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A change of hearing aids brings about positive results

Well, it has been a month since I first had my hearing tested and reinforced what I already knew n that I had some hearing loss.

And following that test, I received a pair of hearing aids.

As I said in an earlier column, I tried the “in-the-ear” devices, molded to specifically fit my ears. And I found they weren’t for me.

I could get beyond hearing my own voice in a way I had never heard it before, and I could get over the constant sound of tin cans on my ears, but the thing I could not accept was the stuffiness of the devices.

For me, and I can’t speak for the experiences of others, I always felt as though I had just gotten out of the swimming pool and there was water in my ear.

When I told Becky Israel, the specialist at Avada, what I was experiencing, she knew immediately what to do.

With one phone call she ordered me a different style of aids, a design that had just recently come on the market.

They are sort of like the older ones that would sit on the back of the ear and had a hook on the front to wrap around the top of the ear. That’s about the extent of the similarity.

These are tiny, smaller than a quarter, and shaped something like a teardrop. The electronics are encased in plastic and sit on top of the ear. There is a tube that extends down into the ear, and on the end of it is a plug-like device that fits snuggly into the canal. There is also an extra piece of plastic extending down from the tube that wraps into the inside of the ear to help hold everything in place.

What’s really cool about these devices, aside from the benefits received, is that they come in a number of colors so the owner/wearer can customize them. I looked over the brochure and saw red, blue, green, yellow, purple and more. I chose something very close to flesh tone.

These aids are much better. I no longer have the stuffiness of the in-the-ear devices, and with few exceptions, I don’t even know I am wearing them.

There are a couple things I need to get used to n such as the noise when I scratch my head anywhere near my ear, and the sound they make rubbing against my skin. As for the latter, all I need to do is give them a slight adjustment and they are fine. They even work well sitting atop the earpiece of my glasses.

I have experienced better hearing in situations where I was having trouble before. I don’t have to ask my wife to repeat herself as much as she used to, and I don’t turn the TV up as loud anymore.

I am having success in conversations with others, although it will never be perfect. Heck, even people with perfect hearing have to have things repeated on occassion.

There is still the issue of the wind blowing across the openings of the devices, but I discovered if I turn my head perpendicular to the wind, there is little interference.

With the other style any time the wind picked up the noise was very loud. I often wondered what it would have been like to visit the beach wearing those things.

I realize there are going to be some minor issues I will have to get used to, but I am willing to make that sacrifice in order to improve my hearing.

If, like me, you think or know that you might have a hearing loss, go see a specialist and have the test. It’s painless, and often free. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Hearing aids are limited in what they can do, and if one’s hearing loss becomes too significant, they may not be able to help.

Grant is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact him at doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com, or 934-9603.