Costco. Flat Loss

I am now profoundly HOH according to Costco yesterday and my audiogram is basically flat. Costco has never done a good job for me and I am not sure if I can trust their data for the latest audiogram. I have been to 3 Costco stores in the last few years, all bummers. So I need good aids I can program myself. My aids go out frequently with moisture and I think a RIC (speaker in ear) may be less liable to this issue. My loss is similar to Gery R loss as posted. It makes no sense to me to go to an audi anymore as I am facing a dilemma in finance and in available options. I am retired on fixed income and want simply to spend the remaining years I have left as much in wilderness backpacking as possible. My question is on the Oticon OPN 1: Did you buy these online? If so, do they give you a self-program module to use? I understand that is possible. It sounds attractive to me. I cannot see how an audiologist can do better than I can if I can self-program. Are the OPNs moisture resistant? Thanks for details on your experience.

I did not programm them myself, however the software is very minimalistic, I would say if anything is easy to selfprogramm it should be the OPNs, so far(2 Months) I had zero issues, wear them 14 hours a day and also work out with them, I usually change filters every 6 weeks, so far no issues or glued up filters.

I’ve had my OPNs for 6 months now and I haven’t had to change the filters yet. But then my ears don’t produce much wax anyway. I just manually inspect the receivers every few weeks and clean out any wax residue before it gets to the filter opening anyway.

Your loss is very different from GerryR.

The fitting ideology of the Opn is really the opposite of what you need.

You loss is not similar to Gery R’s, yours is much worse. If moisture is a real problem go with a waterproof HA(Aquaris) or use EarGear or HA sweat bands religiously. RIC will not solve your problem since the case for the HA is still behind your ear and that is where the guts of the HA is. If I were you I would get a good back up and send them out on a regular basis for cleanings before you have the moisture issues. Good luck!

my audi said I should change them every 6 to 8 weeks as that is recommended by oticon. I guess there can be bacteria on the filters that can get into your canal after a time. the coating of the filters doesn’t last that long.

I agree that my loss is severe and not exactly like others posted. I wear AGX si 70 or something like that. They are conking out after 3 years near the end of the guarantee-funny how things do that. My dissatisfaction with Costco is that my experience is the people who fit you there are often new to the game, not very flexible and I have to wait eons for an appointment. I need a lot of tweaking. I think I can tweak better than the audi could if I had aids that I could self-adjust with a bluetooth gadget in the real world. Buy Hear sells the opn aids and lends you a kit to do that but I do not know how well it works and that is what I want feedback on. As for moisture resistance, well it is a bomb in this business. Somehow I can buy a cheap digital watch now days that I can swim with, but not hearing aids. So the Science of audiology as practiced by professionals to me is more like the Science of making a Profit and I am just about totally burned out with the time, expense, and BS of it all. Sorry if this sounds angry, but I get by and doing an 80thousand dollar surgery for a CI on one side is not going to be much help to me, or to my country for that matter. Thanks to all for listening, I would really like to know how the Buy Hear bluetooth self adjusting gadget works if anyone has experience with it.

Hi Georged193, you should reach out to “abarsanti” who is a member on this forum who purchased OPNs from and got to keep the wireless FittingLink 3.0 programming module for an extended amount of time (several months?) so he should be able to give you his perspective on how easy the fitting software is because he had it for a long time and might have spent a lot of time fiddling with it himself. I think this model is probably the best compromise where you won’t have to shell out $ to program the HA yourself, but you get to keep the programming device for an extended amount of time to fiddle around with to your heart’s content before you have to return it. Usually once you’ve found the sweet spot for your programming I would think that you wouldn’t need to fiddle around much with it afterward.

As for the moisture resistance, the OPN has an IP68 rating which is the highest rating for dust and moisture resistance available that I can tell. But I’ve still been told not to take a shower or go swimming with it, just OK for workout/sweating and the like. A cheap digital watch is fully enclosed so more easily sealed, compared to a hearing aid with battery door and microphone and the receiver are open somewhat although probably nanocoated. So I can understand how it’d be much easier to make a cheap digital watch to be more moisture resistance than to make an HA moisture resistance.

