1st Hearing Aids Starkey Sound Lens

Hi all,

I am a first time hearing aid user with about two months experience. I was originally fitted with Resound Verso 9’s. However on my first follow up visit my audiologist changed her mind and put me in the Starkey’s. Having nothing to compare to I was hoping to get some pointers from the more experienced here as to what I can expect going forward. I have had several follow ups with my Dr. but am not scheduled for another for about 5 months. I have definitely noticed a significant improvement in my ability to understand speech. The biggest issues I have right now are in settings such as restaurants the background noise can be overwhelming. The other issue is listening to music in a vehicle is not what I was hoping it would be. In restaurants I use the background noise program (The ability to adjust the HA’s with a cell phone is pretty cool) and I even turn down the volume but things still seem pretty loud. In my vehicle, which admittedly has a lot of road noise talk radio sounds OK but music is thin and tinny sounding. So my questions are. Is this normal? Will it get better as my brain learns to filter out unwanted noise? Are there any tricks I should be aware of?

Sorry for the rambling post and thanks in advance for any help.

KMc

What was the reason for your audi changing her mind about the Resound Verso 9’s? I have a pair of Resound Vivid Stratus HA’s that are fantastic it background situations such as restaurants and filter out all the background noise and all you hear are those around you, if we are going out where it will be noisy I wear them over my Oticons, they are that much better. As for the Soundlens It sounds like a lot of your problems need to be adjusted out by your audiologist. According to the Starkey website the Soundlens is supposed to be great at filtering out background noises and they mention this specifically in their brochure. As for music perhaps your audi can add a custom music program which should help. I would not wait the 5 months, I would call and say you need to be seen to iron some of the problems out. Good luck.

When I walked into the office for my follow up I was met with “I’ve been thinking about you” and based on previous experience I immediately knew it was not due to my charming personality or good looks. She went on to say she had been discussing my particular case with some other folks and wanted to try a few things. We went through a series of adjustments to address what I assume are pretty standard things that come up when you fit someone with HA’s for the first time. She is very good about getting feedback from me without “leading” me in any one direction. After she tried a few things she said that she wasn’t getting the results that she was looking for and based on my specific hearing loss she wanted to try the Starkey’s. She was not bad mouthing the Verso’s at all and was very positive about them. It had something to do with the responsiveness of the microphones and the programming if I remember correctly. The visits are starting to run together so I don’t recall every detail. She went on to say that we would try this if I was willing and if we were not happy she would go back to the Verso’s as she was thinking these were the best two options for my situation. At that point I didn’t know enough to doubt anything she was saying and I still don’t. She took another impression and ordered the Starkey’s. I kept the Verso’s until the Starkey’s came in. When she put them in and started adjusting she seemed to be more satisfied with what she was getting. I went a couple of weeks and a couple of follow ups with them and we had to get the left one redone due to the fit not being perfect. Overall I am satisfied but like I said I really don’t have anything to compare to.

The noise reduction does work pretty well but there are times when I guess there is just too much background noise. I definitely have to turn the volume down when I go to the movies. I adjusted some settings on my radio in the truck and that sounds better now but still not as good as I think possible.

How often should I expect to change the programs or volume settings during the day? I realize that is a pretty open ended question but is making adjustments to the HA’s fairly common or something that should rarely have to be done? In the mean time I am reading up on the forums and getting used to the HA’s so hopefully I will be better prepared to make specific adjustments when I decide to go back.

Thanks for your help

KMc

As long as she can get the Soundlens working to your liking that is the important thing, however, I would not wait for 5 months for further adjustments if they are giving you problems.

When I first got my HA’s I changed programs a lot more than I do now, at first I was doing it to see it the other programs worked better in a certain situation, but now I only switch when I know it will help otherwise I stay in program one. Same thing goes for the volume: at first I would raise it to see if I could hear something better and rarely lower it, but I have learned in what situations raising or lowering the volume will help.

