Hating Your Hearing Aid

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A man told his neighbor, “I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect.”

“Really?” said the neighbor. “What kind is it?”

“Twelve thirty,” he replied.

INSERT DESCRIPTIONMike Waufle (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

That joke, courtesy of the Web site www.goofball.com, speaks to a sad reality for people with hearing loss. For many of them, hearing aids just don’t work all that well. They pick up background noise, squeal with feedback, can’t be used over the telephone and are all but impossible to wear in a restaurant. Many people quit using them in frustration.

That’s why I was so surprised to hear about a hearing aid that people like. Shortly after the New York Giants won the Superbowl, I learned about Mike Waufle, the Giants’ defensive line coach who uses an extended wear hearing aid — and he doesn’t hate it. I wrote about Coach Waufle’s experience in today’s Science Times.

Read about Coach Waufle here, and then join the discussion below. Do you or someone you know use a hearing aid? Has it made your life better, or do you hate it?