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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The time has come for hearing aids. I have had a test from one company, Beltone, and have another scheduled for next Tuesday. I need some input from riders who have and wear hearing aids. What should I expect? Are there things I should avoid? How does the wind effect the hearing aids. Do you wear them while using your helmet mounted communications/music gear? Did you buy "top of the line" or less expensive versions, and why?

Your input will be deeply appreciated. Getting old ain't for sissy's.

Chief
 

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Hi Chief! I just went through this but I'm sure my situation was slightly different. Because of my wife's hip replacement in 2012 we had already hit our out of pocket cap for our insurance which meant that the insurance would cover 100% of my in network costs for hearing aids. So, I opted for the top of the line and got a pair of Widex Clear 440.They run almost $3000 per ear. It took a little fighting with the insurance company but they finally came through! I am in my 2nd month now and like them a lot. I even sprung for the $200 remote control with Bluetooth so I can bluetooth to up to 10 devices. I have it set for my cell phone right now and it's awesome.

The only downside I have right now is that they are a behind the ear model and although they are extremely hard for anyone to see, I can't pull on my full face helmet without yanking them out. So, I take them off before suiting up to ride. Not sure if I'll change that or not as I can hear everything I need to hear while riding without the aids. Time may change that though, not sure.
 

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Take them out, earplugs in, the lack of hearing protection is the reason we are in the state we are.
 

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Ah,,,, I take mine out when riding.then pop em back in when I'm with a grp of people! (unless I don't care to listen to em!)

My aids came from VA who said I was standing to close to "charlie -444 rds!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah,,,, I take mine out when riding.then pop em back in when I'm with a grp of people! (unless I don't care to listen to em!)

My aids came from VA who said I was standing to close to "charlie -444 rds!

:)
Scooter, you must have been really close for Charlie to hurt your hearing. That little booger was sneaky and very quiet! Well, until the noise started.

Chief
 

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I bought my first pair of hearing aids from beltone. It would take a week to ten days for repair on hearing aids,no overnight service which I offered to pay extra for. The only thing they wanted to do was sale me another set they called it a up grade ! Gave $4000 in 2002 for the pair the left one never worked right. Have phonak audeo now, they are great would recommend that you try them. GOOD LUCK !!
 

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I've been wearing hearing aids for a bit over a year now. I wear 3/4 helmets. My old one is easy enough to slip on over the aids my newer Bell Mag 8 will go over them if I'm careful. I don't have a problem with noise in 3/4 helmets since they are no where near as loud as full face or modular.
I also have the behind the ear type, bought them from Costco and am very well pleased with their service. I went to them on the advice of a friend who's worn these things for over 20 years. He said he'd tried a lot of them but preferred Costco for price, quality and service.
Mine also have the remote control to switch between four different programs and the volume control. That way I can switch to a program that works well in my helmet which my audiologist set up for me and can control the volume with the remote. I also have the bluetooth adapter so it's easy to make or receive calls on my bike with voice dialing. I didn't need the TV sound streamer so didn't opt for that. The price is reasonable for these kind of things, $3000 for the whole package of which Blue Cross paid for all but $500. Also we keep the Executive membership card so got $250 back on the purchase at the end of the year.
I wouldn't have needed these things if the woman who hangs around here hadn't started mumbling in the past couple of years. It was a bad habit and she even denied doing it. Anyway prodded by her I got the hearing aids and hardly got them home before she quit mumbling. Sometimes you just can't win.
 

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Hearing aids

The time has come for hearing aids. I have had a test from one company, Beltone, and have another scheduled for next Tuesday. I need some input from riders who have and wear hearing aids. What should I expect? Are there things I should avoid? How does the wind effect the hearing aids. Do you wear them while using your helmet mounted communications/music gear? Did you buy "top of the line" or less expensive versions, and why?

Your input will be deeply appreciated. Getting old ain't for sissy's.

Chief
Since you are a vet. you are elagable for the VA ,they have great aids.I got mine last year ,They work great,they have bluetooth ,great for the bike.Find your nearest VA ,go through the necessary paperwork ect. ect.
best of all Uncle Sam picks up the tab. Good Luck
I can provide more info. if needed E-mail
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Driver & Exavid. I appreciate the input. I think I will explore the VA and see what they have to offer. TriCare doesn't offer any assistance. But I have to do something. I think I married exavids twin sister. My bride goes around mumbling all the time, then bitches and moans because I dont' listen to her. Go figure.

