Now, I do know this is a canoeing site, but.......

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Jul 25, 2012
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Looking far and wide, this is the one place where there is a bunch of guys more or less like me. Don't get offended, not exactly, but often pretty close.

I need advice: Turns out I'm going deaf. Have been for a long time but now it's really bad, I'm in what I think is a conversation and the people start to look at me strangely and I know that I've missed a turn there somewhere. All the little clues; facial expressions, lip movements and all can only carry you so far and now it's not enough.

Priced hearing aids and the going price is just about three thousand per ear. My stars!! That was the price of my canoe! Just for one ear! The nice lady says that the hearing aids will really improve the quality of life and so on. Can't blame her, she is trying to sell the things.

I really can't evaluate this: How many folks that I talk to have anything worth hearing? I do know that most of the time I don't. Do these hearing aids stand up to the trauma of canoe/camping? Do they really make that much of a difference? How much of a pain is it to wear and take care of?

My dog tells me that we get along just fine, and that 's all I really need, she's probably right. Her barks come in loud and clear.

Anyone have any real experience with hearing aids?

Ehh....what's that you say???

Rob
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
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Red Lake, Ontario
A few years ago when my wife's hearing was only a little bad she got a hearing aid but the cost was on $600 or thereabouts. I do know there is wide variation of quality and prices to match. Now she started wearing hers all the time and the result was ear infections, so she pretty much stopped wearing them. It's frustrating as hell for me and I can imagine for the people she works with as well. Constantly repeating yourself, getting answers to questions you never asked and simply missing audible signs, warning and clues. One example is the tap is running and she doesn't hear so she overflows the sink all the time, or can't hear the fan in the convection oven blowing so leaves the oven on. But none of this could possibly be as frustrating for me as it is for her, and I will admit my frustration boils over into the anger department at times and that again likely makes it worse for her.

Funny you mention a canoe seeing as this is a canoeing site, but you spent $3000 on a canoe and look at the improvement in the quality of life that has provided. I am going to guess the hearing aid will do the same. There is a learning curve with wearing them I think, like not leaving them in all the time and getting ear infections.

And another thing on the prices....I have seen those hearing devices advertised to help hear wildlife for $20 or $50, but when the medical type people get involved a device that for all intents and purposes is the same thing the price goes up to $3000. I am going to guess the mark-up involved in those devices is rather large, so shop around, do your research and haggle on the price.
 
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I can only offer just a little personal point of view.
My mom in her later years had lost a great deal of her hearing. She would ask us all to speak up and repeat ourselves. It could be a bit annoying at times, but always worth the least bit of effort to keep her in the conversation. Eventually she gave up and just stopped asking us to speak up...I didn't catch on for the longest time, and wondered why she'd been so quiet, no longer a loud and engaged part of the family, talking, laughing, and sharing stories. She told me one day she'd just given up trying so hard to hear everyone. It took some persistent prodding to finally get her checked out and fitted for hearing aids. She didn't always wear them, being as stubborn as she was. But when she did, our family had her back in our midst again, part of the family talking, laughing and sharing stories.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
Your behavior will be markedly different with hearing aids. But think about whether you will wear them canoeing or if you need to. After my husband lost one in 85 feet of water those pricey aids are locked up in a dry box with flotation.

My husband tends to wander off paddling and if I needed help he can't hear the whistle. If he needs help he wouldn't think of blowing it. Some 30 years of being hard of hearing made him less inclined to ask for help as he can't hear the answer. But on the water he doesnt wear his aids.. What to do? I'm getting tired of screaming and we are working out some silent postures to help us in canoe tripping.. I do a lot of pointing.

If you can't hear much of the world, in his case, he kind of walled himself out of it and still does when the aids aren't in. Check out universities with audiology clinics. Disregard the TV commercials. Here is an example that is of only general help to you due to the distance
http://umaine.edu/comscidis/conley-center/audiology-clinic/

Yes its very frustrating for me when my hubby does not wear his also but the larger issue is that he misses out on a lot. Songbird sounds are foreign as well as claps of thunder in the boat.
 
