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Musicians with Hearing Aids

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Steve Shaw 05 Nov 15 - 10:07 PM
Allan C. 05 Nov 15 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,Wima 05 Nov 15 - 06:42 AM
Mark Clark 15 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM
EBarnacle 15 Sep 15 - 10:35 AM
Bev and Jerry 14 Sep 15 - 02:12 PM
Louie Roy 14 Sep 15 - 12:16 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Sep 15 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,MikeL2 14 Sep 15 - 05:53 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Sep 15 - 05:07 AM
GUEST 14 Sep 15 - 03:19 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Sep 15 - 08:56 AM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 15 - 02:42 AM
Bernard 11 Feb 12 - 06:13 PM
wysiwyg 11 Feb 12 - 05:33 PM
Allan C. 11 Feb 12 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Sonik tec 10 Feb 12 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,loop 10 Jun 10 - 01:01 AM
Lester 09 Jun 10 - 11:41 AM
DonMeixner 09 Jun 10 - 11:07 AM
Edthefolkie 09 Jun 10 - 10:49 AM
Edthefolkie 09 Jun 10 - 10:41 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 09 Jun 10 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Philippa 09 Jun 10 - 06:56 AM
Joe Offer 08 Jun 10 - 08:12 PM
Allan C. 08 Jun 10 - 07:33 PM
Clontarf83 17 May 10 - 05:08 PM
Allan C. 17 May 10 - 06:17 AM
Alan Day 17 Apr 10 - 05:02 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Apr 10 - 04:22 PM
harpgirl 12 Apr 04 - 10:41 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Mar 04 - 03:46 AM
Steve in Idaho 24 Mar 04 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 04 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,vixen@work 24 Mar 04 - 01:47 PM
Steve Parkes 24 Mar 04 - 04:36 AM
Bassic 23 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 04:48 PM
Red and White Rabbit 23 Mar 04 - 02:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Mar 04 - 01:58 PM
Steve in Idaho 23 Mar 04 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,vixen@work 23 Mar 04 - 01:20 PM
harpgirl 22 Mar 04 - 02:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Mar 04 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Vixen @ work 22 Mar 04 - 10:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 04 - 08:19 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Mar 04 - 07:03 AM
Roger the Skiffler 22 Mar 04 - 03:45 AM
Gern 21 Mar 04 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,rock chick 21 Mar 04 - 07:57 AM
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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Nov 15 - 10:07 PM

Don't keep putting it off is the best of all advice. As soon as you suspect hearing difficulties, see a doctor. It is far easier to deal with hearing loss, and adapt to aids, when the loss is mild. If you leave it for too long, it is far harder to adapt. This is the advice of most specialists who deal with hearing issues.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Allan C.
Date: 05 Nov 15 - 08:33 PM

Some of this has already been said above, but I thought I'd say a few more things about getting hearing aids. Basically, if you suspect you might need them, I do hope you have already made an appointment to get your hearing checked. FWIW I don't, of course, have any idea of your benefit package, if you have one; but you may be surprised to learn that some offer as much as $1,400 PER EAR (yes, ear – not year) toward aids. That is a pretty good reduction in the overall cost.

The technology for hearing aids is continually changing. Because of that I am now on my third set although I continue to use my second set when I'm out fishing or something – just in case I fall in the drink and get the aids wet. (Some of the newer ones, though, can withstand such events.) Although my first aids were from Miracle Ear I switched to a Siemens dealer for the rest. They have served me quite well.

If you haven't already gotten some aids there are some considerations you may want to examine. Mainly, does the company with which you are dealing offer any extras? Mine will even replace some of the parts for free if they become defective. Actually, they'll replace all of the parts for free for a year or two. They also offer free appointments every six months at first and then annually later for the purpose of aid cleaning and for performing any needed tune-ups. Yes, they need tweaking from time to time as your hearing changes. Or you may at first need quite a bit of tuning to get them just right for your needs.

Something that isn't much mentioned in the discussion so far is the frustration of others who patiently (or not) put up with having to repeat themselves because you lost the last part of their sentence while attempting to figure out what you think you heard in the first part from context. This happens even more when the speaker changes topics and you no longer have a context to work from.

As I mentioned above, the technology has changed quite a lot since my first hearing aids many years ago. I particularly like the Bluetooth capability. It is truly wonderful to have TV or music played directly into my head by way of my aids.

