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.
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.