Could I get some advice please, Audiogram uploaded. (musician)

Good evening everyone, I hope you are all staying safe and well in these crazy times x
I have just had a new test done today, also micro suction to clear wax etc.

I am a singer songwriter, and write and record my own music etc, I also try to mix my own music, does anyone have any advice they could offer me to help improve the situation regarding hearing the higher frequencies to help with mixing, for instance hi-hats.

I am not currently wearing hearing aids although I was given a pair by the NHS In 2017.

Thanks for reading, hoping you can help, its really getting me down etc.
Kind Regards
Christian

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@christiansleep: Welcome to our super Forum!

I’m a musician, too, with a similar ski slope hearing loss to yours.

The answers you seek are not one-liners, nor are they always simple to understand …

The folks on this forum are great helpers, advisors, and supporters, but our losses and objectives for our hearing treatment vary: so may our answers.

My initial suggestion is that hearing aids will not - in my experience - restore rich, loud musical sounds to your auditory perception of music. If you’re looking for that big sound of lots of air moving, I’ve found that a great set of phones or in-ear monitors, EQ’d to your hearing loss at the board is the way to go.

I’m going to suggest that you, instead, think of hearing aids as devices to better permit you to understand the spoken word, as well as to provide your brain with all the clues it needs to make sense of the complex soundscapes that surround you every day of life.

If you tailor your expectations of what HAs can do for you in these non-musical domains, I’m pretty confident that you’ll be able to find both an audiologist and a pair of devices that will significantly improve your quality of life.

In my experience with hearing loss and hearing aids, HAs just don’t move enough air to let your brain tingle with “That Great Gretsch Sound”, or to appreciate the magic of a Stratocaster, played loud and well like Jimi could do it.

For that, in my humble and very subjective opinion, you need a sound stage, a good sound reinforcement system, and a sound person/engineer who - informed by your audiogram - can deliver front-of-house sound to your personal monitors. [You may find that a spectrum analyser or oscilloscope is the only way that you’ll be able to accurately perceive where the hi-hat is sitting in the mix.]

But the hearing aids you chose, when properly fitted, can perhaps put some magic back into your interpersonal relationships, and take the stress and aggravation out of trying to communicate with people whose words you can’t really understand.

There’s a knack to finding the right people and hardware to successfully mitigate your hearing loss, if you’re willing to put some effort into learning the tricks if the trade.

You’ve come to the right place for that, and I say with confidence that the members here will each try to help you as best they can, each one working from their own strengths and knowledge.

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Regarding “hearing” high frequencies. I don’t think you’re at all likely to hear directly 4khz on up. There are frequency lowering technologies that can lower those frequencies to ones you can more readily hear. Widex claims to do it in a way that maintains pitch. Some Oticon users have also reported ok results with their frequency lowering and music. Phonak’s a mixed bag with some people reporting music sounds ok and others finding it abyssmal with frequency lowering. I would highly encourage hearing aids for your loss as your ability to understand speech will continue to get worse without them.

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Welcome to the forum.

This is a big mistake. Your hearing loss is at a point that speech understanding will plummet if the sounds of speech are not sent to your brain. These sounds of speech have to continue to be heard for you to continue understanding speech or you will lose it.
Try to wear your hearing aids. Go to your audiologist/fitter and have your aids properly fit to your loss. Doing this might be uncomfortable or overwhelming but you have to stick with it. If you do I would bet your music will get better too. Like speech, you have to practice your music with hearing aids to learn music. Your brain will adapt.

Your loss is getting close to needing custom molds. Properly fit molds will allow the aids to give the best sound possible. You won’t think so at first but it will.

Lots of help here on the forum. We have lots of musicians that have gone through what you are dealing with. Good luck

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Good advice from Rick, the @Raudrive!

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To the OP @christiansleep You definitely should wear hearing aids.

