Food for thought


There is so much debate going around about hearing aids and hearing issues, but most miss the real important things.
So what is important? That is easy how well do you hear with your hearing aids is what is important. It isn’t the battery life, with one exception, that being if there is a hearing aid failure. It isn’t the type of hearing aids as long as they don’t cause you discomfort. It isn’t if the aids are visible or not, I have never been even asked about my hearing aids. And it isn’t about brand favoritism, you can’t even find a company name on most hearing aids anymore.
Again the only thing that is important is how good can you hear with them.



I’ll add what I think are refinements. Be clear on what you want to hear better. Hearing aids are designed primarily for understanding speech. Don’t expect them to be great headphones for listening to music. IF understanding speech from a cellphone is a priority, consider getting one with direct streaming. There are subtle differences in the different implementations. And rechargeables could be a make or break feature if you have significant vision and dexterity issues. If you can’t change the batteries and don’t have anybody that can change them on a schedule, rechargeables could be a big deal. But, agree, it’s primarily about how well you can hear (understand) speech.



Yes it is all about you the person wearing the hearing aids and what your needs are. Also as we get older our hearing needs change as well as our priorities



cvkemp, so true. I’ve been wearing HA’s for 7 years. I’m on trial for updated ones. I’ve learned what I want from HA’s and what doesn’t matter to me. So, if the new aids give me my priority then they are worth it.

We all want perfection which doesn’t happen, so what is most important is what counts.

Thank you for posting realistic comments.



I agree, hearing speech is the priority, way above fancy digital processing. And, as luck would have it, none of the aids I have tried have helped with speech.



So very true.
The bickering between some members about trivial things frustrates me sometimes but it does keep things moving.
This forum has been a blessing for me through the years. Lots of help from knowledgeable members. Made a few friends too.



John speech is my biggest issue also, I still have some issues with soft voices, and with speech in noise but with my new hearing aids it is so much better than it has been in years. Hearing aids can’t ever be for us what eye glasses are but I feel the companies are making wonderful improvements.



I also feel this has to be said. If we have hearing loss and we went without aids for a long time we cannot expect to hear normal again. It just isn’t going to happen. If we are patient and allow our brains to relearn then we will have new normal hearing, which will not be normal for someone that has good hearing but better than what we had.
I have been wearing hearing aids for about 15 years and get new aids from the VA about every four and a half years. And each time my hearing gets worse but the aids get better and I seem to hear better. There will be a point that will stop happening due to my hearing getting worse, that is a given.
If we don’t allow ourselves to be positive then we will never know the good things in life and just be miserable old people.
I for one always do my best to be positive and look for the good in life.



I agree. No one thinks “gosh, you know, I can’t seem to hear the birds chirping…maybe I should get hearing aids”.
No. It’s after constant pestering from family and friends and workmates that you’re always asking for speech to be repeated or one too many times where you’ve replied to something based on a misunderstanding due to not hearing everything that you finally drag yourself off to the clinic to confirm the obvious.



How true is that. I didn’t have an inkling there may be an issue with my hearing. After being “pestered” by my family into having a hearing test I found that I did indeed have a problem. Now, with my first set of HA’s, it a whole new world of sounds for me. I didn’t even know I missed those birds chirping.



When I heard the birds chirping after I got my HA’s my first thought was that I had no idea there were that many birds around. Then after that novelty wore off I started thinking about what time those birds chirp in the morning. Where we are in Canada it has been cool and we have not started to open the windows for the summer season. In fact it is snowing here today. Then I panicked. These damn birds are going to wake me up at 4:00 AM and I’ll never get a full nights sleep. Then the final relieving thought was, hey, I don’t wear these things to bed, so I’m good!



My hearing is such I can hear some of the birds even without my hearing aids. The first thing that I remember hearing that I hadn’t heard was the clicking of automobile turn signals.

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Many years ago I tried analog aids but they didn’t help at all. Then about 10 years ago I tried some top of the line Oticon digital. I was amazed about things I could hear at the audiologist office. I was also amazed at the price! That drove me to self programming. Since then all the birds, appliance beeping, car signals, toilet noise etc have come and pretty much gone for me.
All I really want is to understand people.
The step to UP aids is here for me now. The news from members here is pretty good with the ultra power RIC aids. That could be my next step for better word recognition.
Just trying to understand speech, that’s what is important.
Thanks for this “food for thought” thread.



My hearing is headed in your direction and I am sure that I will really be sad about it. I get aids about every four and half years and my hearing is slowly getting worse. It seems that I get a pair of aids that I like and have to get new aids before I want to. But I am lucky that my aids are furnished to me by the VA.



Ironically, even with by prior experience among the deaf community in Wichita, it wasn’t until I had noticeable difficulty understanding speech that I finally got fitted for hearing aids. I will admit part of that hesitance was the cost. But part is because of being resistant to technology. (Hmmm–that same technology is what allows me to enjoy Fibber McGee and Molly in 2019, so I guess it’s not all bad).



Another point is when someone is getting hearing aids for the first time, is what that individuals expectations are.

If someone expects hearing aids to give them back the exact same hearing they once had, then there is going to be huge disappointment and that individual will develop a negative view of hearing aids.



I love this thread! This is as beneficial to me as all the “technical/practical/nuts and bolts” threads. Reading these observations is the pinnacle of my hearing aid journey to date. Thank you all SO much!



I had much the same experience with discovering trees actually had individual leafs and were not just like a child’s drawing of a green blob when I got my first pair of glasses many years ago.



As an avid birder I have to take issue with your statement. My first concern with my hearing was the loss of enjoying the wood warblers in the Spring. I wasn’t having too much of a problem with speech but, as I have aged, hearing humans without aids has become a problem too. Hearing aids are a blessing to my interaction with friends both avian and human.



But did it drive you to go get HA’s? Did you get HA’s because of it?
It may have been your concern…but did you take that next step?