Modern digital hearing aids are not "one size fits all" devices. Be certain the devices you are purchasing are correct for your needs before you spend any money! CLICK HERE To read about selecting the correct hearing aids.
This small bit of information about me, my experience in selecting and programming my own hearing aids and the library of information and articles I have collected to help the layman understand the process. Most of all, the objective is to find the right aids at the best possible price. I have been able to find a great source of refurbished/recertified/used aids that are generally like new and sell for about 20% of retail!
The information here is basiically a compilation of the information and knowledge I have gained over the last 10 years as I sought acceptable hearing and aids for myself. None of this should be constured as medical or any other form of "professional" information or advice. It is presented for educational purposes only." Please carefully review the "legal fine print" at the bottom. It is what allows us to all share our personal knowledge bases and information with others.
If you are reading this, you are probably like I was at one time: A person with hearing loss that had no idea of how to proceed and was "floored" when professionals first told me I'd have to spend $5000 to hear and understand words well again! I had gotten to the point that I could hear the speach, but couln't understand the words. When some talked softly, or there was noise in the room, I missed most of what was being said. My wife had to look directly at me and talk slow, oftenr repeating herself before I could understand. Sound familiar? More about how I lost my hearing and the solutions I found follow below.
As time permits, I am also writing and posting detailed articles on a "FAQ's" page I constructed at http://help2hear.org/10HA/FAQ/
These documents are related to common questions and problems we all face in restoring hearing and self programming, so feel free to look at that collection if you like. The information ranges from very technical to very elementary.
If you have the time an inclination to understand, something that will help you as you select aids and restore your hearing, the best reference I have found that anyone with hearing loss should read is located in my FAQ section at:Click Here - http://www.help2hear.org/10HA/FAQ1/7)%20The_Compression_Handbook.pdf
If you need to reach me, or have special package requests, the best way is to send me a personal email with your detailed questions to the email shown in the logo at the top of this page. This link will also take you to that information: Click Here For Contact Information
Thank you for your interest.
I am simply another person who had a need to hear; actually to restore my hearing loss. Some of my loss was just age and hereditary issues, but the most substantial part was from aggressive chemotherapy almost 10 years ago. Hearing loss was a small price to pay to say the least - I'm obviously still here!
I spent countless hours of time and research in solving these issues and my hearing problems for myself. I'm retired. My first career was in Electrical Engineering & Management. I went back and earned a degree in Business/Finance, after which my wife and I started a number of companies. Among those was a very successful computer manufacturing and networking company in the years before the "big guys" like Dell. My first computer was an old Apple II in 1979 that was built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in a garage in California. Yes, I'm somewhat of a "geek" at heart with a "businessman clear-coat" over the top. Those elements allowed us to retire early and pursue our interests. This is one of my many technical/engineering fields of interest - obtaining the best hearing restoration possible for myself, then sharing that knowledge base with others. This is my way of "giving back" some of the wonderful elements life has given me - it is my passion!
With all humility, I am a bit bright and well versed in many diverse fields such as mechanics, electronics, geology, math and the general nature of our world and universe. I graduated in the top 1% of 25,000 students at the University of Utah for the years I attended. Science, Mechanics, Math, Computers, Software and such topics are where I tend to spend leisure time. I was also a private pilot and aircraft restoration mechanic prior to cancer and chemotherapy.
I try to be humble. I honestly can't take credit for my abilities; where I am, or even who I am. Why? Simply because my scientific background makes it clear, at least to me, that such factors are the result of the random probability distribution of nature. To take credit would be much like the Elephant taking credit for being "large" in a size contest. Sorry, Charlie, you didn't get to choose to be the Elephant, nature did that for you. What you can do is be grateful - which I very much am at this point in life.
While I can't take such credit, what I can do is share and give back a portion of these gifts of nature. This page, in conjunction with my endeavors in the areas of self-programming one's own hearing aids are part of my effort to "give back".
Can You Do This ?
Self-programming is clearly not for everyone, but you don't need to program your own aids to still restore your hearing at reasonable prices. If you can run a modern computer program such as Word, Excel, Quickbooks etc., you have a good start. You'll also need an understanding of audio frequencies, how various frequencies effect hearing of sounds and general audiology related elements. With those pre-qualifications, chances are this will be relatively straight-forward for you to do - if you have the desire to learn. There is a "dummy mode". A screen shot of that is shown below. Please note: I work with both GN Resound and Phonak. I like them both about equally, but my personal preference is Resound.
There are many forums and platforms to learn and share experiences with others about specific problems and goals - among the hearing impaired community from mild to almost deaf. The best forum, in my opinion, is the Hearing Aid Forum and may be found at: Hearing Aid Forums. If you have a question, that is a great place to look first, simply because someone else had probably already solved your problem and is willing to share the answer with you.
An effort and desire to learn for yourself is key. There are many people on the forums and in other such settings who will point you in the right direction in order to allow you to learn more quickly for yourself. It is a process of learning numerous elements, tricks and new aspects about your own personal hearing loss. I found there are almost endless "tweaks" to improve my hearing in the multitude and diverse environments I encounter every day.
