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Can We Re-visit Hearing Aids?

dcrigger

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on the hearing aids themselves. Easily and quickly done on the fly in less than a second or two. And almost invisible to people around you; looks like you're scratching your ear. Also, whenever I have mentioned to someone that I was wearing them, they always tell me they had absolutely no idea. Even when I point them out most people have trouble seeing them. However, I have realized one real downside this past year or so; wearing a mask along with your glasses and your hearing aids can be a real disaster as everything can get tangled up. I'm mean how much space do we have behind out ears!!! And if anyone here wears an erring as well....you just might end up electrocuting yourself. :)

I have to say before the 9's, I was constantly adjusting programs. But with the exceptions of those times where I purposely force the music program to happen - these things have been pretty much set and forget. The main program is basically adaptive and internally switches programs based on what it is "hearing". And so far, that's just pretty much worked for me. (and that includes them now being both ear piece and microphone for my iPhone - which is working just seamlessly. Answer the phone or push a button on the aid and talk - afterwards hang up and the aids go back to what they were doing).

Which I think gives real hope for the even older person that isn't going to be up to fiddling with them all of the time. I think many old people could use them with only barely knowing about the buttons on the aids without ever having to use the app or different programs or any of that.
 

wflkurt

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I am 51 and am approaching the hearing aid stage pretty rapidly. When I was a kid, I used to practice with a pair of gunshot headphones that worked great. Once I started gigging full time around 20-21 years of age, I just never gave the loud noise much thought. I'd say around 30 or so is when I started wearing earplugs. Even still at 51 my hearing has gotten pretty bad. I have tinnitus that rings constantly and at this point, I'm pretty used to it. For my gigs these days I have a pair of Shure SE 315's going through a ROLLs as my monitor and it has pretty much saved my gigging career. I wouldn't dream of doing a gig without some sort of protection now.

I have had a State job for 22 years now and my insurance is pretty good. I'd say within the next 5-8 years I will probably be looking at hearing aids.
 

CSR

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I’m the poster boy for hearing aids. Thanks to dcrigger for his encouragement when I was vacillating about getting them. I’ve been using Oticon OPNs3 from my hospital’s speech and hearing department. Digital, Bluetooth, expensive, but very worth it. I only take them off for mowing, woodworking, or very sweaty environments. I wear them to play in both small jazz combo and two big bands. My orchestral timpani work requires me to use a Korg tuner because of my high frequency hearing loss isn’t completely remedied by the hearing aids. One reason I retired from teaching (besides the 37 years in the classroom) was the difficulty I had hearing higher-frequency girls’ voices. I even wear an old pair without all the bells and whistles to the gym. The Bluetooth makes phone calls (and phone map audio directions) much more workable. My strong recommendations are based, of course, on my individual experiences.
 

CSR

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yetanotherdrummer

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I spent a lifetime in construction, the military and as a guitar player, so I came into drumming with hearing loss.

But it's the tinnitus that is getting scary loud for me. I've actually taken a break from drumming for over a week now to see if the tinnitus will calm down some or not. So far, it's still pretty loud and I'm hoping it isn't permanent. And yes, I always use headphones when I play.

Does anyone know if hearing aids help or hurt tinnitus? (Disregard if this might be a bit off the topic)

Hearing aids don't make the tinnitus go away. They also don't restore the frequencies that you have lost the ability to hear. But what they do very well is that they allow you to have real conversations with people again, for me that has been the best part.

I just try to tune out the rining in my ears, I know it's not going away so I just do my best to ignore it.
 

A.TomicMorganic

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on the hearing aids themselves. Easily and quickly done on the fly in less than a second or two. And almost invisible to people around you; looks like you're scratching your ear. Also, whenever I have mentioned to someone that I was wearing them, they always tell me they had absolutely no idea. Even when I point them out most people have trouble seeing them. However, I have realized one real downside this past year or so; wearing a mask along with your glasses and your hearing aids can be a real disaster as everything can get tangled up. I'm mean how much space do we have behind out ears!!! And if anyone here wears an erring as well....you just might end up electrocuting yourself. :)
Amen to this. I lost 2 hearing aids this winter due to behind the ear overload. Glasses, mask and hearing aids make it impossible to remove your mask without dislodging your hearing aids. I learned the hard way not to take off my mask until I am seated in the car.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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I actually have hearing gain on high frequencies. Children crying goes right through me to the point of being painful.
 

brokenstick

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I started to wear ear in protection in ' 66 when the amps got big
 

David M Scott

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The last time there was a thread on this issue was 2018 and a lot of technology has changed since then. And unfortunately, we all play an instrument that can really impact our hearing...not just at the gig but throughout our lives. And unlike our eyes...there is no surgery or medicine that will help your hearing once you begin to lose it.

