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Please - Good hearing aids for riders???

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  • Please - Good hearing aids for riders???

    I've searched the Forum for HA info but none tells me where to start.

    I'm hoping you guys can help. I've been in denial or been just plain hard-headed for long enough now and the truth of the matter is that I need hearing aid(s). Are any of you COTHers wearing a HA while riding and if so, what brand, model, and how do you like it?

    I'm really in the dark. I don't even know what the procedure is for buying one. When I was tested 6-7 years ago, (twice) I was told that a HA would help me. Riding, helmets, wind, etc., was never discussed because I was pretty adamant that friends and family could just learn to speak distinctly. And I could say "What? What? What?" But now, I'm missing spicy conversations on the trail, instructions from trainers, and tend to miss meetings simply because I know I won't understand the speaker anyway. Obviously, it's time.

    I live in NoVa. Any suggestions for finding an audiologist (Is that what/who I look for?) who also rides or how else can I be sure I get something that will fit my horsey lifestyle?

    BTW, I am cross-posting this in the "Off Course" section as well because when I did my search, I found some posts about hearing aids - or speaker systems that attached to hearing aids -- in that forum. While that did help some, what helped most was learning that there are riders out there wearing the hearing aids which is reassuring.

    Thanks alot for any and all suggestions.

  • #2
    I think it depends on your hearing loss on what brand/type of HA is best. Some people can get smaller HAs that just fit in the ear, while others need larger kinds that fit over the back of the ear. I personally don't think the brand matters when it comes to riding. If you have a well-fitted mold (the part that goes in the ear), you shouldn't have any problems. If it's too loose, the straps of the helmet, or the helmet itself, will cause the HA to send out feedback (squealing). Heck, sometimes just the wind of running with the horse will cause annoyance from the HAs, lol. And there's at least two types of hearing aids: analog and digital (I think digital is pushing out analogs).

    You can look for an audiologist, or you can look for an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist. I personally go with an audiologist because I haven't the first clue how to find an ENT here, lol

    I found a forum a little while ago that I think is great, and it should help answer any questions, at www.alldeaf.com
    Some people are like slinkies...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

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    • #3
      The one thing I would do is bring your helmet with you when trying different hearing aids.

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      • #4
        When it came time for my husband to get his new hearing aids, we went with what the audiologist recommended based upon his needs/lifestyle. His new ears are wonderful!

        He would never wear a helmet because the hearing aids would always get rubbed or have some sort of interference.

        Finding a good helmet is hard enough, but hearing aids are much more difficult and expensive to fit. Find a recommended audiologist experienced in dealing with sports/athletics and go from there. Brands/models change often due to technology advancements. Find ones that work for you then go find another helmet if you need to do so.

        One great invention that has kept my husband riding this summer are ear gear protective coverings for his hearing aids....he has the behind the ears. The ear gears are made with goretex and keep his aids from getting wet due to moisture.....wonderful!
        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

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        • #5
          I wear digital and take it off whenever I ride. Or, I'd be hearing the feedback all the time which is very irritating to no end. I survive by being more observant and avoid those who are hard to lip read.
          Will get a dream horse!
          More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting

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          • #6
            I have worn hearing aids for appx 15 years. The instrument (aid) itself is pretty much the same no matter whitch "brand" you purchase. What you need is a good audiologist to fit you with the aids that best address your personal hearing loss. The new digital tec. is awsome for hearing enhancement. If you chose a BTE (behind the ear) aid you will not experience feedback from your helment. BTE's are far better in the wind also. In the ear aids catch the wind and enhance that sound too to the point that wind is all you hear! A lot of (vain!) people refuse BTE's because they don't want other people to notice that they are wearing aids. The newest of the BTE's are now so small as to be almost indivisable so that even the vainest of us all are pleased!
            And now for the "sticker" shock: Expect to pay appx $2000/2500 per hearing aid. And what you should receive for this price is all the follow up care you need to be 100% satisified with your new aids and any and all adjustments as needed for the first full year. As you adjust to hearing with your new aids the sound will need adjusted several times to achieve the most benifit for your needs.

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            • #7
              Getting feedback from the aid depends on the degree of your hearing loss. Some BTE do catch on the sounds you'd like to hear and some don't. Even fantastic audiologist cannot perform miracles for you. Most health insurance do not cover the cost of hearing aid. So, check to see if yours do cover and how much will they cover on the cost. I am one of the fortunate ones to have such insurance that will cover 80% of the cost.
              Will get a dream horse!
              More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting

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              • #8
                i also wear my fm and has when dealing with my mare. see if your saddler can adapted your helmet to fit your hearing aids.

                Or use a body-worn system are great i use a body worn fm and can use my ipod headphones with it and my ipod headphones fit great under my helmet

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                • #9
                  I am completely without hearing in my Right ear and significant loss in my Left ear. I wear BTE aid but can not wear it when riding. All I hear is wind and other noises. Horrible! The Comtek system saved my life! I use it for lessons and it is great. I can now hear every word of my lessons!! It is worth the money 10 times over! My trainer will wear it to talk to me when she is riding my horse too so she can tell me what she is doing. My audiologist ordered it for me so I got it for wholesale instead of retail and saved a bit of money on it.
                  ~Run and Jump!~

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