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Musicians with hearing aids

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Alan Day 31 Jul 13 - 02:47 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 13 - 05:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jul 13 - 05:59 PM
Alan Day 31 Jul 13 - 06:01 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 13 - 06:04 PM
Alan Day 31 Jul 13 - 06:06 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 13 - 06:31 PM
Mark Ross 31 Jul 13 - 08:30 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Jul 13 - 08:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Jul 13 - 09:24 PM
Joybell 31 Jul 13 - 09:59 PM
Alan Day 01 Aug 13 - 01:12 AM
Edthefolkie 01 Aug 13 - 07:52 AM
Alan Day 01 Aug 13 - 08:23 AM
Vic Smith 01 Aug 13 - 09:04 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Aug 13 - 09:14 AM
sciencegeek 01 Aug 13 - 10:11 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Aug 13 - 02:14 PM
MikeL2 01 Aug 13 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 01 Aug 13 - 04:09 PM
Joybell 01 Aug 13 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Aug 13 - 08:02 PM
Roger the Skiffler 02 Aug 13 - 06:09 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Aug 13 - 07:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Aug 13 - 09:56 AM
Edthefolkie 02 Aug 13 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Aug 13 - 01:17 PM
Edthefolkie 02 Aug 13 - 04:04 PM
JHW 03 Aug 13 - 05:32 AM
Alan Day 03 Aug 13 - 08:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 13 - 09:25 AM
Matthew Edwards 03 Aug 13 - 10:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Aug 13 - 01:42 PM
Matthew Edwards 03 Aug 13 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Wilma 05 Nov 15 - 06:44 AM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 18 - 05:46 AM
Mitch the Bass 06 Jan 18 - 05:02 PM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jan 18 - 05:17 PM
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Subject: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 02:47 PM

It was mentioned recently that the number of musicians using hearing aids are increasing in numbers.Many more players could do with them and do not realise the symptoms.The main annoyance for players seems to be not so much hearing the music which for me comes over loud and clear. but for people holding a conversation afterwards.Like asking the name of a tune, or where was it collected etc.Many suffer from peripheral noise,a one to one conversation is no problem in a quiet room, but in a pub with noise all around you that creates a major problem for the hard of hearing.
Get the "pardon" out of the way and please discuss.
Ta
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 05:29 PM

I have a hearing aid which I never use as it rattles at certain frequencies like the plastic case of early transistor radios. So its no use in a musical environment, performing or listening (despite repeated expert efforts at programming its various profiles and channels). I tried to invent a personal fold back (another thread on this) but failed so I've got used to knowing everyone else can hear the guitar and me much louder than I do.
Conversations and right money for shopping can be a problem. There it would help but then I reckon I'd get used to it and struggle the more when I can't use it.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 05:59 PM

Agrred, Alan. The music is fine, but the conversation is indecipherable in a pub. As for a room where most of the people are women... That's not me being sexist, it's the higher voices all blend into a dawn chorus.

That's with hearing aids in.

I was in to my GP today to get referred for a new test and newly calibrated aid. I'll come back some time maybe and report.

But as I said, hearing the music is fine, and that's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 06:01 PM

Singing can be a problem as you get the same experience as putting both fingers in your ears and you can hear your voice louder and tend to try to compensate for this.Also when eating the noise of your chewing is louder than the conversation over a meal.More expensive hearing aids have a volume controller which is useful and ways of cutting out peripheral noise,but someone talking to you from behind like a waiter or, waitress you lose the voice completely. My thoughts are that a hearing aid is a useful tool with limitations. You can get involved with conversations that where before you were not included in. Crockery being rattled together,high pitched screaming and laughter of mainly women are painful as they are with people who can hear properly.
Once you get over the initial appearance issue they are well persevering with.
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 06:04 PM

I wear hearing aids programmed to fix my specific loss of high frequencies and to counteract, to some extent, the tinnitus I've had for 25 years (and you wonder why I'm bad-tempered!). Until I got them a year ago I hadn't realised how much I was struggling in our pub sessions to hear myself, the other musicians and the in-between conversations. Things are much better now, but the experience made me realise that I need to optimise conditions for myself in order to both play as well as I can and enjoy what I'm doing. I can't avoid the pub noise, but I've found that sitting next to, or close to, a good melody player who I can latch on to is invaluable. I struggle like mad if I sit opposite or next to a strummer or a banjo player because they are all I can hear - not even myself, which is fatal. After muddling through for years, I've found that the hearing aids can transform my experience, but also that there are other things besides I can do to improve matters even more. And get the other guys onside. The chaps I play with know my difficulties and they bend over backwards to help. Never think there's nothing you can do!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 06:06 PM

