Request: What are the best hearing aids? How is Sonus?
Harold Sims from Gulfport, FL
Harold, I don't know anything about hearing aids. If the hearing loss has been diagnosed by a doctor a hearing aid would probably be needed. However, hearing loss is very often due to compacted wax in the ear canal. A doctor can clean it out or it can be loosened first with Debrox or other over-the-counter ear cleaner. I know someone, a senior citizen too, who thought he was losing hearing in one ear but after a thorough cleaning first by Debrox and then flush by his doctor the hearing was fine. Cleaning the ears should be part of daily hygiene. Easiest way to keep ears clean and prevent wax buildup is to let the shower splash in them and then clean them dry inside with cotton swabs.
While it is true that a wax impaction can cause hearing loss and you certainly can have a medical evaluation to rule that and other medical causes out, a hearing care professional can determine the type and severity of hearing loss with a hearing evaluation. Sadly, hearing loss is often left untreated in part because of misinformation about hearing aids and how they can help or because people are in denial that they have a hearing loss that is affecting their lives.
SONUS is not a hearing aid brand, it is a network of hearing care clinics that offer many brands and technology levels. There is no magic hearing aid, the most important part of the rehabilitation process is the hearing care provider that is fitting the hearing aid and the ongoing service and care.
That said, digital hearing aids are far superior to the older analog hearing aids, finding the best digital hearing aid depends on many factors, including your personal hearing loss and the situations that you expect to hear better in. Again, it is important to find someone to help you that you feel comfortable with. The best hearing loss solutions vary depending on the individual's needs.
None of this reviews sonus...and yes, sonus is a brand, made in Switzerland. Has anyone USED them that can give input?
Check out www.sonus.com and you will learn that Sonus is a marketing organization that takes advantage of volume sales of many brands of hearing aids. They encourage hearing care providers to become "free members." They offer the members seminars in marketing and "taking advantage of the managed care and PPO industry" (at the bottom of that chain is YOU, the customer!)
I agree with Jannec (posted 2/18): "There is no magic hearing aid, the most important part of the rehabilitation process is the hearing care provider who is fitting the hearing aid and the ongoing service and care." The most state-of-the-art hearing aid is worthless if the provider cannot program it to work for you.
I'm sure there are many hearing care professionals within the Sonus network who are conscientious and reputable.
My provider seemed more interested in the "fun" of "playing" with his computer program. He billed me over $5,000 plus tax for EACH hearing aid that non-Sonus providers charged $2800 or less for. But he gave me a great "discount" to $2800. Unfortunately, that discount negated the contractual PPO/provider discount with my insurance company. In addition he charged a $495 "dispensing fee" for EACH hearing aid that no one mentioned until it appeared on the bill.
In researching after the fact, I have not found ANY providers who charge that type fee. I don't know if it's Sonus' or the franchise I chose.
I have a pair of EXPENSIVE digital hearing aids stored in their case because the provider could not program them for me. (You would think that would be covered by the dispensing fee!)
Bottom line--choose by the competence of the provider, not the franchise. Check ahead on the dispensing fee. If they charge one--RUN! It's a sign that your hearing is not their main interest!
You should NEVER use cotton swabs to clean wax out of your ears. Cotton swabs can, and usually do impact the wax even further. Nothing smaller than your elbow should go in your ear. If you have a serious wax problem, then a hearing professional should clean it out for you.
I have a pair of Siemens hearing aids and I got them at Sonus. I was impressed with the service I got at sonus. The really made it easy. They offer a FREE 3 year warranty on the hearing aids. I think they work with most of the main companies that make the hearing aids.
I'm so grateful for Sonus, I didn't realize how much I was missing and when I need adjustment. They're always there to make it right, from batteries to tones. I only have 30% hearing in right ear and lost in left so I wear 2 hearing aids. It was so important to my job to hear. I work in the hospital. Patient voices were low, doctors were loud but Sonus automatically adjusts to what ever environment your in. It takes a while to adjust. You've got to remember you couldn't hardly hear yourself talk let alone someone else and they have credit plans to help you get them. I even got one stolen and I got a replacement.
Re Brian's post on 3-10-2008, In regards to HEARING AIDS, No, Sonus is not a BRAND, it is a network of Hearing Health Care Professionals. Sonus can provide most major brands of hearing aids but it is their high standard of patient care that separates them from other companies. It can be very confusing to try to assess which "brand" of hearing aid is right for you and in truth, most brands have the same levels of technology. This is why it is very important to find a hearing care provider that you trust.
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