First Day With HA's

Im only writing this first few days diary for those who were like me as of few weeks ago; told they needed HA’s, totally ignorant but in need of information quick. Experienced users looking at Phonak Audeo V’s may find it useful as well. I’m 47 year young, high end frequency loss.

Day 1
9.00AM – I had taken the day off work as I did not know quite what to expect on day 1. The fitted my Behind the Ear, Open Fit Phonak, Audeo V’s took just a few minutes. The settings had already been programmed into them before I got there. My ear was measured for the tube length and two suitable lengths were fitted. Large Open Domes were selected and then they were put into my ears. I’m then connected to the computer and each HA is in turn calibrated for background noise and that’s it. Next we practice taking them in and out, run through how to turn them on/off, battery fitting and a little care and maintenance. The thin tubes of the Audeo’s makes insertion of the left one (I’m right handed) especially fiddly for me and I suspect would be very difficult for folks of advanced years. As we are sitting there my left ear does start to hurt (Like when you clean your ear a little to vigorously with a cotton bud…something I now know you should not do). The audiologist looks down my ear and sees a little redness so changes to a smaller dome and we re-insert. Certainly more comfortable. I schedule a return appointment for 2 weeks time and I’m off to my new world.

First Impressions - Certainly, I sound different to me. I sound like I’m talking in to an empty coke can and there’s more than the impression of echo. The audi had explained that with time, this will improve and that the Audeos also need time to build their memories’ for my hearing situations. Walking out to the car we pass a small ornamental water fall that sounds like Niagara falls bit its cool that my directional microphones pick up its noises and drops them as I look back and forth. Birds in the trees are much more noticeable. We hit IHOP for some late breakfast. As the minutes pass, it feels like the one in my left ear wants to fall out and the sound quality is noticeably different – a bit like soft static on a radio. I know I cant take 2 weeks of this feeling so an hour later I’m back at the audis and we go back to the Large dome. Much better, but my ear is still a little tender form earlier. The other ear is very comfortable and I only notice its there when I smile and can feel it in my ear.

After a few hours I would liken the feeling of the HA’s in the ear the same as wearing ear plugs for the same length of time. You are aware of them being in there. There is a mild sensation of being “plugged up”. Not uncomfortable, just not a normal feeling. I’m experiencing a few extra noises of my environment that I’ve not been used to……mostly good and my wife who has complained that our kitchen has a empty echo, I would now agree with ! I opened that car window as I drive and I do not have to adjust the radio volume. The performance of the microphones and background noise discrimination is very impressive !

Sun glasses and spectacles just need to be put on with a little more care than previously, but there is no conflict between the HA’s and the over the arms of glasses.

I keep them in until 8pm (11 hours for the first day). By then the irritation in my left ear was getting to much and the “plugged” sensation was bugging me. Overall day 1, I’m very impressed with the HA’s. I was expecting to be telling everyone theirs no need to shout and everything to be generally loud. Not so. As my hearing loss is in the higher frequency’s, the HA’s have been programmed to only boost that range I’m deficient. About the only thing I really noticed as LOUD was screwing up a paper bag and my garage door squeaking as it opened and closed which I’ll be oiling tomorrow.

Back to work tomorrow and a minimum of 14 hours use.

Mark.

Thanks Mark, it really helps. Some of us are in the dark about what to expect. Keep on posting, I’ll definately following you;)

Mark,

It will take time to get use the hearing aids for your first time. It does feel like a ear plugs in your ears. If your hearing aids are too loud, low it down or if you are not getting enough sound turn it up until you feel comfortable.

I have been wearing hearing aids since I was 3 and I don’t remember how it feels for my first time. I have been hearing aids for 30 years. I have been wearing only Siemmen’s hearing aids since I have mod/severe hearing hearing loss. This is only brand will fit my hearing loss.

If you have any questions, let us know.
daffy

Day 2
Ears on at 07:00am.

As yesterday, the right ear goes in easy, the left ear is harder work but eventually slips in. No hint of irritation and no pain as yesterday. Just the sensation of it sliding into position. The day at work was meet with several folks curious about the HA’s and were surprised how small and some even had to look hard to see them even though they knew I was wearing them. I immediately notice that some of my colleagues talk loud, not all, just some……so its not the HA’s amplifying everything, I’d just been missing some volume or higher pitched voices I guess. I noticed that things like the photocopier paper feeder now sounds like heavy machinery and is actually a little unpleasant to stand by for too long and in the server room the buzz of the cooling fans induces a mild white noise in my left ear only ! As the day goes by I defiantly notice that sound is tending to be biased one side (Left) so something to take back to the Audi for the next tune-up. Using the telephone is no big deal and no feedback at all. However, I obviously used to press the receiver hard to my ear which now I can not do as it presses the ear to the HA behind my ear. By about 3pm my ears are again feeling plugged and a little irritated but I set a goal of 14 hours and was determined to stay on the plan. Walking the dogs in the evening again Im aware of the white noise again only in my left ear from the buzz of AC units – It sounds something like putting a cardboard tube to your ear if you have ever done that !

