Honest answer

Hi ,
Just wanted views on this.

I have tried Hearing Aids twice and to be totally honest , while hearing somewhat better ,the side effects and background noise put me off them completely.

I am a musician and I appreciate good sound ,cheap tinny sound I do not abide.The two lots of Aids I tried, though not cheap sounded so. ?
Background noise is a major off putting factor.

This is where I need an Honest answer " How can putting two speaker outlets into your ears ultimately not effect what hearing you still possess ?

WE are told to wear ear muffs or something similar in loud surroundings , constant amplified sound deep still inside your ears must have a detrimental effect on what hearing one still has .

And last but certainly not least ,how can they justify the prices they charge for these minute hearing aids.
I can purchase the very best guitar amplifier on the market for 2,000Euro ,with the best of components ,that will have wonderful sounds and it will last me a lifetime. I have one that I purchased in 1962 and it still works perfectly.

I would appreciate any Honest answer,not
salesmen please as they are only thinking of the next Buck

Thank you,

Take care,

Mike

---------------------I doubt that you will get dishonest answers here, maybe bad ones. :)Effect it in what way? I guess that it could decrease your hearing if you turn them up too loud. HA’s do not merely amplify sound, they process it in accordance with your loss. Some things are very noticeable because they have been suppressed for so long. The first time I flushed the toilet, I thought it was Niagara Falls. -------------------------They don’t try to justify them. Like anything else, it is what the market will bear. ------------------------------------------------My guess is, with your attitude, you will not find any HA’s that will satisfy you. They are aids, they do not correct your hearing like eyeglasses, they try to help you understand speech. Some, with expert fitting (which is priced into the aids) can make music enjoyable but probably not what you would really like. You can find some excellent advice in these forums, much of it from HA “salesmen” who freely share their knowledge. Some from HA wearers who will share their experiences no matter how limited. You should begin by posting your test results and explaining (realistic) your expectations. Just my .02-------------------------------------------------

It is fairly clear that you do not understand how hearing aids work. They do not make your hearing the same as it was before you had hearing loss. They are designed to analyse the sound and amplify the bits you cannot hear to a level you can hear. They are not designed to amplify the loud sounds which you can hear. They amplify different frequencies according to both your loss and the input level of the sound. If programmed properly they should not damage your hearing. That is why they are programmed by trained personnel. You do have to remember that they are tiny speakers close to your ear drum. They are not designed to do what your guitar amplifier does. It is good to have real ear measurements done also to make sure the output is correct for your ears.

You cannot get HAs that just amplify only the bits you decide you want to hear. Background noise exists and although some high end aids reduce it in very noisey environments they do not cut it out. Remember that the noises you may not want to hear are normal and everyone else has to hear them. The difference is that they have learned to ignore a lot of them.That is why alarms tend to oscillate so that the variation makes us take notice and not ignore them. Of course alarms which go off a lot do get ignored. You will need to give it quite a bit of time to let yourself slowly accustomise to the aids. And remember your HAs cannot decide for you exactly what you want to hear or not hear. In short they cannot read your mind - only make a well programmed guess.

I think most of us arrive here cynical from the sticker shock. There are people here who have worn hearing aids for 30 years and more with only a “normal” loss in that period. What current hearing aids resemble is a mixer board but one that adjusts in milliseconds. I guess in your terms its an amp that never gets over-driven.

You’ve tried them twice and are looking again. That indicates you know you have a loss and its likely gotten worse. You word recognition has declined. It will continue to decline without help. It is hard to impossible to get back when the decline strengthen. Some of us that had the loss due to medical issues can tell you that really lowers quality of life.

Although, you aren’t alone in recognizing what’s happen. We get use to small loss and don’t recognize it getting worse and most people take 7 years to finally get aids. Many of those then have a wow happen when they finally see what they’ve been missing – even with the annoying period where they are adopting to all the new sounds …the normal sounds they haven’t heard in years.

A lot of people seem to have been wearing them for decades and still have enough hearing to get by. They’re amplified in some frequencies only and the amplification is just enough. When you get to the point where you can’t participate in pretty much any conversation, you realise that you might as well go for it. Btw, they sound less tinny the longer you wear them.

