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This is his first time with hearing aids. He's totally deaf in the left ear, therefore has a transmitter to the right ear. Now he complains that he can't hear while eating because his teeth make too much noise to hear through the hearing aids.


What instructions can I give him to make this situation better? I can't hear myself think with the loud TVs in every room of the house.

My mom's audiologist gave me some good advise that helped our situation a lot. (shouting, repeating, and the loud tv volume) He said to get closer, not louder. Don't even bother trying to talk across the room to her, he said. Come in close to the best ear, and talk normally. It worked.

For the loud tv, again, closer not louder worked by buying a "Wireless Digital Hearing Amplifier TV Speaker for Hard of Hearing". (I found it on Amazon) It was like a simple radio with a big volume control knob that she could set next to her chair and play at a normal volume. (I knew she would refuse to wear earphones, so didn't even attempt trying them.) She could also carry the radio into bed and set it on the night table, or anywhere in the house.

Anyway - those 2 things saved me a ton of frustration!
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Reply to EmilySue
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Have you considered suggesting that your Dad use Closed Captioning? Ask him if he'd consider compromising so your hearing isn't damaged, too.

My mother wore hearing aids but hated them. She was all but totally deaf. My dad's hearing was great when he died at 93. My younger sister is following in my mother's footsteps and has HAs at 71. She only wears them for social functions. They bother her - not the sound, but the feeling of foreign objects in her ears. Some people simply aren't able to adjust. She and I travel together and stay in a hotel sometimes. First thing she does is turn on the TV and turns on CC. It's annoying and distracting to me, but I can hear and she can't. Reading everyone else's posts makes me appreciate my functional ears a whole lot.

My husband is HOH and his eyesight is failing. I live with a LOUD, enormous TV, with volume to match, but have a spare bedroom converted to sewing/office/computer/TV room. I have a refuge, and a hobby, thank God. He says "WHAT and I CAN'T HEAR YOU when you're behind me" all the time . What he means is, he needs to see my face because he's learned to read lips to some extent. We are 83 and 76. He 'needs' the TV on all night in order to sleep. I want quiet and dark. He doesn't like a lot of covers; I love to have an open window, a cold nose and tons of blankets and quilts. He generates enough body heat to defrost frozen food and tosses and turns. Separate bedrooms keep us both happy and sane in our old age. We both wake during the night and check to see if the other is still breathing. And we laugh a lot. I know. TMI
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Reply to LindaP1944
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I could not adjust to the all-in-the-ear hearing aids since they DO cause chewing and other mouth noises to be loud and distracting. It was a real detriment to conversation at meals, at least for me. I simply could not adjust, so I finally switched to hearing aids that rest behind the ear with only a small attachment actually in the ear itself. This was a great relief for me, though there are disadvantages to each type. It may be too late and/or too expensive for your dad to change now. But, hopefully, he can adjust better than I could.

I do not understand why the TV needs to be so loud, especially since the hearing aids seem to be working well. As for myself, I was so used to turning the volume up high, I did not realize, at first, that I could hear well at a lower volume. If your father can not hear well with the TV at reasonable volume, there may be a problem with the hearing aides.
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Reply to Dosmo13
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Imho, I was "fortunate" that I received my one hearing aid relatively early at age 55 due to a fungal condition that my prior ENT failed to correct. Hearing aids for an elder can take some time for the wearer to get used to. Since I was a young 55, I adapted immediately. You should speak to your father's audiologist. My aid has a volume adjustment if I should ever need it. Investigate whether his "transmitter" has same.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Seeing good advice here. Your audiologist can be so helpful. Wanted to let you know there are associations that accept old hearing aids . Our local Lions accepts both glasses and hearing aides.
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Reply to Kris15
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Yes hearing aids can be problematic for new users. If he can't hear the tv are they turned on? I know there are different settings that help cancel out background noise. They may be adjusted to high if he hears himself eat, though I without hearing aids hear my eating especially noisy food like chips and raw carrots.

Both my parents wear hearing aids mom adjusted better than dad and until COVID went regularly to the audiologist to have adjustments.

Dad who died almost 2 years ago never really adjusted. 1st he bought a pair of hearing aids and had lots of trouble, however he wasn't patient with them and quit wearing them. Since he was a veteran I got him registered with VA for the purpose of getting him hearing aids at a cost of $60 and free batteries. While a couple of visits were by appointment were, adjustments were by walk-in and so sometimes had to wait, but I will say the KC VA was always kind and helpful to my father and me. It was also explained that he was profoundly deaf and he had been without hearing aids for so long not to be surprised by his continual response of "what?" because some of the connection between his brain and ears were lost by having not heard for so long. He got better wearing them and hearing somewhat better, but he still complained about them. When he went from AL to SNF he broke one and quit wearing the other one.

