Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others

Welcome to the Hearing Loss group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet people living with hearing loss, and friends and family supporters. Whether you were born deaf or hard of hearing, experienced hearing loss after birth or with aging, it helps to connect with others. Together we can learn from each other, support one another and share stories about living with hearing loss, coping with challenges and celebrating milestones.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself? What is your hearing loss experience? Got a question, tip or story to share?

Hello. Not sure if this is where I do this, but I just joined to get some information for my mom, who experienced profound hearing loss from her chemo treatment. I am specifically hoping for cell phone recommendations, ie ones that have good clarity, amplification, background noise reduction, anything that makes it easier for her to hear. We tried connecting her hearing aids to her phone, but she found it too overwhelming. At some point, perhaps we will revisit that option, but for now, we are just wondering which mainstream cells phones have you found to be the clearest for hearing? Thanks in advance.

Janice

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I had just gotten a used IPhone 6 for its GPS capabilities when my remaining hearing went south in May. Even older IPhones can be paired with an aid or aids, which, once you get used to it, is undoubtedly the best way to hear via phone. However, the absolute best speech-to-text app, Live Transcribe, is only available for Android devices. I bought a cheap tablet, but found its mic is nearly useless, plus it makes two things to charge and cart around. I just bought a Samsung (Android) A20 for $200 and find it a much better phone–more info at all times like temp/time, etc., far better keyboard, longer battery life. However, it cannot be paired with my aid, bringing phone conversations directly into my ear. Some of the new (read: $$$$$) Android phones can be paired. I'll be test driving the new phone with Live Transcribe Tuesday for a three-hour technical meeting. I do have a mic that's paired with my aid, and it helps in lecture settings.
I don't know how to select an audiologist that's best. I went to a clinic that specializes in CIs. The audi who tested me to see if I qualifiy for a CI (I don't, by a mere 5% at this point) told me to dump my $1,500 Costco aid, buy two $3,000+ "good" aids, and come back for another test in six months. I had a second appt., with an audiologist at the same clinic, to learn how to live as a much deafer person, and she told me that my Costco aid is great, that I should keep it until it ages out in a few years. So, two audis from the same clinic, but totally different recommendations. I am very glad that I made the second appt. as I'm not going around thinking that my aid in of low quality, won't work well for me.

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@janicerenee

Hello. Not sure if this is where I do this, but I just joined to get some information for my mom, who experienced profound hearing loss from her chemo treatment. I am specifically hoping for cell phone recommendations, ie ones that have good clarity, amplification, background noise reduction, anything that makes it easier for her to hear. We tried connecting her hearing aids to her phone, but she found it too overwhelming. At some point, perhaps we will revisit that option, but for now, we are just wondering which mainstream cells phones have you found to be the clearest for hearing? Thanks in advance.

Janice

Jump to this post

Hi Janice. Cell phones have an accessibility rating. Ask the sales person if the rating is not shown. There are two letters, M and T, and range from 1 to 4. The M stands for Microphone, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid microphone. The T stands for telecoil, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid telecoil. If you don't know what a telecoil is, hang on, I'll get to it. The ratings, 1 to 4, is a measure of quality (1 is the worst, and 4 is the best). So, the best cell phones have an M4 T4 rating. A rating of M3 T3 is very good too but do not choose a phone below a 3 rating. Stick with M4 T4, M4 T3, M3 T4, or M3 T3. Your moms hearing aids may or may not have a telecoil. The audiologist would have to enable it if they do have them. The telecoil allows the audio from the phone to be inductively coupled to the hearing aid instead of via an audible signal. The telecoil would give a better sound than an audible sound. Mom would have to remember to turn on the telecoil program if she wanted to listen to the phone in this manner. The best way to get the sound to the hearing aid would be via Bluetooth. She would hear through both ears instead of just the ear that the phone was held up to. Many people that have hearing loss use the speakerphone option to hear via both ears if Bluetooth is not an option. I would recommend trying several phones that have at least a M3 T3 and let her try them before deciding which phone works best for her. Before my Bluetooth hearing aids, I had a Casio flip phone. I went to the Verizon store to try different phones and the Casio worked best for me. I doubt that phone is even made anymore.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

