Hearing Aids part-time?

hi all, really glad to have stumbled on this place, as i’ve been kinda on the fence about getting hearing aids for a few years now. oh, about ten, lol. the last time i saw my audiologist i said…wow, i’m gonna be really deaf someday, huh? she looked at me wryly and said…um…not someday, you already are really deaf, lol.

anyway, right now i’m looking at the dot 30’s, i’m told they would be highly compatible with my hearing loss.

i’m a painter. a messy one, lol…i use specialty plasters, glazes and paints to do custom finishes by hand, also murals etc…which means that i am pretty much covered in paint splatters on a daily basis, and definitely would NOT wear expensive hearing aids on a job site. i spend most of my day up on scaffolding facing a wall, often with custom earplugs in to drown out the noise of power tools from the construction crew, so i don’t need/want to hear while i’m working anyway.

i’m single, live alone and rarely watch tv, so i don’t need/want hearing aids for that reason either. about the only time i really need to wear them is when i’m meeting with clients to discuss projects, for the odd social occasion. i would like to go to a movie now and again, haven’t done that in over ten years, might be a real treat. probably other stuff i haven’t done in so long i can’t think of anything else now.

so…are HA something you need to wear for significant periods to adjust to them, or can i pop them in occasionally and be comfortable?

oh and…just sort of an fyi twist about my hearing…i just can’t get over this bit of irony myself…i recently took up the guitar, and have discovered i actually have perfect pitch, lol.

ok, many thanks for any advice/comments, i’m just not sure how beneficial HA would be in my particular circumstances.


darn it, i didn’t mean to have my email as my username, i don’t think i can change it now. must be going blind or something too.


Considering the severity of your loss and you do have a severe loss, profound in the upper range, you should be wearing your aids all the time. Living alone only makes it even more important.

I agree. You should go get some aids. I also put it off for about 10 years, and finally gave in a few months ago. What a difference! I only wish I did it ten years ago.

In terms of wearing it when your working I think you can get covers for some bte models. You can also turn the aid on and off quite easily when you are in the noisy environment.

CJ you can wear them about any way that works for you. It took me about a month or two to get use to mine. Like some other brands my America Hears came with the software/hardware to adjust my aids on my computer. That really helped because I just clipped the volume in the high frequency range so those types of sounds did not drive me crazy at first.

I often leave my in car so I do not leave home without them. Going for a run with the dog, getting in the hot tub, mowing grass, changing oil, fixing a loose shutter, etc does not require aided hearing in my case.

Now that I have adjusted to the aids I find it harder to hear without them so I wear them more.

Best of luck.

edited for double post…sorry not used to message board stuff

thank you, hask12, bignewf5 and gale…for your thoughts/comments.

some thoughts of mine on offer, after reading them…

gosh it sort of struck me sideways, to hear hask12 refer to my hearing as a “severe loss, prfound in the upper range”. wow. (not to imply any offense taken or anything, hask12)

well i think i must be in denial, lol. gee am i really that deaf? i just never considered my hearing impairment as anything more than moderate, likely because i have no idea what i’m missing. other than the inconvenience of asking people to speak up and repeat themselves all the time, and required captioning on screen during movies…well it doesn’t feel like my life is affected in any way that limits me all that much. in fact, i quite like being a bit deaf sometimes, there’s someone with a car alarm that goes off in summer all the time, makes my neighbors nuts, i’m told it goes off continuously for hours some days.

if there’s anything i find annoying and disturbing, it’s what i can hear all the time…traffic. it’s the only thing i hear when i’m within 300 yeards of a busy street, i find the noise chaotic and unpleasant in that it feels like it totally dominates my entire head, immersed in traffic noise. i tend to be really sensitive and quickly overwhelmed by loud noise in general, and i find silence to be not only soothing, but necessary to balance my state of mind after being exposed to a noisy party or machinery or music for a while.

so i guess there’s this big part of me that wonders…why do i want to hear more than i do now, i think it might drive me crazy, actually.

