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How To Get Back In The Game

Updated on October 29, 2015

Hear! Hear!

Huh? What?
Huh? What?

Huh? What? Pardon?


If this is how you respond to questions, comments or any conversation, you need help.

YOU HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM. Vanity and denial can make you come across as unintelligent, unaware, backward, slow and boring. A pair of modern barely visible hearing aids can put you back in touch with the world, your family and friends. You owe it to yourself.

The Large and Small of It. Larger than Life Version

Hearing Aids Have Come a Long Way Baby A century ago this version was state of the art
Hearing Aids Have Come a Long Way Baby A century ago this version was state of the art

The Small Side of Hearing Big

Small Hearing Aids Are Hardly Visible
Small Hearing Aids Are Hardly Visible

Don't miss another word. Life is too short

If you are like so many middle aged men and women you must know that you are missing out on conversations. It may be time for you to rejoin the world around you. Aren't you tired of responding with "what "and "huh" whenever someone directs a question or comment to you? Can you imagine how tiring it is for your spouse and friends to put up with that? Wouldn't you like to quit responding boorishly and rejoin the world by participating intelligently in interesting conversations, laughing at a good joke and understanding what your physician has to say? As it stands you are probably reading lips, catching every third word of a conversation and responding inappropriately to most questions. Your friends are beginning to think that you are showing early signs of dementia

If you can relate to these signs, the time has come to take action before everyone writes you off. You can become that interesting conversationalist you once were and begin once again enjoying a quality life. The steps to a fresh more enjoyable lifestyle is within reach., The simple solution is to investigate, then invest in hearing aids. It will be a life changing experience and will have you wondering why you waited so long. Life is too short.

Wearing a hearing aid, two actually, has carried a negative connotation for years. This is largely due to earlier devices that were big, bulky and ill fitting. People felt self conscious wearing them and were irritated by the squeaks and squelches they often gave off. Yesterday's hearing aids were intrusive,uncomfortable, and were regarded as devices reserved for the very old. As important an issue was vanity, as folks refused to wear them because no one wants to admit that they were afflicted by a condition common to older folks. Vanity is a big reason old guys and women refuse hearing aids,

Most of the problems and complaints of the past concerning hearing instrument usage were legitimate. But as the world continues to evolve, so does the technology and science of hearing aids. The new technology has allowed hearing instruments to be fitted to any ear comfortably and invisibly. The squelching has been dealt with. More importantly, the quality of sound is so close to normal hearing that it is difficult to discern the amplified sound quality from unamplified speech. All the issues that stood in the way of owning hearing aids have been addressed, including the vanity issue. In most cases, your friends will never notice your new ear pieces. They will notice that you seem to be back in touch again. Your grandchildren might even come to regard you as normal and not as that strange old man who never seems to understand whatever it is they try to tell you.

So the issues that concern folks have been addressed, with one exception -- a very important one. That money thing. What is all this going to cost? There are a couple of ways to look at this. I am not an audiologist, nor do I sell hearing aids. I am a person who came to a logical conclusion about my hearing years ago. I come at this as someone who had experienced the entire gamut of issues referred to. I had all the objections, but once I worked through them there was no alternative, other than to continue to go through life in a daze. I did arrive at what I think are legitimate conclusions about hearing aids.

Like many hard of hearing folks, price is a large consideration. It was when I bought my first set. I did experience sticker shock. I opted for cheap. That was a mistake. The devices fit and felt like corks in my ears. They were uncomfortable. They sounded tinny. They were not a great experience, but the process became part of my learning curve. I stayed with my "starter" hearing aids because they did offer some improvement to my hearing problems. Finally, after a couple of years of complaining, my dog, of helped me out. She ate the hearing aids and that ended that chapter. The experience cost me $800, but I learned a lot.

The time had come to replace my eaten aids. I decided to upgrade to more advanced versions. I really owe my dog for forcing me to upgrade. The difference in sound quality between my old devices and the new technology is quite impressive.