BTW, I was quietly informed by a friendly source some years ago that you can sometimes negotiate a better deal with your hearing aid salesperson. Acting upon this suggestion, I got the company to throw in the Bluetooth setup for FREE.

Another thing that is often overlooked in discussions about hearing aids is what else they do for your hearing. When your existing hearing is stimulated by the aids' augmentation of some of the diminished frequencies, some of those frequencies actually become more audible EVEN WHEN YOU'RE NOT WEARING THE AIDS! (Note: this isn't true for everyone.) I didn't actually know about this factor even though I noticed it and even remarked about it long ago in an early post in this thread. "The odd thing is (and I have spoken to other aid wearers who have experienced the same thing) after wearing the aids for a period of time, say a week or two, it seems as though my ears somehow re-learn how to hear some of the sounds I have been missing." A ramification of this is that if your brain hasn't processed sounds of a particular frequency it "forgets" how to hear it and over time this "forgetting" becomes permanent. What this means (for many people) in plain terms is that the longer one delays in getting hearing aids the more irretrievable their hearing becomes.

Don't keep putting it off!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,Wima
Date: 05 Nov 15 - 06:42 AM

I got mine from westside audiology, I have a mild hearing loss so I chose the CIC completely-in-the-canal hearing aid( http://www.westsideaudiology.com/hearing-aids/hearing-aid-styles/ ). It is a tiny custom style hearing aid in the ear canal offering very good cosmetics and comfort. The best think I like of it is that it doesn't show when I wear them.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Mark Clark
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 03:02 PM

I've worn hearing aids now for eight years. I got them because my frequency loss is in the range of the consonants in human speech and it was becoming difficult to understand people with soft voices or unclear consonants. I can still hear very soft sounds and some pretty high frequencies but I much prefer the added volume of the aids and wear them at all times, even while performing.

My aids are by the German company, ReSound. They sit on the back of my ears with a tiny tube going into my hearing canal. There is a soft umbrella-shaped piece on the end of each tube that centers the audio tube and is acoustically transparent so that ambient sound enters as well. The aids each have two mics, one front-pointing and one rear-pointing. That enables me to know the direction that sound is coming from. In tests, I can place sound quite accurately.

the ReSound aids I use are sold in the US state of Iowa under the brand name "Concept of Iowa." I don't know whether they are different than the standard ReSound aids in 2007 or simply re-branded. They use rechargeable batteries and came with a recharger that I can just insert the aids into at night. I think ReSound has since abandoned the recharger idea.

My aids are programmed to provide different amplification at different frequencies to match the results of my hearing tests. I am retested periodically to see if the programs need to change. There are separate programs for each ear.

My aids listed at $5,000 for the pair in 2007 but there was a $1,000 discount for me. There was no insurance coverage available to me, I simply paid for them myself over a year's time. I think similar (but more advanced) aids would list at around $6,000 today.

During the last couple of years, I've been part of a study at the University of Iowa trying to measure the effectiveness of various brands of aids for older people. (That would be me.) I've been tested at length with many brands of aids (including my own) with many different features. I don't get to see the results of the whole study as it's being conducted for particular clients on a grant. The researchers did, however, mention to me that they were very impressed with the aids I have.

My wife, Joy, (a wonderful fiddle player) also has aids but doesn't wear them all the time. Her high frequency loss is greater than mine. Hers are also high-end (~$6,000) aids that are provided to her by the Veterans Administration. I think they may be Phonak aids. They are programmable too and have BlueTooth built in. Joy's problem is that when playing her fiddle, she's leaning her ear over her fiddle and it makes listing very uncomfortable for her. The VA has audiologists and can provide a selection of different programs to fit different situations but they aren't really used to accommodating the needs of musicians. We may go back and see if there is someone willing to spend the time necessary to get this worked out.

Except for Joy's situation, I encourage every musician with hearing loss to find a reputable hearing center and look into a high-end set of aids. I think you'll be glad you did. Aids that are less than top-end may help with general hearing loss, rather like the horns of old, but especially if you're a musician, general amplification isn't going to get you where you want to be. Sometime high-tech solutions are the way to go.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Sep 15 - 10:35 AM

I finally accepted reality and got my first set of Siemens bte aids. I can hear again!
My union has a deal with the State of NY and an insurance program called EPIC. The state covered $1500 per ear and EPIC's discount brought the cost to me down to a total of $1400. They might be available to some of you who have other programs.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 02:12 PM

Jerry has been wearing hearing aids for a year and a half and he loves them. He can now hear both Bev and himself better so our singing has improved. His have four different frequency response curves which he can select depending on conditions and, most of the time, he now hears better than Bev does - especially in noisy restaurants.