By 9pm, my goal for the day I count the minutes down to extraction time. The left ear is still the most tender and is the hardest to pull out. Clean off the wax, put them in the box. 14 Hours wearing time and only a mild tenderness in the left ear.

Mark

Day 3 – Saturday

Getting my hair cut so I don’t put them in until after I’ve been trimmed. The HA’s are in by 10am. Still have trouble knowing which direction to push to get the left one in. It still has a little sensation as it goes in which Ill monitor……are ear canals all the same diameter ? Nothing now to report today. Still feel biased on volume and amplification of certain sounds on the left side. One
One bad situation though. Climbing into the car in a tight space where the door could not be fully opened I bang my left ear hard into the door. That really hurt as I must have pushed the ear hard enough to cause the dome or tube into the canal wall. I take the left HA out to give me dome relief and to look the HA over to make sure I did not damage it. All looked OK but it takes a frustrating 5 minuets to get it back in at the end of which I am a little short on temper which probably does not help getting bit in to begin with.

We did lunch in my first real noisy background situation today. Loud music, lots of people talking in the background, empty bottles being tossed by the barman…etc. I was able to fully hold conversations with my wife and did not even once have to guess what she said or asked her to repeat. That is a definite improvement in life quality over a few days ago before HA’s.

Its now 9pm and the HA’s are still in. The right ear is very comfortable. I could not say that I don’t know its there or don’t notice it, but I don’t feel plugged up like I did for the first 2 days. My left ear is not so bad considering the beating I gave it today. Only very mild internal irritation noticeable and there will be no problem keeping it in for several more hours.

Mark

I am impressed that you can keep them on that long right from the get go! I wore aids from when I was 2 until I was 12, and then started using them again 7 months ago (I am 18 now) and even after 7 months I can’t keep them in for a 14 hour day! I put them on as I am walking out the door in the morning, don’t turn them on until I am in the car, and then take them off as soon as I am in the door after work. They are off before my shoes!

Sometimes I will put them back on to go out with friends in the evening or to go to one of my other jobs, but normally I only have them in for 8 hours a day at most. If I have the weekend off, which I did this weekend, I won’t wear them at all.

So congrats on your ability to do that!

Good luck. My experience has not been good. I’ll make another thread about my situation.
Frank

I wear my hearing aids about 16 hours a day. The ears have to get use the ear molds or hearing aids to wear that long.

daffy93

I guess I have been lucky in that regard. Wearing the aids has never been a problem for me, no discomfort. Only the incredible and tortuous ‘tickling’ sensation from fluid accumulation is bothersome. I think I would prefer waterboarding to this.

They don’t cause me discomfort…I just don’t like hearing very much LOL. I am Deaf…like DEAF. I hear absolutely nothing unless I have hearing aids on and sometimes I am okay with hearing but other days it is the last thing I want to do!

My hearing aids are very comfortable and don’t cause me to many physical problems so that is fine…yeah, I just don’t like hearing!

Hi Mark119,

enjoyed your thread. i wear Phonak Audeo V’s and love them. i have worn them all day long since day one and have not had any trouble. the only time i don’t wear them is when i play golf or work outside in the yard, then i usually put them in after a bath and wear them until bedtime. sometimes i forget they are in and go to bed with them, get up of course and put them in the dryer. IF i don’t have my aids in, my wife immediately says, “you don’t have your HA’s in do you?” they make a big difference in my life. love them!

I`m trialing a pair of aids now,and I Do know what you mean by tortuous tickling… I just did not know what causes it.

Day 6

Nothing new to report which must say great things about my HA’s . I have no pain in my ears. The plugged-up feeling has gone and Im enjoying life with the new sounds around me and the HA’s are in my ears from the time after I shower In the morning until I go to bed – 14 to 16 hours daily. It really is now a none event and just part of daily routine.

My wife has remarked that I’m not asking her to repeat herself or I’m not guessing what she said;) which has improved things at home noticeably. The Audeo 5’s have worked out great for me. The loudness of certain sounds has died down as my brain I guess, gets used to the new sound, though their still a white noise sound in and room with a noisy fan or AC outlet. Other than that I can almost forget them. Restaurants’ with loud background noise have worked out fine – The place is still sounds noisy (It is to “normal” folks too) but now I can hear my wife talking to me over the background din.
If you are reading this because you have just been told you need HA’s don’t put it off. Go for it. You need to perceiver for a few days with the sensation of having them in and no it wont feel or sound “normal” – But there again, if you need HA’s your hearing is not “normal” is it ! I only wish I gotten of my back-side and done this sooner !

Now some questions:-
I hear folks like Wantahear above use dehumidifiers. Is this a special box with a dehumidifier you buy ? I assume its not the little presentation box that came with my HA’s where the manual say put them at night to dehumidify ?

Other than wiping the ear wax off the domes, should I be doing some other maintenance/hygiene routine ?

Thanks
Mark

http://www.dryandstore.com/

I have a Dry and Store Professional and it works very well, killing germs and removing moisture.

Shop Here:

http://www.localbattery.com/drystzefsh.html

He is the ADMIN of the site. Purchases help keep this site running…