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Chopped Liver
04-21-2019, 11:01 AM
I have a 50% hearing loss and wear hearing aids. I also have a sensitivity to sound. Because of that, my ears actually hurt if I play a ukulele that is loud, bright and has lots of sustain. I bought a laminate maple with a solid spruce top and had to return it due to the pain.

It is very frustrating and I rarely listen to or play music anymore. My audiologist is a guitar player, so I am hoping a visit to him will allow some adjustments to my aids and allow me to enjoy music again.

Anyone else dealing with this? Any solutions?

ricdoug
04-21-2019, 11:16 AM
Some strings are brighter and louder than others, Jan. My Epiphone Les Paul concert is neither bright, or loud, unless plugged into an amplifier.

Down Up Dick
04-21-2019, 11:43 AM
I too wear hearing aids, but I don’t like them much. I think I can hear well enough without them, but there is a decided difference when I have them in. I also dislike loud noises, but I either wait ‘til they stop or I go away. They don’t cause me pain.

Anyway, I can turn the volume down on mine, or, if my music is still too loud, I can just take them out.

Maybe you’re just having trouble gettin’ usta ‘em. That’s mostly why I don’t like mine. :old:

Chopped Liver
04-21-2019, 12:33 PM
I too wear hearing aids, but I don’t like them much. I think I can hear well enough without them, but there is a decided difference when I have them in. I also dislike loud noises, but I either wait ‘til they stop or I go away. They don’t cause me pain.

Anyway, I can turn the volume down on mine, or, if my music is still too loud, I can just take them out.

Maybe you’re just having trouble gettin’ usta ‘em. That’s mostly why I don’t like mine.

I've had them for 7 years so I am used to them. They are a necessary evil. However, I usually take them out as soon as I get home.

I play my uke without the aids because it is loud enough. But after awhile, my ears hurt.

Supposedly, they can protect your ear from damage due to loud noises. I wonder if I played my uke with the aids in but turned way down if my ears would still hurt?

Chopped Liver
04-21-2019, 12:35 PM
Some strings are brighter and louder than others, Jan. My Epiphone Les Paul concert is neither bright, or loud, unless plugged into an amplifier.

Yeah, I know. I have warmer strings on my Pono, but it is still too loud. I may be resigned to either giving up playing or just playing my Eleuke unplugged.

Wonder what the Eleuke would sound like with nylon strings? Hm . . .

CloudyKitty
04-21-2019, 12:44 PM
I wholeheartedly suggest a visit to the audiologist for a check up and adjustment if needed. I took a month or so to adjust to my hearing aid in my left ear when I first got it Nov of 2017. I am overdue for my annual check up and adjustment. When I first got my hearing aid I had 30% loss in my left ear and 20 in the right. I think those amounts have gone up.

Some evenings I will take out my aid because the TV volume fluctuates too much and I get tired of remembering to mute and unmute.

Down Up Dick
04-21-2019, 07:19 PM
Yes, I agree with CloudKitty (and you) that you should see your audiologist. My doctor can adjust my hearing aides’ volume to make them more comfortable.

My hearing is about the same as CloudKitty’s. I mostly got hearing aides because I was having trouble understanding TV programs, which is ironic because I don’t care for TV very much anyway, but I watch it with my wife. I also thought they might have an affect on my playing which they actually have..

I’m only playing my baritone uke now, and I don’t notice much difference between how it sounds now and before. However, my banjos and mandolin are quite a bit louder, and they have a different sound. I think that my hearing level was bad, but I was used to it being that way so now sometimes the sounds seem wrong.

I wear glasses too and dealing with them and the hearing aids on my ears at the same time is the pits. Just wearing the glasses all the time was bad enough.