Sorry "McGrath of Harlow" our posting crossed ,but pleased we agree.Good luck with your tests.
I expect you are as angry as me about the secrecy regarding costs of these things unless you go to the NHS ,it seems that prices vary by thousands of pounds,
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 06:31 PM

Well, I thought my issue was caused by the tinnitus. That's why I went to my doctor, who referred me to the audiologist. I wasn't really aware of the hearing loss until I had a test. The hearing aids cost me nothing. Dunno whether the fact I was over 60 had anything to do with it (I didn't ask). The audiologist told me the aids would have cost £3000.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Mark Ross
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:30 PM

"Hearing Aids", isn't that caused by listening to too many assholes?


Markoss


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 08:34 PM

Not an ideal gag, Mark, on more than one level... :-(


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 09:24 PM

It'd never occur to me not to go the the NHS for hearing aids, which are free, and pretty good. (I wonder how long that will last in this political climate. If the Tories don't bring in charges I bet that One Nation Labour will...)

There's a awful lot of really dishonest advertising for private hearing aids - I just now googled for "free NHS hearing aids" and the responses were headed by an ad for private aids from SpecSavers, while the second item, not an ad officially, said:

"Top 5 NHS Hearing Aids - CompareUK.net‎
www.compareuk.net/Hearing-Aids
Compare and Buy NHS Hearing Aids Find Special Offers & Great Deals‎"

And it gave links to five expensive private aids.

And, yes, the prices can indeed be frightening, and they virtually never get given up front. Which is not accidental. And of course they never mention the fact that free aids are available.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Joybell
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 09:59 PM

I'm about to head into hearing aid land. Loud tinnitis, balance problems, hearing loss .. The sudden onset, and the presence of many other symptoms, suggests inner ear disease that may be autoimmune in nature. Can't get to see a specialist for 5 weeks but I can get help for the hearing loss earlier. I'm grateful for the comments here about using hearing aids. I'm lucky being in Australia where I'll get free hearing aids and free tests.
Joy


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 01:12 AM

Nothing to worry about Joy.I think my loss was similar problems and loud music combination.
I purchased my hearing aids through Specsavers and they were very efficient and helpful.I recommended someone to them recently who went to Harley Street and they quoted him a thousand pounds over what I paid.I have a little sound regulator in my pocket that I can adjust the sound to whatever noise is comfortable.
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 07:52 AM

I can't claim to be a musician like Alan (apart from home piano tinkling) but I do attend gigs, from pub rooms & village halls to festivals - so I experience similar problems.

The first thing to emphasise is that IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. The next thing is DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I would urge anybody with hearing problems to go to their GP, see any hearing specialist they may recommend, and ACT ON THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS. It took me years to get to the "do something about it" stage, coming near to alienating everybody around me. Ignoring the problem is very common and understandable of course but not helpful.

I persevered with an NHS analogue aid for a few years - then the digital revolution finally hit my local NHS trust. However, I found the local drop in hearing centre wasn't drop in any more because of their enormous workload, also the choice of digital aids was limited. As usual, it depends where you live!

So after a lot of kicking from friends, I too popped into Specsavers. I was very lucky as the audiologist took great pains with the hearing test and based on the fact that I was still working at the time and under pressure, recommended 2 Siemens sophisticated in ear aids. These worked like a charm and really improved my life - BUT they did cost nearly £3k. Still a lot cheaper than certain national outfits (won't name names, but their ads, apparently written by the same people who offer to tarmac your drive, are always falling out of magazines like the Radio Times! You have been warned)   

I had 3 programs installed - "normal" (automatically adjusts for the environment & phone calls, also learns), "quiet" (eg for home & office conversations), and "music" (really just boosts the volume a bit and doesn't apply any adjustments so there is greater headroom).

A facility called E2E is built in which constantly monitors both aids and gives you a reasonable spatial awareness approaching what you had before you were deaf. Programs are swapped via a tiny button on either hearing aid - the software knows the button has been pressed and swaps both aids to the new program. Plus a remote control which can change the program and the volume if needed.

