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Dalbergia12 t1_iyxuult wrote

This should be a huge boon to many of my American neighbours. I hope that Costco starts selling them in the USA. In Canada, Costco sells very good hearing aids for about 1/2 to 2/3 of anyone else. Saved me and my spouse over $1000 EA. for sure!


JetKeel t1_iyy16sz wrote

Bought my grandmother some Costco hearing aids a couple of years ago for Christmas. They completely transformed her life in a positive way.


iLLogick t1_iyxvjsr wrote

The problem with Costco is that they buy all their hearing aids from one manufacturer at a huge discount and will sell that brand to their customers almost exclusively.

So not only do they drive independent clinics out, they sell customers a hearing aid based on who gives them a discount rather than what suits their customers needs.

Certain manufacturers have refused to do business with Costco because their practices are harming the overall industry


Dalbergia12 t1_iyxxh3a wrote

I'm familiar with that point of view. I found the Costco did carry other brands as well as the brand's that they had a contract with at the time. And because the others were more expressive for what I got, I voted with my wallet.

I've been to audiologists other than Costco staff. With my parents when they were aging and my in-laws when they were aging, and the last decade for myself and my spouse. They were IMHO worse than the worst of used car salesmen anywhere. If Costco puts a few of those scammers out of the ripping off grandma business, I'm okay with that!


maniacreturns t1_iyy258n wrote

Costco chooses products after factoring in all kind of data points, it's not just who gives them a bill discount. Go look at any of the products they carry and they're all rated close to best in class by consumer reports.


[deleted] t1_iyyklz8 wrote

Must be why Costco only sells Seagate hard drives, not that I would buy one.


mokeyss t1_iyzqs7j wrote

This is false. A quick google to there website shows that they sell from 3 manufacturers. Rexton, jabra, and phillips. Please make sure you dont spread false information.


bighungrybelly t1_iz07y4e wrote

Certain manufacturers have refused to do business with Costco because it would hurt their profit.


TikkiTakiTomtom t1_iyykcnz wrote

Thing is, the difference between a generic hearing aid and one that you get from the audiologist is day and night in terms of sound quality.


Dalbergia12 t1_iyynrry wrote

I believe Costco on Canada is using trained audiologists. Now I did not demand to see accreditation papers from them. The testing was thorough lasted over an hour. Next appointment I was shown how my hearing aids were set up for my specific hearing loss etc.


threeleggedgirl t1_iyywxs7 wrote

Are Costco hearing aids fitted? That always seemed like the main cost behind a hearing aid is just making sure it is comfy enough to wear all the time by having it be perfectly form fitting.


Dalbergia12 t1_iz0jk4u wrote

The kind where they make a mold of the inside of your ear etc. Are I believe, usually used for extreme hearing loss, and I(so far) have not had that experience. But if I do someday need those complex and expensive ones, Costco will be my first choice.


threeleggedgirl t1_iz0jvyy wrote

Ooo that makes sense! I'm legally blind and my prescription is -18.00, so I have a similar thing where if I want contacts they have to be like.... Special made for my eyes, because normal contacts would be too heavy or dry on my eyes. Once you're working at the extremes, precision becomes tricky without ideal conditions lol.


Dalbergia12 t1_iz0q70p wrote

The big problem for most folks is twofold.

First they wait till they are as deaf as a stump before they try to get help. If you can't remember what year you last heard a mosquito ?? And you never wake up to the sound of birds or even the neighbour's snow blowers anymore you already really need hearing aides. And if you wait till you are very old and a bit confused you will never learn how to use them.

And second of course is paying 3 times what is reasonable, is very hard to do on a fixed income. (this is of course the main reason folks put off getting them when they start to need them)

My MIL is 96, confused and is technically not quite stone deaf, but she can barely use them and got soaked for $7000 -more than 3 times what I paid!


