I’ve been told since 1949 that my hearing loss was permanent, and that nothing could be done for it. Each time my hearing has been tested since then, the message was the same: hearing aids will not help you hear better. Live with it.
I had speech therapy as a child, learned to read lips and have become very practiced at every form of situational awareness. I could hear sound fairly well at times, but could not differentiate between sounds much, especially the human voice.
As I’ve gotten older, my hearing got worse and worse, to the point where I have not been able to understand what was being said in videos, TV and so forth for a long time. About three years ago I quit trying to listen to my classical music, since it was fuzzy and strange, regardless of the volume. More recently, I have not been able to use the telephone much at all.
So, I had a new test and the audiologist insisted that the new digital hearing aids WOULD help me hear better, even if not perfectly. The problem was that he wanted $6,000. for the new hearing aids. YIKES And they would only be “good” for five or six years! YIKES again! Oh, and all the consumer reports comments indicate that this is not “settled science,” and these aides have some real problems yet… But OK, we have dealt with that with our computers and other devices for a long time. Nothing starts out perfect. And, wonderfully, new technology comes along frequently.
The thing the audiologist insisted on, however, was that I see a good ENT doctor before doing anything else. He thought he saw a “bulge” in my left eardrum, and so did the physician’s assistant I saw next to get a referral to the ENT…. kind of scary.
The ENT looked long and thoroughly, listened carefully to my history and finally pronounced the wonderful fact that I have no evident new pathology, just a combination of the damage done by the ear infections I had as a child, and the normal deterioration due to age. He also said that the new technology for hearing aids could help me hear better. The “bulge” was simply very old scar tissue.
Then the really good news… the institute there can dispense digital hearing aids at half the cost quoted by the audiologist, and they will help me maintain them too. They may well last me the rest of my life. So I want to try it, just have to come up with $3,000. They do not do any financing.
So, if it works, I may be able to play my music again, understand videos, and even talk on the telephone once more.
Exciting possibilities. Just thought I’d share the news with my blog family, and invite readers who have hearing aids to comment on their experiences, pro and con.