Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Step Toward Old Age

I believe everyone gets a little hard of hearing as they age.  Just as the rest of the body doesn't stand up to time, neither do the ears/eardrums.  And things go south rather quickly when there was a problem to begin with, as it is with me.  Until about seven years or so, I never knew that I had a hearing problem that quite possibly has been with me since I was young.  While I passed all of my hearing tests in elementary school, I never had a hearing test again until seven years ago, so I have no idea how long things have been going bad.  A genetic problem+aging=needing to look for a solution.

Yesterday I went for an appointment with the ear specialist and the first thing that was done was the hearing test.  And things are just a bit worse than they were seven years ago.  And both the doctor and audiologist say it is time for me to get help.  Now comes my search for the proper hearing aid/s.

I've done some research and am completely confused--there are a lot of different hearing aids out there.  And they are EXPENSIVE!  I don't think I will be able to get ONE for less than $1500!  Yikes.  And, of course, insurance companies don't pick up even part of the tab for these things.  >:-(  But, if the need is there, we will do what has to be done.  And I think I really need to get one/two of these gadgets.

One good thing about needing an aid these days is that they are VERY different from what my great-grandmother had to use.  Her hearing aid was about the size of a cigarette pack--she had pockets sewed into her undershirts so the aid could be placed there--and the earphone was attached by a cord.  There was no disguising this thing, even if you had long hair.  Today, hearing aids are pretty invisible--even the ones that sit outside of the ear.  While I would want one that sits in the ear canal completely, I probably would be best served by the type that sits on the top of the ear, with the main part behind the ear and a small wire going to the ear canal.  But, until I see a hearing aid specialist, I won't know what I'll end up with.  {sigh}

If it isn't apparent, I'm not looking forward to this and have been putting it off far too long.  (I was told it was my decision seven years ago as to whether or not I wanted to try aids.)  While I would LOVE to be able to hear well, I just don't want to get aids.  For someone who is completely NOT vain, the thought of wearing something that SCREAMS that I'm getting older just kills me.  This is so unlike me and I'm trying to get a grip--but I'm not succeeding.  I have varicose veins, I wear reading glasses, I have wrinkles, I'm very overweight, and I groan when I move my joints, yet hearing aids are what are going to make me feel old and depressed.  An attitude adjustment is definitely in my future.  And being able to hear well WILL prevent things like this from happening:


****I do realize that I sound ridiculous, terrible, and ungrateful.  I know there are people who would be so happy to have my problem and I should be thankful that my problems are not worse than they are.  I apologize for my bad attitude and WILL get over this.  Bear with me, please.****


meleah rebeccah said...

Holy crap. $1.500.00 for a hearing aid? That's insanity.

And if it makes you feel any better, I can't hear very well either. I think that's why I am always shouting when I talk.

cmk said...

$1200-1500 seems to be the STARTING point for the state-of-the-art new aids. It is insane, for sure.

Both of my girls have hearing problems, as well. The Oldest possibly has inherited from K's side and maybe mine. The Youngest had a congenital abnormality that was surgically fixed, but she only regained part of her hearing. Both of the girls will need hearing aids at some point, I'm sure.

And yes, I'm sure MY loudness is because of my hearing problems. I used to think it was because I was so short and needed to be loud so people would notice me, but I guess that wasn't the case. :D

Rebecca Kavel said...

I understand why people are reluctant to buy hearing aids – the price is quite steep. Hearing aids nowadays cost from $1399 up to $2899, depending on how sophisticated and high-tech the materials were used. But you can be sure of durability and longevity for products around those prices, as most of the hearing aids today are heavy-duty and able to last a number of years.

cmk said...

Rebecca: Yes, all of that is true and I know it. I AM taking (baby) steps towards getting this done--I'm thinking I will be making my appointment this week. Once I have the aid(s), I KNOW I will wonder why I didn't do it sooner. :)