I wear the Oticon OPN 1 and use frequency lowering (Speech Rescue). My hearing loss is roughly similar to yours in terms of where the ski slope drop is. I’m not a professional musician, but I do play music all my life. I don’t find the Oticon Speech Rescue frequency lowering technology messing up with how music should sound. I don’t know if it’s because Oticon doesn’t use frequency compression, but use frequency transposition and composition or not, but whatever it is, it seems to work well for music to me. But I don’t know, you may have a more discerning ear than me. You just have to try it yourself to see.

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Thank you so much for taking the time for such a detailed, knowledgable and empathetic response :slight_smile: I appreciate it … A lot.

Just reading through your post, I think the biggest wake up call is to shift my vision of what I am realistically able to achieve through wearing hearing aids.

There are some great suggestions in your post and I have taken them fully on board.
Thank you so much once again.

Christian

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Hi MDB, thank you so much for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate your time :slight_smile:

I have begun to accept that I will never be able to hear the frequencies I was hoping to hear in the way that I wanted to again.
In which case I will have to re-evaluate what is possible and find work arounds to be able to continue my quest of getting better at mixing, if only for my own amusement etc.

When I first went into audiology at my local hospital in 2017, my Grand Canyon dip as I like to call it started around 4k, I was given free HA’s by the NHS which were I believe Signia Synergys (may have that wrong) they were the behind the ear type, with the thin tube that went into the ear etc.

It was a real eye opener as to what I had been missing, and a bit painful and intense at first, but I stuck with it and in fairness was doing ok with them, unfortunately I have a few sensory issues (autistic traits etc and some other things I won’t go into on here) then one ear would get quieter or stop working all together, I had problems getting them in my ear from the very beginning, it all became a bit much in the end, so I went back to the hospital and said I think they are really helping, but I am forever having issues with them, which I can’t really sort out whilst in work etc.

I told them I really don’t care what they look like, so they gave me thicker tubes, which I thought would be easier to keep clean or remove blockages etc, they also took a mould of my ear and made new endings where the dome would normally be on the thin tube versions etc.

I think I had the wrong visualisation of what I was going to be receiving. I thought the moulded ones would go right in the canal, but they didn’t, since I have had them they have done nothing but whistle really loudly, hence why I stopped wearing them, I thought I would soldier on as best I could etc.

So my current situation, is I am going back on the 28th of this month to the hospital, for a re-test etc, and hopefully something a bit better than what I had before.

After talking to the audiologist who cleaned my ears out of wax (with micro suction, which I must add is much more comfortable than the old jetting of water etc), he did mention the frequency lowering technology but I kind of dismissed it hoping to be able to hear the Freq’s I desperately wanted to hear again.

I have now accepted from the replies on this thread, that is extremely unlikely to happen.

The other problem I have is, very very tiny ear canals, which can close over even more whilst wearing head phones etc, which would probably scupper the test etc. I also didn’t know what was tinnitus or the bleeps as there were all kinds of crazy sounds going on etc.

So my current plan is to see how good the free ones are from the hospital etc (as I am in a terrible financial pickle through not being able to gig, due to the pandemic etc) and to also find out if going private and getting something better would be beneficial and maybe trying to get some kind of payment plan etc.

The Widex moments sounded perfect, especially with the zero latency pure sound technology etc.
Anyway I have waffled enough, thank you so much for your response :slight_smile:
Christian

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Thanks so much Raudrive, I appreciate your time and wisdom, I have replied a bit more in-depth to MDB, which will explain a bit more than my first post etc, thanks again :slight_smile:

Christian

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Thanks buddy, I appreciate your time and advice, lots to think about :slight_smile:

Christian

Sorry everyone, I will just make one reply post next time, rather than spamming the topic with lots of little ones etc.
Please forgive my noobness etc x

