Experience of someone who delayed correction

I have been working as a Hearing Aid Specialist for over 10 years. I’ve worked for different companies and sold many different manufacturers products. I would like to be able to share more experiences of people who have delayed correction. My customers often say they wish they had done this sooner. I am working with someone right now who has a huge high frequency loss in both ears. Word discrimination is very low; 56% Binaurally. He has been told for may years he needs hearing aids. He has tried them many times with both ENT’s, AuD’s, and HIS. He is at the end of a 90 day trial tomorrow and emailed me of his intention to return. I have worked diligently to help him to have appropriate expectations. I wish I could convince him to be determined to stick it out because he seems to have such a genuine desire to communicate and understand people. Are there any of you who have forced yourself to stick it out and eventually adapt to hearing aid use? Would you be willing to share your experience. I think it would mean a lot to hear it from someone who is not a customer of mine! Thank you for any help!

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I waited more than likely a couple of dacades longer than I should have and it has taken me 15 years of wear aids to recover as much as I have. I have spend a lot of time researching my hearing loss and hearing aids and have spend many an hour and drove many a mile to get fittings. It has paid off for me. I now wear Oticon OPN1 ITE aids that I got around this time last year and had adjustments made monthly for the first 8 months. It has paid off. I only have the default program, and I only need the default program. I do have the TV connect and the home phone connect. and I have to have the call streaming to my iPhone to hear calls. But those that have known me a long time even say that I hear better than I have in 30 years or more. It is about being patient, and willing to learn how to hear better. It is also about never feeling sorry for yourself, and having a positive attitude.

As I have said to many the loss of my hearing is due to my military service, and if all I have lost is my hearing then I am very blessed, so many of my brothers and sisters have lost everything.

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Thank you so much for sharing that! I wish you the best continued success.

I’m 64 years old. When I tried to join the Army, I was 18 years old then and just barely passed the hearing test. Not long after I developed menieres disease in my left ear. Took most of my left side hearing with it. Finally got so bad I bought aids 3 years ago. Also have loss in right ear. Quite an adjustment getting used to hearing again. Stuck it out and wear them daily now. Still failed physical for military…bad back.

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This forum is full of great recoveries from members not wearing hearing aids when they should have. It also has members who are really trying to get back word recognition and not having good luck.
Cvkemp is my hero concerning your question. He is always supporting those trying to get better recognition.
You probably know this already but so many of us have not gotten aids when we should have due to cost. I am one of those and am in the process of trying to get word recognition back. Without aids my word recognition was tested at 12% for each ear.

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It might help if you could see things from his perspective. I waited a very long time before getting hearing aids. I have been fitted professionally 3 times, and bought aids off eBay and programmed them myself twice. And none of that actually helped me hear any better. Your patient has likely paid a good sum for his aids, and can’t see a reason to keep something that doesn’t live up to its promise. My last set came from the VA, and hence cost me no money, only time. They actually make my hearing worse, and I would not take the advice of someone who told me to just keep on wearing them. After a few years of trying various hearing aids, I have come to the conclusion that there are people for whom hearing aids just don’t work. I haven’t given up just yet. I am going back to the VA, but I don’t really have high expectations that they will help. I am in much better shape than your client, my WRS is 85% at 80 dB, and I have learned to live with my loss fairly well.

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I get my aids from the VA and have gotten them from the VA for 15 years. MY WRS is 40% with out hearing aids and over 90% with aids. I have researched hearing aids, I have researched my hearing loss, and I have learned the hard way to be patient, to be positive and to be an active part of the fitting process with my Audis. My new aids that I got last December has taken 8 or 9 adjustments, but it has paid off. I feel I hear almost normal now with my aids, and when I am in a noisy places I hear better than most with normal hearing due to the noise canceling of my aids.
It is all about being positive, and keep notes about what is working and what isn’t working with your hearing and your aids. It is also about relaying that information to your Audi and it is also about making sure your Audi is in the adjustment game with you to get your aids adjusted correctly.

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I am sorry you have had such a bad time. I try to accept the experience my customers describe and help them to understand the experience. In this customers case WR is seriously low. I am glad yours is so high. I hope you can find the help you need and deserve.

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I waited from my 20’s, when even the cat knew I was hard of hearing, to my 50’s when I got my first hearing aid. It took several months for the distortion to clear, but when it did, hoo boy! I could hear!

