Hearing loss: How do you identify yourself to others?

Posted by linkeellis @linkeellis, Feb 7, 2019

As a long time member of the hearing loss group, and part of the entire dDeaf community, I find that many people have very definite ideas as to how they identify themselves: deaf, Deaf, hearing impaired, hard of hearing, stone deaf, can’t hear really well or some other term. I find myself changing my self-identification based on whom I’m talking. If it’s a culturally capital “D” Deaf person, I say I’m hard of hearing; to hearing people, I say I’m hearing impaired or oral deaf (because they know what that means: I speak); and to my hearing loss peers, I say I’m deaf (because I am). It’s a constant dance when I’m around Deaf people. The ASL community has many issues with deaf people who communicate orally and believe everyone should sign. But that’s not how many people come into the hearing loss andor deaf world. I’m curious to know what others do. There is no right or wrong here.

@mikepa

@bobbiefriend , what is the name of the handset you are referring to? Another option is if you have a cell phone bought in the last 2 years, all of the main hearing aid manufacturers now have Apple and Android compatible phones so that you download an app on your phone and when phone rings, it goes directly to your hearing aid, similar to a hearing loop. I've been using my Starkey hearing aids and Apple iPhone for almost 2 years and the clarity of the call is phenomenal. I used to avoid my cell phone or put in on speaker phone to clearly hear callers. I also get to stream music directly to my hearing aid for when I am walking and clarity is also great. If you have old phone, your handset sounds like the way to go. But next time you go to audiologist, ask about the Apple and Android compatible phones.

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The name in the logo on my handset is Native Union. The Apple store doesn’t sell them.

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@imallears

@suzyd
Hi, You said a mouthful! I wear 2 Phonak BTES, profound loss. Back when I started to lose my hearing in my mid thirties and was still working, so many people thought I didnt’t get it. This was way before I started to advocate for myself. Now than I am approaching 78 (really?) I have found it so easy to be upfront with everyone I come across and I have found that if I say “I read lips, I need to look at you” or something to that effect, it seems to get their attention .
And yes, we can only do one on one conversations and that stinks in so many ways. Music is horrible also. I have tried many assisted devices and none really help that much. I have a wonderful Audi who will let me try anything without any upfront payment.

If I am approaching a new group of people, I announce upfront, with a smile of course, that I have a severe hearing loss and what I need to do. I am not shy about telling people what I need from them but it takes a person time to get use to doing that and not feel any shame or shyness. As for that person who yelled at you..well I thoroughly enjoy putting rude ill mannered people down.
You’ll know what to say next time. I like to have a sense of humor about it and sometimes an attitude is necessary. It’s not my fault. If they are interested, I can give them a brief understanding of my hearing loss…if not…oh well. I have also found younger people
really receptive because, chances are, they have a relative who has hearing loss.

We’re all so tired at the end of the day. I think we are better drivers…always looking…and maybe more observant…although sometimes not.

Someone made a comment about the culturally deaf community and I have met a few really really rude Deaf ladies who were so annoyed at my futile attempt at signing. One turned her back to me. I know basic phrases but most of the HOH people at the HHLA meetings I go to speak and sign at the same time. I’m not around them enough to practice.

My 2 cents
Regards from Mary

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I like to introduce myself with a little humor “I have a severe hearing loss, so I may reply to a comment said earlier or just add something out of no where “.
I also have a magnetic badge that has my name and “ I have a hearing loss, please speak directly to me so I can read your lips”. I find I wear that a lot especially when shopping, doctor appointments ?

I find it’s easier to explain my loss immediately so others will understand. I like to remind myself, to be grateful for what I can hear!

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@mikepa

@bobbiefriend , what is the name of the handset you are referring to? Another option is if you have a cell phone bought in the last 2 years, all of the main hearing aid manufacturers now have Apple and Android compatible phones so that you download an app on your phone and when phone rings, it goes directly to your hearing aid, similar to a hearing loop. I've been using my Starkey hearing aids and Apple iPhone for almost 2 years and the clarity of the call is phenomenal. I used to avoid my cell phone or put in on speaker phone to clearly hear callers. I also get to stream music directly to my hearing aid for when I am walking and clarity is also great. If you have old phone, your handset sounds like the way to go. But next time you go to audiologist, ask about the Apple and Android compatible phones.

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@mikepa, what led you to choose Starkey hearing aids? Are these your first hearing aids? If not, how do the Starkey aids perform compared to earlier set(s)?

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@quitachiver, great idea. How did you have it made, Good Luck. Teresa

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@dollyh

I like to introduce myself with a little humor “I have a severe hearing loss, so I may reply to a comment said earlier or just add something out of no where “.
I also have a magnetic badge that has my name and “ I have a hearing loss, please speak directly to me so I can read your lips”. I find I wear that a lot especially when shopping, doctor appointments ?

