Hearing Aids...Best Approach?

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
I am not looking for medical advice, as with my insurance I can get whatever medical attention that I need for no additional out of pocket cost, over the medicare premiums and supplemental insurance costs. I will have to pay for hearing aids out of pocket though, from what I understand.

For years I knew that my hearing was getting poorer. Mostly because of hearing tests we regularly had when I was working. I have a range of frequencies that I almost do not hear at all. Like the sound of a small bell or a bosun's whistle.

With this covid thing, and the mask usage, what used to be not that bad had become much more difficult for me. The masks seem to attenuate the frequencies that I hear so the net result is that I hear even worse that if masks were not worn.

I plan on making an appointment with an ear doctor, and an audiologist to get specific print outs of my particular hearing, so nothing related to this is what I am asking the question about.

What I am wondering is what the best/most cost effective approach is to get the physical hearing aids at the most reasonable cost, for a standard or superior product.

I know there are on line options available, and with a formal report from an audiologist, this may result in a satisfactory product at significant cost savings.

Just wondering if anyone here has worked through this same process and can give me any pointers...

Obviously, I do not really at this point even know the best questions to ask...
 

Magicman

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4900 Utility Special 4WD e/w FEL & 1530 John Deere "Traveling Man"
Oct 8, 2019
2,143
927
113
77
Brookhaven, MS
knotholesawmill.com
With this covid thing, and the mask usage, what used to be not that bad had become much more difficult for me. The masks seem to attenuate the frequencies that I hear so the net result is that I hear even worse that if masks were not worn.
It is not so much that the mask attenuates the frequencies so much but that you probably never realized how much lip reading you were doing.

I have Resound hearing aids that I have worn for 5-6 years and even with them, my ability to carry on a conversation with a masked person is more difficult. Same thing watching/listening to someone speak on TV. It's not so much what I can't hear, but what I can't see. Even though mine were within the range that they should be, I went and had them "jacked up" a bit last month. Trying to compensate for hearing loss is not a simple matter and compensate is all that you can do.

I realize that I have not addressed your cost/insurance questions and I can't because I got zero help when I got mine. Thankfully there is some help now, but as long as mine work, that is an obstacle that I am not facing....yet. I wish you the best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
It is not so much that the mask attenuates the frequencies so much but that you probably never realized how much lip reading you were doing.

I have Resound hearing aids that I have worn for 5-6 years and even with them, my ability to carry on a conversation with a masked person is more difficult. Same thing watching/listening to someone speak on TV. It's not so much what I can't hear, but what I can't see. Even though mine were within the range that they should be, I went and had them "jacked up" a bit last month. Trying to compensate for hearing loss is not a simple matter and compensate is all that you can do.

I realize that I have not addressed your cost/insurance questions and I can't because I got zero help when I got mine. Thankfully there is some help now, but as long as mine work, that is an obstacle that I am not facing....yet. I wish you the best.
You know that is interesting! When working I did notice when sitting around the lunch table I could “hear” better if I put my glasses on!

I think my question relates to whether the on line sources can be equal and less expensive than brick and mortar stores. I can see why they MIGHT be.

But when I get to that point I don’t want to spend less for an inferior product. Goal is to get the best product for the best price. Attainable? Who knows?
 

sheepfarmer

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3560, B2650, Gator, Ingersoll mower
Nov 14, 2014
3,913
239
63
MidMichigan
You know that is interesting! When working I did notice when sitting around the lunch table I could “hear” better if I put my glasses on!

I think my question relates to whether the on line sources can be equal and less expensive than brick and mortar stores. I can see why they MIGHT be.

But when I get to that point I don’t want to spend less for an inferior product. Goal is to get the best product for the best price. Attainable? Who knows?
I’ll be interested in what you find out. Every week or two some company or other sends me ads for hearing tests and aids. I can manage ok but tv is probably a bit loud, so I suppose they are on the horizon.
 

skeets

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2360 /B2601
Oct 2, 2009
11,569
489
113
SW Pa
WOW I thought it was only me.. There are improvements in audio aids every day so whats hot today, tomorrow maybe not so much. You can of course do on line searches to brands and how they stack up, but to be honest unless you are buying them from some guy in a dark alley, you should be good to go! Your audiologist will make recommendations as to a brand, most handle several and the specs are all pretty much the same. The big question comes from the INS and what they will cover as some will cover one brand and not another. What ever you get make sure they can be tunned as your hearing decreases.
Mine come from the Agency I worked for after I flunked 3 audio tests. Anyway the analog units are all but gone, and the new units are digital. Mine set behind the ear and a small tube attached to a silicone bud that goes in the ear canal. These units will amplify sounds but they can be tuned for specific frequencies. For example, ,most of my loss is in the upper freqs, ie where women and children speak, and I find my self reading lips. The lower ones Im OK with mostly.
I found out just how much I had been missing, when I took my Grand Daughter to see the Nutcracker. I heard music that I knew, and forgotten the sounds over the years because I couldn't hear them.
 

