Reasonable aids

Posted by bookysue @bookysue, Jun 17 5:51am

Hey folks ; I found a company that has hearing aids for my range of loss. Moderate to severe. I had them foe a month and they are awesome. Folks hears the difference in me. And it’s over the counter for $500. No hearing aid company would work with me..

@bookysue, Details??? Where did you get them, what company, and what model?
Tony in Michigan

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I thought I was not allowed to. Clear sound waves. – $500 Awesome 4 settings .

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@bookysue

I thought I was not allowed to. Clear sound waves. – $500 Awesome 4 settings .

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@bookysue Thank you for elaborating. It looks like you bought these from http://www.clearsoundwaves.com. It's good to know that you are having a positive experience with these. They claim to fit people with up to a severe hearing loss. The upcoming OTC aids will only target up to a moderate loss. One huge con feature that the clearsoundwaves do not have is Bluetooth. Bluetooth has been the absolute best feature for me with my Resound aids. Before my current aids, I struggled on the phone. I now do pretty good with the Bluetooth connectivity. One pro feature of the clearsoundwaves is that it comes with a telecoil, which gives a better listening experience in venues that have an induction loop installed. Another con feature that is lacking with the clearsoundwaves is the lack of accessories. A TV streamer device is not an option. The TV streamer brings the audio from the TV directly into the hearing aids.
Tony in Michigan

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For anyone having difficulty hearing tv with hearing aids a tv streaming device is wonderful. It has changed my life as I get eye fatigue from constantly reading written dialogue on the screen.

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Thank you for looking into this company Tonyinmi. It's so confusing to people who need hearing help to figure out where to start. Over the Counter hearing aids were approved by law in 2017 with the understanding that the FDA would write regulations and standards. That still has not happened. Yes, COVID got in the way, but really, this legislation was signed 2 years prior to the pandemic outbreak so it should have been done before the end of 2019. Meanwhile, several companies jumped into the market and started advertising products they call 'hearing aids'. These devices are not true hearing aids, they are Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). They are very much like the first hearing aids I was fitted with back in the 70s. They amplify sound, and may have different amplification levels. While that may be all some people need to hear better, they lack the technical improvements that have evolved over the last 4 decades.

Does anyone know if any of these products are returnable or repairable if they stop working? As mentioned, this process to hear better with technology can be extremely confusing.

In most states all it takes to sell hearing aids; real hearing aids, is a license that is awarded after passing a test on hearing aid technology. Those base level providers are called Hearing Instrument Specialists. They are not audiologists, yet some of them have extensive knowledge about technology and do a good job fitting hearing aids. Those who can claim to be audiologists have doctorate level university degrees with the letters AuD behind their names. Their competitors may simply have had enough training to pass the test for license. It's no wonder people have trouble figuring out where to begin the process to get hearing help.

BookySue, so glad you are getting help from these products. Keep us posted on how long they last, as well as how much they continue help you.

Costco has been mentioned often as a good place to get lower cost hearing aids. Those hearing aids are not 'over the counter' hearing aids. They are made by well known manufacturers. Some of the Costco (and other big box dispensers) are audiologists but most are not. Much of the testing there is done by computer and is accurate as long as there are no other extenuating conditions related to a person's hearing and overall health.

Again, it's confusing. Keep talking and keep sharing information. Those first person experience are helpful.

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@julieo4

Thank you for looking into this company Tonyinmi. It's so confusing to people who need hearing help to figure out where to start. Over the Counter hearing aids were approved by law in 2017 with the understanding that the FDA would write regulations and standards. That still has not happened. Yes, COVID got in the way, but really, this legislation was signed 2 years prior to the pandemic outbreak so it should have been done before the end of 2019. Meanwhile, several companies jumped into the market and started advertising products they call 'hearing aids'. These devices are not true hearing aids, they are Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). They are very much like the first hearing aids I was fitted with back in the 70s. They amplify sound, and may have different amplification levels. While that may be all some people need to hear better, they lack the technical improvements that have evolved over the last 4 decades.

Does anyone know if any of these products are returnable or repairable if they stop working? As mentioned, this process to hear better with technology can be extremely confusing.

In most states all it takes to sell hearing aids; real hearing aids, is a license that is awarded after passing a test on hearing aid technology. Those base level providers are called Hearing Instrument Specialists. They are not audiologists, yet some of them have extensive knowledge about technology and do a good job fitting hearing aids. Those who can claim to be audiologists have doctorate level university degrees with the letters AuD behind their names. Their competitors may simply have had enough training to pass the test for license. It's no wonder people have trouble figuring out where to begin the process to get hearing help.

BookySue, so glad you are getting help from these products. Keep us posted on how long they last, as well as how much they continue help you.

Costco has been mentioned often as a good place to get lower cost hearing aids. Those hearing aids are not 'over the counter' hearing aids. They are made by well known manufacturers. Some of the Costco (and other big box dispensers) are audiologists but most are not. Much of the testing there is done by computer and is accurate as long as there are no other extenuating conditions related to a person's hearing and overall health.

Again, it's confusing. Keep talking and keep sharing information. Those first person experience are helpful.

