What are your favorite apps for hearing loss or tools you use?

Posted by futuretech @futuretech, Oct 2, 2020

Hi all, technology is moving so fast right now, and I have never felt like my audiologist has been on the cutting edge. Personally, I have had hearing loss for thirty years, I know there is not one solution or one specific hearing aid that solves everything. I'd love to learn about the small things people have found that have made a difference. For me zoom captions have helped a lot lately, but masks are hard when in public. Any tips are appreciated!

Often when I go to pick up online orders, I have to simply tell the person who tries to have a conversation that they will have to speak louder as I don't have my hearing aids …. (I rarely wear them when I am alone as they pick up too much road noise … then I have to adjust the volume.. But when I do have my hearing aids with its remote microphone… I set the remote mic close to where the person helping would be… my Starkey remote mic has a bluetooth setting used with my smart phone … it also has a setting for amplifying ambient sounds… I use that giving it too my partner to have as she wanders around talking to me as if she doesn't know I have this hearing loss… it works.. in an open plan house very well… The remote mic has a clip or a lanyard so the person you want to "hear every word" does not have to strain to be heard…. I had a discussion with a friend on the phone…and she explained her "take" on an issue.. I thought her reasoning was flawed… and told her so… She then said, "You are not hearing me"…. to which I said …. I hear you perfectly with my remote mic working …. but what you are saying does not make sense…. Hearing devices can't fix all communication… ken

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Hi Ken, I have Starkey aids myself. This is my second set. They were $3,000 each. I just inherited my sister's hearing aids (I have to have molds made so they fit in my ears. I don't want to have this done during the pandemic. Her hearing aids have blue tooth, mine do not have it. I believe it makes a world of difference. The aids I have fit into the ears. They are big and bulky but I like the fact they don't hang over my ears. Do your hearing aids hang over your ears or fit in them only?

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@ken82

Often when I go to pick up online orders, I have to simply tell the person who tries to have a conversation that they will have to speak louder as I don't have my hearing aids …. (I rarely wear them when I am alone as they pick up too much road noise … then I have to adjust the volume.. But when I do have my hearing aids with its remote microphone… I set the remote mic close to where the person helping would be… my Starkey remote mic has a bluetooth setting used with my smart phone … it also has a setting for amplifying ambient sounds… I use that giving it too my partner to have as she wanders around talking to me as if she doesn't know I have this hearing loss… it works.. in an open plan house very well… The remote mic has a clip or a lanyard so the person you want to "hear every word" does not have to strain to be heard…. I had a discussion with a friend on the phone…and she explained her "take" on an issue.. I thought her reasoning was flawed… and told her so… She then said, "You are not hearing me"…. to which I said …. I hear you perfectly with my remote mic working …. but what you are saying does not make sense…. Hearing devices can't fix all communication… ken

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Thank you Ken! These are the things we have to compile. What a great idea to give the remote microphone to your partner. This is a huge tip. Thank you!

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My Starkey Hearing Aids (HAs) were from the VA… this pair of HAs did not cost me except for the visits …. I do not have the full disability… as back when I got out of the Marine Corps…I thought I was indestructible… my hearing loss was from big guns … back in those days we only had cotton to stuff in our ears.. but the remote mic bluetooth system (which is rechargeable like the hearing aids) needs to work with the Starkey APP called "Thrive" on my smart phone….. You have to have a good smart phone to take advantage of all the Thrive app capabilities… My Starkey HAs have a small over the ear part and do not use an earmold.. the part that fits in the ear is clear plastic so you can see the tiny electronics in it… My left ear HA broadcasts to my right ear… the left ear just does not work except at jet airplane decibel noise level… Ken

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@ken82

My Starkey Hearing Aids (HAs) were from the VA… this pair of HAs did not cost me except for the visits …. I do not have the full disability… as back when I got out of the Marine Corps…I thought I was indestructible… my hearing loss was from big guns … back in those days we only had cotton to stuff in our ears.. but the remote mic bluetooth system (which is rechargeable like the hearing aids) needs to work with the Starkey APP called "Thrive" on my smart phone….. You have to have a good smart phone to take advantage of all the Thrive app capabilities… My Starkey HAs have a small over the ear part and do not use an earmold.. the part that fits in the ear is clear plastic so you can see the tiny electronics in it… My left ear HA broadcasts to my right ear… the left ear just does not work except at jet airplane decibel noise level… Ken

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You are using a bicross system that sends sound from your 'good' side to your 'bad' side. The ear piece is the hearing device's receiver; an in the ear receiver. Wondering if you have telecoils and a manual volume control?

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Lots of variables. Hand held FM or BlueTooth microphones can be extremely helpful for people who are willing to 'go visible' with their hearing loss. Many are not. Hearing Loops and telecoil equipped hearing aids and cochlear implant processors work extremely well. Take time to check out some of the resources from HLAA and share what you try that works for you. I love my Mini MIc 2+ sold by Cochlear Corp. and ReSound. I also love my $50 neckloop that I can plug into audio devices.

