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Hearing aids

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My father now requires hearing aids and he continues to be very active including spending time sailing with me.  His current hearing aids cause him all manner of issues when sailing (and cycling) with whistling, wind noise constantly in his ears. There are a few products that claim to solve this problem but so far we’ve had no luck.  Does anyone know of or use a hearing aid that works in such conditions?

 

Thanks for your attention 

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A beanie or bandana helps with the wind noise

The advice I was given when I picked up my hearing aids.... "Water is not your friend"

So when I go sailing the hearing aids are taken off and left down below or ashore, at which time I announce to all crew "Entering deaf mode"

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In the past, I sailed with a fellow with the same problem. He was also a former GP. He had apparently done some research into this where he tried to find some alternatives (if any).

Sadly he entered "deaf mode" onboard when it becomes wet and windy, where the crew had to use signals to communicate with him. I am interested to hear if any products exist? 

Seen sailers with headsets! Mainly professionals on larger boats. A headset with microphone might work? The headset will cover the ear and reduce any wind noise. If the microphones do work in this environment it might be a solution? I have had similar discussions with my wife when sailing shorthanded. Especially when one of us are at the bow and the other at the helm. We use or try to use hand signals, at times it would be good to have a more conversation.   

Sorry, I am not giving any help.

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57 minutes ago, Mogle said:

In the past, I sailed with a fellow with the same problem. He was also a former GP. He had apparently done some research into this where he tried to find some alternatives (if any).

Sadly he entered "deaf mode" onboard when it becomes wet and windy, where the crew had to use signals to communicate with him. I am interested to hear if any products exist? 

Seen sailers with headsets! Mainly professionals on larger boats. A headset with microphone might work? The headset will cover the ear and reduce any wind noise. If the microphones do work in this environment it might be a solution? I have had similar discussions with my wife when sailing shorthanded. Especially when one of us are at the bow and the other at the helm. We use or try to use hand signals, at times it would be good to have a more conversation.   

Sorry, I am not giving any help.

maybe those with bluetooth that are used in motorcycle helmets https://www.amazon.com/Sena-SMH10D-10-Motorcycle-Bluetooth-Intercom/dp/B0087NAZM0

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The average age of my crew is 71 and runs from 61 to 81.  Hearing loss is a thing on my boat.  The way we deal with it might be helpful in your situation.  The basic rule is that if you say something to someone and they don't respond, they didn't hear you. On the other end, if someone says something to you, you must acknowledge that you heard them.  Then if someone didn't hear you, you yell.  Works fine.  But it takes everyone following the rules and they are explicit boat rules that everyone is expected to follow.  This is different than the way people normally communicate which is that when you say something to someone, you expect them to hear you and when someone says something to you that does not require a response, you don't respond.  Think of it like the difference between TCP and UDP.  People normally communicate with UDP but when the crew has trouble hearing, better to use TCP.

Hope this helps.

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There are Bluetooth headsets used to coaching kitesurfing and small foilers (or moths). Similar to the motorcycle sets but waterproof. Bbtalkin is one I've looked at. Haven't tried it 

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Sometimes it's a matter of getting better aids. They are MAD expensive, and the price range variation is stunning, but some of the higher end aids from companies like Oticon and Starkey are smarter about both wind and moisture.

The aids I've had for the last 8-10 years or so (now obsolete) are some pretty high end Oticon Epoqs. Back when I first got them, I told the audio tech I spent most of my time around or on the water, and needed something that could handle it.

After I'd had them a month, I went in for a followup. She plugged them into her computer and said "you spend a lot of time in the wind, don't you?" This model was capable of tracking the wind noise and how much I was out in it, and adjusting. She was also able to adjust for the wind noise even better with software and programming of the aids.

Also, they are "highly water resistant."  According to the audio tech, she they weren't allowed to market them as "waterproof". But she saw a demo of these aids dropped in a glass of water and sitting on a table during a talk, then dried out and shown to be working fine.

And hearing aids have come a long way since then, too. Programmatic management of sound fields and spatial & directional sound has improved a lot.

So if he has the scratch, a new pair of high end aids may be the ticket to helping with wind noise and overall better quality of life.

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Handy to know there are things out there now, I usually just take mine out, it's only one ear after an accident when I was a small child but only been wearing an aid for the past 10 years, the wind noise really annoys me so will be looking into the more higher end aids again.

