First-timer needs help

Hi, I just had my first hearing exam this morning and I’m totally confused. I’m hoping someone here can help me out. I’m 29 years old and have “high-frequency loss”. I don’t know why, because I don’t work in a loud environ or go to a lot of concerts or anything. Anyway, I went to the local audiologist that my father sees. She put me in a booth with headphones, played some tones at different frequencies and asked me to tell her when I could hear them. Then she stuck a pair of Starkey Destiny OTEs in my ears and told me to come back in a week.

She asked me how they sounded, but it was really hard to tell since the only real sounds were the HVAC, and our voices. Are there tests that I can do with the aids on to find out if they’re meeting my needs? Are these even good aids? I’ve been reading a bit about Siemens and Phonak, but I’ve never heard of Starkey. I read something about a word recognition test. Should I ask for that? Are there any other tests that I should ask for?

I’m the kind of person that spends months researching a new TV or camera, agonizing over every feature and figuring out the BEST one for me. It really bothers me that I spent less than half an hour in an office and walked out with $3000 worth of equipment in my ears.

I’m sorry for being such a hearing aid n00b, but I could really some help and advice. Thanks.

  • Josh

This was almost exactly like my first experience and as a result I spent a year bouncing back and forth in and out of his office until he finally guessed my settings and finally got them “satisfactory”…

In my opinion a half hour exam is no where close to being enough to do a satisfactory fitting. My last one was about 2 hours and a whole battery of tests…

I would take the 3 grand of HA’s back and run…

Dear Josh this is the 411:

Starkey used to be one of the top player A VERY LONG TIME AGO, you see…

at a point in time Starkey gain significant market share as they did introduce

the more discrete in the ear hearing aids… Starkey in the late 80’s did have

signficiant market share… But it slip significant… Currently the top companies

are: Siemens, Oticon, Phonak, Widex and GN… Each company had @ some

point in time something novel… For example: Siemens to my knowledge was

the first Company who did introduce the Wireless aid with their E to E

technology… Oticon did has the first Digital hearing aid, GN the first Open Fit

instrument and Widex has introduce the Frequency transposition…

What the instrument is going… Wireless is the next way to go, With siemens

Oticon, Rexton and soon Phonak it is clear that this is the tecnology of the

future… almost all companies in the world have some sort of Open fit product

50% of all products sold in the US are BTE… Not having such a product

is a handicap…

I would say, What I like out there is Rexton Revo (cheaper than Siemens but

rexton belongs to siemens)… GN Azure or the Dot (open fit) i like this

the Oticon Epoq , and the Savia Art…

Advice, ask your audi to fit one and walk on a busy street… try to test

how your hearing is in a buisy street with a child or a girl…

trust your ears…

Fitting hearing aids, you can fit is a linear programing problem… Meaning
as a fitter you have to maximize speech understanding… or consumer satisfaction subject to certain constrains… for example, size or stile (some clients put restrictions as to the type of aid they want to use… Other constrains also involves Money (how much you are willing to invest)… Livestyle (what type of lifestile)… Anther constrain is how is your residual hearing…

So your HIs or Audi, needs to know all this in order to make a recomendation…
Realistic expectation needs to be address… So profesional help is a paramount…

Hi Josh,

You didn’t mention why you originally had a hearing test. I’m going to assume that you’re having problems understanding people around you. Saying "What? Can you repeat that? Sorry I didn’t hear you. The real bottom line is did the hearing aids help with whatever your problem was. For me, I had problems with tinnitus, had a hearing test and found out I had “moderate” high freq loss. I can hear really well now in quiet environments. In noisy places, I don’t seem to get any benefit from “noise reduction”. I just hear conversations three tables away, behind me and everywhere else. <sigh> As xbulder said, trust your ears (at least after you’ve given them a little time to adapt to all the new sounds). Can you hear conversations better? Good luck.


Thanks for the tips. Yes, my problem is that I can’t understand speech very well. My wife has to constantly repeat her words, and I sometimes need closed-captioning to understand dialog on TV.

I just got them this morning, so it’s hard to say how much “better” my hearing is right now. I haven’t had time to use them in different settings. I’m going out to dinner tonight with my family so that should be a good test. So far I can’t tell if what I’m hearing is “good” or “great” or what. It’s just “different”.

I’m really worried about davistw’s comments. Should I “run” from this Audi and seek a different one with more thorough testing? The test she gave me this morning was about 10 minutes long with some headphones and no testing with the aids on. It seems to me like I would want to do some tests with the aids on to see if they’re working properly.

My experience was that the battery of hearing tests can be pretty extensive.

First my Audi tested me in the sound proof room with audio signal to gauge my degree of hearing loss on each ear. Next comes the word recognition test to determine my ability to understand speech with my residual hearing ability. This is followed by test to determine the function of my middle ear - whether the tiny bones are receiving and responding to vibrations all right. Only then can he tell what sort of loss I have, to what degree, what part of the ear is causing the problem. Then the question of whether hearing aid is a good solution and what to expect, with the caution that what he can do is to improve speech recognition based on my residual hearing ability.

Have to agree with xbulder - technicalities aside, my ears will be the best judge of what works best. Choice of hearing aids itself is a big topic and my Audi explains the intricacies involved in such decision - there are always compromise e.g. features vs cost.

I have a feeling that your Audi has not done a good job with you, leaving you feeling confused and not in control of this important aspect of your life. If you don’t feel involved, it is difficult to end up proudly owning the result of the experience.

Have you discussed your concerns with the testing audiologist? If not, I would definitely recommend you do so. Explain to him/her your expectations and afford them the opportunity to address your concerns. If he/she fails to adquately address, within reason and within your scope of knowledge of your condition, then I would suggest investigating professional reporting and complaint processes in your state.

When I got my hearing aids (Starkey Destiny BTE) my audiologist had to disclose to me, per Florida law, my right to file formal complaints and seek resolution (NOT restitution) of my issues or concerns.

BTW…my Starkey’s are EXCELLENT (as is my AuD).

Good luck.

Other than regular testing, etc for high frequency losses
I strongly suggest

  1. Either Quick sin or Hint (i prefer Hint)
  2. I also strongly suggest measuring the UCL per frequencies
    from 500or 750 up to 4000. this helps to set the instrument so that
    they are confortable

You have my sympathy as I have just been through this process. In the UK I was attending a hospital where each time I saw a different audiologist. It made me angry and the whole process seemed a waste of time. The last time I went I was armed with information from this forum, especially from Xbulder’s expertise.

At one point the audi asked me if I was an audi. It was quite funny. But I found by asking lots of questions and insisting on changes the audi worked with me. I also made sure I sat where I could see what was on her computer screen.

Is it perfect? No. But I am hoping it will get better over time. I have also insisted that next time I see the same audi.

Good luck. Be persistent. Ask lots and lots of questions. They are your ears!


It’s been suggested to me that I should return these aids and make an appointment with an ears, nose, and throat doctor. Has anyone else gone to a doctor instead of an audi and gotten better results?

my experience with ENT’s is that they are not so interested in fitting hearing aids, however often times, they do have either a HIS or a Audi working in his practice… Generally the end result is the same…

I Have not meet a ENT in the US who dispenses Aids yet