Binaural Hearing Aids for Profound + Moderate Loss


#1

I have a 50 to 100 dBm high frequency loss in Bad ear and 30 to 50 dBm in Moderate ear. I do not want Bicros as suggested by ENT MD. I can hear and understand a little in Bad ear with enough amplification. I want hearing aids that pickup speech from Bad side and insert that speech in Bad Side + into Moderate side. The minimal amount of sound into Bad ear will give directionality and keep brain active.

Some aids place telephone from one side in both aids. I don’t need this for phone as Moderate ear is fine for phone. But I want this type of functionality for speech and music coming from Bad side.

What hearing aids offer this functionality?
Thanks
Joel


#2

Unitron and Phonak both do it.


#3

Thanks. How is this feature selected and adjusted?


#4

I don’t understand why you want this. The moderate side will hear the sound originating from the bad side, if it is sound in the open air.

How is your word recognition on the bad side (WRS score).


#5

Thank you for responding.
My WRS is very low on bad side, around 20-30, and very good on moderate side, 95+.

I have had a single hearing aid in bad side for many years due to infection, and nothing in now moderate side.
Both sides have deteriorated from age. Increasing amplification on bad side with old hearing aid has not provided adequate overall hearing. I need to get a hearing aid in moderate side and that alone would get me back on track to hear softer voices, even as you suggest from the bad side. I also think newer technology, higher power, hearing aid on bad side will give somewhat better hearing there. All this may be enough…for now.

However, I was thinking that passing a small amount of the speech content to the moderate side from the bad side would greatly improve understanding. This would increase the loudness of the speech already coming in from the bad side for soft voices, or voices in noise. If the hearing aid manufacturers can pass speech to other hearing aid when you put a telephone up to one ear, they can pass open air speech too.

Hope that explains my thinking.


#6

My friend has a profound loss in one ear 110db flat loss and a moderate loss in the other ear 60db flat loss.

She wears a Phonak Nathos S+ UP in her profound ear and a Phonak Nathos S+ M in her moderate ear. She likes this set up instead of wearing just one HA.

I’m from the UK and the Phonak Nathos are NHS hearing aids.


#7

If you post your audiogram, you’ll get better results.

I have similar and find two aids preferable.


#8

Are you fitting your own device?

If no, tell your provider that you want an acoustic binaural phone program set up for whichever side is the bad ear. Just let them know that you want to be able to use it in situations where you might want to stream information from the bad side over to the good ear, but that you don’t want a true CROS.

You probably won’t want to have it on this program at all times, so consider what sort of on-ear controls you want. Phonak’s newer hearing aids have caught up a bit such that the models with only one button can be set to use a long press for program change, but I don’t think Unitron is doing that yet. You might also want to lean towards Phonak in case you ever DO want a true CROS, since they have a good one that you could just add in to your existing system. Also keep in mind that CROS functions suck battery life faster.

I’m suprised no manufacturer is offering a system that is built to do this yet. Practitioners are hacking it with the phone program fairly regularly as far as I can tell.


#9

Hi,
What you say you want to do in the second paragraph is exactly what any good set of binaural devices can do. Your processing of speech and other sounds will be significantly better with binaural aids, better even than the sum of two good individual aids. I use ReSound Linx aids, but any good binaural aid should help. Research shows that no matter how good one ear is, having two devices that communicate with each other will provide significantly greater processing of sounds. Good luck, and do use a professional to provide the individualization you’ll need.


#10

Right. From what I read, the binaural devices detect where the 360 sound is coming from and make it clear to the user where that is. They must therefore be sending more of the speech signal into the hearing aid nearest the sound source. I’m not sure that is what I want. It may be that I don’t want this at all, and just let the moderate side pickup all the sound that it can regardless of where it is coming from. Problem is if the sound is coming entirely from the bad side…Like In The Car! What I was looking for was a one-way program. I want some of the bad side sounds sent to the moderate side…but I do not want any of the moderate side sounds to be sent to the bad side…I Think.

I will be working with a professional. I just haven’t found a technically oriented one yet in my area. It’s very disappointing. Even worse the manufacturers don’t want to talk to users.


#11

You need to start adapting to hearing aids before you embark on specific wants/needs. First hearing aids are a shock to the system. After 1-3 months you be in a position to to decide what you feel is missing.

Aids are a REAL shock to the system at first. Hopefully, you’ll be in the 1 month adapters. Until then, worry more about the basic fitting and, with a good fitter, their advice. Your brain need to reset to the enhanced sounds.


#12

Citation required.

. .


#13

Thanks all.
So I just came back from an AUd. He gave me a demo pair of the new Widex to try before ordering them. He thinks these would be the best for me. I have 2 major issues already. First, they do not let me hear speech in a noisy environment. I tried to hear my cell phone speaker playing a radio talk show. I could hear it ok when I placed the speaker up to my moderate ear but not at all when it was placed at arms length or up to my bad ear. And I could not hear people sitting at the next table at all due to extreme noise. I tried the automatic and all the specific programs and volume levels. Second, at home, I regularly use 1 of a pair of earbuds in my moderate ear to listen to a webinar. When I placed this earbud in my moderate ear I was able to hear with the sound passing directly past the hearing aid dome and into the ear. I was also able to hear in my moderate ear when the earbud was placed next to only 1 of the 2 microphones in the moderate ear hearing aid. BUT I was not able to hear anything when the earbud was placed next to the microphones in the hearing aid on the bad ear. No, or little, sound in the bad ear…and none transferred into the moderate ear. No sound was transferred across to the other hearing aid. When fitting I was told that these Widex aids did indeed have Binaural Speech.