To answer Joe's question, there are bluetooth devices available for most hearing aids which allow the wearer to adjust the level independently of the system level. These are generally sold by the hearing aid manufacturer as an accessory and cost in the range of $200-$300. They generally require no electrical connection to the system.
Here is an example. We've not tried one so we can't say about the quality of the sound.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Louie Roy
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 12:16 PM

I've worn hearing aid for at least 10 years and I have no difficulty backing up fiddle players or other singers but it is impossible for me to try to sing a song with them in my ears. So I take them out and put them in my shirt pocket and sing my song then put them back in or leave them out for the next person in the group.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 06:34 AM

Thanks for that valuable advice, Mike.

By sheer coincidence, I'm just off to the medical centre for me next lot of batteries!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 05:53 AM

Hi Steve

I too wear two hearing aids and like you suffer from losing high frequencies. It came very gradually to me but like you and others here I now have great difficulties with them. I have especially difficulty in joining in with other musicians.

I used to sing but although I got over throat cancer which left me with some pitching difficulties , I did manage to get round it. But the hearing aids make it extremely difficult to play and sing, especially with others.

I did try some VERY expensive hearing aids on trial and I found them no better that my National Health ones. Maybe cosmetically better in that they were more invisible but for music purposes they were not an improvement for me.

I have no problem with people seeing that I wear aids, indeed in some ways it helps. People who notice tend to speak more clearly when they see them.

I wouldn't recommend buying expensive replacements, certainly not without having an extensive trial - and not just the demonstration provided by most of the Hearing Aid Companies.

Regards

Mike


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 05:07 AM

Good luck! I'd be interested to hear how you get on. I do get issues with my aids which I suspect I wouldn't get if I were to pay thousands of pounds for new ones.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 15 - 03:19 AM

I, too, lost all my high frequencies a number of years ago. Digital aids do help but I'll never get my full hearing back.I still play in sessions but can appreciate the comment about the aural wash

Am going for some new aids this Thursday which should improve things but, at the price they are, they ought to!

R


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Sep 15 - 08:56 AM

I have lost my high frequencies. I've worn hearing aids for over three years and have adapted very well to them, but I gave up playing in pub sessions a year ago because I can no longer pick out particular instruments to latch on to and interact with. I could probably get by very well with melody players only, but as soon as the strummers and pluckers kick in all I hear is an amorphous wash of sound.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 15 - 02:42 AM

So, it's a while later now, and I'm wondering if there are new, better devices. I did sound tonight for a couple performers, and the primary singer has hearing aids in both ears and needed to have a monitor. Is there now a satisfactory, music-quality device that I could have plugged into the line out of the PA system, something that would make a quality radio connection to her hearing aid?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:13 PM

Sonik tec... I've not come across problems with hearing aids and synthesizers, but induction loops in churches and other public buildings can have issues with amplified instruments, particularly with reverb springs and magnetic pickups, also with unbalanced signal lines, and with dynamic microphones.

Unfortunately there are no guaranteed easy fixes because of the way reverb springs and pickups work, although using a DI box to balance the signal line usually sorts that problem. Dynamic microphones shouldn't really be used (although they can be okay if set up carefully)... electrets are recommended.

Many years ago I was called back to a theatre where we had installed a new loop system. They were having horrendous and unpredictable feedback problems... it turned out that someone had brought in an old Hammond organ (complete with reverb spring) and had connected it to the sound system without first checking that it was okay to do so... which isn't unreasonable, but undesirable!

It cost the theatre a call-out charge and mileage costs for a 150 mile round trip, though, as the equipment we had installed wasn't actually faulty.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 05:33 PM

I never suspected what a challenge this would be for our band's founder. Thanks for all the info!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Allan C.
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:54 AM

Sonic, the easy answer is "no" but I am curious as to why you ask. What problems, if any, have you encountered?


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,Sonik tec
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 03:32 PM

Hello
Do any of You have experience with Hearing aids and Synthesizers (Moog, Roland tb303, Access Virus etc..)

