Frequency Lowering, Again

This subject has been brought up before. I checked the previous threads and I find it interesting. I posted about it a year + back and a couple of people thought that I might benefit from it, after looking at my Audio printout. I brought it up to my Audi and she said she didn’t think it would help. Has anyone heard more about it? My biggest problem is Word/Speech Recognition, along with background noise. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.
Thanks, CSB

That’s a challenging audiogram. What are your word recognition test scores? It’s possible you might get some benefit from frequency lowering, but when I look at your audiogram, I think of Cochlear Implant evaluation. Note: getting an eval doesn’t mean you’re committed to surgery, but you’re likely learn something about your hearing loss.

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You are definitely a candidate for frequency lowering since I suspect you are getting nothing usable in your left ear in the higher frequencies. Try it and see if you like it, the frequency lowering can always be turned off in the software if you don’t like it.

What HAs are you using? The approach to frequency lowering is different across Mfgs., but more to the point is … From what I read about freq lowering before doing it with recently purchased KS10s from forum posts is that often it takes multiple adjustments to find the sweet spot for the settings. Freq lowering isn’t a free lunch, meaning there are trade offs and some of them are subtle. I had brought it up to my private audi more than a year ago and she somewhat ignored things, and in hindsight I expect that it was laziness - why suggest something that is going to lead probably to multiple sessions and since I was on a fixed fee maintenance schedule there was no financial incentive for her.

So at very least I’d find out why your audi is not recommending it? Listen between the lines and determine whether she is looking at her $ and/or time. I have ended up doing my own programming with target software especially since with Covid I have wanted to minimize in person contacts. Hopefully your audi has valid reasons for discouraging you and is basing things on her experience and her intimate knowledge of your hearing and wants to save you from being hopeful about things only to be disappointed, but I am skeptical that there is actually a valid rationale.

I took several free courses at audiology.com about Phonak’s freequency lowering and would have benefitted even if I weren’t going toward self-programming. Knowing what can be adjusted (in the case of Phonak two parameters) and what each does helped me know what the expected difference in audio would be and therefore what to listen for. The forum pointed me toward what artifacts might be there as well. When Costco did the initial fitting it was clear to me that the person who had been doing fittings for 10 years really was not that familiar with freq lowering, and that at a theoretical level I knew more than him. It isn’t that complicated, but perhaps is more of an art form than perhaps some other parts of HA fittings.

So a second bottom line, if your audi does freq lowering and tweaks it a bit in subsequent sessions, AND you end up deciding that it doesn’t work for you … then there is the possibility that with a different audi with much greater skill with freq lowering that you might be more pleased.

This is a whole lot of speculation on my part here and some (or much/all) of it might be totally off base for your situation.

Frequency lowering is about hearing upper frequencies you can not hear.
If you can hear birds, crickets, turn signals in your car, the microwave beeper, smoke alarms and other household appliances alarms with your aids on, frequency lowering may not be what you need.
If not, frequency lowering is worth giving a try.
Good luck

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Frist off I would like to thank everyone for your replies.
The Hearing Aids I have are Oticon, OPN Mini Rite’s purchased on 10/11/2018. I tried to copy and paste the Word Recognition test score but have been unable to. If I’m looking in the right place could it be Left WRS, 40…Right WRS 44?

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Yes, those sound like Word recognition scores. Should also include the dB level they were done at. Not great, but there are lots worse. Hearing aids can help but won’t be the “be all, end all.” You’ll need to rely on lip reading and getting people to talk directly to you. If it were me, I’d still want a cochlear implant eval. And with reference to your original question: frequency lowering might help. It can give you access to higher frequency sounds but that comes at the cost of possibly distorting lower frequency sounds.

Right WRS44------dBHL 90
Left WRS40-----dBHL 90

MDB, Is this the info you were looking for?

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Thanks for this information.
Both ears do fall into the cochlear implant range if I remember correctly.
As mentioned, a cochlear implant evaluation would be good if you can do it.

Your audiogram is not terrible. We have people with apparently worse audiograms with much better WRS’s. Wondering if there is more to your not having better WRS. The cochlear evaluation would most likely answer this. A second opinion from a different audiologist may help too.

Good luck

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It might be worth mentioning that having a conversation say, 1on1 or with even 2-3 people doesn’t seem to be bad. Its when the background noise gets louder, thats when the problem really gets bad.

I have KS9 hearing aids, and frequency lowering.

I can’t hear my microwave beep, or my toaster / oven. Can’t hear birds or crickets. The world is very quiet. Except for tinnitus. There is always tinnitus to keep me company.

When I speak, I am advised that most of the time I am shouting and need to lower my voice.

I can’t understand what most people say, except in some 1 on 1 situations.

I have no idea if I am getting a benefit from the frequency lowering.

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This comment leads me to believe frequency lowering is not turned on or not adjusted for you to hear these things. My dealings with Costco I had to literally ask for frequency lowering. The fitter had no plans to turn it on or adjust it as needed until I asked.

Along with frequency lowering you just might get better speech understanding too. For me it took time but worked well.

Good luck

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Strangely enough, I always think I am talking too loud, and everyone tells me to stop whispering! But, I empathize with your predicament @Freedom

I have a somewhat similar audiogram to yours. (I need to update the forum version – my hearing has become worse since I entered it.) Nasty tinnitus in my right ear too. Frequency lowering in my Phonak M90s works well for me, and brings my WRS up above 80 as far as I remember. I had a cochlear implant evaluation but I was pleased to hear that with my hearing aid settings I was not yet a candidate.

As others have said, you could try self-programming, which lets you experiment until you are happy with the result, though at least for me, a really good audiologist will do a better job.

You might consider getting a Roger device and a neckloop fairly cheaply on EBay, assuming your hearing aids have a T-coil. Roger works well for me in many noisy situations with multiple speakers, but the experience seems to vary a lot between users.

@Freedom

I can’t hear crickets either. I thought no hearing aid wearer could hear them as they are such a quiet sound.

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Well, I did not ask for it, not being familiar with it. The Fitter said she turned it on.

I will have this discussion next time I go in. Thanks.

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Crickets are not quiet. The decibel level is around 90dB on up to over 100dB, but they’re at 2kHz and higher.

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@MDB

Oh thanks for that. I didn’t know that. Now I’m wondering why I can’t hear them.

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Different crickets have different frequencies. I couldn’t find specifics but many are 5khz and considerably above.

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You need to have somewhere to lower into. imo, you don’t.