About Hearing Aids/Devices
I work with both Resound and Phonak aids. At the onset, I carefully reviewed and studied every major brand. Phonak came out on top in virtually every area of interest to me - 10 years ago. Then GN Resound emerged as a leader in value per dollar spent. Phonak tried to buy GN Resound, but the courts squashed the deal. See: http://www.help2hear.org/10HA/FAQ1/1a)_ABOUT-HEARING-AID-PRICES-AND-LAWS.pdf .
While there are numerous companies such as "America Hears" that will sell you aids and a programmer - a programmer for their specific aids only, my personal opinion, after ordering and trying a pair of their aids and programmer for a month a few years ago is this: "Don't waste your time...". Besides having a sub-standard product, their "Big us, little you" attitude tells more about their owner's self-instilled "corporate culture" within the company.
Back to Phonak & Resound. Both brands of digitally programmable aids are probably some of the finest incarnations of electronics, firmware and software I have seen in a dedicated computer in my lifetime. Yes, these truly are small dedicated function computers. They can be programmed to be simple and make the moment-to-moment adjustments and changes automatically and seamlessly for you, or they can allow you to make your own changes in real time, as you have decided in programming them for yourself. You can also add a "Remote Control" as well - just like the one you use for your TV!
The Basic Problem
In my own case, I recognized the normal way the majority of people address their hearing loss was to consult a retail hearing aid store or outlet and/or an audiologist. After many visits to such places, and the "free" trials - one being the America Hears %(&^)%^#@, I felt I could do better. The process began.
In fairness, there there are always the time/profit constraints involved with any business. Hearing aid retailers are no different. From my perspective and experience, a "perfect fitting" or something close is a rather lengthy process that takes time, trial and testing in the real world environment to even get close.
That is one reason the "self-programming" packages, such as America Hears products are so popular. Unfortunately, most such new or retail packages are differentiated on a "lowest price point" basis. That defines the fact that they can't afford either the patent royalties on the best algorithms (methods of sound processing) that top-end hearing aids incorporate, or the many features top end aids offer.
This is precisely what makes the self-programming of Phonak's so unique - It is truly the best of both worlds, not to mention the advantage that you have the ability to make the changes YOU want and not the changes some other person, often with good hearing, makes based upon their interpretation of the changes you should have.
I quickly realize that conveying information about my hearing objectives and needs to an audiologist, one who typically did not have my hearing loss, was much like a blind man trying to convey to normal "seeing" person what they don't see... . It is the old "how can I know what I don't know if i don't know it?" There are imperfect mechanisms to "refine" the restoration of hearing such as COSI or ICOSI, a means of quantifying such issues, but in the final analysis, the person best in a position to achieve what I wanted to achieve was myself. Thus began the journey that has brought me to this point. For additional information, see: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/05/42/4suppl2/pdf/saunders.pdf
I personally can't see how any audiologist, no matter how well intentioned they may be; and many are very well intentioned, can possibly spend the the time or have the understanding of how you hear and then accurately "fine-tune" any individual's hearing aids and fitting to the degree they truly can be perfected; just as I have with mine by doing my own "tweaks", adjustments and experimentation through the many different pairs of aids as I have experimented with and learned.
These aspects, in my opinion, are clearly why so many aids end up unused in a dresser drawer somewhere. They are then donated or sold as used with little or no use, but are still often very current or near current state-of-the-art devices. Many, if not most people just give up in frustration. This can be a wind-fall for those who don't take the route of "full retail" new devices and shop a bit for their own needs in the secondary markets.
The Basic Solution
I have worn hearing aids now for about 10 years. My hearing loss is sever to profound and I struggled with all the normal issues of adapting and just not hearing like I want at times, particularly in any background noise environments.
I have over 150 major fittings I have done for myself as my hearing and desires to hear certain sounds, AND to not hear other sounds (like my wife's voice when she's angry) have evolved and changed over the years. Much was pure research and leaning, but still invaluable in understanding. Each of those fittings has many "snap shots" of the changes within each of the 150 master fittings so I can replicate, go back or enhance any fitting and condition within seconds. I even have a fitting for use when my allergies are bad to make things not sound "plugged up and hollow". I can uploaded, or modified and uploaded any of my fittings, or even slightly adjust my current fitting within moments using my personal computer, a programmer and the appropriate programming software.
I wear both Resound as well as Phonaks as my regular aids. Because of the peripheral neuropathy from chemotherapy, I'm not able to accurately feel the smaller devices and buttons such as are found on the very small units like the Resound 961 and Phoank Audeo Smart models.
Because of my ability to control the sounds I hear and those I don't want to in any particular environment, I'd wear hearing aids, even if I did not need them to hear basic sounds. Most modern digital hearing aids are operated in the "automatic" or "sound flow" type mode most of the time. In that mode, they monitor the sound in the environment and make the necessary adjustments automatically to optimize hearing, comfort or whatever you have programmed them to optimize and do.
