed captions for me to enjoy the show. Not tonight, …..this little detective episode is clear and understandable. Whew…I think I like my new aids!

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Noon, on day two. Nothing big to report. I’ve become totally accustomed to the aids. I rarely know that they are in my ears. Everything sounds better, like the songs on the car radio…but…I’ve even become so un-aware of the aids presence, that I am now accepting the much better sound quality and detail, as if it was always that way. Amazing how the human body can adapt to both good and bad things so quickly!

I heard coins jingling away in my pocket a few minutes ago. Of course, that same sound has been there all along, but I surely didn’t hear it in recent years. I saw the eye doctor this week, and I had NO trouble understanding his technicians. In the past, I know I had to ask them to speak up or repeat their instructions to me. I guess I am convinced that I should pay for the darn hearing aids. I doubt that I would be very happy without them from now on.

They haven’t fallen out, which was one trouble with the first pair four years ago. They have a volume control, but I rarely use it. I can shut them off completely if I need to, I guess, though I haven’t tried that yet.

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Day three . Put ‘em in, and forget them. I can’t believe that the aids have become so “normal” in such a short time. Went to a Mexican restaurant last night. Even with all of the laughing and loud talking, I could hear my waiter well. Sure is a new feeling, hearing all that is going on around me.

Watched a very old movie last night, with crappy sound. On that one, I had to crank the sound way up to hear the words fully. I think that, before the hearing aids, I might not have heard enough to have even watched the movie.

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Sunday morning…day 4. Let’s see. Went to mass last night. Heard the singer and the deacon’s homily perfectly. I heard every word from the priest. First time for that. Also, though, I heard every baby’s sounds near the back of the church, too. Even heard the ones they kept in the “crying room”. No crying, but lots of baby noises. Some parents bring their kids, and you never hear them. Others disrupt the services with baby chatter. Maybe the parents need hearing aids?

We all went to dinner afterwards. Yikes, the extra sounds in a restaurant were impressive. Most impressive is when the head waitress wandered throughout the room singing a light opera tune. She was roundly applauded and I heard every word!

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I put the hearing aids in first thing this morning. Took them out a half hour or so later. Seems our local dog owners put their pets outside and I don’t need any help hearing their barks. Guess there are times when hearing aids….. aid too much.

Wife’s away visiting the grandkids. House is silent as I read and type on the computer. I’ll put some music on now, and see if I can recognize the words once again. That IS a treat.

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Day 5. Nothing to report. Get up. Put ‘em in. Hear well all day. Hardly noticed that I even had them in. Then, a friend and I went to lunch. A baby was crying in the background. Guess babies have been crying all along, but I just didn’t hear them.

I have to say that I have adapted to these devices a lot better than I ever thought I would. Still feel a little pressure on the right side, so that one may need a slightly different fitting, compared to the left. Now that I am used to hearing well, I may find it difficult to do without them. We have to go to a funeral Wednesday. Used to be that crowds were a big problem. I’d just hang back and stay out of the conversation. Perhaps this time will be different. We will see.

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Mid day Tuesday….technically, day 6. No new news. Put them in and forget about them. I hear everything very well now. Still experience an occasional itchiness in my ears, but it seems to disappear as quickly as it arrives.

If anyone reading this has hearing issues, I suggest they give hearing aids a try for a week or so. Many audiologists will allow their patients to “try them out” before buying. If they are fitted properly, and adjusted properly, I would think that many hearing impaired individuals would be happy.
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Final note. I am just a few hours away from a full week with the hearing aids. I’ve adapted to them far better than I expected and I will be keeping them.

Wish I had done this earlier.

Rich
 

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richg99
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6,893 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea..I understand "putting it off".

I tried them for the first time 4 years ago. Those units were heavier and didn't have the volume control (which I have now found is fine, but not totally necessary) I am a control kind of guy, so not being able to adjust them was an issue.

the newer ones are much lighter and I don't even remember they are in there most of the time. I am awaiting taking a shower, and then realizing that I forgot to take them out!!!!

I asked the audiologist, and she said that, in most cases, pulling the battery, and putting the units in a little dry pack (which they give you for keeping them over night) usually cures the issue in a day.

I went to dinner with some of my buddies the other night. THEY were saying "Huh? and "what did you say" numerous times that night. I was able to hear everything at the table and the waiter too. It was a new experience for me.

Rich
 

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I seem to be saying "Huh" and "Pardon Me" etc... more times then not. I can hear them but just cannot seem to make out exactly what they say unless I am paying really good attention and looking directly at them.

I think I will make an appointment and see what they can do for me.
 

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" TEXAS TILL I DIE "
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26,160 Posts
my dad wouldnt ever get them, had to yell at him to hear, once we had a jar of garner snakes and he ask what was in the jar we said snakes and he says " LIZARDS ? " ILL never forget that,LOL
 

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richg99
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I am an old Toastmaster. One of the "tricks" that Toastmasters used to get people to stop saying AHHHH..or Hmmmm in between paragraphs....was to have someone COUNT the number of AHHHs...or... ( "HUH?" or "What did you say" for us guys)..

At the end of the session, the Ahhhh counter announced TO EVERYONE the number of AHHHs that everyone said. The offenders (all of us) had to put a dime in a pot, for EACH AHHH that we said. In a matter of a week or two, most guys/gals dropped the "AHHs" and the rest of those bad habits.

