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How To Have The “You May Need A Hearing Aid” Conversation

Senior Man Having a Hearing Aid Conversation Adult SonDo you know someone who is losing their hearing but refuses to get a hearing aid? This can be a very difficult situation to be in. On one hand, you are concerned for the other person and want them to get help, but on the other you don’t want to offend them or make them feel bad about themselves.

Many people find themselves in this very situation all the time. While it won’t be easy, having a talk with this person can be of great benefit for the both of you.

When starting off this conversation, be sure to keep your tone calm and caring. Trying to force someone into doing something they don’t want to do may only make things worse. Try to explain to them how their lack of hearing is affecting you.

You could try explaining it as a safety issue, or the frustration of having to repeat yourself all the time. It may not be easy for them to hear that they are causing you problems, so try to do it in a non-accusatory way.

If that isn’t enough, try explaining some of the more serious consequences of hearing loss. For example, people with hearing loss are at higher risk for depression and other serious health complications. Let this person know that they are doing themselves more harm than good by not getting their hearing problems looked at.

Finally, you can explain that hearing aid technology as come a long way. Most hearing aids are lightweight and barely noticeable after wearing them for a little while. Hearing aids are not something to be embarrassed about, and the changes they will see in their hearing will be remarkable.

Tell them at the very least they should consult a doctor and perhaps try out a hearing aid and see how it goes.

Hopefully with this advice you are able to convince someone who needs it to consider getting a hearing aid. Just always remember not to force them into anything and that this decision has to be made by them. If you make your arguments clear and from the heart, they are likely to come around eventually.

MDHearingAid PRO

“The MD Hearing Aid PRO is a medical-grade, analog hearing aid designed to amplify the frequencies associated with the human voice without overly amplifying background noise. It provides excellent amplification and has been available for several years.

Many of our customers report the PRO outperforms their expensive custom digital devices even though it is an analog device. Many users prefer the warm nature of the analog sound.

Its performance is competitive with other hearing aids in the marketplace.

Hearing Aid Insurance: Does It Exist?

hearing aid insuranceHave you been delaying getting help with hearing loss because you are unsure about what your health insurance will cover? If so, you’re not the only one. Many people have untreated hearing problems because they do not understand their insurance coverage. It is important to figure out your plan because, if left untreated, hearing loss has an effect on both mental and physical health. Understanding your insurance policy can help you find unused coverage for your hearing health care.

Your Insurance Coverage:
Most people’s insurance is either paid for individually or through their employer. To find out if your plan covers hearing aids you need to look at your specific plan. Talk to either your insurance company or your employer about getting a brochure on your plan. Often these brochures are also available online. Inside there are specific words you can look for to help you determine what kind of coverage you have. Here are some keywords to get you started:

Some Words To Look For:
When locating what your insurance will cover it can be difficult to find what you are looking for if you don’t know the terms insurance companies use to classify hearing aids and hearing aid services. Some of the words you want to look for are:

  • Hearing Benefits
  • Hearing care or Hearing Healthcare
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Audiology or Audiology Benefits
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Speech and Language
  • Diagnostic

If you’ve looked through all of these words and still can’t find what you are looking for, try looking under umbrella terms like “Other Medically Necessary Services” or “Medically Necessary Therapies.” Finally, remember there is a difference between someone who is born with hearing loss or gradually loses their hearing and someone who loses their hearing due to injury or accident. Usually, injuries lead to more flexibility and more comprehensive coverage.

Limitations To Be Aware Of:
Just because an insurance company claims to cover 100 percent of hearing aid healthcare costs does not mean their aren’t hidden limitations. Talking to an audiologist can help the average consumer better understand these limitations. When you talk to your insurance company, be sure to ask if they cover the complete cost of all hearing aids or just the base/starting model hearing aids. This is important because hearing loss is specific to each individual and not every hearing aid is right for everyone. If you need a more advanced hearing aid, your health insurance may only cover the cost of the base model, leaving you to pay the rest.