NONcomD t1_iz8f3nj wrote

No it isnt. An individual.hearing aids is pretty standard and is not for extreme hearing loss. Having a problems with fitting might cause whistling and noise for the wearer of the hearing aids.


tammage t1_iyz410y wrote

Are the around the ear ones? I desperately need aids but I already get a huge headache when I wear glasses and a mask so I worry that hearing aids will cause the same issue. I can’t afford even the cheapest ones right now


Dalbergia12 t1_iz0k8mk wrote

Mine perch on and behind the outside of my ears and my glasses complicate issues. But I cope, as they are still better than not being able to hear speech well enough to socialize. I doubt they will give you any kind of head ache. Totally get the glasses and mask problems. But still rather do my best to cope and try to avoid getting sick which, touch wood is still working! Edited a word.


tammage t1_iz0nuxb wrote

Ya I haven’t gotten sick either but the headache gets so bad that I know avoid going out for extended periods of time. I wish I knew someone that had them so I could try for an hour. I’d probably know within 15 mins if I could handle it. Only person I know has top of the line Bluetooth and you can’t even tell he wears them.


Dalbergia12 t1_iz0p20n wrote

That might be the way to go for you then.


tammage t1_iz29e34 wrote

Would be great, if I could even afford one let alone the two that I need.


figlu t1_iyxbwlv wrote

There's a research paper that showed AirPods mostly can replace expensive hearing aid devices. This is a long time coming.


nekogatonyan t1_iyyfeaa wrote

This is not what the research shows. It shows that the AirPod Pros work similarly to premium hearing aids when the noise is coming from the lateral side, but not the front side. There were not significant differences in quiet environments, but there were in noisy environments. People who are hard of hearing need the most assistance in noisy environments.

Second of all, they looked at people who had bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in the mild-to-moderate range. If I know anything about the audiology world, it's that nothing ever happens that way in real life and tons of people have different hearing levels in their ears. They didn't even tell us where the hearing loss occurred. Was it in the high pitches or the low pitches? Did all the patients experience hearing loss in the same frequencies?

What I don't understand about this study is how they got the AirPods to pick up noise in the room that did not come from the phone. I understand how they did it with hearing aids because hearing aids have microphones that pick up stuff from the environment, which then gets amplified and converted into sound in someone's ear.

How did they program the Airpods to do that? Because I thought the point of earphones was to block out the sound around you and pump in the sound from the phone. When you speak into a microphone on the airpods, it goes to someone else's hearing set. So how did they reroute it to the Airpods own hearing set? It was not explained in the methods. EDIT: It's apparently a built in feature with the iphone and Airpods Pro called "Headphone Accommodations."


AsteroidFilter t1_iyym2k3 wrote

60% deaf in both ears here. Out of 10, I'm usually at a 3. With headphones/earbuds watching movies, I"m maybe at a 6. With hearing aids, 7-8 maybe?

As an adult, I'm faced with two choices: fork up $6k somehow for hearing aids or spend $140 on amazon for hearing amplifiers and wear them when I need to.

I know there are heavy regulations for hearing aids over sound amplifiers but I don't see how they justify a 4200% price increase?

I feel like I should just make eyeglasses with a microphone connected to a local speech transcriber like Whisper or Nemo and just display subtitles as some kind of overlay on the glass. Eliminate the need for the deaf to translate speech into words entirely. For all languages.


MelMac5 t1_iz0ixf8 wrote

It was the same with prescription glasses although not to that degree. You could only get the glasses from the optometrist and the Luxottica monopoly. The price drastically decreased once the free market got a hold of it. I'm wearing $20 Zennis now.

I'm even fine with requiring a prescription for hearing devices, since as others have posted it helps rule out other issues such as infection, impacted wax, etc. Also helps pinpoint the best device.

But the outrageous markup on these things is something I'm glad to see being addressed by opening up the market.

Do CPAP machines next!


figlu t1_iyylro8 wrote

Yes there are limitations of this study. You can read all of them in the limitations section.

AirPods two have mics in them for hands free calling. These mics can also be used to amplify environmental sound. I think there's a setting you can turn on to use them as hearing aids.


iLLogick t1_iyxv3gt wrote

There is a very small group within the hearing impaired population that will benefit from having a one-size-fits-all hearing aid.