So that’s why I’m less than 100% happy with the darned things. I guess things just wear out . . . :old:

Down Up Dick
04-21-2019, 07:31 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it, but I have a jaw problem too and sometimes, when it’s acting up, it makes my ear hurt — just a thought. :old:

kohanmike
04-21-2019, 08:58 PM
About 10 years ago my hearing test showed a 30% loss in the high range, I'm sure it's worse now. I also have Tinnitus, background noise all the time. I don't have a problem playing bass uke or ukulele, and I never have pain. I have trouble in restaurants and crowded places, but watching TV is not too bad, though last night I watched "Crazy Rich Asians" and had trouble understanding some of the dialogue, I'm sure partly due to the accents the actors had. I had to turn on Closed Captioning to keep up.

This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

Down Up Dick
04-22-2019, 03:10 AM
My hearing aids have canceled out much of my tinnitus. I love ‘em for that! :old:

Bill Sheehan
04-22-2019, 04:54 AM
Hi Jan, sorry you're having trouble with the sound-sensitivity factor. I am deaf in my left ear, as the result of something called a "cholesteotoma" that developed inside that ear when I was twelve years old; so I had to have a mastoidectomy, which involved removing some of the structural components in there. I've managed to work around it without too much trouble, as it seems that my "good ear" is REALLY good and gets me by... I'm lucky that I've not really had the noise-sensitivity issue; mine has been more along the lines of having trouble navigating social functions like wedding receptions, loud restaurants, etc., as everything seems to kinda "blurb" into one incomprehensible spectrum of "white noise" when I'm in those situations, and I have to concentrate so hard to understand what others are saying, that it almost becomes physically wearying. I hope you'll find a decent solution to your dilemma. For what it's worth, I recently acquired an Enya brand EUS-X1 soprano, on Amazon, for right around $70.00 new. It's a high-pressure-laminate uke, very pretty to look at, very well put together, very nice action and accurate intonation, and most notably (as Barry said in his review)-- a very mellow, understated volume, although oh-so-sweet in its tone. I have grown to love mine, and I can hardly believe the quality and tone could be so good at this price level. So, in my view, it's a uke that sounds wonderful but won't overwhelm the ear. Everyone have a great week!

Joyful Uke
04-22-2019, 05:37 AM
Fortunately for me, I haven't had to deal with this, (at least yet.)

But, others have told me that they've been able to get hearing aids that work OK for music, after getting things adjusted appropriately. You might bring your ukulele with you when you go in next, so you can recreate the problem situation.

There are some very adjustable hearing aids these days, involving apps on smart phones, and all kinds of technology. I don't know anything other than what others have mentioned to me, (and I know that hearing aids are expensive, so replacing yours might not be an option), but people I've talked with seem happier with the high tech ones.

I haven't heard anyone mention pain, though. That's definitely something to have checked with the appropriate medical professional, especially if this is a newer problem.

Edited to add:
A lot of people have suggested that Costco is one of the best options for hearing aids and getting them adjusted well. You don't need to be a member, apparently. It sounds like you already have someone working with you, but just thought I'd mention that, in case it's of any use. Again, it's all 2nd hand, since I have no experience with it anyway.

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 12:15 PM
Yes, I agree with CloudKitty (and you) that you should see your audiologist. My doctor can adjust my hearing aides’ volume to make them more comfortable.

My hearing is about the same as CloudKitty’s. I mostly got hearing aides because I was having trouble understanding TV programs, which is ironic because I don’t care for TV very much anyway, but I watch it with my wife. I also thought they might have an affect on my playing which they actually have..

I’m only playing my baritone uke now, and I don’t notice much difference between how it sounds now and before. However, my banjos and mandolin are quite a bit louder, and they have a different sound. I think that my hearing level was bad, but I was used to it being that way so now sometimes the sounds seem wrong.

I wear glasses too and dealing with them and the hearing aids on my ears at the same time is the pits. Just wearing the glasses all the time was bad enough.

So that’s why I’m less than 100% happy with the darned things. I guess things just wear out . . . :old:

Yeah, I wear glasses, too . . . have since 3rd grade.

