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Old 30-12-2016, 09:08   #16
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

The solution is find a large audiology clinic with access to various brands.
Her in Dallas, we have at least two.
Their audiologists will recommend the best brand and type of instrument after a hearing test, based upon their knowledge of the available instruments. If you go to an audiologist representing one brand, you are severely limited in choices. Also, proper tuning of modern multi channel devices requires expensive equipment, so the larger clinics are better equipped. You will likely pay a little more, but for a device that you may use for 10 or more years???
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:16   #17
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

When looking for hearing aids a couple of years ago, I found a brand and model for which the audioligist asked $2600 for each, was available in England for $600 each. Same model and brand. I ended up buying in the US (different brand) for $1100 each but next time, I may take a vacation and get new aids in England. The ones purchased in the US are adjustable by phone modem and have 3 easily self set volume levels. I'll supply info to anyone interested in the US made one. I have no financial interest. ebsail@optonline.net
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:18   #18
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

6 Years ago I purchased "state of the art" 4 channel Beltone's. The pair cost $5,700.00. Took them back 3 times for channel adjustment.

Two years later, they were sitting in the drawer, and God only knows where they are now. Ate batteries like 95 going north. They can only be adjusted so much, and you must take them to an authorized Beltone dealer. As your hearing deteriorates, they become useless. METFORMIN is known to cause hearing loss and tinnitus! I, unfortunately, take it twice daily.
Based on my experience, I would avoid Beltone at all costs. If I were to buy another pair, I would go to Costco in a heartbeat. And you don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy nor audiologist.

Excellent suite of articles here
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:24   #19
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

My advice, based on experience, is start cheap! My initial pair, which did work, but not terribly well, were advertised in in the backs of magazines at a low price. I used them (did not like them) until one time I removed them and carefully put them in my shirt pocket. My shirt got wet later, one disappeared, and the other never worked again. The occurrence was instructive. I now have a somewhat better pair, and keep a sealable plastic bag for placement in my deepest pocket on my shorts or trousers if I remove them.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:39   #20
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

My wife has used an Oticon hearing aid for 19 years cruising our sailboat. Her current iteration is an Oticon Alpha. It requires zero maintenance and has no issues in the salt air environment. It is tuneable manually although all the frequency settings are initially set by the audiologist by computer. She wears a cochlear implant processor in her other ear. However she lost the first $10,000 unit overboard gaffing a dorado so she doesn't wear that fishing any longer.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:40   #21
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I have a severe hearing loss. Hearing aids helps if you talk to someone. But in a noisy enviroment with sailing noises and engine sound, I cannot hear the VHF communications.

Hearing Aids work reasonable well, but only in a quiet enviroment and a room with good acoustics.

If solved this problem with a Mylink set from Phonak.

I have coupled the sender to the speaker outlet of the VHF set.

And have a small receiver hanging round my neck. It is a kind of Ring antenna and communcates wireless with the hearing aids.

Then I put my hearing Aids on reception of the ring.

And now where ever I be on the boat, I hear the VHF sound loud and clear in my hearing aids. Even when I am working on deck.

It all works wireless. You only need an extra loader for 12 volt to recharge the batteries.

It is used by older people, there is a chance you can buy a set second hand.

Bram
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:07   #22
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by iseadreamer View Post
She wears a cochlear implant processor in her other ear.
If I may ask, how does she like the implant? Also, what was the state of her loss when she got the implant?
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:10   #23
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I've used Phonac for ten years ... because that's what my insurance company pays for.

They spend their life in a drawer. I only use them if I'm going to be in a quiet location where I must listen to someone speaking softly. Or sitting at the back of an auditorium for a speech. The rest of the time, it's inconvenient, distracting, and unnecessary. They are more trouble than worth. I'd consider myself 50% deaf.

My sincere advice: Go to the drug store and buy as-seen-on-tv and try it out. They're rechargeable, so you save the $10 - 15 price of ten batteries, good for only one week.

If you like it, use it.

If it really helps, Spending $3000 at the audiologist is fine if you wish. Just don't expect a lot better hearing - regardless of the hype. The audiologist will triple their cost. If you buy a pair, you'll find an improvement, but not that much. At least get a 50% discount on the 2nd one. You can always use it when you drop one overboard, leave it in the rain, or accientally go swimming with one in your ear.
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:10   #24
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I have been using a Walkers Game Ear Elite Digital HD Power 4 for 2 years.
I use it mostly indoors, watching tv ,can adjust the volume with a rocker switch. Not a hearing aid (because it doesnt cost a fortune) but works well
for me. I dont use the foam ear bud, they have a small silicone one. It is over the ear so more visible than the behind the ear type. I don't use it for hunting or shooting.
I just purchased a second one because the first
is starting to have problems the connections not staying together. (plastic) The main digital part still works fine.
I'm probably a little too rough on it, when I go ashore I put it in a resealable baggie and into my backpack gets thrown around a bit.
Never had, nor can I afford a "real" hearing aid so can't compare them.

https://www.amazon.com/Walkers-Game-.../dp/B005GRG4H0
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:18   #25
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by meridian28 View Post
I wonder when Apple or Google will build devices with a reasonable cost.
Samsung is working on a hearing aid set. Is seems to be a set where you adjust the sound yourself with a smartphone.