I started wearing COSTCO hearing aids two years ago. I started playing drums when I was 13 and I'm now 72. I've lost most of my highs and other frequencies as well. I stopped gigging a three years ago for multiple reasons but now I realize I was not hearing any vocal cues, song titles, etc. on stage. Also why band members were saying things about my drums and cymbals that didn't make sense to me. And why I could never hear the piano out front or on stage...when no one else was having issues. Losing your hearing happens so slowly over such a long period of time that you just don't realize it. Are you 35 and when you get in your car you can't believe at how loud you had the volume? That's where it starts; actually it's already started. And it ain't getting better unless you make some changes. My generation did not grow up with headphones, but if yours did then you MUST address this in your life. If you're gigging in a loud band without hearing protection...take action while you can. It's a tiny investment that will make the last half of your life much more effective and pleasurable.

Sorry, didn't mean to make a speech. But while hearing aids are much better than they were, they are still a hassle and a pain in the butt. And if you ever lose your keys or glasses.....wait until you get hearing aids. OK, I'm using the actual COSTCO brand hearing aids even though COSTCO carries multiple brands. They run from $1300 to $2800 with different features. I have the $1300 ones and I have not yet played a gig with them. This Saturday I am going to a jam session with the guys I used to play with to see how then might or might not work out. Before I bought them I heard from several drummers here that they could never use them on the bandstand. I'm hoping now that's it's been a few years that maybe current technology will allow for it. It's not fair for me to try to play in a group when I can't hear certain frequencies or volume levels. They won't like it and I'd feel terrible about it.

So, anyone hear using newer hearing aids and doing well with it on the gig? Any thoughts or suggestions would helpful I'm sure.
I started wearing hearing aids three years ago at 79 and can't believe the difference they made when playing. like you I had lost the high end instruments, vocals or they were muffled and muddy. I've played gigs pre Covid and jammed a lot since and yes they are a bit of a nuisance but i'll gladly put up with that. Mine are Opticon and thankfully Workmans Compensation payed for mine as they are near $4000
Canadian. Mine came with a phone app that lets me adjust them either individually or together. But the bottom line is they work great for music and life in general.
Cheers
 
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Pylot

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I have really bad tinnitus from a lifetime of ear abuse. Started with being too close to an exploding M-80 when I was 12, then on to rock concerts and race cars and of course drumming.

You can have an audiologist figure out what frequency range your hearing loss is in and then program the hearing aids to take that frequency and move it to a frequency you can hear.

My hearing aids are programmed to not ever go above 85 decibels so I cannot further damage my ears by streaming music. My hearing aids also have some very sophisticated noise cancelling so I can hear a conversation in a crowded room or restaurant when others cannot!

I use silicone fitted ear plugs over my hearing aids when in a loud environment. Sometimes I add ear muff style noise protection in addition to the silicone plugs. I can and do continue to ride my motorcycles using this approach. I have a helmet with ear cups that are sealed to my head with air bladders behind them that I pump up. With that and the silicone plugs I have concert hall quiet on my bike rides and I can blue tooth music into the hearing aids while I am riding.

Tinnitus has no cure. It is progressive and at a high enough level it can ruin your life. The only viable treatment is a streaming of a slightly under conversational level back ground sound that lets your brain accept the tinnitus as more normal and your brain will turn down the tinnitus level. Its called habituation. I use my hearing aids for this purpose although I do have some hearing loss. My wife told me after I got the hearing aids I stopped talking so loud!

