Buying a digital BTE

I have a severe-profound hearing loss in one ear and have worn a power aid since I was a child. 8 years ago, I lost the high tones in the other ear and had to start wearing an aid in that ear. (The hearing starts at 40 goes down to 55-60 and then is 65-70 in the high tones)

I have just recently moved to the US (Seattle Eastside area) I am interested in getting a good mold and a good hearing aid. I currently have a Siemens Prisma, but 8 years ago there wasn’t a lot of choice.

I currently have white molds, but still have lots of problems with itching, eczema, debris/wax buildup and ear infections.

Any suggestions for places to get good prices/services or how to go about buying hearing aids. Having previously lived in another country where I bought them from a non-profit society, there seem to be a lot of options here (but not all of them may be good or reliable)


I don’t know about the specific geographic area you are in but I’m sure there are good, qualified dispensors and audiologists near you. The state will have a local HOH rep (at least they do in Texas) who should be the first person you contact. They will give you a bunch of good information and you can attend their meetings, talk to people like yourself and learn from the “locals” who best to deal with in the vicinity. IF worse comes to worse, you can always go on-line at places like Hearing Planet and they will sell you high quality aids at discount prices and hook you up with audiologists they contract in your area. This is what I have done and I have had no problem - so far.

I have Siemens BTE Infinity SP+ which are super power aids of a few years ago. I am currently auditioning the Phonak MicroPower through Hearing Planet. I still have a lot of tweaking I think to get them right but these are very good hearing aids for severe impairment like you and I have. I hope they work for me. You should look at Phonak’s website as they are leaders in the power aid arena.

The last thing I can tell you is that forums such as this are excellent places to find out what the newer technologies are and what actual users think of them. There have been many advances in the last few years but, like everything else, these high tech hearing aids are expensive. With the loss we have, hearing aids alone (without fm) may be limited no matter the cost or current technology. I’m finding that my old Siemens sound better than the Phonaks although it is still early in the game and test period. Read the threads here and elsewhere and you will get a lot of good, hands-on information that you can use to your advantage. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

Quite honestly in this day and age your loss is not that bad. Even fairly small aids could tackle a loss like that these days. You are not going to be restricted to BTE aids unless you want to. Modern technology can provide a lot more power, with less chance of feedback, than was possible 8 years ago.

There are plenty of hypoallergenic solutions available in both ITE and mold design, so be sure to mention your allergy problems with your hearing professional.

I would look for a specialist that offers, Starkey, Audibel, Widex, Oticon, Siemens, or ReSound. Avoid Phonak or Miracle Ear.