Just like your stereo set.

I'am waiting for such a set. Once adjusting at the hearing shop is done you can not change the settings yourself. There are several bands that can be adjusted with a hearing aid.
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:25   #26
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Hi, I never post here because I'm just an old arm chair sailor and couldn't possible offer valid or good information. However, I felt compelled to respond as I have some experience with these hearing aids. I pledged on indigo when the iHear Medical Hearing Aid group first started by a team of engineers from Silicone Valley. This was the fastest goal reached at the time. I really appreciated their continued updates over the months until their final product was ready. Excellent customer service too.

They are the first company to offer an FDA approved home test kit. The kit allows for 2 accounts and up to 5 tests per account. The test equipment is designed to work on your computer using a variety of OS. The test ear buds have a microphone built into the rig so the test can factor in the Ambient noise (wind) so the default setting is more accurate. Once you have performed the test, you use another rig to program the hearing aids. The hearing aids themselves are in ear canal aids that are shower proof and almost out of sight. If you have extreme hearing loss the company offers the behind the ear type. The hearing aids (both types) have 4 settings for the user to adjust. The settings are ; default, high gain, quiet and clear voice (wife and tv setting )). You control the settings with a special tool by simply tapping your ear lobe to cycle through the settings. When not in use, the tool module has a docking port that disconnect the batteries as well as the setting tool and removal tool.

This truly is a breakthrough in hearing aids. For all three parts (test kit, programming kit and a right and left hearing aid) you'll spend about $750. (I saw Christmas sale of 15% off. The test kit is $49 and can be ordered or purchased at certain pharmacy. Check them out at iHear Medical. Thanks for letting me post here. I enjoy the subjects and insight offered by seasoned sailors. Hope to get on the water one day. My friend is bringing a small cat down to Boca Chica, Panama and I'm signed up for crew! Al
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Old 30-12-2016, 10:43   #27
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by Al Mills View Post
Hi, I never post here because I'm just an old arm chair sailor and couldn't possible offer valid or good information. However, I felt compelled to respond as I have some experience with these hearing aids. I pledged on indigo when the iHear Medical Hearing Aid group first started by a team of engineers from Silicone Valley. This was the fastest goal reached at the time. I really appreciated their continued updates over the months until their final product was ready. Excellent customer service too.

They are the first company to offer an FDA approved home test kit. The kit allows for 2 accounts and up to 5 tests per account. The test equipment is designed to work on your computer using a variety of OS. The test ear buds have a microphone built into the rig so the test can factor in the Ambient noise (wind) so the default setting is more accurate. Once you have performed the test, you use another rig to program the hearing aids. The hearing aids themselves are in ear canal aids that are shower proof and almost out of sight. If you have extreme hearing loss the company offers the behind the ear type. The hearing aids (both types) have 4 settings for the user to adjust. The settings are ; default, high gain, quiet and clear voice (wife and tv setting )). You control the settings with a special tool by simply tapping your ear lobe to cycle through the settings. When not in use, the tool module has a docking port that disconnect the batteries as well as the setting tool and removal tool.

This truly is a breakthrough in hearing aids. For all three parts (test kit, programming kit and a right and left hearing aid) you'll spend about $750. (I saw Christmas sale of 15% off. The test kit is $49 and can be ordered or purchased at certain pharmacy. Check them out at iHear Medical. Thanks for letting me post here. I enjoy the subjects and insight offered by seasoned sailors. Hope to get on the water one day. My friend is bringing a small cat down to Boca Chica, Panama and I'm signed up for crew! Al
Thanks for the great info - and welcome to CF!
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Old 30-12-2016, 11:42   #28
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I fortunately always have had medical insurance which covers hearing aids. I was shocked to find out initially how much they cost! Mine are over $5,000 and they are not the most expensive!

I go to a hearing clinic, with a hearing doctor PHD, which examines me twice a year and prescribes the correct hearing aids for me. She then adjusts them to for my usage, cancelling out background noise etc.. She knows I spend a lot of time on my sailboat, and other hobbies and if there is a problem I always go back to have them readjusted. I've asked many hearing aid salespeople Ive encountered in stores etc and they always tell me the hearing aids I have are among the best, they are Oticon, but they are expensive.
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Old 30-12-2016, 12:26   #29
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by Yetii View Post
Costco has one of the best retail programs going. Their Kirkland aids are manufactured by some of the main name brand manufacturers. I was able to do very well on eBay 5 years ago, but you must find an audiologist that will adjust them for you. You must also do your research and decide what would work for you, there will be no try before you buy. I got 2 new GN-Resound DOT 30's that were $1795 each at the time, for $800 for BOTH.
Depending on your state you do have an option to return them for a full refund, I also have a hearing loss in the mid and upper range, hearing aids didn't work well for me, yes I heard more but couldn't understand conversation any better.
I returned mine to Costco after a week as my state gives you 30 days to return hearing aids.
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Old 30-12-2016, 12:35   #30
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I can recommend hearing aids from Blamey & Saunders in Melbourne, Australia. They make aids using the bionic ear technology & sel for around A$1700 each. They can incorporate several programs, eg wind noise reduction, all accessed using a simple magnetic bar. Can be bought on line through their website. Just google Blamey & Saunders.
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