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linkeellis (@linkeellis)

Hearing loss: How do you identify yourself to others?

Hearing Loss | Last Active: May 11, 2019 | Replies (77)

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@imallears, which Assisted Listening Devices have you tried?

I'm completely deaf in my right ear, and 30% deaf (loss is mostly in high tones, no hearing above about 3500 Hz) in my left. I've been using a Bellman Domino Pro device for 6 years. It has a transmitter unit that I can put on the other side of a table I'm at (after telling people what it is and asking permission), and a receiver device that receives sound from the transmitter and also has its own mikes. I can aim the receiver unit at people who are talking. With it, I feel that 98% of the time, I can hear as well as if I had no loss at all, using an earphone connected to the Domino Pro.

It's a godsend when I'm at a noisy restaurant, and when I'm driving with my wife, with my deaf ear toward her. I can hear people much further away than I can with my hearing aids (a dual bi-cros unit). For most daily use, I use my hearing aids (and have for 50 years, since I was 18), but I use the Domino Pro for meetings, restaurants, speeches and other events where there's no mike, and other things outside of my house.

Do you (or anyone else reading this message) have experience with other (less capable) Bellman products, or with the Comfort Audio Duett, Conversor Pro, Williams Sound, or other Assisted Listening Device? I studied up on them when I got my Domino Pro. It was clearly the best one, but it's also the most expensive, by far. The Conversor Pro seemed second best, but I don't have any experience with it.

I'd appreciate any information you (or anyone else) may have. I've promised to send information for a friend, whose 95-year-old mother might benefit from it.

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Replies to "@imallears, which Assisted Listening Devices have you tried? I'm completely deaf in my right ear, and..."

There are several devices that are capable of bringing desired sound right to the ear while bypassing most of the ambient noise in the environment. Years ago, I used a direct audio input microphone that plugged into my hearing aid. It was extremely helpful, but a bit cumbersome as it attached by a cord that I had to manage. Yet, it worked, and it made a huge difference for me in noisy settings. Today many of these devices use wireless BlueTooth technology. My current system is the mini mic 2+ that works with my Cochlear implant. I wish it worked with my hearing aid as well, but I don't have the brand of hearing instrument that syncs with the Cochlear device. It is unfortunate that these connecting devices have to be brand specific as one doesn't just dump a $3000 hearing aid to buy a different brand! Back to the hearing assistive devices: One of the least costly devices is the Williams Sound Pocket Talker. It can be used with a neckloop, headset or earbuds. The neckloop requires your personal hearing devices have telecoils, and is the best way to connect because it works with the personal hearing devices (hearing aid or cochlear implant or both) that have been fitted for your hearing loss. Take that away and what you get is simple amplification….but it eliminates that background noise, so it does help. Learning about this type of technology was life changing for me back in the 90s. It made it possible for me to socialize, return to a teaching job, and enjoy life again. The people I associated with socially were amazed at the difference it made for me. Today's tech can be basic like the Pocket Talker, or much more sophisticated, like streamers and wireless devices. We've come a long, long way. Thanks to advocacy done by groups of people in organizations that share information, educate and advocate. HLAA is one of the best! hearingloss.org If you are not aware of HLAA, become aware. Add your name to the list of people who are effecting change for all of us. Numbers matter when it comes to legislation and research.

I have used the Williams Pocket Talker Ultra with the directional mic. What I found is that, after several years when my hearing progressed to bilateral profound, it was no longer effective. The sound quality went downhill. It did little tomaidmunderstanding. I lost the directional mic but still have the unit that I have tried from time to time with the neck loop and still am unsatisfied with it.

I wear Phonaks and trialed the Icom which is a Phonak brand. Wearing the receiver around the neck and giving the attached mic to someone, I used it in as many noisey situations as possible. It was not effective in the car, at a noisey church dinner, in a restaurant etc. It was superb for TV and quiet situations only…two situations I did not need it for. I gave the mic to my gym instructor and, while I could hear him as I was walking away from him to the back of the gym room, I did not understand what he was saying. I still need to face people to understand. It did not help when I was facing the front, in the first row. There was too much ambient noise in the car and the church dinner, also the restaurant.

I could try the Phonak Roger pen but the price is ridiculous and I doubt the outcome would be different and then I would be tethered to Phonaks only. I use a T Link for my landline phone, Innocaption for my cell and a captioned app called Live Transcribe. I used the app in an incredibly noisey restaurant last night for,the waiter
and with 2 of the people at my table. Captions for TV with the sound on are just fine.

I hate having to wear receivers but wouldn’t mind if you didn’t have to clip mics on everyone. I can trial the Roger pen for free and was thinking about doing that for very busy events coming up in May but hate having to hold a very small Roger pen…so easy to lose. Hmmmmm maybe.

The best advice I got for understanding conversation was to repeat back to someone what it was I DID hear and ask for the rest
without having them repeat the whole sentence or conversation. I like to remind myself to use the words “Sorry, I didn’t understand you” rather than “I didn’t hear you.” I hear but didnt understand….another little attempt at self advocacy.

I really like Live Transcribe…available on Goggle Play store for free. Used it yesterday also at my dentist when I removed my aids (because of all the water spraying) and had him point to it when he wanted to say something. It’s not always accurate but I like that you don’t have to hold it close to your mouth and you can put it on the table, and you click on the app to open it and it starts recording. I’ve tried a few of these…they’re getting better. One day people will be able to turn on captioned holograms when they speak…..why not? What a wonderful world!

Another thing I like about these apps is that you are holding a cell phone (who isn’t) and when people see what’s going on and why, it’s another step forward in educating the hearing world.

Regards and stepping down from my soapbox now.