i can’t be the only one to feel this way, am i? is this a familar/common way for people with hearing loss to feel?

i apologize if some of what i say/comment/ask (now or in future) sounds a little daft. the question about wearing HA part time for example…when i read it now it almost sounds as tho i must think these things are stapled to your ears or something, lol. i just meant…well if i don’t wear them for a week or so, would i find it hard to adjust to them again, it’s my understanding that it takes a while to get used to all the sounds you hear when you first get them. i’m quite concerned about this actually…i think i might really, really hate hearing what to me would feel like constant noise. sounds distracting and irritating and unnerving to me now.

I’ve been wearing HAs for about eight years now and still only wear them part-time. I work in an office with lots of meetings, so they are crucial there. However, I don’t wear them around the house. One of the things to look forward to in the working day is in the silence at the end of it, to quote Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence”. I’ve got small kids at home, so would rather not have to listen to them screaming and complaining all the time! I can still hear my family without the HAs.

I often wonder how I would have got along doing in professions where you have to get your hands dirty, like yours, the trades, scuba diver, just imagine having to fiddle with these stupid things with wet hands on a boat!

Anyway, I understand that if you wear them full time, you begin to reprogram your brain to pick up subtle sounds and cut out background noise. But that doesn’t mean I’d want it. It’s a individual choice.

Hello Cajabu,
I believe you would benefit a lot from hearing aids. I used to be a kind of part time user, but I’ve started to like them so much that I’m wearing them more and more. I’m quite sensitive to loud voices and get stress from noise, but it’s still possible to use hearing aids. There are two things which may help with this: hearing aids which are flexible to program, and a remote control. As Gale also noted about his hearing aids, mine (Phonak Savia) are also possible to program so that voices which used to bother me are not amplified that much and I can still hear. I don’t have loud voices amplified very much, and I have two different programs one of which amplifies a lot of soft voices so that I can participate soft discussions, and another one which doesn’t amplify soft voices as much when I don’t need to hear them. I can also use a mute program if I’m for example in a bus alone. You might enjoy Phonak’s new Audeo Yes hearing aids which are flexible to program and can move some high frequency voices to the area where your hearing is better.

Kind regards,


A loss above 56 is usually considered severe. A loss above 90 is considered profound. Digital aids can usually be adjusted to filter out different amounts of background noise. To not wear the aids for weeks at a time could cause a new adjustment period, meaning the sounds could become overwhelming. A lot of people will take their aids out, say over the weekend, without really suffering any major problems. To take yours out for weeks at a time seems a bit counterproductive. Aids are meant to be worn. Your audiologist already said it when she responded: you already "are " really deaf.

I agree totally with this statement. You ARE deaf! You can’t hear the car alarm going off??? I take it you don’t own a car yourself, or it doesn’t have an alarm if you do? So you wouldn’t care if your car alarm were going off and you didn’t hear it to perhaps stop someone from robbing you? Can you hear the smoke detector going off so you know in enough time to get out of the building? When crossing the street, and perhaps deep in thought, would you hear the person next to you say “Watch out for that car coming on fast”? Do you hear birds, music, people laughing and talking? Of course, if you prefer to live your life in a vacuum, that is your choice. If you can answer that you don’t care to all of the above … then NO, you do not need hearing aids. The following is copied from Audiology Awareness.com. It is a pretty good site that explains how to read an audiogram.

Ranges have been established to help people identify how much difficulty they should expect from their hearing loss. The typical ranges for an adult are:

-10 dB to 25 dB = Normal range

26 dB to 40 dB = Mild hearing loss

41 dB to 55 dB = Moderate hearing loss

56 dB to 70 dB = Moderately Severe hearing loss

71 dB to 90 dB = Severe hearing loss

over 90 dB = Profound hearing loss

Just pop “how to read an audiogram” into Google to find lots of sites that explain just how they are done and how to read them.