These facilities are built in to most digital aids these days - the spatial features come extra. Some are fitted with Bluetooth which means that your aid(s) will direct your mobile calls to your aids. You can also listen to the TV and stereo etc via Bluetooth. However, this ability costs about £500 extra - but you don't have to decide when you buy the aid(s) as the WiFi's built in.

After 6 years or so, I've just bought my second set of aids from Specsavers. Improved processing & music program, they now have up to 5 programs in total, and this pair cost £2k, much cheaper this time! Early days yet, they do need tweaking, but this is inevitable - you get free return visits and a free annual hearing and aid check.

The main thing to do if you have hearing aids is to establish a relationship with the audiologist. Quite a few good ones do home visits for tweaks, etc. Don't expect this from Specsavers though at their prices.

By the way, do NOT go swimming with them in, do NOT go in the shower with them, do NOT drop 'em down the loo, and take care when you take your Aran sweater off - sooner or later you will knock an aid out of your ear.

Sorry this has been a long post but I thought my experiences might be of interest - best of luck!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Ed for your posting and comments.The Arran sweater tip is a good one as shortly after getting my hearing aids I tried a few things on in Sainsbury's and when I got home I realised too late that one of my hearing aids was missing.My only chance, I realised, was to get to the shop early the next morning and pray that they had not swept the floor.I looked under all the clothes racks with no success and there it was under the mirror that I tried the clothes on.I promptly purchased two lottery tickets as I could not believe my luck.Sadly I was not that lucky.
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 09:04 AM

In January I went for a complete hearing test at an NHS hospital in Brighton. I had a one-to-one appointment with the really interesting audiologist. He had moved into audiology from first being a pro-musician and then finding that he was more interested in sound quality so he moved into speaker design which sparked an interest in hearing loss.

In an individual appointment that lasted more than two hours (some of it talking about the band I was in and what equipment we used) I had his complete attention and ended up watching him calibrating the state of the art hearing aids to compensate exactly for my hearing loss. I left with a complete understanding of all the settings of my new aids, an instruction booklet and enough batteries to last me a year. It did not cost me a penny. The hearing aids have radically improved all aspects of my life.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE N.H.S.!


On the way out of the hospital, I was a bit disconcerted by all the sounds around me, particularly the volume of traffic noise.
I got on the bus back to Lewes and sat at the back. The only other people on the bus were a young couple at the front. I realised that I could hear them talking. I listened in, but was disappointed to realise that I could not make out what they were saying.

It took me some time to realise that they were talking in Polish!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 09:14 AM

My experience was exactly similar to yours, Vic, and I heartily echo your NHS sentiment!


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: sciencegeek
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 10:11 AM

hearing aides... arrrggghhh! I have a new pair that I really need to start using... thanks to my german ancestry, otosclerosis is a fact of life in my family... and my time has run out for being able to ignore it.

must run up the white flag... surrender to putting the dang things in and hope the batteries are still good.... LOL


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 02:14 PM

I play music with several groups of friends, most of us being around 60 or over. There is therefore, not surprisingly, quite a high incidence of hearing impairment between us all. Some wear aids, others don't but maybe should! It can become a problem when all trying to play together (no conductor in folk music!) Even if we appoint a lead player, whom everyone is supposed to watch, listen to, and follow, it doesn't always work, maybe because of the aforesaid hearing impairment, but I'm sure part of it is just bad habits - "I know this tune so I'll just get my head down and play it the way I always do, and I do like to lose myself in it so I'll play with my eyes closed". My youthful experiences of playing in an amateur orchestra taught me to watch the conductor, listen, count, and use peripheral vision to full advantage. (None of this playing with eyes closed malarky!) These techniques are really no big deal, but can certainly help to compensate for hearing problems when playing together, if you can teach old dogs new tricks!
By the way, I have one totally deaf/dead ear, so there are certain people I would prefer to put on that side of me.....my "good ear" is not perfect, I have tinnitus and a little high tone loss but don't need a hearing aid yet. But I am aware of how superior the digital aids are to the old analogue ones.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: MikeL2
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 03:07 PM

Hi

I had been suffering from hearing loss for some time but had not really noticed it myself. Gradually I came to accept that I was hard of hearing and I first contacted a couple of companies that advertised nationally. I won't mention them here !!

