Looking for Information and Recommendations on Hearing Aids

Updated on September 29, 2009
M.A. asks from Cranston, RI
7 answers

Hi ladies,
I was wondering if anyone has advice or suggestions on how to go about looking into hearing aids. Is there a specific doctor that you like, or a certain type of hearing aid that is good? I am actually asking not for my little one, but for my big one (ie: my dad!). His hearing is just awful but he refuses to ask his doctor about hearing aids. He heard from a couple friends that they are very expensive, a waste of money, and a pain because they need to be reprogrammed all the time. Mind you, this was over 20 years ago that he heard this but he is the type that is stuck in his ways! I told him they have come a long way in the past few years but I don't really know that much about it. Does anyone know the approximate cost and if they do really need to be reprogrammed a lot? Any advice on where to begin would be much appreciated. I hope that if I give my dad more updated info and a doctor he can go to, maybe he'll consider it. thank you!!

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone so much for your experience and advice. Thanks for all the information, websites, and especially to Tina S for all the detailed information on the resources. I will defintely check it out. I will talk to my dad more and hopefully we together can come up with a plan. Thanks ladies, I SO MUCH appreciate all your help!!!

More Answers



answers from Hartford on

Well, your dad is right that hearing aids are expensive, and can be very frustrating and that their sale can be a real racket. You do not want to head him right down to a neighborhood hearing aid vendor. First stop is the audiologist to do a current assessment of his hearing and give you advice about what would work and what he needs. Also, I don't know if there still is any, but in the past, there have been state funds set aside to help defray the cost of hearing aids for people in need. There was never enough money to go around, but it's worth looking into, anyway.



answers from Burlington on

Hi M.,

What I noticed about people who need hearing aids is they either become withrawn or overpower conversations because they can't hear what others are saying. My grandfather would listen to the radio with it blasting. He could just hear it but it was too much for everyone else.

My father used to sell hearing aids. A friend of mine works for the same national company now. The best place to ask about hearing aids is the ones that sell them. Here's a link to the one I'm familiar with:

Good luck,
: ) Maureen



answers from Boston on

I don't know a lot of specifics but I do know hearing aids have come a long way. There are some new ones out there that are very small and not very noticeable. They fit inside your ear rather than around the outside of it. I had a friend 20 years ago with one and she loved it. I'm sure they've come even further with current technology.

The challenge with hearing aids is that they tend to magnify all sounds, not just the sounds you want to hear. Particularly if you are in a noisy setting, it is hard to filter out the things you want to hear because the extraneous noises are magnified as well. I don't know if newer ones are able to filter out the junk noise, but that is the most common complaint I hear from people. Many hearing aids don't filter like your brain can. But it's worth checking the internet to see what is out there these days. I think newer ones address this issue to a certain extent.

When my father-in-law was still alive, I talked with him about hearing aids. No one else could talk any sense into him and thought he was just being stubborn. I had a different relationship with him. Even after we talked, he never got a hearing aid. But I chuckle about our discussion that day. A relative in the other room, with a sharp, nasally voice, was busily talking about everything and nothing at the same time. He responded quietly with a wry smile, "Would YOU want to hear that better?"

Cost was definitely a factor, plus unwillingness to change and self-consciousness about the realities of aging (pride), were all factors for my FIL. It irritated many because it felt selfish to make everyone else shift to his needs for volume (TV, conversation, etc.). But maybe it was also a little bit about enjoying the peace and quiet, too. : )

I would start with the internet first until you get more responders. Good luck exploring!



answers from Boston on

Hi M.
I am also going through the process of trying to get hearing aids for my dad, who slowly over the years, has become very withdrawn. And of course becuase of the cost, cannot afford them. I have added below some information that I recently received from a work and family program we have hear at work to assist families. Hopefully we will be able to get some financial assistance. We have made the initial call to National Hearing Services Inc and now are just waiting for the paperwork. It sounds like its going to be a timely process, but he's waited this long...hopefully they will be able to help him get the hearing aids he desperately needs.
I wish we were further into the process so that I could give you more info.
Good luck!

Financial Assistance for Hearing Aids

National Hearing Services Inc.
Address: 1141 Mall Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88011
Phone: (866) 855-1526 or ###-###-####
Contact: Brenda Dunn, Owner
Hours: Please call for more information
Additional Information: This agency has a network of over 1,000 hearing aid providers throughout the United States. The client is referred to one of the providers within 30 miles of the client’s home and has a hearing test completed and fitted for a hearing aid. Then the provider sends the results to the National Hearing Services office. The hearing aid is then ordered based on the provider’s recommendations on which hearing aid is best suited for the client. The client can save about approximately $400- $1,000 on a standard retail priced hearing aid because National Hearing Services has direct buying power with the manufacturers. A four page booklet on how to use the service and how to be referred to the provider can be sent to the client. Clients can also order batteries for their hearing aids and also have hearing aids repaired. Hearing aids have a one year warranty. If the National Hearing Services does not have a provider within 30 miles of the client’s location then the agency will look for a provider close to the client’s location.

Starkey Hearing Foundation – Hear Now
Address: Hear Now
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: (800) 648-4327
Contact: Any Representative
Hours: 8am – 4pm Monday – Friday CST
Additional information: Hear Now is a national non-profit program committed to assisting permanent U.S. residents who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and have limited financial resources. The work of Hear Now is supported through the contributions of many benefactors. We receive no government funding. All donations – money, time, hearing aids – allow the program to survive and give the gift of hearing domestically.

Individuals needing financial assistance to cover the cost of a hearing aid must fill out an application. Applicants must have tried every other type of resource possible before applying for this program. The phone number listed above is an automated system. However, callers can press 2 and leave a message. It may take up to two business days to get a response. The client will need to find a participating store that sells hearing aids and is willing to work with the Starkey Hearing Foundation – Hear Now program. Once the client has mailed out their application the client must wait six weeks before calling again to check on their status.



answers from Boston on

There are many options available for hearing loss today! There models available nowadays that are nearly invisible. First and foremost, he would need o and should see a good ear, nose and throat person - There are many great ones at the Mass Eye and Ear in Boston. A consultation can answer most of your questions before taking the next step. They have a good website, you can start there. I used to work there in pediatrics, but can give you more info or names if you need!



answers from Boston on

My mother wears hearing aids - and I do know they are expensive, but they are worth it for her as they allow her to participate in conversations and be socially active.

She sees an audiologist for evaluations and I believe they are the ones to adjust her hearing aids when they needs adjusting. Of course technology has come a long way in the past decade! My moms hearing aids are tiny and not even noticable.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

My daughter is 8 and has been wearing hearing aids since she was 14 months. We go to Ceilia Logston in Beverly. She is great and does adults too. I have heared that Mass Eye & Ear is good also. Hearings aids are very expensive, my dughter's costs several thousand dollars, and are not covered by insurance. My daughter's are specifically for pediatric use, so, I'm not sure about brands or costs for adults, but they are not cheep. Also, many adults find it uncomfortable to have something in their ear for most of the day. My daugheter is so used to it, and can't hear without hearing aids, so it's not an issue for her. But I've talked to adults who wear theirs regularly -- they tell me that they are uncomfortable. But, they do help stay connected with conversations and what is going on. And the technology has improved tremendously in the past 5-10 years. If one can swing the price, hearings aids can really improve ones quality of life. Hope this helps.

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