Just for the record, you are in denial regarding your loss. The average time span is 7 yrs for a person to finally admit they have a loss and do something about it. You have a serious loss that could seriously affect your lifestyle(it already has), and your safety.(living alone with that serious a loss could be a ticket to disaster). Get the aids and try them out. Find out about the trial period and the return policy. But get them and wear them. Stop making excuses.

i appreciate your frankness neil and hask, thank you.

i’ve lived with and adapted to my hearing loss for so long, that it’s really hard for me to recognize how much of a limitation it is…in fact until fairly recently, due to previous environment/life circumstances i was grateful i couldn’t hear much going on around me.

i do know i have a significant hearing loss, but to have someone tell me straight out that my impairment is severe…well it hits home in a way i just didn’t consider before. i have no issues with vanity or anything like that when it comes to wearing hearing aids, despite being relatively young. for the most part, cost has been the most prohibiting factor, and my health insurance does not cover hearing aids at all. so i suppose bottom line is that’s the real reason for the excuses and the rationalizations.

i’ll find a way to make it happen. not sure what yet, but where there’s a will there’s a way.


Cost is a major factor for a large number of us. How can something that we need so badly, be so expensive, and not be covered by insurance. The problem here is how bad your hearing loss is. My loss is profound, and without the aids I hear nothing. Severe isn’t as bad but let’s be serious there is a ton of stuff you are missing. Living alone only makes the whole situation worse, and dangerous. The aids will help tremendously, but keep in mind the aids will take some getting used to. At first the whole world may sound like it’s screaming at you. This will be the result of you’re getting “used” to your loss. Just out of curiosity what’s your speech comprehension percentage. Your audiologist should have checked for that. That’s when he asks you to repeat either words or sentences at lower and lower volumes.

let’s see…speech comprehension…

R 56%
L 60%

i have no idea what HL refers to, but my report indicates 80 for both R and L. and SRT (again, don’t know what that is, i’m sure it was explained to me but i’ve forgotten) SRT is 35 for both left and right.

i have sort of taught my dog to hear for me over the years, doorbell, smoke detector and oven timer. but alas, she is nearing 13, and is actually more deaf than i am now i think.

Your speech comprehension isn’t all that great either so you may still have a problem with that even after aided. The more you tell us the more I find amazing that you haven’t gotten aids yet. Is your hearing progressive meaning it’s getting worse or was this the first time you went to an audiologist. You are overwhelmed with loud noise because you have become used to no noise. If you get the aids, you would be best to get used to them gradually. Wear them at home in a quiet environment. That alone will hit you with things such as the refrigerator coming on, the heat coming on, water running in from the faucet etc. Then add more noise but be patient, it will take time getting used to all the extra sounds. I can’t believe you went through all the trouble of training the dog but didn’t get aids. Also remember, aids won’t restore your hearing to normal, those days are over. Aids only enhance what hearing you still have. You will probably always struggle with speech comprehension especially in a noisy environments. I assume you have been to an ENT to make sure there aren’t any medical problems causing your hearing loss. If this is your first time to an audiologist then you need to schedule a yearly hearing exam to determine whether your lost is progressive or stable. I also question the Dot 30’s you are trying, but that’s just my opinion. I’m not sure they are strong enough. You might want to look into the Resound Azure BTE aids. The bottom line here is just putting in aids for when you think you might need them is pretty much a waste, especially considering your loss. Now aren’t you glad you asked.:eek: Oh and people that say they don’t need their aids while doing certain things are just kidding themselves, or don’t have a very serious loss. Without my aids I’m deaf. If I’m working in my yard does that mean I don’t need to hear what else is going on around me? It probably would be nice to hear that nuclear bomb going off 10 miles away. If nothing else it would mean I don’t have to keep working in my yard anymore, which I hate doing anyway.

