First experience with ric Starkey i70

This is my first post, so here is my story:
I am an 80 year old man and at the insistence of my wife (familiar story I guessing), I went to an ent doctor for a hearing evaluation. He removed some wax from my right ear and then I had a hearing test. I did quite well in the lower range, but have significant loss in the higher range including voice recognition – diagnosis, sensorineural hearing loss, bilateral. He recommended an audiologist if I was interested in opting for a hearing aid. I did a little research before my appointment to determine what type of hearing aid I might want. I figured the completely-in-canal (CIC) would be best for me. However, the audiologist convinced me the receiver-in canal (RIC) would work best for my type of hearing loss. She said the RIC would allow sounds from the lower range to come through my ears in the normal way and the higher pitch sounds would come thru the hearing aid ad adjust the sound to come through at the lower range. So, I signed the agreement and purchased the RIC type (Starkey i70 Z series). My lifestyle is pretty much at home with my wife and family, reading and television with occasional restaurant and visiting children. After wearing them off and on for about a week these are my observations:

  • They are sort of cumbersome to insert.
  • I notice no difference while watching/hearing television.
  • The higher range sounds are much sharper, sometimes shriek-like
  • the behind the ear piece is troublesome as I wear eyeglasses and it interferes with the temples part that fits over the ears.
  • I have an appointment next week with audiologist for some tweaking, but for now, I have to say I’m not impressed.

Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this subject and hope some of my words make sense, but I would appreciate some input before I make a decision to keep or return the hearing aids before the 30 day not free trial (12% cancellation fee).

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In the ear models block sound almost completely. She was right about the RIC.

Shrill or similar is a common complaint by new users. It is the mind not adjusting to sounds it hasn’t heard in a long time. Ir can take up to a couple of months to fully adjust.

I wear glasses and aids but I have a wire frame. I am guessing you might have sturdy plastic temples.

Not sure how long your trial is but I’d try to get it extended to at least 45 days and better 90 days.

You have given us your impression. What is your wife’s? If she getting less “what?”, I guess she has a opposite view.

Thanks for your input KenP – good advice.

I guess I will try to work harder with the aids. I have sort of wire frames, but the ends of the temples are plastic coated.

Yeah, my wife says she is getting fewer “whats” and “huhs”, but sometimes she says “what” followed by an immediate reply.

Wouldn’t hurt to stop by your optometrist and ask them to adjust the temples. My wire frames have a bit of plastic at the ends too but it doesn’t cause a problem. They form closely to my head.

Thanks again for your advice. I’m more determined now to make the aids work for me. I’ve been wearing them for longer periods of time. I guess adjusting to anything is harder for older folks.

I have been wearing BTE HAs with glasses for nine years. When going from ITE to BTE, I noticed a slight bit of interference but soon learned to tolerate and be comfortable with the BTEs. I just went with a pair of RICs which are smaller and I find them comfortable… Stay with them. IMO, good communications and feed back with a good fitter is paramount. Speak your mind. Let her know of your satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Tell her you expect better. BTW, I am just a couple years your junior.

Everything you’ve said is common. I find that ease of insertion commonly takes 3 to 4 weeks depending on your ear canals. Don’t get frustrated by that. Just set aside a little extra time in the morning to make sure you get them in all the way.

Ask your AuD if the devices are set to the “fully experienced level”. If they are not, then stick with it and tell her to make sure they are automatically adapting. If they ARE, then stick with it and let your brain get accustomed to the sounds. Ask her about a “surflink media”. It costs a bit extra but will often make TV seem like a dream come true.

Research shows it can take a few months to get used to things. Don’t give up too quick. I am very good at making Starkeys work pretty well. There are a few tricks sometimes.

Thank you.

— Updated —

Thanks for the info.

I just trialed these same HA’s last month. However I have been wearing HA’s for past 9 1/2 yrs. First 4 with BTE, now RIC.

I agree with what everyone else has said. Sometimes I still have a hard time getting these in my ear. Practice makes perfect.

Make sure the tips are the right size for your canals. I need the large even thought the Audi kept telling me medium. Once pushed in they should not work their way back out. I also like the open dome with the single bar over the opening so wax doesn’t easily get down in there. You have the little traps if it does, but I can go for many months before having to change a trap. Also, you can clean traps using a off-the-shelf jewelery cleaner thing if you so desire.

I found the streamer for this HA to be not so great sound quality wise. If I’m having trouble hearing the dialog for a tv show or movie I just use the cc if available. I also have a pair of wireless headphones that I also use from time to time. You can find them pretty cheap online.

find an audiologist you trust

I’ve been using HA swear bands and it keeps my glasses from banging against each aid along with keeping them dry. No joke! Best thing ever made for BTE and RIC HAs.

But do they help you swear better? :slight_smile:

Swear! Missed that. My phone’s auto correct maybe. Sweat, I meant to say but I’m sure you knew that.