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Thread: ENT, audiologist or Sam's Club?

  1. Default ENT, audiologist or Sam's Club?

    I am only 45 and struggle with hearing. Both of my parents also have hearing difficulty although neither wears a hearing aid. I am also a high school teacher, so muffled speech reception makes my job challenging. I had a comprehensive hearing test at Sam's yesterday--with imaging of the inner ear and a lengthy audio test with both sounds and word repetition. I also spoke at length with the hearing aid specialist. I felt that the assessment was solid but have no experience in the arena. I have moderate hearing loss (do not have exact numbers). Two hearing aids were recommended. As money is a concern for me. I wanted to consider the lowest level HA--the Liberty Engage 32 SIE 64 ($1998 for a pair). An additional charge for loss and replacement 4 year warranty would add $400. There is a 90 day money back guarantee. Should I go ahead and order a pair or see an ENT? Even $2000 is a tremendous expense for me so I need to make an informed but budget-conscious choice. As I am a teacher, I do not know if I need a higher quality aid as I often have 20--25 students per class involved in round table discussion. My health insurance does not cover hearing tests or hearing aids, which I was shocked to discover. Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2

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    it's my opinion that everyone that thinks they need aids should visit an ENT first just to be sure that something else isn't involved. Once cleared, then do a lot of shopping, trial at least 2 or 3 pairs preferably of different manufacturers.

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    Thanks. I did call an ENT doc today and he directed me to their audiologist. I am guessing that the tests might be similar but the fitting is different depending on skill level. Is this correct? How do you get to try out several models? Is this done solely in the office or are you able to "test drive" models?

  4. #4

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    my knowledge of the private sector is limited but from reading a whole lot of post on this forum it' look's like Sam's and Costco have trial periods w/o return fees as do a lot of private audiologist. seems the standard is from 30 to 90 days for a trial period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caracon66 View Post
    I wanted to consider the lowest level HA--the Liberty Engage 32 SIE 64 ($1998 for a pair).
    Caracon,

    You ran the two HAs together a bit. The Engage 32 is the lower cost HA that you are considering. The higher cost is the SIE 64.

    I bought a pair of SIE 64s three days ago, but I'm sure you would be happy with the ENG 32s. Here are some differences:

    SIE 64 has 64 channels vs 32 on the ENG 32. Many experts think even 32 channels is more than enough.

    The SIE 64 also adds sudden impulse noise suppression, enhances speech in noise, learning volume control, and programmable telecoil.

    I got the SIE 64 for the extras, but I understand the ENG 32 provides the same basic capability. It's a little like paying extra for electric leather seats and premium audio on a car. Nice if you want them.

    Don't take this as expert advice. I only had them three days. But as there isn't a lot of experience with Liberty HAs in this forum, I will give my input.

    I am so far amazed at the things I hear, but need time for my brain to adjust.

    As for "muffled voices", the improvement is wonderful.

    If you don't want or need the "extras" I mentioned, then go ahead with the ENG 32. The SIE 64 won't help your hearing problem any better, it just adds some nice features.

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    Thanks so much. I am glad to hear your opinion. I am still investigating and trying to learn as much as I can. Ideally, I would like to find a pair and have a couple weeks of practice with them before school starts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    hawaii and seattle
    Posts
    352

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    suggest you consider buying only ONE hearing aid. The sales department says you really oughta buy two. My fitter at Costco suggested I get only one, since my bad ear is pretty bad.
    Fitter was right. I bought two (have insurance) but have used only one for the past 2 years. One good aid makes a helluva difference.

    If I didn't have insurance, I'd only buy one.

    The only professionals who work w/o commission are at Sams and Costco, so most other fitters will trot out the myth (??) that you really gotta oughta get two. Doubles the commission.

    Wouldn't hurt to buy two, try using just one, and return the second if you find it's not worth the price. Or to start with one, see how it goes, and add a second one day if you wish.

