What Got You To Wear Hearing Aids?

My wife was having difficulty hearing but she would not admit it. I finally got her to go to the AuD by agreeing to go myself. I knew my hearing was not balanced, but I had been dealing with that for 16 years and could get by ok so I figured I would test ok. Well, she needed HAs, but, as it turned out, so did I.

What got you to start wearing HAs?

4 Likes

When we were sent from offices to work at home (in near silence), I experienced a ton of tinnitus and complained to my PCP. He referred me to an ENT which included hearing tests. That got me on the start at looking at it. Was almost a year before I was wearing them, though.

No going back.

WH

I should add that while I was surprised that my hearing was poor enough that “hearing aids would probably help you…” no one in my family was surprised. Everyone encouraged me to get HAs and to wear them. As in gave me grief when I’d forget. Or they were broken. As I said originally, no going back. I don’t like the quiet world, generally.

1 Like

When i realized i cound no longer do my chosen work without help to hear what was being said to me.

2 Likes

I knew I was struggling to hear people. Thing that pushed me to get the aids was a visit to my PCP. Sitting in the waiting room the nurse came out and called my name - I could hear her, couldn’t understand her. She eventually went round the room asking everyone’s name. Knew it was time to do it

2 Likes

I was at a noisy, crowded work event. Two people on either side of me had a conversation with each other, each appearing to understand the other well enough to respond and and continue the conversation. I couldn’t participate because I was getting at best 1/3 of the words, despite being closer to each of them than they were to each other.

2 Likes

Work meetings where there were two or more concurrent but separate conversations and I could not follow one of them (despite deliberately focussing on the speakers) due to the background noise of the other conversation.

1 Like

When I was at an aunts funeral. We were in the funeral home and cousin’s were talking to me.Their lips were moving, but I wasn’t hearing anything but room noise.

3 Likes

Wife said I needed hearing aids.
I said no I don’t.
I wear hearing aids.

6 Likes

My wife politely keep suggesting I should get my hearing checked. I keep saying my hearing is fine and stating that the reason I didn’t understand her sometimes, was because she wasn’t speaking clearly.
I finally realized one summer that as well as not understanding some speech, I also wasn’t hearing other sounds as well.
Went for a couple hearing tests and sure enough had hearing loss, got some aids and life is so much better now. :sunglasses:

4 Likes

I worked in the Service (repair and installation) department at my company. One of our sales reps sold a product to a customer that we had never sold before, and the manufacturer told us at the last minute that the would not release the product for shipment to the customer until we had a “trained” and certified service technician on staff.

It turned out that the “training” involved watching four VHS video tapes and then taking a written test. My manager called me into the office, handed me the videos and the test (pre-internet days) and told me to go home and get trained. Today. By 5pm.

So I went home and asked my wife to take our small children to the zoo for the afternoon. I sat down on the floor in front of the TV and put in the first video. Since it was set up and repair training, the entire thing was videos of a tech’s hands doing things, and a voice-over explaining what was being done.

I was having trouble understanding the words without the context of the face the voice was coming from (I also didn’t realize before that how much speechreading I had been doing). I turned up the volume. Then I turned it up again. And again. And again. I realized that volume wasn’t the problem. It was so loud it was hurting my ears. I was sitting 3 feet from the TV and couldn’t understand most of the words.

I got through it and passed the test because I was already a really good tech and realized that most of it was common sense and enough like the stuff I already worked on to be able to fake it.

When my wife came home I told her that I wanted to get my hearing tested, and she replied “Oh, thank God!”

After the hearing (tone and word recognition) tests, the audiologist said that he wanted to do one more test. He walked behind the chair I was sitting in, and started talking to me. I could hear that he was talking, but couldn’t understand any of the words. He asked my wife to have me turn around so that I could see that he was standing 3 feet behind me.

Then he programmed a pair of BTEs with foam “ear molds”, had me put them on, and then said “let’s try that again”. He went behind me and started talking and I could understand every word. Then he asked me to turn around, and he was standing 15 feet down a hallway behind me.

I sat there, a 28 year old man, father of 3 - with another on the way, and cried. Shortly thereafter, when he told me that those aids would cost over $6,000 (in 1996 money) I cried again. I had health insurance from my work, but HA’s were a specified exclusion. If I wanted them I was going to have to pay cash for them, and we simply didn’t have it.

I had to save for two years to buy my first set. As luck would have it, I had a bad sinus infection and my regular doctor referred me to an ENT. The subject of my hearing came up and he mentioned that he also dispensed hearing aids. He gave me a price on a set of Siemens BTEs (analog) that were about $1500 less than the other guy’s price, so that’s what I started out with.

It was a big change, and it wasn’t always pleasant, but it was life-changing. I had a lot of conversations with my wife that went something like: Me - “What’s that?” Her - “What’s what?” Me “That ‘tick, tick tick’ sound.” Her - “that’s the dishwasher. It has always sounded like that”. Wind noise in the car, the kids playing outside, etc, etc, etc.

26 years later, I still work for the same company (though in a much different role), and 2024 is the first time our insurance has included HA coverage. I have a set of Phonak Audeo Lumity 90s on order - the waterproof ones - and get to pick them up the day after tomorrow.

I have always babied these things because they were out of pocket when they needed to be replaced. As a result, this will only be my 4th set of aids in that time. I wore the Siemens from 1998 to 2002, upgraded to Oticon Atlas ITE and wore those until 2014 when I switched to Oticon Alto Pro RIC, and the new Phonaks will be RIC as well. The nice thing about holding on to them so long is that there tend to be big, noticeable improvements!

I should add that I did get hearing checks, repairs, new ear molds, etc during those intervals…

So, long story long…

10 Likes

Attending a presentation on a Programming technique, I realized I could hear but not understand. Moving to the front row, temporary fix. Wife finally told me that her huh meter had hit the red line.
Finally went to the GP, she scheduled a visit to the ENT and Aud. They said I needed aids. Asked me if I was a Vet. I said yes, he suggested I enroll with the VA. I did, scheduled a check up and pointed out that I had been a jet engine mechanic in the days prior to hearing protection. They scheduled a hearing test. All done, now on my 4th set. My VA experiences, hearing and general health, have always been positive. Seeing fewer and fewer of the WWII vets. Sad.

3 Likes

For years already I’d been favoring my left ear for phone calls. Then I noticed that when I sat in my living room, I heard kitchen noises coming from the left even though the kitchen was on my right. The final straw was when I put on headphones after a long interval of not using them, and heard practically nothing in my right ear.

2 Likes

The waiter said did I want. “Eh IH’. The fish
The ENT said I could wait, not that bad but they made a world of difference!

1 Like

My wife said I was saying way to many “WhatDidYouSay” :laughing:

2 Likes

Started to get headaches and tiredness after the end of each day from straining to hear people.

Missing out on birds singing when everyone was saying how lovely they sound

Everyone getting fed up of me asking them to repeat themselves all the time.

My washing machine singing lol I love listening to it now!

1 Like

2020 my wife went for a hearing test because she could not understand the people she worked with because of the masks. She was diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss and got hearing aids. I for years have had tinnitus and never gave it much thought after her diagnoses I went for a hearing test and found out that I had moderate/severe hearing loss myself. I wear BTEs today.

3 Likes

If you find people in your life mumble and don’t speak clearly, it’s likely a problem with your hearing. It seemed selfish to ask others to adjust how they speak to me if I wasn’t willing to do all I could to hear better first.

4 Likes

Thanks! Great post

20 years for me. 3rd set. Getting these set up after 1-1/2 years I can (almost)hear again.

Setup is key

1 Like

I’m a teacher.

I would have had to have given up my career if I had not started wearing hearing aids.

They frustrate me endlessly but without them, I’m lost.

3 Likes

Ironically, I was working as a sound recordist in a film unit. No problem under the headphones or chatting close up to the camera op - but it was hard to hear people 20 feet away, as they often were.
Audiologist at London’s Guys Hospital found a mid-range dip between 500 and 3k - critical speech band.
She recommended I find a different career, and I did.
The first National Health instruments were beyond terrible: weak lows, weak highs - like an old telephone. And hazardously loud - no dynamic levelling. Thank goodness they are now so much better, and even handle music. Some of them.

2 Likes