Chief
 

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Hi Chief. I have been wearing aids since about 1983 so hear goes.hehe
First off, stay away from beltone or miracle ear. Second off I have never talked to a vet that liked his aids so be careful here.
Do a little research and go to a good board certified audiologist or go to costco. I think they are certified. I currently have "oticon" model is "chile 5" They are behind the ear aids because of the amount of hearing loss I have. They coast me about 1,400 dollars per aid. I stopped in at a un-certified audiologist that was also selling "oticon" and he wanted 5,600 dollars for two of them, almost twice the price. I asked him why and all he said was "because that's what we charge.......I said goodbye! So be careful. I don't think there is any regulation in that industry ??? Anyway mine have all the bells and whistles, bluetooth, tv streamer a little seperate hand held mic and four different programs all controlled by my bluetooth streamer which I wear around my neck. I can switch from hearing aid mode to resturant mode/back ground noise cancellation to telephone mode and one other mode I haven't had set up yet. I can answer my cell phone while it is in my pocket by pushing a button on the streamer and simply talking into the streamer while it is hanging around my neck. I can also set it up to take calls through my gps. I have lots of music on my gps and i can bluetooth stream it to my aids while riding down the road or in my cage. I wear my aids under my shoei modular helmet with no problem. I do have to stretch the helmet sideways with the straps a little more then normal but so what. If the aids you get are good ones you do not have to fear losing any more hearing because you ride with them or listen to loud music. Most will shut down loud noise when it reaches a certain threshold. Mine work very well this way. I am a school bus mechanic and when in a closed shop and running a couple of buses it gets very loud in there. They do a good job of shutting down the sound to the proper level. So riding with them is not a problem. When I wear them while riding I turn the volume down on the aid to stand by level so it will still function with my cell phone and stream music but it shuts off all other sound. It's like having ear plugs. I have been wearing aids for 30 years now. Started out way back when with a set of starkey analog aids and kept them 10 years. By then they all pretty much went to digital. So much better. You will have to have them rebuilt from time to time. Mine seem to make it about two years before something fails and now it will cost about 250 bucks to repair them. My batteries are the orange ones or number 13. I can buy a twelve pack for about 10 bucks and each battery will last in the aid about 10 to 14 days give or take a little. They are on from around 5:30 am untill I go to bed around 10pm or so. Not bad battery life for such a small battery. Make sure you carry extra batteries as they go dead at the most unconvient of times. Once you get used to having something stuck in your ear and the sound they produce you wont want to be without them. They should not hurt your ears..... if they do take them back and have a new set of molds made. Should be no cost for this. They need to fit properly or you wont want to wear them "aka the va". Also if you are getting behind the ear aids you will need to have the little plastic connector tube from the aid to the mold replaced every few months. They get hard and it lessons the sound quality a little. I just have the ear doc give me two or three sets to take home. Cut them to the proper length and install them yourself. Pretty easy task.
If your audiologist is any good he will be selling several different brands and pick the best one for your hearing loss.
Hope all this helps you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
HUHH.... what's that you say.... oh, sorry I didn't have my aids in :ROFL:
One other thing. Now you can tell everyone you have aids. :)

Cyclepath
 

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I only know one guy who rides and has hearing aids (right ear only) He takes it out for riding, and uses earplugs. I have been using earplugs for about 5 years now, but should have been using them forever. Because of not using them for over 30 years of riding, I now have hearing loss, though not quite severe enough for hearing aids. I am trying to postpone that as long as possible, but the time is coming.

I am certainly not a doctor of hearing specialist, but it seems to me that since hearing aids amplify sounds, riding with one would cause further damage.
 

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Seabee,seriously dude, get down to the V.A & file to get your picture ID & at least you can go once a year for your medcial.Took me 40 yrs to get mine (kept getting turned down) Last yr.got DX.with the big one for being exposed to agent orange!

Oh & maybe it was a 155 or two I feel aslep beside...how did I know...they told me it was a secure area!

scoot ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Seabee,seriously dude, get down to the V.A & file to get your picture ID & at least you can go once a year for your medcial.Took me 40 yrs to get mine (kept getting turned down) Last yr.got DX.with the big one for being exposed to agent orange!

Oh & maybe it was a 155 or two I feel aslep beside...how did I know...they told me it was a secure area!

scoot ;)
Secure area my homesick a$$! There is no such thing as a secure area.