The cost of hearing aids is a topic that has been kicked around internet forums for a long, long time and been the subject of protracted flame wars. Manufacturers claim cost of R&D. Audiologists claim cost of bundled services. Audiologists get snarky, their loyal clients leap to their defense. On and on it goes. Best not to go there really. Personally I think that in time you’ll be able to buy hearing aids as a mainstream consumer product at a fraction of the cost. There are some pretty interesting products in the market already that point to the possibilities.

Something not mentioned so far is that hearing aids help the brain. If you don’t use certain brain functions, your brain will lose, or decrease in ability for those functions. Hearing is one of those. That is why it is recommended that a person wear them every day and that they get them early on in the hearing loss. This will keep your brain “hearing”. This is also why there are those odd reactions at first, where the toilet flushing sounds like Niagara falls :). But that goes away after a while after your brain sorts out what to focus on. Some people may be bothered more than others, but when I first tried hearing aids several months ago, I could hear paper rustling, refrigerator noise, etc. as loud. Now I don’t notice these much.

Because you are a trained musician I can understand your aversion to what you heard. Hearing loss is hard for anyone to accept, but if hearing is so central to your life and your perceptions are quite refined, it would be even worse.

I’m a hearing aid user, new, but about to get new HAs. The ones I have are old demo models (given to me by a friend mentioned below). I understand the new ones will give me a better experience. But the current ones helped me hear the vibrancy of opera much better than I had been. Before it was “flat” though I could hear it and still was moved by it. The guy who programmed them put in a program that helped somewhat. I don’t expect that I will ever be able to hear as I once did. My hearing loss is mild, but I still couldn’t make out what people were saying in many situation. Now I can. They are mainly for speech, but also help in other situations. Being in nature is a big deal for me, and hearing is actually a huge part of that. They help somewhat.

I think some aids will help more than others with music, though I only have a vague idea from something I heard. This may depend on the brand. (Widex may have been mentioned). I think it also has to do with how many channels it has, though that may be wrong. Experts, feel free to correct this if mistaken. Something to check anyway. I also suspect that some audiologists may be better at helping you get the best results with music. I think it is both an art and a science, not just relying on real-ear, etc. Not always easy to find the best audi in your region, though. My friend thinks that getting aids that are programmed to hear many of the higher frequencies can be useful, frequencies that are often not programmed, since they do not relate to speech. This, of course depends on your specific hearing profile. Another question might be asked, and that is whether there are any audiologists who specialize in people who want to hear other sounds better, beyond speech, and what brand/aids/technology is best for this.

I know someone personally who has a private audiology practice. They definitely are not getting rich from their small-town business. They usually work 7 days a week, and nearly always more than 8-hours a day. They care a lot about the people they serve. They have a normal middle-class lifestyle. They are very customer- and service-oriented. Of course, there are different business models. Perhaps it is the companies that produce the aids that are getting rich. But they do keep refining their product.

And yes, if your hearing aids are not programmed right (too loud at one or more frequencies) it can damage your hearing. One reason you want someone who knows what they are doing. I think that was a good question, one that I had wondered about. Also, if you are going to be exposed to loud noises, you should take out the hearing aids. I went to a military funeral recently where they shoot off rifles, and everyone who wore them took them out. It can damage your hearing, and also the aids. I also carry ear plugs in case I’m going to be exposed to loud sounds like these.

Hi,

some more thoughts.

If your amp from 1969 still sounds fantastic, that´s great, but it also shows that in this field there has not been much progress in the past 48 years. Compare this to the progress hearing aids have made in that period. There has been lots of research going on in that field, and someone has to pay for it. I won´t say that the whole price is completely justified, but I am very happy that there has been progress in that matter!

Will it affect your hearing: Most people say no. I´d say, from a logical standpoint: You can´t rule that out. One has to distinguish between open and closed fit.
Open fit: The aid can only make things louder, not softer, because the open domes have virtually no attenuation. Thus the hearing aids increase the total amount of sound coming to your ear. If you have sensitive ears, this increased dose of sound might make your hearing worse. On the other hand: Only soft sounds are amplified, loud ones not, and there is a limiter and a compressor built in, so it is still unlikely that you will further damage your hearing by using aids.
Closed fit: Those aids don´t necessarily increase the total amount of sound coming into your ear, because they can make sounds louder and softer as well. But usually, they will increase the amount of sound, too, so might affect your hearing, too. Especially, with a loss of 90 dB and more, you need lots of gain, but on the other hand, with a loss like that, you won´t hear much without the aid anyway.

