Cliff can only use one hearing aid; the hearing in his left ear is so impaired, and so bothered by tinitus, that nothing can be done for it. He's had a hearing aid for the right ear for ten years or more, but it's been seldom-used. It magnified background noise to the point that it overcame whatever he wanted to hear. For a long time he'd use it a few minutes until it drove him nuts, then put it in his shirt pocket; and twice it ended up in the washing machine because he forgot about it.
His hearing hasn't been good for years, but I've noticed in the last six months things were getting worse, and he was even having difficulty understanding me when I was right in front of him. So against his protests, I made an appointment at the ear doctor's.
I had thought perhaps since his hearing was so bad, he might be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Insurance will pay for that. It does not pay for hearing aids.
But that isn't an option for him, so we ended up with what you see in the picture; I placed a penny there so you can see the size of it. The lady who fitted and adjusted it to him said it's actually a tiny computer. The working part of it doesn't go in his ear, but above/behind it. You really have to look hard to even see he's wearing it.
It cost $1,900.
It seperates background noise from conversation, and magnifies only the wanted sounds. No longer does he have that strained look on his face from trying to make out what I am saying. He doesn't have the desire to remove it and put it in his pocket, so hopefully I won't end up washing it (but it's insured for two years anyhow).
I do believe it's a bargain.