They both visited me at my home and gave me an audiology test and informed me that I was almost completely deaf in the right ear and the left one was almost as bad.

They gave me a quote to provide two aids.....both were more than £4000.
Before I agreed I asked for some practical examples of how well these devices would work.

One Company did produce a device. On trying it, it was no better than the old NHS pre-digital one that I had for my right ear ( but had discontinued using it).

The other Company said that I would have to take their word for it and produced a couple of " recommendations" from their client list.

I refused to deal with them and asked them to cross me off their lists. Both companies - despite both written and personal visits have still continued to shower me with requests to examine me and they expect me to buy from them. I have now told them that I would employ a solicitor if they don't stop pestering me.

As a result I went to my GP and then was fitted with two digital aids by the NHS. The care,courtesy and attention I received was first class.

I have to say that there are some slight drawbacks but life is much better than it was. Strangely enough I find the opposite of what some here have found.

If I am in a crowded room I can pick up all the peripheral noise but not of anyone speaking close to me.

With regard to music. I have no problem hearing the rest of the musicians when I am just playing but I have to remove them when I sing as I find it very difficult to pitch my voice properly.

My wife says I have "selective hearing"....I just hear what I want to hear....lol

er........."Thursday".

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 04:09 PM

I have been deaf in my right ear all my life. And I have a 50% loss in my left ear due to missing frequencies. When my band plays we use Shure ear monitors because of my limitations. My Doc says hearing aids would be costly and ineffective for what I need of them. He also says for about the same money my hearing in my right ear could be re-attached.


Tleilaxu eardrum maybe. I don't know what the intent is. But he suggests that would work and be an irritation at the same time. Sixty years of non use would likely mean immediate and unending tinnitus.

I muddle on as I am.

Don


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Joybell
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 06:01 PM

Thanks for the reassurance Alan and for starting this thread. Thank you Mudcat Family.
I'm interested in the comments about different experiences with NHS hearing aids and the expensive kind. I'm assuming our Australian free aids are similar to the NHS ones. Friends here seem to be unhappy with their hearing aids no matter how much they cost. True-love has been trying to make friends with his free ones for a few years. On a really happy note I have to say that pacemakers are all the same and my free one keeps me alive pensioner or no.
Thank you Australian Health Scheme.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 08:02 PM

Hearing aids can be tougher than you'd think - one time I got in the bath, with my head under water when I realized I still had the aids on. But after being dried off they worked just fine.

Mind, I wouldn't make a habit of it.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 06:09 AM

As anyone who's heard me knows, I'm not a musician, but as a listener I find the "party" setting on my (NHS) digital hearing aid allows me to block the chatter from the audience behind me and the induction loop setting is great for those theatres and concert halls equipped for it.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 07:29 AM

No problem as far as singing is concerned, as I have been put off using the extremely useful technique of cupping the hand over the ear by the moronically ignorant attitude surrounding the practice.
However, as someone who spends a great deal of time digitising and cleaning up recording, the fact that, due to an inherited hearing problem I am forced in my advancing years to rely on two somewhat expensive hearing aids, which invariably cause feedback when I use headphones. The only solution I have found is to remove them, turn up the volume and hope this doesn't cause further damage.
As far as general use goes, perhaps the "Liverpool hearing aid" solution is the simplest - "hang a piece of wire over your ear and everybody shouts".
"....one time I got in the bath"
My set comes with a de-moisturising kit - basically silicone crystals in a simple container. I've never had cause to use it so I don't know how effective it is.
Jim Carroll
Then there's the story of the getting-on-in-years Connemara couple who, after the delivery of their 12th child, were told by the doctor that, for the sake of her health they should consider having no more children.
The mother explained that it was all due to her poor hearing:
"Every night, when we go to bed he always asks me, "shall we go to sleep, or what?" - I always reply, "what?".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 09:56 AM

"Action for Hearing Loss", which is what used to be the RNID, advertises some headphones specifically designed for people wearing hearing aids, at £32.24. Might be worth trying.

Headphones for use with hearing aids


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 01:07 PM

I had a chat with a certain very well known fiddle player with hearing loss (and behind the ear aids) a couple of months ago. He said "You'll have to speak up, I can't hear you." So I just pulled one aid out of my ear & said "Makes two of us!" Arf arf.   

