High Frequency loss, will hearing aids actually help?

I have high frequency loss due to noise exposure coupled with tinnitus. I have a pair of Starkey CC1’s that I have had for several years but have never really worn much as my speech understanding used to be fairly good. I really dis-like how they make me feel occluded. I an currently trying some Widex Fusion Clear 330’s, but they don’t really seem to have a lot of affect on my ability to watch TV or understand my daughters and wife any more clearly. Is my hearing loss at the point that we can’t really amplify it enough to make a difference? Is there a different model or brand of hearing aid that works better for a hearing loss such as mine?

Your hearing loss looks very commonplace, and one easily approachable by a wide range of HAs. I’m sure our pros will chime in.

$3,800 is a great price. I paid $3,000 for my Moxi 6’s. I do not remember what they wanted for 20’s, but it was probably around $5k.

It’s harder to fit someone who has hearing within normal limits through 2000Hz because they never notice as much benefit (there’s no real “wow” effect) as someone who even has a mild hearing loss at 2000Hz. Not that there isn’t any benefit, but sometimes you have to trick the software a bit and pad the hearing loss at 1500 and 2000Hz, even only 5 or 10 dB in order to get more of a perception of benefit on the part of the wearer. For some reason tricking the software works better than just increasing the volume at those frequencies. It may also be that the settings aren’t quite high enough. Since your an experienced hearing aid wearer, you are probably ready for more volume from the get-go but typically software will presume a hearing aid wearer is a new hearing aid wearer and will back off initial settings to around 80% of prescribed settings. If the pro didn’t change that, then you might just be under-amplified at the moment resulting in not much noticeable difference.

I usually inform patients who have hearing loss like yours that they will notice more of a speech enhancement rather than a big perception of volume. As for the tinnitus, if you have/get a hearing aid with the Zen program that Widex offers then it may help with your tinnitus if just amplifying sounds you are missing, doesn’t. You might consider the Starkey products with the SpectralIQ or the Phonak Products with sound recover if the Widex one doesn’t really do it for you clarity-wise.

You are correct, I’m really looking for clarity more than volume. I hate to make an investment in new hearing aids that really just amplify the unwanted noises around me rather than the speech I’m looking for. I’m going back to the audiologist tomorrow for an adjustment on the Widex, and hopefully get an improvement. I have the Widex 330’s on trial for another week, at which point I could try something else. She also talked about the Phonak Audeo IX, would they work better for speech in noise then the Widex?

I agree, I think my audiologist offers very fair pricing.

Went back and had my hearing aids adjusted today. You were correct, they were set at 80% of my prescription. I can hear mechanical sounds much better, but certainly not voices or the TV. I can hear the washing machine running down the hallway much better with them turned up,(not exactly what I was hoping to hear better). We talked some more about the Phonak Audeo and Naidia. She definately wants me to trial them before I make my decison, right now I believe I’m better off without hearing aids. I’m going to have them bring in the Phonak, hopefully the sound compression will bring me the clarity I desire so much, getting very tired of using the phrase “I’m sorry, what?”

Out of the 3 products that use frequency compression or transposition I like the Widex sound quality the least. I just started fitting Starkey so I don’t have an impression about that yet but I have had A LOT of people in the Audeo Smart line (III, V, and IX) and had, in general, excellent results.

You will hear the mechanical sounds and extraneous noise much more than you expect to in the beginning and there are a few adjustments that can be made to the very soft sound gain that can bring that down a bit if the wearer’s brain doesn’t adjust to it on its own.

Your audiologist seems to be giving great advice…

Well, a full day with my hearing aids at full power. Still extremely hard to understand my wife and daughters around the dining room table. Most sounds like paper crinkling or silverware clinking are almost painful. I’ve switched back to my Starkeys for night time to give my ears a break. Have the Phonak Nadia CRTs coming in next week to trial. Hopefully I’ll be able to understand what my girls are saying without lip reading with the Phonaks!

Pardon me for being a bit blunt but why are you getting Naida’s??? Those are power BTE’s and aside from some of your high frequencies your hearing is far better than a Naida would normally be fit on. With a loss like yours I’d be looking at the Smart line and NOT a Naida…perhaps your pro has a reason but it’s beyond me at the moment.

With your speech scores I’d expect for you to definitely do better than you are regarding clarity of speech. Your pro may want/need to decrease some of the volume for those high-frequency soft sounds so that they take a bit of a back-seat to the other sounds.

