Do I need hearing aids

#1

I am 57 and have just been told I should wear hearing aids. A shock, but I’m ok if they are necessary. I think the guy is hard selling me though and, that worries me.

I had my ears checked 9 years ago. The room we did the test in wasn’t very quiet, i think an AC unit running, and also there was thunder outside. Anyway, he told me that since one ear was bang on 40dbs at 4,000 Hz I should start wearing hearing aids and put a pair on me. He told me they would stop my hearing deteriorating, and when I pressed him on this, he backed off a little, said it will slow the deterioration down. The hearing aids made things slightly louder and he played music on his computer that was slightly clearer. However, i didn’t think things were significantly better, and I have not had any problems to date communicating with people etc. I would rather not wear hearing aids (yet) and he wouldn’t allow me to try them for a period to see what it would be like in different environments. I am really concerned that I buy them and then find that the benefits are outweighed by the hassle factors, taking them in and out at the gym, swimming etc. and that i end up not wearing them enough or at all. I really don’t know whether I should get hearing aids, and would be pleased for your thoughts on this. if I do get them though i would want the best I could get.

I suspect many of you will understand the emotional issues surrounding starting with HAs. I think I am over the hump on this, but would really like to know if the consensus is that starting with aids early (this early) is a good thing or not. Should I wait until my hearing has noticeably deteriorated or just get on with it? If the latter, which ones to go for? A mine field.

Thank you in advance to all who reply. You may appreciate that your support will mean a great deal to me.

Tony.

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#2

I wouldn’t until there was a significant lifestyle impact. I do not believe the idea that amplification significantly impedes further degradation. Did the audi do any word recognition testing?

BTW, you might wish to delete the graphic and instead enter your audiogram in your profile.

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#3

It is something to watch but not necessarily act on as you seem to be coping well.

You should edit/remove the audiogram to at least remove your actual name from it, Tony.

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#4

I think the key thing is that you have not had any problems communicating with people. Assuming that includes nobody complaining about communicating with you, I wouldn’t encourage hearing aids. My personal bias is that you should be able to spell out certain problems that hearing aids will help you solve.

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#5

What motivated you to go for this hearing test?

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#6

Thanks very much for this. No he didn’t do any speech testing. How do I remove my audiogram?

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#7

I thought it was about time. Also, my wife tells me i turn the TV up a bit. I did it on the spur of the moment. Having spoken to my wife since she says she didn’t think there was a problem.

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#8

If the TV is an issue, TV ears is a relatively cheap solution. There are others though.

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#9

Thanks for this. I am learning how to use this forum, sorry for any mistakes. Yours, and other responses very gratefully received.

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#10

First of all a hearing test is done in a sound proof booth and a speech/word reconization test should be done and sounds. Only sound you should hear is what comes from the speakers or headset they have you wearing. If not I would run and find a competent audiologist. Also I would not check out hearing aids unless there is a free trial period. Use your gut instincts. If it feels like you are being taken then look else where.
Hearing loss due to age starts differently for everyone. Depends on life exposure and genetics. Some hearing loss is perfectly normal as one ages and may not need hearing aids right away. Hearing aids will not slow down the progression of hearing loss. Just like one having glasses for vision loss will not slow down vision loss. Also if you feel like you have an issue I would recommend an appointment with an ENT doctor just to make sure you don’t have any other issues going on that is creating what appear to be a mild hearing loss. I have a sever/profound hearing loss and I wear hearing aids and still have trouble with hearing the TV, so I use the closed caption feature. Very helpful! As another person stated using a TV ampilfer headset can also help. One can wear hearing aids at the gym. Swimming you would obviously need to take them out. If and when you are in the market for hearing aids and if you don’t have insurance that covers them. Costco will be your best bet for prices. Hearing aids are very expensive. I would not buy unless it improves the quality of life.

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#11

Thank you for your very detailed and informative response. Incredibly useful.

I have misgivings about the audiologist and my gut is what has led me to question what he was saying to me on this forum. I am so glad i have found it. I suspect hearing aids will be needed at some stage, and maybe if I am told by an ENT person who is not trying to sell me something that I would get some benefit in using them now, if only marginal, then I may go down the path of getting them now. I think the main shock was learning that my hearing had deteriorated so that it looks likely that I will need hearing aids at all. Now I have got that in my head, I am open to whatever is the sensible way forward. I have been reflecting on the music I heard in the audiologist’s office. I love music, so wouldn’t it be good to hear it fully, i.e. with all frequency ranges covered? I discussed this issue with my wife. She is in the UK, I am in Singapore (so long distance commuting is the name of the game for us), and she suggested that I arrange an appointment with an ENT specialist when I am back in the UK next, which is what I think I will do. That is following your advice too.