The next pair of hearing aids I purchased were based on updated technology. They were known as Receiver in Canal or, RIC hearing aids. In a word; they are "great." The design had a separate receiver that fits comfortably out of site in the ear canal. Thin, invisible wire runs from the receiver to a directional microphone that sat comfortably at the back of my ear. During the trial demonstration at the hearing aid center the sound and fit was incredible.They were practically invisible. They were very comfortable. Everything seemed perfect … except the price. The cost for this advanced solution was near $5700 for the pair, a far cry from the $800 I paid for my first aids.I GULPED, then excused myself I told the hearing aid technician that that I needed some time to do more research to evaluate my options; code for: "I need to find something more affordable."

The next morning I saw a newspaper ad from an audiologist who claimed that he would sell virtually any leading hearing aid brand and model at a 50 percent or more discount. I called, made an appointment and spent an hour reviewing his various lines. Before my appointment, I was able to locate information online that allowed me to compare the facts, the technology and the prices of various brands.

During my appointment I narrowed my choices down to one, Brand R with the same advanced features that were standard on other leading brands. My new found audiologist demonstrated Brand R. I liked them -- I bought them. The price ... $2820 for two, complete with hearing test and ear inspection, 2 year factory warranty and one year loss or damage insurance. It even included charger, so I didn't need to buy those pesky little batteries . By my reckoning, a savings of almost $2800 dollars.

It's been 6 months since that fateful purchase. My new hearing aids turned out to be all that I expected, even a bit more. I had two follow up appointments to fine tune my devices. My wife loves me again. My friends even include me in conversation, and I am one happy camper ... $2800 wealthier than I would have been had I chosen the more expensive option. If you stay near the price I paid, $2800, you shouldn't need to spend one penny more. Eventually and hopefully, more hearing aid suppliers will decide to discount their hearing aids. More people will buy them. In my opinion it seems almost obscene to charge a full mark up on the devices. Why not reduce the cost and make up the difference in increased volume?

So, here are some important points I want to share with you. When you finally do face the facts and get fitted with hearing aids, consider this:

(1.) opt for the Receiver in the Canal (RIC) models.
(2.) don't get talked into the latest, most-advanced, super-duper technology.
You will almost certainly not notice any discernible difference between the ultra high and the mid priced technology. I promise, but you will notice that bulge of extra cash in your pocket.

There are well over a dozen major hearing aid brands from a number of hearing aid manufacturers here in the States. Siemens, Miracle Ear. Opticon, Starkey, Rexton, Beltone, Zounds are just a few of the players in this massive industry. Some of these companies also make products for companies like Costco, who stamp their name on the product. Each of the brands have several levels of technological options within their lineup. It seems that every year or two one manufacturer will introduce a "breakthrough" and a "proprietary " feature that theoretically makes their brand superior to their competition. Within months, that technology is copied and added by the competing firms. As far as I can determine, from my experience with top of the line down to mid range offerings, there is not enough noticeable difference to justify spending an extra 2-3 thousand dollars. I am sure that most hearing aid resellers will argue the point, especially those that specialize in one specific line, but from my experience and point of view, don't spend the extra bucks. Shop for the best price. Do you HEAR where I am coming from?

I promise, the world will open up to you. Hearing is a wonderful gift that can only be appreciated after you lose it. Do you remember the soft pitter patter of rain against your window sill, the wind rushing through the trees,the sound of rushing streams? It can all be reclaimed. Don't wait another week.


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    • Kramar profile image

      Snarky Babbler 2 years ago from USA

      My dog hasn't eaten any in ages. They don't taste as good as they once did or so it seems.

    • profile image

      Candice Harding 3 years ago

      I laughed a little at the first paragraph--I use those words a lot, but I mostly have an attention problem, not a hearing problem. Both of my parents are having to come to terms with the effects of aging. For my dad, aging means baldness and worsening eyesight. For my mom, she's needed to make lots of lifestyle changes, including looking at the option of hearing aids. Hopefully it doesn't take our dog (who would absolutely be up to the challenge) eating a set of hearing aids to get my mom to consider her more expensive, but better suited options.

      Candice Harding