Filtering High Frequency Amplification


I have high frequency loss. I have normal hearing until about 1000hz, and then it drops in a steep slide, getting progressively worse as frequency increases. I had some Phonak aids a few years ago that while amplifying higher frequency speech, also amplified all kids of extraneous noise. Last year I tried Oticon OPN 1, but I had the same problem. So in group, all I heard was noise, and I couldn’t differentiate individual speakers. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I might try? I’m unwilling to spend $6 or $7 thousand for aids that won’t really work. Thanks.

I have a similar hearing loss (sometimes called ski-slope loss). I like the KS8s from Costco. $1600 and it includes the capability to change the frequency plus up to six programs such as speech in noise, and the ability to adjust the volume to each ear independently. They also have a six month trial period.

What you describe sounds pretty normal. You haven’t heard these sounds for sometime and your initial reaction is likely to be that a lot of things sound obnoxiously loud. It takes patience and working with your hearing aid fitter. If Costco is an option, they have several models that are much more affordable. The KS8 is least expensive at $1599. Depending on how steep your loss is after 1000hz, I’d be tempted to try the Phonak Brio 3s as they have the ability to shift high frequency sounds down into lower frequencies than other aids.

Thanks. Who makes those? Oddly, Costco told me they couldn’t help.

Thanks. I’ll look into both.

The KS8s are made by Rexton which is owned by Silvantos. You can search for KS8s on this forum and find a lot of information. I now have the capability to program my own KS8s using Connexx8 software (link is on this forum) and my recent purchase of a Noahlink Wireless programmer. There a lot of setting you can tinker with (if you’re brave) which can be applied at various frequencies for soft, normal and loud speech.

You have, maybe, the most common of hearing loss. Did you get a Costco hearing test or show them a copy of an existing test?

Hi: They did the test, analyzed the results, and then said they had nothing to help me. I’ve repeatedly heard how common high frequency loss is, so I don’t understand why makers haven’t found a way to filter out all the “racket” so you can hear what you want. While wearing my old Phonak aids, I traded a guitar due to constant fret buzz, but later I learned that the buzz was caused by the aids.

ks 8.0 can only lower upto 1.5k hz below that no compression. means if your loss at 1.5k more you are out of luck for ks 8.0 widex can do lot low

Thanks. I need to try both hearing aids. My loss begins at 1000hz and declines fast after that. I need to get a new test.

Rereading the original post, I don’t think anybody can do what you seem to be asking. You seem to want the hearing aids to make the high frequency sounds that you want to hear audible, while “filtering” out the noise. I think what Costco was saying is that they don’t think they can do any better than the first two audiologists. Benefiting from hearing aids requires getting used to them. This entails being able to ignore a certain amount of noise. The aids can help reduce certain kinds of noises, but largely they are going to amplify all sounds–what you want to hear and what you don’t. I don’t mean to discourage you–just trying to set up reasonable expectations.

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Well, to a certain extent you’re right. I understand about all higher frequency sounds becoming audible, but many aids advertise how they give the wearier the ability to focus on speech, etc. I’ve not found that to be true. Even after wearing the Phonak aids for a couple of years, I wasn’t able to do that. And with music, I found the highs and harmonics to be so loud that I couldn’t hear the lower instruments. And with all that, it was still hard to hear my wife unless I was looking right at her. Now, I need to run captions on the tv all the time if I want to understand the dialog. Maybe what I seem to need/want just isn’t possible. Thanks for your comment.

Maybe it’s a question of balance. Have they tried turning down the highs some to let you adjust? And contrary to what I just suggested, I find it better if I report the problems I’m having rather than propose a solution,

I have a similar hearing loss, and similar problems with hearing aids. I have bought two different Phonak aids and neither actually help me to hear better. Yes, they do amplify all those highs I have been missing. And yes, it is very annoying. But, they don’t help me understand speech. The Audiologist I saw told me there wasn’t a lot that could be done. I think she was right. Unfortunately, the only think that has a chance of helping you is hearing aids. Someone suggested the Bernafon Zerena because they use a different kind of frequency lowering technology. I think Costco carries them. You might want to mention them to the folks at Costco and see what they say.

I find this difficult to believe. Unless you specifically mean speech in noise, in which case different people have different problems with that and sometimes hearing aids on their own aren’t enough. But with a loss like yours, you should experience an obvious benefit for close speech in quiet situations.

NO, I mean regular speech in normal circumstances. Voices on TV as well. I find I have to use closed captions or else TV is useless. The Sound recover seemed to help some, but after wearing the aids a while, I found I was having as much trouble with speech as before. I have what seems to be recruitment as well. Loud sounds are very uncomfortable, and the aids made a lot of sounds almost unbearable.

Eh. I don’t know what you and your audiologist have already tried, so I may well be way off base. But if your feeling is that even sitting beside someone in a quiet situation you find no benefit to having your hearing aids in versus having your hearing aids out, I feel like you should try a different fitter. I have seen so many people with loss very similar to yours benefit substantially. But maybe there’s something else going on that makes your particular experience more difficult, and you need to rely more heavily on communication strategies and assistive listening devices.

Recruitment is present with all hearing loss.

Keep in mind that many newer shows output dolby digital surround sound. If you just have one or two speakers then all of that sound gets smashed together and the background music can often overwhelm the dialog. Even my more able-hearing spouse has some difficulty with those shows. There are some workarounds but I won’t derail the topic with those.

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This is a most interesting discussion. It makes sense that some audiologist can do better than others, but I’m wondering how you can determine that, given how Hearing aids are sold, with each dealer determining price and warranty. I know I need hearing help, but I can’t really determine the best way to get it… How have Athens with high frequency loss benefitted, and which aids have helped the most. I’ve read good things about the KS8 from Costco. What about the other brands??

Lately, I have been doing my own fitting. I did use a professional once, but they only used the first fit data and changed things just a little. Non of which helped. I know everyone here says to use a professional, but I know my hearing better than anyone and I can change the settings as often as I want without having to make an appointment and wait. I have thought of going back to a professional, but I already know what the outcome would be. I would be returning the aids soon and getting my money back.