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?

@arrowshooter

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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Arrowshooter, In most cases, returning a hearing aid must be done within a trial period that is explained in fine print in the contract. The VA may have a different policy, which is wonderful. Most states mandate a minimum of 30 days trial; some may be longer. It's up to you to ask about this when you try/buy a hearing aid. You'll likely still have to pay the cost of the testing/audiogram, but that may be covered by insurance. Regardless, that document belongs to you. Be sure to ask for a copy. If you end up going to a different provider for any reason, and your audiogram is current, you may not have to pay for another one.

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@rosemh

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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@rosemh Hello Rose, Sorry I don't know enough to have a suggestion. I only have a question! I'm always interested to hear about people's experiences with Costco. Could you say what range of hearing loss you have? Mild, moderate, severe?

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@julieo4

Arrowshooter, In most cases, returning a hearing aid must be done within a trial period that is explained in fine print in the contract. The VA may have a different policy, which is wonderful. Most states mandate a minimum of 30 days trial; some may be longer. It's up to you to ask about this when you try/buy a hearing aid. You'll likely still have to pay the cost of the testing/audiogram, but that may be covered by insurance. Regardless, that document belongs to you. Be sure to ask for a copy. If you end up going to a different provider for any reason, and your audiogram is current, you may not have to pay for another one.

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Yes, Julie, I understand that VA is different – in many ways. But I guess my point is that I was very happy with what I ended up with even though it took almost forever. The other point I make applies to ALL audiology patients and that is YOU MUST BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE.

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@arrowshooter

Yes, Julie, I understand that VA is different – in many ways. But I guess my point is that I was very happy with what I ended up with even though it took almost forever. The other point I make applies to ALL audiology patients and that is YOU MUST BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE.

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That's an extremely important point! Self Advocacy. Hearing aids sell like commercial products rather than like medical devices. Thus, we are consumers. Caveat Emptor!

FYI: I tried 5 different hearing aids last time around before I found the right one. My audiologist is great. She knows I know what I'm talking about. I tried the first 4 for about 3 weeks each, so didn't overstay the 30 day trial period. Far too many people get fitted, find them frustrating, and don't keep them on during that trial period, so they don't know how well they work.

It's difficult adjusting to hearing aids. Providers need to do a better job of explaining that to people. It's not a magic bullet like the advertisements lead people to believe.

The most recent retired president of HLAA was military. He initiated a lot of programs for veterans during his two year term. Are you a member of the HLAA Virtual Veteran's Chapter?

Liked by tonyinmi

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@julieo4

That's an extremely important point! Self Advocacy. Hearing aids sell like commercial products rather than like medical devices. Thus, we are consumers. Caveat Emptor!

FYI: I tried 5 different hearing aids last time around before I found the right one. My audiologist is great. She knows I know what I'm talking about. I tried the first 4 for about 3 weeks each, so didn't overstay the 30 day trial period. Far too many people get fitted, find them frustrating, and don't keep them on during that trial period, so they don't know how well they work.

It's difficult adjusting to hearing aids. Providers need to do a better job of explaining that to people. It's not a magic bullet like the advertisements lead people to believe.

The most recent retired president of HLAA was military. He initiated a lot of programs for veterans during his two year term. Are you a member of the HLAA Virtual Veteran's Chapter?

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In response to a couple of recent posts that have mentioned experiences at Costco:
Keep in mind that, unlike most hearing centers with audis, Costco charges absolutely nothing for tests, adjustments, information. Their policy about returning aids is very liberal; ditto for add-ons. I realize that not all techs who work for Costco are as caring and interested in learning about types of hearing loss as mine is, so, if you go to Costco and don't feel the tech (probably not an audi) there is really trying to improve your situation, I'd suggest trying a different Costco store if there's one within a reasonable distance. I go to the nearest Costco, which is a little over an hour away, but I'd certainly be willing to go even further if the tech at the Costco I use didn't seem satisfactory to me. I've spent less than $1,500 at Costco, and have had multiple hearing tests, adjustments, different ear pieces, etc. to make the aid work as well as possible. Offhand, I'd say that I've gone back at least six times–not because the initial fitting wasn't good, but because Meniere's went bilateral, which totally changed my hearing. Now that I've gotten Meniere's into remission and my hearing has returned to about where it was before I went bilateral (without any distortion or recruitment), I need to go back for yet another adjustment. I'm also thinking about trying an aid in my long-useless ear to see if that helps, although now I can understand much of what goes on around me–for a change!
While I was essentially deaf, I went to a hearing center that does CI surgery. The two visits there, one for a test and one to talk with someone about how to live without hearing, cost almost $700, which was covered by my medical ins. However, I felt that I got virtually no useful information, as neither the doc or the audis knew zip about Meniere's, couldn't answer questions about how a CI would work for someone with Meniere's, or how to function with little hearing. None of three had even heard of Live Transcribe.
Regardless of where you buy aids, if you're already a member, Costco sells packs of 48 batteries (6 small packs of 8 on a card) for less than $10–far, far less than at pharmacies! I seldom do any shopping at Costco…the annual membership fee is a small price to pay for the help I get from the person I see.

