"Better than nothing is not enough" – what to do?

I’m stuck in a situation that looks like: my current HAs are better than absolutely nothing (since I have a hearing loss that requires assistance of some kind). The best part is that they don’t whistle too much with this configuration + ear mold, the worst part is that I only get partial benefit from wearing them. Specifically, I miss words even in a quite optimal situation (silent one to one speech) and I need to rely on someone else in more complex settings

The proposed solution (after my last vocal audiogram) was to get new HAs, specifically some BTE should give me enough power to adjust. It’s been months trying to do that, without success. I don’t know if the situation is similar in other places, still – in my experience – here in Italy there is a general “delay” in release-to-the-public, often times some HAs arrives 2 year later and BTE models are way less distributed or not-available for any trial.

I don’t know exactly what to do. I have a working HAs that give me 40% of what it used to give me. I don’t know if it’s way more convenient to wait a year, hopefully for any releases, or if having a not-adjusted-HAs may “compromise” some of the results I had gained over the years. I feel the current limits of my HAs every day, I’m having a hard time switching to another solution (mainly due to logistic and brand policies). I’m aware that a more severe hearing loss implies more frustration with most solutions, and even my fitter (which is also the seller) it’s having a hard time adjusting to it.

So, really any advice would help.

Typically when hearing aids are no longer providing enough benefit, it is time to consider cochlear implant candidacy. Prior to that stage, however, one wants to confirm that one is using hearing aids that are powerful enough, functioning correctly, and are well-fitted. That may or may not call for new hearing aids–if older hearing aids meet those three criteria, moving to a new one will not necessarily provide huge improvements. If your old hearing aids are powerful enough and functioning well, getting a new deeply-fitted earmold (if your current one is gappy) and having the hearing aids re-adjusted for changes in your hearing may make a considerable difference. If you need new BTEs, don’t worry about the release gap. BTEs are released later or not at all on new platforms, but the differences between the platforms are smaller than the marketting and excitement here would lead you to believe. Part of the release gap between BTEs is the smaller population of users, but part of it is also that BTEs are a bit more robust, users tend to keep them longer, and users with more severe hearing losses don’t always even benefit from some of the features in the shiny new RICs that provide some nuanced improvements for someone with a mild/moderate hearing loss.

Consider whether hearing aids with remote microphone technology would benefit you. The Phonak Roger On is probably at the top of the pile (though, even their partner mic is very good one-on-one), perhaps followed by the Resound multimic.

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Thanks for the insight, it gives me some perspective.

I have never seen more said in fewer words than these by Neville:

powerful enough, functioning correctly, and are well-fitted

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I don’t see an audiogram but if the loss is bad enough better than nothing may be realistic. Hearing aids don’t fix. They aid. And there’s only so much they can do.