Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-10-2017, 03:25   #1
Registered User
 
danielamartindm's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Leopard 39
Posts: 860
Cruising with hearing impairment

As baby boomers age, many are finding hearing loss an issue in cruising and sailing. To wit, I am fine with face-to-face communication, but the vagaries/ variability/quality/static/interference/distortion of electronic audio make radio work a challenge. Hearing impairment is the only disability that inspires frustration/lack of empathy in those not so afflicted. What does one do after asking a hearing person to repeat their electronic audio message three times, and you still can't understand what they've said? It's less about volume than word recognition. I have a handheld VHF that I can hear fine, better than my hard-wired panel VHF which more often than not is unintelligible to me despite appropriate squelch and range settings; but dealing with marinas and bridge keepers and harbor masters is only one part of cruising. VHF is a coastal phenomenon, as is cell phone reception. I need access to real-time (texted) offshore weather information and communications. SSB will not cut it for me for hearing reasons. Satellite phones with text capability like Garmin's Inreach Explorer Plus provide weather information that most cruisers find inadequate in detail. More expensive iridium service does afford Gribs, but the cost is prohibitive for some. I would like this thread to begin a dialogue about hearing impairment and cruising, and to provide the hearing impaired among us a source of tech information to enhance their cruising safety (and therefore everyone else's). To those poised to say that "the hearing impaired are a danger to themselves and others, and have no business being on the water," I can only say that "the water" is a metaphor of life; and life has a way of humbling even the most young, fit, and haughty.
danielamartindm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 12:33   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
roverhi's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1976 Sabre 28-2
Posts: 7,505
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Newer hearing aids have bluetooth connection capability. Works great with a phone. Only issues I've had is I'll hear the call coming in but can't find my phone to answer. There is a device to hang around your neck to interface with the phone but haven't pursued it. Wonder if there is a way to connect to the VHF or other electronics via bluetooth??
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 12:55   #3
Registered User
 
Kalinka1's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto
Boat: Heritage 35
Posts: 408
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Newer hearing aids have bluetooth connection capability. Works great with a phone. Only issues I've had is I'll hear the call coming in but can't find my phone to answer. There is a device to hang around your neck to interface with the phone but haven't pursued it. Wonder if there is a way to connect to the VHF or other electronics via bluetooth??
Yes there is. Some if not all manufacturers have the remote device that will work with a TV via blue tooth maybe should change the name to red ear or something as it is sound we're talking about and not teeth My aids work with my phone and the tv and they can be set up for any other type of blue tooth devise.
Kalinka1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 13:01   #4
Registered User
 
NCGunDude's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Boat: Com-Pac 16/2
Posts: 65
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I suppose it's a good thing you're not blind, too.

I use radios quite a bit and have friends on air who are blind, but no deaf folks. I suppose it's the nature of the media.

Surely, as a deaf person, you know of some teletype services that can provide these services for you.

Lastly, look into the digital modes over USB. PSK31 is good for rag chewing. I suggest teletype services for mundane services, but not being deaf myself, haven't looked into it.

Interested to hear, no pun intended, what you find out.
NCGunDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 13:22   #5
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 26,559
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Danielmartindm:

I, too, have a hearing deficit, mid and high frequency, and have a hard time copying radio broadcast info. I gave up my hearing aids, because they multiply noise as well as desired information, so I still couldn't pick out speech over water flow and wind noise.

For work aloft, we wear children's toy walkie-talkies. They allow us to communicate in normal speech, no shouting. Can also be used when anchoring in difficult conditions, but not when raining.

For you, i would suggest good quality external speakers for your radios, and adjusting the volume to where you hear best. For me, this is not too loud, because it hurts, but too soft and I can't hear it--I look for the Goldilocks spot. Then you could most likely be able to hear adequately, when reception is good--not through static crashes, and not with really weak signals, though, ime. Use SSB for the text weather forecasts and grib files, as well. When you use HF for wx news, use your propagation tables, and switch to the frequency that your radio is receiving most clearly.

You might want to go to a radio store and listen to the audio on a number of different brands of radio, and consider replacing existing equipment if you find some with better audio. All audio is not created equal.

