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Hearing Aids and Riding Care to Share your experience?


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O.k. After 55 years of riding on and off road ,and as many years of listening to loud music..plus a number of years in my 20's covering Top fuel dragsters and funny Cars out  on  the Starting line as a cameraman for wide world of sports  my hearing is getting pretty bad...I saw a Specialist at Stanford this week had an Audiologist test me ...verdict =high frequency hearing loss and Tinnitus.

I'm leaving now to start the process of getting Hearing aids..  Do you wear them?  What do you do with them when you ride? I usually wear the best ear plugs I can find online..but that is hit or miss.

Care to chyme in with your experiences?    I figure its something we should ALL learn as much as possible about 

I found this article which  explain's some of what I have heard about in the past.

http://www.hearingtestlabs.com/motorcycle.htm

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Now that I am getting older, I realize the wisdom of all the advice I ignored when younger (and not just hearing protection, you could pick just about any topic...).

As for now, It's foam earplugs as much as possible (goal of 100%). I tend toward my Stelvio with extended windscreen on longer rides - because there is such a drop in wind noise.

However, I've just seen the latest in hearing aid tech from my brother-in-law who has spent about 40 years as a press-operator for the LA times. Worker's Compensation insurance just got him a $10,000 pair of hearing aids that you can barely see. He's about to have the final calibration done, but he says the pre-calibrated devices have already removed most of the ringing and hissing in his ears.

I'll see him later this week and will get some more information.

On a related note... does anybody ride with noise-cancelling earbuds or in-helmet speakers? Seems like that would be good tech for inside a helmet.

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I have had mine for about 3 years now. Tinnitus in one ear and the other one is just getting old. When there is a TV for example in the next room and I listen to it with my bad ear only it might as well be in a foreign language as I cannot distinguish anything. I put this down to loud motorcycles and work related noise exposure over the years. Before getting them any socialising was hard. With a lot of background noise I found it near impossible to clearly understand and follow the flow of the conversations. My wife eventually made me go and get mine.

I went to an Audiologist who owned the business himself. I ended up with an inexpensive pair, about $2300, Oticon is the brand. After my hearing test the hearing aids were tuned for frequency responses which best matched what I can't hear. I have annual hearing tests and the process is repeated. Overall I am very happy with them, the batteries last about 2 weeks, they are turned off at night. There are other disposables you will need like earbuds and filters. As an aside, at work there are other people who have hearing aids from franchised operations who are not happy with their devices. I can only assume that theirs are not tuned correctly for their needs. There is a multitude of options out there now in hearing aids, Bluetooth models you can adjust with your phone and use as speakers for your phone or music, rechargeable ones you plug into a dock to charge.

Back to the original question I take them out when riding and have never worn earplugs which in hindsight may have helped slow the decline in my hearing. Mine fit behind the ear and unless you look really hard you cannot tell they are there. Putting a helmet off and on will dislodge them as I found out. I find the sound just a little bit tinnier then normal but that is understandable you can't get bass out of a speaker the size of a gnat, wind can be a problem sometimes but it is not the end of the world. Overall it was the right thing to do and have no regrets with my choice in provider and the appliances themselves.

Rob

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Very interested in this sharing. Thanks for the topic @KINDOY2!

Many years ago, I learned to go to my local audiologist (who fit hearing aids) and had them mold my ears for dedicated and fitted ear plugs. These have been the best "hundred bucks" I have spent on any motorcycle gear.

Regarding "noise cancelling", realize that the physiologic (and potentially damaging) effects of the noise remains even though the perception of the noise is being "cancelled" through waveform interference.

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2 hours ago, Scud said:

Now that I am getting older, I realize the wisdom of all the advice I ignored when younger (and not just hearing protection, you could pick just about any topic...).

As for now, It's foam earplugs as much as possible (goal of 100%). I tend toward my Stelvio with extended windscreen on longer rides - because there is such a drop in wind noise.

