Hearing Aid Users' Group

(affiliated with Athens Village)

Webmaster and Group Leader: Richard Dean (deanr@ohio.edu)

Information last updated: May 4, 2017

Web address of this location:  www.ohio.edu/people/deanr/HearingAidUsers.html

Note from the webmaster/Group Coordinator:  The information here is selected for my anticipation of the needs and interests of group members and site visitors.  It will change frequently so always note the date at the top of the page indicating the last update.  Also, I would appreciate feedback via email on your interests, difficulties understanding content, errors and/or difficulties navigating the website.    RD

Note 1:  The Hearing Aid Users' Group meets each 2nd Monday of the month at 2 PM at The Athens Village Office, 94 Columbus Rd., Athens, OH. Meetings are open to all interested persons.

Note 2:  A presentation on the new Cochlear Hybrid is scheduled for Monday, May 10 at 2-3 PM in the ACEnet Conference Rm, 94 Columbus Rd, Athens, OH. Enter through the Red Shirt Design business.  It will be a presentation by Rebecca Meier, Aud, CCC-A, FAAA.  Rebecca is an Ohio University audiologist who has worked with  deaf children who use the original cochlear implant. Greg White is the engagement manager for Cochlear hybrid, the device which is the subject of this presentation. NOTE: this device is a relative new device that is a combination of a hearing aid and a cochlear implant.  It is basically a medical device that is for experienced hearing aid users whose hearing has declined in the high frequencies to the extent that their hearing  aids no longer are as effective in serving their amplification needs.

Purpose of this Group:

The Hearing Aid Users' Group helps current and actual hearing aid users better understand hearing loss and hearing aids. Group interests dictate the topics discussed.  Attendance varies so this website was established to post appropriate helpful information for those irregular in attendance.

        Email your questions to Richard Dean, group facilitator, at deanr@ohio.edu.  

 Background:  I have been a hearing aid user for over 6 years.  I am also a retired professor from the School of Hearing and Speech Sciences (now the Communicattion Sciences and Disorders Division of the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences).  My training and experiences have provided an background in hearing disorders and their rehabilitation although I have not been a practicing audiologist.  With this background and having experienced both moderate hearing loss and the acquired problems that occur when wearing hearing aids, I have spent a great deal of time learning about the problems acquired by a hearing aid user, namely, the interference of noice and reverberations with already decreased hearing acuity.
    Although significant hearing loss can occur at any age, the majority of hearing aid users are older, lots of senior citizens.  It is fairly clear that most persons, both with normal and disordered hearing, do not understand hearing loss nor how to cope with it or how to be of assistance to those with disordered hearing.  Most persons who are hearing aid users do not fully understand their hearings aids or their features.  Research has shown that most hearing aids are abandoned in 4-5 years due to dissatisfaction. Hearing aids, unlike eye glasses, will not restore hearing - at best only improve it. 
    The main reason I created this group was to increase knowledge of hearing aids, primarily their unused features, hearing loss, and how to increase satisfaction by pointing out ways to deal with noise.  The problem of noise can be dealt with, to a degree, by knowing how to use hearing aid features such at telecoil settings, assisted listening systems frequently available in auditoriums and knowing where to sit in rooms,  restaurants and in large group meetings.  A secondary purpose is to provide knowledge regarding hearing aids and their providers to potential users who are currently unaided.
    My experiences with this group, now over 4 years old, is that participants attend as necessary for advise on specific needs and problems.
This website was created as a convient source of basic information on hearing loss, hearing aid features and new developments in technology that will be of interest to some.  The information is categorized and provides links to Internet information sources when clicked.  I hope to keep it current by frequent addition of recent information that I encounter.  New information will be highlighed with asterichs (***) for a short period.  Suggest you return frequently for updates.  Note the date last updated at the top of this page to  know if new information has been added since your last vist to this site.

***About Commonly Advertised Aids on Internet, in magazines, etc. There are a number of sources for aids that are less than half the prrice of those commonly fitted and dispensed by audiologists. Generally, you must be aware of common problems with buying them.
The are not fitted by an experienced professional and are designed for the most common age-related loss.  Limited adjustments can be made by the user following provided instructions.  I've heard that the guarantee for return of money if dissatisfied is not reliable. To get a refund requires persistence; a friend had much difficulty gaining a refund. There is no one to turn to for guidance, assistance or repair.

Recent Information

***In the last year I have purchased a devise called a 'Mini Mike'. It is a transmitter of audio from a sound source to which you attach it or from the device itself when clipped to a person speaking.  Its invaluable in choir rehearsal where I sit farthest from the director in a terrible acoustic enironment. I hear her and the members in front rows VERY well.  I also use it with our TV at home where I can independently control volume and listen through my aids.  The friend described in the next paragraph also uses and charishes a 'mini mike'.

