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glkrause1117 (@glkrause1117)

Sample sounds for hearing aid adjustments?

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Mar 8, 2021 | Replies (18)

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@julieo4

Thanks Tony. Right on. The advertising done on hearing aids is terribly deceiving. For years they have featured noise cancellation in their products. It's a bit sales pitch because that is what bothers hard of hearing people most; hearing in noisy settings. While it has gotten a bit better, there isn't a perfect solution for the background noise issue. Most who manage background noise well use add on assistive technology that works with their hearing aids. That assistive technology is visible. That further distorts things because the advertising also features 'invisibility' and 'so small no one will know you're wearing it'. Isn't it time the hearing aid industry stops marketing denial? It's also time the people who sell hearing aids share information about assistive devices with their clients. People should not have to learn about these options through non profit organizations, list serves, Facebook pages, etc.

Coppermoon brings up the need for more realistic testing. Definitely an issue. Testing should also include demonstration of controllable special features on the hearing aid that is fitted. How do telecoils work? Where can they be used? Are there assistive devices available for this particular hearing aid? What places are recommended for trying my new hearing aid(s) out during the trial period? Etc. People walk out of the fitter's offices overwhelmed. 30 days is not nearly enough time to test the product.

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Replies to "Thanks Tony. Right on. The advertising done on hearing aids is terribly deceiving. For years they..."

Reply to Tony and Julie: I fear that the process is going the wrong way, thanks to Covid. Lots of places are scheduling fewer appts. at greater intervals for safety, which means that lots of us get discouraged about making an appt. sometime in the future. Social distancing (I hate that term!) means that everyone is far more careful about being close to anyone else…including the audi or fitter in the tiny soundproof room. I recently bought new glasses. When I went back to pick them up, the person simply handed them to me…no checking to see that the prescription was correct or that the frames fit properly. Because I wear one aid instead of two, my glasses frames really need to be bent slightly out of shape on that side to accommodate the aid, but the person said, "you can come back later if you feel it needs an adjustment." Helpful! I've found that not only do the frames need to be adjusted to fit my aid, but they're not tight enough on my head, so I now have a new thing to do: push my multi-focal specs up every few minutes so that I'm looking through the correct part of the lenses.
We all crave "getting back to normal," but I fear that normal is a thing of the past for many things, even simple ones, like a person to bag your groceries while you pony up the store's card, any coupons, and method of payment. When I'm out of our small town, I shop in a discount grocery where it's set up for us to bag our own stuff. The clerks are trained to remind you when it's time to pay (and I ask them to wave at me because I don't hear well), and all goes smoothly. The only supermarket in our small town is a national chain, and it was not set up for self-bagging. They've removed the small bit of counter for writing checks or placing the card, coupons, and cash, and there's no convenient place to bag your own groceries, plus the clerks don't yet know how to handle a customer 10' away, so it's all inefficient–but, once Covid is a thing of the bad past, I'll bet that they won't go back to providing bagging service!
Covid has been a fine excuse for everyone to deal more remotely, offer less service, and I don't think it will go back to the way it was. That means that we'll need to fight harder to get more realistic places to try aids before leaving the clinic or store. I hear "too well" right now for a CI in my long-useless ear; in a sound booth without background noise, I comprehend 55% of simple sentences. That's a far cry from the real world where there are often several kinds of noise and the sentences aren't always simple. We need to have realistic places to try out aids and get them adjusted. We also need to have enough time to ask all the questions we have.

@julieo4 Thank goodness that HLAA folks are out there to help fill the gaps that audiologists leave. We understand hearing loss better than most of the audi's. The only exception would be those with hearing loss that go into the field of audiology. You're right, we leave the audiologist's office not knowing a thing about the psycho-social aspect of living with hearing loss. Our spouses are not educated about communication strategies. We are not told about other Hearing Assitive Technology (HAT) that could be helpful, let alone the T-coil. Even if we did ask, as you've mentioned, they are most likely clueless on where to go to really give it a work out. Some walk out of their appointment not knowing that there may be options to better understand on the phone, with or without an auxiliary device. I even had to learn to use the app myself. The absolute worst thought is that we, as mentors, do what we do at no cost. Audiology needs to change.
Tony in Michigan

@julieo4 and others.. When listening or watching TV news these Pandemic days we are subjected to the wide variety of how rooms affect the sound we hear. So many of the pundits or correspondents talk from a small room where the reverberation is so fast and reinforcing of the original sound we hear a buzz of each word.. depending upon the sound absorption of the materials in the room. When the correspondents talk outside there may be street noise, but there is no reverberation… Same phenomenon goes on in the hearing aid sales or audiologists office… the smaller and reflective the surfaces the more the reflected sound reinforces the original sound… .. We should be able to evaluate our home setting and compare it to the office…and understand how surface materials (soft-thick Materials absorb sound and do not let it reflect… to reinforce the original sound… ) work to make our hearing experience so different in different places..
My hearing tests show that I hear very little even in my good ear unless that sound is at 60 db.. (decibels). So when the ambient sound in the room (with others speaking or open windows) is 50db, the deciphering information is really hard unless I am certainly much closer than the "social distancing 6 feet away"…. So when I go up to the Clinic for something and there are many clerks working..with plexiglass or real glass shields… I have to bend down to place my ear near that token opening where we are supposed to put our Insurance cards or such to hear the questions…. at that point the clerk understands my problem hopefully and raises her voice to the 60db necessary… Ken..

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