I need hearing aids in both ears-Just diagnosed


#1

I am 55 and was just told I need to get hearing aids in both ears (I was actually told 3 years ago by a different doctor that he would recommend them, but I didn’t). I can hear, but not high pitch sounds, so I am constantly asking people to repeat or just don’t know what they are saying. My audiologist sells Oticon, but I’ve been told that the adjusting and fittings are the more important that the brand. For those who purchase them from Costco, who fits them for you and keeps them adjusted?

Also, what questions do I need to ask the Audiologist if I purchase them there?

Thank you.


#2

Welcome! I think you are doing the right things, doing your homework, reading things here, asking questions. Oticon gets a lot of positive comments here and they may be the best seller, so it would be fine to go that route.

The talent and experience of the pro is very important, probably more so than the brand.

Costco employs licensed professionals who are on salary, not commission. At my Costco my pro is an audiologist, but I think they mostly employ hearing instrument specialists.


#3

Oticon has been great to me! (with no issues this year too except for the wax part in the earmold ROFL)


#4

I am 65. Severe hearing loss, both ears, no high frequencies. I thought I’d try the Costco ReSound Forte for $2,700 for a pair. I went with these because these are 6 to 7,000 dollar hearing aids for $2,700… that is too big of a savings to ignore. I’m extremely happy with these… There are some things to get used to, and of course I’d rather hear naturally… But that is not to be… I’m delighted with these. I haven’t been in for my first adjustment as of yet. 6 month trial so what is there to lose? I’ve had them 2 weeks… TV and music sound wonderful… streaming via Bluetooth is not as good in regards to the sound quality of music, but I’d rather listen to music from a distance anyway, not straight into my hearing aid from my iPhone.


#5

Yeah, you have hearing loss. It happens with age, and a lot of us have done things to accelerate the process.

If you’re a veteran with any kind of disability, go to the VA where they, and the batteries will be free. The VA has all the major brands.

Some hearing aid facts of life:

  1. They will not make people face you to speak.
  2. They will not preclude people from speaking to you as they or you are walking away.
  3. They will not stop people from mumbling, or enable you to hear mumblers.
  4. They will not help you filter out background noise (though they all claim to). Problem with background noise is that focusing on it is a survival mechanism - I see the person in front of me, not the person behind me, so my ears watch the rear while my eyes watch the front.
  5. They will not restore your hearing to that of a normal 16 year old.
  6. They require maintenance, and do not last forever.
  7. They won’t make the office chatterbox shut the heck up.
  8. Your communications problem is likely how others choose to poorly communicate, not your ears.
  9. If you go to a car dealer, and ask if you need a car or a good pair of walking shoes, you will of course need a car. (if you go to an audiologist, you will need hearing aids)
  10. If you go to a Ford dealer, you will not be told a Toyota would be much more reliable. (if your audiologist only sells Oticon, you will of course be best served by Oticon).
  11. You should first see an ENT medical doctor to see if you have more going on which is causing your hearing loss. If you’ve had head trauma, an MRI might be a good thing to get before you just go get hearing aids.
  12. They are uncomfortable to varying degrees. Anyone claiming otherwise is a liar or masochist.
  13. If you also wear eyeglasses, a BTE (behind the ear) is going to be fighting your glasses for that little bit of real estate behind your ears, which could cause pain and eventual damage to your ears.
  14. Occluded, or even semi occluded fits (something stuck in your ear canal, blocking or partially blocking it) is uncomfortable, can cause irritation and infection of your ear canals, as well as wax buildup.
  15. If you have tinnitus, the “masking” technique is to play your ears another noise to take your mind off the ringing. Snake oil, but some claim it has helped them.
  16. The profit margin on hearing aids is tremendous. Read posts hear about one audiologist being half the price of another audiologist for the same HA. Shop around.
  17. You’ll get used to them. Yeah, maybe, but probably not.
  18. You have no way of knowing if the pair of hearing aids you are sold are new or returns (many HA customers return hearing aids during the trial period - where do you suppose they go).
  19. Hearing aids will not help anyone. It’s to easy to say “Joe your hearing sucks, you need HAs” when it is other issues.

I have chosen to ignore people who communicate poorly. One of my 25 year old colleagues now speaks my name to get my attention, looks me in the eye while he is speaking, and actually moves his jaw and opens his mouth to speak. My 16 year old son is learning that if I do not clearly hear him the first time, I do not ask what he said, an he goes without whatever he wants.

Whether they improve your hearing is the only thing that matters. Some audiologists will tell you you need a dozen adjustments over 6 months (at which time your trial period is usually well over with). Other audiologists will tell you initial fitting shoudl be 90% correct, and more than a couple of adjustments means you have the wrong HA, or that HAs just aren’t going to help you.

