Just hear recently I was told I needed to make use of my vet benefits and still haven't got around to it.. But then the wife has been telling me I need hearing aids for years now LOL and I haven't got around to that either.. One of these days I need to take action while the getting is good..
With a previous reference to Costco, when we were in Utah, we took advantage of their "free" hearing test. Wife and I both took the test to hear different tones at different frequencies. When we were done, the technician there told us that we really didn't need aids. Surprised me, because I figured that they would "recommend" we buy a pair.
Since we didn't need aids, I can't say how well their aids work or cost.
I've had Unitrons for about 6 months. They were around $5K but, my insurance paid for most of it. Like anything else ,you get what you pay for. They are tuned to fill in the sounds that I couldn't hear before.
I got Starkey hearing aids for $1800 a pair and they help but they are the first I have ever had so no
way to compare them to others. And like the tech said they are just aids and don’t restore your hearing
like when you were young.
I’m restricted to my phone tonight so won’t be all long winded or anything.
I’m service connected hearing loss since my 20’s in the Army and it never gets better.
You are born with just so many nerve endings in your ear canal that pick up sound vibrations and transmit them to your brain so you can “hear”.
Your born with zillions of extras so that the loss of some due to loud noises won’t hurt your hearing for awhile, but eventually enough are killed that you lose the perfect hearing you had.
Once you reach that threshold your hearing deteriorates and can never be recovered naturally so here is where hearing aids come in. (It’s actually a little more technical but I’m just keeping it generic)
You can have low frequency, high frequency, or a combination of all.
A through exam by a trained and certified audiologists will expose the areas where amplification needs to be addressed.
Typically with hearing loss, you will also experience tinnitus that is that ringing in your ears. It can be at any frequency, although typically higher frequency is the norm.
A good set of hearing aids will have some noise canceling ability to help with tinnitus, but on a dead calm quiet evening it’s still going to be there.
The #1 disability among Veterans is hearing loss from time on a flight line, engine noises in confined spaces and of course combat situations.
The VA does a great job with Vets to get them what you need to help with that disability and expense doesn’t matter from what I’ve discovered.
They will “strongly” recommend a certain brand, but your not required to accept that.
I did a crap ton of research later on after Al Gore invented the internet and Starkey was the company that stayed on top of the latest developments. Still do.
So the VA bought Starkeys. Life became much better because of their advancement in using smart phones and Bluetooth to make life easier.
The Audiologists will set them up initially with a standard, but can be tuned on the fly for differing conditions. I can control which microphone to use in a noisy restaurant so only the forward facing mics are used, cutting out the background noise, or if out in a windy day, the frequency of wind noise is reduced to help hearing in that environment.
If wanting to listen to music or make a phone call in a noisy area like a vehicle, shut off the hearing volume and bump up the Bluetooth volume that the call is routed to. (You can’t hear the back seat driver this way too) all phone calls are auto Blue-toothed to the aids unless you select speakers or normal phone.
Tons of other features as well but one of the newest and greatest is the connection to Google translator App.
Start the app and it can translate 17 languages while conversing with someone. What I say shows up on the phone and they have to read it. What the other person is speaking to me also shows up as text on the phone but is also transmitted via Bluetooth to the aids in spoken language.
I can set specific hearing settings according to my GPS location and they detect if I’m in a moving vehicle for more than 10 seconds to set specified hearing settings while driving.
So yes, your paying for a lot of bells and whistles if buying on your own.
I have seen commercials of a rechargeable set of aids at Walmart that does offer some individual frequency compensation capabilities that one could look at and probably try with the Walmart return guarantee if they don’t work for you at $200.
Now here is what you have to do. If you decide to use hearing aids, they will sound unlike what your used to hearing. Remember, it’s the brain that does the hearing by nerve endings in the ear.
The brain will tune itself to the new frequencies over a period of a couple weeks or so. You have to put them in immediately upon getting up in the morning and only take them out when showering and at bed time. The brain will take over and make them sound right.
Get a trained and CERTIFIED audiologists. The store front characters that are hourly employees with no certification are bad news.
If your a Vet with hearing loss even if you think it wasn’t caused by your service, it was likely the start of it. Visit the ODVA and set up an appointment to visit one.
If you don’t want to discuss it publicly, I’m a PM away and it will be held in confidence.
I'm a VET, aviation electronics tech US Navy, 1962 - 1966. When I turned 62 and retired I tried to get signed up for medical through the VA. Even though I was told when I got out in 66 I would never have to worry about medical because the VA would take care of me I was rejected because I made too much money. Never tried to get anything from the VA since.
Figure I will have the same luck with hearing loss, go through a bunch of hoops only to be told sorry, what we told you in 1966 no longer applies.