Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard
JayBearII

buying hearing aids

Recommended Posts

If you've bought hearing aids recently in the US, Canada or here in Mexico. would you post or PM me as to where you bought them, what brand you chose, and what the cost was? TIA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, JayBearII said:

If you've bought hearing aids recently in the US, Canada or here in Mexico. would you post or PM me as to where you bought them, what brand you chose, and what the cost was? TIA.

Just some thoughts if you're considering a first time purchase:  Both my spouse and I suffer various levels of hearing loss and have purchased a series of hearing aids back in the USA before moving to Mexico.  The issues to consider beyond cost is the "tweaking" and repairs that come with the territory.  The tweaking can require quite a few visits to the audiologist until it's just right for you.  When repairs are needed, the seller will often take your hearing aid and send to a repair source far away, and you'll be without them as long as it takes. (say WHAT).  Whatever brand you buy, make sure it has easy-to-operate volume controls.  It becomes clear why, if you're in a busy restaurant.

Prices vary widely.  My husband has paid up to $8,000 (US) years ago in the US for in-the-ear-canal aids since his job required much telephone time.  Good ones purchased here run around $3000 per ear.  (Really cheap ones are sold from various places that are basically only loudspeakers, and not customized to your condition.)  I know people who have purchased them and regretted it.

We have both been using the services of Polo at LCS for purchases and repairs over the last eight years. I highly recommend him. He has testing equipment in the office and can usually do repairs on the spot.  He sells a variety of brands in different price brackets, speaks perfect English (if that matters), and is very pleasant to deal with.  I recommend getting information from him first.  He comes to LCS on Mondays and every other Saturday.  His local office is in the building near the back patio with an appointment signup sheet in the hallway outside.

Buen Suerte.  Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife just purchased Resound brand in the US.. with blue tooth connectivity... Cost was around $2500 ea. and  accessories $300 more... They are working very well... Agree with Gringal with both the requirement for follow up fine tuning and using Polo locally...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aside from the fact your link doesn't seem to work, your source clearly identifies the sticking point as the FDA.

Quote

In October a scientific panel convened by the White House suggested loosening regulations on hearing aids to encourage the proliferation of lower-cost options such as Killion’s. The logic seems straightforward—drugstores sell low-power reading glasses over the counter, so why not “personal sound amplification products,” or PSAPs, like the Bean? The FDA apparently got the message: On April 21 it was scheduled to hold a public workshop on whether its manufacturing standards for hearing aids are overly restrictive. The agency, which has ultimate authority to set regulations, is determined “to better understand how we can overcome the barriers to access and spur development of devices that compensate for impaired hearing,” William Maisel, acting director of the FDA’s Office of Device Evaluation, said in an e-mail.

Killion will be at the hearing, as will representatives of the White House panel. So will representatives of the Big Six hearing aid manufacturers—Siemens, Sonova, Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Demant, GN ReSound, and Widex—which control upwards of 95 percent of the $5 billion global market and endorse the FDA’s current hard line on PSAPs.

Beyond that, there's no reason to suggest as you have that deregulation isn't going forward.

In fact, it is happening:

http://blog.asha.org/2016/12/07/todays-fda-announcement-signals-unregulation-of-hearing-aids-eliminates-medical-evaluation-requirement/amp/

Quote

The FDA issued new guidance immediately removing a requirement for people over 18 to receive a medical evaluation or sign a waiver before purchasing most hearing aids and opens doors for the creation of a new over-the-counter category of hearing aids.

Eric Mann, clinical deputy director of the Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced the new guidance at a meeting on hearing health care in adults at the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning.

The regulatory agency stated its “commitment to consider creating a category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids” that would not require the consultation of a licensed dispenser, which the FDA says would increase the affordability and accessibility of hearing aids for consumers. The FDA will consider recommendations from previous reports by the NAS as well as the President’s Council on Science and Technology (PCAST), which support OTC hearing aids and regulatory changes

And more information that confirms this is a bipartisan effort being led by the FDA and the Senate.

http://www.saul.com/publications/alerts/hearing-aid-deregulation-affect-wireless-device-industry-and-create

Quote

First, on December 1, 2016, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016, legislation which would, among other things, permit hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing impairment to be sold over the counter (OTC). Under FDA’s current “Conditions for Sale” regulation (21 C.F.R. § 801.421(a)), such hearing aids are only available upon a medical evaluation or by signing a waiver to forego such an evaluation. 