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Why not be visible? It's definitely to our advantage. I've found that it really helps to say that you have a hearing problem at the outset. Sure, some people will look in other directions (to spoil speech reading) or mumble regardless, but many will make a point of facing you while speaking, which is a huge help. Much better to be up front about hearing loss than trying to keep it a secret. Besides, when you mis-hear something and respond in an unexpected way, they'll think you're stupid instead of that you didn't hear correctly.

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@joyces

Why not be visible? It's definitely to our advantage. I've found that it really helps to say that you have a hearing problem at the outset. Sure, some people will look in other directions (to spoil speech reading) or mumble regardless, but many will make a point of facing you while speaking, which is a huge help. Much better to be up front about hearing loss than trying to keep it a secret. Besides, when you mis-hear something and respond in an unexpected way, they'll think you're stupid instead of that you didn't hear correctly.

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Exactly. When I learned to go visible with my hearing loss 35 years ago, it helped people help me. It helped me to have them know that I was helping myself. Still, denial is marketed every day by advertisements for hearing aids. And many buy into it.

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@julieo4

Lots of variables. Hand held FM or BlueTooth microphones can be extremely helpful for people who are willing to 'go visible' with their hearing loss. Many are not. Hearing Loops and telecoil equipped hearing aids and cochlear implant processors work extremely well. Take time to check out some of the resources from HLAA and share what you try that works for you. I love my Mini MIc 2+ sold by Cochlear Corp. and ReSound. I also love my $50 neckloop that I can plug into audio devices.

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@julieo4 Hi Julie, would it be easy enough to say what the difference is between the hand held FM (which I used to use with my hearing aids) and a blue tooth micro phone? And what kind of audio devices would you plug your neck loop into? (a phone, radio, TV, something else?)

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@joyces

Why not be visible? It's definitely to our advantage. I've found that it really helps to say that you have a hearing problem at the outset. Sure, some people will look in other directions (to spoil speech reading) or mumble regardless, but many will make a point of facing you while speaking, which is a huge help. Much better to be up front about hearing loss than trying to keep it a secret. Besides, when you mis-hear something and respond in an unexpected way, they'll think you're stupid instead of that you didn't hear correctly.

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I know of a woman in her 60's-70's who wears hearing aids. Her hearing deterioration is obvious to her friend who tells me about her. The person with hearing loss is adamant about not exploring the possibility of a CI which she very likely would be a candidate for, for reasons of vanity!

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@barbb

@julieo4 Hi Julie, would it be easy enough to say what the difference is between the hand held FM (which I used to use with my hearing aids) and a blue tooth micro phone? And what kind of audio devices would you plug your neck loop into? (a phone, radio, TV, something else?)

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FM is radio technology and pretty basic. FM systems were often put in churches in the 90s and beyond. They require receivers to access sound. A headset is plugged into the receiver, and the sound goes direct to the headset/ears from the master microphone in a PA system. When using a headset, the person has to remove their hearing aids. When using a neckloop plugged into a receiver all you have to do is turn on the telecoils in your hearing aids, and you receive the sound from the master microphone.

As the hand held wireless microphone evolved, it started as a 2 piece wireless FM system that transmitted to hearing aids via a 'boot' connected to the aid(s). Then BlueTooth evolved, and became the system of choice for manufacturers and was built into the hearing aids, so a boot is no longer needed. It is great tech, but it adds a big $ chunk to the cost of the hearing aids. (Telecoils cost about $10 to include; BT over $1000) BT has to be paired to each person's individual equipment. In other words, an FM system or a Loop system can be paired with one mike and everyone in the room can use it by turning on their telecoils. ASIDE: Less costly hearing aids can work as well as more expensive ones if they are fit right. But, there is a lot more $ to be made by the industry when more sophisticated/technical products are pushed.

A neckloop can be plugged into any audio equipment that has an input jack. I use mine all the time with my laptop. Also with a good old fashioned Walkman Radio I still have. It will work with cell phones, tablets, iPods, etc. In some cases you may need an inexpensive adapter to fit into the audio device. The secret is that it brings the sound direct to your personal devices w/o any ambient noise.

Hard to explain w/o getting 'wordy'. 🙂 Let us know if you try it.

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@barbb

I know of a woman in her 60's-70's who wears hearing aids. Her hearing deterioration is obvious to her friend who tells me about her. The person with hearing loss is adamant about not exploring the possibility of a CI which she very likely would be a candidate for, for reasons of vanity!

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This is more common than people realize. I've had local audiologists call me to ask if I would talk to a patient with this issue. Stigmas run deep. Hearing Loss is associated with aging in many minds. No one wants to be 'old'. There are also stigmas relating to intellect. You know the old saying….deaf and dumb? The industry's focus on 'invisibility' adds to this stigma problem. I've even been criticized recently for letting my hair grow long. No one can see my hearing aid or my cochlear processor now. I had very short hair for years and it all showed. In fact, I had blue hearing aids. Growing my hair long had nothing to do with hiding my personal hearing devices. 🙂

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