Don’t let a lack of information stop you from getting help with your hearing. Finding out what your health insurance with cover is a great first step in getting a hearing aid. Don’t delay, find out about your specific insurance plan as soon as you can.

MD Hearing Aid Overview

Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri is a board-certified otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat physician) and the founder of the MD Hearing Aid company.

As an attending physician in otolaryngology, Dr. Cherukuri would see patients every day who had hearing problems. Many of his patients who needed hearing aids went without the help they needed. It seemed that cost of custom hearing aids was a major obstacle. Each hearing aid costs between $1,000 and $3,000 and most insurance companies don’t cover that expense.

Dr. Cherukuri and his team at MDHearingAid used world-class components from both the US and European markets in developing the MD Hearing Aid PRO. The MDHearingAid PRO was designed to meet the needs of 80 to 85% of people with hearing loss.

Before marketing the PRO, MDHearingAid® tested it on patients that fit the hearing loss profile. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The sound output was very clear and high quality and the users loved the control, such as a volume dial and program switch that they didn’t have on their high end, fancy hearing aids.

The MDHearingAid PRO has been a very successful product; however, analog hearing aids have certain limitations in challenging, noisy environments. That’s when the team at MDHearingAid decided to develop the MD Hearing Aid AIR, an all-digital hearing aid.

The MD Hearing Aid AIR is competitive with today’s expensive hearing aids because of its world class feature set. With the MDHearingAid AIR, we wanted to empower the user to make adjustments for their comfort.

Dr. Cherukuri shows where the ear domes attach to the AIR tubing and the dome goes into the ear. The AIR comes with six different ear domes in a variety of sizes and styles. There is a volume dial and on/off switch, which allows the user to manipulate the sound output depending on his environment and needs. There is a program button. The MDHearingAid AIR has three different programs, which change the amplification pattern of sound to accommodate the most common types of hearing loss in the most common environments.

The hearing aid assembly is a very simple process. The hearing aid tubing attaches to the hearing aid base with gentle pressure in a screw like motion. The other end is where the ear dome goes in that goes in your ear. You attach it with gentle pressure pushing it on and making sure it’s snug. There is an optional stabilizer bar that helps hold the ear dome in your ear canal, but that’s optional and can be removed.

Dr. Cherukuri asks his patient, Ed, to put the aid in his ear. “How does that sound now?”

Ed replies, “Excellent. Since I’ve got these MD Hearing Aid AIRs, my life has changed dramatically. Now I can go outside. I can hear the birds chirping. I can hear the wind in my ears. I can hear the leaves rustle. I’m hearing sounds that I haven’t heard in years. In fact, so long that I’ve forgotten what they sounded like. It’s really a great feeling. It’s given me a whole new phase back into my life again.”

Ed’s wife, Norma adds, “We’re both more compatible with one another because we don’t have to shout at one another and we don’t have to repeat.”

Another patient, Linda reports, “I love the programming of the AIR hearing aid because it has a Telecoil program, which connects the telephone right to my hearing aid. There’s no interference, no noise at all except the clear sound of the voice.”

Ed agrees, “Hearing on the phone now is much clearer than what it used to be. Before I’d have to have people repeating themselves over and over again. I’d get part of what was coming through, but part of it would be sound like mumbling. With the hearing aids now everything comes through crystal clear and I don’t have any problems on the phone whatsoever.”

Linda says, “The MD Hearing Aid AIRs have changed my life so much. I’m hearing things that I never heard. I’m not screaming at people on the phone. To anybody I know that has any hearing loss, I highly recommend these. They’re comfortable to wear. They’re affordable and they’re just great!”

The MD Hearing Aid AIR is an effective, affordable solution for the over 20 million people with untreated hearing loss. My philosophy is you should see a physician, preferably an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician, get a hearing test, and buy the best hearing aid you can afford. For many people that would be the MDHearingAid AIR.”