Following closely behind Sens. Warren and Grassley, FDA announced Wednesday via a rare “immediately in effect” guidance document that it does not intend to enforce the Agency’s hearing aid “Condition for Sale” requirements described above.  Although FDA will consider public comments on the guidance, the document is “immediately in effect,” meaning that it is implemented without prior public comment because it “presents a less burdensome policy that is consistent with public health,” per the Agency.  The guidance applies to: (1) hearing aids that are regulated as class I air-conduction hearing aids under 21 C.F.R. § 874.3300(b)(1); and (2) class II wireless air-conduction hearing aids under 21 C.F.R. § 874.3305.  As with all of its guidance, FDA indicated that the document represents the Agency’s current thinking on the topic, and that it does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public.  With that said, because the guidance outlines the Agency’s planned enforcement discretion (i.e., its decision not to enforce certain of its regulations), it does have more of an impact than a run-of-the-mill FDA guidance document

Looks pretty promising to me.  Good thing, my current $3K pair are getting a bit long in the tooth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What Gringal said...."

And additionally, stated without malice:  your question is about like asking "what brand auto did your buy, where did you buy it and how much did it cost". There are thousands of answers. And actually I think it is easier to buy the proverbial car than hearing aids because at least there are sources available where one can 'read' expert reviews on vehicles AND after you narrow the field down, you can go try a few out. Neither of these are available with aids (well, yes, one can go to a provider and they will probably let you 'try out' one or two for a week or so or maybe even a month, but I suspect that you couldn't do that with a bunch of them).

In summary.... it's really the pits to become deaf!

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RickS said:

"What Gringal said...."

And additionally, stated without malice:  your question is about like asking "what brand auto did your buy, where did you buy it and how much did it cost". There are thousands of answers. And actually I think it is easier to buy the proverbial car than hearing aids because at least there are sources available where one can 'read' expert reviews on vehicles AND after you narrow the field down, you can go try a few out. Neither of these are available with aids (well, yes, one can go to a provider and they will probably let you 'try out' one or two for a week or so or maybe even a month, but I suspect that you couldn't do that with a bunch of them).

In summary.... it's really the pits to become deaf!

 

 

....on the other hand, if you must have a failed faculty, this one has certain advantages during cohete season.;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gringal said:

....on the other hand, if you must have a failed faculty, this one has certain advantages during cohete season.;)

It sure is handy for me. :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JayBearl--I was about to tell you everything that Gringal already said. Polo is great. Larry has gotten his hearing devices there for years. Polo knows about upgrades and improvements in the technology. Then my time came. Whatever hearing aid he recommends to you, you can back it up with research on the internet before deciding.

A friend's husband (also a friend, of course) decided on going to Costco's after seeing Polo, thinking Costco's testing and services might be superior. Soon one of Don's new hearing aids went bad. Had to return to Costco, they had to send the device to Europe. It took three months. With Polo, some repairs can be done right away. If not, Polo got the repair underway from the proper place and gave Larry a "lender" aid until the work was done.

Polo is a nice man as well as very competent.

Lexy

Email me for any thing more I might be able to tell you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the comments so far, including the PMs. All of this is very helpful in bringing me up to speed on the subject!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my hearing aids at Costco in Gdl.  The tests they do are way more sophisticated than the test I had with Polo.   My experience with Polo was very disappointing.  My experience at Costco was excellent.  The staff there is very helpful.  Any little problem I have had with the apparatus has been handled quickly and graciously. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rvanparys said:

My wife just purchased Resound brand in the US.. with blue tooth connectivity... Cost was around $2500 ea. and  accessories $300 more... They are working very well... Agree with Gringal with both the requirement for follow up fine tuning and using Polo locally...

Resound is what I purchased from Polo and for about the same price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you have gotten/paid $5-8,000 for a pair of hearing aides....  did you have or have you used 'less expensive' aides before and if so, how much less and do the $5,000 versions give you better hearing or lesser background noise or ???

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband has both the Resound and Phonak aids.  He likes the Resound because he also bought the mini mic accessory.  He thinks the Phonaks for clarity of conversation.  Like LaChula, he has not had good experiences with Polo.  Neither the hearing test or the repair were acceptable.  We are going to the US to correct the last "repair". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had mixed results with Polo on repair.  One repair job lasted until I was a block from LCS after picking up.  Took it back and the second time it worked and has continued to do so.

Had him repair an older digital for use as a backup.  Got that right the first time and it has been good since then.  Reasonable in cost and pretty punctual.  Overall I am satisfied with him to the extent I've used him.