In terms of it's the third time, try not to let it get there. It's sort of humbling or embarrassing, but 'fess up to the problem up front--that's way less frustrating for all--and ask them to slow down. It helps me, when they say each word separated by no sound. Then feed them back what you did pick out, and ask them to fill in the blanks. I have found people quite willing to help if they understand the problem, and one does need the help.

In my opinion, hearing loss doesn't make sailing unsafe, it means those of us who own the deafness need to go to the person who is trying to tell us something if we are on a boat or land. Usually, if I am right there, I can semi-read lips and get the message. If you have crew or are crew, just move quickly as is safe to who is trying to tell you something. They should have been told you are a bit deaf (by you), and again, camaraderie will make them want to help.

One boat we knew, with folks with normal hearing, he was forever asking her to "look at me". Sometimes, people speak into the wind, or away from you and you will not hear, hearing loss or none. So, another thing you can do instead of saying "I can't hear you" is to say, "please look at me when you talk to me." Or, if you know them well, just "look at me" is enough.

One other trick is to record the verbal broadcasts, and then write down the bits you copy; replay, and fill in the blanks; stop when you have got it all.

On the issue of aids. A friend has some that he can adjust in situ with a tiny jewelers screwdriver, so he can play with which frequencies are damped and boosted. His aids have 3 adjusting screws, and were molded to fit his ears. You do have to keep them dry, so I wouldn't wear them in spray or rain--or the shower! Doing what he did, his hearing appeared normal during a longish visit with us--6 weeks. With your connections, perhaps you can find a good audiologist to work with, and just maybe, that might take care of it for a long time. That would be very good.

Good luck with it. I'm sure the external speakers will help.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 14:17   #6
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 9,529
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I, too, have the mid and high frequency loss that Ann described.

Turns out that my wife's voice is right in those same frequencies, and she's soooo considerate of other people she never raises her voice!

When I first got a hearing aid, I asked the tech if there was some reading my wife could do to help her to help me. It included much of what Ann said. She never read it and that was 25 years ago! I repeatedly, but gently, explain to her that she can't walk out of a room and keep talking, nor can she start a conversation from another room! Hasn't worked too well.

She just doesn't understand what background noise can do, even if someone is right next to you.

Her 96 year old father, who has perfect hearing, is the one she "yells" at!

I couldn't wear my hearing aid on the boat. When I'm singlehanding I just turn the volume up.

The hearing aid went belly up a few years ago. I sail as much as I can!

My friend has a hearing aid that lets him change the frequencies with a little remote gizmo.

Sorry, don't have any info on text. My aunt was really deaf and used close captioning even watching golf! Her phone was TTY.

My old Uniden handheld had a crappy speaker. The newer SH is great. My fixed mount old SH is fine, but I hardly use it.

The external speaker idea is superb. And you should try them first, too, before you leave the store. Don't know if you can get what we used to call "tone" controls on those.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 14:33   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 13,386
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I, too, have the mid and high frequency loss that Ann described.

Turns out that my wife's voice is right in those same frequencies, and she's soooo considerate of other people she never raises her voice!

...
Ha, a lot of men lose hearing in the range of the female voice, could it be an evolutionary adaptation?

😆
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 15:41   #8
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pangaea
Posts: 10,856
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I have a hearing deficit mostly (and conveniently) in the female voice audio range caused by years of using power tools, racing/riding bikes and tuning pianos, and I frequent cruising grounds where I don't understand the native language anyway... Italy, Croatia, Spain, Montenegro etc. Conversations in busy restaurants or crowds can be a big problem.

Google translate is my friend. Neither issue has even slowed us down in the least. Don't worry about it.
Kenomac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 15:53   #9
DRS
Registered User
 
DRS's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vancouver BC
Boat: Lagoon 380
Posts: 367
Images: 7
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I too have diminished hearing and my biggest concern is the alarm buzzers on the MFD and other instruments. If some one could tell me how to hook these up to a louder signal that would be great.
__________________
You can sail anywhere on the planet and never be more than 7 miles from land - it might be straight down, but its never more than seven miles
DRS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 16:06   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 3,377
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

All of my high pitch hearing has been gone for 40+ years. Most of those years were on or near the water and radios used almost daily. In my opinion, good radio speakers and quality radios are better than hearing aids. I rarely wear mine. They don't function well in the wind. I only wear aids if I know I will be involved in conversations in a noisy, but not windy, environment. Hearing loss has never affected my ability to operate safely in a marine environment.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 16:36   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 16,306
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Also have significant hearing loss. Pretty much anything over 3000 Hz is gone for me, which of course is about the frequency of my wife's voice.

