Hearing aids or not?

Recently it was detected that I had a mild hearingloss in the low frequencies (around - 20 dB) and a moderate one in the middle frequencies (around -40 db in the 3000 and 4000 Khz range). I am 48 years old and I suspect I struggle with hearing loss (and tinnitus) since my mid teens.

At first I wasn’t thinking of getting myself hearing aids as my hearing loss seems not severe enough. In fact, in my dialy life I do not encounter many problems due to my handicap I grew accustomed to. It seems more a comfort problem. But as the audiologist told me “if you don’t use it, lose it” I wanted nevertheless to give it a try and decided to testdrive different hearing aids.

I began with the Widex Inteo In-9 with closed earmolds. What a desillusion : everything I heard seemed so overpowering I got crazy and I particularly missed the timber & the 3D dimension of my natural ears. Worst of all, I was not capable of picking up the phone at work : even with positioning the phone a little bit above my ear, I was still not capable of understanding anything. Something I still can do, without any problem, with my natural hearing btw.

So, since last week I am trying out the Widex Inteo élan In-9é with open fittings. All the problems I encountered with the previous set HA seem to vanish : no overpowering sound that drives me crazy, extremely natural timbre with 3D dimension and the possibility to answer the phone at work.
In fact the only thing I seem to miss is a bit of power/amplification : with the closed fittings I had an overall loudness gain of 25 to 30 %, whereas with the open fittings this falls back to a 10 to 15 %. Is this normal ?
The second minor problem I encounter is that at some moments the sounds seems to fade out and the incoming sound doesn’t sound so crisp anymore accompanied with a little fall in loudness. The audiologist already replaced the left hearing aid, but I still notice this inconvencience ad random on … both the hearing aids. Has it something to do with the processing of the sound ?

My husband is not totally convinced of the fact I really need hearing aids for 2 reasons : 1) My hearing loss is not severe enough to encounter many problems in daily life, it’s more a comfort problem and 2) He is not sure that I got enough return in hearing possibilities in proportion to the high cost of the hearing aids (around 3.600 €).

I really don’t know what to think anymore. Any suggestions or considerations are welcome :slight_smile:

Your hearing loss, from what you have stated, is something that should be corrected, particularly as hearing doesn’t usually get better with time and is an ability that needs to be maintained.

Although the hearing loss is not severe, it is often better to correct it prior to it getting very severe, as the ability of interpreting speech diminishes with the severity of the hearing loss and time.

This is something to carefully consider and discuss with your audi and MD.

I still do have a question concerning HA with open fittings : what’s the difference in benefits between the open fitting with thin-tube HA or with in-the-ear-reciever seen from the point of view of (1) the audiologist and (2) the user ?

This has always been seen as a difficult decision for both ends.

I have personally tested both and found no real difference, with the exception of more severe losses, using the Micro Power by Phonak.

Othewise, for mild to moderate hearing losss, I have found no concrete evidence to show any greater benefit with receive in the ear designs over over the ear with thin tube designs.

Receiver in the ear are typically more costly, though.

Gittje,

I think that your loss is certainly in need of some attention. Open fit is a popular way to go right now, and many people like it. If you don’t feel that these aids gave you the sound you had hoped for, return them and try something else.

There are some great open fit aids out that that can really help.

As for your second post, I don’t think the audiologist really cares about which fit you go for. Both are just as easy to manage. From the user point of view, the open ear fits are often very comfortable and with a loss like yours help prevent occlusion (that booming sound you didn’t like).

If you’re starting to become uncomfortable, maybe you should use hearing aids. I’m sure that there are some affordable brands out there.

If you’re starting to become uncomfortable, maybe you should use hearing aids. I’m sure that there are some affordable brands out there.


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