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Old 08-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

Hi all,

I've had severe hearing loss in my right ear. At this point, even a hearing aid won't do much in helping me understand speech. I've learned to adapt with this over the years. Still have problems in meetings, social situations, restaraunts, telling direction, etc...

I went in for an audiology appointment today for a check-up and to see if there was a possibility that one of those newer digital hearing aids might help with my right ear. Just wanted to know my options. No luck there.

What scares me is that I've had significant loss of hearing in my "good" left ear over that last two years. My speech discrimination has gotten bad enough that the doc recommended a hearing aid for that ear. Because I don't have the hearing in the other ear, losing hearing in my good ear really scares me. I've tried to be careful to protect that hearing all my life. What also scares me is how fast I lost the hearing. I was still normal two years ago. It also scares me that I missed the signs that my hearing was getting worse. Looking back over the last year though, I can see some signs.

Another thing that is really bumming me out today is that I can't afford to get an aid right now. It will be about 6 months before I can even arrange to make payments because of a bunch of other medical bills I currently have.

This visit was with a new audiologist. I do plan on scheduling a visit to get a second opinion. Outside of that, I need to plan out how to deal with this loss.

Anyone with advice on how to get my mind around this to cope with the news and with the actual hearing loss? I work in a very social job so any work advice would be welcome also.

Thanks,
MountainReader

 
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

Sorry about your hearing loss, mine dropped off really quickly in my left ear about 6 years ago. My hearing aids work very well for me even though I have a 70db - 90 db loss. An audiologist can tell you if they will work for you. Here are a couple of things I learned:

If your work offers a flex-spending plan you will save alot of money doing your purchase that way.

There are a lot of audiologists that will sell you a $3000 aid that is identical to the $1000generic brand.

My best experience has been with the big wholesale club store that has an audiologist inside of it. First hearing test was free, I got the generic brand X made by the same big name hearing aid company for thousands less. They have a 90 day moneyback return policy.

I first had the CIC type for vanity, but now I have the RIC type and they are really much better in noisy places.

Good luck

 
Old 09-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

I can't do much to help, but I can tell you that I understand. I have early hearing loss, well earlier then I should have and understand how frustrating it is, not to be able to hear properly.
I don't want to discourage you, but I have 2 of the newer digitals and from what the Audiologist told me, that the older ones work best. Of course this could have changed in the last year as technology changes every day. I have over 50% hearing loss in both ears..and hearing Aids help with some tones, but I still have a problem hearing soft spoken women's voices. It's so frustrating. Still I have to say that I am better off with HA's then without them.


Good luck with yours.

I wish you the best.

 
Old 09-21-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

Thanks for your responses. I know I'm not alone, but don't really know anyone who can relate. It is especially tough at work. I've been upfront with my right ear loss for years and co-workers constantly forget. I know when I miss stuff and they don't realize it it colors their view of me.

I got a second opinion from a highly recommended Audiologist. She recommended 2 aids at the top end of the digital spectrum. Both with RIC's. At 100db, I can discern 30% speech in my right ear. I couldn't get anywhere near that with the old style HA's that I tested over the years. My left ear I can get to 100% discrimination at 60db's.

I tested the HA's for a week. Hated giving them up. I noticed tons of difference. The left ear helped me function better. The right ear would take a lot of adapting. I've gone my whole life without using it for speech or sound triangulating. I need to form some new brain connections.

Just need to come up with about $4800 for the aids and volume control remote. Until I can afford them, I still have to adapt and be extra careful I don't miss stuff.

I worry about the loss though. I'm in my 30's, I've avoided exposure to loud noises since I was young because I worried about my "good" ear. I don't have a reason why the sudden loss and worry about if it will continue to decline as fast.

 
Old 09-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

They are expensive, I just got mine after having my husband cash in one of our RRSP's, plus I got $500 from his insurance. Mine cost $4280 for the pair. Our pharmacare offers no help for the hearing impaired unless you they are under 18 years of age.

I'm curious, and maybe it is written in one of your posts, what kind of hearing loss do you have, conductive or sensorineural or both? Mine is a permanent loss ( sensoneural) or so they say.

 
Old 09-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

My loss is permenant also. I didn't actually talk to my Audiologist about my type of hearing loss on my last visit. I'd say my hearing loss is mixed in my right ear. It is sensorineural in the left ear.

Although it wasn't discovered until I was 6, I was a preemie born with the severe loss in my right ear. The hearing loss in my left ear has taken place over the last two years since my last hearing test.

 
Old 09-23-2009, 07:38 AM   #7
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

My son was also born without any usable hearing in his left ear. I worry about him because I know what it's like to be over half deaf, can only imagine when he gets older and starts losing the usable hearing in his good ear? I feel for you also.

When you went to the audiologist and you had your hearing tested, did you not get a graph or a paper explaining your results. I have sensorineural ticked off on mine.

It's good to know because some types of hearing loss are reversible. Even if you have mixed and a small part is reversible, then that is a glimmer of hope within itself.

All the best,

 
Old 09-23-2009, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Coping with newly discovered hearing loss

Mountain reader,

I'm glad that the hearing aids helped you. I had a quote for $6000 from an audiologist. I took the results of that hearing test to Costco and got their top of the line RIC's with the 65db receivers for $3400 with remote. Made by the same manufacturor but with a different name. Came with a 2 year warranty that includes loss! I am not trying to make a commercial for a store, but if someones quality of life is suffering while they struggle to pay for hearing aids, I have to speak up! Costco will also let you return within 90 days for a full refund, so there's not much risk. Good luck!

 
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