Thank YOu


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,loop
Date: 10 Jun 10 - 01:01 AM

the phone company provided a loop that lets me hear my iPod through my hearing aids. I still don't hear normally, but it's a great improvement.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Lester
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 11:41 AM

The Sainted Mrs Bailey wears aids and plays Hammer Dulcimer. To aid here along we have rigged a pickup and amp to drive an inductive loop for one aid and the other ear is set to listen to the rest of the band. Seems to work fine. Mind you they are v expensive aids.

EdtheFolkie - you are entitled to free batteries on NHS if in the UK


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 11:07 AM

I have a 70% hearing loss. My right ear is completely gone and my left ear is down in several frquencies. My residual hearing is quite directional.   I have lived with this for 55 years. I play guitar, banjo, Autoharp, and harmonica in a couple of bands. We use Shure in ear monitors that I can control the volume on. Unless I completely lose my hearing or have it dimished to the point of non functionality I have no plans to get hearing aids.

What I hear is what I am used to. I have no tinitus to worry about. For my needs it is quite acceptable right now. My ENT is a guitarist and we discuss music and hearing quite a bit. He tells me that my auditory nerve in my right ear is functional and undamaged. He could do a reconstruction that would "Turn ON" the ear. But I would probably suffer from un ending tinitus as a result. I would have to weigh some pluses and minuses. He suggests I leave things as they are as long as I am OK with it. The hearing aids he suggests for me that would allow me to have zero impact on my performing are in the $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 dollar range. My insurance would cover about 50% of that expense. I am told my singing and playing is OK so I don't go adventuring into trying to make things better.

My point is hearing loss is an individual thing. Not every one needs to hear better even tho' they clearly have a situation that others might see as a problem. And many things must be considered before the expense is paid.

Don


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 10:49 AM

I should have said that ill fitting hearing aids can be a cause of the feedback and whistling Joe mentioned. It should not happen in normal service.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 10:41 AM

I go along with what recent posters have said. I had a single UK NHS analogue hearing aid when my hearing was first diagnosed as shot, and it was "sort of" OK. Unfortunately there was no automatic upgrade path to digital - my local health authority hung on as long as possible before changing, and made their "drop in" centre appointment only - the reason they gave was that digital was much more expensive and needed more work by them. Yeah, right.

So I forked out nearly £3000 privately for a couple of in ear Siemens aids. These have only 3 channels, unlike Allan C's 5, but are still pretty damn good and have E2E like his. I also have an unobtrusive remote control - which is superb - but it's so unobtrusive I keep forgetting to take it with me!

I'd urge anybody with problems not to put off an audiology appointment as I did for a few years. It's not your fault that your hearing's bad - it doesn't mean you're stupid - and a good aid or two can make all the difference.

AND - you MUST insure your aids.

The downsides:

Hearing aids can never quite make your hearing the same as it was when you were 20.

Even when set for the music channel my aids are a bit "toppy".

I have managed to break the shells on both of them at different times. Apparently this is par for the course as an old friend has had his reshelled about 6 times! Although mine are insured, it was cheaper to cough up the resultant charge myself because of the insurance excess.

Battery replacement is fiddly and the compartments can break - £10 a time. Batteries are dirt cheap though.

They stop working if you go swimming in them! The above friend has done this twice.

In ear aids can get a bit clogged (yeurch, sorry), causing the shut in sensation, but Siemens aids have a tiny replaceable filter thingy which minimises this. They have just brought out a new version of the filter which is less vulnerable, also green instead of white so you can tell!

I think Clontarf83's problems may be fixable, but one does need to keep badgering the audiologist to set up the aids correctly. They also should mould the things correctly in the first place - they don't always fit exactly.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 09:40 AM

My husband has had a very difficult and challenging time finding the right hearing aids that won't distort his fiddle playing. For awhile he was trying the most sophisticated, top-of-the-line (expensive!!!) aids, but found that it was over-kill. Now he's got a mid-range pair that seem to work just fine. The audiologist explained that hearing aids are really developed to work with speech frequencies, and that the "music" setting is for listening to recorded or electronically amplified music. She's delighted with my husband, who has such a sensitive ear and is so articulate about what he is hearing.
But what a journey this has been!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 09 Jun 10 - 06:56 AM

Nobody has mentioned the physical discomfort of wearing hearing aids; I thought that was often a problem?

re cochlear implants which have been mentioned twice in this discussion thread: as I understand it,there isn't just a "risk" of destroying any existent hearing but an inevitability so they would only be used for profound loss. People with implants have to use an external hearing aid linked to the implant. Adults find it very difficult to learn to recognise the new sounds - implants work better for deaf children than for deaf adults. The friend of mine who has an implant says it is useless for music; he has to take it out when listening to music (He has an ordinary hearing aid for his other ear that doesn't have an implant). He plays guitar by using electronic tuner and memorizing chords and he sings rather out of tune.

