What's in this blog? Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

"Mankind is terrified of silence, is uncomfortable in the quiet, is this the reason they need so much going on around them that is noisy? "

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why are My Hearing Aids in the Kitchen Trash?

The dogs didn't do it. Neither did my wife, I did it. My hearing aids are very small, are camouflaged and like to hide from me. (I think)

23:00 Friday Late Friday night after a long week, I decided to clean my hearing aids. No problem, hearing aids are again pristine, new batteries installed and ready for a busy Saturday.

2330 Lights out.

0430 Saturday Wide awake very early, excited about Salado Eggfest. Too dark outside to load the Subaru. Mess around until 0600 when my wife's alarm goes off.

0630 Saturday Showered, dressed, Where are my hearing aids? Nope not on the dresser, where they usually are. Check bathroom, table in the family room. This is getting serious.

0645 Wife "Where did you clean them?"

0646 Me "In my chair in the family, before I fell asleep in the chair". OK, check in the chair, on the table, on the floor. "Maybe the dog(s) ate them." "Oh sh**!"

0648 Wife "did you check the trash?"

0650 Me " Are you kidding? But I check anyways, just to satisfy her. First glance, no. More looking in the same places. Back to the trash can. This time I look more carefully. Hearing aids are in the same tissue I cleaned them with carefully wrapped in the bottom of the bag. Now I have to tell wife she was right. She was.

0655 Me "That could have been the most expensive bag of trash I have ever thrown away" Pulse and respiration returning to normal.

0700 Wife gives that smile that says "I know you better after 33 years than you know yourself."

0710 My hearing aids now have a new home in a mesquite bowl set aside for this specific purpose. They are either in my ears or in the bowl.

This story has a happy ending. My hearing aids, my wife and I all went to the Salado Eggfest and had a good time. Came home tired and my hearing aids were put in the bowl so I can find them next time.

My next pair of hearing aids will be bright red.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pilates and Hearing Aids

I decided after my my last Diabetes checkup to off my ass and do something about my lack of physical activity. My A1C has been creeping up and is now too high. I spend most of work week driving or sitting in front of computer. More pills and shots are not the answer for me.

What to do? After considerable research I decided to take up Pilates. IThe Round Rock YMCA has a small group class twice a week at 0730 that works well with my schedule. I recently completed the first five week course successfully. Pilates is NOT as easy as it looks. Slowly but surely I am working through some joint issues and recovering some of the flexibility and strength that I have lost due to a sedentary life style, injuries, Arthritis and age.  The next step is to add a couple of morning sessions in the pool to the routine. The second session starts next week and I am looking forward to it.  

What this have to do with my hearing aids? Simple, I can hear the instructor. I realize now that I stopped doing some thing simply because I could not hear what the instructor was saying. It's easy to understand why some folks with a severe hearing lose could withdraw from many activities that we take for granted.

Second hearing test and hearing protection.

I recently had a second hearing test with no significant changes. Not loosing anymore of hearing has been a primary objective for me. I pay a lot more attention to hearing protection particularly in the shop. I haven't been to the shooting range in almost two years.

I also a pair of customer ear plugs made for the shop and yard. Ear muff style hearing protectors are just too damned hot for Texas and I don't use them as a result.  And, my  eye glass temples means I don't get a good fit with the muffs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

One Year Later

One year later my hearing test was OK. No additional hearing loss. My efforts to use hearing protection have paid off well. The "muff" style protectors are too hot to wear for very long but they are fine when using the miter saw and other equipment. My molded plugs are more comfortable for longer tasks.

My hearing aids are working as designed without any issues. I have come to the conclusion that cell phones make lousy phones. Blackberry's are small and powerful and are a real challenge to use as a phone. The microphone is too far from your mouth IMHO.  The Bluetooth interface with the hearing aids has been a huge benefit for me. I use it several hours a day.

Life is good and I am enjoying a lot more since my hearing has improved. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bluetooth, or Crazy Person?

 from net article on Ten Most Annoying Smartphone habits,

Bluetooth, or Crazy Person?
OK, we admit it. If you have just the right fashion sense to go with it, your Bluetooth can make you look like an awesome sci-fi movie cyborg.
But remember, to half of the world, you just look like you're jabbering away to no one in particular.
If you're walking, it makes it awful hard to tell the difference between you and a raving homeless person. And if you're sitting next to us, say in a restaurant or on the subway, listening to you have a one-way conversation into the void is just annoying.

No Bluetooth headset required so most folks assume I am talking to myself when in some cases is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not Perfect But Better Than Nothing, Guess Less

I had one of hearing aids checked out today because of an issue with the speaker wire. While I was waiting my audiologist asked me how I liked my hearing aids.

Wearing my hearing aids

I guess less about what someone is saying to me.

Soft consonants are still very hard for me to understand. No surprise, I expected this based on my hearing tests.  Penny also mentioned this when I was fitted for the hearing aids.

The hearing aids are very light and comfortable. It's not unusual for me to wear them 15 or 16 hours a day and I forget I have them on.

The Bluetooth interface with my Blackberry is very cool and usable. People look at me when I am on the phone because they don't realize I am talking on the phone, no headset! The battery on the Streamer gets low after a couple of hours on the phone. I carry a charger in my car for the Streamer.

I didn't realize how noisy my Subaru Forester is above 50 mph until I try to use my Blackberry. I think I can hear about every other word. Most of the time I stop to talk on the phone. Much safer too.

No hearing aids will replace the hearing I have lost but life is much better with them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bagpipes and Hearing Aids, it's Not Rock and Roll

Several times a year I am privileged to hear bagpipes close up and personal at masonic lodge functions that I attend and participate in. I love the pipes and the traditional tunes. The pipes played indoors in small rooms create some interesting harmonics and present a challenge to my hearing aids, being loud and louders. Doing some research I found out that the British Army has looked into this. See below

Over the years there has been many discussions if playing in a pipe band can lead to hearing damage or loss. With many tests done and surveys conducted one can conclude that members of a band could indeed sustain hearing damage.

Without hearing protection, members face a serious risk of lasting hearing damage as decibel levels are over 90. Outdoors it has been recorded that pipes can reach decibel levels ranging between 108 to 111. 111 decibels is equivalent to how loud a pneumatic drill is.

Indoors, pipes can reach decibel levels up to 116, which is as loud as a chainsaw. Snare drums can hit up to 122 decibels. The noise level is louder than the sound produced by a jet engine at take off.

In 2006, the Ministry of Defence in Britain ordered Army bagpipers to limit playing indoors 15 minutes a day and 24 minutes a day when playing outdoors. If the piper wants to play longer they have to wear ear protection.

So we can stop telling the kids to moderate their IPod volume and limit our appreciation of the pipes to about 15 minutes indoors. I think next time I will turn my hearing aids off.