Couple all that functionality with the ability to stream or send wireless audio signals to and from your hearing aids via streaming devices such as the Phonak Com Pilot, ICom or Resound Phone Clip (unique to each manufacturer) etc
Example of Programming Resounds & Phonaks
See this link: http://www.help2hear.org/10HA/programming_examples/
Where To Begin
The best place to begin is to educate yourself to the level you feel comfortable. In a nutshell, the more you know the better your hearing restoration will be and the better the value of the aids and package you decide best fits your needs. If you have questions, feel free to contact us!
Packages or Special Sales can be created for your specific needs upon request, Based Upon Inventory and Availability. We often have SINGLE UNITS that may be used to match those you may have LOST or STOLEN. Contact Us for Details on your specific needs. If we don't have it, we will make every to find it for you.
Legal/Medical Notices and Disclaimers - If You Do Not Understand, Seek Legal Counsel or Medical Advise
NO PATIENT/PRACTITIONER RELATIONSHIP ESTABLISHED
With respect to all elements and information contained herein, or any part thereof, there explicitly shall be deemed no Patient/Practitioner relationship of any manner, fashion or form is or has been created by your purchase, or from any information presented herein that is presented specifically for consumer education purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be considered as medical advise in any form. Please consult your healthcare provider before purchase or use.
FITNESS FOR THE INTENDED PURPOSE
Please make certain you have read and understand all elements of this auction and consult your audiologist if you feel it is necessary or appropriate. We cannot be responsible for buyer's lack of knowledge or misunderstanding. We CANNOT and DO NOT guarantee any devices purchased by you, or on your behalf by any third party are fit for your hearing loss, or that they may be programmed to address your specific hearing needs, objectives and desires. Please carefully review the "device fitting range” and all specifications for any hearing devices you are considering using or purchasing in order to personally verify the fitting ranges and specifications are proper and correct with respect to your hearing loss, needs and desires. If in doubt, consult your audiologist or hearing professional.
WE ARE NOT LICENSED AUDIOLOGISTS IN YOUR STATE
We cannot directly, indirectly or legally assess your hearing loss, needs or medical condition(s), nor if the specific hearing Aid(s) you elect to purchase, either through us or from other sources will be proper and correct for your hearing loss and hearing needs. Only you and/or your doctor/audiologist can make that determination. By purchasing through the secondary used/wholesale hearing aid market(s), you implicitly and explicitly agree you clearly understand and expressly assume full responsibility for any and all related factors and assessments, as well as any and all others aspects that would normally and customarily be provided by purchasing through a normal retail hearing aid dispenser, outlet or audiologist. We make no guarantees, representations or promises, either explicit or implicit, with respect to your hearing expectations, or any other factors, other than any warranties described below, and that any devices we may sell will be thoroughly tested and working properly when shipped.
WAIVER & HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT
By or through the use of any information, data, processes, or other elements contained herein, on our websites, or as a result of anything that may be secondarily obtained or used as a result of anything herein, be it electronically or otherwise, the reader, buyer and/or user, hereby, through their access and use, expressly accepts all responsibility and liability and agrees to hold the owners, sellers, authors and/or any contributors to this site and information, in its’ entirety, completely harmless with respect to any and all elements, products or other factors to which this site and the owners, jointly or severally, in their entirety, may be deemed to have been a cause, be it proximate, contributory or otherwise.
REQUIRED FDA DISCLAIMERS & WAIVERS
This is a waiver of the medical evaluation requirements when purchasing hearing aids. By making any purchase, you implicitly and explicitly agree and state the following: By and through my purchase and payment, I certify I am over age 18 and I have been advised the Food and Drug Administration has determined my best interest would be served if I had a medical evaluation by a licensed physician, preferably a physician who specialized in diseases of the ear, prior to purchasing a hearing instrument; or, alternately, a test by a licensed audiologist utilizing customary procedures and devices in the fitting of hearing instruments or aids. Additionally, through my purchase, I hereby certify that I have either: 1) Had such a medical evaluation, or 2) That I do not wish either a medical evaluation or test before purchasing a hearing instrument.
We are required to include the following detailed FDA information in this auction.
According to the FDA (click here), it is in your best health interest to obtain a professional medical evaluation before purchasing a hearing aid, and you are encouraged to do so before buying or bidding on any item. The FDA strongly encourages anyone to seek medical help before trying to remedy a hearing problem themselves. You, the prospective hearing aid user/buyer, must be 18 years of age or older. The hearing aid user should obtain a medical evaluation prior to the purchase of hearing aid(s), as this may not be the best solution to your hearing problem. The exercise of this waiver may not be in your best health interest. By my purchase, I explicitly certify that I have been advised by Seller herein that the Food and Drug Administration has determined that my best health interest may be served if I had a medical evaluation by a licensed physician or certified hearing professional before purchasing a hearing aid. By entering my bid or other offer to purchase this item(s), absent my providing seller with a signed statement to the contrary, I, through my bid and/or purchase, do hereby expressly waive and certify that I do not wish a medical evaluation before purchasing these/this hearing aid(s) or related items.