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Old 08-12-2018, 11:02   #91
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I have no good advice, but I do have a high end semi temporary hearing loss anecdote to bore you with. After the 1994 Northridge , California earthquake I began running a rehab project of 1/2 a million square feet of mostly offices and warehouses in 2 buildings that had 33 foot high concrete block walls. The tops of the walls were shattered and broken from the shaking and had to be demolished down to a structurally sound level. We had 4 remote controlled backhoes with jackhammers on the booms operating all day for a month or so. Everyone in those rooms wore hearing protection except me because I was walking in and out several areas several times a day. When I would get home after minimum 12 hour days I would sit down in the living room with a Edinborough Ice Tea ( my own concoction consisting of 3 or 4 ounces of Johnny Walker and some ice and Dasani water in a tall glass) and watch TV while my wife reheated whatever the family had for dinner for me. My daughters were 11 and 6 and the 6 year old loved to argue and when they began disagreeing about things, which normally was tiresome at the very least, their voices would get higher and higher pitched as the ruckus progressed. When it hit a crescendo it was as if I had a mute button as their voices went above my hearing range. It only lasted 6 months, well most of it anyway. sorry
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Old 08-12-2018, 14:00   #92
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

After having a pair of Rextons (older ones), I gave up on hearing aids for a year.
I finally decided to try a pair of Eargos. They're sold with or without an audiogram.
I decided to go without an audiogram and the resultant extra charge for programming. There are two models, one with supposedly more advanced microprocessor power (not really well explained) and a little more output power.

These are in the ear and they have four programs which is basically increasing gain.
The frequency response is basically the same for all.
No bluetooth. The price for a pair I paid was just under $2 grand with a discount for military veteran.
Knowing I don't have the latest and greatest is not a big deal.
The ability to understand speech in busy locations and having directional sound ability again was enough to bring me to tears the first time I put them in my ears.


They are very comfortable and it's easy to forget you are wearing them.
It has a good charger for those on the go with a Micro USB connector and built in battery for those times you are camping or otherwise away from a power source.



No financial connection...


Eargo.com
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Old 08-12-2018, 23:29   #93
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

It got to the point that I couldn't understand a thing my grandkids said and decided to try hearing aids again. Went to Costco and got Resound behind the ear aids. They were a bit more expensive than the Costco labelled brand but had a better guarantee and are supposedly water resistant. It turns I had Resounds before and even though not advertised as water proof survived several showers and an hour snorkeling so have faith in their water proof claim. Really like the blue tooth phone connection. Have a hard time hearing conversation from the phone's speaker but the Blue Tooth connection to the aids is night and day.

Costco keeps cost down by selling one step removed aids from the most current state of the art. Tried state of the art Siemens aids and they didn't seem to perform better than the not quite state of the art Resounds. FWIW, understand that the Costco labelled aids are made by Siemens.

They have helped a lot and so far haven't disappeared though did nearly lose them crewing in a race. The second day I had them an errant sheet knocked my glasses off and the line I tie to the bows to keep the glasses from getting knocked off hooked both hearing aids and the aids and the glasses flew overboard. Fortunately the bow of the glasses hooked onto the sheet and stuck there with the hearing aids dangling from the string. We were on a reach and the sheet was too far out to grab glasses and aids. The sheet grinder didn't realize what had happened and I had a hard time convincing him to crank the sheet in so I could reach them. Felt like it took forever to winch the sheet in but miracle of miracles the hearing aids stayed hooked to the string and the glasses to the sheet till I could grab them. Could just see it explaining to the wife how I'd lost my fourth pair of $2,600 hearing aids in 4 years and the last practically minutes from getting them. Since then haven't had a problem with them accidentally falling off in the nearly a year I've worn them and the grandkids once again will talk to me knowing that i can understand at least some of what their saying.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:32   #94
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Catch of the Day ! Congratulations !!!!
Those aids sound like good ones, but also a reason for an "in the ear" model.
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Old 03-01-2019, 18:00   #95
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Senormechanico,

How doe the Eargos return your directional ability? I thought one needed behind the ear aids for any hope of that? And, did you get the Max? or the Plus?

For full disclosure here, let me just fess up: as predicted, my hearing has considerably deteriorated, and at my age, I don't even know if I can adjust to aids of any sort. My first hack at them did not go well.



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Old 03-01-2019, 19:37   #96
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Senormechanico,
How doe the Eargos return your directional ability? I thought one needed behind the ear aids for any hope of that? And, did you get the Max? or the Plus?
For full disclosure here, let me just fess up: as predicted, my hearing has considerably deteriorated, and at my age, I don't even know if I can adjust to aids of any sort. My first hack at them did not go well.
Ann
I have severe high freq loss and a pair of high end phonaks to compensate. Directional ability is marketing hype in my opinion. I just need to hear all frequencies. I can usually figure out who or what is making the noise.

