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Please help me build a device to let me hear again!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by rasi, Oct 20, 2013.

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  1. rasi


    Oct 20, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a novice with electronics, although I understand how to solder and put something together. My problem is that I suffer from congenital unilateral sensorineural deafness. That just means that since birth, I am completely, 100% deaf on my RIGHT side. This has never been a huge problem for me except in a few specific occasions (have to turn my left ear towards low amplitude conversations, cannot enjoy stereo music, cannot locate the direction of sound etc).

    Unfortunately, I am now a doctor in training who spends a lot of my time doing procedures with my boss (placing stents in people who have heart attacks). My problem is that my boss has to stand on my right and give me instructions on performing the procedure (it is an integral part of my medical training). Given my RIGHT sided deafness this is a huge problem because I can only hear from my left ear and cannot hear instructions from my boss standing on my right side very clearly -- especially when he speaks softly.

    There a number of hearing aids out there that address this issue (Phonak CROS is one of them) and they all cost >US$ 3000 and I obviously cannot afford them. But it occurred to me that this should be a simple problem to solve.

    I will be using this device only when I am doing procedures, so I do NOT need it to be versatile and small to keep in my ear at all times like a hearing aid. In fact, it can be bulky as needed. So ideally what I need is something like a LEFT ear headphone (you know, like this one on amazon), and modify it.

    I am thinking I would need to mount two small microphones on either side LEFT and RIGHT, and feed the inputs, mix it, and channel it into a single speaker on the LEFT side (my good side). This way, sound from my LEFT and RIGHT will both enter my LEFT ear.

    I am not sure how to go about doing this, or even where to start. Conceptually it sounds simple enough and I have searched high and low on the internet for such an option and haven't found any. I would GREATLY welcome any ideas anyone has, and if someone is willing to build such a device for me, I would gladly pay for your services as well.

    Thank you!
  2. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    My hearing is OK but I have tried hearing aids and find them horrible. Thus you do not want to degrade the good hearing that you have.

    All hearing aids in the UK have a T position to pick up magnetic signals. This is used in conjuntion with audio loops fitted to public buildings. You could use a standard hearing aid in your good ear switched to T position and a small audio loop around your neck, driven by amplified microphone signals. There may be trouble from interference in an operating theatre from high voltage devices.

    Have you tried hearing aids which by-pass the outer ear, using bone conduction?

    You could ask the R.N.I.D (Royal National Institute for the Deaf) in the UK for advice. I know they have neck loops.
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