You just can’t catch a break. Go pay for an audiogram or two and see how they compare with Cost o… Don’t buy from Costco you have already decided you Wont be happy.

You are right about waterproofing the watch, but I do think hearing aids could be made a lot more water resistant despite the openings. But your comment is sound and I have just about given up on water resistance. I will contact abarsanti and thank you for the tip. I suspect Costco has very good people but my three stores did not do a good job. That is the breaks I guess. If audiology is a science, fitting should not involve so much guess-work. That is my frustrated opinion. But hearing is complex and I do appreciate the imperfect restoration of my hearing by the technology, and I don’t expect this to come free: profit does move the world and at age 77 I am not holding my breath on changing that.

The OPN MiniRITE manual says explicitly not to wear them showering or during “aquatic activities”. I just got fitted for these yesterday - my first HA - so it will be an adventure.

Think the op just wanted to piss and moan about Costco…

Congrats! Come back after a month or two and share with us what your experience.

I submitted an audiogram to BuyHear to see about getting fit for the Oticon OPN RIC hearing aid and they said I could not be fit for that model. They would sell me an Oticon traditional power BTE as well as Phonak Naida and one other traditional power BTE but I am now wary about buying these from an online outfit like buyhear without good followup from a local fitter. I think self-programming these kinds of hearing aids with a blue tooth loaner device at home may not be easy for someone like me with severe loss. So I am heading out to see a Kaiser audiologist for more options, specifically now Phonak Naida which has power options that may be suitable for my severe loss (including a RIC with two power options for the speaker in the ear). Also I do want to say that some of the recent failures I have experienced with my 3 year old traditional BTE aids may be caused by wear and tear on the battery contacts and not moisture. I recently fixed a failure of one of these older AGX aids by taking a little screwdriver to the tiny copper contact bars on each side of the battery compartment and prying them up a bit for better contact and it worked beautifully. Finished that home fix with a little emery board polish to their surfaces to improve conductivity. Thanks to all who gave input on my posts. I will follow up with my exploration of the Naida options I am now considering.

Curious to hear how Kaiser goes and their prices. Our Kaiser in Northern California seems to have three price levels, with mid level being about $4000 and premium being $5800. No complaints, but I was more impressed with Costco’s thoroughness and value.

Oticon is coming out with a new Power Plus OPN BTE13 PP model that fits people with severe to profound hearing losses up to 105dB SPL. On paper it seems to be the same spec as the OPN MiniRITE 105db receiver version so I’m not sure if it’s more powerful or not. But maybe this design may work better for you. But it’s still very new and it doesn’t look like BuyHear carries it yet.

As for doing follow up with the online outfits, I believe that if you need more follow ups, they’ll send the programming device to your home do to more follow-up programming until you’re satisfied before you return the programming device back to them.

Yes BuyHear carries the OPN BTE 13 PP model. I don’t know if they are ready to go with home programming. still very new. But it is a traditional tube BTE, not a RIC. I am shopping now and gathering data, costs, etc. I really want to try RIC. Lighter, smaller, no tubes to collect moisture, maybe less hassle. Phonak is the only RIC with power receivers that would fit me as far as I can find on the web. I am severe loss maybe getting to profound. Getting a new audiogram to see shortly. Costco 3 local stores could not fit me and only carries the Phonak Brio. Costco works for many but not now for me.

georged193, I came away from Costco believing that they do a fine job for people with mid-range or normal age-related hearing loss. Most modern HAs will perform well enough to satisfy most people and Costco’s prices are attractive. Hard to go wrong. Once one crosses over into the seriously HOH category it’s time talk to an audiologist. I’m unfamiliar with Costco’s current line, but at my last visit they didn’t offer anything powerful enough for my needs, though the sales tech still pitched me an inadequate model. I’m currently wearing Phonak’s Naida V-SP V90. It’s a significant improvement on the Bolero SP Q70 model they replaced. Good luck.

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I thought I read on the forums that Costco carries a Phonak BTE with a 675 battery. Hard to believe that wouldn’t be a pretty powerful hearing aid.

Costco will work for your loss. They carry a Phonak UP hearing aid which is ultra power and will work for people who are profoundly deaf.