Are Aids as Totally Reliable as I've come to Think They Are?

I have worn HAs for over thirty years and during that time I have come to think that they rarely develop technical faults. Problems have always turned out to be with me, the wearer.
I have just emerged from a couple of months of problems (an ear infection mainly causing a build up of goo in both ears) but I have now been told that my ears are clear; and even that the eardrums are visible using an otoscope.
So if that is the case the sound delivered by the aids should be as good as it gets and most of the time it is pretty good.
However, I have a problem where I may be in the middle of a conversation in a low-challenging situation and the quality of the sound suddenly deteriorates. It is difficult to say which aid (or is it both), is causing the problem. I am not even sure how I manage to get back to ‘normal service’!
Does this experience chime with anyone else? Has anyone any ideas what might be the problem? Might it be the aids themselves?
I am in the UK and currently using NHS Phonak Naida M70-SP aids (two).

Try Oticon Xceed 1 SP. These hearing aids have stable and transparent sound processing. Phonak uses different sound processing with constant switching between microphone and noise reduction modes.

No. This should not happen. Take them back into your NHS department for servicing. Yes, sometimes there are issues with Phonak and noise reduction occurring at the wrong moment, causing a situation where you cannot hear what you want to hear, but this does not sound like one of those situations. I have worn Phonak aids for 30 years (along with Oticon) and have never had reliability issues.

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He said it’s not a challenging situation. Therefore the aids should not cut out. This is different to maybe where you would recommend Oticon in a noisy situation.

Thanks for the replies. The change that occurs is not a total shut down, but a significant change in the sound I receive and not anywhere as good as ‘normal’. The suggestion (glucas) of a change in the way the HA is processing the sound sounds to describe what happens quite well.
Unfortunately the NHS don’t offer a range of brands (fortunately though they are free!) so it is a matter of getting them to re-adjust/check/change them.
I don’t seem to be able to change whatever is happening eg by pressing the multi-function switch or even turning them off and back on.

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there’s also the possibility that what’s occurring has to do with your own ears, and not the aids. In particular, eustachian tube blockage can create sudden down turns in your ability to hear. Or fluid built up behind your ear drum, etc.

OK, so I wear Phonak’s Lumity Life aids - top of the line, supposed to deliver the best speech comprehension out there.

Even so! Due to the level of my hearing loss, I have issues with maximum power output (MPO) and gain (like volume). I get a similar situation that lasts several seconds maybe a few times a day. My events are typically triggered by background noise that seems beyond my program to handle. So if I’m on a boat with a bunch of people, the boat engine humming along, folks chatting around me, all of a sudden, the person talking to me (sitting right next to me), the volume of their voice (and all noise) diminishes to REALLY low. I have to hunker down, lean forward and concentrate to hear until the issue resolves.

It’s like a Noise Management thing, but I think it may also involve my MPO/gain collision. Could be you have something similar going on. Post an audiogram. But more important, try to get in to an audiologist to check all the settings, MPO, gain, and Noise Management.


Again, thanks for your replies.
I have an appointment on Wednesday with a techie who is going to look at my problem.
It is so much like what you describe 1Bluejay, that I hope you won’t mind if I take a copy of the text of what you wrote with me. (Let me know if you prefer not although it won’t be more than the lines in the message.)
Yes jeffrey, it could be something like that. I’ll keep plugging away until (hopefully) I solve the problem. There is a slight frustration with the readiness of the doctor sending me to the audio, who promptly bounces me back…
All the best

I’m thinking now that it may be a noise management thing, as others have written. In which case your audi needs to sort it out. I brought up the possibility of your own ears suddenly ‘closing down’ because of my own issues with eustachian tube dysfunction, especially in allergy season. I just wanted to think about the various possibilities. But if your audi just assumes the issue is with your ears and passes you along to your ENT, that’s not good.

Thanks jeffery,
You may well be right.
In the event I had my appointment on Wednesday which turned out to be with a technician, not an audiologist. She suggested that I try a new pair of aids, which quite surprised me. It was what I hoped would happen but I didn’t think it would be that easy. She gave me them then and there, set up with the same settings as the last pair.
I am hopeful that the problem has been solved. So far I haven’t had any repetition of the problem.
Thanks to all as ever for helping with ideas and suggestions.