I find it’s easier to explain my loss immediately so others will understand. I like to remind myself, to be grateful for what I can hear!

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@quiteachiver76, GREAT IDEA. HOW DID YOU HAVE IT MADE? GOOD LUCK TERESA

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@editored

@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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@editored
Hi,
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.
Mary

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@bobbiefriend

Specific information like this is so helpful! I asked my ENT doctor and audiologists if there wasn’t some way to help a me hear my cell phone callers, they all said no. For $3 my daughter bought me a cell phone hand set at a yard sale which I plug in to my Apple cell phone and I can hear my callers! An inexpensive gadget you just plug in to your phone! Now I have several and one in my purse.

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@bobbiefriend
Hi,

Audiologist needs to know more about assisted devices since so many are proprietary and they’re selling these brand hearing aids. I I lucked out on a passionate Audi who is so interested in this field and she is the one who lets me trial the devices with no money upfront. She wants to know what I know…like Innocaption for example, so she can pass it on to others.

She loves that I retube my own aids and gives me free tubing. I read a lot about hearing aids and assisted devices , love that research is being done….maybe in my grandchildren lifetime they may be able to regenerate the ear’s hair cells.

Regards from Mary

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@capausz

@mikepa, what led you to choose Starkey hearing aids? Are these your first hearing aids? If not, how do the Starkey aids perform compared to earlier set(s)?

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Hi @capausz. These Starkey's are my 4th pair. Prior to these I had an Oticon and Phonak. The Starkey's are ok, but due to lack of listening by my audiologist when I bought them, they don't include a telecom. Which was one of the important features I was looking for in a new pair. I didn't realize it until I went to the HLAA Convention last year and found I couldn't take advantage of the hearing loops in all the rooms. I was quite pissed off. Overall they are good, but they are Starkey's 1st pass at an Apple compatible HA and I think they need to work on the app some more. My next pair will probably be the Oticon Opn with telecoil. Of the 4 I've had, Oticon is the pair I felt happiest with overall. I plan on talking to all of the manufacturer's reps at the Convention in Rochester to learn about all of them before making a decision. Another issue for me is when HA's get wet or sweat on them. I can't wear my Starkey's in the yard working in summer as the sweat gets in them and knocks them off. I didn't have same problem with Oticon's.

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@mikepa

About the Tcoil. I don’t see why a Tcoil couldn’t be added to your hearing aid if there is enough room inside…it’s only a copper wire. And shame for that Audi for not automocally including it.

They make sweatbands for BTEs bit at a ridiculous price. I have actually wrapped Saran Wrap around mine in the beauty parlor . It crackles a little bit if you touch it but you can still hear . I plan on making a pair someday with waterproof material…a little hand stitching….or maybe a material like an elastic bandage which would be porous enough to let sound through. Try wrapping a small piece of this stuff for a temporary fix.

Regards from Mary

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@imallears

@mikepa

About the Tcoil. I don’t see why a Tcoil couldn’t be added to your hearing aid if there is enough room inside…it’s only a copper wire. And shame for that Audi for not automocally including it.

They make sweatbands for BTEs bit at a ridiculous price. I have actually wrapped Saran Wrap around mine in the beauty parlor . It crackles a little bit if you touch it but you can still hear . I plan on making a pair someday with waterproof material…a little hand stitching….or maybe a material like an elastic bandage which would be porous enough to let sound through. Try wrapping a small piece of this stuff for a temporary fix.

Regards from Mary

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@imallears That's what I thought about the T-coil, but was told it can't be added. So now I know to look for the letter T after the model number. My Starkey had a T-coil model, they didn't show it to me. About sweat, I found what I call hearing aid 'condoms' that you can slip over the HA. You just have to remember to slip it on before going out in heat or hot yoga. I keep one with my yoga stuff and put it on before class. I wish they could make the HA's with a more moisture proof coating so you don't have to remember to slip the covering on.

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@cherriann

I usually say I am hearing impaired. It seems to get the best results from others so that they speak louder or more distinctly.

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GOOD ANSWER

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@imallears

@bobbiefriend
Hi,

Audiologist needs to know more about assisted devices since so many are proprietary and they’re selling these brand hearing aids. I I lucked out on a passionate Audi who is so interested in this field and she is the one who lets me trial the devices with no money upfront. She wants to know what I know…like Innocaption for example, so she can pass it on to others.

She loves that I retube my own aids and gives me free tubing. I read a lot about hearing aids and assisted devices , love that research is being done….maybe in my grandchildren lifetime they may be able to regenerate the ear’s hair cells.

Regards from Mary

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I am also heading to purchase another set of HAs. Just had a hearing test at Starkey’s home office in Eden Prairie,MN. It was so thorough. Tuned them up, cleaned, and counseled about use of the product. Glad I did it. I’m also a proactive with my hearing loss. Would love to hearing what aids you lie. Thanks for posting.

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