Famous People with Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, there can be a stigma attached to getting hearing aids. Many people put off getting hearing aids because they think hearing aids will make them look, or feel, old. If the advances in hearing aid technology aren’t enough to get you or a loved one over that stigma hump, below is a short list of some very famous people who have suffered from hearing loss.

ludwig-van-beethovenLudwig van Beethoven: One of the greatest music composers of all time, suffered from a severe case of tinnitus for many years. Eventually he became completely deaf for the second half of his life. It got to the point that Beethoven could only communicate with people if they wrote down what they wanted to say. Many of these one-sided conversations still exist, and have been used by historians to study Beethoven’s life.

bill-clintonPresident Bill Clinton: During his second term in office, the President was fitted for two hearing aids. He stated that all those years at band practice as a kid finally caught up to him. His hearing loss wasn’t severe, but he had trouble understanding what others were saying

thomas-edisonThomas Edison: The famous inventor lost his hearing around the age of 12. He is quoted as saying that he didn’t mind losing his hearing because it allowed him to focus more on books. Since he was only formally educated until the age of 12, it was this love of reading that led him to become the great inventor we all know today.

derrick-colemanDerrick Coleman: Having lost his hearing at a young age, this boy used the bullying he received as motivation to become a better football player. It clearly worked, as he became the first deaf offensive player, and the first deaf Super Bowl champion.

george-martinGeorge Martin: Even those who work with musicians are susceptible to hearing loss. Martin, producer for The Beatles and often referred to as the “Fifth Beatle” recently retired because his ears no longer had the peak performance needed for his production work. Founding member of The Black Eyed Peas has released many successful albums, such as Monkey Business and Elephunk, and has produced artists such as Michael Jackson, Rihanna and Britney Spears. He states that every silence is pierced by a painful ringing, which is one of the driving reasons for him to create music every day.

In addition to the above list, many musicians and actors suffer from different degrees of hearing loss. Some notable names include: Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Nelson, Halle Berry, Lou Ferrigno, Rob Lowe, William Shatner, Phil Collins, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Ozzy Osbourne, Brian Wilson, and Jeff Beck.

Hearing loss is not something found only in the elderly. If you think you have hearing loss, get a hearing test and see if a hearing aid is right for you.

MDHearingAid: A Truly Affordable Hearing Aid

Hearing Aid Couple TalkingWhile most people associate hearing aids with the elderly, research shows that hearing loss can affect people from all walks of life, of any age. Hearing loss can come from age-related factors or lifestyle habits such as listening to loud music with ear buds or working in an especially loud environment.

The problem that many people face, though, is the high cost of custom hearing aids and the fact that many insurance companies will not cover the cost. This, in turn, forces many people to go without the care they need, and they never address their hearing loss problems. As a solution to this prevalent problem, Dr. Sreek Cherukuri, a board-certified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor, has introduced a line of low-cost, high-quality hearing aids through MDHearingAid, Inc.

When you take a look at the MDHearingAid PRO, you find it is designed so the range of sounds from human voices are amplified, not the background noises. This is a great improvement over many low cost hearing aids. It also ranked well with ENT Physicians and Audiologists who agreed unanimously that the quality of sound an the output was extremely accurate, given its low cost. Dr. Cherukuri says this was by design, as he wanted to find an affordable way to help those with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Further evidence of this affordable hearing aid’s effectiveness comes from a study that was presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The study stated that MDHearingAid PRO was electroacoustically adequate and a reasonable low-cost solution for those with up to moderately-severe hearing loss who could not use custom devices due to cost.

The MDHearingAid® PRO can be found on the company’s website and sells for less than $200 per ear when purchased in pairs. Users report high satisfaction levels with the low cost hearing aid, stating that they work as well as or even better than the more expensive hearing aids they’ve had in the past.

What should be clear to the hearing challenged individual is that while there are many cheap listening devices in the marketplace and there is a very real difference between a hearing aid and a personal listening device or sound amplifier.

A personal sound amplifying product does not make up for impaired hearing, but amplifies sounds found in the area, including background noises and is meant for recreational activities. On the other hand, a hearing aid is a device that compensate for impaired hearing. All models in the MDHearingAid® line are FDA-registered hearing aids.

Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Hear You: The Link Between Balance and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss and balanceIf you have experienced a recent fall or have felt a lack of balance when standing and walking, it is important to discover the underlying cause of these issues. One of the essential tests to be run is a thorough hearing exam.

Although many health issues are more obvious and therefore cannot be put off or ignored (such as loss of vision, breathing issues and major aches and pains), hearing loss is often gradual and not as apparent.

The Facts: Balance and Hearing Loss

  • People with mild (25-decibel) hearing loss are three times more likely to have a history of falling.
  • Every 10 decibels of loss increases the chances of falling by nearly 1.5 times.
  • The inner ear canals which send signals to the brain are an essential part of movement and balance.
  • Loss of hearing creates a lack of awareness of our surroundings, leading to a greater chance of tripping, stumbling and falling.
  • Hearing loss is common but under treated in older adults
  • Only 14% of older adults with hearing loss used a hearing aid

Do You Have Hearing Loss?

You may begin to notice you are missing parts of conversations or are unable to pick out closer, softer sounds from among louder, background noise. Friends and family may remark on your louder television or radio volumes, and finally, you could experience lack of balance, stumbling, and dangerous falls without obvious explanation or cause. You may even find yourself avoiding events and gatherings in order to steer clear of uncomfortable or embarrassing experiences.

Due to this gradual and often unnoticeable change in your hearing, smaller problems created by this damage or loss can often become larger issues which seem to suddenly appear and cannot be ignored.

It is important to not be put off or embarrassed by being diagnosed with what may be mild to moderate loss of hearing. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition affecting older adults, and you are in the company of over 30 million people with the same issue.

Your effort to have your hearing tested and consequently wearing  properly fitted, effective hearing aids can not only help you prevent further improper balance and falling, but also can enrich your life with the improved connections among your family, friends and colleagues.

More than 90% of people who are diagnosed with hearing loss can benefit from a properly fitted hearing device, and the earlier the diagnosis, the more success you will find in being fitted with a hearing aid that will not only be discreet and affordable, but will also help provide you with years of better balance, function and lifestyle.

Don’t wait – get your hearing tested today and be on your way to a safer, more ‘balanced’ life tomorrow!

MDHearingAid – Development of Hearing Aids

“As part of our research, we looked at low cost hearing devices and sound amplifiers, but when we took them apart we realized that most of them are very poorly constructed with extremely cheap components and also they did not do a good job of amplifying the human voice, so they actually did more harm than good.

Our goal was to create a device that really focused on the human voice, to provide clarity and amplification using world class components, but keeping the price at a very affordable point.

In 2007 when the first iPhone came out, a company that breaks down new electronic gadgets was able to determine that the component cost was under $200 for a very sophisticated piece of equipment.

It’s then that I realized that I could likely make a very good effective hearing aid at a similar sub $200 price point. I collaborated with my brother, Sweeney, who is a MBA and an engineer and we created the MD Hearing Aid Pro, which is a one size fits most hearing aid targeting the frequencies of the human voice without overly amplifying background noise.
This was a very successful product to bring affordable hearing aid to millions of people.”

MD Hearing – The Need for Low Cost Hearing Aids

Cost is the biggest obstacle to obtaining hearing aids. The average hearing aid costs over $1,900 each. Most patients need two and Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids.
For most of my patients, $1,900 is simply out of reach. They’re retired. They may be more consumed with the groceries and rent and they often go without hearing aids although I know it would provide significant benefit to their life and quality of life to have hearing amplification in both ears.

MDHearingAid – Low Cost vs Expensive Hearing Aids

“Traditionally low cost hearing aid meant low quality. Many of these were not FDA registered products. They may have used inferior components and they only amplified low frequency sounds like the refrigerator humming or the furnace, but didn’t do a good job with the human voice.

MD Hearing Aid has produced world class hearing aid quality sound output at a very affordable price point. These are FDA registered class one medical devices that go through a rigorous testing process before they are available to the public.

You now can get the same or similar sound output from an affordable device as what is traditionally only for $1,000 to $3,000 custom hearing aid devices.”