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Minden, NV
I belong to a service club, Sertoma which is a contraction for "service to mankind." Our main focus is helping people with hearing problems. Most of our members are hearing impaired. My Dad, Mom and uncles are around 90. Aids are expensive, far from perfect, and have a learning curve, but they will change your life.

My own experience has been too much exposure to chain saws, gunfire, construction and loud music. I have been taking much better care of the ears in the last 20 years or so. Learn to read lips, avoid background noise, and face people when you talk to them. Some people like my Dad at 90 are too vain for hearing aids. It is irritating to talk with him at times because of the repetition. He is not a good listener because he cannot hear well. But he is still the smartest person I know.

Hearing aids will not only make your life better, but will improve your relationships with people that are close to you.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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I'm watching this thread with interest, as the hearing in one of my ears is fairly impaired. Hearing Doc told me I needed a hearing aid, but the other ear works fine, so I just try to have conversations with people on my right. I ordered some glasses from China a month ago that were really nice and a quarter of the cost. Someone told me there is a similar service for hearing aids. I'm going to look into it.
 
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Mem just be aware that hearing aids aren't like glasses. From time to time they need new parts ( like the tube) and maintenance. I would think that maintenance would be a pain if you had to send them back to China.

OM the subject is canoe related.. If my hubby and Mem were to do a paired solo there would be a small problem if they wanted to talk to each other. As both are right eared, someone would have to paddle backwards.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Ha ha, yes the vagaries of life, I would laugh about it, but the thought of 6 g's for hearing aids makes my sphincter pucker. It seems like I can still hear every little noise when I'm in the bush by myself, particularly late at night on a solo trip, but when surrounded by 30 rambunctious grade nine students, I can't hear a damn word, just noise. Pretty sure if I had a hearing aid, I would turn it off when surrounded by pre-pubescent chatter boxes.
 
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You may have noticed Mem that my husband tuned out when lots of folks arrived for your anniversary gig. Hearing aids don't make cross conversation and chatter more understandable.. just louder.

6 gs for one aid? Hubby paid $1500. And there are many types of hearing loss.. you need to have an evaluation done to find out the cause and what range of tones you aren't hearing before sending your money to China. There isn't one hearing aid.
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Well Yellow Canoe, At first glance it might seem a problem with your husband and Memaquay paddling along. But as I remember it your husband uses a double bladed paddle, well it's no struggle to decide who needs to be handicapped by paddling backwards. And if things weren't bad enough, is it true that poor Mem bent his paddle trying to get his truck out of a mud hole?

Onliest thing I do worry about is that Memaquay's self control will slip in close proximity to the dreaded double blade and he'll just bail out over the side! I can see the tombstone now: Here lies Memaquay, drowned by a double blade and it wasn't even his!

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I have 20/20 hearing. Yes that right, I can hear from 20 Hz to 20 kHz... severely attenuated at the extremes mind you. Sorry. Just had to put that joke in there...

The good thing is at least you can still communicate via the internet... well unless you go blind, or just get sick of it and just decide it's better off not to have to hear or read what people say.

My only negative experience with hearing aids is from my Grandfather. He was the worst with those things. He would constantly leave it out and would be sitting on a counter somewhere whistling loudly with feedback while he'd shout and constantly say beg 'ya pardon when trying to communicate with anyone or anything.

I felt really bad, but he didn't embrace the technology. He hated the damn things and it made everyone else around him hate them too. He used to call it his tea kettle from the constant feedback squealing it would make.

My advice would be if you get one, stick to it and use it. Lots of people use hearing aids with little to no ill effect, especially those who are younger and have an easier time adapting to the device. I went to a school that had a institute for the deaf. I never once had an issue with any of those students using hearing aids like I did with my Grandpa.
 
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Dec 7, 2011
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I paddled back seat in a tandem on and off for a week this Aug with a woman who is deaf without her $6000 US hearing aids. She religiously takes them out and puts them in a Pelican box when on the water. I debated whether to carry a bag of pine cones with me with the thought that chucking one at her back would get her attention. It turned out that she could feel when I banged on the side of the canoe hard with my hand, so we worked out a 1 bang switch sides, 2 bangs for Gods sake stop paddling, and 3 bangs you can now exit the canoe. It worked well enough and eliminated all that messy pine pitch on the back of her PFD.
 
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