Hearing aid repair

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Tubetec

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Nov 18, 2015
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In the course of clearing out some of my moms personal effects , I found her hearing aids , one had developed a problem way back and she had been intending to purchase a new pair , sadly she passed away before taking delivery of a new set which were costing around 2500 euros .

Six months ago I just happened to find a single almost indentical working hearing aid on a footpath a short distance from my home , today I took a closer look at the broken unit , the wire connection to the driver transducer (ear piece) was intermittant , luckily the one I found on the path was also the right hand side of a pair . It took about 5 minutes to gently prise open the housing , pop out the pcb/mic assembly then plug out the old defective transducer and replace it with the other working part . Simple job to do , a little fiddly due to the small size but still a very easy fix . Anyway just a word of warning to any of our more senior contributors, theres a couple of really simple faults common to most hearing aids that cause intermittancy , one is the ocassional need to re tension the battery contact terminals , a small screw driver is all thats required to give them a little more spring in the right direction and make proper contact again , the other is as mentioned damage to the cable leading to the ear piece . Anyway if your having trouble with your listening devices , do not allow the sales person to fob you off so easily and take an extra couple of grand off you for his trouble selling you the newest all singing all dancing 'latest' improved functionality model . Demonstrate the fault to the saleman and demand the spare part from him or if thats not possible you may be able to pick up a single working unit from someone who lost one of the pair , these do come up very cheap on ebay . Anyway just thinking about some of our contributors stateside who might be already put to the pin of their collar with medical expences , dont not get taken to the cleaners by some salesman with a gentle bedside manner but in reality gets a huge commission on what he sells .

I may actually pay a visit to the local hearing aid shop next week to sus out the possibility of some work repairing stuff ,although I'm pretty sure he's not going to like the prospect of loosing his cut on new sales much . I'd would also like to get my hands on the USB programming cable/software just to see how it works .
 

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Bo Deadly

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Dec 22, 2015
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Hearing aids are expensive mostly because of the processes associated with fitting and programming them. Someone has to sit with the patient, examine their ears, run all sorts of tests to see what frequencies are deficient, create molds, do followup visits and so on. The really expensive ones are molded and of course you cannot recycle the molds. Also, I would caution non-professionals from trying to program hearing aids themselves. Doctors will tell patients not to expose what little hearing they have to high levels. For example you shouldn't listen to TV with headphones blasting at all frequencies. So if you were to misprogram the thing, you could actually do more harm than good. Technically it is a medical device that as more potential for failure than a pair of eyeglasses.
 

Tubetec

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Nov 18, 2015
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Thanks for the safety advice Bo ,
Yeah Im aware the consultation, fitting and eqing process is reflected in the cost .
While I'm quite capable of effecting the repair I did , I definately wouldnt attempt to program a set for someone else without at least taking some kind of training course . The local hearing aid shop does have a sign offering said training and of course a subsequent sales position, even though I'd like to see how the software works , the sales end wouldnt interest me . Very much agree that hearing aids ,even properly programmed ones can have a potential to cause further loss , particularly with very loud ambient noises , like a dog barking in close proximity . Audiologists/salespersons will swear blind their products cant possibly cause damage , doctors I'm sure are much more weary about the possibility of high SPL's causing the units to distort and cause futher harm . Appart from the ocassional need for wax removal which my doctor has done on a few ocassions for me , my hearing is still fairly good , so fingers crossed the need to get fitted with listening gear is a way off in the future for me .

I gave up wearing ear bud type headphones long ago , even when I did I always kept volume to a minimum , there is no doubt a growing problem with kids causing themselves hearing loss with superloud H/phone usage , if it was a workplace situation health and safety would regulate , sadly the manufacturers dont do anything to protect end users from harmfull SPL's . Id imagine the trashy sound of low bitrate MP3's only makes matters worse .
 

Script

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Nov 26, 2008
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Japan
I like the idea of helping folks with the mechanical 'ailments' of their hearing aids (or even take the course). My mom used to have an aid and it often didn't work properly or the transmission would drop out repeatedly. She then used to fiercely shake the device, making it all worse. Luckily she could always take it to the store for free servicing and even replacement if still covered by guarantee -- but not all stores/makers offer that.

In my experience, salepeople who also caution about possible downsides of what they are selling are more trustworthy (and successful in the long run). Personally I wouldn't feel bad at all about selling something really expensive to someone who obviously has loads of money and wants to part with it.
 

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