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I have moderate hearing loss.  I tell my crew that they need to look directly at me when talking to me and to make sure that I acknowledge their communication.  That said, I have tried some high end hearing aids.  The first pair had an "outdoor" setting that did well in windy conditions. (However, they didn't do well in areas where there was a lot of background noise.)  I gave up on those hearing aids about 18 mos ago.  Just last month I tried a new pair. Several generations newer than the first pair.  I've worn them on my fishing boat and have not experienced any wind whistling or other wind noise. My suggestion... take your Dad to Costco. They sell name brands at substantially reduced prices.  My first pair cost $6500 at a private vendor and less than $2000 at Costco!

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On 2/1/2019 at 10:13 PM, allene222 said:

The basic rule is that if you say something to someone and they don't respond, they didn't hear you. On the other end, if someone says something to you, you must acknowledge that you heard them.  Then if someone didn't hear you, you yell.  Works fine.  But it takes everyone following the rules and they are explicit boat rules that everyone is expected to follow.

Life would be better if people understood and acted in awareness that communication is three steps: 1.) Send, 2.) Receive, and 3.) Acknowledge.
It would take a whole lotta mystery out of human interactions, regardless of hearing ability.

Randii

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19 minutes ago, randii said:

Life would be better if people understood and acted in awareness that communication is three steps: 1.) Send, 2.) Receive, and 3.) Acknowledge.
It would take a whole lotta mystery out of human interactions, regardless of hearing ability.

Randii

4) If you don't get an acknowledgement, go back to step 1.

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A sailing friend recently got new hearing aids which adjusted and tailored for each ear, helpfully they are red and green so which side you know to put them...

He took them back as not working properly... to which the audiologist said..

You've got them in the wrong ears, red goes in the right hand side right, green in the left...

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Red-Right-Ring.  Red is pretty standard for the right channel.  Funny.

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I've been wearing aids for 5 years now, $5,000 Siemens.  One bad ear, one not so bad.  People don't realize they're hearing *aids*, not hearing *restorers*.  Most wearers do not have  a simple across the spectrum hearing loss (sounds are softer,  but still clear),  instead a degradation of the quality of the sound, like trying to listen to Kenny on the South Park TV show.  "Ss" and "Ts"  are raspy,  and there's a lot of background noise, like listening to a weak AM radio signal.  Hearing aids have trouble coping with that. Wind noise is unavoidable, although the fancy aids help a little.; they can program a "Sport" mode so the wind noise is less but the hiss level goes up.

Moisture is the enemy, although they do make waterproof aids (you can swim with them) their sound quality is not as good as traditional designs.  Mine aren't waterproof, merely water resistant;  I've accidently stepped into the shower with them on and been caught out in the rain a few times with no ill effects.  Of course  behind your ears is naturally a damp place,  so it's highly recommended you store them in a dehumidifier jar overnight.  I don't wear mine while sailing in any weather where it's possible spray may come aboard.

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Buying hearing aids is like buying a piano:  The most expensive Steinway in the world will sound like crap unless properly tuned.  The folks who do the tuning are audiologists.  You will pay a bit more, but then you should get more use out of your expensive little computers.  Costco etc sell name brands, but you won't get the programming and that makes all the difference.......

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 2:24 PM, allene222 said:

Red-Right-Ring.  Red is pretty standard for the right channel.  Funny.

Not to someone who's spent his life sailing and even now in his 80's still delivers Boats on the rivers..

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Costco has the best selection and best prices at least down under. Probably the same in the states. Dad should just roll there for a free hearing exam and get fitted with the correct stuff. They will take anything he doesn't like as a return with no hassles. Bluetooth sync to your iphone is what my deaf friends swear by. 

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8 hours ago, The Q said:

Not to someone who's spent his life sailing and even now in his 80's still delivers Boats on the rivers..

Composite-cables.jpg

If you use the red one for your left speaker,  they might be wired backward.

I just find the story hilarious.  Have retold it several times.

If you google "Is red  right or left?" you will get your answer.

14 minutes ago, lemonpepper said:

Costco has the best selection and best prices at least down under. Probably the same in the states. Dad should just roll there for a free hearing exam and get fitted with the correct stuff. They will take anything he doesn't like as a return with no hassles. Bluetooth sync to your iphone is what my deaf friends swear by. 