I read about a profoundly deaf boy who hopes to become a professional cello player, but I note that he is looking towards a career as a soloist. (see message above from Red and White Rabbit)


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 08:12 PM

One thing I've noticed, especially in choirs, is that some people have hearing aids that feed back and cause a whistle that everybody can hear. It seems to happen mostly when they get close to other people, link on risers for a choir.
Why?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Allan C.
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 07:33 PM

Foolestroupe posted this in another thread. It seemed appropriate to paste it here:

A man was telling his neighbor, 'I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art.. It's perfect.'
'Really,' answered the neighbor . 'What kind is it?'
'Twelve thirty..'


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Clontarf83
Date: 17 May 10 - 05:08 PM

I have hearing aids--in- the- canal type. My high frequency hearing is shot--my charts look like a ski hill.

I play in a three person band. I sing and play guitar, and there is a fiddle and Irish whistle and harmonica.

I'm having all kinds of problems. When I have both aids in, my guitar sounds incredibly harsh, and when I sing, its like being in a sound booth. The frequencies of the whistle and fiddle make my hearing aids ring with feedback, and my tuning is unreliable as I pick up overtones.

Apart from that its a barrel of laughs. I usually end up going with one hearing aid.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Allan C.
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:17 AM

Not very long ago I spent more money than I want to think about on the latest technology from Siemens. I am very pleased with my "Pure 700 RIC BTE" hearing aids. Each has been individually tuned to enhance those frequencies that one or the other ear is unable to pick up adequately. That's just great - but there's more. These things have 5 channels!
What that means is that the technicians are able to customize each channel to accommodate certain situational needs. For me, Channel 1 is simply the normal setting that is needed for the average situation. Channel 2 is set to the particular pitches of my wife's voice. Channel 3 is set to dampen all but the normal speech frequencies, thus reducing the reception of loud machinery noises while allowing me to hear people talking. My Channel 4 is set to enhance musical sounds, giving a little extra push to the frequencies my hearing lacks, allowing me to hear pretty much the whole range of musical sound. Channel 5 is set for the "Tek wireless enhancement". I can plug in a very small transmitter into the TV or even the stereo, then, by way of an equally small, portable remote control, I can listen to whatever the transmitter broadcasts directly into my hearing aids while nobody else hears anything at all. (My wife really likes this feature. She really doesn't like hearing the TV at all.)

Channels are switched by way of a small button on the aids. The aids are able to "talk to one another" and so one only needs to push the button on one aid to change the channels on both.

The aids, themselves are of the "behind the ear" design. The receivers are fairly small and are colored to more or less blend in with one's hair color. (I believe they have brown, gray or tan.) Small wires extend from the receivers to a small knobby thing that fits into the ear canal. It is really very unobtrusive.

What I like about this set of hearing aides over the ones I used to have is that ambient sound is not entirely blocked by them. There is no more of the "head in the bucket" sort of thing and no more having to guess whether I am singing loud enough or too loud.

Of course, I wish the price weren't so steep. But I couldn't be happier with this technology - especially the ability to switch channels for different situations. My wife definitely appreciates not having to repeat herself so much!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 05:02 AM

I think for me Allan C posting just about summed up many of my problems. Partial hearing loss many people cannot cope with. Sorting out the odd sentence makes people think you are hearing perfectly well, but just not concentrating on what is being said to you. Of course as has been said very often you guess what is being said to you only to get a puzzled look back or a question asked that you reply yes to when they are waiting for a reply.For me my music is not affected (I think)I play with a guitarist (Will Fly) and I can hear him quite clearly, it is the banter, that I used to be so good at, I cannot pick up now, I dread questions being asked by the audience.
I recently held a party at my house ,one chap was not talking to anybody, so being the host,I started talking to him, he had a hearing problem which we discussed, he later told me that he had been dreading going to our party because of his problem. He thanked me afterwards for our discussion.
As a side issue please remember that when you talk to a blind person ,introduce yourself to them. They cannot see you so he/she does not know you are talking to them.
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 04:22 PM

Can anyone in the US help with the advisability of going with an independent company (in our case, Avada Audiology, which admittedly has no doctors, only "hearing instrument specialists") versus paying for a hearing test with a medical audiologist AND paying thousands for hearing aids (the Avada testing was at no charge- the hearing aids Hunt tried were nearly $7K!!). The test was very comprehensive and very revealing, but oh, the expense of the little devices! But Hut was so amazed an overjoyed at what he could hear with the demo models- I want him to be able to hear like that all the time!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 10:41 AM

Don, this thread helped me a great deal..


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 03:46 AM

1)Thanks, Kevin, for that link it seems my local hospitals do digital aids if I find I need one.
2)Steve, you're falling apart, mate, check yourself into the NYCFTTS and join the "March 'n' Drool kazoo band"!

RtS
(Sorry, dear I didn't hear that)


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 04:32 PM

Learn something new everyday. Headphones for microphones - who would of thunk it

Steve


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 04:13 PM

Got to try that - it sounds like the kind of thing some bright spark always comes up with in a crisis in Star Trek, to get them out of trouble. "It sounds crazy - but it just might work..."


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,vixen@work
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 01:47 PM

OK---

This was back in the 70's, remember, when people did strange things and forgot about them...

I wanted to record my cat purring (you'll find out why in a moment). The cat wanted no part of purring into the mic. So I hooked up my (at the time) ultralightweight Sennheiser headphones to the mic jack, put the cat in my lap with the headphones, and recorded about 10 minutes of purring. NOTE: The cat was in no way harmed in this process--she actually LIKED it.

Later that night, when everyone at the party was...(you know how parties went back then?)...I played back the purring tape at normal party music volume. The various reactions were, to understate things a bit, interesting.

So now you know...don't ask me why I did this...I just thought it would be funny, and, in the event, it was. I'm not usually a "practical joker" but I admit I do unusual things sometimes...

V


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 04:36 AM

You can buy induction loop kits for use at home in sizes ranging from very small to very big, but they are very expensive. Here are the instructions for making your own induction loop with Radio Shack parts, and here's a repeat of the link to Sense-sonic from my ealier post (very good, but pricy).

I emailed Marshall Amps ages ago to see if they had any kit -- or suggestions -- for hearing-impaired musicians, and never got a reply. There are many deaf rockers out there, so I know it's something they ought to know about.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Bassic
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM

McGrath, it does work, not brilliantly but it does work....I remember doing it as a poor student with the cassette unit on my hifi when I wanted to record something and had no mike. I just plugged the headphone into the mic socket and talked into the earpiece. Hey presto....instant mike!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:48 PM

like using headphones as a mic by plugging them into the mic jack instead of the headphone jack>/I>

What happened?


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 02:35 PM

those of you who want to try out using stereos with hearings aids or linking into amps might want to talk to Connevans or Phonic Ear. They used to do radio systems that linked up to stereos etc. The new MLX radio systems that work with analogue hearing aids can be connected to TV's and walkman so I guess they will have an adapter for stereos and amps. There is also a system called a portable sound field for those of you who are 'listeners' you can postition the mic which is directional at the front ot the room and then you have the speaker which is about the size of a pencil case next to you - helps if you want to go to concerts and you are not sure if they have a loop etc.

I teach deaf children music and one of the best pionists I ever met was deaf - she could feel the music. I think with people who go deaf suddenly or over time the experience is very different. You have lost a main sense and cant compensate with the feel of the vibrations as easily - low tone instruments are the best - violas/ cellos if you have the space/ double bass/ bass guitars dare I say bodhrans or buffalo drums or any instrument that has really good vibrations through its case etc. Its then a question of practicing to get the feel of the instrument. Sining takes a lot of practice using a tuner - guitar tuner - that lights of when you get the right pitch can help you practice getting the right starting note.

Asking people to be honest with you is another great help. Sometimes you are worse than you think sometimes you are better but if people dont tell you you cant improve.

As for cochlear implants - beware - unlike digital aids they change sound to an electronic noise ( Dalek like) rather than condensing sounds into your hearing range. They are very effective but you have to learn to interpret the new sounds and it is not a quick fix.

For those of you in the UK Rock chicks advice about checking out access to work is great - a friend had her new digital aids paid for by access to work and she is thrilled.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 01:58 PM

Thanks, Vixen. I have copied your idea and will try it out on 'sound' people here.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 01:47 PM

Lost part of my hearing from artillery explosions. And probably too much gunfire around me. I went to the VA, Janet got tired of my, "Say again Hon?" They found some mild scarring in the right ear and frequency loss in both.

The VA got me a set of Starkey CC ite, vented, hearing aids. The first set had no volume control and I didn't care for them. The set I have now has a volume control and I absolutely love them.

My own personal monitor speakers for my voice. I can tell when I'm getting nasaly with my voice and am able to yodel better, I was never very good at yodeling, but it's an improvement. I am profoundly appreciative of the two fine instruments I play as I can actually hear them now.

So singing has seen an improvement with the aids. And my playing is more fun because I can actually hear all of the little nuances I missed before. Large crowds don't seem to be that big of a deal. As long as I focus on who, or what, I am listening to there does not seem to be any problems. But that is something I've overcome by learning how to use my ears correctly. I think when I first got them I was just overwhelmed with the noise. Now it's just part of the sounds I live in.

I would not go back to singing or playing without my aids again. I can play longer without having my ears burn out. And my pitch is much improved. I think I had pretty good pitch before but I notice the difference now.

Just my .02 worth

Steve


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,vixen@work
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 01:20 PM

Q--

Just a thought, I haven't tried it myself, but I tend to try odd things any way--like using headphones as a mic by plugging them into the mic jack instead of the headphone jack.

Here's the actual thought about your question.

Get a signal splitter cable of the sort that will plug into the L and R channel jacks. The other end will no doubt be the wrong gender to accommodate your headphone jack, but you can buy what I call a "gender bender"--a female-to-female or male-to-male connector--(I'm guessing you'll need a f2f) and connect the splitter cable to the earphone cable.

I don't know what your signal quality will be, but it's worth a try...the cable and connector together will probably run you about $10 at Radio Shack here in the states. If you're across the pond, your guess is better than mine.

Just $0.02, fwiw. Good luck.

V


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: harpgirl
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 02:03 PM

thanks for the info and kind words, Vixen, Kevin and all...very informative and helpful...harpy


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 01:51 PM

What I was wondering about was a stereo feed to a single earphone, so that both channels are heard in the one earphone (now that everything is so miniaturized). Is that possible?


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,Vixen @ work
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:37 AM

Dear Harpgirl--

Here are some of my own thoughts and some answers to your questions..

There is no way (yet) to repair aural nerve damage. I have a lot of hope for stem cell research, but at this point in time there is nothing.

I have found that hearing aids, both analog and digital, within their limitations, vastly improve what I hear. You will hear background noise amplified, but your brain already knows how to filter that out, and it will probably learn to compensate with the aids. In addition, the digital aids offer a programmable feature called "sound compression" so that really loud sounds get damped down. If the whistles and humming cicadas are tinnitus or "head noise" they will get drowned out by the aids; if they are actual sounds from outside, and you get digital aids they will get amplified only if they fall in the frequency ranges that you need to have amplified. If you get analog aids, they will get amplified no matter what, but your brain will learn to filter them out, as it does now.

Hearing, as someone mentioned above, fluctuates with several variables--atmospheric pressure, sinus congestion, earwax, etc. You should perform fairly consistently from hearing test to hearing test, but I imagine the standard deviation of such tests would, because of the variables, be difficult to determine.

When all is lost, and an ear is complete deaf, there is a procedure called a cochlear implant, which puts the electronics right inside your skull. It's my understanding that this is very expensive, and is only undertaken when there is no danger of damaging any remnant of hearing, because it is a very risky procedure.

Finally, my inspiration for most of my musical life has been an image of Beethoven, lying on the floor beside his legless piano, composing symphonies. However, three weeks ago I met a young woman with an 80% bilateral hearing loss, who has lived with this level of impairment since birth, and who has only analog hearing aids. She is the organist at a church, plays the piano, and conducts the adult and childrens' choirs and the adult and childrens' bell choirs. She says she can "feel" the harmonies and the music.

Finally, getting vented aids, either ITE (in the ear) or BTE (behind the ear) is essential to mitigating the "head in a bucket" effect and taking care of the air pressure and temperature differential issues. Some people have no problem with these things, others, like myself and Sir Roger above, get "irritable." That's an understatement, I think. The totally occluding earmolds send me through irritable, through cranky, to downright crabby and cross in no time.

I hope that's helpful. If it's any comfort, we're all going to suffer some circumscription of our abilities as we age...as infirmities go, progressive hearing loss is not, in my opinion, any where near the worst.