They have contract audiologists.

How long is my trial period? How many adjustments do I get? When are you available to do my adjustments?


#6

D-Dogg… are you saying I don’t need hearing aids? I went to the doctor originally because I was having trouble with my hearing so I know there’s hearing loss there. The one good comment that you made is that I do wear glasses and I could see where that would be a struggle to wear them and the hearing aid at the same time. I will have to address that when I go for a fitting. The reason I would stick with the audiologist is because my insurance will cover 80% of the hearing aid through them. I am in a small town, and there are not many options here.
Are you against hearing aids?


#7

No, but over two years, 2 audiologists, and 3 brands of hearing aids I have just given up. The one thing that this experience did was to motivate me to learn about hearing, HAs, and what’s really going on with my own hearing. I’m suggesting you do the same thing on the front end.

My ears ring like heck, and have for over 30 years - I ignore it. Yes, I have high frequency hearing loss (profound hearing loss to use the term). But I get by. I’ve got some amplified hearing protectors for hunting (can hear a field mouse at 50 yards, but they shut out any sound over 82 DB). I’ve got bluetooth earbuds and an app for my phone which does a hearing test on me and equalizes the sounds based upon my needs so phone and streaming music works great. I can even leave my phone on the table and hear you just fine in another room.

What I am against is selling people with relatively mild hearing loss an expensive product which may not help them.

As you cruise this forum observe the questions “what about this one, that one or the other one”. The people asking the questions wouldn’t understand what all the differences in the tech specs mean. Most of the people answering them don’t either (unless they happen to be real audiologists rather than hearing aid salesmen).

My advice was meant to encourage you to evaluate what you believe to be hearing loss and to educate you a little on what you may encounter if you decide to lay your money down.


#8

I’m sorry that d-dog has had such bad experiences with HAs. He’s right in that they don’t work for everyone. But for many of us, given that we have hearing loss, they do improve our hearing. The amount of improvement can vary with the individual.

Yeah, they cost a lot, you have to clean them, change batteries, etc. But what is the option? For me, the huge improvement in my hearing is easily worth the hassle associated with HAs.

I have a receiver in canal (RIC) type HA and I wear glasses full time. I haven’t found it to be a problem. It really depends on how much room you have between your ear and your head. The part of my glasses that wraps behind my ears is quite thin, and the HA sits outside of it with no problem. During the day, I change glasses a lot (TV glasses, computer glasses) and again I don’t find it a problem as I slip off/on my glasses between the HA and my head. During your trial period, you’ll know quite quickly if this will be an issue with you.


#9

@spachek, add your audiogram to your profile so people here can offer more specific advice.

I also have RIC hearing aids and wear glasses full-time, sometimes with sunglasses on top of those. Besides your behind-ear room, the glasses question also depends on how big the hearing aids are. RIC aids may come in more than one size. The bigger size has a bigger battery (more time between changes) and sometimes a telecoil, which you may or may not need. The smaller size leaves more room for glasses. I have the smaller size, with 312 battery and no telecoil.


#10

Yes, good point x475aws regarding the size of the HA. I have Oticon OPN (no telecoil) and they are tiny.


#11

d dogg dont give up until you’ve tried self programming, many of us here have had better results by doing it ourselves


#12

agree with the bit about wearing glasses, with BTE HAs. I’ve only had mine a month and a half. I wear 3 different pairs of glasses. I have had zeros issues with wearing any of my glasses with my Resound Forte 8s. Admittedly, my glasses (also from Costco) have small skinny temples. My RayBans also work okay, and those temple are good deal more wide.


#13

I got my first HAs, Oticon OPN3, a couple of weeks ago, and it has been an amazing transformation. I’v adapted well, and I hear people and everything better. I love it. My life is better for it. I credit both this technology and my audiologist. My hearing loss was worse than I knew at the time. I feel handicapped with the HAs out. Even music sounds better.


#14

Spachek, As Don and others have said, COSTCO is your best bet by far and I have bought from both COSTCO and independent audiologists. For one thing, the audis/technitions at COSTCO are not on commission, and that is critical. Also, the COSTCO purchasing arrangements are so good that no independent can possibly compete with COSTCO on price. Go in and get a free exam, see what they have to say and try a pair out. You can return them at no cost, so why not give them a try? Hearing aids aren’t perfect but, in my condition, for example, I can’t function without them.


#15

I just uploaded my test results, however, I am not sure where to put some things. The summary box says SRT is 25 both ears, PB/MAX is 92% right ear, HL is 65 both ears and Word List is nu6. The remarks are HF SNHL, moderate bilateral.

Any comments?


