My over the phone VA Audiology appointment

The appointment I had with the Georgia VA clinic was cancelled and a phone appointment for today took its place. After taking some time to find my records, the Audiologist asked if I had any issues with my aids. I told her about them. She said what the folks in Birmingham said. I had to wear them all the time. I told her that I couldn’t stand to do that. There were just too many issues with that, especially considering that they didn’t really help. I asked if the aids belonged to me, or the VA. She said they were mine. Period.
I asked if I returned these, could I get new ones sooner than the mandatory 4 year wait. I didn’t get a clear answer to that.She did a history which she seemed to think necessary. She said that the aids I had were the very best available, and if they didn’t help, then nothing would. She wanted to know how I was able to do my own programming. I thought this was an odd question, given how easy it is to obtain the necessary software and equipment. She took more time with me than I thought she would, but at the same time, seemed rushed to finish and move on to her next appointment. The upshot to the whole thing was that she wants to contact me when the clinic is finally open for in person visits and re program my aids. I think it will be a waste of time, but told her that I would do that. I have no idea when that will be, and she couldn’t give me an estimate. I told her that I have a Phonak Roger Pen and that it didn’t help with my issues of speech in noise. That didn’t seem to change her idea that all I needed was to let her program my aids and everything would be alright. We’ll see.

1 Like

I too am waiting for anappointment in the VA Audio. I have been informed that priority will go to those individuals who need initial hearing aid evaluations, then they will start on their “watch list” of folks who need follow ups. I also will probably hit a brick wall on getting my hearing aids replaced, because I have had my “new ones” for only 1 1/2 years. Due to declining speech recognition with pure tones remaining stable, my Audi at VA says, there is probably nothing that can be done in the way of hearing aids, but that she will see me as soon as possible. Who knows? We shall see…

I was hoping that I could give my Marvels back and be maybe one of the first to get the new Paradise aids. From what I have read, I am not too excited by them. So, unless I want to mortgage the farm, I don’t expect to get anything new for about 3 more years. If i make it that long, maybe there will be some actual advances in technology that lake aids useful for someone like me.

I’m pretty sure the VA semi-annual hearing aid contracts start in May and November, so the earliest the Paradise aids would be available is November. If they miss November, then it’ll be May 2021.

Well, at least you were lucky enough to get a video appt. Durham isn’t doing video appts. I really need an adjustment.

First question. Is your hearing loss due to military service? second question Did you have to pay anything for them? If you did not have to pay for them and they are related to service then if you loose them they have to replace them free of charge. Also you have a 6 month return policy when you get the aids from the VA. If the 6 months are up then the only way to get new aids earlier than 4 years is if they get lost. Good luck.

Have they ever tried to fit you based on what you could easily tolerate? You are definitely a challenging case and I’m impressed at your persistence. I would think key to success would be fitting hearing aids to you that you could tolerate with the ability for you to up the gain if you want it. I agree with the audiologists that for you to derive benefit, you’ll need to wear the aids consistently, but there’s also no benefit in wearing them if they’re torturing you.

1 Like

When I asked about returning my present aids in hopes of being at the front of the line for something newer, she mentioned that there was a 6 month trial period. So, I take it that if I have had them almost a year, I can’t give them back, and will just have to wait 3 more years. Maybe the over the counter aids that are supposed to be coming out soon might work. I doubt it though. My loss is way too bad for them to do anything for me. As I understand it, they can do remote adjustments on Marvels. Perhaps the VA just hasn’t adopted that system yet. Dr. Cliff mentioned that he is doing a lot of remote adjustments, so it is happening, just not with the VA. Since the Audiologist said my aids definitely belong to me, I can’t understand why the folks in Birmingham told me they were going to lock them so I could no longer program them myself. I found out that they can’t really do that, but I think they thought if they said they could, I would believe them.

Check out the “Better Hearing for Veterans, remotely” article on their blog at:

According to this article, the VA “across the enterprise began use of mobile audiology care apps in May, receiving remote hearing aid orientation and adjustments.” I asked my VA audiologist at the VAMC Martinsburg WV about remote adjustments for my Starkey Livio Edge AI ITE hearing aids and was told it wasn’t available. As soon as they start in-face appointments, I’ll have an appointment for a real-ear measurement and will present this article and ask why they don’t have this capability.

Dallas VA is doing an adjustment for me next tuesday over the phone…I didn’t know she could do this…It has me kinda jazzed, but am not particularly hopeful of any real improvement…we shall see…

I just looked. The Paridise are not listed on the May 2029 contract.z

well the person you spoke to is a professional so automatically she’s going to be skeptical about your ability to program your aids properly. At the same time you seem skeptical regarding her ability to program your aids properly. I would go see her and try to keep an open mind. You can always go home and reprogram them which doesn’t seem to work properly for you. Remember sometimes your audiogram is just a place to start.

Yeah, I told her I had no problem with her taking a shot at it. I am skeptical that she has some secret knowledge the other Audiologists at the other VA clinic didn’t have which will suddenly make my aids work for me. I understand why they insist on programming my aids the way they do. If you look at my audiogram, you see severe to profound high frequency loss. I am sure they see this all the time. The usual formula of pumping up the high frequency gain, comparing that to what Target says I should have by real ear measurement, and cranking up the gain some more until the curves match, and out the door you go. Thing is, that doesn’t work for me. I have either a bad case of recruitment, or maybe even hyperacusis. I can’t tolerate loud sounds. I have told them this, but every time they program my aids, I can’t stand to wear them. When I program them, I cut back on the high frequency gain, turn on Sound Recover. If I test the range of hearing this gives me, I can hear up to and even beyond 9 KHz pretty well. Everything should be rosy, right? When I wear them in a noisy environment and try to talk to people, all I hear is noise. Even in just an ordinary soundscape, they aggravate me so much, I don’t feel the slight increase in hearing is worth the hassle. If I couldn’t hear thunder normally, the situation might be different. But around home, I don’t feel that I need hearing aids at all, and I don’t want to wear something that is fatiguing for no real benefit. As I have said before, I don’t think I am a good candidate for aids. Before I actually got them, I thought I was. But, that has changed.

Well I give you credit. I wouldn’t even try to program my own aids

It isn’t all that difficult.

I don’t know think I’ll stick with my audi. He let’s me trial as many aids as I want for however long I want and adjusts them as I trial them. All for no cost to me

I agree. Sounds like an ideal situation to me.

The problem with the VA is that they are all salaried employees. If they take care of 1 person or 20 people they get paid the same. If they take care of no one they still get the same pay. There is no incentive to actually have someone come in and be taken care of. They use covid 19, you will not be going into get repairs made at the VA for at least a year or more but the staff still gets paid. Sure wish I had a job like that.

Are you using vented earmolds?

How can you be so misinformed?

2 Likes