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 12:17 PM
About 10 years ago my hearing test showed a 30% loss in the high range, I'm sure it's worse now. I also have Tinnitus, background noise all the time. I don't have a problem playing bass uke or ukulele, and I never have pain. I have trouble in restaurants and crowded places, but watching TV is not too bad, though last night I watched "Crazy Rich Asians" and had trouble understanding some of the dialogue, I'm sure partly due to the accents the actors had. I had to turn on Closed Captioning to keep up.

This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

Yep, I have tinnitus, too. So much fun . . .

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 12:52 PM
Hi Jan, sorry you're having trouble with the sound-sensitivity factor. I am deaf in my left ear, as the result of something called a "cholesteotoma" that developed inside that ear when I was twelve years old; so I had to have a mastoidectomy, which involved removing some of the structural components in there. I've managed to work around it without too much trouble, as it seems that my "good ear" is REALLY good and gets me by... I'm lucky that I've not really had the noise-sensitivity issue; mine has been more along the lines of having trouble navigating social functions like wedding receptions, loud restaurants, etc., as everything seems to kinda "blurb" into one incomprehensible spectrum of "white noise" when I'm in those situations, and I have to concentrate so hard to understand what others are saying, that it almost becomes physically wearying. I hope you'll find a decent solution to your dilemma. For what it's worth, I recently acquired an Enya brand EUS-X1 soprano, on Amazon, for right around $70.00 new. It's a high-pressure-laminate uke, very pretty to look at, very well put together, very nice action and accurate intonation, and most notably (as Barry said in his review)-- a very mellow, understated volume, although oh-so-sweet in its tone. I have grown to love mine, and I can hardly believe the quality and tone could be so good at this price level. So, in my view, it's a uke that sounds wonderful but won't overwhelm the ear. Everyone have a great week!

Hi Bill, I, too, have trouble making out words in noisy environments. I try to read lips while listening.

I have an Enya soprano in acacia wood (I think). I am sure it is laminate even though it is really light. I will get it out and try and see if it helps. I also have a Enya tenor. They are nice ukes!

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 12:55 PM
Fortunately for me, I haven't had to deal with this, (at least yet.)

But, others have told me that they've been able to get hearing aids that work OK for music, after getting things adjusted appropriately. You might bring your ukulele with you when you go in next, so you can recreate the problem situation.

There are some very adjustable hearing aids these days, involving apps on smart phones, and all kinds of technology. I don't know anything other than what others have mentioned to me, (and I know that hearing aids are expensive, so replacing yours might not be an option), but people I've talked with seem happier with the high tech ones.

I haven't heard anyone mention pain, though. That's definitely something to have checked with the appropriate medical professional, especially if this is a newer problem.

Edited to add:
A lot of people have suggested that Costco is one of the best options for hearing aids and getting them adjusted well. You don't need to be a member, apparently. It sounds like you already have someone working with you, but just thought I'd mention that, in case it's of any use. Again, it's all 2nd hand, since I have no experience with it anyway.

Hi Joyful, thanks. My hearing aids are high tech and expensive! ($4000 for the pair). My audiologist probably have newer models, but yeah - $4000 - and my insurance only covers $500.

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 12:58 PM
Thanks, all. I appreciate your input!

I really want a pineapple shaped uke and thought about getting a Makala because it would prob not be loud. But I think I'll check with my audiologist before buying any more ukes - in case I end up selling what I have.

PereBourik
04-22-2019, 02:22 PM
Thanks, all. I appreciate your input!

I really want a pineapple shaped uke and thought about getting a Makala because it would prob not be loud. But I think I'll check with my audiologist before buying any more ukes - in case I end up selling what I have.

Everybody needs a pineapple!

Hi CL, hope things are good-ish. Just after Christmas I joined the Aid Brigade, trying to tame the tinnitus I develloped in seminary. Three times have I asked the Lord to deliver me . . .

