Expectations - Newbie with mild to moderate loss

[Recently, I posted a very similar query in a sub-thread nearby; thought I’d move it to a thread of its own.]

I am on the verge of getting hearing aids–(I’ve had testing done and am going in soon to learn about different aids and try out what’s reccomended by my audiologist.)

To quote my most recent results, “Pure tone responses are within normal limits, sloping to a moderate sensorineural HL Au. Excellent (100%) word recognition scores Au.” The speech reception threshold for my right ear was 20db with 100% recognition under quiet conditions; for my left ear it was 25db with 100% recognition. The “Presentation Level” was “65dB HL.”

The pure tone audiogram numbers look like this:
Freq Rt Left
250 10 15
500 10 15
750 10 15
1000 10 20
1500 20 30
2000 25 35
3000 45 50
4000 55 60
6000 65 65
8000 55 65

I am male, and 73 years old, with my 74th birthday coming in 10 days.

In conversation, my audiologist said, " If I hadn’t met you and didn’t know that you reported little difficulty living your daily life, from looking at your audiogram, I’d say you were a candidate for hearing aids."

So, can anyone help me understand what my hearing situation is? What kind of expectations should I have for HAs? I don’t think that I am having any particular problems currently in noisy environments, or in following groups of people talking at a fair distance (I facilitate book discussion groups in a large seminar room at the local library). On the other hand, I have noticed less tolerance for loud noises than I used to have (doors slamming, dishes being clashed or dropped).

The place that I have noticed the biggest change in my life is in my birding. I can no longer hear the songs of the higher pitched warblers; the ones that end their trills up in the 8Khz and higher range. (Of course, if I happen to be very close (5-10 feet away rather than 100+ feet) I can hear them okay too.

At home, I usually am the first to answer the phone and I also am very comfortable using my cell phone. I feel no social unease about my hearing when I am meeting new people. When watching TV shows, my wife (who has very good hearing and is always asking for more quiet) is more apt than I to take the remote and raise the volume when we are listening to hard-to-penetrate British accents on BBC TV.

The main thing I am hoping for is that aids will reduce the (largely unnoticed?) stress that I may be experiencing from the compensation I must have learned to do as I have gradually lost my high frequency hearing over the years.

Is this a reasonable kind of expectation to have when I try out my first aids? Or am I setting my sights too low? Any other thoughts or tips for someone who’s at my stage of the hearing aids journey?

Many thanks for any help anyone can give me.

Your hearing loss is mild to moderate. HAs will help a bit in the 2K to 4K Hz range (speech) but I wouldn’t expect much, if any, help at 6K to 8K Hz for your birding activites.

Your audi’s comment about your hearing surprises me. You have pretty good hearing for a 73 year old man. Many of us would LOVE to hear as well as you do at any age! You could trial some mini-BTE aids designed for high frequency losses. They should help a bit but you likely won’t notice huge changes. A risk-free (no cost) 30 day trial may be in order. Best of Luck!

P.S. I borrowed your audiogram layout from your signature line. It was much better than my old one! : )

Thanks for your thoughts on reasonable expectations. They are very helpful to me. I am determined to give hearing aids an honest trial, but because my hearing seems pretty good to me, I suspect that I will have a hard time when it comes to judging the cost vs. benefits of aids for me. (And I am not just talking about financial costs, but “convenience costs.”)

I don’t want taking a cell phone out of my pocket and using it to get any more slow or complicated, nor do I look forward to having more electronics on my person on a regular basis. Currently I carry a PDA (pocket computer) and my cell phone with me all the time and keep them charged and working. I don’t want to add many more electronic maintenance chores to the ones I already have and thus am looking for aids that are uncomplicated, reliable, and hassle-free.

Of course, after reading a lot about people first considering aids, I also wonder if I am just in denial about accepting the loss that I have and moving on.

You’re more than welcome to the audiogram layout, I just recently borrowed it from someone else!:rolleyes:

Hi and welcome to the forum.

I believe you would benefit from hearing aids. Your lower frequencies are good so you could use open fit hearing aids. That means you could continue to use your phone as normal. You would not need top end aids with bluetooth so that would simplify use and lower cost.

My wife is into birding so that means I am too. My hearing is much worse than yours and aids have helped me immensely.

Good luck

I also agree that hearing aids may help you. Take your time and look at the specs on each unit before you even trial them. Some hearing aids have better responses in the higher frequencies than others. I do believe some stop around the 4k range while others go up to around 7k and I believe I saw one up as high as 8k. I do not remember the make/model off hand but I will relay when I see it again. No time for the hunt right now.
I had my current aids adjusted and started wearing them again because of the problems I was having - My hearing took a dive over the past 4 years (I’m only 48) & I’ve noticed a huge difference. Crickets - I hear them!! Wow - Now, some days, I wish they’d shut the hell up!!

Trial the aids as much as much as you can. Different makes/models will give you different results. Do NOT be afaid to go back to the audiologist for adjustments. At first, you have to grow into them and become comfortable with the new ‘noise’. The audiologist will slowly turn them up to where they should be once you’re okay with them. It takes time.

Good luck & welcome…

Kittiwake-ii, your hearing is only slightly worse than my dad’s and my dad has no trouble with speech just as you don’t. You can try HAs and decide if it’s worth the cost and hassles, but if your speech is near 100% unaided, you won’t be impressed with HAs.