Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hearing Aids - Part I

I'm definitely getting older. My hearing has gotten so bad that my husband bought me a headset for the TV. Apparently, I was blasting him out!

Since I am going through the process of finding the best hearing I can find for a price I can afford, I thought I would share my process. I'm sure there are some others of you who have the same problem. Hopefully, what I share will help someone out there. 

My first stop was a local audiologist in Broken Arrow. After giving me a test, he told me I probably wouldn't wear them, so don't waste my money. Hmmm. That was last fall. Meanwhile, my hearing got worse. 

Now, it's so bad I have to walk up to my students' desks in order to hear them. Not a good thing. So, a friend recommended Clear Tone in Tulsa. I was really excited about going because she let me wear her hearing aid and I could see that it would definitely help. I knew she paid about $4,000 for hers, so I was expecting a large bill. 

I arrived 15 minutes early, but did not get in to see the technician until 45 minutes later. She did the tests - there were several. Afterwards, she confirmed what I suspected. I have moderately severe loss of the higher tones in both ears. Background noise is my main enemy. 

The next step was discussing the solutions. This is where it got depressing. It was going to cost $10,000 for the earphones that could best help my hearing loss! I went home very depressed after being high pressured for a while to purchase something as "anything is better than nothing."

After posting on Facebook that I was depressed about my hearing aid shopping, a couple of friends suggested some alternatives. One was Costco - apparently they have a great audiology department and you can get a pair for about $2,000 that does the same as the $10K pair at Clear Tone. 

Another friend posted an article from the news that cheap alternatives found at Bass Pro and other places can be just as helpful as the expensive types. So I began to search anew. 

Finally, I came up with MDHearing Aid. This product is made by an Ear-Nose-Throat PhD who thought, if you can build an iPhone for $200, you ought to be able to build a hearing aid for $200. So that's what he did. 

He has recently developed a newer one called the MDHearingAid Air for only $349 each or 2/$600. They are supposed to be equivalent to some that cost $3,000 and these are 100% money back within 45 days. It has 3 programs and a volume dial to accommodate the most common types of hearing loss. It's the size of a dime, so it should be fairly discreet. So, I bought a pair. They are coming in the mail this week. 

I will write more after I get them.  The website says it takes about 21 days to get used to them, so I don't expect to write my final comments until after that period. I sure hope they work. If not, I'll try Costco. 

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