Hearing aid satisfaction--Just thought I'd stir things up :>)


#63

I have top private health cover in Australia and recently bought progressive glasses and a set of readers. They cost about $Au1,200 of which I got funding for $250 yearly but lenses cannot be reprogrammed. Hearing aids I can only get $1200 back every 5 years. The cover for glasses is better but not anywhere near the real cost. If I chose a cheap provider I could get one pair fully covered but I don’t take that risk as the lenses are complex and the large professional lab has enough problems getting the lenses perfect. No one seems to cover the combination of both readers and the progressives. Unfortunately doing any long reading stint without dedicated readers is very impractical but none of the insurance companies seem to recognise that.

In short, I don’t think vision correction is perfectly covered either. At least in Australia the biggest problem for private health care is the gaps people end up paying.


#64

You saw Zenni mentioned above. Chinese company. Readers start at $9.95 complete. My progressives with titanium frames were under $60.

As to R&D etc: the last time disclosed, the VA here paid around $360/pair of current aids. If you go back a generation or two you have the English model and I doubt their cost is that much. Yet, there is no way for average people to get low cost aids in the current model

I had an MRI last year which the hospital build at ~$6000 and Medicare reimbursed over $3000. The local radio runs ads for MRI shops that do it for $600.

When I was young I could go to a doctor and pay for simple procedures. I’ve always had some form of major medical. Today, that is only available in a few walk in clinics. The indigent are poorly covered going to ER’s in not-for-profit hospitals.

Our local hospital in my youth was run by an order of nuns who were all over the place including an old gnome of a nun that everybody ran from. That order has declined and while they own the hospital the order is shrunken and aged. They outsource everything and are very wealthy. I knew people that have dealt with them providing services and not-for-profit is a joke. If they passed the Good Samaritan and friend on the road to Damascus they’d keep going if they didn’t see an insurance card.

Healthcare is broken. Attorney and government action have moved treatment to a secondary category behind insurance and billing.


#65

may you suugest more channel and band requirement for my type reverse+ notch loss at 4k in left 3 and 6k at right and some high frequency at 8k loss in both ear? you can see my audiogram by clicking my profile


#66

I’m not quite sure what you are asking, but even entry level hearing aids these days have a sufficient number of channels. Focusing on 52 channels, 64 channels, one billion channels is getting a little bit silly. More channels might mean slightly more comfortable sound in noise, but not necessarily increased intelligibility.

As per Ken’s comment above about what the VA pays versus what the patient pays, our cheapest hearing aids are just under $400, which includes initial batteries and appropriate fitting services (selection, prescription, real-ear verification, counselling, follow-up, associated administrative costs, etc.). There’s some extra coverage there from our government to supplement though, so without that in America that would probably translate to ~$900 (or $700 in USD), fluctuating a bit for cost of location. Expect audiologist services to be just as much as physiotherapist services, etc. (No one seems upset about paying for chiropratics or naturopaths, even though those services are just based on a lot of magical thinking.) More affordable hearing aid options are out there, it’s just unfortunate that there’s a perception that $6k is the necessary cost.


#67

I disagree that the OPN “works in every environment.” They were lousy for me singing in our church choir. I could sing much better in the choir by taking the OPNs out of my ears and putting them in my shirt pocket! I’ll find out Sunday how the Resound Linx 3Ds work singing in the choir. They worked great at a Southern Gospel Concert last night on the Music program.


#68

R&D is something the manufacturers will continue to choose to do so they can continue to advertise “Our Whiz Bang HAs” have the latest and greatest technology and will provide you with the ultimate hearing experience!


#69

Thinking more and thinking of employer provided insurance, I agree that it is a kind of discrimination against those with hearing loss.


#70

Neville,
The $700 USD price, is that for one or a pair? Can you give an example of the kind of aid you’re talking about? Thanks.


