My introduction and plans for reclaiming my hearing

It was only 24 hours ago that I discovered that not only were I not the first person to contemplate what some consider as my “crazy ideas”, but that these ideas are shared and have even been accomplished.
I won’t claim to know a lot about electronics. I’m studying everyday, but started from scratch just a few months ago.
Without writing a thesis, I’ll just say I became very upset at life. I lost a lot of my hearing to Ménière’s disease and it feels like I have to pay blackmail money for my right to hear. I realize there is another side to this, but mine is only having a pair of hearing aids belonging to my father who passed away, that aren’t my prescription, with no way to afford new ones. The guy who sold me used ones and formatted them for me, so I didn’t have to drop out of college, was called “unethical” for doing so.
It costs 2500-5000 every 3-4 years, for a luxury most take for granted.
That’s when I heard about bone conduction. It’s doubtful I can qualify to have the $20G or more covered.
Then I had this aha moment, that I just discovered had been done, through the tragus. My idea was making a crown of magnetic implants around my skull, but hey…this is better.
I asked the guy who did my head dermals today, if he would consider implanting me with magnets and that was a no.
I don’t know where I’m going from here. I’ll continue studying and eventually I will do it myself if I need to. I taught myself facial acupuncture so I have it in me. I can handle a lot for “my greater good”
Finding this group means the world to me, and I find myself with a whole new take on life.
If anyone has any advice to offer, regarding hearing, “I’m all ears”. :slight_smile:

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@Satur9 might have some input on this

The issue you would face with tragus implants is they rely on the eardrum and the ability to hear normally (i belive)

Have yoy looked at bone conduction headphones that should do what you want if you connect a microphone to them. I expect that would be worth trying befor building something yourself or even hearing amplifiers there similar to hearing aids but amplify everything.

Personally I would push for an audiology appointment and get the hearing loss quantified I imagine in most cases that even slight hearing loss would be rectified with hearing aids.

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My situation is a bit different. I can’t afford the $2-5 G every 3-4 years. I had an audiologist that hacked used ones for me, but that’s no longer an option.
The other issue is having Ménière’s disease leaves your ears feeling full all the time. Wearing what feels like ear plugs is not fun.
I do use bone conduction headphones, but really want something more permanent. I am making one last attempt to do this by the book, in seeking the surgery. I have a small window where if they have mercy on me, it’s paid for. I’m not holding my breath.

Hey @Sabrina, welcome to the forums :smile:

It sounds like you’re already into a bit of biohacking yourself, so hopefully we can provide some resources for you to make this project work. So I looked up some info about Ménière’s disease and it seems that the hearing loss is by no means complete, it’s really more like a side effect of the fluid imbalance that caused the dizziness.

I have been trying to improve upon the existing tragus implant technology for about a year now. Here’s the thread with some of our findings.

The biggest hurdle that has made me put this on the back burner for now is finding a suitable magnet. I currently have an xG3 in my tragus, but it’s strength/mass ratio is far too low to achieve acceptable range from a transmitter. Ideally I want it to be something like a Bluetooth enabled necklace or badge.

You said you have had some success with bone conduction headphones? Which models have you used and where exactly on the head has the contact plate been located to transfer the sound?

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xG3 V2 :thinking:

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Hi @Sabrina
Welcome to the forum, sorry about your plight.

As I read your posts, I would have also suggested
Satur9, a clever and helpful guy who has been working on a solution for something in the similar arena. Which he has linked to.

xG3 V2 (in development at the moment) but Satur9 will yet again be the one to share these findings when they are available.

and also

bone conduction headphones,

I assume you are in the USA due to the comments around the extortionate health care.
The good-ish news, is that in the USA there are many makerspace/hacker spaces and therefore probably some near you.
This is what I would suggest.

That you concurrently look to those groups, tell them your story, Show them Satur9’s tragus thread, and get some further ideas suggestions.
These types of people (hackers and makers) like a challenge and like coming up with solutions to problems and you might just become a project for them.
Also if you can get your hands on some more 2nd hand hearing aids, these people could also possibly be able to help.

In saying all that, if you are in the USA I guess these spaces are going to be affected by Covid, but still worth an approach / investigation when they open back up :man_shrugging:

Anyway good luck with all of it, and I hope Satur9s project works out for you

I have wondered if multiple magnets at the hairline also would help.
As far as Ménière’s disease, it’s a bit different for each person. I’ve continued to lose hearing. The worst was when both sides blew out when I was in high altitude, in 2005.
The bone conduction headphones I have are very common ones…for now. I have two other sets coming, that I plan to splice and see what happens. For now, I sit these at the cheekbone, next to my hearing aids. This amplifies my overall sound well enough. I also ordered a cheap spy magnet kit, mainly to get the neck loop.
It’s interesting that placing the headphones over my titanium dermals does offer a slightly higher amplification. I got them placed at the TE18 acupuncture points. I can’t do a lot with them yet, as they aren’t healed long enough to play with with, however I have a theory that if I place several titanium dermals at certain locations, I could use multiple headphone parts to place over them. What they lack in magnetism, they make up for in vibration.

