Just saying hello

So I have been lurking on the forum here for a few days and figured I would sign up and say hello. I’m Matt, I am 39 and pretty recently diagnosed with a mild to moderate bilateral hearing loss, no surprise to me (or my wife to be fair). Has really become apparent in the last two years or so and with the continued difficulty in communicating with my wife I decided over our winter off time to get checked out.

I will post my audiogram in a few weeks after my follow-up and hearing aid fitting (I didn’t want to wait but the first avail appointment was during a two week trip so I have to wait till I get back) but my loss goes from (what I recall) 30 dB up to the middle of the chart and then drops down to 50 something dB as it goes higher in frequency. One ear was worse than the other but I don’t recall which. I also have tinnitus; don’t know when that started but I had a head injury from being hit by a car at age 12 so might’ve been then; all I know is I can’t remember a time anymore with true silence. My audiologist is setting me up with a pair of IICs; she gave me the choice between RICs and IICs and I went IICs only for the fact that the ones she recommended don’t have Bluetooth, which will simplify things for me at work (less paperwork).

So that’s my quick story.

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A young guy. Hope you get fitted well and the hearing aids work for you. I know how the wife hates repeating all the time. But it is good that she puts up with it. Good luck

Well I had a revised hearing test today and the results were not that surprising given what I’ve been experiencing these past couple of weeks but nevertheless still a bit of a shock, probably mostly to my wife since she came with me this time. I have a pretty substantial loss up top and there’s a sizable gap in bone conduction threshhold at 4K so I am stuck wondering if I managed to blow out my middle ear on the plane or something (they only did BC in my left ear today, think we were a little short on time because it was just supposed to be a fitting appointment). Anyway…I have my hearing aids now, and it’s a pretty big difference. They feel a little weird which is I guess to be expected since they’re my first. I also have an ENT appointment tomorrow to follow up. Super thrilled that my audiologist managed to score me an appointment so quickly because I had been having a challenging time trying to get an appointment myself for whatever reason. Anyway…

I have no use for the ent doctors. Why do you need to see one? Last time I saw one they gave me sorisis cream for inside my ear and after putting in in I could not hear anything for over a week. Total Quack. Young doctor who had no idea what he was doing. Should not be a doctor.

Had a change in my hearing from when I had my most hearing test back in December. Worst was last week after I flew. So, thought it prudent to have them check things out. They didn’t see anything today but I’m scheduled in for an ABR test on Monday morning. So in my intro post above where I talked about a sloping mild to moderate loss, well, now it’s moderate sloping (sort of) to severe, and my ears definitely are different, my right being the worse. As you can see in the audiogram on my profile now, made sure I got a copy yesterday.

Honestly, I’m hearing well enough now with the hearing aids that I’m not super worried about it; my wife is more concerned than me (which I understand). Basically just want to make sure it’snottatumah. Like I joked with her, three years ago I thought I’d die alone (was getting used to the idea of being single before my now wife and I met), two years ago I thought I was going to die and leave her alone (had a condition; sorted now; really just too melodramatic lol); last year I thought we were going to die together (we lived where the southern California earthquakes happened and it was damn scary) so if the worst thing that happens now is I get the hearing aids I’ve probably needed a while, then, it’s whatever. We have each other.

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I am not sure I follow the logic of your audiologist. You have a fairly significant loss, especially at 3-4 kHz and up. You are most likely to have issues with feedback, and an IIC type aid is not the best for avoiding feedback. The problem is that the microphones are so close to the vent in the aid. When the gain is cranked up to address your high frequency loss the sound will leak out the vent or around the aid, and get back to the microphones and start the feedback loop. There is only so much that feedback suppression (notch filter and/or frequency shifting) can do. When that is not enough to stop it, then the only thing that can be done is cut back on the correction gain – which will mean you are not going to hear so well.

My thoughts would be that you would be better off with a RIC type aid. The distance is further between the vent and the aid microphones, and the microphone system is more sophisticated on a RIC style aid. They can have more directionality capability. The other aspect is that if your loss is not stable, the power of a RIC style aid can be increased by just replacing the receiver, not the whole hearing aid. This minimizes your future costs of using one.

I also did not follow the thing about avoiding Bluetooth. It is more of a convenience factor for most in adjusting their aids, and can be turned off if you don’t want to use it.

Well I think the IIC choice was given the loss I had at the initial appointment rather than what I have ended up with now. I share the concern about there not being enough gain at high frequency and also about the potential for not enough power if my hearing continues to change. Honestly I find your posts quite enlightening; they have taught me a lot.

I understand about wireless being able to be disabled but that may or may not be sufficient for my work. They have concerns even about even these aids with no wireless features at all.

By far the best quality way I have found to talk on the phone is by using my iPhone in streaming mode. It would be nice if they were true hands free, but other than that the incoming audio is excellent. Depending on the job, that may or may not work for you.

That would be great; generally speaking though I am not allowed to have anything at work that has any kind of two way wireless connectivity be it active or even passive (like RFID). I discussed it at length in a different thread, there’s no changing it.

The second best method I have found is what Rexton calls XPhone. You hold the phone up to your ear (hearing aid) in a normal manner, and when the aids are in XPhone mode the incoming audio is re transmitted to the opposite ear. This allows you to hear phone audio in both ears which give sound about a 3 dB boost. Yes the ear to ear communication is wireless, so that may put you offside as well. However, be aware that many hearing aids use ear to ear wireless communication for other purposes.

Had my follow-up fitting appointment with my audi this morning and after some discussion of what she and I had previously e-mailed about we decided, as many folks on the forum here had pointed out both to me directly and to others, that the IIC aids I was initially fit with were probably not appropriate for me. Now, you have to understand, there were two reasons for them initially; when I had my test back in December my hearing was better, and I was dealing with this issue of my office and two way RF connectivity. Since my initial appointment my hearing had the indecency to go and get much worse, so that changed things but given the IICs had been ordered I guess she thought they were worth my trying out. They are merely OK, and in any kind of non-ideal i.e. one on one scenario I had a really hard time.

I also had a bit of a moment today and decided, if folks are telling me that in other areas of our org people have hearing aids with RF connectivity, then I should just go for it.

So, I’m getting Phonak Audéo Marvel M90s to try out. She was going to order me M50s but my wife and I had lunch around the corner and while we were doing that I was on Phonak’s website and decided that I just wanted to go whole hog so I ran back over and asked to order the 90s and paid the difference. Fitting appointment for those is next Thursday, and working with the IICs still in the mean time. She had me trial the Starkey Livio AI 2400 in the office and they were fine, definitely better than the IICs, but she felt for whatever reason (going to defer to the expert) that with my hearing now, and with the potential for it getting worse, that the Phonaks would be the best bet. I don’t know what kind of receivers or domes or whatever I’m getting to start off with, I will post that up once the fitting is done.

EDIT
Oh and since I apparently forgot to post about it, my ENT appointments returned nothing of consequence. No wax concerns, no physical deformity that could be detected, and my ABR evaluation (because of left/right disparity) revealed nothing of concern. So that was good.

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