Do I need hearing aids or will I benefit much?

I went to the audiologist last week to discuss high pitch tone in both ears. I have experienced this for at least 10 years but has gotten worse in the last 6 months. I was given trial pair of hearing aids Oticon OPN S1, masking feature has small benefit for ringing. Other than tinitus masking do I need or will I benefit from spending the money on hearing aids?

I think hearing test results are in my signature. Thanks!

possibly but I would say that would be upto whether or not you hear better with the aids. With my hearing issues I have tinnitus 24/7/365, while I am wearing my aids my tinnitus is not as bad when I am not wearing my aids. But tinnitus as for as I have found there is no cure.

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I would not typically push to fit that loss. Are you noticing difficulty?

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Minor benefit to Tinitus, maybe the hearing will help more long term? I have only had the aids in for 6 days. Phone calls are easier to understand and I think some conversations are or group discussions I am picking up all the conversation where in the past I might not have.

I know the decisions comes down my experience of benefit. It helps to know what others would do in similar situation. I can afford the cost if it is beneficial just do not want to start wearing hearing aids knowing I will then wear them rest of life.

If tinnitus is only benefit and it’s minor, I’d tend to pass, but plan to get hearing checked in a year or two or if I noticed more trouble hearing. Also might consider keeping if there was something in particular I enjoyed hearing (like bird songs perhaps?) Hearing aids are mainly for speech understanding and most of that is at 3000hz and under and you’re pretty much normal out to there. You might Google Speech Banana and compare to your audiogram.
Regarding tinnitus, my understanding is that the best way to “treat it” is to learn to ignore it.

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So, I tend to be a tolerator with my technology by which I mean that I’m totally comfortable watching my ancient TV for ages and ages without upgrading. But then when I DO upgrade, I don’t want to go back. Not because the picture on my ancient television has degraded, but because I am now used to watching with a better picture.

Hearing aids are like this. Some people have an idea that you will become addicted or dependent on hearing aids in some way, or that they will cause your hearing to decline. This is not the case. The ear will do what the ear will do regardless of whether you wear hearing aids or not (whereas the brain actually benefits from wearing them in some ways). So you COULD just go back to not using them. It’s just nice to hear better and you get used to it.

How long is your trial period? If you find that by the end of your trial period you are leaving them in the drawer more than you are putting them in, that’s a reasonable indication that you don’t find they are that beneficial.

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The easy answer is that you probably don’t need them yet. The more difficult answer is that a mild/moderate high frequency loss like your effects people differently. I have had some patients with your loss that had no problems whatsoever and refused to believe they had any loss at all. I have had other patients that when I told them it was only a mild/moderate high frequency loss, they did not believe me and insisted it must be a
severe to profound loss. Best advice since you have some on trial is go into different situations (especially noise) and try to listen with and then without. Listen to music with and without. Then consider the cost to see if the difference is really worth expense. Another option would be to wait a little longer until the over-the-counter hearing aid come out since they are only for mild to moderate losses. With just a little boost in the high frequencies, that may be all you need and for considerably less money.

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I have a similar(ish) loss to yours which is aided. I wear them mostly for work because there are situations where I can’t really be asking people to repeat themselves as much as I used to before I had them. If I’m at home or not likely to go anywhere with a noisy group situation to try and listen to I can get by alright without aids (although the tinnitus, as you’ve found, is louder) I found on my trial, at work especially, that the benefit of my hearing aids was worth the cost. I think that’s what it comes down to in the end

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Unless your tinnitus was bothering you a great deal or you were experiencing significant issues in your daily communication I would not recommend hearing aids for your loss. And even if you were very motivated and wanted hearing aids, there would be a fairly high chance you would receive little benefit. That being said I have fitted the odd patient with thresholds similar to yours who has been happy with amplification.

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One other aspect to consider is that hearing aids bought now will probably only last you for 3 to 7 years before you will need to upgrade. Technology is advancing so rapidly now that in that many years HA’s will be more advanced.

Thanks everyone for the replys, this helps!!

“I have only had the aids in for 6 days. Phone calls are easier to understand and I think some conversations are or group discussions I am picking up all the conversation where in the past I might not have.”

I think you have answered your own question :slight_smile: Your chart is very like mine. I was struggling to hear in noisy environments and I had to turn up the TV as most actors appeared to mumble. With my aids I hardly ever have to ask anyone to repeat themselves and the TV is at the volume my wife prefers.

I would say, if you are finding it easier with the aids, then yes, you need them.

Bob

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How much you benefit from a particular pair of aids depends on your own personal experience. That’s why a trial period is so important. How others feel about a particular aid can be used as a guide line of what to look out for or what you may possibly experience. But it should never be used as a guideline of what to expect.

When you had your test done, did you see scores for MCL and WR (also called Speech Discrim)?

The MCL column is blank so I guess I was not tested for that. Only areas with blanks filled in are frequency tested graph and word recognition in noise which was 80 &. 84%. Did I not get a good thorough test?

I wouldn’t say that the test was not thorough. I would prefer to see an MCL score, but that is just my preference. I would like to see a plain word recognition as well as the one that is in noise.

Bottom line: Do I think you should get hearing aids? Yes, I do. Understand that not much with our bodies gets better with age (believe me on that one!) Unless there is some other underlying factor with your ears, it’s a safe bet that your hearing is not going to get better on its own. Also, word recognition is a measure of how well your ears and your brain are working together to comprehend words. You’re right on the border between “Good” and “Not so good.” Only very rarely have I seen WR get better. Even with top of the line hearing aids, you can expect to maybe get 85% of the words correct. Now, with context, verbal cues, body language, etc., that are found in normal conversation, you will probably understand closer to 90%-95% on average. This is pretty good.

So, yes, without knowing anything else, I would say go ahead and get the hearing aids. Keep the brain active and understanding.

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Danske, My high frequency hearing loss is similar to yours, and I experience a lot of benefit from my hearing aids. With the aids, music has much more fidelity, and I really appreciate the crisp high frequency consonant sounds the aids give. With the aids, I don’t need to concentrate as much hearing conversations. My hearing aids help me to better understand the words in recorded songs, and listening to the TV is so much easier with the aids.

So, my suggestion is to try out a pair of hearing aids! What do you have to lose?! Just give yourself some time to get used to them, and make sure you have a good hearing aid fitter to make necessary adjustments.

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I suspect the tester sized you up by talking to you. That you have some loss of highs (confuse certain sounds) and speaking louder does not help (MCL is probably nominal), but do not presently need heavy correction. May not really want aids. You can be OK without; if aids are fitted it will take several sessions to find what really helps you. 10HL 500-2kHz does not justify aid; the 80% is enough to suggest trying aid.

Will you benefit much? Everybody is different.