I will check into the VA. Seems to me like VA and TriCare are competing entities, but I'll see what they have to say. Thanks. Keep your head down and your powder dry.

Chief
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Chief. I have been wearing aids since about 1983 so hear goes.hehe
First off, stay away from beltone or miracle ear. Second off I have never talked to a vet that liked his aids so be careful here.
Do a little research and go to a good board certified audiologist or go to costco. I think they are certified. I currently have "oticon" model is "chile 5" They are behind the ear aids because of the amount of hearing loss I have. They coast me about 1,400 dollars per aid. I stopped in at a un-certified audiologist that was also selling "oticon" and he wanted 5,600 dollars for two of them, almost twice the price. I asked him why and all he said was "because that's what we charge.......I said goodbye! So be careful. I don't think there is any regulation in that industry ??? Anyway mine have all the bells and whistles, bluetooth, tv streamer a little seperate hand held mic and four different programs all controlled by my bluetooth streamer which I wear around my neck. I can switch from hearing aid mode to resturant mode/back ground noise cancellation to telephone mode and one other mode I haven't had set up yet. I can answer my cell phone while it is in my pocket by pushing a button on the streamer and simply talking into the streamer while it is hanging around my neck. I can also set it up to take calls through my gps. I have lots of music on my gps and i can bluetooth stream it to my aids while riding down the road or in my cage. I wear my aids under my shoei modular helmet with no problem. I do have to stretch the helmet sideways with the straps a little more then normal but so what. If the aids you get are good ones you do not have to fear losing any more hearing because you ride with them or listen to loud music. Most will shut down loud noise when it reaches a certain threshold. Mine work very well this way. I am a school bus mechanic and when in a closed shop and running a couple of buses it gets very loud in there. They do a good job of shutting down the sound to the proper level. So riding with them is not a problem. When I wear them while riding I turn the volume down on the aid to stand by level so it will still function with my cell phone and stream music but it shuts off all other sound. It's like having ear plugs. I have been wearing aids for 30 years now. Started out way back when with a set of starkey analog aids and kept them 10 years. By then they all pretty much went to digital. So much better. You will have to have them rebuilt from time to time. Mine seem to make it about two years before something fails and now it will cost about 250 bucks to repair them. My batteries are the orange ones or number 13. I can buy a twelve pack for about 10 bucks and each battery will last in the aid about 10 to 14 days give or take a little. They are on from around 5:30 am untill I go to bed around 10pm or so. Not bad battery life for such a small battery. Make sure you carry extra batteries as they go dead at the most unconvient of times. Once you get used to having something stuck in your ear and the sound they produce you wont want to be without them. They should not hurt your ears..... if they do take them back and have a new set of molds made. Should be no cost for this. They need to fit properly or you wont want to wear them "aka the va". Also if you are getting behind the ear aids you will need to have the little plastic connector tube from the aid to the mold replaced every few months. They get hard and it lessons the sound quality a little. I just have the ear doc give me two or three sets to take home. Cut them to the proper length and install them yourself. Pretty easy task.
If your audiologist is any good he will be selling several different brands and pick the best one for your hearing loss.
Hope all this helps you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
HUHH.... what's that you say.... oh, sorry I didn't have my aids in :ROFL:
One other thing. Now you can tell everyone you have aids. :)

Cyclepath
Cyclepath, that is a lot of info! Thanks. Y'all are giving me lots to think about. This is going to take more tequila than I thought. Oh well, if it was easy, wimmen and kids could do it.

Wait! Did I say that out loud????????

Seriously guys, thanks for all the input. I have another test next Tuesday. I will then visit the Oticon place and then VA and Cosco.

Chief
 

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I'd like to repeat Cyclepath's point about Beltone and Miracle Ear. Buying hearing aids from them is similar to buying Goldwing parts from Saber Cycle. Costco does have certified audiologists and they work on a salary not commission so they don't have any thing to gain trying to push you toward something more expensive than you need or want. They also are very good about doing minor fixes and repairs gratis. I've needed a couple of the little plastic whiskers that go on the speaker ends of my behind the ear aids and they've been very nice to replace them and clean the aids for nothing on a walk up basis at the Costco here. One other thing I like about Costco is that it's hard to beat their price on batteries.
I can't speak about all Beltone dealers but the two I've gone to with my elderly parents before they passed where just high pressure sales reps. They didn't listen to what my folks wanted just pushed high priced stuff at them. They even tried to get me out of the room with my folks who weren't able to deal all that well with those decisions because of their age and health.
 
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