There are some promising tinnitus treatments available and under development. In Europe you can, right now, get the Lenire system that essentially calms down the nerve running from your ears to your brain stem. It can reduce or eliminate tinnitus but the treatments have to be maintained. Dr Sears at Univ of Michigan Ann Arbor has worked on a very similar technology for years and the last time I checked was in third trial and was looking to commercialize it. Exact same concept as Lenire, just a different approach to getting the result. Both systems help you teach your auditory nerve to settle down or calm down.

Hearing damage from loud noise exposure occurs mostly in the two or three days after the exposure. Taking large quantities of anti oxidants after exposure can reduce the damage.

The range of sophistication in hearing aids is pretty amazing. They have come a long way in just the last 10 years. I use OPN 1's that are now a bit dated. OPN has had to release a less expensive variant to keep up with the competition, the variant is equal to or better than my older OPN 1's and costs a third less.

I am an old geez with tinnitus, there is one thing I would say to all of my drummer community friends, if you have not already done so do take steps to protect your hearing! It will plague you later in life if you do not!!.


I play my drums now with silicone plugs and a headset type of hearing muff. I leave the hearing aids slightly turned up and I can hear pretty well while avoiding more damage.
 

cochlea

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Hearing aids don't make the tinnitus go away. They also don't restore the frequencies that you have lost the ability to hear. But what they do very well is that they allow you to have real conversations with people again, for me that has been the best part.

I just try to tune out the rining in my ears, I know it's not going away so I just do my best to ignore it.
Some people actually find that hearing aids help with tinnitus. If they bring in enough low-level ambient noise, they can help mask out tinnitus. The low-level microphone noise that is inherent in most hearing aids can also do the same when in quiet, which is usually when tinnitus is most noticeable.
 

Rusty Knorr

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Closely following this conversation. I’m overdue for getting aids, and my tinnitus is really bad. One thing of note…tinnitus has been conclusively linked to cognitive decline, and dementia! So scary…
 

David M Scott

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Closely following this conversation. I’m overdue for getting aids, and my tinnitus is really bad. One thing of note…tinnitus has been conclusively linked to cognitive decline, and dementia! So scary…
I have a very senior friend who has recently acquired a system to alleviate tinnitus. It's a sound system that he puts under his pillow and he says it really helps. I'll get the name for you
 

David M Scott

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Thank you for that information. My mom is a very active, high energy 82 year old and I think she'll take to them well. She's not a computer person, however...
I'll be 82 in three weeks and like your Mom have hearing problems. So three years ago I got aides (Opticon brand) and they make a huge difference. I have the app on my I Phone to control volume and the difference in hearing greatly overcomes the slight inconvenience of having them. The Opticon brand have rechargeable batteries so that eliminates the problem of having to change batteries regularly. Costco (Canada) has a similar product so i'm sure Costco US does as well. Good luck to Mom.
 

David M Scott

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I have a very senior friend who has recently acquired a system to alleviate tinnitus. It's a sound system that he puts under his pillow and he says it really helps. I'll get the name for you
The product is called "Sound Oasis" My friend has the machine and a pillow speaker.
We are in Canada and Veteran's
Affairs paid for his a hearing problems that were associated with his military service so really don't know actual cost.
The mfrs website is:
www.soundoasis.com
Good luck
 

David M Scott

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I’m the poster boy for hearing aids. Thanks to dcrigger for his encouragement when I was vacillating about getting them. I’ve been using Oticon OPNs3 from my hospital’s speech and hearing department. Digital, Bluetooth, expensive, but very worth it. I only take them off for mowing, woodworking, or very sweaty environments. I wear them to play in both small jazz combo and two big bands. My orchestral timpani work requires me to use a Korg tuner because of my high frequency hearing loss isn’t completely remedied by the hearing aids. One reason I retired from teaching (besides the 37 years in the classroom) was the difficulty I had hearing higher-frequency girls’ voices. I even wear an old pair without all the bells and whistles to the gym. The Bluetooth makes phone calls (and phone map audio directions) much more workable. My strong recommendations are based, of course, on my individual experiences.
I have same Opticon model and they are a blessing. My partners voice is still "high girlish" at age 77 and when mine are out then I have a tough time understanding her.. then there's music.. So if you need Aids move heaven and earth to get them. Sure makes life simpler and in my case prevents me from being a "Grumpy Old Man"
 
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