High frequency hearing loss - are hearing aids worth it?


There’s technology available to help you get them back. Phonak’s solution is SoundRecover. ReSound’s solution is SoundShaper. In addition to amplifying the higher frequencies, technology can subtly shift high frequencies down just a bit to make them more “accessible” with the hearing you have remaining. It’s really interesting stuff that has worked really well for me, and maybe your audiologist will turn that on for you (if you even need it at all).



You have come to a great place to get answers to all your questions. This forum is full of pros that want to help you. Also people like you and I with hearing loss that can share experiences.
As far as aids go, any of the big 6 hearing aid manufacturers can help you with your hearing loss. Finding a good audiologist that can properly tune your aids for you is the challenge. You will read over and over to try out as many aids and possible different audiologist as possible. Do not settle for either.



@focusandearnit, I believe that frequency lowering is something that can be accomplished with Oticon products as well. It’s obvious that you’re happy with your Phonak Marvels, and I’m happy for you, but haven’t you stated in other posts that you need to use more than one Roger pen to hear speech well in your workplace (operating room)? If so, that’s an extra cost factor that many people can’t afford to tack on to already expensive hearing aids. So, for me, I guess I’d rather hear speech well with OPN or OPN-S and tolerate a little feedback if it happens than to have to spend extra hundreds of $$ on accessory devices just to hear well in a complex environment. And, OPN-S is, in fact, better with feedback than was first-generation OPN (I’ve worn both)–so the reports you are getting from patients claiming that they get feedback by giving hugs could very likely have been about the older-generation OPN model. I don’t think it’s fair for you to dismiss OPN-S as a inferior product in terms of feedback unless you have tried them personally. If you did try them, I’d consider your comments a valid review rather than hearsay. BTW, I tried Marvels and I found that they were not as good with speech clarity as OPN or OPN-S. We all have our individual preferences and successes. But my point is, don’t knock a product unless you’ve tried it. Thanks.



There’s no need to bring up the operating room, richnfamus1, thanks. And you are incorrect, actually. I can operate with the Marvels without the pens, and it’s the only hearing aid I’ve tried that can do that. In regards to the pens – the pens just make it easier and decrease my listening effort so I can focus on more important things. Other HA’s I’ve tried are unable to do that for me. I do not use the Roger Pens anywhere else. No, I did not try OPN because of their widely reported feedback issues with the power that I need. OPN-S wasn’t available when I bought new aids.

I’m not intending to knock the OPN, I’m sorry if that’s the way it’s come off. I’m just saying that for a product line that’s been plagued with feedback issues, I wouldn’t want to be the guinea pig that verifies their new product actually fixes the issue. I work with audiologists closely, and their experience informs my comments. I don’t think I’m totally out of line here. Thanks.

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Hearing loss, and the aids and devices that works for you is all that is important.



I don’t think frequency compression is a required or desirable measure with your loss. Just about any premium level HA should address your “ski slope” loss quite well. It is a common hearing loss condition.



It’s not my intention to insult you in any way, @focusandearnit, so sorry if you took it that way. You have previously mentioned publicly that you are a doctor in training and that you use Roger pens to help you in your workplace, so that wasn’t meant as a negative comment. I respect your input. But it just seemed were knocking the OPN-S about feedback without trying it yourself. No harm intended. I work with physicians too, so I get what you’re saying about audiologists’ experiences informing your comments–I just think that your post would be more balanced if you had tried the OPN-S yourself. Thanks.

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OP may or may not like frequency compression, but with open domes, I think frequency compression is likely the only way to get audibility to the higher frequencies. Ballpark number is any loss of 70dB or greater will not be aidable with open domes. Perhaps feedback technology is getting better and that number is now obsolete, but I haven’t heard anything contrary to that.

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My left ear loss is similar to that of the OP. Vented sleeves kind of worked for me, but closed sleeves do work better from a feedback perspective. Custom molds are of course the alternative which can be used if the open and closed dome or sleeve fittings do not work.



And I doubt you hear anything 3khz and higher at moderate sound levels from your right ear, but you can get your highs from left ear. I’m not saying frequency lowering is the be all/end all, but it’s the only practical way to get audibility in the higher frequencies for lots of people.

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I use a Plantronics MDA200 that connects to both laptop and office phone to my hearing aid Bluetooth device, a Phonak Compilot 2. I use it several hours a day.



The impression you gave in terms of your description was that you likened your loss to Sinead’s - it’s not. What you might also not be aware of is the need for better ambient sound ‘quality’ - I resist using the term ‘quality’ as it is hugely subjective; however, in this case the Opn S would be our clinical ‘go-to’ choice in terms of sound-field preservation and not futzing around with music.

FWIW, potentially introducing temporal distortion through frequency lowering would be a very marginal decision ONLY prompted by a qualified poor speech in noise results. Again the effects on ambient sounds and music are also affected.