If you haven’t been keeping a journal or jotting down notes to show your audiologist start doing it and be as specific with your complaints as you can be and show it to her on your next visit, it will help get things adjusted faster. Good luck.

One problem with the Soundlens is that you don’t have directional microphones, which are going to help more in noisy environments. My guess is that she moved you to the Starkey aids for better feedback control, but that’s just a guess. Were you having any feedback with the Verso aids?

Yes there were some feedback issues while she was setting them up. She also said the Starkey’s fit even deeper in the canal than the ReSound’s which really cuts down on wind noise. I spend a fair amount of time outside and have not noticed any increase in wind noise at all since I started wearing the HA’s.

I did have something strange happen yesterday that maybe someone can explain. I was standing outside on my drive way when I got two beeps in my left HA. A minute or two later I got a single long tone. I had just changed the battery the day before so I just ignored it and everything has been fine since. Any ideas what would cause this? I do have the ability to adjust volume and switch programs with my phone so I wonder if the HA picked up some kind of stray signal?

what is the occlusion like with the soundlens? Do you feel like you have your fingers in your ears?

I’m still getting used to them. Sometimes my ears feel a little full but more often than not I forget they are even in.

i’ve been wearing the soundlens in both ears now for almost 2 years now. The quality of them has been great; as someone who has worn hearing aids for the past 32 years since I was 3 years old, I thoroughly enjoy every new pair as the technology just keeps getting better and better (I’ve worn Starkeys since the 90s in high school). That said, because they keep improving technologically speaking, there is greater room for adjustment, I think, and I definitely spent a good month or two going back and forth to my audiologist’s office to get the right sound when I got them. The occlusion definitely was noticeable at first, but once my audiologist got them adjusted right (I think it was too heavy on the low-frequencies), that went away and I no longer thought I was going crazy. I do think that these smaller aids are more sensitive to humidity, which can make them feel more full/occlusive or sound different, which is my only gripe with them.
As for the background noise in the restaurant, I think you should make sure your audiologist knows about this problem b/c it sounds like an adjustment issue to me. This pair is the first pair of aids that has really had good background noise filters; I’m able to hear conversation in loud restaurants much better than ever. In fact, I often can hear better than my husband when we eat out and he has amazing hearing. I do have trouble at work sometimes, if there’s a lot of chatter going on around me (loud, but not quite “loud restaurant loud”), but it’s better than before this pair. And if the music sounds tinny, that’s also an adjustment issue. Music should sound really good with these, or at least I have found that to be the case, as I had some “tinny” qualities when initially getting situated with these, but after communicating with my patient audiologist, we got it to sound right and I’m very happy with the sound quality.
Some of the best advice I can give you as a new HA wearer is to be patient and to make sure your audiologist is patient. It takes some time to figure out how things sound and sometimes even longer to be able to articulate the concern to your audi (it can be hard to describe what it is you’re hearing or noticing, but once it’s clear, they can usually fix it, or if not, they can call Starkey, who can offer advice.) Don’t be afraid to speak up and let him/her know what’s bothering you and don’t feel bad if it takes several tries; they want you to be happy and to hear as best is possible! :slight_smile:
My aids do the random beeps followed by a long beep from time to time. I have no idea why, but so far, nothing bad seems to happen after I hear them, and my audiologist didn’t know the cause as of a year ago.
Good luck!

So I’ve been wearing my soundlens for 2 days now, got the left ear now, have to wait until January for insurance to cover the right ear. Right now I have occlusion, I can hear myself walking and its not all that comfortable, but i’ll see if I can deal with that.

Could you tell me what needs to be adjusted for music because right now in my car, it sounds like crap. Thats when it works, most of the time it just tries blocking out the music as background noise unless I use the music program.

That brings me to my final issue which is adjusting the modes on this thing. I have a program on my phone that sends the tones, but it only works if there is no background noise at all. I drive a corvette and I can’t change the modes unless I’m dead stopped and even then it might take 3 trys to get it to wake up. Is there another way to change the modes?