I appreciate what you say about expense, and I don’t like wasting money, so guidance on the right type, etc. is also going to be critical. I have been doing some homework and see there is a myriad of makes and designs. Where to start? Maybe I won’t need to for a while, but it looks like an inevitability.

Anyway, thank you once again.

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#12

I’m sure you can find the Chinese Siemens product locally or on Ebay and such. They are self adjustable. They can easily cover your loss and let you try amplification. They run between $50 and $90 each – depending on seller pricing.

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#13

Thank you. Could you give me any guidance for what I should look for please. A link to a page would be great. NB I will not complain if it all goes south!

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#14

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=siemens+hearing+aids&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.Xsiemens+touching.TRS0.TSS0&_nkw=siemens+touching&_sacat=0

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=siemens+lotus+23sp&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1312.R1.TR4.TRC0.A0.H1.Xsiemens+lotus+.TRS2.TSS0&_nkw=siemens+lotus+23sp&_sacat=0

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#15

My hearing deteriorated gradually over a period of several years. When it finally got to where I couldn’t hear in meetings or hear the people in the front seat of the car if I was in the back I got my first set of HAs. The difference in speech recognition was incredible. As for TV, I watch everything w/closed captions as well as my HAs.

It is difficult finding a good audiologist. Don’t be afraid to change if you don’t like the one you visited. Good luck.

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#16

Does your Warehouse Club have Hearing Aids/Audiologists within that complex? (this is Singapore’s version of Costco) if so that could be a good place to try for another appointment for another audiogram.

I personally would shop around until you found an Audiologist that
1.You were comfortable with, and you felt was being honest with you.
2. Didn’t do the hard sell.
3. Would let you try a “trial” pair of a few brands before you had to purchase. Every company has trial HA’s they lend out for clients to try before purchasing.

When we’re in Singapore I never wear my HA’s because of the climate, due to the hot, humid and tropical rain.

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#17

Thanks for this. On reflection, I think i will get a proper ENT consultant involved before I purchase any hearing aids, but your guidance is very useful. Thank.

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#18

Thanks, I think mine has deteriorated gradually too. Maybe something to do with early life on oil tankers, very noisy. I have been thinking more about changes in my perception of sound; having said to the audiologist I have no problems. Leaving music aside, I can’t understand anything that is said on PA systems. I figure everyone has that problem, but maybe not. At the gym today we had a class with the trainer using a head set. I could hear the low pitches, but struggled to pick up all the words. The TV is probably similar, I turn it up to try and help hear the words, but it doesn’t work fully. Rooms full of people! I figure the last one is one everyone has a problem with.

Cheers. /good advice.

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#19

Very helpful, thanks. I will look into Warehouse Club, not something I have heard of.

You make a good point about moisture. It was on my mind. I assume CIC’s are a non-starter because of sweat, and they would not last long. I note HA’s are designed to take surface water, eg rain drops? but will be glad to have some guidance on this. I assumed that if i used behind ear HA’s and de-humidified them regularly (at night) then they would be fine. These are the things that are playing on my mind re hassle over benefits.

Also, pros and cons for CIC’s over open BTE’s any guidance would be much appreciated from anyone. Thank you so much.

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#20

I can’t see the audiogram (now deleted?), but 40dB at 4kHz sounds a little worse than mine. I got aids earlier this year, and they are helping to the extent that I think maybe I should have got them a few years ago. I think my coping strategies were increasing as my hearing deteriorated. One was getting people to talk louder, one was avoiding the situations in the first place. I’m a year younger than you.

Although I had an immediate significant improvement in being able to understand speech, it has taken 2 months for it to stop sounding weird. I think it’s very hard for a new user to properly evaluate the benefits.

I’m under the impression that one can start to lose the ability to process speech as your hearing deteriorates. Perhaps that’s what they were referring to, rather than your actual hearing.

I wouldn’t expect music to ever sound the same again. Hearing aids are mainly aimed at helping with speech. They don’t bring back the very high frequencies. They’re of limited use in noisy rooms too.

Rather than worrying about the hassle vs the benefits, I would be considering the costs vs the benefits. It’s not that much of a hassle once you’re used to them. If they’d been cheaper, I would have got them years ago. I still find the cost incredible. But you haven’t mentioned cost at all. What type are they suggesting? How much? If money’s not a big issue, and if you feel further decline is inevitable, I’d be thinking you should be considering getting aids. But sounds like you need to find a better audiologist. They should be testing with less background noise, and should be doing speech tests.

It would be good if someone from a climate similar to Singapore could tell us what it’s like with aids in a humid climate. Perhaps protecting them from humidity will be more hassle than other places.

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