Hi Janice. Cell phones have an accessibility rating. Ask the sales person if the rating is not shown. There are two letters, M and T, and range from 1 to 4. The M stands for Microphone, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid microphone. The T stands for telecoil, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid telecoil. If you don't know what a telecoil is, hang on, I'll get to it. The ratings, 1 to 4, is a measure of quality (1 is the worst, and 4 is the best). So, the best cell phones have an M4 T4 rating. A rating of M3 T3 is very good too but do not choose a phone below a 3 rating. Stick with M4 T4, M4 T3, M3 T4, or M3 T3. Your moms hearing aids may or may not have a telecoil. The audiologist would have to enable it if they do have them. The telecoil allows the audio from the phone to be inductively coupled to the hearing aid instead of via an audible signal. The telecoil would give a better sound than an audible sound. Mom would have to remember to turn on the telecoil program if she wanted to listen to the phone in this manner. The best way to get the sound to the hearing aid would be via Bluetooth. She would hear through both ears instead of just the ear that the phone was held up to. Many people that have hearing loss use the speakerphone option to hear via both ears if Bluetooth is not an option. I would recommend trying several phones that have at least a M3 T3 and let her try them before deciding which phone works best for her. Before my Bluetooth hearing aids, I had a Casio flip phone. I went to the Verizon store to try different phones and the Casio worked best for me. I doubt that phone is even made anymore.
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you so much, Tony, for your thoughtful response. Unfortunately, mom did not like the bluetooth opton, so I am just looking for the phone with the clearest and loudest sound.

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@joyces

I had just gotten a used IPhone 6 for its GPS capabilities when my remaining hearing went south in May. Even older IPhones can be paired with an aid or aids, which, once you get used to it, is undoubtedly the best way to hear via phone. However, the absolute best speech-to-text app, Live Transcribe, is only available for Android devices. I bought a cheap tablet, but found its mic is nearly useless, plus it makes two things to charge and cart around. I just bought a Samsung (Android) A20 for $200 and find it a much better phone–more info at all times like temp/time, etc., far better keyboard, longer battery life. However, it cannot be paired with my aid, bringing phone conversations directly into my ear. Some of the new (read: $$$$$) Android phones can be paired. I'll be test driving the new phone with Live Transcribe Tuesday for a three-hour technical meeting. I do have a mic that's paired with my aid, and it helps in lecture settings.
I don't know how to select an audiologist that's best. I went to a clinic that specializes in CIs. The audi who tested me to see if I qualifiy for a CI (I don't, by a mere 5% at this point) told me to dump my $1,500 Costco aid, buy two $3,000+ "good" aids, and come back for another test in six months. I had a second appt., with an audiologist at the same clinic, to learn how to live as a much deafer person, and she told me that my Costco aid is great, that I should keep it until it ages out in a few years. So, two audis from the same clinic, but totally different recommendations. I am very glad that I made the second appt. as I'm not going around thinking that my aid in of low quality, won't work well for me.

Jump to this post

Thank you, Joyce.

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@janicerenee

Hello. Not sure if this is where I do this, but I just joined to get some information for my mom, who experienced profound hearing loss from her chemo treatment. I am specifically hoping for cell phone recommendations, ie ones that have good clarity, amplification, background noise reduction, anything that makes it easier for her to hear. We tried connecting her hearing aids to her phone, but she found it too overwhelming. At some point, perhaps we will revisit that option, but for now, we are just wondering which mainstream cells phones have you found to be the clearest for hearing? Thanks in advance.

Janice

Jump to this post

Welcome @janicerenee, you posted perfectly to get information from some of the wisest people living with hearing loss.

Here's an additional discussion that might give you additional info. Both Tony and Joyce have posted here too:
– Smartphone question: Which one is best for hard of hearing people? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/smartphone-question/

I can understand getting overwhelmed with technology and getting it to work. Your approach of one step at a time is wise.