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So I wanted to hold off replying because I’m rather more defeatist/skeptical. I’m of a musical type. Have a pretty good “ear”. More of enjoying music than making it. I would listen to many bands repeatedly. So much so that I came to memorize many parts…as one does. That was mainly my teen and young adult years. Even then I wanted treble higher. CD’s were a thing of beauty as they didn’t sound as muffled as vinyl.
I had always had some issues with my ears from a young age. Into adulthood I learned the valsalva trick.
So fast forward all these many years and I slowly realize that I’m frequently asking for people to repeat or withdrawing staring out the window. I got hearing aids.
More and more as time went on I realized that I was missing parts of the music as I had remembered it.
Now even with hearing aids and realizing that they’re only good up to maybe 8khz or so…there are a whole lotta harmonics or high sounds that I simply don’t hear at all. But most frustrating are what I call some drop-outs in my hearing on one side or the other.

I don’t get the same pleasure I once had. It’s very discouraging. And even to the point of grieving.

I’m quite surprised that you’re in the music production business with the hearing you have.

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I feel your pain buddy, as for the music production side of things, I have a normal day job and play around the bars at weekends and try and arrange and re-cord for my new album, my 70 year old dad has way better hearing than me, so I send him mixes in case there is anything harsh I am missing etc.
I am 49 by the way.

Once the album is complete, I will use a pro to mix it, probably someone young who has taken care of their ears etc. I have been very depressed about it recently also, but I guess I just have to accept it, and also try and find usable work arounds etc.

I can still hear music, it could be a whole lot worse etc, but I definitely understand and empathise where you are coming from.

Try not to get too upset about it, imagine if you could hear no sound at all, that’s how I try and justify it to myself at least x
Christian

Amen. I try to never take my hearing for granted. I count myself as fortunate, living in this time of rapidly advancing technology. I am old enough to remember the corded hearing aids that people carried the electronics in their pocket or attached to the front of their shirt/blouse. We’ve come a long way in the last 60 odd years.

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NHS, restricted funds and plays music. Maybe @Zebras or @Um_bongo could give you some ideas. Both these members understand the NHS very well. Um_bongo is a pro that has probably forgot more about this stuff than most of us will ever know.

Your high frequency hearing loss probably needs some sort of frequency lowering technology to help bring those high frequencies back to your hearing. Phonak has questionable the best frequency lowering technology and Oticon does well too. Trying those might open your eyes to new sounds.

Zebras is always up on what the NHS has available. She might give you some better ideas with your hearing loss.

Good luck

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Wow thanks again :slight_smile: and for tagging your friends who maybe able to offer some specific advice for my situation, big smile on my face, great to be here :slight_smile:

Christian x

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My friend is a professional musician and wears Phonak Naida Q70 UPs and she also has some Phonak Naida B50 UPs as well. She has a severe to profound loss.

Regarding NHS, you are allowed an upgrade every 3 to 5 years. Some hospitals are 3 years, some are 5 years. My hospital says for me, it’s 3 years.

Resound on the NHS is quite far behind in terms of technology that is offered. They offer no form of ‘bluetooth’.

There’s also Signia on the NHS and again, offer no form of ‘bluetooth’.

Oticon on the NHS are Made For iPhone aids and are based on the Oticon OPN 2 (not the S OPN) and are very good. NHS name is Oticon Engage.

Phonak on the NHS are based on the Phonak Marvel 70 range. They have Bluetooth Classic in them so can connect slightly different to MFi aids. NHS name is Phonak Nathos Nova.

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Thats great Zebra thank you, been up all night doing research lol :slight_smile:

I last went to the NHS In 2017 so should hopefully be able to get something better sorted, especially as my loss has got a lot worse and lower in frequency etc.
Looking at my audiogram would they class that as mild-profound? due to the lower frequencies being not as bad etc, sorry for all the questions, some of it is a little confusing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. its very much appreciated :wink:
Christian

I would class it as moderate to profound ski slope loss.

:slight_smile:

Should say that Phonak offer frequency lowering technology and I’m pretty sure the Oticon do as well.

My friend can’t use frequency lowering as she says music does not sound right at all.

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lol ok thank you :slight_smile:
Have a lovely day :slight_smile: