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Thread: Hearing Aids & Helmets

  1. #16
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    I have had HA's for a few months & noise induced loss for many years. You cannot talk about loss w/o saying what kind & how much,etc. Mine is high frequency, as common for noise caused & is ~35% & same curve in both ears. FWIW there is a nice website for interaction with others having loss & aids & a few pros in that field too: www.hearingaidforums.com.

    I'm in the why wear HA's on a bike? I switch to plugs! In a car I wear the right side, while the driver, to hear the boss & remove the left entirely to hear the road sounds better as no blockage from in the ear tube. I also remove them for farm work,mowing,shop time,rainy day hiking/fishing/golfing,etc..
    Another FWIW, I bought mine on eBay used, @ great savings after much research. I went to a pro for fitting,new in the ear tubes & re-programming. There are a couple of resellers on ebay that do it full time & from communications they are OK to deal with. Mine happened to come from another seller there.Many people with HA's are in the latter part of their life & often die soon after spending more for HA's than any of my bikes cost! My Phonak Nadias are from such a death situation & I saved thousands!
    It's a fact that many in the club probably need HA's & don't have them. Just a natural leap from bikers interests. For me it was simply a procrastination & I could hear some so tightwad saved the $ until I saw the light. Tryth be known you will not "fix" your hearing situation but it does help at times. Mine are adjustable too-had to turn them down in a restaurant the other day to tune out a loud mouth! Issue before was not hearing across the table due to background noise-hard to find a balance in those situ's.

  2. #17
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    After trying every style of hearing aid on the market, I recently was fitted with new Lyric in-ear hearing aids. It took me about a month to get totally used to them but they are a God-send for riding in a helmet and listening to my in-helmet speakers. They are inserted by the Doctor, are totally invisible and cause no feed back. They are worn full time (no worry about taking them out to ride and losing them). You return to the Doc every 100 days or so and the old ones are removed and new ones installed. After 15 years of wearing hearing aids and buying every advance that came on the market but still struggling with a good solution for use on the bike, I cannot recommend the Lyric aids strongly enough.

  3. #18
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    I'm curious and have a question for all you guys that have hearing aids. I'm suffering the onset of tinnitus with some high frequency loss myself. My question is this: do you attribute your hearing loss to all the time you spent on scooters when you weren't protecting your hearing? The charts are pretty clear on how little exposure you can experience to noise before permanent damage occurs and it's shockingly little.

    I've spent my whole life from about 8 years old at WFO throttle on gas powered fun. I started with minibikes and gokarts. Then it was dirt bikes. Then street bikes. Then racing cars. And now, for the last 10 years, I've been an aerobatic competitor in one of the loudest cockpits flying. Most of that time I wore a full face helmet on the dirt and street and I fly with the best active noise attenuating headsets in my traveling planes and wear an excellent ear bud headset in the Pitts. The point being that I did everything I could to protect my hearing and I'm still paying the price here in my 50's.

    Just wondering what others have experienced?

  4. #19
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    me too!

    but I'll try to be brief. ...Tho' the ENT guy said nobody really knows what causes tinnitus, for me it kicked into high gear right after a trip that included several 700+ mi days without earplugs. i'd ridden for twenty-odd years w/o earplugs and never gave it a thought. IDK if it was coincidence or causal.

    But in any case, my hearing loss is similar to yours; loss of higher frequencies...like my wife's voice for example. And the ringing, of course. I started wearing hearing aids about eight years ago and I'm so glad. As the Dr. suggested, by putting more of the sound of reality in my head, over the years I've gradually become less and less aware of the ringing. I have to think about it to "find/hear" it. And i hear better. It's a good thing to hear well.

    Maybe some are different, but with my particular ones (Ayr Resound or something like that) behind the ear, the only purpose to wearing them under a helmet would be to exacerbate the wind noise. And maybe cause more of the ringing sensation and cause your hearing to deteriorate.

    Anyone reading this who's not wearing some sort of ear protection is flirting with similar problems and expense. Hearing aids are not cheap. About $4k as I recall and my health insurance only picked up 1/2. And it's a once-in-a-lifetime insurance payment.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  5. #20
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26667 View Post
    Anyone reading this who's not wearing some sort of ear protection is flirting with similar problems and expense. Hearing aids are not cheap. About $4k as I recall and my health insurance only picked up 1/2. And it's a once-in-a-lifetime insurance payment.
    Hence my decision recently to have Sensaphonics custom ear monitors made. I have no doubt they're the best of the best - proven to have over 30 db of passive noise attenuation. One guy on the K16 forum had his hearing tested with them and measured 40 db of attenuation. The price and inconvenience of hearing aids puts the $750 price of the Sensaphonics in perspective.

  6. #21
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    My HA's came from ebay and were one of the latest models of Phonak & correct for my loss. I saved thousands because someone died & didn't need them any longer. The ear inserts/tubes are new & sized to my ear canal & the programming was done by a HA pro that sells Phonak. It escapes me why the HA industry-meaning the ones that frequently sell them at a rip off, don't approach an expensive device the same as a vehicle, which retains high value in the used market. Sure, it's true that HA's change fast given new technology in recent years, but there are lots of older people that use them thus many become available through natural cause. The technology that helps me wasn't available only a few years back. My pro said mine were the 1st used HA's she had done. Many places will balk on serving used HA owners as they want the large profit that goes with the 1st sale. It's no accident that we have laws to protect us r.e. HA's & their sale.
    There are lots models within the several really good brands so choice of brand & model matters in several ways. One persons great experience may be entirely wrong for others. For my loss a HA that was always inserted would not work at all. My point is that it's a device that has to fit your loss profile.
    As to tinnitus , you can get a mild case from one loud noise exposure or you can get a "rest of your life" case from long term exposure, the choice is yours for not using protection. Mine is (to my notion) mild but never ending but lucky to not have it so bad that it interferes with daily living.

    **** One all important thing to remember about noise exposure is that it is accumulative, meaning that each and every time you don't protect you are chipping away at what hearing you had to start with!****

  7. #22
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    My HA's came from ebay and were one of the latest models of Phonak & correct for my loss. I saved thousands because someone died & didn't need them any longer. The ear inserts/tubes are new & sized to my ear canal & the programming was done by a HA pro that sells Phonak. It escapes me why the HA industry-meaning the ones that frequently sell them at a rip off, don't approach an expensive device the same as a vehicle, which retains high value in the used market. Sure, it's true that HA's change fast given new technology in recent years, but there are lots of older people that use them thus many become available through natural cause. The technology that helps me wasn't available only a few years back. My pro said mine were the 1st used HA's she had done. Many places will balk on serving used HA owners as they want the large profit that goes with the 1st sale. It's no accident that we have laws to protect us r.e. HA's & their sale.
    There are lots models within the several really good brands so choice of brand & model matters in several ways. One persons great experience may be entirely wrong for others. For my loss a HA that was always inserted would not work at all. My point is that it's a device that has to fit your loss profile.
    As to tinnitus , you can get a mild case from one loud noise exposure or you can get a "rest of your life" case from long term exposure, the choice is yours for not using protection. Mine is (to my notion) mild but never ending but lucky to not have it so bad that it interferes with daily living.
    As to the protection mentioned above, there is a point where enough is enough with protection and if you reach that point why spend more? While I'm certainly no pro in this area I did attend a several day "hearing protection" seminar via the Army for the purpose of training me to monitor an Army units use of hearing protection.

    **** One all important thing to remember about noise exposure is that it is accumulative, meaning that each and every time you don't protect you are chipping away at what hearing you had to start with!****

  8. #23
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    I have new BTE HA coming in the end of the month. I hope to able to comfortably wear them with a full face helmet. I have a couple of older Arai Signets to play around with to try to get it right. I really want to ba able to wear them when riding! I've talked to the manufacturer, Starkey, (Series 3 with SurfLink Moble) and am told I should be able to pair them my K1600GT. Im' going to ask the Dr to set a program with outside volume, just Bluetooth, if possible. I'll post results end of the month.
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  9. #24
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    Hearing Loss

    I had my first hearing aids in 1959, nine years out of high school. They were terrible, I mostly wore them in my pocket, we did not have helmets in those days so the wind noise amplified by the HA's was not tolerable at all. I credit some of my hearing loss to hereditary causes as my father also suffered with a huge loss of hearing. I am sure the lifetime I spent with marine diesel engines added to my problem, we were not aware of hearing damage back them, later we all had ear muffs but the damage was already done. When I went from an open face helmet to the full face type I discovered the hard way helmets and hearing aids are not compatible, while trying it on in the bike shop both hearing aids crashed to the floor when I took it off, neither would work after that. So I opted for the modular type helmet, however about 10 years into that I find if the helmet fits properly it will pull the HA's out on removal, modular or not. Needless to say I ride with them in a ziplock bag in my pocket, one simply just has to be more aware of ones surroundings while riding. My loss involves sever word definition, once that is lost HA's will not bring it back, I need to see what you say.

    Y'all have a good day,
    Gene T

  10. #25
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    My BTE HA's will pull off with my sunglasses which have rubber tips on the end & it's a PITA for sure . Wearing them under a helmet just isn't going to happen for me & I really don't care if they fit there or not. Sameo for out fishing as I don't want mine in the water either. They are reserved for social interaction situations only. Granted, if it came down to "can I hear a horn,etc., in traffic then maybe a different choice.

  11. #26
    Biker gunnert's Avatar
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    Ok, got the new StarKey BTE hearing aids. First, no issue riding with FF Helmet. I'm careful taking the helmet off, but really isn't a problem. I have a Blue tooth controller with the HA, about the size of a small cell phone. I linked the HA with my iphone and it works fine. When riding, I can answer a phone call and hear the caller fine. But there is too much wind noise for the caller to hear me through the mikes on the HA. I linked the HA to the K1600GT but nothing works when I do. It even turns the speakers off on the bike. I'm getting an indication that the bike is "looking for a BT device"... Had to disconnect the HA BT from bike and go into the radio setup to turn speakers back on. One advantage to the BT HA is there is a mute buttom on the remote. When muted, the HA work just like custom made earplugs. I stopped by the local dealer (Morton's) and they didn't have a solution for syncing with the bike.
    NoVA
    '12 K1600GT

  12. #27
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    I "sync with the road & the environment" when I ride the HA's are packed up.

  13. #28
    Registered User fastdogs2's Avatar
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    Hearing Aids and Riding

    I was just fitted with hearing aids and I am amazed at how much I was missing.

    I will not wear them on the bike because I will susbstitute ear plugs for the HAs.

    As others have said, those who do not ride with ear plugs are playing Russian Roulette with their hearing. I have worn ear plugs ever since I started riding 10 years ago at the age of 58. I did not have appreciable hearing loss at that time, but it progressed as I aged to where I could not hear high frequency sounds (watch alarms, birds chirping, high pitched female voices).

    The audiologist told me that high frequency sounds are what make up a large proportion of hearing comprehension. Also vowel sounds are easier to hear than consonants, since they are harsh, but consonants are "soft' sounds.

    I wish I had gone to the audiologist earlier than I did.

    Bill
    BMW R1200R
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  14. #29
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    I'm curious...you guys who ride with earplugs, esp. you guys who take out your HA's...can you hear anything at all? I mean, it seems to me that you'd want to be able to hear sirens, horns, the bike, and other sounds, just for safety. If I don't have my HA's in, I can hardly hear anything except my tinnitus noises. To me, it's scary to ride like that. I guess it depends on how bad your hearing loss is.
    1983 R100RS (Sold)
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  15. #30
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    I have noise induced hearing loss with a similar profile R & L, It is quite common & you start losing the high freq's 1st then it progresses downward as you loose more(if exposure continues degradation does too) and I hear the stuff you mention just fine. In fact, if you & I or even a female soft voice were in an environment with no background noise I could hear most any conversation , no matter the volume of such. The stuff about consonants vs. vowels, bird sounds etc., is spot on but don't expect some miracle improvement if you have much loss. Nothing remarkable happens for me, just a few more things get through that matter. They are also a PIA as mine are going in for repair now-one is inop. Traffic sounds are easy for me with or without! Fact is I cringe when I'm too near sirens etc., knowing every exposure chips away of what I have left! Fingers in the ears many times. Ringing-I've got it!

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