Given how difficult it is to get repair services for hearing aids locally it would seem to me to be worth it to try him first.  Overall, I'm satisfied but when these are replaced I want to go somewhere where they really have the full equipment needed for a hearing test.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my early years, I played the violin and was fortunate to have nearly perfect hearing.  (One needs it for that instrument.)  Unfortunately, genes always win and early hearing loss runs in half my family. I had my first full hearing test many years ago in the states when I first became aware of loss.   It was with very professional equipment by a well trained audiologist.  Subsequently, there have been more tests, both in the states and in Mexico.  What I have learned and would like to pass on is that no hearing aid at any price will replace natural good hearing.  Aids are unsatisfactory when one is in groups,  in a theater audience or trying to understand a foreign accent. Sometimes, it's almost impossible.

The best experience I've had is the result of returning to the audiologist and having the aids adjusted until they feel "right" for sound.  The worst results were from an audiologist in the states who wasn't patient enough to make the necessary adjustments.  That's why I recommend Polo.  He is patient and will work with clients until they are as satisfied as possible.  But, as in all things....YMMV.

I'm sure that one does not need to travel to the states to find a well equipped audiologist. I had good and bad experiences in the states, the same as with medical care.  Personally, I don't like making trips to Guadalajara, but there are probably a number of good audiologists there.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/21/2016 at 8:44 AM, gringal said:

In my early years, I played the violin and was fortunate to have nearly perfect hearing.  (One needs it for that instrument.)  Unfortunately, genes always win and early hearing loss runs in half my family. I had my first full hearing test many years ago in the states when I first became aware of loss.   It was with very professional equipment by a well trained audiologist.  Subsequently, there have been more tests, both in the states and in Mexico.  What I have learned and would like to pass on is that no hearing aid at any price will replace natural good hearing.  Aids are unsatisfactory when one is in groups,  in a theater audience or trying to understand a foreign accent. Sometimes, it's almost impossible.

The best experience I've had is the result of returning to the audiologist and having the aids adjusted until they feel "right" for sound.  The worst results were from an audiologist in the states who wasn't patient enough to make the necessary adjustments.  That's why I recommend Polo.  He is patient and will work with clients until they are as satisfied as possible.  But, as in all things....YMMV.

I'm sure that one does not need to travel to the states to find a well equipped audiologist. I had good and bad experiences in the states, the same as with medical care.  Personally, I don't like making trips to Guadalajara, but there are probably a number of good audiologists there.

 

 

 

 

Greetings Gringal, I'm wondering if you could help me a bit? I will be moving to Ajijic this coming Friday and already am having a problem. I was caught in a  riptide in PV and my Phonak hearing aids (both) got drenched. I Googled what to do about this because they were NOT working. I did not rinse them in clear water, one suggestion - but put them in a dehumidifier. The right one is sort of working, but has low volume, the left ones are not working. I can tell they are not dead though because a little tiny sound comes through. Do you know if Polo is familiar with Phonak? Are you aware of any audiologist in Guad who may use them? I would so appreciate your response because as you know not being able to hear well is not good - especially when getting into a brand new situation (I'm moving from the island of Saipan). Thank you so much for any advice.

...no hearing aid at any price will replace natural good hearing... isn't that the sad truth?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/20/2016 at 3:09 PM, RickS said:

In summary.... it's really the pits to become deaf!

Not in Chapala, I have an OFF switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ccl said:

Greetings Gringal, I'm wondering if you could help me a bit? I will be moving to Ajijic this coming Friday and already am having a problem. I was caught in a  riptide in PV and my Phonak hearing aids (both) got drenched. I Googled what to do about this because they were NOT working. I did not rinse them in clear water, one suggestion - but put them in a dehumidifier. The right one is sort of working, but has low volume, the left ones are not working. I can tell they are not dead though because a little tiny sound comes through. Do you know if Polo is familiar with Phonak? Are you aware of any audiologist in Guad who may use them? I would so appreciate your response because as you know not being able to hear well is not good - especially when getting into a brand new situation (I'm moving from the island of Saipan). Thank you so much for any advice.

...no hearing aid at any price will replace natural good hearing... isn't that the sad truth?

 

 

My best suggestion is to go to LCS on Monday (and every other Saturday); bring your hearing aids and see what can be done.  He is an expert at repairing aids, besides being an audiologist.  He has always been honest to deal with over the eight years my husband and  I have used his services.  What's to lose?  Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Polo's service for many years.  My hearing has disintegrated over time.  Polo has worked with me as technology changed and got better but my situation never really got much better due to my loss, until recently. 

Recently I told him I had about given up.  He told me to give him the hearing aids I was using and to let him make molds of my ears.  I went back a week later and saw he had totally restructured the hearing aids I had been using.  I now hear better than I have been able to hear in years.  I can hear in a group and am once again socializing  as I had not been able to. Is the change back to perfect hearing?  No but I sure am enjoying conversations I would not have been party to just a few short weeks ago.

I can hear birds and the rain once again and other sounds people take for granted.

Polo is kind and helpful.  Give him a try.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...