Now Hear This!

Alert “06880” reader Dick Lowenstein writes:

I did not know I was hard of hearing until my uncle asked me to face away from him at the end of the hall in my grandmother’s apartment. He asked me questions to which I did not respond. I was 6 years old.

Doctor visits and hearing tests, followed by experimental radium and X-ray treatments, until finally what made a difference: lip reading and speech lessons.

Not until I was a 16-year-old high school senior did I get a hearing aid. That helped me comprehend college lectures. I wore that pendant receiver around my neck, with an earpiece to transmit amplified sounds, reluctantly.

As time progressed my hearing worsened. But technology progressed, and the aids became smaller. I went to binaural (both ears) aids built into my eyeglass template pieces, and finally to behind-the-ear models that I wear today. I function pretty well with them, but not in wartime or water!

New technology — better than what I currently use — is now here. Bluetooth and cell phone captioning are 2 examples. This Tuesday (October 2, 11 a.m., Westport Senior Center) the local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America sponsors a presentation on these new technologies.

The event is free, open to the public — and captioned.

(For more information, email

A Bluetooth hearing aid is indistinguishable from other Bluetooth devices.

4 responses to “Now Hear This!

  1. David Pogue is on CBS Sunday morning tomorrow taking about hearing aids. FYI


    Jan Carpenter 203 293 8889


  2. 11 AM, of course… So working people need not apply.

    And, think about it, “taking about hearing aids.”

    Yeah, this is a subject close to my heart, and failing ears.
    My observation is Live Caption sucks. The captioners usually have terrible vocabularies, and obviously screw-up words all the time.
    I would Love to see a real-time, in-person captioning option. What I have tried so far fails miserably. Phones and pads have useless audio pickup, Apps usually require WiFi (telling me they are Logging this somewhere) and WiFi is not ubiquitous, yet.
    I have a few $hundred in high-end microphones here now that for me are useless.

    Post this again if they do an Evening/weekend version somewhere nearby.

  3. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    I am so pleased that this is posted. I am not, as of right now, hard of hearing but I know people who are. I know first hand about the confusion that can happen when someone does not understand what was said or miss hears.
    In addition I know someone was not diagnosed for years, not until middle school and the problems that the person endured. Finally, our own grandson had a hearing problem. His was simple and corrected by surgery at about 4 years of age. Until he was diagnosed and the problem corrected he had some behavioral problems, and his speech was delayed. I hope this program is repeated many times over and not just targeted at the elderly.

  4. I started to lose my hearing about five years ago. I have two Phonix hearing aids that fit behind my ears and are supposed to be the best available. They’re good, but not perfect. I would love to attend the presentation on Tuesday, but I have a conflict at that time. If the presentation will be repeated nearby, please let me know.