Chopped Liver
04-22-2019, 03:22 PM
Everybody needs a pineapple!

Hi CL, hope things are good-ish. Just after Christmas I joined the Aid Brigade, trying to tame the tinnitus I develloped in seminary. Three times have I asked the Lord to deliver me . . .

Things are good-ish. At a new school teaching 4th grade. Hard work but they appreciate me.

My audiologist said there were things that made the tinnitus worse and, if I remember correctly, they all started with an "s": stress, sodium, (lack of) sleep - and 2 others that I can't remember . . .

AustinHing
04-22-2019, 03:42 PM
I’m not sure if anyone suggest this yet, but have you tried to cover the sound hole with tape or a custom sound hole cover? It will lower or suppress the volume and you don’t have to sell or not using your nice ukes for your enjoyment.

aNueNue has such product.
http://www.anuenue-uke.com/en/products/seri/51

Nickie
04-22-2019, 03:51 PM
I don't have much hearing loss, but I appreciate the problem. I've worked with a lot of people with hearing loss.
I have a sensitivity to loud noises. A loud banjo or drum can give me a headache and make me nervous wreck.
Fireworks and sirens? Forget it!

Bill Sheehan
04-22-2019, 04:40 PM
Iím not sure if anyone suggest this yet, but have you tried to cover the sound hole with tape or a custom sound hole cover? It will lower or suppress the volume and you donít have to sell or not using your nice ukes for your enjoyment.

aNueNue has such product.
http://www.anuenue-uke.com/en/products/seri/51

Now there is an excellent suggestion! Just might do the job!

Chopped Liver
04-23-2019, 11:44 AM
I’m not sure if anyone suggest this yet, but have you tried to cover the sound hole with tape or a custom sound hole cover? It will lower or suppress the volume and you don’t have to sell or not using your nice ukes for your enjoyment.

aNueNue has such product.
http://www.anuenue-uke.com/en/products/seri/51

No, they haven't mentioned that. That might work! I will look into it. Thanks!

Chopped Liver
04-23-2019, 11:45 AM
Now there is an excellent suggestion! Just might do the job!

:agree: I am going to see if I can find some to fit a ukulele!

Chopped Liver
04-23-2019, 11:59 AM
I found this link:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374709

I also found this pic and I could do this with scissors. Shoot. I could get creative and cover them with fabric or contact paper or whatever:
117280

AustinHing
04-23-2019, 01:05 PM
I found this link:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374709

I also found this pic and I could do this with scissors. Shoot. I could get creative and cover them with fabric or contact paper or whatever:
117280

That’s great! The diy sound hole cover in the link looks legit. Hope it works out for you. Now you just have to get your origami skill level up! JK!

Kenn2018
04-23-2019, 06:03 PM
Or, you can put a sock in it. The sound hole. It will muffle the sound until a more elegant solution is made or found.

Not being able to differentiate a conversation from background noise is one of the first signs of hearing loss. According to sound engineers and people from the American Deaf Association that I know.
I am just beginning to have this difficulty.

If you are a veteran, you can get hearing aids through the VA.

Chopped Liver
04-24-2019, 12:09 PM
Or, you can put a sock in it. The sound hole. It will muffle the sound until a more elegant solution is made or found.

Not being able to differentiate a conversation from background noise is one of the first signs of hearing loss. According to sound engineers and people from the American Deaf Association that I know.
I am just beginning to have this difficulty.

If you are a veteran, you can get hearing aids through the VA.

Put a sock in it! Bet my school kids would like to say that to me! :p. I will try the sock until I can make a sound hole cover.

Hearing aids are not as good as the human ear, but they are beneficial (even though I don't like them). When you first start wearing them everything is going to sound loud! You will adjust to hearing all the sounds again.

SpaceForRent
04-24-2019, 01:29 PM
I don't wear hearing aids and I have no experience with instrument amplification, so take this with a grain of salt...

