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?

@tonyinmi

@tarheel, it sounds like you will be new to hearing aids. I typically hate talking on this subject because everyone's experience is different. So many people that buy hearing aids end up putting them in the drawer. THEY DO NOT CORRECT HEARING AS GLASSES CORRECT FOR VISION. So, I make no recommendations, but only as person that has worn hearing aids for all of my adult life. Since your loss is moderate, you would be a candidate for an Over The Counter (OTC) device. The high end aids are recommended for people that have severe to profound loss and need fast processing to filter the background noise. Even with the high end aids, which I have, the background noise filtering is by no means perfect. I still struggle. The OTC devices are still not quite ready to go to mass market. Bottom line is that you may do fine with a low end product. Since you mention that you have tinnitus, maybe an aid with tinnitus masking will help. Having the amplification will help with the tinnitus but when you remove the aid at the end of the day, the tinnitus may return (as in my case). Fortunately, it goes away after a short time.
Tony in Michigan

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Tony in Michigan: thanks very much for your insight on my initiation into the world of hearing aids. Yes, my hearing loss is moderate, so your point is well-taken. My tinnitus is really my biggest issue, although I definitely have some hearing loss. thanks again, and I will post what the audiologist recommends and maybe seek some advice. My appointment is today. Yikes!!!!!

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Thanks for your insight about hearing aids; very helpful. I went back to the audiologist yesterday, and she was very helpful and patient with my questions (which surprised me). I slowly developed a rapport with her, I think, and I will be trying a brand new product which, while not inexpensive, she seemed to think would suit me and also help with the tinnitus. I did ask a lot of questions so – fingers crossed – this will work out in the end.

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@tarheel

Thanks for your insight about hearing aids; very helpful. I went back to the audiologist yesterday, and she was very helpful and patient with my questions (which surprised me). I slowly developed a rapport with her, I think, and I will be trying a brand new product which, while not inexpensive, she seemed to think would suit me and also help with the tinnitus. I did ask a lot of questions so – fingers crossed – this will work out in the end.

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@tarheel, there is so much to hearing loss than just hearing aids. I commend you for reaching out to others with hearing loss. Most people rely only on their hearing health care provider for their expertise. Many are not aware of other technology that's available. You may want to consider joining HLAA (www.hearingloss.org). Membership gets you a subscription to their magazine, which is printed every other month. You'll join others in our advocacy efforts to make hearing loss an issue of national concern.
Tony in Michigan

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@tarheel

Thanks for your insight about hearing aids; very helpful. I went back to the audiologist yesterday, and she was very helpful and patient with my questions (which surprised me). I slowly developed a rapport with her, I think, and I will be trying a brand new product which, while not inexpensive, she seemed to think would suit me and also help with the tinnitus. I did ask a lot of questions so – fingers crossed – this will work out in the end.

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Glad you are off to a good and confident start with the audiologist! I believe that the more we participate in our hearing health care, the greater the chances of happy success. The kind of rapport you describe helps us to develop realistic expectations about what is possible with a chosen treatment and how to get there. Continued good luck to you!!!

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@tonyinmi

@tarheel, there is so much to hearing loss than just hearing aids. I commend you for reaching out to others with hearing loss. Most people rely only on their hearing health care provider for their expertise. Many are not aware of other technology that's available. You may want to consider joining HLAA (www.hearingloss.org). Membership gets you a subscription to their magazine, which is printed every other month. You'll join others in our advocacy efforts to make hearing loss an issue of national concern.
Tony in Michigan

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I completely agree with Tony about HLAA resources. This organization literally changed my life… going all the way back to early 1998, when it was still called SHHH.

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@tarheel

Thanks for your insight about hearing aids; very helpful. I went back to the audiologist yesterday, and she was very helpful and patient with my questions (which surprised me). I slowly developed a rapport with her, I think, and I will be trying a brand new product which, while not inexpensive, she seemed to think would suit me and also help with the tinnitus. I did ask a lot of questions so – fingers crossed – this will work out in the end.

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@tarheel It's always great to see someone making good use out of offered good advice!

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@ekobylak

I completely agree with Tony about HLAA resources. This organization literally changed my life… going all the way back to early 1998, when it was still called SHHH.

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@tarheel @tonyinmi Ditto for me re HLAA's tremendous impact for the individual!

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You did something most people don't do. You asked questions of other people with hearing loss/tinnitus before you followed through on buying a product. So many ask their questions afterwards and end up frustrated because they didn't know what to ask or expect. Congratulations! Yes, HLAA is a wonderful organization. Well worth supporting. Glad you had a positive experience with your audiologist. Listening is one of the most valued gifts a professional can share with a client/patient. Sounds like you have a good one! Good luck with the new hearing device. The technology keeps getting better and better. We are fortunate to live in times when hearing help is available. There is a lot of research going on right now on tinnitus. So many of our service men and women return from combat zones with tinnitus and hearing loss. Consequently, it's getting more attention now. Also more attention Is now focused on preventing noise related issues. Hearing loss and tinnitus often in that category. Please keep us posted on your progress.