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Yes, I am a founding member of the Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter. Don and I know each other. I was at that first (unscheduled) meeting of veterans at the Minneapolis Convention. I think that was Don's idea.

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@arrowshooter

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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Are not all three speech to text apps? I am trying all three.

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@barbb

@rosemh Hello Rose, Sorry I don't know enough to have a suggestion. I only have a question! I'm always interested to hear about people's experiences with Costco. Could you say what range of hearing loss you have? Mild, moderate, severe?

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I have a moderate to severe hearing loss. And, I find it very frustrating to live with. 😬

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@arrowshooter

Yes, I am a founding member of the Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter. Don and I know each other. I was at that first (unscheduled) meeting of veterans at the Minneapolis Convention. I think that was Don's idea.

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So pleased to hear that! The Minneapolis HLAA convention was wonderful. All of them are. The treat of seeing West Side Story at the Guthrie Theater with a hearing loop was worth the price of admission! I hope the national convention returns to the midwest before too many years pass. Next year it's in LA, then in New Orleans. Don D. is a terrific guy.

I wish we all had real names and locations. Who knows, we could be next door neighbors. Just kidding! 🙂

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@tonyinmi

@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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Thanks so much. I have a pixel 3. I will look into it.

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@julieo4

So pleased to hear that! The Minneapolis HLAA convention was wonderful. All of them are. The treat of seeing West Side Story at the Guthrie Theater with a hearing loop was worth the price of admission! I hope the national convention returns to the midwest before too many years pass. Next year it's in LA, then in New Orleans. Don D. is a terrific guy.

I wish we all had real names and locations. Who knows, we could be next door neighbors. Just kidding! 🙂

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PM sent

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@davekoh

Are not all three speech to text apps? I am trying all three.

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They are specific to iPhone or android.

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@julieo4

So pleased to hear that! The Minneapolis HLAA convention was wonderful. All of them are. The treat of seeing West Side Story at the Guthrie Theater with a hearing loop was worth the price of admission! I hope the national convention returns to the midwest before too many years pass. Next year it's in LA, then in New Orleans. Don D. is a terrific guy.

I wish we all had real names and locations. Who knows, we could be next door neighbors. Just kidding! 🙂

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@julieo4 Agree with your so called joke, Julie! I think you noted that I found a way to locate a "next door neighbor" – well, not exactly next door, but certainly very close by! 🙂

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@rosemh

I have a moderate to severe hearing loss. And, I find it very frustrating to live with. 😬

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I know how you feel! Without my hearing aids the world is very quiet! My hearing has really gone down hill 3-4 years ago. Even with a good pair of Phonaks I struggle with any conversation with more than two people. I have 13 grandchildren and I need to remind them that grandpa has to be very close to hear them! The important thing is that they know that I love them and try to spend as much time as I can with them. That is what is important! It has been a struggle but last week I came to the conclusion that it is more of a nuisance than anything else…..need to count all my other blessings and realize that this is just a challenge to overcome. Other than the hearing loss I am thankful that I can still get around and stay very active. But I do understand the frustration! Take care.

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@scottk

I know how you feel! Without my hearing aids the world is very quiet! My hearing has really gone down hill 3-4 years ago. Even with a good pair of Phonaks I struggle with any conversation with more than two people. I have 13 grandchildren and I need to remind them that grandpa has to be very close to hear them! The important thing is that they know that I love them and try to spend as much time as I can with them. That is what is important! It has been a struggle but last week I came to the conclusion that it is more of a nuisance than anything else…..need to count all my other blessings and realize that this is just a challenge to overcome. Other than the hearing loss I am thankful that I can still get around and stay very active. But I do understand the frustration! Take care.

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Thanks for the encouragement. I know I have so much to be thankful for. I’ll have to concentrate on that.

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