    I love the 90 day trial at costco. Same at Sams?

    one last thought: amazon customers are consistently happy with the $150 Mdhearingaid which amazon sells. look at reviews. You might try one. Returnable. It might do the job for you? Could try it at same time as Sams, and return one or t'other.

    good luck! watch the myths. elijah
    elijah lovejoy
    COSTCO audiogram 22jan2010
    hz 250 500 750 1k 2k 3k 4k 6k 8k hz
    left: 65 75 80 75 85 90 90 100 95
    right 25 30 25 25 25 45 50 60 65
    (left eardrum ruptured many times diving, rebuilt by ENT in 1995)
    Ph.D in mathematical psych in 1966. Retired from Univ. of Calif where I taught for 30 years.
    Also retired from U.S. State Department (baby diplomat in Barbados for 2 years).

    Now living in Hawaii (big island) and West Seattle. Don't sell anything.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by elijahlovejoy View Post
    suggest you consider buying only ONE hearing aid. The sales department says you really oughta buy two. My fitter at Costco suggested I get only one, since my bad ear is pretty bad.
    Fitter was right. I bought two (have insurance) but have used only one for the past 2 years. One good aid makes a helluva difference.

    If I didn't have insurance, I'd only buy one.

    The only professionals who work w/o commission are at Sams and Costco, so most other fitters will trot out the myth (??) that you really gotta oughta get two. Doubles the commission.

    Wouldn't hurt to buy two, try using just one, and return the second if you find it's not worth the price. Or to start with one, see how it goes, and add a second one day if you wish.

    I love the 90 day trial at costco. Same at Sams?

    one last thought: amazon customers are consistently happy with the $150 Mdhearingaid which amazon sells. look at reviews. You might try one. Returnable. It might do the job for you? Could try it at same time as Sams, and return one or t'other.

    good luck! watch the myths. elijah

    I don't sell anything or do I get a commission of any kind.

  9. Default service

    Having worn aids all my life I looked at it from a customer service point of view; which
    hearing place would be able to see me if I needed sudden service or a repair. It used to
    be I needed tubing for my earmolds quite often; that pretty much ruled out the audologist
    in my childhood hospital; ie.. "your tubing is cracked and you can't hear...we can fix that
    next Wednesday afternoon at 1pm...no earlier appointment and we close at 4pm". Don't get me wrong...great audiologist but as a grown up my needs are different. Despite not needing tubing in my new aids I still prefer a hearing place that can accommodate walk in
    situations.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by elijahlovejoy View Post
    suggest you consider buying only ONE hearing aid. The sales department says you really oughta buy two. My fitter at Costco suggested I get only one, since my bad ear is pretty bad.
    Fitter was right. I bought two (have insurance) but have used only one for the past 2 years. One good aid makes a helluva difference.

    If I didn't have insurance, I'd only buy one.

    The only professionals who work w/o commission are at Sams and Costco, so most other fitters will trot out the myth (??) that you really gotta oughta get two. Doubles the commission.

    Wouldn't hurt to buy two, try using just one, and return the second if you find it's not worth the price. Or to start with one, see how it goes, and add a second one day if you wish.

    I love the 90 day trial at costco. Same at Sams?

    one last thought: amazon customers are consistently happy with the $150 Mdhearingaid which amazon sells. look at reviews. You might try one. Returnable. It might do the job for you? Could try it at same time as Sams, and return one or t'other.

    good luck! watch the myths. elijah
    Many professionals do not work on commission as they do not feel comfortable being in a position where selling the most expensive hearing aid they have directly influencing their paycheck at the end of the week. What will most effectively treat a patientís hearing loss should be the primary factor in a hearing aid recommendation.

    Two hearing aids a myth? Most people have similar hearing loss in both ears and they respond better with two devices. If you have bad vision do you just wear a monocle?
    Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist in Kentucky
    Working with Hear in Kentucky - primarily with StarkeyAudibel

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