Most people will still need to see a hearing care professional to have their hearing tested, hearing aid programmed specifically for the loss they have and adjusted over time as their hearing changes.


AuDBallBag t1_iyxw3za wrote

Audiologist here. I fully agree. Very few of my patients have mild to moderate loss. If they've sought help already, they're likely not a candidate for OTC. But this will hopefully be a way for hearing-aid -curious individuals with early signs of their loss to start treating sooner. I just wish the product came with a good recommendation to have a diagnostic evaluation first so we can rule out wax impaction, infection, anatomical abnormalities and disease. Unfortunately people will always self treat, but I wish they would not self diagnose this issue. You can really do a lot of damage.


maladictem t1_iyy0cxs wrote

If you don't mind me asking, would this be something that could help people with more significant hearing loss, if they are having trouble getting proper hearing aids? My grandpa really needs hearing aids, but is having trouble with the doctor Medicare keeps sending him to (they don't fit or don't work properly, it's been a while since I talked with him about it, so I'm forgetting some of the details), he has gotten frustrated and stopped trying to get them to work. Would this be something that I could get for him to at least somewhat improve his hearing, or would it be better to not use them; either way, I'm going to continue to try to convince him to go back to the audiologist.


AuDBallBag t1_izf3qjk wrote

So medicare does not cover hearing aids at all and his medicaid supplement may dictate he needs to go to a certain provider to get discounted aids, but he can go wherever he pleases if he wants to pay privately for them. These devices are self fitting and for mild losses only so I would say he probably would not benefit tremendously from them. But he would benefit from a second opinion.


Aightball t1_iyyycp6 wrote

I 100% agree with seeing an audiologist. My problem is that, when I have seen one, they say my hearing is fine. I've had tinnitus my entire life and I can pass a hearing test with flying colors. My problem is that a lot of people increasingly sound like Charlie Brown's teacher when they talk to me, and after a while, i smile and nod, and hope I haven't agreed to anything. I can hear fine but I can't understand some times...and the louder the room, the worse it is. So this might be something that would benefit me, who knows I have an issue but who has been dissmissed by every doctor I've ever seen. :|


LadyGrey-3 t1_iyz11yu wrote

You may have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder—worth seeing if you can get referred for a CAPD specific test if your traditional audiogram keeps showing up as normal.


Aightball t1_iz75h55 wrote

Sorry for the delay in responding!


Where can I find more information on this? And how would I go about asking my doctor and/or finding someone to do this test?


LadyGrey-3 t1_izcbjy0 wrote

“CAPD” testing is completed by an audiologist who specializes in that area (the average audiologist is not completing this testing). I would honestly google “central auditory processing testing near me” and see if there is an audiologist with a private practice dedicated to this specialty. If not, you could contact your last audiologist and see if they have any good names to refer you to.

Otherwise, you could potentially cut to the chase and try a program for auditory processing training online. I know LACE is a popular program that is self-guided. It would be worth getting a proper diagnosis though if possible.


Aightball t1_izcs6ew wrote

Thank you! I live in a medium sized city in Iowa, so I should be able to hopefully find someone near by. And it's enough of a problem that I'm willing to travel if need be to get the testing done. It's so frustrating when people sound like nonsense to me when I know they're using actual words. Thank you for the information!!


AuDBallBag t1_izf45z6 wrote

Yes an OTC aid will not help you but you may need to see a neuro-otologist because if you have normal hearing thresholds but distorted speech recognition and tinnitus you may have anything from Central auditory processing disorder, to cerebrovascular inflammation, to a benign tumor on the acoustic nerve. I wouldn't stop at the test - I'd get an MRI. If that's clear, I'd ask for auditory processing disorder screening.


Aightball t1_izg47fk wrote

I've had it suggested by an ENT (who showed that vertigo was actually treatable and manageable!) that I might also have a birth defect in the inner ears. Apparently, it's 'not normal' for 2-year-olds to report tinnitus and vertigo. The story my mother often told me was that, when I could form sentences, I complained that the room went around and my ears made noise. We got the vertigo taken care of serveral years ago, but the tinnitus never went away. At the time (and now) I couldn't afford further testing, but it's something to consider looking into.