Let's face it, some people adjust better to having hearing aids better than others. I know mom adjusted fairly easily and dad fought with them continuously.
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Reply to cweissp
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I wear earplugs when I mow my lawn. If I try to eat something while the earplugs are in I hear horrible noises. I don’t know the reason, but that might give a clue about what your dad is experiencing. Try it and see what you think.
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Reply to sunnydayclouds
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Have to tell you a story to better understand how the new hearing aids are working for your dad. Many people in my family are hard of hearing - commonly the men. I talk very loudly because I've been around this all my life. So, one relative buys some hearing aids. He hates them and passes them on down the line. I tried to tell them you don't just pass them around - they need to be fitted. Oh well. This inheritor of the hearing aids wears them all day. Constantly testing them by asking us to talk softer and softer. He is totally amazed. We have a cookout that afternoon. He comments on bird sounds and even tells one or two they are talking too loud. Now we're all impressed. As dusk approaches, he keeps asking what is the noise he hears. It's an irritating noise. He pulls the aids out, puts them back. Still the irritating noise. We finally pinpoint what he is hearing - the locusts in the trees!!! He had not heard a locust in years! He finally pulled the hearing aids out, put them in his pocket and said - who in the h*ll wants to listen to that noise? He never wore them again.

Your dad is probably being irritated by sounds he hasn't heard in years. Ask hearing aid company if they can be adjusted. Or adjust when he wears them while getting used to them. You might want to buy some TV ears so that he can hear, but sound can be controlled for those not wearing the ears.
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Reply to my2cents
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My mom had the "old style" hearing aids (not digital) and when she went into the NH, they were always falling out of her ears so I ended up getting her a set of mesh-type hair bands (at Rite-Aid) to "hold" them in. My mother (when in her 60's) got very adept at reading lips, however, as she aged, her eyesight decreased so we would still have to speak loud. My father started to yell at her when she began to lose her hearing and for 20 years that's how he communicated with her. ALL. THE. TIME. She had profound hearing loss so hearing aids didn't really help so her daily life was being yelled at by my father. He was always angry because he had to constantly repeat himself if she was in the kitchen or wherever where she was out of his lip reading range.

I felt so sorry that she lived her golden years being yelled at by my father all the time. I swear she purposely turned her hearing aids down so she wouldn't hear my Dad yelling a her every time he spoke to her. He mercifully died 10 years before her. Unfortunately, my brother lived with them so after our Dad died, my brother just continued this yelling. It was abuse. I knew to get my mother's attention and have her look me in the face before speaking.

The sad part about hearing aids is they are so expensive but end up in the trash after their death. My 80-year old at the time MIL refused to get fitted for hearing aids. She "tried" wearing HER mother's hearing aids and didn't like them. Said they didn't work. Ya think??? They were 30 years old and HER mother's!! Plus they would never fit her ears! So she refused to get newer modern ones. Therefore, whenever we went over to MIL's house the TV volume was turned up to 80 and my FIL (bless his soul) was either in the basement or out in the garage puttering around. His hearing was fine. Imagine his life. I gave him a lot of credit. I would have lost my mind with the volume of the TV up like that all day long.
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Reply to help2day
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cweissp Apr 15, 2021
I understand that, my husband has the TV so loud my ears hurt.
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I just got my first hearing aids. I've had them a week and already went to have them adjusted. I too have the Bluetooth and iPhone capable HAs. There are settings for, watching the TV, outdoor noises, music, hearing people with masks on. I'm also in my 70's and I know it's going to take time getting used to the HAs. Found an article by Johns Hopkins that states hearing loss can cause your brain to shrivel up. The brain needs stimulation. It can also lead to dementia and Alzheimer's. This is one thing I'm trying to prevent! Good Luck!!
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AnnReid Apr 15, 2021
ANOTHER TERRIFIC POST! YES! the lack of auditory stimulation CAN both MIMIC AND ENHANCE THE EFFECTS of cognitive loss in the elderly.
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Look at instructions that come with hearing aides. Some have different settings for different needs - a setting for phone calls and regular setting - as well as adjustable volume. Help him get used to adjusting settings for his needs. Make sure he uses his hearing aides; nerves for hearing that are not stimulated tend to stop working and then he will be totally deaf.
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Reply to Taarna
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Set up the TV's to use Bluetooth speakers as output. If they are not "smart tv's" you can convert them with a Bluetooth transmitter. When the tv's output is set up, you can use small speakers to position next to his good ear.
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Reply to GAinPA
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There is actually a PROCESS to learning HOW to BENEFIT from hearing aids.

I know this sort of program exists, because a cousin of mine got hearing aids a couple years ago, in her early seventies, and has been wearing her aids and benefitting from them ever since.

She did go to work with her audiologist/provider at least a few times, and was highly motivated to succeed.