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@barbb

@tarheel @tonyinmi Ditto for me re HLAA's tremendous impact for the individual!

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It's important too, to note that by joining HLAA we are impacting HLAA's ability to do what they do for all of us. HLAA needs us too.

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@julieo4 Hear hear!!!

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@imallears

@davekoh
Hi,
I rely heavily on Live Transcribe especially in these masked times. There are some areas, like my salon, where the WiFi is weak and it doesn’t work at all. It also doesn’t work well in restaurants and other similar noisy environments even if the phone is right up near the speaker’s mouth. I have TextHear on my phone which is not very accurate and also Otter which is more accurate. You have to keep hitting the mic icon on TextHear and hold the phone closer to the person speaking. I am going to try Otter today at a very noisy restaurant and report back on that. My Samsung Galaxy s7 has a powerful mic but the phone desperately needs to be upgraded. I sometimes turn the phone upside down when using Live Transcribe so the mic is facing the sound source. I was considering an external mic but will wait for my upgrade.
What kind of problems are you having?

FL Mary (west coast…no hurricane this time)

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So is there an external Mic available that would amplify the phone sensitivity for better transcription results?

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@davekoh

So is there an external Mic available that would amplify the phone sensitivity for better transcription results?

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Are you asking if you can use an external mic to improve the accuracy of a speech-to-text app like Ava or Otter? Or are seeking to improve on Live Transcribe?

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@julieo4

Costco varies all over the board. I have heard both positives and negatives. A few locations have audiologists, but many have only hearing instrument specialists. Fully agree that the price is right in most cases. It is true that some of the hearing aids sold by Costco are 'locked'. That means that ONLY Costco can make adjustments. If you move or travel and have an issue with a hearing aid, you cannot get it adjusted or fixed unless you go to Costco. Not always possible.

In most cases with a poor fitting, it's not the hearing aid, but the fitter that can be the difference between a well fit device and a poorly fit one. Regardless of where you buy a hearing aid, you are a 'customer' of a product. If you do your research in advance you will likely learn that you should get manually operated telecoils and volume control, and also BlueTooth. But don't expect the provider to tell you that. Sometimes they'll tell you telecoils are 'old technology'. They are, but they still connect you to many audio devices and events. And, they do not add cost to hearing aids. Those of you who are on Connect are all computer users. Have you ever used your hearing aid's telecoils to hear audio messages on your computer?

Manual controls are important because you want to control what you're hearing. Automatic sounds good until you're in a setting where everything is too soft or too loud and your stuck with automatic controls. BT adds cost to hearing aids, but it's worth having if you use it to hear on the phone. It will also connect you to other hearing assistive technology. Again, there is a learning curve on all these extra devices. Worth time time to learn if you want to hear as best you can.

Question: Has anyone who has had a bad experience with hearing aids had a problem returning them whether to Costco or any other provider. Trial times vary, but what happens when one decides to return them?

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In regard to returning hearing aids, my answer is no problem. I have returned hearing aids I got from VA and it was well beyond the trial period. The VA audiologist tried repeatedly to adjust them and finally gave up but that was after the trial period ended. No problem. They were replaced by a different brand. AND I returned that pair because they did not have t-coils and received yet another pair of new hearing aids. I got 3 new pair inside of 6 months.

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@davekoh

So is there an external Mic available that would amplify the phone sensitivity for better transcription results?

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@davekoh, I can't speak for all phones, but you should be able to buy an external mic for your phone. It may improve the transcriptions. The mic will make it more convenient to allow you to read the transcript while you position the mic as close to the speaker as possible. If the mic is more than about 8 inches from the speakers mouth, it may not help much. You may want to purchase the mic from a place that has a good return policy in the event the expectations are not met.
Tony in Michigan

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@salledell

Hi. This is Sylvia. I experienced hearing loss in my left ear in my 50’s. Shortly after, I developed Ménière’s disease and have very little hearing in that ear.
I wear hearing aids in both ears and am fine with face to face conversation, but have trouble distinguishing words in a large room like a gym or swimming pool. This makes it difficult to follow instructions in exercise classes. I’m thinking possibly cochlear implants might help. Does anyone have experience with a cochlear implant?

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Hello. My name is Rose and I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 32 years. I’m a young 75 now. Ha! For the last 10 years I’ve been purchasing my hearing aids from Costco. I love their great customer service. For the past6 months, I’ve noticed that my right ear goes “deaf”, which is so annoying. If I open and close the battery door, my hearing comes back but then dies again. Has anyone had any experience with this issue? I’ve had that h/a replaced to no avail. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks.

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