High frequency hearing loss - are hearing aids worth it?

high-frequency-loss
hearing-aids
#1

Hi all,

Good to find this forum. I’ve had high frequency loss since birth. Was given one aid during childhood and ditched it when I reached teenage years. Found myself reaching for aids during exam times or new jobs, but never properly found something that worked.

Now in another new environment in the Middle East. Air conditioning on constantly. Lots of different accents. I know that hearing aids MUST be better than none.

What are the best aids available for my type of loss? I really need something that will seamlessly hook up with my iphone and my Mac computer too. Last time I had an Alta Pro and this was my main issue, having to switch it out for headphones, etc.

Appreciate all the assistance. Thanks in advance.

Sinead

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#2

Alta Pro is an Oticon HA. Do you still have these?

You can buy a streamer that will interface with mobile phone and laptops and so on.

There’s also a ‘speech in noise’ program that reduces background noise such as fans and air conditioning.

I’d say the fitting and programming were more important than the aid itself - you’d probably need open domes.

Many on here like the Phonak Marvel for direct steaming capabilities.

I’m using NHS issued Oticon mini BTEs HAs in the UK. The 85 dB loss at 2K in your right ear might be problematic for some HAs but I have a dip at 2K also.

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#3

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I still have the Alta Pro’s. It was the streamer that I found annoying. It just had too many steps to connect to be unintrusive and useful in a work environment. (I work in a media rich environment, taking phone calls and listening to videos and presentations. I need something that operates in an almost seamless fashion - the Streamer wasn’t it.)

But… maybe you’re right in considering how I use these. Perhaps they are something I could use in the interim, with correct fitting?

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#4

You’d do better on something like the Opn S with it’s better feedback manager than your current aids. Fully open domes would also help - the AC unit interference would also be minimised as they are basically shut off in the lowest pitches, plus the noise management is better around speech with the Opn platform.

This would need to be in a RIC form as anything with a mould/shell is going to sound rubbish to you.

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#5

Thank you! Yes, I had a CIC aid way back when (Phonak I think) and not only was the sound awful but my ears are sweaty and they kept breaking. I was so frustrated by them.

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#6

I have a profound loss in my highs, and with the Phonak Marvels with ultra power receivers and soundrecover 2 activated at an appropriate level, I ride my bike through the city to work and enjoy the high frequency songs of birds like I never had before. Despite my word recognition scores going down, i understand speech better than ever as compared to Resound Linx and Resound Quattro. Phonak in my experience has far superior feedback management as compared to both resound and definitely Oticon.

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#7

Probably true with the original OPN, but the new OPN S should have much better feedback prevention than the original OPN.

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#8

With the best intentions in the World, this problem is pretty much the other end of the spectrum from your issue. Aside from the fact that you aren’t comparing like with like - or even the same platform, the basic requirements are entirely different. You have a severe/profound loss in all meaningful frequencies, while the original poster has a steeply sloping moderate loss in the higher frequencies only.

The comparison of what will work for your and his loss is like comparing a dragster car with Formula 1. Sorry, it’s not meant in a disparaging fashion, but the issues and hence the solutions proposed are different for different reasons.

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#9

Your loss is not unlike my left ear. I use Kirkland Signature 8.0 HA’s from Costco, which sell for $1600 a pair in the US. They are essentially identical to the Rexton Emerald 80 8C model or the Signia 7Nx. They may be sold in Europe as Audio Service? Used to be Siemens but now all are owned by Sivantos. There is nothing special about them other than they are available at Costco at a good price and are premium level hearing aids. Here is how your loss fits on this model with an M receiver. Your right ear might benefit from a P receiver which has a bit more power. Ideally you want the loss to fit on the darker blue grey area, and allow some room for further deterioration of your hearing.

My suspicion based on my experience is that you may benefit from a closed fitting to avoid feedback. I started out with open sleeves and now use closed sleeves.

Your iPhone will stream direct to these HA’s. One thing you should make sure of is getting hearing aids that are MFi (made for iPhone). Most of the new premium level HA’s are, but it is worth checking.

I agree with the suggestion that getting a good fitting is most important, and more important than the brand of hearing aid. Some fitters use Real Ear Measurement or REM to check the actual output of the hearing aids in your ear and then adjust them to the target levels. Others don’t bother, and you just get what you get. When selecting a HA retailer it is a good question to ask if they do it or not.

