My reactions to hearing loss--way back! and now (Phonak Paradise hearing aids now!)

I have too issues–hearing loss and sleep apnea. I was reflecting on the concerns I had at the beginning of my pursuit to improve my hearing, and OSA treatment, and now.
Both were stressful when I started. Heck they are stressful now. So I put this together, hoping to learn from others.

Back a while. I new I couldn’t hear well enough. One hearing aid? Two? Do I really need them?

Checked the yellow pages. (This was about18 years ago–2003?) I was unemployed and had no benefits.

Luck–found a good audiologist. She helped a lot. I had little money.
Question–one hearing aid ok? I bought one; couldn’t afford the second one.

I got my hearing aid. Over the warranty period they did lots of adjustments. But the audiologist left. New one…took a mold of my ear and they remade my hearing aid. In the ear. It hurt! Warranty was over. Whenever I was stressed I took it out. Years went by.

After Listen Up Canada broke it cleaning it, I found a really good audiologist. She confirmed that I qualified for assistance because of my work. She was magical. Every time I saw her she solved problems and made my 2 Phonaks work better.

But she sold her business. That was about 5 years ago. In that period I’ve gone to another audiologist. They’ve supplied me with new hearing aids about 2-1/2 years ago. They’ve never worked well. And I’ve had many many appointments to resolve my hearing issues with these 2 Phonaks (behind the ear.)

My observation. New people with hearing issues have a number of questions.

  • Do I really need hearing aids?
  • Will one do?
  • There are so many makes and suppliers! How do I pick the right one?
  • Costco sells hearing aids in Canada now. Are they any good?
  • How do I hear better?
  • Why does my hearing get worse every year when I see the audiologist?
  • Test says I can hear words and repeat them. How come that doesn’t work in the real world?

Good news–tomorrow I get my 3rd set of HA’s. A new audiologist has come through for me. Phonak. Paradise. Rechargeable. Blue tooth. I’ll get loaners tomorrow.

My thought–am I right?–the most important thing is how the hearing aids are set up.

Dave
Toronto

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Yes, the fitter and how the aids are set up for you is the most important part.

All the questions you asked in the above post are pretty easily answered by doing a little reading here on the forum.
Hearing aids are so subjective to each persons hearing loss and life style that it’s difficult to tell another person what is best for him or her, it’s a personal thing.

Good luck with your new aids.

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Thanks Raudrive

This site is impressive. I looked some time ago…but I started learning by reading sections that interested me.
I was overwhelmed about 18 years ago. I had so many questions. This site is a wonderful place to start getting answers.

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This is due to my 16 plus years experience with my hearing loss and hearing aids. I hope it helps.

What makes for a successful hearing aid experience?

The right attitude, you must look for the positives and limit the the negatives

The right Audiologist is so very important. Someone that listens to you, and then ask the right questions so you can give the Audiologist the answers that is needed to fit your hearing aids correctly for your needs.

The correct hearing aids for your needs. But always remember that the Audiologist is the key to a successful fitting. So the first question is what hearing aids is your Audiologist most comfortable with.

Patience; be patient with yourself, don’t be in a hurry to hear at your best, be willing to keep getting adjustments as needed. Be patient with a new Audiologist because the two of you have to come to know and understand each other.

Understand that your brain is also learning a new paradigm. It has to recognize and adjust to new sounds, different volume levels of old sounds, and even different variations of tone to old sounds.

Voices will sound different, louder, and even accents will be different.

Know and understand you will never return to normal hearing, you will more than likely never understand everything said. But as your brain adjust things get better. And irritating sounds are pushing down and even out of the sound picture.

Hearing aids Are not like glasses they will never bring your hear back the way glasses do in most cases.

You will over time with the correct attitude, correct Audiologist, and good hearing aid fit, find that you are a new person and a different person in the way you hear the world around you.

Please know and understand this is my experience and what I have learned over the last 16 plus years.

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I’m very happy you posted cvkemp !

I appreciate your advice.

I was referred to a new audiologist about 2 months ago. He has worked miracles. However, I had to keep my attitude in check. Tomorrow I get new loaners, with new HA’s ordered. Phonak Paradise rechargeable hearing aids. I’m very happy. I know they’ll take a few visits or more to improve the settings.
(attitude–I work with contractors building schools. When he said new hearing aids, my fist thought was “why can’t we adjust mine?” But I have issues with the ComPilot and new hearing aids will eliminate that.

Your response is incredible and very helpful Thank you!

Well you have a pretty severe hearing loss. The paradise are good aids for your loss. Based on your audiogram you too need 2 aids. You should ask your Audi if you can trial different aids before you buy. There is no one aid out there that is for all people. You should remember that aids help but they don’t fix your problem . Speech comprehension is usually different in the real world because background noise interferes. You should be able to get your aids adjusted as needed. Not just while under warranty but phonak has a fairly long warranty. Don’t rush to make a purchase. Take your list if questions and ask your audiologist. See what he or she says. I’m always skeptical when an Audi recommens one particular aid. Everybody hears differently. What I think may sound awful another person may think sounds great. Again. Take you time

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This is all just my thoughts on your excellent list. I’m no expert.