REPLY
@tonyinmi

Hi Janice. Cell phones have an accessibility rating. Ask the sales person if the rating is not shown. There are two letters, M and T, and range from 1 to 4. The M stands for Microphone, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid microphone. The T stands for telecoil, which is how well the cell phone works with the hearing aid telecoil. If you don't know what a telecoil is, hang on, I'll get to it. The ratings, 1 to 4, is a measure of quality (1 is the worst, and 4 is the best). So, the best cell phones have an M4 T4 rating. A rating of M3 T3 is very good too but do not choose a phone below a 3 rating. Stick with M4 T4, M4 T3, M3 T4, or M3 T3. Your moms hearing aids may or may not have a telecoil. The audiologist would have to enable it if they do have them. The telecoil allows the audio from the phone to be inductively coupled to the hearing aid instead of via an audible signal. The telecoil would give a better sound than an audible sound. Mom would have to remember to turn on the telecoil program if she wanted to listen to the phone in this manner. The best way to get the sound to the hearing aid would be via Bluetooth. She would hear through both ears instead of just the ear that the phone was held up to. Many people that have hearing loss use the speakerphone option to hear via both ears if Bluetooth is not an option. I would recommend trying several phones that have at least a M3 T3 and let her try them before deciding which phone works best for her. Before my Bluetooth hearing aids, I had a Casio flip phone. I went to the Verizon store to try different phones and the Casio worked best for me. I doubt that phone is even made anymore.
Tony in Michigan

Jump to this post

@janicerenee I was going to suggest an iPhone, I find mine is far superior to any other phones I had before, but it is Bluetooth of course. Other than that, the information from @tonyinmi is exactly what you need. I was very conscious of that before having Bluetooth. I am sure you will be able to find one that is satisfactory for your mom. I remember how difficult this was, back before I had Bluetooth hearing aids and an iPhone but it is not unsurmountable. I will be interested in hearing what phone works out well for her.
JK

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iso recommendation of who to see in Torrance or Hawthorne Ca AUDIOLOGY?
The man who told me that he got stem cells put in his ear was fibbing. I tried so hard and wanted that to b true. but, I'll have to get my 2nd pair of hearing aids. What does anyone think of Miracle Ear? ( I can get a free turkey )? LOL

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Hi, I'm Jim. Will reach full retirement age soon. I guess in baseball terms, you could say 2020 will be my 'walk year.' Got my first hearing aid at age 6. That's no typo. First grade, 6 years old, fitted with a body-aid, strapped to my chest.

My hearing deteriorated during my school years. Currently my left ear is profound and my right slides moderate to severe. I've come to accept hearing loss as part of my being. It is deeply ingrained into my identity and personality.

Whether emotions run high or low, this has been an amazing experience of empathy!

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Jim: It is always good to read when an individual can make the most of a difficult situation or problem. Hope retirement goes well for you!

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@jymm

Hi, I'm Jim. Will reach full retirement age soon. I guess in baseball terms, you could say 2020 will be my 'walk year.' Got my first hearing aid at age 6. That's no typo. First grade, 6 years old, fitted with a body-aid, strapped to my chest.

My hearing deteriorated during my school years. Currently my left ear is profound and my right slides moderate to severe. I've come to accept hearing loss as part of my being. It is deeply ingrained into my identity and personality.

Whether emotions run high or low, this has been an amazing experience of empathy!

Jump to this post

Hi, @jymm I see you have posted a while ago, but welcome to Connect. My daughter started wearing HAs at age 4 so I understand how it is for children. I was in my 50s when I started wearing HAs. My loss is totally different from my daughter’s. She always just wore regular HAs. She is in her 30s now and her hearing loss is, I believe, classified as moderate.