Bmyers

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Grand L3560 with LA805 loader, EA 55" Wicked Grapple, SBX72 BB, LP 1272 mower
May 27, 2019
1,122
613
113
Southern Illinois
Our daughter wears two hearing aids. Her first pair came from the audiologist office and even with insurance cost a small fortune. She was due for replacements and they were quoting a significant amount for them again.

We were trying to decide to do and was suggested that we go to a local hearing clinic and not the actual doctor's office. We went there and was able to get both of her hearing aids, the top of the line model she was looking at for less than what the doctor's office was going to sell us the bottom of the line one for (same brand).

Daughter loves them because they hookup to her phone, she can adjust them on the fly, and they blue tooth which she can make phone calls and listen to music straight through them along with the actual hearing aid functions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Outnumbered

New member

Equipment
Kubota L3901, FEL, BB1260, Forks, Caryall, 5' Tiller, RCF2060 Rotary Cutter
Oct 26, 2019
22
8
3
Moseley, VA
I have the Widex digital. It has helped a lot and I can adjust it from my phone and tweak the levels for different surroundings which is nice. They are not cheap as I only have one for tinnitus and high frequency loss in my left ear only. This one as something called the "Zen" mode where it plays a light musical sequence which I can say helps to distract from the constant ringing of the tinnitus. The one hearing aid was over $3000 with three year replacement and free adjustments. Fortunately my insurance covered it.
 

DustyRusty

Active member

Equipment
BX23S w/ Cab
Nov 8, 2015
592
121
43
North East CT
A friend purchased new hearing aids from XYZ, and they are blue tooth, and rechargeable. His cost $6000, with a lifetime guarantee. If he looses one, he gets a new one for free. If it stops working, it is also free. Repairs are free also. The mark up on hearing aids is quadruple or more, and subject to a lot of hype. My brother got his from Costco, a month before he died, and my sister in law returned them under their 90 day like it or return it for a full refund policy. I still have good hearing, unless it is my wife asking me to do something, then for some unknown reason, my brain tunes her out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,466
339
83
West Central,FL
Check out Costco for hearing aids. Before covid they were cheaper without insurance then what the deductible was on some insurance policies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Magicman

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4900 Utility Special 4WD e/w FEL & 1530 John Deere "Traveling Man"
Oct 8, 2019
2,143
927
113
77
Brookhaven, MS
knotholesawmill.com
I have no experience with them but Sam's Club has the testing facilities and hearing aids. I do buy my batteries there.

Whatever you get they need to be individually computer tuned to amplify the sounds that are weak to your ears.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Poohbear

Active member

Equipment
L3301 HST, LA525, LP shredder, BB1566 box blade, QH10, Worksaver pallet fork
Jul 6, 2018
316
43
28
Gilmer,Tx,United States
If you are on MC Advantage plans they cover some of the cost unlike regular MC. VA also pays for aids.
I've been wearing them since 1995 and until last year allways had " in the ear " type. I now have the over the ear style and I hate them . I am allways nearly losing them pulling off a mask etc.
I have the Puretone brand. They connect to my iPhone or other devices with bluetooth & rechargeable. I like that feature as the cost of batteries adds up
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
I’ll be interested in what you find out. Every week or two some company or other sends me ads for hearing tests and aids. I can manage ok but tv is probably a bit loud, so I suppose they are on the horizon.
I made an appointment with an ear specialist this morning, which is probably six weeks out from now. But it is a start. That doctor also has an audiologist with a sound booth, so I can get a print out of my results and use it for whatever purpose I desire. My PCP told me this is a law in this state now...

I will add my experiences along this line as they occur.