I agree with Hask12 that regular dot 30’s aren’t designed for the loss you have. With a custom mold your loss at 6000 is still beyond the fitting range.


hask you make me laugh, lol. actually i am feeling a bit sheepish, but am still glad i asked, regardless of how daft this surely must make me appear, how unfathomable it must be for you and others to see my audi report and wonder how it can be…that i am just so stunned to find out how bad my hearing really is.

it’s a real eye opener for me too, an education in itself just comparing my chart to others here. what can i say i guess i have a ‘gift’ (?) for normalizing the abnormal. there are far worse things, imo, than my hearing condition, which i regard and experience in my life as an inconvenience more than impairment. my attitude towards this issue is rather casual i guess, i’ve always had bigger fish to fry and haven’t really spent much time/energy lamenting or worrying about it as much as i’ve just looked for simple ways of coping and adapting so i can focus on stuff that matters more to me.

i can still hear the doorbell and the smoke detector btw, teaching my dog was more a preventative measure, an ‘in case one day’ sort of thing. i also taught her sign language, not for any predictive reason at the time, but something that has proved invaluable now, as she can’t hear my commands anymore, but still responds to hand signals. i’m actually more worried about her hearing loss than my own, don’t know how i’ll take her for walks this summer at the off leash area when she can’t hear me calling her.

ok well i can’t hear the doorbell if i’m down in the far corner of the basement, and i can’t hear the oven timer unless i’m standing next to the stove. i must admit i do feel a sense of irresponsibility to some degree in that i can’t hear police, ambulance or firetruck sirens until said vehicle is right alongside me. to that end i am somewhat hyper-vigilant when driving, and rarely have the car stereo on, never in the city.

my first hearing test was about 12 years ago, no underlying medical conditions. i’m adopted, and do not know my genetic history, my audi speculates that my condition is a combination of congenital factors and noise damage. she thinks i’ve probably been partially deaf my whole life, just never noticed. tho i was tested in school when i was 8, seems my hearing was fine then. i get tested yearly, so far my hearing is stable, tho a bit of a drop in the 500 - 1000 range on the last one. i also have tinitus 24/7, but am rarely if ever bothered by it.

as for wearing part-time…yeah i sort of guessed it would be counter-productive. but i know i wouldn’t wear aids while working, far too great a risk of ruining them. also much of the time my first priority is hearing protection on a job site, i work new construction a lot, so everything from air compressors to jack hammers going at once sometimes. even my custom ear plugs are not enough on occasion and i have to leave. i end up working a lot of evening and weekends when no-one else is around when that happens.

jay man, thank you for that link, i was looking for specs on the resound dots earlier today, i wonder why the ha practitioner would tell me they were ‘highly suitable’ i think is how she put it. i think i’ll look for someone else.


First of all welcome here, this board should prove very useful to you and allow you to improve your lifestyle greatly. I will ‘pile on’ with everyone else that once you get a set of instruments that work for you, you should not only wear them all the time, you will want to!

HL is the hearing level, this is how loud the voice that was used to test your comprehension level (80 db is pretty loud, certainly above normal conversation level). Comprehension is done with a work list designed to trip you up (death?desk?deaf? they sound pretty similar to a lot of us).:stuck_out_tongue: SRT is the hearing level, this how loud a sound must be for you to hear a word that will not trip you up (i.e. baseball), I believe this is also set where your comprehension is 50% for hearing the word. You could probably google how to read an audiogram and get much more information.

I have not seen anyone address your concern of wrecking your aids while painting and you are wise to be concerned with this. There are probably several solutions to this. The first of which I don’t like is to insure them for repair and deal with a nonending series of repairs. The second is to protect them from paint. It may take some looking, but I am sure somewhere you can turn up something that will pass for a painters cap that will cover the instrument from splatters. If you know someone who is handy on a sewing machine maybe you can get one custome made. Perhaps even taking a pair of sissors to something like this http://store.stringslinger.com/3536.html would do the trick.

There are always a million excuses for not getting hearing aids. If you want them you’ll get them. Your audiogram says you need them. Whether you get them or not is up to you.