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I’m an American, but a permanent resident of Canada. There is a misconception about healthcare here. You won’t get a hospital bill for any reason, or pay for doctor visits. However, you still have to pay for your meds, unless they are life-saving and you are poor. Many meds are discounted though.
They don’t cover hearing at all, unless the cause was work related.

Canada is (much) better north America. But it’s still north America. There’s a reason why I moved to Europe.

Having said that, I wonder if docs in north America would outfit a dude like me with more-than-perfect hearing with a bone conduction implants, for shits and giggles. Maybe not in Canada but perhaps in the US. Over here, no way Jose.

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Hmmm. That’s very interesting. I would wait to do any more body mods in the area until you’ve done more testing. I also have one of those spy magnet kits. They work surprisingly well. You should be able to figure out a lot by testing with them. I want to help out. I’m best suited for electronics, but am familiar with a lot. @Satur9 if you want someone to bounce ideas off of.

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This or similar is what @Satur9 is referring to

Check this out at Amazon
EDIMAEG Super Mini Magnetic spy Earpiece with Integration Double use Amplifier Neckloop & External MIC (Full Sets Magnet) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072R48H3J/ref=cm_sw_r_u_apa_fabc_hlp3FbZS1B8EK

When I receive it, I’m going to try something; I’m going to get basic round bandages and see what happens when I press the magnet against the dermal. The dermal sits right on the bone. Only if it works, I will add a series of dermals to key locations.

That’s a smart idea. Too bad the dermals are not a ferromagnetic material that the magnet can stick directly to (can’t be or they would rust from contact with your juices). I’ve also heard that hanging things off of dermals is a bad idea, because the skin is the only support and it gets irritated.

I don’t know if this will be beneficial. Try the two magnets that are included with the kit at different spots and see if you get better results than just one. My thought is that the field only has so much energy to impart to the magnets, and if you place several then each will get a smaller vibration and you’ll get diminishing returns.

From my testing affixing magnets to the outside of your ear doesn’t really work with the low power spy coil. You really have to place it inside your ear canal near your eardrum to get good results. That’s why I was experimenting with a much more powerful transmitter, but it’s kind of like I switched from a small hammer to a sledgehammer. It might work, but precision would be more desirable.

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Don’t they have a top that can screw on am off? Could you have one made to be magnetic that way?

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I’ve seen ones that are just a post and others that have a threaded head that comes apart. That still wouldn’t remove the issue of hanging weight off of the dermal and causing irritation. You also couldn’t screw the dermal directly into the magnet, so you would have to affix it with some kind of adhesive. Then you introduce potential skin irritation from the adhesive and potentially muffle the vibrations because the magnet and dermal are no longer in direct contact.

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Seems like you’d be better off putting a Titan under the skin near the bone and buzzing it with an external coil… though… even a tiny bit of tissue between it and the bone would prob dampen things quite a lot. I think the magnet for a proper cochlear device is screwed into the skull bone for this reason.

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This topic is quite interesting. I also thought about things like this before. My plan was more to get a tragus piercing and glue a magnet to the jewelry. This is not really a help here though. On a sidenote chirogic steel and stainless steel can get pretty magnetic when coldworked so magnetic piercing jewelery can technicly work. Anyways…The current magnet technology doesn’t produce that much field strength yet but there is something new on the horizon that promisses about 60% more field strength. It is based on iron nitride but i couldn’t find any place where you could get samples yet. A company that works on this is Niron Magnetics. I’d love to get my hands on them. If i do i’ll tell you. For the wire coil i would look at one of the ebay amplyfiers that run of 12v and are compact and cheap. They happily output 30-60w into a 4-8 ohm load. The a bit more expensive ones ($5) can also do up to 100w. It’s not perfect but it should be enough for testing.

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A BAHA, to be particular. The bone anchored is part of the name. It’s done with titanium for ossification. My ideal set of those are the Med-El BoneBridge, they pop the transceiver internal too.

Now, to @Sabrina and the hearing aids. As I understand, what the audiologist did to “hack” your hearing aids would be to re-adjust the profile to match you. I wonder if this is because insurance may have paid for the hearing aids in the first place, making it “unethical” to use, and to be safe in that regard it’s considered unethical to do it at all.

Kinda scummy to prevent use of a second hand one. But makes me wonder if you could do it yourself with the right tools and the audiologists report.

Edit: did some more research; looks like this might be something you can do again. I see heaps of people saying it’s fine for audiologists to reprogram the hearing aids, as long as they’re less than 5y old.

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I won’t hang anything in them. If I go that route, it would be adhesive bandage to the area.

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