First Post - Hearing loss question


#1

Hello everyone, I have been reading posts on this forum and I am amazed on the amount of time people have put in to help. So I have a question. I have really mild hearing loss with a 30db dip at 4k on left and 35db 4k dip on right with 10db across range. (they wont let me post my audiogram yet as I am a new user) I am a university professor and work with small and large groups of professionals. I find it difficult to hear what they are saying so I purchased from an on-line source a generic BTE device programmed to my pattern. It made a tremendous difference but in noisy situations I simply can not hear what is being said.

I have decided to explore the opticon made for iphone device and have a audiologist coming round tomorrow to my home to advise me.

The question, is my hearing loss sufficiently bad to warrant spending such a large amount of money? I am tempted by the made of iphone functionality as i spend a lot of time on my phone also.

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read this, regards, Jonathan


#2

J crego Audiogram.pdf.pdf (1.2 MB)

Now I am allowed to post my audiogram


#3

Really only you can decide that. Make sure any hearing aids you try have a guaranteed return policy if you decide they’re not for you. Some providers offer a 100% money back guarantee, others will charge a restocking fee, usually somewhere around $200-300.
Try the hearing aids, see how much they help you, then decide how much that is worth to you. Value is determined not by your audiogram, but by your income and desires.
Be aware that Speach in Noise is a problem for everyone, but hearing aids do keep getting better and better.


#4

Speech in noise is tough for everybody. More challenging for you in a way because most of your hearing is pretty good and it will be impossible for hearing aids to block out that noise. Worth it? Depends on many things. How dear is money? How much if playing around with new tech fun, versus being a chore? If you’d like a less expensive option than the Oticons, which I’m guessing will run ~$6000, you could check out Costco. You also might find Bose Hearphones interesting. Keep us posted.


#5

Click on any Avatar in this thread (aside from your Avatar) to see a better way to display your audiogram;

How to Add Audiogram to Forum User Profile


#6

@JonathanC, I’m currently wearing the Oticon Opn 1 with the noise reduction set to maximum, and I use the ConnectClip with a speech-in-noise program and/or the microphone setting in noisy environments. They do help with speech in noise. However, it sounds like, because of the environments that you need speech-in-noise assistance in (small/large groups in an academic setting), you might benefit more from the Phonak Roger Direct accessory or the Roger Pen. I think one of those accessories might give you a broader range of directional or focused sound pick up. Perhaps you might want to check out what Phonak has to offer. Good luck.


#7

Thanks to both pvc and richnfamus1 for your response. I will be very interested in what the man says today, he does offer a trial, I will report back probably with loads of questions.


#8

And thanks to everyone else for their comments


#9

Good day everyone, I have purchased the Opicon opn1 from the audiologist who re tested me, and WOW! For the past 6 years I had been using a generic hearing aid programmed and it was good but not brilliant. Went to a dinner party last night with my new kit and heard everyone on the table in very high quality. I will post my new audiogram when he sends it to me, but I have a question. I feel it better if I set the aids at volume 1 higher than volume 0 standard setting. Will I upset my period of acclimatization if I operate at this level. I have a big lecture type meeting today where they will be given a big open room test and do not want to confuse my brain.


#10

There is a very good chance your audi set your aids lower than they should be. Many audis do this to keep from overwhelming you. Then they slowly turn them up during subsequent visits.

During my last trial the aids were too quiet. I went back to my audi, who swore they were set to target. He put me in the sound booth, tested me, made some small adjustments, then tested me again. Perfect.

Nothing wrong with turning them up if that’s what you need. Make sure to get them adjusted real soon so you don’t have to bother with that.


#11

Update. Used them in lecture setting and they were outstanding. In P1 still need to put them on level 1 volume but am feeling a bit of stuffed ears, like when you get off a plane. Have dropped a note to my audi and he says we should have meet to tune them further. Overall, really excited with them and clarity is a touch overwhelming to be honest, feeling quite emotional


#12

Sounds like you may be talking about occlusion, where your voice sounds louder than everything else?

Occlusion depends on the type of dome (the soft part that goes in your ear) and your level of hearing loss. Pros like to have it as closed as possible and if you can stand it the sound will be better. I can’t stand it. I have to have a deep fitting custom mold and a tiny vent.


#13

Day 3 of testing the aids. I find the domes are causing the feeling of occlusion. I have spoken to me Audi and he says he is going to ‘open them up’ when we meet next. Does open them up man create vents?