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@julieo4 , @bookysue Yes, we should share our experiences with hearing aids and technology. I gave pros and cons to the device that was mentioned. It was meant to be a means of pointing out features that justify a cost. The clearsoundwaves product could be good, but it may not be the best and may not even be a good product for others. Everyone's hearing is unique. Even though I list a telecoil as a plus, it only means that you don't need to buy an accessory to accomplish the task of a telecoil. For instance, you can buy a personal amplifier that has a telecoil and use it but it requires you to take your hearing aids out to use headphones, unless it can be used without causing feedback with your aids. I also mentioned TV streaming as being a con but you can buy a third party device that will give the same functionality. The same is true for the lack of Bluetooth. There are products that will allow you to use your aids with your phone. In fact, third party devices may be a better option for some people because it doesn't lock you in to a specific manufacturers products. For those that do not know, there are no standards among hearing aid manufacturers. If you buy a TV streamer to work DIRECTLY with that manufacturers aids, the streamer will be useless if you decide later on to go with a different manufacturer aid. I have my hearing aid manufacturers TV streamer, but found it on eBay for $85. The cost of a streamer from any one hearing aid manufacturer would have cost at least $250. I plan on sticking with this manufacturer for a while. Bottom line is that features need to be considered when buying a hearing aid or OTC, when available. Unfortunately, there are some bad players out there that advertise their hearing aids to be OTC, but as Julie mentioned, the guidelines have not been released by the FDA.
Tony in Michigan

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Always keep in mind that the features your hearing aid contains are right there for you. It may cost more, but you get more…especially if you need it. By the time you purchase all the add on devices, it's adding a lot of cost to that less costly hearing aid. It's no wonder that people get confused when trying to figure out how to enter and follow through in the hearing healthcare system.

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I agree, lots of information out there and people who are sometimes desperate to find affordable options.

In my experience, I’ve ALWAYS had an Audiologist just like I have an Ophthalmologist instead of a store at the mall and an Internal Medicine Physician, for my many medical issues, instead of a Family Practice Doctor.

My hearing abilities with aides have been a miracle to me after 4 generations of hereditary hearing loss. While technology changes constantly, I change with it. My insurance allows every 5 year replacements.

Mine are Bluetoothed, have a regular program, restaurant program for one on one conversations and a music button so that my aides don’t interfere with my old fashioned, over your whole ear headset. Oh, of course there’s an off button too, so if you feel the need to stop hearing negativity, other people’s choice of words or just a time out, this is handy, haha

I hope this helps at least one person out there. While I realize that I am super lucky to have insurance, I feel that getting the best care and hearing aides are worth saving up for, health spending accounts at work or even asking for $ for holidays/birthday from friends or family members.

Good luck 🍀

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I bought my first battery aides through my audiologist about eight years ago. He felt it was necessary to replace my old with new six months ago. My new ones were going to be pricey, my insurance doesn’t cover them. I decided to try Costco aides. I went for my hearing test and decided to go with Phillips brand. They’re rechargeable, blue tooth for almost half the price my audiologist was charging. This may not work for everyone but I’m very happy with my decision. Loving that they’re rechargeable, a game changer!

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@soledad02

I bought my first battery aides through my audiologist about eight years ago. He felt it was necessary to replace my old with new six months ago. My new ones were going to be pricey, my insurance doesn’t cover them. I decided to try Costco aides. I went for my hearing test and decided to go with Phillips brand. They’re rechargeable, blue tooth for almost half the price my audiologist was charging. This may not work for everyone but I’m very happy with my decision. Loving that they’re rechargeable, a game changer!

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@mattie77 It's good to hear about positive experiences. Thanks for sharing. I've always had replaceable batteries so I'm interested in hearing from people that have had a rechargeable for several years. The thought of having to return the aids to replace that battery scares me. First, you'd be without an aid until you get them back, unless the audi can provide a loaner. I have custom molds so anything my audi could give me would not work well. However, I understand that some rechargeable batteries can be replaced by the audi, but I'm not certain. Second, the cost to replace that battery is probably going to be a big but since you don't have to buy batteries regularly, maybe it will average out?
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@mattie77 It's good to hear about positive experiences. Thanks for sharing. I've always had replaceable batteries so I'm interested in hearing from people that have had a rechargeable for several years. The thought of having to return the aids to replace that battery scares me. First, you'd be without an aid until you get them back, unless the audi can provide a loaner. I have custom molds so anything my audi could give me would not work well. However, I understand that some rechargeable batteries can be replaced by the audi, but I'm not certain. Second, the cost to replace that battery is probably going to be a big but since you don't have to buy batteries regularly, maybe it will average out?
Tony in Michigan

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Tony, my newest aides I take off at night and put them on a charger. No batteries! The charge lasts the entire day. A big plus is I don’t have to worry about carrying batteries with me everywhere I go. I tried the custom molds with these but they were a lot larger than my molds my audiologist had made and not very comfy.

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I would be interested to know if Costco or other 'big box' retailers that sell hearing aids, have the capability of creating good quality custom ear molds. I've used custom molds for decades, and each time I've had new ones made it has taken time to get used to them. My provider, which has changed over time, has had to take time to file them down in places where they were causing irritation in my ear.

Creating custom ear molds is somewhat similar to creating dental inlays. It requires taking an impression of the ear canal, and using that impression to cast and create a perfect fit. This requires a rather specific skill set. Many hearing aids prescribed for moderate to moderate/severe hearing loss do not require custom ear molds, but use flexible plastic domes that are removable and replaceable by the user. Those domes range in size but are not custom made.

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