Marvels are great aids and I’m also impressed with the Unitron Discover - this client might do well with them, but they wouldn’t be the go-to choice in this situation.

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I’ll try to be more sensitive in how I word things to not rock the boat. My intention is previously stated above, and I’m sorry you interpreted that intention or assumed that differently, because again, if you re-read what I wrote, I didn’t say what you said. Now remember, this is an online forum. Appreciate you looking out for the OP. Thanks!



It seems like we all see different salient aspects of a patient. Curious what the salient aspects of “this case” are that point toward the Opn S. Thanks.

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The need for more natural sounds and ‘unmanaged’ sound scape. The need for maximum openness of the fitting coupled with minimal feedback and a directionally capable noise management system.

Also given the reference frame of the patient - namely quite normal lower pitch hearing, the way the aid handles the transition between the regular canal input and the amplified portion of the signal is pretty important. The recent advice from Sonova regarding whether to run the feedback manager or not at the first fit tells me that they aren’t applying any in-situ gain control based on it within the Marvels/Discover aids.



What establishes this “need for natural sounds and unmanaged soundscape?” Is it the patient’s audiogram (near normal low frequency hearing)? I’m struck by a dilemma that both doctors and audiologists face. Does one offer the “best” treatment, the one most likely to obtain a cure or minimize a deficit, or the one most easily tolerated by the patient. The “need for natural sounds…” sounds like more of the later to me. To me this sounds like something best determined by a psych profile or maybe questions aimed at priorities rather than drawing conclusions from an audiogram. Heck, we’ve got one guy here on the forum with a very similar audiogram and he’s happiest with barely vented silicon molds. Am I missing something? I do totally get that hearing aids do no good if they’re not worn.



I have used closed click sleeves for about three weeks now after using open click sleeves. About the only time I notice the closed, slight ear plug like effect is when I am in a relatively quiet environment. It seems like the automatic noise management system of the HA’s fairly slowly ramps down amplification when it determines there is nothing important to hear. Without noise being amplified it seems a bit like wearing ear plugs. That all changes of course when the the TV is on, or someone is speaking.

One effect I have noticed is in the car on the highway. At least in theory the HA’s detect this and adjust the mode. It works quite well with it picking up voice from my wife while keeping the driving noise in control. What I heard was that when she was not speaking it got quieter and quieter until there was no wind noise at all. Then when she would speak I would hear her clearly. But after she stopped speaking there was wind noise that slowly decayed in volume again until it was essentially gone.

I suspect the closed fitting is what is allowing the HA’s to have this kind of control of noise. Probably the most interesting effect is on computer keyboard clacking noise. It seems now with the closed fitting the HA’s recognize this as noise and suppresses it when there is no other noise around. Then my wife starts talking or making noise in the kitchen, and the clacking noise comes back big time.

But in short the benefits of the reduced feedback with closed fittings outweigh any negative effects.



I highly recommend Direct Streaming to your Hearing Aids - Oticon OPN or the new OPN S since you are used to the way Oticon sounds. I also struggled with Alta Pros and the Streamer (original Streamer and Streamer Pro). Your assessment of the Streamer is 100% accurate. Direct Streaming to Hearing Aids is Life Changing!! That reason alone is enough to buy new Hearing Aids, in my experienced opinion. Seamless, quick connections to iPhone calls…Live Listen on iPhone also avail for additional help - streamed if using Speaker or during Lectures, etc. Other accessories are available.
I cannot help with suggestions for your hearing Loss…just to to say again, that MFi hearing aids will change how you work and play!
You will be able to mute the outside noise – AC --or fans, etc or turn the noise down drastically - easily and fast - and stream the calls at the volume you want. Nothing like the delays and buttons on the Streamer.
Direct Streaming without wearing a finicky Streamer has enhanced my life beyond words.



Yes, the near normal low hearing combined with the lack of previous success. This gives the customer a very definite reference frame of what sounds should actually sound like.

If you put a pair of aids on a patient without a solid level of experience, occlude and over process the sound or fail to make them sound natural and lack feedback, you’ll run into potential rejection problems.

The nearest comparison I can give you is your variation in visual perception in terms of how your colour gamut might be different than someone else’s. This is what gives rise to the differences in how people see that black and white dress,



I use the Starkey SOUNDLENS SYNERGY iQ i2400 IIC. My primary reason for wearing them is to help with my Tinnitus which they nearly eliminated. As for streaming, they operate on 900 MHz and use a wireless streamer which I leave in my pocket. It allows me to make and receive calls seamlessly and change program modes on my aids. I have had them for about a year so far and the most difficult part was getting Starkey to make them fit perfectly so they stay in. It took Starkey about 9 tries\remakes and now they are perfect and in my opinion well worth the hassle.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.