Sitka Mountain Gear
Hearing aid advice
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
lewis 13-Mar-19
Scrappy 13-Mar-19
Proline 13-Mar-19
Dale06 13-Mar-19
Trial153 13-Mar-19
jjs 13-Mar-19
BIGHORN 13-Mar-19
Mule Power 13-Mar-19
Whocares 13-Mar-19
76aggie 13-Mar-19
eddie c 13-Mar-19
keepemsharp 13-Mar-19
BC 13-Mar-19
tobinsghost 13-Mar-19
keepemsharp 13-Mar-19
TreeWalker 13-Mar-19
No Mercy 13-Mar-19
1HankS 13-Mar-19
Hunter's Granddad 13-Mar-19
BIGHORN 14-Mar-19
Buffalo1 14-Mar-19
WDP 14-Mar-19
Two Feathers 14-Mar-19
obx 14-Mar-19
lewis 14-Mar-19
PSUhoss 14-Mar-19
Inshart 14-Mar-19
76aggie 14-Mar-19
Mule Power 14-Mar-19
Mule Power 14-Mar-19
Woods Walker 14-Mar-19
Glunker 14-Mar-19
CurveBow 16-Mar-19
Jaeger63 16-Mar-19
2 Points 16-Mar-19
Two Feathers 16-Mar-19
Ambush 16-Mar-19
NYbob 16-Mar-19
GF 16-Mar-19
Dave 17-Mar-19
lewis 17-Mar-19
GregE 17-Mar-19
Jaquomo 17-Mar-19
Tradmike 17-Mar-19
SB 17-Mar-19
Mule Power 18-Mar-19
From: lewis
13-Mar-19
Looks like the time has come for me to address my loss of hearing. I took the test at Vanderbilt and failed particularly in my left ear.Any ideas on models or where to get the best value.Thanks as always any info would be appreciated.Lewis

From: Scrappy
13-Mar-19
First and foremost check your medical insurance to see if and how much they will cover. Mine covers about 2,000 per ear every three years I believe. For real hearing aids that will cover the base models. Pretty much the price goes up from there. I have what is called open hearing aids that just amplifies the frequency that I have lost.

If your a vet you can try to go that route as well. I haven't ever had any luck with the va so I just use my work insurance.

Even if you have to pay out of pocket it is worth it.

Once you have got them and have gotten used to them you can do what I started doing last year. I scheduled my annual appointment for right before my elk hunt and had the doc turn them up for my hunt.

13-Mar-19
I have worn hearing aids for about 20 years. I used to have the same concept that I had to understand what brand hearing aid to buy and why.......but my first advice to you is get that out of your head. The most important thing to do is find an audiologist that you trust. It took me many visits to them before I found one that would take them time to really explain stuff.....but the bottom line the audiologist should fit you for the the hearing aid that best matches your hearing loss. Having said that I will also say that almost all audiologists are married to some brands....so it comes down to trust in the end. I will say the technology has improved immensely since 2001 when I got my first set of hearing aids. Now they connect via Bluetooth to your phone....it's almost an advantage to be deaf now. I am constantly streaming phone conversations, audio books, podcasts.....it's great. I can tune out the outside noise and only listen to what's coming in over Bluetooth.....it's so cool. Also, cost is a huge factor....you can easily spend 5 grand for two hearing aids though mine are usually in the mid-$3000's. You don't need to spend money for things your hearing loss doesn't need. I am on my 3rd set of hearing aids since 2001. PM me if you want, happy to share info. I will say hearing aids are one of those things like optics where you really get what you pay for....cheap hearing aids will make you hate them so much you won't wear them. I know this because my dad used to be a cheapskate and he bought a couple of units he never wore.....but like other have posted....the VA pays for it all for him now. He is a Korean War vet.