Too bad it doesn't work as well with Android phones. I can't remember why but it is apparently a fact.

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Went sailing with Capitan last summer. Total age of the crew when we started was 143. At the end 144. there were two of us, and we were gone 26 days.

What time does Bob's dad's train get to Denver when the locomotive has used 500 gallons of fresh water to make steam?

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On 3/28/2019 at 5:37 AM, axolotl said:

I've been wearing aids for 5 years now, $5,000 Siemens.  One bad ear, one not so bad.  People don't realize they're hearing *aids*, not hearing *restorers*.  Most wearers do not have  a simple across the spectrum hearing loss (sounds are softer,  but still clear),  instead a degradation of the quality of the sound, like trying to listen to Kenny on the South Park TV show.  "Ss" and "Ts"  are raspy,  and there's a lot of background noise, like listening to a weak AM radio signal.  Hearing aids have trouble coping with that. Wind noise is unavoidable, although the fancy aids help a little.; they can program a "Sport" mode so the wind noise is less but the hiss level goes up.

Moisture is the enemy, although they do make waterproof aids (you can swim with them) their sound quality is not as good as traditional designs.  Mine aren't waterproof, merely water resistant;  I've accidently stepped into the shower with them on and been caught out in the rain a few times with no ill effects.  Of course  behind your ears is naturally a damp place,  so it's highly recommended you store them in a dehumidifier jar overnight.  I don't wear mine while sailing in any weather where it's possible spray may come aboard.

This is a thing a LOT of people don't get.

Hearing aids aren't like glasses.

When you see, for the most part something is in focus, or it isn't. When you wear a proper corrective lens, you can see pretty much fully, though of course variations exist like the need for bifocals, etc. But you aren't half-blind, sometimes, when you are wearing the right lenses. And since your brain only processes and focuses on a tiny slice of what your eyes take in at any moment, the variety and vagary of the data is a lot lower. And you can point your eyes precisely at what you want to look at.

The quality of your hearing is much, much more fuzzy.

Your brain does a lot of background processing and filtering on noise. And differentiating and discriminating the sounds you want to hear vs. those you actually hear is quite difficult for an electronic gizmo to sort.

I like to joke that I always "sit like a gunfighter" because in restaurants I always take the seat with my back to the wall, and will request a table against the wall instead of the middle of the wall if possible. Why? Because with my back to the wall I get a HUGE reduction in spurious noises being picked up by the back facing microphones on my aids. 99% of the time you don't care what is being said behind you, after all. You really want to head things coming at you from behind (trucks, bicycles on the sidewalk, etc.) but conversation is mostly in front of you.

So in a crowded restaurant, you want to do everything you can to cut out noises from behind you.

One of my aids - the backup pair - has a button I can push which lowers the sensitivity of the back microphones for loud situations. It works reasonably well. The primayr pair is a little smarter, but in either case...sit against a wall.

If if you have a large table full of women on their second round of wine in front of you, you're pretty screwed anyway. There's always that one lady with the laugh that pierces through and drowns out the person in front of you. And the increased noise volume from loud, drunk people trying to talk over loud background music...brutal. Some restaurants you just can't go to if you aren't by yourself.

I've also had to pretty much cut background music out of my life if people are around and you are expected to interact with them. If you are playing tunes in the background on a social occasion it completely fucks with my ability to conduct a conversation. Too much audio confusion, I won't hear half of what is said to me.

Your brain also filters out a lot of bullshit sounds it doesn't need, and you don't notice this because of how your brain works. Your aids can not do this. When I first got them, I heard this weird zipping noise when I was walking. WTF? Turns out it was my jeans rubbing together when I walked. I hadn't heard that sound in years, so when the aids magnified it my brain treated it as new and important. Now it no longer is and it's blocked out as background, I just don't hear it the way everyone else doesn't any more.

I also distinctly remember listening music for them for the first time with the aids (I Was Wrong by Social Distortion) and realizing there was a harmony line I wasn't even aware existed. My loss is primarily mid-range - women and children's voices are the hardest to hear - and there's a woman singing harmony in that song that I had never noticed.

Anyway, it's not as simple as getting glasses or Lasik surgery. You get a vast improvement in your hearing, but it absolutely is not a correction. People still need to speak up and face you if they don't feel like being asked to repeat themselves all the time.

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