Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Robots in my Ears

Or "My wife and daughters Hearing aids"

When I was about 32 I built a house on Mt. Shasta using a chainsaw and I didn't at first have hearing protection for my ears. As a result I have a hearing loss in the upper ranges about where a lot of women's voices are and where consonants are. So, lately and for a few years I have the TV louder than most people like and I have to ask people to repeat themselves or sometimes if there is background noise I can't understand people at all. I can hear them I just can't make out what they are saying because the range of my hearing loss is where consonants are. So, today I went to get my "Wife and daughter's hearing AIDS".

This guy specializes in "Lyric" hearing AIDS even though he does all kinds. So, then he stuffed two (one in each ear canal and suddenly I lost my "normal" hearing. So, now even my own voice sounds tinny and like I'm speaking through a microphone. However, I can hear human voices and understand them better and I don't have to have the TV as high a volume but nothing at all sounds the same and if I were to change the audio to a visual  perspective it would be like having everything you see suddenly turn into a cartoon. How would you feel if you were only looking at a cartoon of what you were looking at? Only this is a sound perspective rather than a visual one. So, like I said I don't necessarily like this. But on the other hand if it makes my wife and daughter's happy that is something too, so they don't get mad at me when they have to repeat things. So, for now it makes me feel more scared than anything else. It doesn't make me feel better to have a permanent or semi-permanent feeling like someone has there fingers in my ears. Also, there is a battery there and I'm told it is sort of like a miniature Iphone so like a little tiny robot built for the ear canal. However, like I said I don't know how I permanently feel about all this in the short or long term. Also, they give you a 30 day trial to see if you like them or can handle them. Also, they are not cheap, you pay a yearly fee. But also, since they are in your ear canal no one has to know that you have internal hearing aids because you can't see them at all. So, I think this is why people like them because no one has to know you have a hearing aide because it is in your ear canal and not visible to anyone.

Later: About 6 hours later I found myself having lost all sense of well being and sort of ripe for a panic attack or something. Sometimes taking a nap helps reset one's nervous system so I tried this and it "Sort of" worked as I woke up to one or more phone calls. I was sort of half asleep but I didn't feel panicky anymore. I realized that having things in my ears (like someone sticking their fingers in your ears and not taking them out for hours) was wearing on me. I realized even though I could handle it sort of psychologically that I would prefer to put tiny hearing aids in my ear that no one but me sees and then take them out so I could hear normally sometimes too. Because mostly I'm wearing hearing AIDS so people don't have to repeat themselves so I can hear them. But then:

On the positive side I realized that these computerized ear canal jobs do other stuff too. They protect your ears from extremely loud noises because they are designed to do that and I found I could hear leaves blowing across my driveway which I likely couldn't have heard before. I also heard a bird I don't remember hearing and because of that noticed a bird's nest hole I hadn't seen before in a neighbor's tree. So, exploring this experience likely is worthwhile and at some point in the future I likely will return to permanent ear canal hearing AIDS invisible to the public. He said that every 84 days you have to change the batteries and devices and it cost about 2800 dollars a year or more do use this service because they have to put another device in every 84 days. However, if you never want to deal with changing batteries and only want to visit your audiologist every few months to have him change it and if you can deal with it I suppose "Welcome to the future!"

So, for now I want to try Hearing AIDS invisible to the public that I can not only take out but also put in as I wish on a daily basis.

Days later: I tried the next day to put one Lyric in my right ear at high volume so that I could hear voices well but not lose the "normal hearing" that wasn't tinny in my left ear. This worked well even though my wife thought that I had to have two hearing AIDS to AID my brains response to the whole situation. However, I am living in my body not her.

I had to go pick up my teenager from her Tutors so I plugged in my IPhone into the dashboard and turned on Alizee by plugging my IPhone into the dashboard of my new 4 wheel drive truck.

But as I plugged the Itunes portion of my Iphone4 into my dashboard of my truck and listened to Alizee with both ears (one with an Lyric hearing AID and one without) my left ear became a woofer  and my right ear with the hearing AID became a tweeter and I could hear all the higher sounds that I was missing in the upper ranges. It was a truly amazing experience that brought tears to my eyes to realize just how much sound excellence I was missing in the upper ranges of voices and high snare drums and bells and violins. It was a truly amazing experience where my left ear (without a hearing aid) was the woofer and my right ear (with the hearing aid was the tweeter). Tears came to my eyes to experience music in fullness once again. So, if you want to experience the full range of music once again like when you were young you might want to try a hearing AID in just one ear to experience the amazing experience like I did.

Note: However, you might have different hearing deficits than I do. So try and experiment to listen to the music you like. first try a hearing AID in only one ear. If that isn't good then put it in the other one instead. Then if that isn't any good try putting the aids in both ears to see if that is any better. Also, many of the new types of hearing aids have computerized adjustments that either you or your audiologist can make to raise or lower the treble or bass or loudness or to raise or lower the clarity of the device. Even though most devices are designed to hear only voices clearer, hearing AIDs as you learned here can do so much more than that.

I would say the biggest problem that I have encountered so far myself as well as watching my father in law before he passed on was in dealing with feedback. Because a hearing aid is basically a miniature microphone on one end and a miniature speaker on the other, feedback will always be a problem to a greater or lesser degree. The Lyric ends feedback problems by stuffing the whole thing into your ear canal so feedback cannot really happen because there is no air basically between the microphone and the speaker only technology and the flesh of your ear canal. However, the disadvantage is that you can no longer hear any normal sounds once you stuff this computerized electronic device into your ear canal. However, the very fact that this kind of miniaturized device exists now small enough to fit into your ear canal I'm sure a way around this problem will soon be invented. And the other amazing thing I found is that the micro battery that runs a lyric runs on air for around 84 days before you have to replace it with a new device. However, since you are paying for a service much like you pay for a DVR or Netflix, as long as you are willing to shell out 2800 dollars or so a year you will have a device for both ears. So, this is all something for all of us to think more about who need some assistance to hear more clearly and with full clarity for conversing with others in all environments.

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