Question: Dear Luise: I have a question I’d like to ask about hearing aids for low income people and what to do about increased hearing loss. I have worn hearing aids for a long time. My family used to buy them for me but they can no longer do that. In the last three years my hearing aids have become much less effective. I haven’t had any physical problems involving my ears, so I’m assuming I am just becoming more and more deaf. My hearing aids still help a little, but most conversations just go around me. If it’s just one person trying to talk to me, they have to talk really loud and I am always asking them to repeat themselves. It’s a lonely place for me, and probably aggravating for others. I take my hearing aids into my hearing aid clinic when they stop working and they clean them for me. They have also sent them back to the manufacturer for redoing this and that, and they get them to working again for me…for a price. The clinic wants to sell me new ones, of course, but I have no money and no insurance. Sorry my question is so long. Thanks, Bea
Answer: Dear Bea: Do not assume it is you! Ask for a copy of your hearing aid test. Then go to a different clinic where they don’t know you and haven’t any opinions yet about your situation and ask for a free hearing test. Ask them to also check your hearing aids to see if they are working at full capacity. After you leave, compare the two hearing tests to see if your hearing loss is still the same or close to the same. Hearing aids get old and die. I strongly suspect that yours have. Some last longer than others. If it’s not you, the situation is correctable. If it is you, not your hearing aids and they’re fine, what would new ones offer? You need a second opinion here!
If it is the hearing aids that are defective, call your local Lions Club if you are in the USA and ask about their program to provide hearing aids for low income people. You deserve to hear as well as you possibly can. Don’t stay in the world of near-silence if you can get out. Your question needed to be long and my answer is very short…find out and get help! Blessings, Luise