I did a bit more research about the Bluetooth device from Siemens which I could use with my new aids. It's a MiniTek, and is really a streamer. When your phone rings, the call is routed to the hearing aid(s) via MiniTek. You can also get TV sound, digital stereo etc routed to the aids, there's a telecoil (eg for use in a theatre), and even an FM adaptor at even more cost.

The downside is that although the caller can be heard on your hearing aids, your voice also goes via the Minitek which is round your neck, on your lapel or in your pocket with the Polos, flat picks & fluff! I can imagine the person at the other end getting some interesting results unless you speak right into the thing, in which case you might blow their eardrums out.

Anyway, inveterate techies may like to have a look......
http://hearing.siemens.com/Global/en/products/wireless/minitek/minitek.html


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 01:17 PM

That sounds a bit over top to me. But it's coming.

I envisage a future in which people will be all wired-up for sound, with throat mikes as well, and they'll walk around effectively telepathically talking under their breath to people on the other side of the world, and ignoring everything that's happening where they are. Probably got these Google glasses as well.

We're virtually there, apart from the throat mikes. And of course by the time that's in, they'll be well on the way to cutting out the mikes and the earphones and the glasses, and doing it all with direct brain to brain wireless connections.

All under overarching government security surveillance. Except it won't be government, because they'll have privatised it.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 04:04 PM

You're dead right about that McGrath. If researchers could think of a way to cram all that tech into earbuds, reduce the battery drain & also invent smart contact lenses we'd nearly be in Philip K Dick land.

Can you imagine the ads beamed over the connection though? Endless and mindless cr*p, even worse than what we get now. Well I'm not going offworld so there. Oops, thread creep...


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: JHW
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 05:32 AM

My granddad's hearing aid was in a box clipped to his top pocket and a wire to an earplug. This would seem ideal for someone talking to you. Wearing such in those days may have embarrassed some but these days folks see nothing odd in going about wired up to contraptions putting sound in their ears. Such a box could contain your choice of music, radio stations etc. and be hearing aid as well.


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Alan Day
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 08:54 AM

There is nothing worse, or embarrassing than answering a question that you mishear and give a completely different answer to that what was expected.Or worse that someone answers a question for you that you cannot hear properly.I can feel the panic now that after asking someone to repeat twice what they said you still cannot understand what was being said.
Understanding a person with a hearing problems ,or any other problem is a great help.Many people get really angry if they have to repeat themselves.It is also possible from a few words to work out what is being said to you, but it takes time and this brings the response that ,"you just do not listen to what I say"
I am going to repeat a problem a blind relative discussed with me ,that he often did not reply to people, because of being blind, he was not aware they were talking to him,
If you need a hearing aid then get one.The nagging eventually made me give in and I am a better man for it "Gunga Din".
Al


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 09:25 AM

I never get embarrassed when that happens. Just maybe a bit cautious at the response from the person I'm dealing with. It's strange really the difference in the way people respond to people with impaired hearing compared to impaired vision. It's sometimes as if they think you're putting it on.

I think one thing that almost encourages this is the way that hearing aids are supposed to be as invisible as possible. Most people wear glasses without any embarrassment, , but all the ads for hearing ads emphasise how discreet they are, so nobody would know you use the, Which might be fine if they were perfect, but they aren't.

I'd prefer it if hearing aids were seen, like glasses can be, as a kind of face enhancement. Those big Bluetooth speakers some people walk areound with plugged in their ears are the kind of idea, though looking a bit better than that.   Bring back the ear trumpet... "Speak up young man!"


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 10:43 AM

I knew there had been several threads on Mudcat where people had posted useful and interesting comments about their experiences of deafness, and of using hearing aids. I've tried hunting for those threads and I've posted links to them below. There may be more to find; there are many threads about tone deafness which I haven't explored but some of them might contain comments about deafness and hearing loss in general.

Tech: Hearing Aids and Head Phones
Musicians with Hearing Aids (this thread started by Vixen 13 Feb 02)
Hearing Aids [UK]
I'm having trouble hearing
BS: Viagra and hearing loss
Deaf people's experience of music
BS: Occasional deafness - earwax!
Duh, They're DEAF!