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#10

Your problem is similar to mine, i.e. you can hear more or less ok at low frequencies but not at high frequencies. So, you can get along without HAs, but the people around you mumble a lot and you have to ask them to repeat themselves, and you have to stare in their faces, and communicating is tiring as hell, and so forth.

The HAs help greatly in fixing a lot of this. The consonant sounds all have high frequency components, so with properly tuned HAs, you’ll suddenly discover that people aren’t mumbling after all. I’m vaguely under the impression that the Oticon Alta line is a few years old. The technology has changed greatly in the past few years. At least it has since I got my Oticon Agil HAs 6 years ago. I can’t wait for my audiologist to upgrade me so that I can get phone calls through my HAs, stream music from my iPhone, and so forth. None of this was possible 6 years ago.

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#11

It’s interesting reading your comments about the performance of the streamer. My work are ordering me one as I work a busy IT service desk with a headset.

Currently I use one aid in and one out on the phone. Not ideal, but it works.

Would be easier if I could stream directly. The phone calls come in through Jabber on a laptop. I’ve looked at a video on YouTube. I think a cable connection out of the laptop mic/headphone jack might be best, although I’ll see if Bluetooth is reliable enough.

I’m currently using custom moulds, although my right aid sounds dull. I know the feedback manager was run on that side. There was a squeal at 6K apparently. Most likely the gain has been dialled back a touch.

Think I might go back to domes once I get the streamer.
Time will tell.

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#12

Apologies for hijacking this thread a touch - do the OPN S stream directly to a laptop via BT.

I ask this since I’m considering upgrading and don’t want to have to ask my employer to order yet another streaming device.

I suppose one solution would be to keep my existing setup for work.

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#13

time will tell on that one, especially when more power is concerned

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#14

Granted there are signifciant differences between OP and @focusandearnit audiogram. I’m thinking if one assumes open fit, there are two basic approaches to OP’s loss. 1) Use best feedback management system available, or at least a very good one. 2) Use some form of frequency lowering. (Or perhaps both) Seems like Phonak Marvel would be a decent choice, although not with ultrapower receivers. Is there a reason you would prefer OPN S to Marvel, or were you just mentioning an Oticon aid since he currently has Oticon? Thanks.

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#15

You asked if the hearing aids are worth it for the high frequency hearing loss. Here is how your loss fits on a speech banana, which is the shape that essentially contains the sounds necessary for speech recognition. This is your right ear, but the left will be similar but not quite as bad. You will hear the lower frequency sounds under your loss curve, but miss the ones in the higher frequencies on the right. If you have had the loss for a long time, it may also take a long time to get used to hearing the higher frequencies again. And even with a hearing aid, full recovery of the higher frequencies will not be realistic to expect.

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#16

Um_bongo, thanks for your thoughts. If you re-read my post, all the intention was to share my experience. Notably, I did not say this is exactly what he needed. Marvels can do more than just my hearing loss, hence me sharing my experience. :wink:

it can’t be refuted that the higher frequencies is usually where feedback comes in the most, and oticon has yet to prove their efficacy with better feedback management. we’ll see what OPN S does, but they’re certainly not a go-to for feedback (at least not yet) when considering the cost of aids and the importance they play in a person’s life. (why risk it – the feedback – is my point. I’ve had patients say they can’t even hug someone with oticons.)

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#17

This Compatibility Link from Oticon sounds promising for the OPN S, depending on your model of Apple product.

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#18

It’s a Windows laptop. Work issued.

I know I can use a 3.5mm jack cable if necessary with my current streamer.

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#19

Wow - thank you everyone.

For the record, I’m a She (but you’d have no way of knowing to be fair!)…

I’m going to have to read up on the feedback issue. I do remember feedback being an issue a little with the origins, particularly with hugging. Guess I show my age that I just took that as part of having HAs. You’d think I’d have learned in my four decades of hearing loss!!

I need to find a good audiologist in Qatar I guess… at least someone who’ll offer me some options. Wish me luck with that one!!

Thanks!

Sinead

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#20

I can remember getting my first HAs when I was four and commenting on the birds. I’ve stopped hearing them years ago (bar pigeons!). It makes me sad really…

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