If you get used to the aid, your brian will accept the new sound as the new “normal” and then things will start to sound good again. As a guitar-player, I´ll give you a silver lining: Acoustic guitar will sound much better with aids than now without aids, your guitar will sound much richer, more complex - though you´ll be hearing more fret noise, too!

An audio-gram would help getting you an answer… anything else is a guess.

Thank for the reply. I appreciate your honesty and it is just what I am looking for .
I handed back a pair of Aids a couple of weeks ago which I had been trying for 8 weeks .The background noises were driving me banana’s and at the end of every day I had a very strange sensation in my ears.I think my hearing has deteriorated from use .

I am well aware of my hearing loss, somewhere around 50/60% .
As regards amplifiers I have been around since the beginning of amplified guitar/pa sound and at the beginning it was all (tannoy ) or tinny but that was soon eliminated ,why hasn’t the same thing happened with Hearing Aids.

Hi,
Thanks for the reply.
I had been using Aids for the past 2 months but the background noises were too irritating and at the end of each day I had a strange sensation in my ears.
As a musician I am sure you understand what I say about tinny sound , like a 50’s amp.

Yes i have a 62 fender and it sounds as good as ever but that was a clean sound , amplifiers have evolved and I am sure you know it depends on what type of music one is playing. I remember in the early 60’s a friend of mine who worked in the BBC was replacing a speaker for me and I had the first pedal, a distortion booster and he said Jesus we are trying to get clean sounds and they come out with this shite.

Thanks for your views and information ,much obliged.

Regards,

Mike

ok…been there, done that

Mike it’s possible that in order for you to hear and recognize words…your aids have to be really loud…and that makes background noises really loud and distinct. Speech is a combination of sounds like harmonics…background noises are sharp and distinct

Have you been to a good ENT and had your ears checked not just a AUD for fitting aids? Bone conduction? etc?

The reason I’m asking is because you are describing what I went through. Aids had to be so loud/powerful…I couldn’t hear speech that well…but every pot pan, dish, cling clank and bang would blow my head off.

I ended up having a stapedectomy…if it even improves my hearing 25% minimum…it puts me in a range where I can use hearing aids that don’t do that

My advice is to have all of that checked out first…then work on getting aids

Hi Dash,
Thank you for your reply and opinion’s.
All that you have said makes sense and I take that on board.

I have a loss of 50/60% but it is mostly speech
I am missing out on ,the music is fine as I can control the volume,that is the least of my worries .Its mostly conversation I am replying to what I think I am hearing and sometimes I am completely wrong.
I had been trying Aids for the past two months and even though conversation was somewhat better, not anywhere near perfect. I went back and the Audiologist increased the volume but that made it more distorted, she said more clarity but it was just a thin, Mickey Mouse sound .

What I obviously need is someone like your friend who has a genuine interest in people, unfortunately I live in Ireland and while there are numerous Hearing Aid Company’s ,I’m afraid it is as usual , all about money.

At this stage I am inclined to think ,I will go with what I have and not damage it further.
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to reply I appreciate it and your views very much.

Kind regards,

Mike

H iSquerly,
Thanks for the reply.
Yes I had many tests including bone conduction.
I agree with you, If the speech had been as clear as the background noises ,but no,on returning they turned up the volume on speech and then it became distorted and even more tinny.
I am now of the opinion that I will live with my loss rather than damage what I have.

Thanks for your time and views, much appreciated .

Regards ,

Mike

Hi Louyo,
Thanks for the reply.
The Aids I tried were to enable me to hear conversation better ,the music and amplifier were merely to offer as a price comparison,though probably to blame for some of my hearing loss I can take care of the music with a volume control, hearing music is not my problem
Amplifiers in the 50’s sounded like the present day hearing aids.Amplifiers evolved have hearing aids ?and if so why do they sound so tinny ?
I have spoken to many Hearing Aid wearers and so many say “they are at home in the box as they were driving me mad” .
I say this in all honesty,that is the reply I mostly get.