Aside from what we pay for medicare and supplemental insurance, going to the doctor costs nothing more out of pocket. Just have not been sure I wanted to deal with something relatively expensive stuck in my ear that I will probably end up loosing...I seemed to be getting along OK until everybody started wearing masks...guess I was lip reading a bit after all...I am sure though, if I turn the volume on the TV down, I can't read a lip at all!
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
WOW I thought it was only me.. There are improvements in audio aids every day so whats hot today, tomorrow maybe not so much. You can of course do on line searches to brands and how they stack up, but to be honest unless you are buying them from some guy in a dark alley, you should be good to go! Your audiologist will make recommendations as to a brand, most handle several and the specs are all pretty much the same. The big question comes from the INS and what they will cover as some will cover one brand and not another. What ever you get make sure they can be tunned as your hearing decreases.
Mine come from the Agency I worked for after I flunked 3 audio tests. Anyway the analog units are all but gone, and the new units are digital. Mine set behind the ear and a small tube attached to a silicone bud that goes in the ear canal. These units will amplify sounds but they can be tuned for specific frequencies. For example, ,most of my loss is in the upper freqs, ie where women and children speak, and I find my self reading lips. The lower ones Im OK with mostly.
I found out just how much I had been missing, when I took my Grand Daughter to see the Nutcracker. I heard music that I knew, and forgotten the sounds over the years because I couldn't hear them.
Skeets, thanks for the input. Very helpful.
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
Our daughter wears two hearing aids. Her first pair came from the audiologist office and even with insurance cost a small fortune. She was due for replacements and they were quoting a significant amount for them again.

We were trying to decide to do and was suggested that we go to a local hearing clinic and not the actual doctor's office. We went there and was able to get both of her hearing aids, the top of the line model she was looking at for less than what the doctor's office was going to sell us the bottom of the line one for (same brand).

Daughter loves them because they hookup to her phone, she can adjust them on the fly, and they blue tooth which she can make phone calls and listen to music straight through them along with the actual hearing aid functions.
Bmyers, that is pretty cool and good to know. Thanks for posting!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
I have the Widex digital. It has helped a lot and I can adjust it from my phone and tweak the levels for different surroundings which is nice. They are not cheap as I only have one for tinnitus and high frequency loss in my left ear only. This one as something called the "Zen" mode where it plays a light musical sequence which I can say helps to distract from the constant ringing of the tinnitus. The one hearing aid was over $3000 with three year replacement and free adjustments. Fortunately my insurance covered it.
Unfortunately I don't have any insurance coverage for hearing aids I do not think, but otherwise good insurance coverage, except for no dental coverage. Something wrong with this picture!

Sounds like adjustability from the phone is a very desirable feature!
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
A friend purchased new hearing aids from XYZ, and they are blue tooth, and rechargeable. His cost $6000, with a lifetime guarantee. If he looses one, he gets a new one for free. If it stops working, it is also free. Repairs are free also. The mark up on hearing aids is quadruple or more, and subject to a lot of hype. My brother got his from Costco, a month before he died, and my sister in law returned them under their 90 day like it or return it for a full refund policy. I still have good hearing, unless it is my wife asking me to do something, then for some unknown reason, my brain tunes her out.
I guess as this progresses I will be checking both Sam's club and Costco, as well as on line options... It seems on line may be much cheaper than brick and motor sources though...it is going to be an experience trying to evaluate the options!
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,376
337
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
If you are on MC Advantage plans they cover some of the cost unlike regular MC. VA also pays for aids.
I've been wearing them since 1995 and until last year allways had " in the ear " type. I now have the over the ear style and I hate them . I am allways nearly losing them pulling off a mask etc.
I have the Puretone brand. They connect to my iPhone or other devices with bluetooth & rechargeable. I like that feature as the cost of batteries adds up
I looked at the VA but it seems that I do not qualify. Do not remember why.

I am a VET and did spend a year in southeast Asia, but it was a good year in northern Thailand so I can not complain!

(At a place with only 26 Americans and the only other foreigners around were peace corps volunteers and some Italian construction guys that were building a road, and not many of them. AND I was in the US Coast Guard...LOL...)
 

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,466
339
83
West Central,FL
I looked at the VA but it seems that I do not qualify. Do not remember why.

I am a VET and did spend a year in southeast Asia, but it was a good year in northern Thailand so I can not complain!

(At a place with only 26 Americans and the only other foreigners around were peace corps volunteers and some Italian construction guys that were building a road, and not many of them. AND I was in the US Coast Guard...LOL...)
I will say Thank You for your service even if the VA will not.
 

skeets

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2360 /B2601
Oct 2, 2009
11,569
489
113
SW Pa
I am a VET and did spend a year in southeast Asia, but it was a good year in northern Thailand so I can not complain!

Yeah Bangkok would have been hard duty,, lol Hey GI me love you long time ,,,,,,, And in case on one has told you welcome home (y)
 

lynnmor

New member

Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
3
0
1
Red Lion
I bought my aids at Sam's Club. The audiologist is the most important part, the two guys there never got me tuned up just right, then they hired a young lady that knew her stuff. Well that gal had an attendance problem and she was asked to leave, now I am back to square one. So YMMV.