Background noise causing headache

I have Widex beyon. I tried Oticon before these.
My problem is that I cannot keep my HAs on and forget about them, everytime I turn them on for more than 2 hours I start having a headache from the noises. Usually I only turn them on when someone is speaking to me, otherwise I keep them off. It has been 4 years and situation still the same.

I spoke with my audiologist and she suggested turning them down, I tried through the app but faced problems understanding people’s speech.

Just want to check, are you all having the same problem? Or is it because my HAs badly fitted. My loss is in high frequency so I guess noise is a really bad when amplifying high frequency.

Maybe having one HA will help me better for my problem. Just want to have advises from you

I would guess your fitting did not include Real Ear Measurement and your test did not include speech intelligibility.

My latest hearing test had very poor speech intelligibility and found it was better with less volume. My test also included a test of the loudest sound I could comfortably hear.

I read somewhere that normal testing is based on a 2 cm ear canal for comparison purposes. The article stated that many ear canals are 0.5 cm - 1.2 after an aid in inserted, resulting in too loud a sound.

Next week I go in for my real ear fitting of Kirkland Signature 8 aids.

Find an audiologist that does the tests & real ear measurement fitting I suggested here.

Although I think all Costco stores have the REM equipment, I had to drive to the third closest one to me to get this service. I called & asked specifically about the Real Ear Measurement before scheduling my appointment.

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Thank you for your reply, if I did the test with Real Ear Measurements, Will I get significant improvement to allow me to keep them on all day. I really doubt that.

Do you keep your hearing aids on all day without problems?

I have no trouble wearing my HAs all day!

I would go to another audiologist to get them fitted better.


I wear my aids all day and have for many years.

I had this Costco re-test because I did not trust the last test from a different branch. In fact the most recent test indicated some improvement over the faulty one.

What really showed up my issue was the speech tests. Costco uses electronic recorded words. Most of my former tests speak the words themselves. Prerecorded words would give more repeatable test results.

I have read here and elsewhere online that Real Ear measurement makes a big difference but the equipment is expensive.

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Is it possible the hearing test was faulty and your hearing is not as bad as the hearing test shows? That would result in hearing aids that are too loud.

When you have a hearing test do you press the button quickly, as soon as you can barely hear the tone, or do you wait until it is louder and you are sure of the tone?


Turn them way down when you aren’t talking to people and work on slowly increasing the amount of time that you can wear them comfortably. Once you are wearing them more consistently, work on turning up the volume bit by bit.


^^^ Beat me to it! Precisely what I’d have recommended.

I would never sit around all day with my aids IN and turned OFF. In fact, they would then act like an earplug making things even more unsafe for me being unable to hear.

Better to keep them in at a comfy volume and just jack them up when someone starts talking to you. You can have your audiologist play around with the frequencies to remove the SHATTER from the high end, but realize that it’s the high ends that help one process speech. It’s a trade-off.

I once had a client with similar issues. Her particular problem was that the overall loudness for loud sounds was set too high for her. After measuring her LDL, it became clear that her tolerance for loud sounds was no louder than 80dBHL.

We had to lower the MPO and gain for loud sounds of the hearing aids significantly without making changes to the gain for soft and medium levels. Now she can wear the hearing aids much longer.
REM usually increases overall gain so be weary of what you really want.


I press it immediately when I hear the tone, actually turning them down will cause me to miss some words. Even now I am missing some words with the current volume. I had the same problem with more than one hearing aid so I assumed that HAs are not perfect and I have to accept the results.

I doubt the problem is in the test but I think REM will give me better result. Thank you for your response.

I will try the REM now even if that means going to a different audiologist. Let’s see. :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your respond and valuable information. This is the first time I hear about the LDL thing. I will speak to my audiologist to discuss that. I think something like lowering the gain for high sound will be good.

Last sentence increased my concerns actually. I understand that REM function better in the background noise because it is fitted exactly as your hearing loss requirements. So how is that linked to increasing the overall gain?

Thank you for your response, that is why I couldn’t stand the closed dome at all. I wear open dome to not block my ear when they are closed.

Blockquote You can have your audiologist play around with the frequencies to remove the SHATTER from the high end, but realize that it’s the high ends that help one process speech. It’s a trade-off.

That is my question, does REM remove the high end shatter AND give you the ability to understand speech?. Or I should just accept the situation.

Thank you Neville. I guess that is what I am going to do. Adjust my ability to withstand noise with HA on. Gradually.

I’m no audiologist, but to my knowledge, REM is just a measurement of your hearing aid’s performance as it relates to your unique audiogram. You can only remove the SHATTER from high-ends by manually tuning the software app on a computer. This is typically a process of a few visits, as you’d need to live with the latest tuning till you return for more adjustments.

It’s a process alright - to get to that optimum sound quality that is unique to each and every one of us.

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REM is not a magic bullet. Even without REM when I demoed aids quickly I found a large difference in speech intelligibility between the 2 brands I tried even though they were set to the same audiogram.

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Well yes prodigyplace, you had a big difference between the two brands because REM wasn’t done. When you do REM and target match to something like NAL-NL2, you fit the aids to give the best speech intelligibility based on documented standards. When you dont do REM and just use the manufacturers formula, it could be any old nonsense they threw in there.

Proprietary (manufacturer) fitting formulas are a sales pitch. If you want the best possible speech intelligibility, you need REM + a fitting formula a with solid scientific documentation behind it, like NAL-NL2.

I have been wearing hearing aids for over 15 years and background noise can still give me a headache, but I have to around it for a long time. Road noise isn’t a problem I have driven across country a few times without any issues. But to be in an area with people talking all at once drives me crazy, and gives me a headache very quickly.

Even though the different brands were set to the same audiogram, they likely used the manufacturers fitting algorithm. Unless hearing aids are set up with same verified gain at different frequencies, comparing them is like comparing speakers while somebody randomly plays with an equalizer.