One other thing about Widex. I find people either love the way they sound, or don’t…not too much gray area. I think it might just be that the Widex product isn’t the product for you.

I wanted the audeo IX as I prefer the smaller size. But they think with me being more active, working on cars, yard work etc, the water and dust resistance would be to my benefit. I’m only 46, and once I can get my confidence back in the hearing department, getting caught out in the rain or invitted to a pool party will most certainly be on my agenda again. My only real concern is getting my glasses and sunglasses on witht the bigger aid.

Ah…I guess I could see that. There is a standard BTE (Ambra, Solana, Cassia) that also has the same level of water resistance as the Naida CRT…but it’s not a CRT so you’d most likely have a slim tube with a dome on it (or a standard earmold). The CRT does have a wider fitting range than the standard Naida BTE…hopefully it will work out well.

Doc, you would put me in the Audeo correct? All the same features, only smaller size and smaller battery and for the most part, you haven’t had any water issues.

I have severe tinnitus. Any hearing aid will help to the extent that you hear more noise and won’t focus on the tinnitus as much. More important is the frequencies you can’t hear and what that is doing to your normal voice comprehension. Phonak does and excellent job with shifting the high frequencies down into part of the spectrum that you can hear. My exelia arts were great. My new audeo S IX’s are even better. But they are RIC’s so much louder. There will be a learning curve for sure. Downloading the older iPFG software from the Phonak site will help you learn the vocabularly required to cummunicate with your audi.

Freq L R
0250 20 20
0500 20 15
1000 10 15
2000 20 15
4000 80 75
6000 100 100
8000 100 100

Yep. I have probably close to 100 or more in the past 2 years and I could count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve had to send them in for repairs. At most the receivers might have to be replaced a little more often…but even that isn’t terribly frequently.

I have high frequency loss. I just found @ hearing review website-Feb 2012 review an article about FLT [frequency lowering technology]. I’ve worn 2 aids for many years, but this is news to me. Am I behind in hearing technology? Anyone have any information on these aids?

DocAudio, I would really rather have the Audeo from a size standpoint. They are smaller than the Widex Fusion 330’s I’m currently trialing (although not by much) and that really is much more appealing than having something larger. This audiologist is already bringing in the Nadia for me to test, so will I be safe to trial the Nadia to see if the Phonak sound works for me? Is there any difference in the technology or feature between the Nadia S CRT IX and the Audeo Smart IX?

Why are you considering the Naida ? That is for very poor hearing.

Get Audeo Smart or Audeo Smart S . You can get III rather than IX and should work well for you. Soundrecover will help you a lot. Have audi turn it to maximum.

No difference in tech between the two…except it’s possible the Naida might have a bass boost the Smart IX doesn’t, but then you don’t need the bass boost for your hearing loss.

What is your basis for telling this person to get the III instead of the IX??? I think he has selected the IX for the advanced feature set available and due to his very active lifestyle. I would never tell someone with an extremely active lifestyle that they are fine with a III Instead of a IX…additionally I’m not sure why you are suggesting where people set the soundrecover…what is your basis for recommending setting it to maximum??? I have found that using the recommended settings in the Target software are the best settings for the patients with possibly altering it slightly to improve sound quality. I have never set it to maximum with good results for anyone…do you even know what setting it to maximum does? The only times that making major adjustments like that work are when I’ve turned it completely off…I don’t want to come off as being rude but honestly, if you aren’t a Instrument Specialists or Audiologist then I think making recommendations about what to do with soundrecover is something you should refrain from doing.

Thanks again DocAudio. You are right about the reasons for getting the IX versus the III. I want all of the advantages I can get in regards to following voices in the car, restaurants, etc. Its also a purchase that I don’t plan on making again for another 5 years so really the price difference isn’t that much between the V or the IX.

Stream2525–I was suggested the Nadia CRT S for the water and dust resistance based on my age/lifestyle. I think it’s a great idea, but just not sure about the size and comfort as opposed to the significantly smaller Audeo S.

If the technology is the same between the two, I’m going to go ahead and try the larger aid for the trial period and see what I think. I’ve had the Widex Fusion 330 for over a week, so I know what it’s like to wear an aid of the size of the Audeo S.

On another note. Thanks to everyone for answering/asking questions about my choices. I only know two other people that wear aids, so having a community such as Hearing Aid Forums is priceless to me.