429700 tn?1308007823

Audiologist Visit

Well, the audiologist confirmed that I have a sensori-neural hearing loss in both ears--the right one worse than the left.   He says he doesn't know if the MS caused this or not, but he doesn't think it's a central processing problem (like I thought may be).  

He says that some people with less hearing problems than myself want hearing aids and other people with greater problems don't want them.  Because the problem is in both ears, I'd need two, making the better hearing aids over $7000.  I would have to pay that out of pocket and get reimbursed for maybe half of that price.  

Anyway, does anyone have experience with hearing aids?  I'm wondering if it will be worth the cost . . .

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Avatar universal
Good luck with all of that stuff!   It will be really good for you if you can get them.   It has made a big difference with me.
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429700 tn?1308007823
I wish I didn't need two--I'd be getting it tomorrow!  I'm a little bit disappointment that my insurance company won't pay at least a portion of the price.  Oh well, at least the thousands of dollars worth of medicines and MRIs have been covered . . . I shouldn't whine too much!  

I'll see what the audiologist says about a program that may help with the cost.


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Avatar universal
Gosh, it seems like the batteries are around $14 for 16 or so...   Nominal in my mind.

Mine is a Phonak brand.  The main unit, which is sleek, fits behind the ear and a small wire goes into my ear canal where there is a small transmitter.   The hearing aid only amplifies the frequencies that need amplification.   It cost around $3,000, as I recall.

I have been very happy with it.   I can actually converse with people in a crowd now!

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429700 tn?1308007823
Richard--How expensive are your batteries?   I would guess with replacing them every week and a half they could get expensive with certain hearing aids.  

Do you use the same kind that goes in your ear canal that  Zilla uses?

Zilla--Thanks so much with getting back with me.  I'm all pumped up in getting them.  I haven't ever heard birds inside the house.  That would be lovely **sigh**.  

The price is what is hindering me right now.  I still need to get back with the audiologist and set up a meeting to talk to him about the different hearing aids and price them.  He mentioned that I have a trial period, mandated by law, that if they didn't work out, I could return them.  I will ask about programs that could help with the price--he didn't mention this to me last time, so I'm not going to hold my breath.  I did find out the hearing aids aren't covered under my health insurance plan.

How incredibly insensitive of your former boss!  I don't know what I would have done in a similar situation.  This is outrageous!  I am fortunate that I don't have that kind of work environment.  The middle school students that I teach even have more respect and sensitivity than that.  Of course I can't hear them, though (hehe)!  Some girls I can't understand at all--especially if they are soft-spoken!  

I do notice that I read lips and didn't even know that I did it.  Like in meetings, I cannot  "hear" the speaker, unless I'm sitting in a place where I can see them.  Plus, I have noticed that I do a lot of fill in the blank type of thing.  

How long, do you think, that you've had hearing problems?  Do you think it is possibly related to the neurological problems you're having?  

Also, how long did it take for you to get your hearing aids after you put in the order?  Are your hearing aids digital?

Jo--That's a good point because my hearing will almost certainly get worse the older I get.  It's encouraging to hear people say that it makes a big difference.

Thanks everyone!

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627818 tn?1271777026
I don't have hearing loss per se, but my co-worker does. Her audiologist recommended aids sooner than later. It seems the brain has a harder time getting used to sound again if it has been a long time since you heard well. If you get aids earlier on, the brain adjusts more quickly and sound isn't so "strange"!  It has made a huge difference. She still reads lips some and I am thinking she might need an adjustment as she seems to not be hearing as well as before. Anyway, best wishes for better hearing!
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220917 tn?1309784481
Hi, Deb!

I have sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, right greater than left, just like you!  My ENT did not say what the cause was, and I am not diagnosed with MS.  My MRIs have been normal, showing no lesions that would explain hearing loss.

I got my beloved hearing aids a couple of years ago, and would not be able to work without them.  I do read lips a bit, but not well enough to rely on doing so.  My audiologist encouraged me to try to hang on to the ability to read lips, so I do try. It is a nice skill to have.