#71

I don’t feel that your comparison between hearing aid development and medical research is appropriate. All of the development in hearing aid design, like that in other consumer electronic products is based on engineering, which is quite unlike medical research. Those of us who work in electronics aren’t trying to “find” something in nature that we can utilize to defeat disease organisms or treat disease or inherited defect. We set goals and utilize known electronic technologies to achieve them. Sometimes we have to wait until developments in other fields yield products we can incorporate into our design. 40 years ago when hearing aids were simple amplifiers with a microphone and earpiece, I knew that what we really needed was a multi-band (3-10 bands) equalizer and an adjustable dynamic range compressor so we could boost soft sounds but NOT loud ones needed because as our hearing deteriorates, we lose the ability to hear first very soft sounds, then soft sounds, and finally mid level sounds so our threshold of hearing goes up and up while the maximum safe level remains the same throughout life. The equalizer would permit “tuning” to individual needs. Both devices existed at that time but neither could possibly fit in a wearable hearing aid AND folks always wanted their aid to be inconspicuous so no one would be willing to wear a back-pack hearing aid even if it could dramatically improve their hearing. Thanks to the development of the integrated circuit and ever smaller but MUCH more complex IC’s it’s become easier and easier to build very capable electronic instruments that are progressively orders of magnitude smaller, less expensive, and lower power consuming. So, today, it’s POSSIBLE to build a tiny hearing aid with equalization, adjustable dynamic range compression, wide frequency response, and tiny power consumption and it COULD be done at very low cost. The hearing aid companies don’t seem to consider the need for dynamic compression, certainly don’t care about fidelity, and really DO care about enormous profit. One thing I couldn’t have foreseen 40 years ago is Bluetooth which makes it possible to adjust all the parameters of a hearing aid in software with the aid of an external computer. If you think that adds substantial cost, think again. One can buy a pair of rechargeable wireless Bluetooth ear-buds for about twenty bucks including the charger! If I weren’t almost 74 years old, I’d get to work on a modern full feature hearing aid design that could probably sell for a couple of hundred bucks a pair. As it is, I’m working on a body worn personal navigation system for blind folks that can indicate to the wearer objects in his/her path including child or pet on the floor ahead and an electronic compass to aid in getting about outside away from obvious nearby surrounding obstacles AND this device will be open source so anyone can improve on my work or duplicate it but NO ONE can patent it, so it will likely cost a couple of hundred dollars instead of the thousands it would otherwise sell for.


#72

“Healthcare is broken. Attorney and government action have moved treatment to a secondary category behind insurance and billing.”

Yes, but most of us health care consumers brought this on ourselves. The core problem in a few words: We expect the very best health care, but we want somebody else to pay for it.


#73

A hearing aid isn’t simply an amplifying device with compression and bluetooth. O.o

I’ll agree to somewhere in between. Hearing aid R&D certainly relies upon engineering, but it also relies upon neuroscience and psychophysics.


#74

We have brought much of it on ourselves. The real problem is nobody wants to fix it.

My favorite psycho physicist:


#75

:laughing:

. . . . .
. … . …


#76

Try turning off the feedback manager. It has a frequency shifter in there that shifts frequencies by 10hz. Not perceptible to most folks but for musicians in single tone situation may cause fluttering and warbling.

If you need the feedback manager, then keep it enabled in the default program but disabled in another program and use that program when singing.

If you use Speech Rescue, you may want to disable it in that program, too.

I still maintain that the OPN default program works in all environments FOR ME PERSONALLY. Even for singing and for listening to music, with the feedback manager on and Speech Rescue on. But that’s for me only.


#77

Ken, I am surprised about the nuns as I worked for a not for profit owned by a group of nuns for about 10 years and they were far looser with the money than the corporate for profits were. They are all aging and have employed vetted survillians to run their hospitals now but they still visit and oversee things. They have to make money to fund their service and goodwill works but I did not find them uncompassionate. ( I am not religious.) Maybe the climate is different in the US but my experience was quite different.


#78

The Resound Linx 3D 7s worked great for me this morning singing in our church choir using the Music program!