I'm not a doctor, but I would suspect that your hearing aid should be prescribed by one - there are good specialists out there that can help.
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Yours isn't a question that can be answered accurately in a forum like this. Everyone's hearing is so unique that it takes a well trained audiologist to give meaningful advice. One things certain, hearing aids are so much better now than in the recent past. My wife's been really happy with the improvements in the latest generation of Siemens hearing aids she wears now. Says they sound really close to her natural hearing. Any honest audiologist offers risk free auditioning of an aid for no cost other than fitting fees and cost of making your molds. My wife was able to try as many aids as she needed to without incurring any financial obligation (other than fitting fees.)
A friend of mine and my dad both just got hearing aids. Both were perscribed basic units ($500 or so). My friend is a music fanatic and went out on his own and bought a pair of the very expensive units with a little tube into the ear canal. He loved them. I pushed my dad, who is an md. to check on them. He hated and never wore his old hearing aides. He loves the new ones and hears things he hasn't heard in years.
I followed up with a great pair of sealed headphones for watching tv. Sealed headphones eliminate more of the outside noise. He liked the Sony Digital studio headphones much better than AKG 701's. All is good now. My friend likes the in ear phones with noise reduction by Bose.
Hope this helps.
I wear hearing aids in both ears, I was born with a nerve deafness, so, I have about 40% hearing loss in both ears and I'm 38 years of age. I am currently wearing Starkey Digital hearing aids - I have the CIC (circuit in canal- way deep in your ear canal) there are ITE (in the ear) and BTE (behind the ear) The BTE are more powerful and more flexible - if I were you, go to your local Costco and talk to that Audiologist and see what they can do for you - good luck - I have to admit, hearing aids have improved tremendously in the past several years!
call me naive or whatever you will, but i'm wondering...for those who do wearing hearing aids, how do you feel the sound compares to when you had your 'normal' hearing (addressing those, of course, who have lost their hearing 'somewhere along the line' that is life)? Is the sound simply amplified w/in the frequency range that you can hear, or does it improve hearing in all 'normal' audio frequency ranges? Perhaps I should just google this, but given that my father has 'good' (read: expensive) hearing aids, yet for some odd reason doesn't wear them, i'm intrinsically interested in this thread.
Any thoughts, views, perspectives etc would be appreciated.
As others have said, the technology has really come a long way. Most of the mid-range and high-end hearing aids now use digital signal processing (DSP) to "shape" the response of the unit based on each individual's exact hearing.
They also use a fair amount of technology to improve functionality in daily life. For instance, they are optimized to reduce background noise and heighten receptivity at speech frequencies. Unfortunately, this tailoring is exactly what you do NOT want for music. The good news is that you can buy units which have more than one program. For instance, you can touch a button on the unit (behind the ear unit) which will shift modes from speech to full spectrum. This is considerably better for listening to music! Pushing the button again can return to the everyday speech intelligibility functions. These same units have sub-programs for such activities as talking on the telephone, or listening in a noisy environment such as a restaurant.
As others have said, talk to a good audiologist and he/she can give you a better understanding of your options. A unit such as the one I described can cost between $1500 to $2500 per ear, so it's not a trivial expense. But to restore the joy of listening to music, it is well worth it IMHO.
i really should try to sway my father to actually wear his hearing aid devices. He spent over 4k on the pair, yet is so bloody stubborn... not to mention, my mother tells me that every two seconds, he's saying 'huh? what? pardon?' to her (and it's driving her nuts! lol). I just wish he would understand that it's ok to be reliant on devices that improve the quality of life - definitely nothing to be 'ashamed of', which is what he seems to think (alpha males, i tell ya...).
Loose, I hear 'ya. My Mom was the same way. It took a year of gentle nagging to persuade her to take the time visit & revisit the audiologist to tweak the fit and audio adjustments so that her aids were fully adjusted to her liking. She was so embarrassed to be seen in public wearing devices that made her "feel old."
Hi: I also suffer from 50% hearing loss in my right ear. I purchased an expensive behind-the-ear aid and was never happy with it. Out of desperation I heard that Cabela's sold hearing aids for hunters. They have a 100% money back guarantee so there was risk to me. I bought the Walker Game Ear IV HD model for $199.00. I was amazed that it was far better than my expensive audiologist prescribed aid (which, by the way, cost nine times the Walker aid!). I listen to classical music and jazz and have thousands of records. I now enjoy music as much as I did before I suffered the hearing loss. If you have any questions I would be happy to share information with you. Sincerely, Rob.
For those that are just trying on hearing aids for the first time, it will most certainly take awhile to get use to... It feels like having your ears plugged all the time, let alone, we don't realized that you want little movement on the fit of your hearings aids, just like creating a suction... Hearing aids is highway robbery and that is why I recommend COSTCO and use their prices to compare with others out there... Good Luck....
Some thoughts from one who wears hearing aids -
I've been in this audio hobby for nearly 50 years and have worn aids for the past seven. The question of comparing before and after is difficult to answer because for most of us, hearing loss is gradual. Studies show that most adults begin to lose high frequency hearing by our late 20s. Still, I was not aware of my hearing loss until my late 40s. And then I (stubbornly) waited another ten years until it got bad enough where I had to do something about my loss.
As others have noted, significant improvements have been made with these devices in recent years. Three points should be made. First, modern digital aids can be fine tuned at several frequencies between 250 and 8K CPS. Second, sounds can not only be boosted but masking can be introduced to help intelligibility. Third, great PATIENCE must be exercised during the fitting/adjusting process. Expect to make several trips back to your audiologist for proper adjustments. And keep in mind that the industry focuses on speech, not music, so not as much is known for best settings for music listening. I probably went through 3-4 adjustments before we got the full frequency balance of music set for my aids.
After all that, it is certainly worth it for me. And for those who fear they may lose enjoyment of music, let me say I enjoy it more. Plus I have amazed a few non-hearing aid wearing friends with my ability to still distinguish subtle sonic differences in equipment and software.
I enthusiastically agree with those who recommend hearing aids. Curently, I wear behind the ear artificial intelligence aids and am extremely happy with them. Yes, they are expensive. But there simply is no comparison in my hearing with them and without them. My quality of life has improved tremendously as I can now participate in most conversations. As far as music, I enjoy listening almost daily. And I don't have to wear headphones to watch TV anymore! My experience has been even better as my clinic is more of an educational institution instead of a business.
Hoosier1, you make an important point. My initial shopping was at a recommended commercial clinic. I came away feeling it was like visiting a used car lot where they only wanted to sell me their most expensive product.
Then I discovered a speech and hearing clinic at a local university. They have treated me with great care and are sensitive to my wants and needs and recommended the two or three products they felt might work best for me. None of these was the most expensive (although still much more than the $395 specials I occasionally receive in the mail). They have the latest testing and calibration equipment and have always treated me in a professional manner.