The hearing aids I have are "in the canal."  They are so tiny and discreet, no one at work knew I had them until I changed batteries one day (mine last about a week, but are not that expensive).  I have really small ears, and needed a pediatric size mold and aid.  Because my aids are so small, there is only room for one microphone, instead of some which have 3 or 4.  So, my aids mostly just amplify sound, and are not as miraculous as the others with more mics.  

With the others, the mics pick up voices while the others pick up background noise, or other sounds.  One mic will adjust down so the other will work to allow you to hear only conversation, and so forth.  Mine with the one mic amplifies everything, so in a crowded restaurant, I hear EVERYTHING amplified, and sometimes cannot hear the person sitting next to me.  But I feel very lucky to have my aids.  

In Michigan,  there is a state program which helps patients afford hearing aids.  My audiologist put me in touch with the agency, and they were kind enough to pay more than half my expense of about $4,000.  They met with me a few times before and after receiving the hearing aids, and even offered to help me at work.

My former boss thought it was cute to call me "Helen Keller" after I got my hearing aids, and Jerry at the Michigan agency thought this was NOT so cute.  He offered to educate my former boss with regards to employees who had disabilities (this was part of their program).  He would have asked her to think about making adjustments with regards to my desk and computer placement in the office so that I could see others to read lips (which I still need to do).  I declined his great offer, because I knew my boss would not take to it well.  I got a new job instead!

I still have difficulty with 'speech discrimination," which means I don't hear some consonants, like 'p' and 'f'.'  This is where reading lips helps.  If someone's mouth is covered while they're speaking to me, I really cannot make out what they're saying well.  But I wouldn't trade my hearing aids for anything.  They have made a huge change in my life.  

It takes getting used to, when you first get them, so give it some time.  The first morning I had them on, I was in the kitchen making school lunches, and I ran to the living room and said, "Boys, hurry up and get the trash out!  The garbage truck came early!!"  My son came back with me to help, and .... no truck.  He said, "Mom...that's the refrigerator."  I had never heard it before.  I heard birds in the morning from inside the house.  For the first time in a long time.  Lovely.

I don't get 'feedback' from my long hair, but I do when I talk on the phone, so I just hold the phone at an angle so my ear is not covered.  But at least I can hear on the phone!  I LOVE that!  The only thing that is weird to get used to is wearing earrings.  I really have to remind myself to put them on sometimes, because it feels like my aids are all the accessory I need.  My ears feel "loaded" with the aids AND earrings.  

And, some days I need a break from wearing my aids.  My ears just get tired of them.  They don't so much get sore, but I do need a break now and then.  I miss them when I take a break, but with five noisy boys....I can live with it!

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.  My vote, as T-Lynn will tell you, is to get them if you can.  I don't know how I managed for so long without mine.

Feel well,

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Avatar universal
I wear a hearing aid in my left ear and it is remarkable.   I have high frequency loss in that ear due to shooting the shotgun as a lad.

My batteries last about a week and a half.

I would highly recommend them.

However, I don't have long hair, so I can't speak to what that will do.  :-)

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429700 tn?1308007823

Sunny-- Those are really good points.  I would probably be annoyed by the battery replacement thing, too, and I do have hair that lays over my ears.  However, I do have trouble with speech--but I wonder how much it's the hearing or the attention deficit disorder (I still find this weird--never had this as a kid).  

I hope Texas is one of those states that covers the cost of getting hearing aids!!!!!


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486038 tn?1300063367
my friends uses them, and is always annoyed by the amount of batteries they take. Be sure to ask when you get them how often you will need to expect to replace the batteries, and ask if you are getting personalized ones if you have a choice of different brands as I think some are better quality than others. Also, if you have longer hair that you wear loose you may experience, as she had, the annoying "ringing" from the hair interferring with the hearing aids. Over-all though, they made a big impact on her speech and processing of information so I would definetly recommend them. Also, in many states there are programs to help those cover the cost of getting the hearing aids if you have a hearing problems no matter the diagnosis, in AL the vocational rehab centers will often help cover the cost.
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Avatar universal




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