Question: Dear Luise: I’ve been looking at pictures of hearing aids but can’t seem to make myself go any farther than that. I have been having trouble with my hearing and have to turn the TV way up. When I go to the store, I can’t tell if the clerk says $65. or $55. And at choir, where I sit in the back row, I often can’t hear what our director is saying. Have you had any experience with hearing aids? I’ve heard they are over priced, hard to get used to and don’t necessarily do the trick. Do you think it is better to just hang in there? I certainly don’t have any profound hearing loss to deal with. I’d appreciate any thoughts you might have on this subject. Thanks, Lula
Answer: Dear Lula: Thanks for raising this subject. I hope others will follow you because it’s something I’m interested in. In fact, my husband just purchased Savia hearing aids made by Phonak last week…and is getting used to the new experience of hearing aids over the ear. He has worn in the ear hearing aids for about fifteen years. The over the ear, or behind the ear models as they are often called, offer more room for electronics and a larger battery. And they’re hardly visible.
The question regarding whether you should do something about your hearing loss or just hang in there is a common one, according to our audiologist. It seems to be a very individual issue. Some people can get along for a long time without help and others find a small loss to be disturbing. You just have to decide for yourself how much the inconveniences you have described above really bother you. Sometimes, it’s nice to take a close look at how much your impairment bothers others, as well.
You can buy a discount hearing aid online at www.aidright.com . They also have a frequently asked questions page that you might find helpful. Buying two to balance your hearing is usually seen as the best solution. The site will put you in touch with a local dispenser whose services are prepaid with your online purchase.
We decided not to do that because we specifically wanted to go to someone close-by that we trust implicitly. By doing so, we were able to get a pair of almost new hearing aids this time for two thirds off the regular price. They were returned during the trial period and couldn’t be resold as new. That happens sometimes because you do have to create new habits and adjust. People who are old or ill or both may find it too hard. (Maybe a streak of laziness would also impede progress.)
I feel the fact that you are looking at pictures of hearing aids is a good indication that you may be ready to get some real help with your hearing. What do you think?