I tried the latest pair for 8 weeks,yes in some situations I could hear better but in a crowd not so.
I do not want to damage what hearing I have left, approx.40/50%
With my attitude I expect something decent when I pay for expensive items.

Thanks for taking the time to reply,I do appreciate it.

Regards,

Mike

After hearing with aids for 8 weeks you probably find that taking them out sounds like someone holding pillows over your ears or plunging your head in water. You probably developed your hearing loss slowly and we tend not to notice that but taking hearing aids out when you have become more accustomed to hearing with them is like going suddenly deaf again so you will notice that. That is probably why you think they have damaged your hearing. Hearing aids will sound tinny because tinny refers to high frequency sounds and if you have high frequency loss then hearing those frequencies again will make then sound tinny. Remember that just turning something up does not mean you hear it normally at that volume even without aids. The main thing is to find an audiologist you trust and be patient. Musicians are known to be fussy to fit so you will need to be patient together with a good audiologist.

In these two tries at wearing HA’s did you wear the aids everyday, all day or just when you thought you needed them? Over time your brain will filter out the background noise that has been "putting you off,"but it will take time. One thing to remember is you have to hear what you don’t want to hear in order to hear what you want to hear! If you have HF hearing loss the HA’s will sound tinny at first because they add more treble, but over time your brain will adjust and it will sound better. Another thing they can do is give you additional programs where they can take away the background noise or add more bass to give you a richer sound, these are things to talk to your audiologist about. Another possibility is the HA’s you are trying aren’t right for you and you need to try a different brand and see if you like their sound better. When they set up you hearing aids they set limits that won’t let harmful levels damage your ears and they derive these levels with the audiogram that you had prior to trying the HA’s. I know people who have had HA’s for years and their loss is still pretty much where it was when they first got HA’s. However, if you aren’t protecting the hearing you have left after getting your HA’s than there is a good chance your hearing will get worse. You may think your '62 Fender still works perfectly, but you are hearing it with hearing loss so who knows? Posting your audigram in the signature portion will help us give you even better answers.

That’s sounds like a ear…and not hearing aid problem

Hearing aids still have to drive sound past your ear drum and into your middle ear.

Sounds like something is going on in your middle ear, go have it checked

…my two cents

Hey Mike,

I am in the same situation as you: my 3rd trial in more than a decade. My first two trials were a disaster. Sounds where overwhelming and I couldn’t cope with this all day long. I was used to my tranquil world. And I found that the audi pushed too hard to rise the overall volume in only a few weeks.

So I didn’t purchase these expensive aids and listened to music and TV with Sennheiser headphones (without equalizer) as I was used to. I never stood still that maybe my HL could worsen because I had to higher the volume without any protection.

It worked well, till last year. I noticed I had problems to follow a French movies and documentaries even with my headphones on and this year the ENT confirmed what I was experiencing: my HL got worse and will continue to do so with aging. Each year around 2 % according to the ENT.

So, end of July I took the plunge to start a 3rd trial and I this time I plan to hold on, simply because I have no alternative. Aids are not perfect, but it is still beter then my hearing with HL. My audi told me my HL would certainly not get worse with the aids on. I still have problems with the high price of the aids though and their relatively short live time.

I sincerely hope you’ll find a solution for your HL.

Good luck!

I started using aids last May and I was concerned that aids might contribute to hearing loss.
I read somewhere (unfortunately I can’t remember where) that there had been studies of people using only one aid. This seems like an excellent group of people to study. If the hearing in the ear that hasn’t been using an aid deteriorates at about the same rate as the ear that has had an aid, that would seem to be good evidence that aids don’t cause loss. Hopefully someone can find a link to such a study?

I read that wearing aids actually slows loss progress becouse your auditory system is properly stimulated, it actually sounds reasonable but i still think its just marketing to make us buy their overpriced products (just like you got dementia if you dont wear them, hellen keller was deaf blind and she died aged 80+ without dementia).
Anyway, its better to hear better even if it can faster loss progress, becouse longer you can socially engage the better for your overall life and health quality. You can swith to CI eventually…