V


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 08:19 AM

I recently had an audiology test at our local NHS audiology unit, and gather I've got poor reception at high-frequencies, so they measured me up for a hearing aid. I asked about digital, and was told that they didn't supply them.

But afterwards I did my homework, and discovered that in fact there's now what they call "a rolling programme" for all NHS audiology units to supply them (Modernising Hearing Aid Services (MHAS) website) - and that the unit I'd gone to was the only one in Essex that isn't on this year, though it will be next year. (And here is the RNID website, which is also useful.)

So I've written back to them and told them I'd sooner wait until next year, so as to make sure I can be prescribed what suits me best, rather than having them limited to analogy hearing aids only. (The NHS lend out the hearing aids, but once they let you have one they won't replace it for three years unless your hearing has significantly deteriorated.)

The hearing loss doesn't seem to affect me much with music - it just means I can't pick up some of the dialogue in movies and TV.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:03 AM

First of all: Q -- if you get stereo phones with a mono/stereo switch, you may damage your hi-fi by setting the phones to to mono, unless you switch your hi-fi to mono too. It's never happened to me (yet), but if you have an expensive set it's better to be safe than sorry.

Harpgirl ... I have moderate high-freq loss in both ears. I just have the one (analogue) aid, which I can wear in either ear. I got it through the British NHS, who are only now starting to make digital ones availabke (I'll have to wait three years for one of those, or pay for one privately).

I can tell you that the analogue ones can make things worse: the background noise is amplified too, and the problem of separating speech from noise doesn't get any better. I'm told the digital ones do help with this. It took me a month or two before I started to get used to using my aid, and I still occasionally have situations where I can't get a comfortable level. Music especially was troublesome; it's not perfect now, and I think it's my perception that has adjusted itself, rather than my handling of the volume control. The big problem I have musically is hearing my instrument over the others; the Conversor (see above) helps here, but it's not always easy to find a place for it. Non-musically, my ears are my biggest problem [yuckiness warning!!]: they get rather runny with wax after being stopped up with the ear-piece all day, and sometimes one or both can be inflamed for a day or more, which prevents me using that side.

Don't be too alarmed! Most people don't seem to suffer all the troubles I do, and you'll probably adjust without much difficulty. Good luck!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 03:45 AM

I was pleased with the results the Boots digital hearing aid service gave my father who had severe hearing loss. It did cost me a lot of money but at least we can now communicate by phone. If only he'd stop dropping and treading on his aid he'd be a lot better!
I fear I must do something about my left ear tinnitus/ hearing loss before Herself strangles me for making her to repeat herself all the time.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: Gern
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 09:17 AM

I have major loss in both ears, resulting from genetics, measles and loud music. Tinnitus and high tone loss come from playing music, sadly more damaging to hearing already impaired. After considerable experimenting, I have settled on digital hearing aids: Phonax brand. Very expensive, with no insurance help, which is quite typical. These have pre-set programs to trigger compressors and handle situations with competing noise. My music is now entirely acoustic, and the aids have helped a lot. It's a miserable thing for someone who loves music, and it's very difficult to cope with socially. Hearing loss is also very difficult for loved ones to live with, because we retreat and give up when communication becomes too frustrating. I sympathize with the many who have posted here.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with Hearing Aids
From: GUEST,rock chick
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 07:57 AM

You were lucky Roger, I work with the deaf and hard of hearing, quite a few of these people I know have gone privately for digital aids and have ended up with very bad fittings etc, don't get me wrong there are a lot of companies out there who are very good. If you are lucky enough to live in the area where the NHS are doing the digital aids you may be able to get one, having said that once a NHS hospital has been chosen to do the digital aids it takes time to install the equipment and to train the staff, so it could be a year before they start issuing them, then of course you have the waiting list.

IF you find your hearing loss is effecting your work you are able to claim help through 'Access to Work' you have to contact your DEA (Disability Employment Advisor) at the Job centre Plus office local to you, they will in turn go through the paper work involved, you will then get assessed by an assessment office (like myself) to visit you at your place of work and to establish what equipment would be helpful, if any, this could also include the possibility of a digital aid, a report is written by the assessment officer, it is then down to Access to Work pays a proportion of the cost of support together with your employers, they may ask for a contribution from yourself for digital aids, however this can still be cheaper then funding it all yourself. You can find all this information the Job Centre Plus web site, www.jobcentreplus.com under Access to Work.

This is only the basic information have a read of the web site for the full blown version, it could save you a great deal of money, and improve your situation greatly.


rc


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