But what about playing a uke with a pickup, but instead of running it to cabinet speakers, you run it to a set of over-the-ear headphones? The headphones will block much of the natural sound from the instrument, and you can dial the amplified volume as low as you need to. If you want to get fancy, I bet your audiologist could help you identify frequency range(s) that are causing most of the pain and you can selectively attenuate those bands by running the signal through an EQ to let you play with a little more overall volume.

Bill Sheehan
04-24-2019, 02:30 PM
Now that is a very interesting idea indeed! You just may be on to something, SpaceForRent!

Chopped Liver
04-24-2019, 02:33 PM
My ukuleles are acoustic without pickups. Not planning on buying more right now.

SpaceForRent
04-25-2019, 08:46 AM
Now that is a very interesting idea indeed! You just may be on to something, SpaceForRent!

My wife says I'm full of it. I think she meant that I'm full of them. Ideas, that is. *ahem* Anyway... if you want a really interesting idea, I would get with an electronics engineer to build some sort of pre-amp that would work like a loop system in theaters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_induction_loop) to interface directly with telecoil equipped hearing aids. Plug in your instrument and the amp output is produced directly in your ear.

And, of course I just did a quick Google and discovered that a functionally similar device (https://en-us.sennheiser.com/ezt-3011) is already on the market for use with home AV gear. I did not see any indication that the technology had been specifically applied to musical instrument amplification.

Col50
04-25-2019, 10:40 AM
Sorry to hear of your problem.

I think that you are on the wrong track with any acoustic Uke.

A solid body electric Uke will give you control over the volume.

Feed an electric Uke into a Mixer then into a Graphics Equaliser (with as many bands as you can afford) feed its output into an Amp and you will then have full control over the sound level.

The Graphics Equaliser will enable you to fine tune the frequency that causes you the problem

Chopped Liver
04-25-2019, 01:01 PM
Sorry to hear of your problem.

I think that you are on the wrong track with any acoustic Uke.

A solid body electric Uke will give you control over the volume.

Feed an electric Uke into a Mixer then into a Graphics Equaliser (with as many bands as you can afford) feed its output into an Amp and you will then have full control over the sound level.

The Graphics Equaliser will enable you to fine tune the frequency that causes you the problem

Well, I got the acoustics before I realized it would be a problem. And it hasn't always been a problem. My Makala Shark never bothered me so I think I will get it out and try it again.

I do have an electric uke - the eleuke. I don't like the strings, though. They hurt my fingers. Could I put acoustic strings on it?

Kenn2018
04-25-2019, 01:47 PM
Well, I got the acoustics before I realized it would be a problem. And it hasn't always been a problem. My Makala Shark never bothered me so I think I will get it out and try it again.

I do have an electric uke - the eleuke. I don't like the strings, though. They hurt my fingers. Could I put acoustic strings on it?

I have Living Waters on my peanut shaped Eleuke. The action/setup isn't very good. It wasn't a steel string version. VERY quiet when not plugged in. Mine also has an earphone jack and volume control. I've played it through headphones and it's a little crude, but it worked. Also has bluetooth and I played it through bluetooth wireless earbuds, but in-ear buds wouldn't work with hearing aids.

Chopped Liver
04-25-2019, 03:18 PM
I have Living Waters on my peanut shaped Eleuke. The action/setup isn't very good. It wasn't a steel string version. VERY quiet when not plugged in. Mine also has an earphone jack and volume control. I've played it through headphones and it's a little crude, but it worked. Also has bluetooth and I played it through bluetooth wireless earbuds, but in-ear buds wouldn't work with hearing aids.

OK, thanks. Mine has steel strings. It is an older version without bluetooth, but it has the earphone jack.

I like that it is very quiet. I might try restringing it, even though it isn't too loud with the steel strings without amp. Just hard on the fingers.