#16

I got hearing aids about 4 months ago–ReSound Quattros, rechargeables. I have been very disappointed by how uncomfortable they are. I have tried all 3 dome styles, in different sizes, with different length receiver wires, and they simply will NOT stay put in my ear canals. They constantly moved outward. I looked like a fool, pushing them in all the time. I ended up with custom made silicone moulds. That has greatly decreased the movement (but they still move outward a bit). I guess I have very mobile ears? But now I have to deal with a more artificial somewhat occluded hearing. And I feel them constantly–like I’m wearing earplugs I used to use if I road a motorcycle. So–I am totally envious of a few people I know who say they put them in and don’t even know that they are there. That’s not me.

I have had a lot of trouble with my glasses interacting with my RIC hearing aids. The temples on my current glasses were adjusted 3 times. It didn’t improve the fit. I went back to a pair of older glasses that worked better–but the prescription is off. I am now waiting on a pair, with a new prescription, that has very thin titanium temples without any coating on the part that hooks on the ears. I hope that will help.

All that being said. I am retired now and I lead a mostly quiet life. My hearing in quiet settings is much improved. I am understanding basically everything. That is a really good thing and I will take the discomfort given this amount of good.

But in addition to the discomfort, I also hear worse in noisy situations than I used to. My audiologist says it’s not so but she’s simply wrong. We’ve fiddled with my restaurant program, and I’ve tried other programs, and she’s worked on settings behind the scenes, and in noise I have a very hard time hearing even people close to me. My hearing inside my Subaru Forester is bad too. The road noise is what I hear most. If I’m with someone, I can use a feature called “clarify speech” and then I can understand what’s said. But then I am overwhelmed with the amplified sound. After a busy day interacting with people or in noisy settings, I am completely exhausted. I didn’t expect that.

So, after 4 months. I’m committed to making a go of it. Because understanding speech is the most important thing to me. But nothing sounds natural anymore, including my own voice. And dealing with noisy situations is a big challenge.

My family practice doctor told me that my hearing was such that he could certify me to operate a backhoe at a construction site. And in one ear my hearing is close to normal. He suggested I might try to convince an audiologist to sell me just one hearing aid. (That didn’t work.) He suggested I consider trying Bose Hearphones, especially around the house. But by then two different audiologists told me there was no doubt I needed hearing aids. They both ran the “unless you get them soon your brain will forget how to hear” line on me (really??) and talked about the link between hearing loss and developing dementia. I like to think I’m a pretty plucky person, not easily intimidated. But, well, I bought myself hearing aids. I’m sticking with them and hoping it will get better.


#17

Leaving aside speech for now, and just looking at noise reduction: In the Smart 3D app, does the Sound Enhancer section of the All-Around program have a Noise Reduction slider? If so:

  1. Which position is it set to when the aids start up? On mine it’s set to the right-most position, “Automatic”.
  2. Turn on a water faucet, and wait a few seconds for the aids to analyze the noise. If you then set the Noise Reduction slider to the second setting from the right (“Strong”), is the sound reduced considerably, in comparison to the leftmost position, “Off”?

#18

My audiologist says she’s been “aggressive” with noise reduction. It is set one click from the right. It looks like the slider is divided into six sections. Mine is set one section from the end on noise reduction and all the way on the wind noise reduction. I tried your faucet running test and moved the slider to the end, so one more click. I am not hearing any difference in the faucet sounds.

I keep noise filter turned on in the all around setting for 90% of the day. That is what keeps the “hissing” sounds at bay. My audie says I’m hearing the mechanics of the hearing aids. She says she’s upped the noise reduction. But I still hear it. Maybe it’s my stinkin’ good left ear that’s the cause of that? (My guess, not hers.)

But I know we shouldn’t hijack the OP’s thread with my specific issues. (Thank you, though.) I hadn’t expected to have comfort issues–just never thought about it. Both my ex and my brother say they couldn’t even tell their HAs were in place right from the start. And neither of them understand my issues with my glasses. I thought that hearing aids would give some kind of across-the-board hearing improvement. That’s just not been my situation. I know, now, that others have issues like mine. Again, I understand more. That’s good. I just had higher expectations.


#19

More important, if you move the slider from its setting of one section from the right (“Strong”) to all the way to the left (“Off”), does the faucet noise get a lot louder? It should.


#20

I’m 66 years old and have only worn HA’s for about two months now. (Phonak Brio 3 RIC from Costco.) I had very little trouble adapting. Like everyone else, the new sounds were a bit overwhelming at first but by the first month it all seemed normal. They are so comfortable that I catch myself going to bed with them and even got in the shower with them on one time. Don’t be discouraged by people who have had a lot of trouble. Try for yourself and see!