putting down roots

What Price, Vanity?

04/21/2016 7:30 PM | Anonymous

On a self-evaluation I completed recently to determine if I needed hearing assistance, I scored 24 points, indicating moderate impairment. Some of the questions were a relief, such as, "Do you have trouble following conversation when 2 or more people are talking at the same time?" Um, yeah. I thought it was undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder but it turns out it's just hearing loss.

Other questions, such as "Do people you talk to seem to mumble" or "Do people get annoyed with you because you misunderstand what they say" pertained to one person in particular--my husband! He has the annoying habit of mumbling something to me from another room while I'm running water at the kitchen faucet, then getting mad when I don't understand what he said. Clearly something had to be done.

So I looked into a hearing aid. Sigh. I hate to admit that I'm getting old, but I've known for a long time that my hearing was deteriorating. I've had hearing evaluations in the past, which confirmed that there was some loss, but the audiologists just said that I wasn't ready for a hearing aid and would find it too annoying. Well, now I find the hearing loss more annoying and am ready to do something about it.

One web site states that hearing loss begins as early as age 25 and there are many factors that cause it--noise related, genetic, ruptured ear drum are a few. While I didn't work with a jack hammer or chain saws, I have attended my share of rock concerts and grew up with the notion that music was better loud. Paying for it now with permanent hearing loss.

And the key word is paying. Hearing aids can range in price from a few thousand dollars for behind the ear models to ten thousand dollars for discreet inside-the-ear-canal aids. Then there are add-on features, such as blue-tooth technology, that add to the cost. If you want to stream music or take phone calls directly from your Apple iProducts, there's even an app for that.

In addition to hearing aids, there are also sound amplifiers, called PSAPS (personal sound amplification products). Although inexpensive, the way I understand it, they are more suitable for an elderly person living alone and conversing with one person at a time than for an active Baby Boomer attending a Newcomers' luncheon.

As the first of the boomers turn 70 (not me!), the technology we championed offers us a way to save money on hearing aids and order direct through the Internet. Yes, it by-passes the audiologist, which is not generally recommended, but can be the right choice for some. In my case, I have yearly exams where the doctor looks at my ears and checks for wax, which can affect hearing. So far, no problem there.

So what's a gal to do? Shell out big bucks for a device that only her audiologist knows for sure she's wearing or take her chances on a small, almost flesh-tone, behind the ear unit and hope it's not too obvious, then spend the savings on a shopping spree at Chico's? I opted for the second choice. I just ordered a pair-via telephone-that I found online, which meant no fitting, no programming, and no repeat visits to get it right. The sales rep answered all my questions and wasn't in some Third World country reading from a script. He knew his stuff. I have a 45 day trial and paid half what my mother recently paid for a similar model through more traditional channels. They'll arrive in a week and I can't wait. Neither can my husband.

Comments

  • 08/04/2016 9:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    I hear you. Please let us know how they work for you.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 11/22/2016 11:11 AM | Deleted user
    Would really like to know how this worked out for you; also name of website that you used.

    Thanks! james.bellavista@gmail.com
    Link  •  Reply

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