I think I’d start with the provider who sold you the hearing aids, but first I’d develop a list of Dad’s complaints AND your observations about specific issues such as continuing wanting to set the volume on the televisions, and his diminishing desire to communicate with others.

Your FATHER’S observation that he can hear himself chewing is a particularly astute concern on his part, and hopefully may indicate that he may be able to learn to use his aids more to his advantage than he is at present.

If possible, I’d try to get him to his HA PROVIDER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, because his frustration tolerance at his age is probably already pretty stretched.

Unfortunately hearing loss is a pretty complex process, and the solutions may not always be direct or easy.

You’re a good advocate for him. Don’t give up!
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Reply to AnnReid
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Check his hearing aides 1. Are they turned on. 2. Turned up to loud. 3. May need to turn off or remove while eating. 4. Takes a while to get used to. 5. Try wearing for a couple hours one day and keep increasing each day . I would say within a couple of weeks he will be wearing all day.
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Reply to Sharon45caregiv
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Mom got similar hearing aids more than two years ago and it changed her life! She is profoundly deaf in one ear and moderately deaf in the other. The HAs she has are Bluetooth and iPhone compatible. She loves listening to books through her phone (Audible books) and can hear people on the iPhone better than through the landline.

It was a process to get used to them though. We started working with the volume in the mornings when it was quiet and not a confusion for her. During the day we would go outside or other places and I would help her identify new sounds like birds or cars, etc. He needs to be patient as do you. But the only way to get used to them IS TO WEAR THEM ALL THE TIME (not while sleeping).

As far as the TVs go, I personally would go behind him and turn off the ones he's not actively watching. That is a something that's aggravates me too! If he uses the TV ears or headphones, why is the TV so loud? the headphones should allow the volume for the TV speakers to be turned off altogether while he listens through the headphones
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AnnReid Apr 15, 2021
People with changes in their ability to hear can become so accustomed to too much elevated volume that they are shocked to learn that they can hear better at quieter levels.
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My husband has worn hearing aides since he was probably 5. You need to get Dad back for an adjustment. There is something wrong if he still needs the TV so loud. I would also ask if you could be present.

For years my DH has complained about the digital. He prefers analog but those are no longer being made. He recently had to change providers and we finally got an answer why he doesn't care for digital. Main reason, the sound is more mechanical. The voices u hear are not like what a normal hearing person hears. The brain needs to adjust to the difference.

If you have never worn a hearing aide before you are not going to understand what needs adjusting and what doesn't. Sounds to me Dad has no idea how to adjust the volume in his aid, or that needs adjusting. With digital its all adjusted by computer to the persons hearing level. The volume is set within certain parameters. The person is asked if these are comfortable levels. These levels may need adjusting. There is a lot of tweaking with digital. I would call and get him in to see the audiologist. Maybe write a note explaining the problems he is having.
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AnnReid Apr 15, 2021
This is really an amazing and brilliant post. Thank you, JoAnn29.
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Dh dropped $6K on the most expensive HA's he could have gotten. He was very hit and miss with wearing them and now doesn't even try.

I shout all day long and it drives me bonkers. He's perfectly happy to sail through life missing all the sounds.

TV is on bluetooth and most of the day he wears his headphones. What a waste of money. He was not willing to do the 'work' of adjusting to ambient sounds.

To give you and idea: we went to see "Kong vs Godzilla" in an IMAX theatre, it was so loud my fillings were buzzing. He fell asleep.

I have totally given up.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Are you saying he is turning UP the TV after getting hearing aids? Is it that he never watched before and now he can, so there are loud TVs on everywhere? I guess that would mean TV is limited to "his room" only and there must be an agreement on that.
Hearing aids are not for everyone. For some people they are a torment, and people will often tell you that at parties and so on they cannot separate out the noise that "comes at them" from everywhere, and that cannot be divided into what is close conversation and important and what is not.
Wishing you good luck with this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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So many people give up on hearing aids because they go from hearing nothing to hearing too much when they start using them and it is so disconcerting. My grandmother's audiologist said they basically have to relearn a large number of words because they have been missing so much of what was going on around them for so long. You may need to take him back for the "adjustment" speech from the audiologist now that he's had them for a bit. Go through the manual on the adjustments for different settings and find the best one for a 'regular' situation like watching tv. There are so many types of hearing aids and so many settings it can be confusing, and if they aren't sitting just right in their ears they can be painful and cause the sound to be off.

Sometimes with my grandmother it is almost comical in a sad way and she has gotten to a point where we whisper around her because we never know if she is wearing them. If she is she can hear every word you say now!!
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Reply to BlueEyedGirl94
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Besides speaking with the audiologist.. try headphones for the TV. Cordless bluetooth type - he can get the sound closer to his ears that way.

These have saved my marriage 😉
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