My advice for people who have put it off for decades, stop it! Go get them, get some adjustments but just wear them all day, every day, and get more adjustments in a few months.

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Don, I love your experience! Thank you!

How to say this without starting a war…

I fully agree that nobody should put off getting hearing aids (big caveat: if they can afford them), and I don’t have a problem with the argument that they take time to get used to. The cynical side of me does wonder whether it’s a convenient ‘out’ for the industry when the hearing aids don’t really do it for the client. “If only you’d done something about it sooner!”. Oticon rep shakes his head sadly.

I mean none of the hearing aid companies run ads that say “Your hearing life starts now! *assuming you haven’t left it too long in which case all bets are off”. I kept my first set of aids even though they never really worked for me. I was sold on the idea that it might take months to adjust. That adjustment never happened. Fortunately I lost them, claimed the loss on insurance and bought a pair that worked a little better.

I recommend Costco to anyone who asks. Not because I’ve ever used them myself (there isn’t one in this locale), but because of the six months trial. At six months you know one way or another. At 30 days- especially for your first aids- you don’t. Wishful thinking wars with buyers’ remorse. Throw in some genuine brain re-training and a bit of guilt for leaving it too long… plus you can do a lot of good with that 6 grand… It’s not an easy decision.

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Ok so my story is this, I started off with terrible aids in my twenties…gave up on them and then once again tried in my thirties. Got sick and was quite poor at that time, gave up on them. Now again I’m in my forties and trying again. I think it has to do with being at the right time for you to accept the loss. For me I am still struggling with acceptance. I guess it’s such a huge change of life and not the regular every day we are used to. It’s like quitting smoking you have to really want it.

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Not really such a huge change. What’s your main concern? It may take time to adjust (as already discussed). The audiologist can adjust the settings to ease you into it gradually. You’re in a hearing loss group, so you’re obviously thinking about it. That means you have a problem and the best time to address that problem is now. The hearing aids you can try now are streets ahead of what you tried in your forties. No-one wants to wear hearing aids. The alternative is worse.

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Carl you have what is referred to a a “cookie bite” pattern loss, which has a reputation for being harder to fit. Dont know the technical reasons why.

debbiea2010
I didn’t realize it until lately, but it seems I am a difficult case. While I have severe to profound high frequency loss, at the same time, I am very sensitive to loud sounds. The traditional method of fitting, setting gains to prescriptive loss, doesn’t work because the loudness is unbearable. If you cut the gain down to where I can stand it, I still can’t hear any high frequencies. So REM is useless for me. Frequency lowering, such as SR2 makes it possible for me to hear high frequencies, but all the artifacts it also generates results in me actually struggling more out in the real world. I experienced this recently when I decided to just wear the Marvels I have for a while to see if things improved. They didn’t. They actually made my hearing worse. I want to try Roger technology, but it is just too expensive right now. When I had Resounds, I bought a Multi Mic, but couldn’t see any benefit from it, so I am hesitant to fork out for a Roger device. Actually, I have learned to adjust to my hearing loss fairly well. It only causes the occasional problem for me. Yet another reason I haven’t done well with aids.

I have been aware of hearing loss for about 15 years. I have the TV set way louder than my wife likes, all the actors mumble these days and I’d recently started turning on subtitles. In noisy environments I would really struggle to hear someone clearly even if just a few feet in front of me. So I decided to get a hearing test. I have now been using a trial pair of Phonak Marvel M90 for 3 weeks. Right from the first minute they have been fantastic. All my issues above resolved! And the bluetooth audio streaming is an added bonus. The problem now is that I cannot afford them :frowning: I have a NHS referral so I’ll see how I get on there but I may end up with looking at finance options.

Bob

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Costco could be another place to get aids. The KS9 aids there are based on the Phonak Audeo M90 aids.

My phonak hearing aids which I very fortunately get through the VA are helpful in reducing the terrible tinnitus I have. I’m going through withdrawal now, as one of them I surrendered for repair, will be three weeks wait and the other really doesn’t help my profound left side hearing loss. I seem to avoid more and more social occasions however even if the aids are working. “What if’s” always seem to go down the negative slope.

Maybe your VA fitter would program a pair of spare aids. If he/she would do that you could pick up a par off eBay and have a spare set.

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He gave me a spare one with a dome ear piece. Worked okay for a while only! Ha!