From: Proline
13-Mar-19
Ha! I need them too but my insurance pays for $0.00 so I will rely on m y eyes for a while more :-)

From: Dale06
13-Mar-19
I really hurt my hearing by shooting a lot in the 70s and 80s. My left ear ( closest to muzzle) is worse. I went to an audiologist and was tested. I’d lost a lot especially high frequency. He showed me several hearing aid options. I ended up getting the kind that has an amplifier that’s behind my ear and has a tube over my ear and into the ear canal with a plastic tip on the end. I sorta wanted the type that is “in ear” but they apparently do not have as much power as I needed. I hated them for the first week or so, but really like them since then. They help me a lot, but in an area with a lot of background noise, hearing is problematic. My first set lasted 4 years. I bought my second set 9 months ago. Batteries last 4-5 days. Tips and ear wax filters 3 weeks or so. I bought Oticon brand. The bad news, they are very expensive, $6000+. Maybe there are cheaper alternatives at Costco or Walmart. Good luck.

From: Trial153
13-Mar-19
Phonak. Thank me later.

From: jjs
13-Mar-19
If you are a vet and 60+, the VA will provide hearing aids.

From: BIGHORN
13-Mar-19
Odicom. I think that is how you spell it. I pick mine up from the VA this month.

From: Mule Power
13-Mar-19
I’ve been going to Costco audiologists for about 12 years. $3000 gets me a pair of behind the ear or in the ear aids. I had behind the ear the first time and hated them. I love my in the ear. You get 1 free replacement set if you lose or destroy them in the first year.

From: Whocares
13-Mar-19
Got mine a year ago. As Straight A said, go to a good audiologist. I went every few years for 10 or 15 and they always said their was no hearing aid that would solve my high frequency loss, only magnify what I already heard. Now with improvements in digital they can help. This place carried several brands, Oticon and Phonak 2 of em. Based on things I like to do and hear etc she said Oticon best for me. Yes, behind the ear and little invisible tube into ear as Dale described. Can hardly see them. Get color to match your hair for you vain guys still chasing women. Cost $5000 for 2 and insurance paid all of $400. But they are great! With the phone app I can easily turn the volume up or down, shows the battery strength in each ear, and if you misplace them the app will show you where they are, even across town!! I can now hear birds singing that I couldn't before. Most important I can hear elk cow cows that I couldn't before. That's what drove me to get them. Out with my son two years ago on a summer pack trip when he said they're answering your cow calls, Dad. I could not hear them. He couldn't believe it Oh, was a good medical expense deduction on taxes this year. They gave me lifetime supply of batteries too. You married guys can turn your wife way down with the app too!

From: 76aggie
13-Mar-19
I have the Oticon as well. These are the first ones that ever really helped me. I first only wanted the ones that were completely in the canal and you could not see them at all. Those did not work for me. Felt like my ears were always plugged up. Had to take them out to hear. I had about three of these type models. Then my wife made me wise up. She sent me to an actual audiologist and not some guy who sold hearing aid on the side. They are not an M.D. but have extensive training in the field. The ones I finally settled on are behind the ear with the clear tube into the ear. Still not totally able to hear what I could when I was younger, but are a tremendous help. My high frequency hearing loss will never be perfect. You have to watch out for some of these clowns as I don't think they are well regulated. Had one guy try to charge me 9K for a set and I checked around and found the same for 3K. A lot of insurance plans do not carry benefits for hearing aids.

13-Mar-19
I was looking for a PhD in Audiology and someone who would talk to me straight about the hearing aids they were recommending. Been going to same guy for the whole 20 years. The software that runs the hearing aid is a bigger discriminating factor than the hardware technology.....they all pretty have the same hardware capability.

From: eddie c
13-Mar-19
Straight Arrow saved me a lot of typing. I'm 58, being wearing aids since I was 14.

From: keepemsharp
13-Mar-19
Go to the VA for mine, it depends some what on what you did and where you served if they will furnish them. Use a brand called Resound, they are completely in the ear. Some don't like that and prefer behind the ear. Will say that with these wind noise is never a problem. They warrant them for five years against breakage or loss.

From: BC
13-Mar-19
I told my good wife for years that I hear just what I want to hear. Once the family put subtitles on the TV so it wouldn't be blaring I gave in. Spent approx 4,000 but worth every penny. They changed everything. Face it, after sixty years old we're way beyond vanity. It's all about utility now. Do it, you'll be glad you did.

From: tobinsghost
13-Mar-19
I just went back to Costco and told them I still can't hear elk and turkeys like my 13 year old. They created a new setting and we are focusing on just high frequency and we'll see how it works at the end of the month in Nebraska. My insurance doesn't cover, so I went to Costco. Good luck

From: keepemsharp
13-Mar-19
My wife and I went to VA for the hearing tests. Told them that mainly I could not hear the female voice. That had not been going over too well for several years. When the results came in the female dr. that tested me said "he cannot hear the female voice". I rest my case.

From: TreeWalker
13-Mar-19

TreeWalker's Link
I have had 4 or 5 sets. My most recent set was from Costco and are amazing. I am now around 90% of hearing I had as a kid. Cost for a pair is under $1600 and are better than the $4500 set I bought 4 years ago. I forget I have the Costco ones on since they fit so well and are so light.

https://www.costco.com/kirkland-signature-hearing-aid.html

From: No Mercy
13-Mar-19
Just got mine today. I got the Phonak M70R. So far I’m loving them. Rechargeable. Bluetooth. And I got the attachment to stream the tv through them. You can control everything from your phone too.

From: 1HankS
13-Mar-19
Straight Arrow X2!!!

13-Mar-19
I would go to someone with a PhD in Audiology. One of the main things is not to wait till you lose word recognition. It's gone once you lose it. My dad waited too long and hearing aids never really help him because his word recognition was less than 10%. Mine is 100% in in one ear and 95% in the other. My doctor said they can keep turning up my hearing aid as I lose hearing and as long as I am wearing the hearing aid, my word recognition should stay the same. My dad had to go with cochlear implants and they are amazing.

From: BIGHORN
14-Mar-19
I'm going to get my new Oticom from the VA on March 27 and with a plug-In for my TV and they are rechargeable. I can only hear about 5% of the words said on the TV. I have not heard birds for it seems like forever. At the present time I have Widex but they breakdown and just don't do the job.

From: Buffalo1
14-Mar-19
If no insurance coverage or VA benefit, save your sales receipt. Your purchase may be a write off item on income tax.

I recommend hearing testing, fitting and maintenance by a certified audiologist.

I have ReSound brand hearing aids and they are connected to and controlled by my iPhone.

Between shooting guns and loud music, I blew my ears out.

Needless to say, I am now a big proponent of wearing ear protectors when around loud noise!

From: WDP
14-Mar-19
Ha, you guys are killing me. I also have a severe hearing loss but only use a flip phone. I don't want to spend extra money for an updated phone....LOL WDP

From: Two Feathers
14-Mar-19
Headed to Green Bay VA today for a 1400 hearing test. My wife will be happy when I can hear. I'll be happy if I can hear the deer walking near my stand.

From: obx
14-Mar-19
I knew that my hearing was not what it should be. TV too loud for my wife, deer on top of me before I heard them and Turkey's had to be close to hear. Went to a PhD in Audiology. I was tested and found to have hearing loss in the high ranges. The Audiologist quoted me hearing aids in the $4-6,000.00 range, but said if I were a veteran they would be free from the VA. I asked the Audiologist what was the quality of the hearing aids from the VA and was told that they were the best. I went to the VA and have never had a better experience. I was fitted with Phonak hearing aids two years ago. Never realized how much l was missing. Could not be happier.

From: lewis
14-Mar-19
Thanks all for the comments I am not a vet failed 2 physicals back in the sixties blown out left knee. I did have a test with the audiologist at Vanderbilt and failed pretty badly particularly in my left ear.Just now starting the research so this has been a big help Lewis

From: PSUhoss
14-Mar-19
My son has been wearing hearing aids since the age of 2. Moderate to severe binaural hearing loss. His loss is also concentrated in the higher pitches.

He is now 9 years old and we have been through three sets of high-end Phonak hearing aids. The first set wasn't terrible (they certainly weren't great), but the last two sets were nothing but problems almost from the time we got them. Will not get another set of junk Phonak aids - ever.

The latest set that we got are Oticon Opn (yes Opn) and they have been absolutely fantastic! With his loss, he requires a behind the ear aid and his Audiologist at Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh ordered model BTE13PP. As others have mentioned, with the Bluetooth technology, it has really provided him with significant benefits. From syncing to our phone, his tablet, ipdod, etc. they have been great. The best benefit for him is that his teacher wears a small connectclip (microphone) that speaks directly to his hearing aids for clear and concise voice communication. It had really made a difference when compared to the old Phonak FM system.

Good luck in your search. There have been a lot of advancements in hearing aids. Lets just hope that there is a breakthrough in stem cell research and there wont be any need for hearing aids in the near future.

From: Inshart
14-Mar-19
Been using hearing aids for at least 20 years. I've been to 4 different audiologists, the very best one, that put me through the most extensive testing was from Costco. I have a 93% hearing loss in my left ear and 85% loss in my right. This is just at a higher frequency decibel level. What I can't hear, unless very close are the cow calls and upper level squeal of the bugle - chuckles and grunts, not toooo bad.

My first hearing aid was over 4 grand - just one. These are under 3 grand for both. The audiologist stated that I should get 4 or more years out of these, mostly due to my deteriorating hearing loss, but also due to the advancement in technology every year.

About 6 years ago I lost one in the woods, I went back and spent over 3 hours looking for it. Contacted Costco, she said they would replace it, no cost, no problems. It was 2 weeks before leaving for my elk hunt and I would not get it prior to leaving. I spent another 2 hours out looking for it and was about to give up and found it so I didn't need the replacement. Called and canceled the replacement aid.

Every year prior to going on my elk hunt I make an appointment and she adjusts the aids for a higher frequency -- we jokingly refer to it as the "elk frequency". The major issue though is with these in, be careful when you let out a bugle, it will feel like the snot will come blasting out your nose when the aids are turned full up.

I have no affiliation to Costco (other than a member of course) but I just can't say enough good about their hearing aid program!!

14-Mar-19
All the hearing aids I have ever bought were replaced free for three years from the date of purchase. I have never permanently lost one......but I have been pretty confused about where they were before. My dad lost a couple....which were replaced for free as well.

From: 76aggie
14-Mar-19
Interestingly enough, I don't wear my hearing aids when hunting. I shoot a recurve. When I release the bowstring, it makes a terribly loud noise. That is what my hearing aids tell me. Others, with normal hearing say my bow is extremely quiet. That has always been very wierd to me.

From: Mule Power
14-Mar-19
Ditto Inshart! I have an elk frequency too. I think people believe they have to go to “a doctor’s office” to get professional testing and care. I’ve had several over the years and Costco is now my go to. I asked my audiologist... is there anyone who doesn’t “lose” there $3000 hearing aids and get the second pair free? He said not many. Lol. I did lose mine last September. I looked for months before making a claim in December. About 3 weeks ago I found them between the drivers seat and center console in my truck. Next time I go I’ll tell him that. I’m wondering if they will still service the original ones.

14-Mar-19
My phone remembers where it last saw each unit and if it can bluetooth to them, it let's me home in on them like a bird dog follows a pheasant. I have many times considered "loosing" them before the 3 year period ends...just can't do it. What can I say.....I'd rather fork out $4G's than get a pair dishonestly I guess.

From: Mule Power
14-Mar-19
The last I saw mine was in Wyoming. I figured they were under 8 feet of snow. But just to be fair I kept looking then gave it months for them to turn up. It seems like the best way to find things is to quit looking. After 4 months I decided I wanted to hear again so I made the claim.3 months after that they turned up.

From: Woods Walker
14-Mar-19
I suppose I should get them for the TV factor, but seeing as there's nothing on the damn thing worth watching anymore why bother.

From: Glunker
14-Mar-19
Wearing head nets and baklava type head coverings make losing a hearing aid easier. Lot one in WY from face mask and another in UT when I got too close to a ground wasp nest. Cosco all the way, no brainer, best warranty.

From: CurveBow
16-Mar-19
I just got my second pair. I have about 90% hearing loss in my left ear from hitting the sidewalk when I was about 7 years old. I was knocked unconscious. My mom took me to the Dr. & he said that I was deaf. I had blood on the inside of my eardrum, indicating inner ear damage from a possible skull fracture. I have also had impaired balance all my life as a result of damage to the cochlea.

My first set of hearing aids I got about 6 years ago. I was totally disappointed as my expectations were unrealistic. After a year or so, I only wore them intermittently. $5,000; no insurance coverage.

My right ear also has age related issues from lots of gun shooting & more. So, I just dropped $5,100 on another pair by Starkey. Custom mold for the left ear as it needed a bigger amplifier. Bluetooth capable for pairing with my iPhone. Really like that feature. Plus, I have a phone app called Thrive that allows me to adjust for normal, crowd, car, wind and I can also make custom adjustments over 4 frequency ranges. These help quite a bit. Plus, they help reduce the Tinnitus I have.

Depending on your loss, they may help a lot or only some. Be realistic; IMHO, its NEVER going to be like when you were a youngster. I got the recent ones from a company called Hearing Health. 0% interest for a year plus free batteries for 3 years.

They also say that they are a 5-year investment. After that, technology changes and its better to move ahead. They used to use microchips, now they have nanochips! The nanaochips make the bluetooth feature possible.

From: Jaeger63
16-Mar-19
I'll be trying out Sportear made by Axil. I went with their high end model. Has noise reduction and is water proof. I'll be trying them out this May during spring turkey season. They have a 30 day money back guarantee. I will also probably get a pair free thru the VA for everyday use but they don't offer any with noise reduction or waterproofing. PM me and give me your phone number and I'll give you an unbiased report on the Sportear.

From: 2 Points
16-Mar-19
VA furnishes my hearing aids and batteries. They are top of the line, blue tooth compatible, with an app to my smart phone. Someone said if I were to buy them, they would be about $6000. Scrappy, don't give up on the VA. It can be a fight but, is worth it.

From: Two Feathers
16-Mar-19
I failed my hearing test last Thursday at VA. My VA hearing aids will be available after March 28th and I'm picking them up April 4th - just in time for a weekend marriage retreat.

From: Ambush
16-Mar-19
I’ve had mine for just over a year. My wife says my hearing has definitely improved, but my listening sure hasn’t.

I have the Resound from Costco. Fairly expensive, but it’s sure nice to hear a buck grunting and wheezing back in the bush again.

From: NYbob
16-Mar-19
What about these hearing aids I see on my computer, like Nano, lots of good reports, I am a vet, during Korea but was never sent over seas so I've always felt guilty about using their benefits.

From: GF
16-Mar-19
Bob - if you’re a Vet, honorably discharged, YOU EARNED IT. Full Stop.

Check your hearing, guys - at a REAL audiologist.

There’s new science that says that once you lose the input, you start losing the processing capacity. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t need any less brain capacity than I have now.

And I know a thing or two about hearing aids and cochlear implants because of my 13-year-old, who has been device-dependent for the past 10 years.

They’re not cheap. Word has it Costco does good work. Good programming can work miracles.

Don’t be stupid. If you need them, get some.

From: Dave
17-Mar-19
Everybody is different and has different needs. I went to 3 different audiologists who all claimed they were experts at determining and recommending the best brand for my needs. However, I soon learned that they don't always recommend the best. They recommend the company that gives them the best kick-backs and incentives. I tried Phonak and Rezound. They didn't have the clarity and options that I have with Oticon. Oticon is what I ended up with. Have had problems with one of the aids and getting a little tired of having to send it back for repairs. They've taken care of it under warranty but it's starting to get a little annoying after three times now. So, take that into consideration.

From: lewis
17-Mar-19
Thanks again all it is quite a daunting task and this information helps a lot Lewis

From: GregE
17-Mar-19
Picked mine up two days ago- walking on gravel really sounds loud! Guessing my brain will adjust after a while.

Tested twice at Costco a couple years apart- they recommended a full audiologist due to the rapid deterioration in R ear. I tried the ENT's best $6500 pair for a week then called VA. Took a couple months and they made me repeat all the various tests but $0 out of pocket.

Behind the ear in gray to match my hair ...... ;)

From: Jaquomo
17-Mar-19
Another Phonak fan here. Going into year three with mine with zero problems. Before these I had the top of the line Siemens, which at the time were super. But as with everything, the technology has greatly improved.

Ditto on going to an Audiologist or two for comparative opinions. Independent ones are best because some big chains like Hearing Rehab Center are commission-based now, so you may not necessarily be getting the best advice for YOU.

From: Tradmike
17-Mar-19
Just got hearing aids from the VA, value was 5k, didn't cost me anything except my service.

From: SB
17-Mar-19
Ahhh...old age. I hear nothing,I see nothing. Life has finally become peacefull!

From: Mule Power
18-Mar-19
“I’m sorry honey my batteries died I was paying attention “ hehe

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