I hope this helps; I'm amazed at what a significant body of experience and knowledge is tucked away in various parts of the Mudcat!

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 01:42 PM

Yup, it's amazing what you can learn here. For example that fifth thread down...


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 02:21 PM

I bet most people opened that 5th thread first! It just goes to demonstrate the sheer richness and variety of Mudcatters' lives. :-)

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: GUEST,Wilma
Date: 05 Nov 15 - 06:44 AM

I got mine from westside audiology, I have a mild hearing loss so I chose the CIC completely-in-the-canal hearing aid. 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: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 05:46 AM

Just resurrecting this thread as it seems to be the most recent and comprehensive on hearing problems for musicians. And I have looked at most if the threads to which Matthew Edwards linked above.
My situation has changed somewhat since my last post 4 years ago. I had Meniere's Disease when younger, but had enjoyed a remission lasting 36 years after surgery to my right ear in 1981 (saccus endolymphaticus drainage): my left ear had been functionally destroyed by the same disease in childhood (yes, MD can occur in childhood). So now it's back with a vengeance in the form of rampantly loud tinnitus in both ears, hearing of speech and music very badly distorted: speech sounds like those "disguised voices" you get on TV crime documentaries and is barely intelligible, and music all sounds severely out of tune, so much so that I bave not touched an instrument or sung for weeks. I did go and get a hearing test in November, and now have 2 private digital hearing aids which can just cut through some of the noise inside my head. I know I could have got aids free on the NHS, but waiting times for ENT appointments are such that they can't even give me a date: just "you are on the waiting list for an appointment". Meantime my hearing is on a rapid slippery downward slope, sleep disturbed, balance poor (though none of the dreadfully violent dizzy turns I used to get, just a couple of milder ones), and I'm turning into a recluse. Medication is of no use at all ( Betahistine first, then Cinnarizine.) Seems nothing much has changed for treating this disease in the last 40 years? Unless any of you good folk here know of any new breakthroughs?


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 05:02 PM

I have Meniere’s Disease in my right ear. I’ve had episodes of hearing loss and vertigo for more than 10 years, took betahistine (not sure it had any real effect) and was in remission for the vertigo and the low frequency hearing loss was manageable. But last year the vertigo returned and hearing loss became permanent. The hearing loss is at low frequencies, quite the reverse of “old age” deafness. I’m currently 60db down for anything under 800hz which means playing melodeon and concertina is difficult especially in a noisy environment, a session or on an amplified stage. Double bass is not so bad as it’s on my good side but noise in my bad ear suffers from high frequency distortion rather like clipping and I hear the wrong frequency for a certain range. I’ve tried a high end hearing aid but it just makes the problem worse.

I managed at Sidmouth last year playing with a trio and with a big ceilidh band with an IEM in my good ear and sometimes an earplug in the right but it’s very isolating and doesn’t help in acoustic settings.

But last week I saw an ENT consultant who specialises in balance problems and next week I will have steroid injections through my eardrum which will (90%) stop the vertigo and may help the hearing. The alternative is antibiotic injections which kill the balance mechanism but also can make the hearing worse. After that there are surgical options.

I’ve also been looking at cross hearing aids, particularly a bone conduction device which picks up sound on the good side and injects it into your bone which is then picked up be the good ear. It can help in getting some directionality back.

In the mean time I’m not playing much and doing even less recording. It’s difficult to know what sounds good with only one ear.

Mitch


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Subject: RE: Musicians with hearing aids
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 05:17 PM

Thanks Mitch, and hope the new treatment works for you: I had read about this on various websites including Action for Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) and the Meniere's Disease Society. I wasn't sure if it would be advocated for the likes of me that have a very long history, or only people new to the disease. Sadly the wonderful surgeon who did the operation in 1981 is no longer of this world!
With the NHS wait in this area as it is, I am tempted to spend the life savings on private consultation and any treatment advised.
As I said above, I have pretty well no hearing in my left ear, since age 7, so why, some might ask, do I now have hearing aids in both ears? Yes, it's the CROS system, so the aid on the left picks up sound on my left and relays it to my only hearing (not so well!) right ear. Because I have been so many years without directionality, I was told it would not help this, but at least I do now hear some of the stuff that's going on on my left side - albeit in my right ear. And the aids have helped to get the consonants back, the s's and t's which were missing before.


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