[CQ-Contest] Summary - Contesting and Hearing Aids

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Mon Jun 25 07:33:25 EDT 2007

A number of people asked me to post a brief summary of comments received in 
response to my query on hearing aids and contesting(now a week or so 
ago).  Thanks to everyone who took the time to write.

All of the responses (about 10) were positive - several commented on how 
much their general quality of life had been improved by hearing aids, and 
nobody reported any particular difficulties of the sort I envisioned.  One 
did comment that behind-the-ear hearing aids defeated the noise cancelling 
of his Heil noise-cancelling headphones - I have never used the Heil units, 
but suspect from the pictures that they probably sit on top of the hearing 
aids in such a way that the hearing aid microphones are exposed to external 

Most people seem to be using in-the-ear hearing aids and reported no 
problems with headphones.  However, in my case the audiologist is 
recommending behind-the-ear aids with open transducers in the ear canal - 
these are very small speakers that do not obstruct the canal.  From what 
she tells me, these are recommended in cases with moderate hearing loss to 
counter the "boominess" of one's own speech that is otherwise caused by 
blocking of the ear canal.  I'll have to experiment.

By the way, one advantage that the audiologist claims for hearing aids is 
that about 85 percent people with tinnitus - high-pitched ringing in the 
ears - report that it disappears when hearing aids are used to counter 
high-frequency roll-off.  Appears to be something about the ear/nerve 
system reverting to more normal operation.  I know that in my case the 
tinnitus has come on over the last few years, presumably as my 
high-frequency roll-off became more pronounced, so I'm hopeful I'll get 
this benefit.

My appointment for fitting of the hearing aids had to slip until July 17 
due to summer vacations (mine and theirs) so I'll know more after that.  In 
the meantime, if anyone wants more detail on my conversations with 
hearing-aid-equipped hams, or the messages I received, feel free to contact 
me directly.  For those who wrote or spoke to me privately, be assured that 
I will *not* attribute anything you told me to you by name or call.

73, Pete N4ZR
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