However, I've just seen the latest in hearing aid tech from my brother-in-law who has spent about 40 years as a press-operator for the LA times. Worker's Compensation insurance just got him a $10,000 pair of hearing aids that you can barely see. He's about to have the final calibration done, but he says the pre-calibrated devices have already removed most of the ringing and hissing in his ears.

I'll see him later this week and will get some more information.

On a related note... does anybody ride with noise-cancelling earbuds or in-helmet speakers? Seems like that would be good tech for inside a helmet.

"Now that I am getting older, I realize the wisdom of all the advice I ignored when younger (and not just hearing protection, you could pick just about any topic"....

 

Updates welcome!!

 

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1 hour ago, O2 V11 said:

I have had mine for about 3 years now. Tinnitus in one ear and the other one is just getting old. When there is a TV for example in the next room and I listen to it with my bad ear only it might as well be in a foreign language as I cannot distinguish anything. I put this down to loud motorcycles and work related noise exposure over the years. Before getting them any socialising was hard. With a lot of background noise I found it near impossible to clearly understand and follow the flow of the conversations. My wife eventually made me go and get mine.

I went to an Audiologist who owned the business himself. I ended up with an inexpensive pair, about $2300, Oticon is the brand. After my hearing test the hearing aids were tuned for frequency responses which best matched what I can't hear. I have annual hearing tests and the process is repeated. Overall I am very happy with them, the batteries last about 2 weeks, they are turned off at night. There are other disposables you will need like earbuds and filters. As an aside, at work there are other people who have hearing aids from franchised operations who are not happy with their devices. I can only assume that theirs are not tuned correctly for their needs. There is a multitude of options out there now in hearing aids, Bluetooth models you can adjust with your phone and use as speakers for your phone or music, rechargeable ones you plug into a dock to charge.

Back to the original question I take them out when riding and have never worn earplugs which in hindsight may have helped slow the decline in my hearing. Mine fit behind the ear and unless you look really hard you cannot tell they are there. Putting a helmet off and on will dislodge them as I found out. I find the sound just a little bit tinnier then normal but that is understandable you can't get bass out of a speaker the size of a gnat, wind can be a problem sometimes but it is not the end of the world. Overall it was the right thing to do and have no regrets with my choice in provider and the appliances themselves.

Rob

Great information and comment Rob, thanks!

I have been experiencing some of the same things  ie;"When there is a TV for example in the next room and I listen to it with my bad ear only it might as well be in a foreign language as I cannot distinguish anything"

I am pursuing the same route you took.

 

 

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1 hour ago, docc said:

Very interested in this sharing. Thanks for the topic @KINDOY2!

Many years ago, I earned to go to my local audiologist (who fit hearing aids) and had them mold my ears for dedicated and fitted ear plugs. These have been the best "hundred bucks" I have spent on any motorcycle gear.

Regarding "noise cancelling", realize that the physiologic (and potentially damaging) effects of the noise remains even though the perception of the noise is being "cancelled" through waveform interference.

Good point on the "noise cancelling" docc..I was thinking that risk.

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Ok, I can be the poster child for hearing aides. As Scud said, I should have been a little smarter about it, but I wasn't. Industrial noise, flying, motorcycling, rock concerts, you name it, have taken their toll. I have a medical condition called, "deaf as a post."

I've been wearing them for 30 years (or more) and the tech involved is amazing. They used to be not much more than amplifiers of what you couldn't understand anyway. :rasta:

10 years ago, the person that fitted you was the difference between Roper working on your Guzzi and the local Japanese emporium "tech" working on it.  Now, computers take much of the "skill" out of the equation.

Fast forward to today, and with micro electronics, computers and "real ear" hearing tests, I can engage in conversations again instead of smiling and nodding. :).   Until this latest set, I still had to have close captioning on all TV programs. Conversation in noisy areas was unlikely. These bluetooth to the TV, and my phone, and give me the ability to listen to music again.

There is still a learning curve for your brain. Is it the same as normal hearing? No. Still amazing, though, and can be a life changer.  Rechargable. These happen to be Phonak Paradise, but I imagine other manufacturers can be similar.