So I’m convinced more that ever that I need an answer to my question of what Hearing Aid can do what I am asking for and exactly how does the fitter program it to do that!

Here’s the reply I got from one company…at least I got a prompt reply.
“Good morning Joel,
I will start by mentioning that I am not a hearing care professional and that any advice I give is not medical advice. I have attached a copy of our Linx 3D professional guide which highlights some features of our binaural functions in the hearing aid. The way the Linx 3D is set up is the two units will communicate with each other using a feature called Binaural Directionality III to help distinguish what sounds are important (depending on the program setting) and which sounds can be eliminated or reduced. This feature is paired with another feature called Spatial Sense, which allows the wearer to have better scope of sound around them. With the two aids working together they will give a surround sound type experience sending sound to both ears.”

I am impressed with Resound for their prompt and direct customer support. Others so far not so much.

The way I read all the write-ups from all the manufacturers they say the same thing. But…
…This does not answer my question or desire/need.


#14

Also, for additional background. I have been wearing 1 Resound hearing aid in the bad ear for many years. This was adjusted by Costco over time and was fine until recently when my bad ear hearing deteriorated such that the old hearing aid couldn’t handle it…even with a replaced power speaker. Unfortunately, at the same time my otherwise good ear deteriorated slightly to become moderate such that by itself it could no longer fully make up for the speech and understanding missing from my bad ear. Moderate ear hearing is still not too bad though even without aid…just not great. And I both miss a lot of speech and say “what” a lot :frowning:


#15

That write up for Resound is not what you are looking for. These people are not understanding what you are asking for. Try telling them you want a CROS system that still stimulates the bad ear, and ask them to ask the audiologist directly if they can do that for you.

Unitron and Phonak can do it. I think Signia may also be able to. Widex does not. Starkey does not. Oticon does not. I don’t think Resound does either.


#17

So, I just came back from visiting one of the new CVS Hearing Centers at a store not too far away.
I spoke to their Hearing Aid Specialist who was the very first professional, of about 5 locally, who knew what I was asking for and responded that she has done “amp-cros” fittings before. While they also carry Bernafon and Rexton, only their Unitron Maxi series will do the amp-cros. She suggested the rechargeable Maxi All model in order to get the Android adjustment, not streaming, app. I also said I wanted top of the line model for its’ maximum noise reduction as that seems to be another major problem I have. Anyway made an appointment for fitting and trial.


#18

Great! Good luck. :slight_smile:


#19

I picked up a trial pair of Unitron Maxi Fit Pro HA’s today. The Fitter was, as you say, able to Hack the Cross Telephone feature into working without a telephone present. During the fitting it was a pleasure hearing speech from the Bad ear appear in the Moderate ear. Not confusing at all. As my brain was able to realize the sound was coming from the Bad ear side. Unfortunately, that’s all the good news. There are several problems with this “hacking” approach. Foremost there needs to be a way to individually adjust the volume 3 ways; for each of the HA’s, AND for the Crossing sounds. This doesn’t appear to be available. Further, the sound volume coming across from the Bad side apparently fools the Moderate HA and it automatically reduces the amplification set for its’ own side. This has not been verified but was stated by the manufacturer support agent during a phone consultation with the Fitter. Also, hearing in the Bad ear from its’ HA was not improved. I think the Phonak I tried a while ago worked much better in the Bad ear. But I did not research the AmpCROS with the Phonak at that time. Any thoughts about these discoveries?
Thanks


#20

It’s a hack. The product that you are looking for doesn’t exist yet. So when you switch into that amp-cros program, you lose a lot of the speech-in-noise processing that you would normally benefit from because it’s the phone program. You also lose some of the high frequency amplification. There’s also limited volume/balance adjustment. If you were using a true CROS system, all the regular processing would be maintained and in the Phonak #13 size you would have more on-ear controls. Both volume control for the good ear and CROS balance control. BUT, you wouldn’t have amplification in the bad ear.

I feel like the volume issue in the good ear with the amp-cros should be able to be programmed around. If you move over to the Phonak with the #13 battery, you’ll get volume toggle and push button in the aids which would allow you to control the volume of each separately. If you made a couple of different cros-amp programs with different loudness settings you could use that for a rough sort of volume adjustment. But you will still lose a lot of the processing algorithms, which may be why you feel like the bad ear isn’t hearing as well in the cros-amp program. That’s why I initially said that you probably wouldn’t want to be using the cros-amp all the time.

So, you make a choice between two options which aren’t quite what you want.

Third possible option: I have heard of someone putting a custom product in the bad ear and ALSO wearing a CROS on that side. So you have three devices. A custom hearing aid in the bad ear, a CROS on the bad ear, and a RIC hearing aid on the other ear (or, actually, Phonak does custom CROS now, so you could go either way on the good ear). I think they ended up actually attaching the CROS to the hearing aid in the bad ear so that it was sort of one piece. It’s still not a perfect solution, but would offer modern processing for the bad ear and individual controls.

Would be interesting to see your audiogram.


#21

Problem is, I think, that Unitron/Phonak et.al. purposely reduce the volume in the good ear HA when using the PhoneCros feature to minimize distortion from unrelated speech/noise/etc.
The Cros function voice quality from bad side open air voice to the other side was GREAT. (Obviously as its the good ear!)
But there was no amplification from good side open air voice into good ear!
Also, could not adjust sound level of Cros voice. (Was a little too high volume.)
Added Audiogram.
Not shown. Speech % 20-40ish Bad side, 92+ Good side.
That’s why just amplification in bad side is not enough.
Your thoughts?
Thanks again.