I too have had to accept my loss, despite the social difficulties it causes. I am severe in one ear and profound in the other with 30% and 50% word recognition. It sounds as if you are doing very well though, which is great. For me, it was the loss of word recognition that made things the most difficult. How is your word recognition? I suspect that loss in me may have been due to either a medication or to having had cirrhosis because it happened very quickly.
JK

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Welcome Jim, this is a great place to learn from others even though you already have lots of experience with hearing loss. And good luck with your retirement. I retired in 2000 – and again in 2013 because I didn't get it right the first time. Don't do that to yourself.

Quote from Contentandwell "For me, it was the loss of word recognition that made things the most difficult." That makes a huge difference. Same goes for listening in noise. There seem to be many ways to state or describe the inability to understand speech. Audiograms predict (to a degree) how a person can hear sound, but they are less good at predicting how that will be understood by a hearing impaired individual. Some Audiologists now recognize that many veterans (especially those who have encountered blasts or TBI, traumatic brain injuries) have less ability to understand speech than their audiograms would suggest. So there is obviously more science yet to be understood in auditory precessing.

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@arrowshooter

Welcome Jim, this is a great place to learn from others even though you already have lots of experience with hearing loss. And good luck with your retirement. I retired in 2000 – and again in 2013 because I didn't get it right the first time. Don't do that to yourself.

Quote from Contentandwell "For me, it was the loss of word recognition that made things the most difficult." That makes a huge difference. Same goes for listening in noise. There seem to be many ways to state or describe the inability to understand speech. Audiograms predict (to a degree) how a person can hear sound, but they are less good at predicting how that will be understood by a hearing impaired individual. Some Audiologists now recognize that many veterans (especially those who have encountered blasts or TBI, traumatic brain injuries) have less ability to understand speech than their audiograms would suggest. So there is obviously more science yet to be understood in auditory precessing.

Jump to this post

I retired in 2010. I functioned ok in normal situations but not in meetings. I wore one aid and was deaf in other ear. I functioned ok with aid, lip reading and captioned tv. My hearing got progressively worse the past nine years. Now at 73 my aid basically is for volume. Discrimination is poor. So the audiologist recommends testing for a cochlear implant.

I too have accepted my hearing loss and am reluctant to undergo the trials and tribulations of an implant evaluation, operation and followup. My excuse now is I am waiting for an ease of the massive medical travel commitments necessary.

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@davekoh

I retired in 2010. I functioned ok in normal situations but not in meetings. I wore one aid and was deaf in other ear. I functioned ok with aid, lip reading and captioned tv. My hearing got progressively worse the past nine years. Now at 73 my aid basically is for volume. Discrimination is poor. So the audiologist recommends testing for a cochlear implant.

I too have accepted my hearing loss and am reluctant to undergo the trials and tribulations of an implant evaluation, operation and followup. My excuse now is I am waiting for an ease of the massive medical travel commitments necessary.

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@davekoh I can understand your reluctance. I know I am not too far from qualifying for a CI but the thought is scary. Once done it cannot be reversed. My hearing sounds very similar to yours though. It can be very isolating at times. I will be interested in hearing how you proceed forward.
JK

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@contentandwell

Hi, @jymm I see you have posted a while ago, but welcome to Connect. My daughter started wearing HAs at age 4 so I understand how it is for children. I was in my 50s when I started wearing HAs. My loss is totally different from my daughter’s. She always just wore regular HAs. She is in her 30s now and her hearing loss is, I believe, classified as moderate.

I too have had to accept my loss, despite the social difficulties it causes. I am severe in one ear and profound in the other with 30% and 50% word recognition. It sounds as if you are doing very well though, which is great. For me, it was the loss of word recognition that made things the most difficult. How is your word recognition? I suspect that loss in me may have been due to either a medication or to having had cirrhosis because it happened very quickly.
JK

Jump to this post

Hi JK, I think word recognition tests can be misleading since the audiologist can set the volume up too loud and in a quiet setting. Although it's a good test for comparison year to year. Mostly I can understand conversations if the speaker is talking directly to me. If a 3rd person enters the conversation, I cannot understand the speaker and lose interest.

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