Advise about hearing aids

Hello, new member here and glad I found this site. A little background info: I am an 80 year old male with long standing Meniere’s Disease. It started about 40 years ago in the left ear, recently (in the past five years) it has migrated to the right ear. If I have posted my audiogram right it is obvious even to me that I have a pretty bad loss.

I am wearing a pair of Phonac Savia Art which I have had four years. I am not sure my present Audiologist is programming these aids right. We have not had an in-depth discussion about programming, she looks at my audiogram and program the aids and I wear them. I suppose I should take some of the blame although I have told her I have a lot of trouble having a conversation in crowded places.

I am researching the Audibel Range on this and other sites and I would like to try them. I wonder if this is the right aid for my hearing loss and if I could use the RIC. I am thinking I could get better results with this brand for my difficulty in hearing individual voices in restaurants and other crowded places.

Thanks for listening and any help will be appreciated.

Squeaker,
I would keep a journal or take notes of all the places you are having trouble and then make an appointment with your Audi and see if she can make some changes that will help you out. With your WRS scores you probably aren’t going to see fantastic improvements but you never know. Good luck!

Yes, that’s a key to getting a good fit. Otherwise your next fitting session will only reflect your hearing on your way to that fitting session.

Are there any good web sites around to independently evaluate and compare hearing aids? Most of the sites I find seem to be sponsored by someone and most of the providers here lean to and push one manufacturer over others so independent advice is hard to come by.

Thank you for your advice.

Many users here have tried several brands of aids.

Although the professionals here have their favorite brands that they are most familiar with, they generally try to keep an open mind and recommend other brands if they have the knowledge and think it may be appropriate for the user’s loss.

Generally, the vendor professional sites have more information on the aids. http://www.phonakpro.com & http://www.starkeypro.com are two professional sites that I know of.

Hearing aid performance varies, depending on the individual user. The most important choice is choosing a good hearing professional. There appears to be no really good way of evaluating them other than by trial & error. :frowning:

Of course, a referral form a satisfied customer would be of help here.

Consumer Reports has I think an annual report on hearing aids.

It might also be helpful to have a discussion with your Audiologist concerning realistic expectations. You have a challenging hearing loss, especially in noisy situations, where it sounds like you are having a hard time. Sometimes what you can reasonably expect from hearing aids given your hearing abilities, is not discussed at length, which can make it difficult to know if your aids are providing you a good amount of benefit, or need adjusted.

Good luck!

dr.amy

In looking at your hearing loss and word recognition scores I would expect that even with the best technology out there you will struggle especially in the presence of background noise. Unless you were considering the newer Naida S RIC that just came out, I would avoid them as they most likely will not provide you nearly enough power to accommodate your hearing loss, especially since your loss is progressive and could potentially deteriorate even further. You would be better served to stay with a standard BTE. Also, given your loss you would want to maximize noise reduction as much as possible in the presence of background noise. I don’t know if one of the Phonak products with Stereo-zoom is within your price range or not (it would be a Naida S IX) but it is something to consider. Even with that, I would still expect that you would miss more of the conversation than someone with the same hearing loss severity, but better word recognition scores.

I agree completely. Hearing aids can only get you so far…when the system has been damaged past a certain point even a million dollar hearing aid isn’t going to get you to hear 80% or 90% of conversation. Discussing what is and what is not realistic for each patient is just as important as getting the programming right.

DocAudio: I don’t know if one of the Phonak products with Stereo-zoom is within your price range or not (it would be a Naida S IX) but it is something to consider. Even with that, I would still expect that you would miss more of the conversation than someone with the same hearing loss severity, but better word recognition scores.

How much do these aids cost? I don’t mind spending a reasonable amount of money if they will help my condition.

It would be hard to say exactly what the cost would be in your area. If you were purchasing a pair in my office, they would be $5600. It’s possible, depending on where you live, that you could see costs slightly lower but more than likely, up to $1500 higher for the pair. My personal opinion is that anything over $6500 for the pair (not including any accessories) is a bit unreasonable…but that’s just my opinion.

