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New hearing aids


kingtermite
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So...I got new hearing aids last night. I've been wanting this for a while.

 

Back story:

As many of you remember, I got surgery on one of my ears in December. It improved my hearing quite a bit in that ear.

 

My hearing prior to that was moderate loss in one ear and severe in the other. The surgery improved my bad ear to about the same (or even slightly better) than the other ear so that now I'm just moderate loss in both ears.

 

Hearing aids work on frequency ranges....and typically have a "range" they are good for. So before I had to use a very high powered hearing aid due to the really bad ear, even though it was overkill for the other ear. I was sort of just on the edge of the range on either end.

 

After the surgery, I couldn't wear my hearing aids for a month or two to allow all the healing to happen, etc... Once I wore them again, they were then waaaay overpowered for both ears and not really a good match for either ear. Even though they were retuned and worked reasonably well, the "too much power" was giving me headaches. So....the correct answer was new (less powerful) hearing aids that worked in the correct range for my new hearing.

 

My audiologist strongly suggested these hearing aids (Starkey Halo) as he wore them himself. After many questions and a consultation, I agreed that they were a good model for me. As my insurance kicks in a good amount, I even got the highest end model of them.

 

 

So now I have a brand new $7000 pair of electronic devices on my head at any given time.

 

 

Good:

Generally much more natural sounding sounds

Hearing things that I did not hear before (higher freq noises)

Doesn't create feedback loop (old ones did a little bit)

Can wear with headphones (previous ones were too large and hurt)

Filters out background white noises amazingly well

 

Bad:

General conversation not quite as loud (doc says I have to let my braid adjust...I'm used to LOUD sound pumped in)

Seems to pick up light sounds I don't want to hear and put them in (people nearby at restaurant)

Occasionally it feels like one of them kinda "drops out" for a moment and then comes back (possibly an issue, maybe my imagination, not sure)

 

 

It's just interesting. At the price of these things, they'd better last a helluva long time.

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as a musician, I can appreciate what you're going through there KT

 

I think your doc is probably right about conversation. We hear sounds, but our brains put together conversation. you'll get used to it and start picking out the conversation against the background better

 

it probably is neat hearing all the natural sounds again. You should go take a walk in the woods

 

I remember when I first got my glasses when I was a kid. I had never seen stars before. Yea, I heard people talking and I had an idea, but that first night with new glasses...WOW!

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as a musician, I can appreciate what you're going through there KT

 

I think your doc is probably right about conversation. We hear sounds, but our brains put together conversation. you'll get used to it and start picking out the conversation against the background better

 

it probably is neat hearing all the natural sounds again. You should go take a walk in the woods

 

I remember when I first got my glasses when I was a kid. I had never seen stars before. Yea, I heard people talking and I had an idea, but that first night with new glasses...WOW!

Thanks.

 

I know he's right....I've been doing this enough and have a true fascination for it to understand fairly well. I've been trying to explain to my wife that with certain frequencies dropping out, it's not as simple as "I hear or don't hear". It's much more complex.

 

Words are formed by the sharp points (consonants) and soft point (vowels). When the frequencies drop, the consonants drop and those are the defining points of the curve for any given word. So the hard part is misunderstanding the consonants that sounds so similar. I try to remind her (and anyone I speak to often) that it's more important to articulate clearly than to just "speak louder".

 

 

I have a few people I work with that are just low mumbler type talkers....they are so difficult to communicate with because I can't understand them 75% of the time. I'm constantly extrapolating from what I do hear.

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I presume your insurance picked up most of the cost?

Not as much as I'd like. They picked up less than half. They coverage for hearing aids is separate and not part of the normal deductible/medical expense cost. So the fact that I've already met my deductible for the year means nothing. They paid $3000 - no more.

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