#14

@JonathanC, The audiologist may give you more open (vented) domes rather than closed domes, or he may change the size/style/brand of the domes. A word from personal experience, though—make sure he repeats the real ear measurements (REM) with any dome change you make. Something as simple as an open vs a closed vs a power dome can change the REM. You may also notice feedback issues if you don’t have a good dome fit. In my experience wearing the OPN 1s, open vs closed domes also affect the amount of “bass” sounds I hear. Open domes make the sound more “tinny” for me (I think audiologists call that making the sound “brighter”), whereas closed or power domes add more bass, but they are also more occluding for me. You have to play with all of it at times until you find the sweet spot for you. Wishing you luck. So glad to hear you are hearing what you were missing.


#15

thank you for the response, I am really amazed about what I can hear now. I realize how much energy I was expending on trying to understand what the students were saying. I have just finished a two day workshop with a whole bunch of them, many quiet speaking or female (dreadful hearing combination for me) I feel less tired and more importantly so much more engaged. The occlusion issue is beginning to bother me to be honest. I will talk of your wise words when I meet with the Audi in a few days. The big test for me is on Monday when I have a big long room with 60 people working in groups, if I can hear in that environment it will be magic.


#16

Which domes are you wearing right now? I’m wearing a bass dome with single vent and I find it to be a good compromise between occlusion and containing leaks

There’s also a bass dome with double vent or better occlusion as well.

If neither of these works for you to help with occlusion, then the open dome should solve that with the trade off of making stream quality more tinny with much less bass. But it should be the least occluded of all the domes.

Also, you’ll need time to get used to occlusion. Just a few days is not enough time for adjustment. And if your ears generate a lot of wax, when/if using the bass dome with vent(s), make sure to check regularly that the tiny vent hole(s) doesn’t get clogged by wax. That’s usually when I start feeling occluded with my bass domes, and a quick clearing of the vent hole with a tooth pick opens things right up for me.


#17

Hi, very helpful information thank you. The ones I have are single hole and I will take your advice on giving it more time to get used to it. I am seeing my audiologist next Friday so that will give me another week. I will also talk to him about more open options. On another note, I do not really hear any differently when I am streaming from the iPhone on the music program. So I am thinking of ditching this and getting him to program for a more specific noise environment on program 4. What are your experiences of streaming sounds from the iPhone? In any case I would like him to up the volume on streaming as I have to put my iPhone on full volume.


#18

The Music program is not for streamed music. Remember that streaming content doesn’t need nor benefit from any processing by the OPN. It’s simply replayed exactly as is for you to hear.

The music program is more for listening to live music, or music played on a hifi system for you to hear when picked up by the OPN mics. In this case, the Music program does minimal processing to give you the most open sound experience. But in my personal opinion, the default program can already handle live music pretty well all in itself already. So if you want to replace the Music program with something more useful for you, you won’t miss out that much when listening to music using the default program.

There’s an option to increase the default streaming volume on the iPhone that your provider can do for you. But I find it weird that you find the default streaming level lacking for you, especially if your hearing is not that bad. Unless for some reason your provider messed around with your default streaming level in the first place.


#19

@Volusiano does the OPN1 use some form of frequency transposition? If so I don’t see how music, at least more complex forms like classical, can be reproduced without some deleterious effects.


#20

Yes, the OPN has a frequency lowering technology. It’s actually frequency composition more than transposition. Unlike most other frequency lowering compression technologies, it actually does much less compression and much more composition. The screen shot below explains the difference.

Because of this, the higher frequency sounds being sourced can preserved if desired, and the lowered frequency sounds simply transposed and stacked on to a lower frequency destination area.

Some may argue that any form of lowering by definition is distortion. However, I would argue that compression gives the most form of distortion, and composition with the original high frequency sourced sound preserved is much less about distortion and is more about adding more audible sounds in the more audible regions. If anything, it’d be more coloration instead of distortion.

For a purist who doesn’t want any kind of coloration or distortion when listening to music, simply use the built-in Music program which doesn’t have any frequency lowering technology built-in. For me personally, I haven’t found anything deleterious effects listening to music in general, and even classical music per se, with my default P1 program that contains the Speech Rescue frequency lowering technology.

In the second screen shot below, you can also see that there are 10 different configurations one can choose from to select the source/destination region pairs most appropriate for one’s hearing loss.

image