I do pretty well understanding marine VHF transmissions but find the audio easier to understand on Standard Horizon radios that the other brands I've tried.

I have hearing aids, some very expensive supposedly top of the line hearing aids but find them only occasionally useful. Restaurants are one of the worst places, especially if it has tile floors, hardwood walls and no curtains or soft areas to absorb the noise. The crowd talking, clinking silverware and other sounds completely kill my ability to understand my wife sitting right across the table. Hearing aids just amplify the noise and don't do that much for the voice.

Quite wearing them on the boat after one blew off into the water. There went a boat buck down the drain.

I also see that it seems to be acceptable to express anger at hearing impaired people. Would anyone ever dare to yell at a blind person because they couldn't see? Why then is it OK to yell angrily at someone that's hard of hearing?
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 17:10   #12
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 26,559
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Some people seem to have only two ranges: normal speech and hollering/screaming.

We are taught that people are angry who are screaming at us. We react defensively. Since it is we, the hearing impaired who have the problem, it is up to us to solve the problem. For some, like our friend mentioned above, his alter-in-situ very expensive aids did a very good job for him.

For myself, my decision has been to ask others to help, and to position myself where it is easier to hear. We generally only go to quiet restaurants, for instance.

For DRS: We have a number of external repeater alarms. Jim sources them from electronics supply houses. In Australia, Jaycar is one source. Google on them to find a source near you.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 18:26   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 16,306
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Some people seem to have only two ranges: normal speech and hollering/screaming.
YES!! Even with my wife. I keep trying to explain that just slightly louder is all that's required but she is just sure she can only do the two.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
We are taught that people are angry who are screaming at us. We react defensively. Since it is we, the hearing impaired who have the problem, it is up to us to solve the problem.
It isn't just the volume level but the obvious irritation and annoyance behind it. I do agree that it is my problem and I do all that I can to minimize the inconvenience to others but sometimes one is just stuck in a situation where hearing is not possible.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-10-2017, 19:17   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Niagara Falls
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 629
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I, too, have hearing loss. I can understand people who talk sonorously from the bottom of their chest. I cannot understand people who talk through their nose.
Seymore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2017, 02:49   #15
Registered User
 
danielamartindm's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Leopard 39
Posts: 860
Re: Cruising with hearing impairment

I want to thank all of you for your replies. It comforts to know that others face the same challenges, and prevail over them. I have an Esteem middle ear implant in one ear, and a state-of-the-art hearing aid (sometimes) in the other. I tried Blue tooth connectivity to my hearing aid, but found too much distortion to make it a viable option to tie into devices like cell phones; my hearing is too far gone in that ear, I guess. Many hearing people assume that there are "teletype services" available for the hearing impaired, but the digital transcription of voice to messaging (without a human intermediary) is still in its infancy. Android and Apple phones have apps to transcribe voice mail messages, and they work amazingly well- so much so that I don't understand why Apple and Samsung don't include an audio-to-text application for routine telephone calls. In the future, I think some universal audio-to-text software will be developed to enable the hearing impaired to print out or visually see what everyone else is hearing on SSB, VHF, and ham. Thank you again, my friends, and fair winds.
danielamartindm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising, men

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hearing Aids for the cruising sailor? derfy Health, Safety & Related Gear 119 31-12-2021 20:37
Hearing problem solutions needed DeaconBlues Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 10 27-05-2014 20:09
I'd Be Interested in Hearing About a Contessa / JJ Taylor 26 austi012 Monohull Sailboats 49 17-03-2013 02:03
USCG Hearing Report - Bounty Sinking Chuteman Cruising News & Events 3 16-03-2013 12:06
Lifespan of Hearing Aids Around Salt Water LiveLife76 Health, Safety & Related Gear 29 24-02-2012 23:28

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.