BTE will give you better natural sound. I have in the ear speakers with custom molded earpiece so very comfortable. Don't leave the office until you are satisfied with sound. Tech will try to rush you when next appt shows up.
HA's amplify all sounds. It might get annoying. I have a small handheld control for adjusting volume and program. I use it often.

There is only one way to adjust to them. Put them in your ears and don't take them out (except for showers or sleeping) Take them out and it won't go well.
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:03   #97
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I'm on my third set of hearing aids, you get what you pay for!

The latest state of the art aids are Oticon, $6,000 but well worth it! speech clarity is great, Blue tooth to my aids from the phone, fully adjustable in volume and the buds type of in ear part is great, needs to be adjusted by the specialist.

Note, if your adjustment is done by a Tech, go some where else! Only the Audiologist should be doing the work, they know the ins & outs better & have no time constraints.

That's my $.02 worth, take it or leave it,

Wayne
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Old 03-01-2019, 21:22   #98
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Thanks for the input, guys, I'm a little vulnerable to some kinds of suggestion, which makes me feel extremely wary of the whole process.

All the aids seem to do pretty much the same thing, main differences are in who can change the settings: you or someone else; and whether or not you trust advertising that is not really factual; how easy or difficult is dealing with what size of batteries; and for me, with no fixed abode other than a boat that is always wandering, what kind of practical after purchase care is available. Apparently, the ability to change the settings one's own self means top of the line, and I'm not really up for a $12k purchase, at least right now, when I haven't been convinced that what you pay extra for isn't help, but reassurance. In Australia, where I am now, one does generally have the 30 day return, but of course, we're outside the Australian health care system, which does subsidize hearing aids for people who could not otherwise afford them--and that's a good deal. I want to do it as reasonably as possible, both for my intellect (such as it is) and my personality. Perhaps I'm overcomplicating it.

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Old 03-01-2019, 21:45   #99
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

My Eargo's were the "Max". I just remember the standard and the Max models being offered.
They are not programmed, I didn't pay extra for that.
They are off the shelf standard frequency response for the average user.
The intelligibility is not perfect but waaay better than being without.


When I first put them in my ears, I got very emotional and I cried because it was so much better !
There is excellent directional response after you find which program combination works for you. Eargo's are individually programmable by a double tap over your ear so you can easily find which combination works best for you. Sometimes, it changes during the day for me.
It seems to work best for me with Program 2 in my left ear and Program 3 or 4 in my right ear. They are comfortable, and it's easy to forget you are wearing them.
I use the dome versions of the Flexi Fibers.


The charger has its own battery inside so you can go for several days without a USB socket and still get your Eargo's charged overnight. It's a neat design, and well executed.


The biggest negative? I have had TWO right side Eargo's fail on me. They were both replaced under warranty, but it might be a big problem if you're halfway around the world on a boat !
With all that, they are expected to last around two to three years, then you buy new ones. The batteries are not replaceable.
When that happens, you can be assured I'm going to open them up to see if I can cobble in new batteries ! Hopefully, teeny weenie LiFePo4's !


If that can't happen, I'll probably buy a new set. Two grand for two aids for two to three years and possibly more works for me.




No financial link...
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:04   #100
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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Originally Posted by Apollo366 View Post
I'm on my third set of hearing aids, you get what you pay for!

The latest state of the art aids are Oticon, $6,000 but well worth it! speech clarity is great, Blue tooth to my aids from the phone, fully adjustable in volume and the buds type of in ear part is great, needs to be adjusted by the specialist.

Note, if your adjustment is done by a Tech, go some where else! Only the Audiologist should be doing the work, they know the ins & outs better & have no time constraints.

That's my $.02 worth, take it or leave it,

Wayne
+1 . . Oticons are what I use too. Tried Beltones first - "in-the-ear" model and, after 5 years, they told me that I needed more power than what that particular model could provide . . . . you got it - they wanted another $8000!! No way, so looked around and tested and have the Oticons now. Behind the ear model works great. I have the older version which uses a Connect (hangs around your neck) to give you volume control and blue tooth capability from your phone. As I understand it, the newer Oticons don't need the Connect device . . . straight from phone to hearing aids and have an app that you can use to control them. $6000 was close to my price also. . . . sure helps a lot but there are still some issues . . . it is what it is.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:37   #101
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I think my problem is different, but the results are the same. I have pretty severe Tinnitus. The constant high end ringing drowns out a lot of sounds, including people's voices and TV. I could amplify those sounds to overcome the ringing, but the volume hurts my ears. My ears actually test Ok depending on the tones they use. I hear all the frequencies pretty well when they are played by themselves. It doesn't help that my kids don't face me when they talk and yes, they tend to talk quickly and in a mumbly way. I work with some folks in India and the women are pretty much impossible to hear because of their higher pitch sing/song tone. Pretty much have to text with them on Skype to get what they are saying. Getting used to hand signals on the boat and looking into head sets. I also use my iPhone to amplify the TV when I'm with family as they think its too loud. Frustrating!
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Old 04-01-2019, 13:53   #102
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

It is an open and often vehemently discussed fact that the "hearing aid" industry is one of the last money monopolies going around in most places. Last year in the US some legislation was finally passed for "These are not hearing aids but" devices to be sold, so there's at least one crack in the wall now.

My friend's wife was an audiologist. The markups were incredible, she was very well paid to basically run some glossy computer software that would measure your hearing and generate a matching curve for the hearing aid, and then allow for manual tweaking.

Almost as hard as tuning in old-fashioned radio.(G)

Some of the varying "ear doctors" and audiologists are way more competent and caring than others, but still, it is a profession that IS going to be changed by automation, as soon as the laws catch up on that. Only the lack of a calibrated computer audio standard really stands in the way now, and that's not impossible to generate either. (Heck, a self-calibrating USB audio device similar to the many Beringer gizmos out there, should be all of $25 landed from China.)

Since we only have two ears, there's really no reason that four or more mics would be needed to maintain directionality--except for the fact that the one ear is designed for some directional sensitivity, and a microphone lacks that. So, multiple mics to compensate for a design defect. Basically, if you put your ear next to a pencil hole in a wall, you'd be turning it into a standard hearing aid mic: All directionality would be lost.

But even the best of them are basically parametric amplifiers on a chip with a computer control, one or two custom ICs. Maybe that's worth five bucks, five more buys the case and battery holder, two more for the mic and "speaker". All the rest is product development (which I can see being a real expense, within limits) and GROSS profits. where else do you find ads in the paper every week "$1000 discount for the first thirty callers!" every week? And how many audiologists are driving twelve year old Plymouth Neons? (G)
If the highest end Smartphones (Galaxy S9, iPhone X, whatever) only cost $240 to make, as numerous sources have confirmed, does anyone really think hearing aids, which should need less replacement and have no fancy screens, should cost anything more? The rest is all profit.
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Old 04-01-2019, 16:37   #103
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

Good hearing aids are like getting a divorce.


They cost a lot because they're worth it.
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Old 04-01-2019, 18:01   #104
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

I inherited a progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing is important for radio work and being aware of the vessel, crew, and surroundings. I had several sets of hearing aids, and all of them would periodically "die" without warning and need to be sent away for repairs. Moisture is the enemy- in the ears and in the environment- and anyone wearing hearing aids at sea should place them in a suitable "drying device" overnight to extend the intervals between repairs. A good set of auxiliary speakers for your VHF radio is helpful for word recognition. On deck, sound distortion and feedback from wind can limit the utility of hearing aids, and I often found myself removing them. Telephones can also be a challenge. Bluetooth streaming from cell phones directly to hearing aids works for some. My hearing eventually deteriorated to where hearing aids only provided distorted, unintelligible sounds. I had a $30,000 Esteem middle ear implant placed, which helped for five years, until my nerve loss surpassed its abilities.

Hearing loss is tough. Helen Keller was once asked if she would rather be blind or deaf. She replied blind, explaining that blindness separates one from things, while deafness separates one from people. I've also noticed that deafness is the only disability that seems to evoke irritation in others; it's hard for hearing people to relate to not being able to hear. The important thing is not to give up; and there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

When I turned 65, I had a Medicare-paid cochlear (inner ear) implant placed, and it was life changing. My brain had to learn how to interpret the new electrical signals being fed to it as "sounds," but it's a miracle. I can hear distant birdcalls again, and crickets. The implant was designed to stream from an iPhone, and it's loud and clear. I can only appreciate music that I already knew when I had hearing, but hey, that's a lot of great music. Voices sound robotic, but they are loud and clear. I just had a second cochlear implant placed in the other ear, and I highly recommend them for anyone whose hearing loss has progressed beyond the help of hearing aids. There are even plastic "jackets" to water proof them from rain or waves
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Old 04-01-2019, 18:21   #105
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Re: Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor?

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I've also noticed that deafness is the only disability that seems to evoke irritation in others; it's hard for hearing people to relate to not being able to hear.
Truth!
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