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10 hours ago, Chuck said:

Ok, I can be the poster child for hearing aides. As Scud said, I should have been a little smarter about it, but I wasn't. Industrial noise, flying, motorcycling, rock concerts, you name it, have taken their toll. I have a medical condition called, "deaf as a post."

I've been wearing them for 30 years (or more) and the tech involved is amazing. They used to be not much more than amplifiers of what you couldn't understand anyway. :rasta:

10 years ago, the person that fitted you was the difference between Roper working on your Guzzi and the local Japanese emporium "tech" working on it.  Now, computers take much of the "skill" out of the equation.

Fast forward to today, and with micro electronics, computers and "real ear" hearing tests, I can engage in conversations again instead of smiling and nodding. :).   Until this latest set, I still had to have close captioning on all TV programs. Conversation in noisy areas was unlikely. These bluetooth to the TV, and my phone, and give me the ability to listen to music again.

There is still a learning curve for your brain. Is it the same as normal hearing? No. Still amazing, though, and can be a life changer.  Rechargable. These happen to be Phonak Paradise, but I imagine other manufacturers can be similar.

Great to have read your experiences Chuck ..I searched around a lot for a really good audiologist..I think I found a good one..had my first meeting with her yesterday,She has a doctorate from St.Louis University and has been doing this about 10 years..not too old and not too young..and we have a 2nd visit schedualed in a couple weeks to look over the choices...unlike some who only seem to push ONE brand or another..she has about 6 different ones and says we need to find just the right one for me. I have about a 60% hearing loss...and like everyone else of a certain age..never did a thing to protect my ears in the first 2/3 of my life..damn it! Hoping I get the best available for me. :bier:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back in the 90’s the co I worked for had a mandatory policy of hearing protection. After much grumbling I gradually realized having my ears ring after work wasn’t normal & have been an advocate for hearing protection since then. However this has not prevented the accumulated damage done prior to that point & have a constant hissing in my left ear.
 

For riding I wear plugs & found this co;

 https://www.earplugstore.com

who offer an assortment of earplugs to try, for as they say ears are all different. 
 

I did spend the $100+ one time on a pair of custom plugs but found they rubbed against my helmet & amplified the road noise !

Frankly I am horrified how much hearing aids cost. Neither of my bikes have cost that much.  :angry:

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/23/2021 at 7:45 AM, KINDOY2 said:

... Hearing aids..  Do you wear them?  What do you do with them when you ride? I usually wear the best ear plugs I can find online..but that is hit or miss.

Care to chyme in with your experiences?  

I wear a thin cotton balaclava that protects my hearing aids as I take my helmet on or off.

The shoei helmet has a ruff at the sides and back of my neck, and a visor that seals well so wind roar is muted.

The hearing aid receivers partially block outside noise that doesn't come via the aids, and are set to limit loud noises, so I don't use ear plugs.

I probably should have when I was younger. :unsure:

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  • 1 month later...

Got my new hearing aids this past Monday...$7k all up....so far they are worth every penny, my audiology Doctor specializes in working with classical musicians who have hearing loss ( NOT ME)...the hearing aids are small little things, re chargeable, you replace the batteries once a year..3 year full warranty and  with blue tooth..I can control them thru an easy App in my I phone..  equalizer..front rear side to side, bass treble midrange...and I can get my calls, and music, TV  thru them when I want ....

I am hearing sound now I havn't heard in years..From 57 years of riding and racing, working in motorcycle shops and  in the wind up on on tall sail boat masts,and lots of loud music concerts I had a bad high high frequency loss...So Monday I was listening to some sirius music in the car on the way home I heard a Song I have loved and listened to 100's of times...suddenly I could hear lyrics clearly, some  I never heard or understood before.

Both Retinas repaired 2 years ago, Now ears this year..., Shoulders next...things are wearing out...trying to do the maintenance but thankful for technology!!

" Keep on Rollin"!!!!!!

Elvin Bishop

 

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35 minutes ago, KINDOY2 said:

 

Both Retinas repaired 2 years ago, Now ears this year..., Shoulders next...things are wearing out...

 

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

 

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