Dalbergia12 t1_iyycmtw wrote

You are right that that would be bad!

Except where Costco sells hearing aides they employ trained Audiologists. This not a pick your own or one product sales thing.

The Gal that I was served by worked there for years on the floor , worked up into a lower management position, then asked for the training, and tells me she loves her job! It is a small but fully staffed department. The testing was thorough, free, and completely un-rushed. No pushy commission sales staff. Though it took a few weeks to get an appointment.


HazeySunday t1_iyyk355 wrote

Unless the woman who served you went to school for 8 years (4 years of undergrad and 4 years of graduate studies) or got a 2 years masters and additional training for the AuD, you were not served by an audiologist.

Costco does employ trained audiologists, and they also don’t. When you go there, you can get either or.


exoriare t1_iyy1n5j wrote

I'm guessing someone will come up with an app to program a hearing aid, paired with some device to generate reference tones, so you can tune and track your hearing loss on a regular basis.


ConfidentVisit4629 t1_iyy1eip wrote

Why is it so hard to get in the first place


nekogatonyan t1_iyyc16o wrote

Because the only people technically qualified to prescribe hearing aids are audiologists. How many audiologists do you know? The industry requires you to have a PhD in audiology. Secondly, most insurances do not cover hearing aids/hearing tests even when people need them.

There's a ton of gatekeeping when it comes to hearing aids. Some of the gatekeeping makes sense since hearing involves lots of delicate and small pieces in your ear. I wouldn't want someone without the education prescribing hearing aids for me. However, all this gatekeeping keeps people from getting the help they need.


Disastrous-Cake1476 t1_iz111s8 wrote

I was excited about this move until we helped my MIL buy over the counter hearing aids. No customer service, no help fitting them or tweaking them to her personal hearing loss, an app that is marginal and only works part of the time, and also resets the hearing aids to their default settings every night when she recharges them. Many hearing aid users are older, so using a difficult app and having a lot of barriers to decent hearing is a non-starter. They are going to give up on using them, and this is already an issue with hearing aids in general. I am encouraging her to return these and go get fitted by an audiologist who will then help her tweak the hearing aids until they work properly. Yes, that's more expensive. Yes, I know a lot of folks cannot afford that (and this is morally wrong), but I was really disappointed in her experience with OTC aids. She got them at Walmart (only game in her town) and bought the top of the line. I have worn hearing aids for two decades and I get mine at Costco. I can sure tell the difference in the experience between hers and mine. It's really disappointing.


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Lxcky t1_iyzaz2r wrote

How much did they have to pay Tyson Fury to endorse them?


CapeMOGuy t1_iyzd0pm wrote

A couple of factoids to add:

  1. Bose and Sony are expected to enter this "DIY" hearing aid market. Big money is behind this change! I think this is great news.

  2. This is a change Donald Trump signed into law. It took literally years for the FDA to do their part on this.


MoreMagic t1_iz1ps66 wrote

Factoids? So, the statements are false then?


CapeMOGuy t1_iz3b7f4 wrote

My statements are true.


MoreMagic t1_iz4kj7e wrote

As I got it, ”factoid” means something spread as fact, but is false.


CapeMOGuy t1_iz5okyu wrote

Here's the definition I used.  

The Grammarist blog points out that that in the U.S., at least, "'factoid' is now almost exclusively used to mean 'a brief interesting fact.'

Seems there are definitely different definitions, sorry for the confusion.


MoreMagic t1_iz5wewg wrote

Thank you. I will follow their advice:

”If you want to be cheered rather than jeered for your attention to language, save "factoid" for those occasions when the subject is something that resembles a fact, but isn't one. Or for things that are "trivial, useless [and] unsubstantiated." For everything else, the simple word "fact" is accurate and you can save yourself a syllable.”


Rrianch t1_iyx17vg wrote

It was a 2017 bill signed into law by Trump. Biden took credit for it.