Do I really need hearing aids?
In your case (and to others reading this), hearing aids would definitely help. You have what I think to be a fairly typical sloping loss of the higher frequencies. My hearing loss lets me hear things. But I’m frequently asking for clarity on one or two words. The aids make that much less frequently. Still the odd occasion of course.
Will one do?
If the loss is in one ear then of course. Otherwise you would have an imbalance of hearing where your brain would be taking in and interpreting from that one better ear. And you would lose some sound locating capability.
There are so many makes and suppliers! How do I pick the right one?
Always a challenge. Go in to an office and see how you click with the provider including all the staff. If something doesn’t feel right then move on.
Costco sells hearing aids in Canada now. Are they any good?
They’re slightly de-featured models from the main manufacturers. And they don’t carry or enable tinnitus features.
How do I hear better?
Ask your brain? :slight_smile:
Why does my hearing get worse every year when I see the audiologist?
The ever persistent march of age.
Test says I can hear words and repeat them. How come that doesn’t work in the real world?
My challenge as well. I score 100%. But even with aids I miss things. I often listen to the tv through headphones. I hear most of what’s going on. That might be evidence of why the test comes out as well as it does. People speak in many ways. Some have strong voices. Some have soft voices. Some trail off at the end of their sentences. Some have different cadences/rhythms of speech. Some use different syntax (still proper) in their sentence structure. Some are ESL. Some have accents. Some are children with high voices and not fully developed (normal) speech sounds and maybe have picked up local speech patterns before they mature some more to not sound like a local if they wish.

I’ll second the fitter. Most important. Your loss should be somewhat easy to improve due to being roughly the same on both sides. You might even be able to get away with “over the counter” hearing amplifiers with equalization to bring up your high frequencies. You still have some somewhat reasonable natural hearing in the lows but an amplifier could boost that as well just from volume.

Hearing aids are not like glasses. They aid. Not fix. Hearing is indeed an internal process. You can see the letters on the wall or you can’t. You can read your book or smartphone or you can’t. Lenses. Done. The test is only a small subset of hearable frequencies. 250 to 8KHz compared to 20-20KHz. I think I can get up to about 8KHz even with turning up some volume before affecting others :slight_smile:

Anyway…I blather. Maybe this will be helpful for other readers. You’ve been with HA’s longer than I have.

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Just a note regarding your hearing gets worse everytime you see the audi. Yes it could be age related but it could also be a sign of a genetic disorder. My hearing test first showed a discrepancy in the third grade. Didn’t get my first hearing aid till mid 20s
Went to two aids in mid 30s. Went from mild to severe to profound loss now in my late 60s. Just don’t assume it’s age related. And no I don’t know anyone in my family with a hearing problem. Lucky me

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Thanks everyone.
I have two hearing aids. I’ve had 2 pairs of Phonak since
I qualified for assistance due to exposure to noise. There are only 3 companies that successfully applied for consideration. I shall be getting Phonaks again. They qualified. Siemens did too. I don’t know the third.
I’m grateful that they considered the audiologists recommendation and approved new hearing aids for me.

Thanks so much for your response. I’ve worked hard to resolve hearing problems for over 5 years with my previous audiologist. They supplied the two Phonak hearing aids I’ve had for almost 3 years. They’ve never worked, and I’ve asked for help and care many times. I fired the audiologist. Figuratively. No matter; they just sold their business to a firm owned by Sonova in Canada and service is worse now.

z10user2 thanks for your wonderful response. I’m in Ontario, near Toronto.

I have an appointment tomorrow. I understand that I’m getting Phonak Paradise loaners. And shall end up with their rechargeable blue tooth version.

When I decided to replace my audiologist I was very stressed. All my previous fears came back.
I wondered if I could have my hearing aids settings improved. I hesitated to suggest that because of the awful interface with my work iPhone. The ComPilot.

So tomorrow I’ll see the new audiologist to get some loaner Paradise HA’s.

Your response is wonderful. Thank you!

hass5744 thank you!

My hearing loss was detected when I was about 30. I’m 74 now.
I bought my first hearing aid when I was about 55. I bought one then. I’ve had 2 hearing aids since about the age of 64?

Way back about 1984? I had an extensive hearing test at University of Western Ontario where audiologists are taught. They talked about a genetic disorder…but I never received a copy of the test results.

Seeing my annual test results I lose hearing every year. But I still work in construction part of the time and am exposed to noise.
Dave

Well the only way to really know is to have genetic testing done. And I think it may be expensive and I don’t know if insurance covers it. UT our ages are close so I assume our attitudes are similar. ‘What’s the point’

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Yes.
I’m happy for every day. :smile:

“74”

Dave

If it makes you feel any better, there is a point beyond which glasses do not fix either. There’s always taste and smell to get one by I guess… :slight_smile:

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It’s one thing to hear and repeat words in a quiet, controlled environment. Recognizing and understanding speech in “the real world” is a whole new ballgame–esp. in these days of faces being covered by covid masks.

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Or, one of my favorites, the bump and find method. :sunglasses:

I find that my loss is a lot easier to deal with now that I’m retired

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I asked some of these same questions myself a long time ago (and still do at times!). I only recently realized I had a real hearing loss; even with having three audio -grams that showed almost the exact same type of hearing loss!
I used to have only one hearing aid for about one and a half years, but that didn’t help me much. Plus it was low quality (I forget the brand) and did not work well.
When I got two hearing aids, it was much better, but too loud! I left hearing aids behind for awhile.
But now I have accepted my loss, and have sort of gotten used to wearing two hearing aids. I hope this helps a little.

I have that issue. I have the habit of reading lips to hear. I’ve done it for years. Means that If I can’t see lips moving, I figure people aren’t talking.

My brand new Phonak HA’s were supplied to me about 2 months ago. I’m sure that when I see the audiologist again (couple of weeks) he’ll make some adjustments.

Battery life is great. They are rechargeable.

I think they are a good improvement. I still get asked…do you have your hearing aids on?