It might be interesting to have to pay $1.00 for each "HUH or What did you say" for week. That would certainly quantify the problem! Heck, it might total a down payment for new hearing aids!

Ha Rich
 

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Don't Panic!
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441 Posts
Congrats Rich. I got mine many years ago and they make life better. As far as getting used to them, just make sure you always remember you have them in before you get in the shower! Water does not help them out. I still forget I have mine in. Some models do not tolerate sweat and will rust and corrode in an hour. I ruined two before I figured that one out. Not sure why they don't make them waterproof. I never knew the first place I start sweating is around the temple and ears.

My revelations were just like yours. I got them in the afternoon and went to dinner with both kids and their families that night. The fun started not 2 minutes into the ride to the restaurant. I was driving and my son was in the shotgun seat. His son was in the third row seat and said "Hey Pappy", I answered and my son looked at me like I was on fire. I said "what?". He said "you heard that?" like I was deaf. We laughed at that one. In the restaurant a woman walked by wearing what could only be described as a hooker outfit. I leaned over to my daughter and said did you see that? She started laughing hysterically. Again I countered with "What?" She said 'I didn't know you knew how to whisper'! Maybe I needed them years earlier than I thought I did. The morning after getting them I discovered while sitting outside by the pool, that I could hear mare birds than I knew existed in the neighborhood. The best one was my son and wife talking about my new hearing aids in the house while I was sitting by the pool. I shouted at them that I hear them talking about me and died laughing and said we have to have a new game plan now.

Hope you enjoy them - they do make life better when you can participate in conversatoion with others. My main reason I finally "decided" I needed them was sitting in meetings and not being able to "understand" what was being said. Everyone loses some frequency recognition in the auditory system and you can mostly hear things, but may not be able to understand what you heard making people think you can't hear. It's just certain frequencies that you don't pick up. If others are having problems "hearing", it might just be one or two frequencies you need help with. Having them makes a big difference.
 

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Back in da Saddle
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Rich,

I need them myself and have had the test done at Sams, considering the hearing doc at 1960 and Champions Forest for a second opinion.

Where did you get yours and are the 32 or 64 channel?

John
 

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Older Person
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6,100 Posts
I am an old Toastmaster. One of the "tricks" that Toastmasters used to get people to stop saying AHHHH..or Hmmmm in between paragraphs....was to have someone COUNT the number of AHHHs...or... ( "HUH?" or "What did you say" for us guys)..

At the end of the session, the Ahhhh counter announced TO EVERYONE the number of AHHHs that everyone said. The offenders (all of us) had to put a dime in a pot, for EACH AHHH that we said. In a matter of a week or two, most guys/gals dropped the "AHHs" and the rest of those bad habits.

It might be interesting to have to pay $1.00 for each "HUH or What did you say" for week. That would certainly quantify the problem! Heck, it might total a down payment for new hearing aids!

Ha Rich
Great post you made Rich. I would be broke in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the PM as well....
 

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If it walks like a duck....
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1,233 Posts
Glad to hear this works well for you and others. Did this a few years back. Didn't skimp on the quality of the hearing aid and was told I needed to get use to it. I tried it but it didn't seem to help. I could hear them but not understand them. Was real bad in a crowded room. It just never seemed to work for me and the audiologist kept telling me to give it time. I paid big $ for this state of the art aid and it just didn't make a difference. I went back to return it only to learn I was pass the 30 day return policy. My pleads of "you told me to give it time" fell on death ears. (pun intended) Seems like all the aid did was magnify the distortion in the one ear making it impossible for me to make out conversation.

Guess I should make another appointment and see if there has been any advancements of late.
 

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Thanks for the post Rich. Poor hearing runs in my dads family. At 57 yoa I really do need them or at least that is what everyone tells me. I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't pick a conversation out of a crowd and am constantly saying "HUH". Not to mention the constant ringing in my ears. I guess I need to go on and find an audiologist.
 

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richg99
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6,893 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jtburf.. we must live close by! I am in Champions near FM 1960 and Champions Forest Drive! What subdivsion are you in??

I used Angela Poe North Houston Hearing?? on Spring Cypress near Gleannloch's entrance. She worked with some of my friends for over 20 years; supplied those friends with hearing aids a few years ago, and has a doctorate in audiology.

I don't spend money lightly, but I am satisfied beyond my expectations.

However, it is a very personal thing. Go with you whomever you feel comfortable with. I haven't been back, except for my one month "check up" ( and to pay the bill)...but I feel I can go back any time I need to.

Not here to promote anybody...just telling it like it is.

Rich
 

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richg99
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6,893 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dukman...sounds like you got screwed royally. I'd have to have gone to small claims ( or maybe big claims ) court.

Yes, the technology has changed even in the four years since I did my first "trial" and returned them quickly. I doubt if I have become more forgiving...ha ha ..maybe less forgiving. These work for me. Rich
 

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I've been wearing them for about 15 years now. I'm on my 3rd pair and not to far from getting #4. My experience with them was similar to your per your excellent post. Now that I have 15 years of perspective my feeling about them is this: Kinda like I suspect false teeth would be. Not perfect but a heck of a lot better than nothing.

I guess that if there is a good thing about them it would be that I can take them out when I want/need to...which is often.
 

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I know the question above is probably for the OP but fyi my fist pair were siemens or something like that. They were J.U.N.K!!! My last 2 pair have been Phonak. Both had a lot more features and were MUCH better quality.
 
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