New to the forum

I am new here obviously lol. I have had a severe hearing loss all my life and no one can seem to tell me why I even have it. I remember not wearing them for quite a few years trhoughout highschool due to being teased and sick of all the extra stuff that goes along with it. I just started wearing them again in 2003 and noticed just what I was missing. Now I have had all kinds of drama happen to me as a young child starting with the umbilical chord wrapped around my neck from birth causing lack of oxygen, to falling down steps craking my head open and taking an old cast iron shovel to the left eyebrow at the age of 4. I have been trying to find out what caused my loss and what class it is in so I know how to better suite my self in the future. Over the years my loss has only dropped at a extreme minimum so its not really getting any worst its stabile. I have been living my life like I dont have my loss as I do not want it slowing me down at all. I have a great girlfriend who understands my loss which helps alot and four wonderfull kids and a great family who backs me up and supports me when I need it. I have a passion for working on cars and spending time with my family and also drive truck for a living which is bring me to this question…
What can I do to give me hands free capability with my existing aids?
I have Phonak’s eXtra 411 AZ aids and work great for me but now in modern terms dunno what they can do as far as going hands free with cell phones. I have tried several sets and only one I could use with my aids which worked great until I got my new cell phone. Samsung Instinct from Sprint. Now I run into a problem with phone jack sizes lol. My new phone is a 3.5 jack but is bluetooth capable.
Also another new problem I have is My job offers no insurance and I make too much to qualify for mn care (minnesota). So now I cant affoard health inssurance and to see and ENT or Audiologist regulary costs WAY too much.
What can I do to assure health for my hearing? I dont want it getting worst as I am afraid its happening as my left ear has been really hard to hear from for the last few weeks now. Also The replacements or repairs of hearing aids can be outrageous!! I have not up til now began researching my loss so I can better understand it and find out for myself what I can do to help myself. I am hoping I can finnd the info I am looking for here, or at the least tips and pointers to the right dirrection to helping me and my family out with my loss.
Also I need to better understand the graphs so I know what I am looking at when I do get a exam done and compare it with my psat graphs.
To be honest with you I am not even sure what type of loss I have. All I remember growing up was I had alot ear infections(some to the point of bleeding out of both ears) Ringing in my ears(some to the point of making me dizzy) Everyone tells me they dont know why or how I got my loss or even when. They discovered my loss when I was learning to talk and I could speak my words right. I had actually taught myself how to reads lips and was learning to talk off of that. I went for a couple years like that. I believe my loss was caught in 1st grade when the teacher noticed I was watching her lips alot more than most kids would normaly do. They gave me a hearing test and discovered it then. Well enough babbling for now lol.

the artone bluetooth neck loop could do the trick for you

Well the first thing you can do is wear your aids, all the time. There is some evidence that not stimulating the auditory nerve can lead to further deterioration. Next I would get a new audiogram to determine if the aids are still giving the benefits you need. To find out more about your particular hearing loss you may want to see an ENT.
As to what caused your loss, well that’s another story. I began to loss my hearing in the 3rd grade, I am now 56 and the best answer I have gotten is, “well I can guess.” When they see me roll my eyes the next comment is “But it would be an educated guess” Back in the 50’s the guess was a childhood illness. Now since my loss has been progressive, the theory is genetics. But at least you can be tested for a genetic loss. Keep in mind that if you find out it’s genetic, it means you may pass it on to your children. There are a lot of things you can do for hands free capability, but your currents aids may be outdated. I suggest you see an audiologist and get yourself updated. You don’t have to buy anything but it sounds like you have been out of the loop for awhile, and there have been huge changes in hearing aids over the past few years.

Welcome and best of luck. Info posted on this sight helped my to select the right vendor for me the on the first try.

Beware of direct advice because that can get you in trouble. Read the different input and pick out what may and may not apply in your case before you start trying different models MAY be of help to you. :slight_smile: