My Hearing Has Faltered

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Arnold, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Airplanes and rock bands in the 70s have destroyed my hearing. I am looking at hearing aids next week.

    Due to improvements in signal processing over the years I am hopeful that I will find a device that works well for me.

    Working well for me also means working well for aviation.

    I normally now use an ANR headset, Lightspeed Zulu 2 at the moment.

    Any advice on hearing aid selection prior to my appointment next Friday will be appreciated.
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've had Resound Linx 3D's for several years now, but they're now up to the Quatro which has rechargeable batteries and a direct bluetooth connection (rather than being limited to the MFI protocol). I've been fairly happy with them. I wrangled the fitting software and an Airlink2 so I can program them myself. Most of the tweaking was to adjust the mode I use when I'm playing the piano. The canned "music" mode in the thing is pretty useless. I broke one of the receiver wires (darned face masks) but that's about $40 on the gray market and about five minutes to replace myself. I've also experimented with a number of domes.

    I could probably bluff my way through the medical (I never had an AME notice prior to telling them I got hearing aids), but the "Must use amplification" is about the most pointless medical restriction there is. Using your headsets and intercom is AMPLIFICATION. About the only time I don't have them on is when there's nothing to hear anyhow.

    There's a pretty good forum for hearing aids over at https://forum.hearingtracker.com/
     
  3. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got the full test: soundbooth, some sort of inner ear test, an eardrum test, probably a few other things.

    I have pretty bad hearing in my left ear, I’m still pretty good on the right side, so I only use one aid.

    Your audiologist will probably handle several brands, and there are different levels of tech within each.

    There are also different types, so the actual style that works best is going to depend on your circumstances.

    iPhones support hearing aids that are compatible. You can use the aids as wireless earbuds for phone calls and streaming music. Not sure about Android phone.

    Some brands will have a phone app that allows you to customize the aids’ internal programming. There will probably be a handful of presets programmed in, and the audiologist can add more or customize whatever is in there. I find that I rarely use the phone app, though. I did configure a setting for my office area but it’s too much trouble to pull out the phone, enable the change, and then find out I have to leave the area and then set it back again.

    I have a RIC style. The receiver(speaker) in canal type . Speaker fits in my ear and a thin wire connects to the mics and electronics behind my ear. It fits OK under my DC non-NR headset. Take a headset and your flying glasses or sunglasses and make sure whatever you try will fit OK. Otherwise you may want to take them out when you fly.
     
  4. FastEddieB

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  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also, ask about unbundled pricing. For some folks it makes sense to include a lot of follow-up visits for cleaning, adjustments, tests, and other office visits. If you ask, you can get the unbundled price and pay out of pocket for those things. My audiologist was pretty open about discussing that and had no problems with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  6. JOhnH

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    I suggest you look for an In-the-ear solution due to the headsets.

    I have the RIC (Receiver in the canal) with a tube that goes to the piece behind the ear. I find that when I am using my Lightspeed (either Tangos or Zulu 2) It works best if I move the piece from behind the ear to the middle of my ear and put the headset over it.

    I used to have CICs (Completely in the Canal) and they were effortless. But my hearing is now so bad I need the power of the bigger types. At least I did two years ago when I bought these. Now they have in-the-ear units with the same power that I have behind the ear. My problem is you can't get the bluetooth connectivity to my phone or TV with CICs. The ITCs are bigger and bulkier but I love the bluetooth connection to the phone (even if I hate bluetooth in general).
     
  7. Zeldman

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    How is your vision.??
     
  8. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks all.
     
  9. Matthew

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    And consider these the audio version of wearing glasses. It will take a little while to get used to them, but eventually you’ll wonder why you waited so long.
     
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  10. JOhnH

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    The only thing worse than needing hearing aids, is needing them and not having them. It annoys others more than it annoys you and you miss out on so much that you don't know that you are missing out on.
     
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  11. Zeldman

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    :yeahthat: I am starting to realize this... another piece of evidence proving I am about to start getting older....
     
  12. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    But like every good pilot, we may be getting older, but we'll never grow up. ;)
     
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  13. flyingron

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    Didn't take long to get used to them. Second day I had them we went out to dinner and my wife pointed out this was the first time in ages she didn't have to repeat the waiter to me. Amusingly, we were driving through a town a ways from the house. She asked me how I knew where I was going. I told her I hear voices (google maps piped into the hearing aids).
     
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  14. Matthew

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    I finally hit my limit when I got tired of always having to either turn my head or plan ahead on seating arrangements so
    I could get my good ear close to the conversation.

    A few weeks ago I had to drop off the aid for a repair (receiver quit working). I had to live without it for most of the day. That really made realize how well it works.
     
  15. FastEddieB

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    I might have mentioned this in my other thread, but...

    Soon after getting mine, I was in a thrift shop and Fleetwood Mac was playing - either Dreams or Rhiannon or some such. I was wondering how much the hearing aids were really helping, so I switched them off momentarily to see. As soon as I did, the background snare drum simply went away. I mean completely. Gone. Turned them back on and it was there again. Music sounded fine either way, but no doubt without hearing aids I was missing a lot of the “texture” of the music. Really quite remarkable.
     
  16. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    I'm bent about this. I've always worn ear protection when my data center construction work was load banking large generators, and also whenever running the race cars in the garage, in practice, and at races. At aluminum bowls like Richmond and Dover, I wore both earplugs and my radio headset. My hearing is still going away, and I have tinnitus on top of that.

    I'm just another angry old man now. :mad:

    :D
     
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  17. JOhnH

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    Well consider that I was not quite as conscientious as you were about hearing protection in my younger days. I did wear hearing protection when I worked in a sheet metal shop and in a Diesel Engine repair shop, but not to rock concerts. And now I am practically completely deaf without hearing aids. Be thankful for the hearing you have left and thank the fact that you were better about hearing protection than I was for the fact that you can still hear at all.

    I had two great Aunts that were stone deaf at my age, but their hearing aids were primitive compared to mine.
     
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  18. Matthew

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    Back in the day, maybe 4th(?) grade, there was a kid in my class that had one of those old-school hearing aids. The electronics packet, about the size of a deck of cards or a pack of smokes was in his shirt pocket, and his earpiece was always plugged in.

    It took until the end of the school year for me to find out that he'd been sticking it to the man the whole time, it was really his AM radio.
     
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  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I remember being in the third grade during the 1967 World Series and having the game on a transistor radio and earphone. This was back in the days when they played baseball during the day.
     
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  20. Matthew

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    Forgot to add:

    One of the things my Widex hearing aid iPhone app has are tinnitus masking sounds. You can set it to stream sounds like leaves rustling, or water in a stream, or other types of sounds with a freq range that covers most tinnitus freqs. It’s part of a relaxtion technique towards tinnitus coping. I use it, but only rarely.

    The aid did help my tinnitus. It will always be there, but being able to hear again in my missing frequencies means the tinnitus sounds have moved to the background instead of being so prominent.
     
  21. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    You too? LOL

    I was in the third grade in 1967, and had a transistor radio with an earpiece I had won at the New Mexico State Fair earlier that Fall. I was much more popular that October than in previous years.

    :D
     
  22. Arnold

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    I was rooting for the Red Sox, but of course they lost and didn't appear in a world series again until 1986, which they also lost in the most embarrassing fashion.
     
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  23. wsuffa

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    A friend's wife took him to the audiologist and told the audiologist "if you don't think he needs hearing aids, we're going to another audiologist".
     
  24. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    According to my wife, my hearing is poor when in actuality it has just developed a steeply sloped "notch filter" that corresponds to the frequencies of her voice :)
     
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  25. JOhnH

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    Did you mean to say "frequencies", or did you really mean "frequency"?

    Oftentimes, ignoring is misinterpreted as poor hearing.
    In my case, if I want to ignore, I turn off the hearing aids.
     
  26. flyingron

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    ME: My wife says I can't hear her.
    Audiologist: Yeah, we get a lot of that.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Matthew

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    Thought of something else: ask about a “sport lock” or whatever your brand calls it. It looks like a small zip tie. It curls in the inner bowl of your outer ear and helps keep things in place (for
    RIC types). I swap glasses all day from my regulars to my safeties and kept knocking the aid out of my ear. These things prevent that. If you don’t like it just pull it off.
     
  28. Arnold

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    Thanks for all the great advice. I have looked for, and found, an audiologist who carries the brands suggested. I also discovered that daughter No. 1's father-in-law is an audiologist and I'll talk to him later today. He's retired and on the other coast so has no pony in the race. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. Please keep the thoughts coming.
     
  29. DaleB

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    As I sit here reading this, my tinnitus is just about the only thing I hear. Maybe I’ll go get my hearing checked. I know it’s gotten worse over the past 10 years or so, I just have no idea how much.

    Oddly enough, I can hear mechanical and electronic sounds that no one else seems to notice. It’s just conversation that I have trouble with. So, not sure if it’s my hearing or just not caring what anyone has to say...
     
  30. flyingron

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    I've never had glasses interfere with my RIC aids, but I've had my COVID mask yank them off my head. I'm also pretty sure that is what broke the receiver wire on one of mine. Fortunately, it's a pretty cheap part if you order it on the Canadian gray market ($30) and it just takes a magnifying glass (my eyes ain't what they used to be either) and a pointy screwdriver to replace.

    There are various tinitus options available that play masking noises into the aids as well. I've experimented with this a little bit, but I guess mine's not bad enough that I've left it turned on. The hearing aids did come with an iPhone app that allows you to play customizable background noises if you want to fill a quiet room with something. It's actually not specific to my hearing aid manufacturer (RESOUND) though they wrote it. It will work with any hearing aid or other device that streams the iPhone audio.
     
  31. Matthew

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    Something on my receiver broke, probably the wire internally. I had a spare from when my audiologist had replaced it with one that had a slightly longer wire, so I was back up and running quickly. The broken one was covered under warranty, so it just cost me an office visit to replace, Cost was the same as what you paid. Now I still have a spare. I'll keep the mail order option in mind, though, if there is a next time.
     
  32. Arnold

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    Just a follow up. First thanks for all the advice. I am wearing a 100 day trial product from ListenLively.com. It is a resell of the Resound device. I had some initial equipment problems but customer service actually provided service. Price $2300 with a coupon ($100) which the sales lady found for me.

    I had the audiogram done by an Otolaryngologist. Still waiting on MRI results. Audiologist wanted the RMI because of the sudden change in my hearing. Not expecting any scary results so went ahead and ordered them.

    Visited local well respected audiology shop and discussed various brands. Tried out the Phonex which was great, but was $7k.

    These Lively's seem to be working well, still tweaking settings. Some user issues. They don't intefere with my headset.

    Call me pleased so far.
     
  33. flyingron

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    My ENT ordered the MRI because my hearing loss is very asymmetric so they wanted to rule out something other than just me getting old. Turns out there is a problem... on the GOOD side.
     
  34. Arnold

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    Call me confused.
     
  35. Zeldman

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    Wow... I hope insurance picks up a lot of that.

    Otherwise this will be me....

    [​IMG]
     
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  36. Arnold

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    Does that have bluetooth?
     
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  37. flyingron

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    There's a small growth near the nerve on the good side. I have to have my head examined from time to time (my wife tells me that frequently) to make sure it is not progressing.
     
  38. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I can't tell. His lips are closed...
     
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  39. FastEddieB

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    My rechargeable Resounds with Bluetooth were about that much from Costco. An audiologist had originally quoted over $4,000. I also had an MRI done due to some weirdness in my right ear after firing a gun from my porch just once without hearing protection. Nothing unusual with the results.

    Anyway, glad they’re working out for you.
     
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  40. Matthew

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    Unfortunately, it's hard to tell if that's for the pair or each.

    For the pair, that's not a bad price. I only have one, it was a little more than half that.