DocAudio;It would be hard to say exactly what the cost would be in your area. If you were purchasing a pair in my office, they would be $5600. It’s possible, depending on where you live, that you could see costs slightly lower but more than likely, up to $1500 higher for the pair. My personal opinion is that anything over $6500 for the pair (not including any accessories) is a bit unreasonable…but that’s just my opinio

That seems to be reasonable considering I paid $6,000 for the Phonacs I am now wearing. I presume the zoom feature is automatic i.e. you don’t have to use a remote to activate it. I live in a town with a teaching hospital a few blocks from my house so they should be up-todate on the latest technology.

Actually, no. The Stereozoom can only be activated via the memory button or a remote control. Probably having to do something with turning on the wireless antenna for that particular mode. If it was on all the time, the battery would be dead within a couple days (for a 312) which any wearer of their Bi-CROS/CROS system will testify to.

I was asked for an answer on this…

The great thing about the Audibel Range is that it covers a multitude of losses, and with the right receiver selection, it will be able to handle this kind of loss just fine.

Since it’s basically a Starkey Wi, you are going to have the best in class feedback suppression system which in turn means more usable gain, less distortion, and that system has been clinically proven to reduce listening effort.

The wireless technology also works very well to reduce background noise and enhance speech in noise by up to 20dB on the top of the line system. The chip is I believe the fastest in any hearing aid, and it can even filter noise in the gaps between syllables.

The binaural spacial mapping is best in class, giving great results in a noisy situation. And it’s possible the Spectral IQ (aka Active Frequency Control) could come into play with this kind of severe HF loss (see my other post on that topic).

Also the directionality capabilities of this aid is best in class, giving a 6dB lift, and tested in a system over 10 times more than ANSI standards dictate is necessary.

I’ve been fitting these bad boys all year, and have quite literally had my best ever year. Once a patient hears them, they don’t want anything else.

I think in terms of the overall package of what these hearing aids can do, there is nothing that comes close. Now true some other hearing aids brands may be able to beat these aids in one specific feature area. But as an overall package. I don’t believe so.

Starkey have also made it quite clear that they intend to deliver further enhancements to this line, which thus far they have provided for free to existing Range patients.

In closing, despite my glowing review, let’s also be real. No hearing aid is magic, you have a serious hearing problem, and poor discrimination. However, nonetheless, I really think that a system such as this would be a massive step forward for you. At the very least, arrange a no obligation trial (you should be able to negotiate 45-60 days if you push for it), and see how you do. Provided your hearing professional knows how to adjust them properly, you should do great.

Good luck!

Hi ZCT,
Now that I have my numbers, am I pretty much in the same boat as Squeaker?
I am trialing the WI’s but wish they came as small as the Xion. I have very small ears and they feel pretty big. At some point you said that Starkey will probably have WI in their entire line.
anyway here are my numbers.


…R_ L
250_25 25
500_25 30
1k__20 35
2k__25 55
3k__35 65
4k__50 65
6k__60 90
8k__70 nr@90db

The X Series aids are like the Wi Series, but without the wireless features. They come in several styles as seen here.

Maybe it is worth giving up on wireless and go for the Xino. It’s the smallest RIC of its kind in the world, so if size is the issue try that. You should be able to negotiate an upgrade if Starkey does a Wi Xino in January, since the aids are provided to the hearing professional on a 90 day sale or return basis anyway.

And that is what we call a ‘soft-landing’. :smiley:

Be staight man, they can’t put the antenna in such a small case AND there isn’t enough power in a #10 battery to drive the Wi wireless system for any length of time. The physical constraints of such an elegant little RIC case mean that you have to have a trade-off in what it can do.

In the future, one of your ‘500 scientists’ might be able to work out how to make the shell halves out of one of those capacitative polymers and get the battery out of the way permanently, while giving you more voltage to play with and space for the aerial.

ZCT,

I am trying to remember. How does the Xino fit in the product line compared to the X Series? I thought the Xino was lower end. That is why I suggested the X Series.

I am a little more familiar with the older product lines.

Thanks again for all your help here.

Is this true, ZCT?.. I was so relived to have a plan of action.

I wasn’t being particularly facetious towards Starkey, the Xino is a micro-RIC design that suits the cosmetic concerns of some people. However, if you make things that small, you have to leave stuff out. It’s like a Mazda MX5, great for two people - not so great to take the family in.