Lower Cost Aid Sources where aids are fit onsite by experienced personnel:  Costco and Sam's Club.

Costco: I have learned from a good friend and neighbor details about hearing aids from Costco.  Costco is a membership warehouse club selling a wide variety of merchandise similar to Sam's Club. They market hearing aids at a very reasonable cost that are fitted by a licenced hearing aid dispenser, not an audiologist. See attached link for discussion of comparison of Costco dispensed and audiologist dispensed aids. Also, there are about six major aid suppliers used by Costco; however, the selected products are less sophisticated options.


 I just realized that there are two warehouses in Columbus with such services.  Here is what my friend shared with me about his purchases there:
        The hearing aid I purchased was the Costco brand (Kirkwood), but I believe it is the Resound brand of mini-behind the ear style.  It does help me in most situations with less benefit in a restaurant or other noisy environment, but I do have a remote that allows me to raise the volume and also access a program for noisy environments.  I did not try other hearing aids, which may be better, but the cost swayed me ($1900 a pair).  I actually got the Costco membership to be able to buy these aids.  The guarantee with them is also very good.

About: http://www.costco.com/hearing-aid-center.html?ddkey=http:CatalogSearch

Sam's Club

Information from friend re: wife's new aids and internet searching.
    Sam's Club (in Chillicothe) sells lower cost aids: One category is ordered via email and shipped to one's home. They are similar to other low cost aids that have limited self adjustment. The other category is ordered at the store on the basis of a hearing test and fit by a trained dispensor similar to a hearing aid dealer. Costs are considerably higher but the products are apparently serviced at the store.

   *** Cochlear Hybrid -
In the past year I've learned about a relative new device combining the features of a hearing (for low frequency enhancement) and a cochlear implant (for high frequency enhancement). It has been most used by those experienced hearing aid  users who no longer get much hearing improvement from their aids.  It is considered a medical device and for some who qualify based on the nature of their hearing loss are paid for by medicare. There is a chapter of users in Columbus who meet monthly at a hardware store.  We also have an audiologist well versed in cochlear implants who is willing to speak to our group and bring an OU graduate who works for the manufacturer of this hybrid device.  I think most of the group I'm associated do not have a loss sufficient to elimnate costs. Using the device does require surgery.  The link below describes the cochlear hybrid.

    Cochlear: http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/us/home/treatment-options-for-hearing-loss/cochlear-implants

- new all in the ear aid. This is a new product advertised and sold via the Internet.  It is less expensive than most hearing aids sold via conventiional audiologists at local hearing aid outlets.  It is one of the few that will install your hearing loss characterists from a recent audiogram that you provide for the additonal cost of $500. -  http://www.eargo.com

Types of Hearing Loss

This site offers a short description of the three most common types of hearing loss.  The type that characterizes most readers coming to this site will be sensorineural with an occasional mixed loss


Assistance with Hearing Aid and Hearing Loss problems (tinnitus is one problem mentioned)
The Hearing Loss Center and Hearing Aid Museum http://hearinglosshelp.com

Buying Guide: Emphasis Low Cost (Check)

See Costco above.

The Hunt for an Affordable Hearing Aid

This link is a published article that talks realistically about hearing aid costs. At the top of the article is a picture  of a Costco warehouse outlet (like Sam's Club). These sites have an audiologist on site that fits and services aids. This outlet is provides about the least expensive sources of 'locally purchased and serviced' aids.  A retired OU professor friend of mine just informed me of two locations in Columbus. He purchased two aids for a VERY resonable price; I think these products are competitive in quality with most local hearing clinics.


Hearing Aid Buying Guide €“ Consumer Reports


Hearing Choices (Features available in aids)



Hearing Aid Settings (Programs) for Different Environments


About T-Coil/Telecoil Feature




Guidelines for Hearing Aid Fitting for Adults


Why My Hearing aids are in the Drawer--Dissatisfaction



How to Reverse Hearing Loss (the Amish Way) video by Sam Miller




Theaters Pledge to Improve Movie Access for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired


Aging with Your Hearing Aids


The Athens Village:

    Webpage:  www.theathensvillage.org You can find copies of current and past newsletters to help you understand the this group and its activities

    Office Staff and Phone
            Gregg Andrews, Director
            Susan Gilfert, Adm Assistant   
            Phone: 740-447-0500
            Address:  94 Columbus Rd. Bldg B, Athens, OH   45701