Need advise on adjustments


#1

Good afternoon All,

I don’t post very often but I do come on here daily looking for suggestions or situations like mine.

I went for adjustments last week and a routine cleaning. My regular Audi has left the area so I saw a new Audi. I explained what my problems are with the aids right now:

They are always backing out of my ears which causes occlusion and causes me not to be able to hear well with them.
When I push them back in as far as they will go they are great for about 5 minutes then backing out starts again.

I have also had issues lately with clarity and having to ask people to repeat their selves all the time which I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do with aids but I do it as much now as I did before HAs.

She cleaned my aids; said I was borderline needing a power receiver on right ear so she went ahead and put one on. I have been having very one sided hearing for a long time because I could barely hear out of my right aid. Never could even with me complaining and multiple previous adjustments so I figured she was right.
She ran REM and then made a few adjustments then asked me how they sounded.

The right side was so loud that every time I spoke it sounded like a busted speaker so she turned them down some. Same issue. I also have more feedback now that ever before which I complained about because I hate it. She said I would just have to get used to some feedback and some occlusion but I don’t see why I should have to.

She finally got rid of MOST of the feedback issue but another issue is I have very, very small ear canals and the power receiver with a dome on it feels like it is just crammed in my ear and feels clogged up all the time. She had some issues even getting it in and I explained to her about my small ears and she said it wasn’t supposed to be in very far anyway but for me it does. I can’t stand the clogged up feeling.

I have been wearing them for 5 days now and my right ear is so sore I can barely touch it. I did find a dome that I had bought that wasn’t as big as the one she put on it and it did feel a little better but have a lot more feedback with it.

I can almost forget I have my left aid in but the right one is a constant pushing and trying to adjust all day long. When I mentioned this to her she said everyone had one that was great but one that wasn’t.

There are so many times I just want to take the left one out and never wear it again but I know I need it so I need help.

My questions are:

Is it true that I just have to deal with feedback and/or occlusion?

What adjustments can I ask for that she will understand to be able to have better clarity?

Is there any way I can keep from having the busted speaker sound when I speak or when something is said even a little loud?

I almost wince when someone speaks loud at all or when the dog barks but yet I don’t have any more clarity.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Also, I have problems explaining what my issues are and that could be part of the problem too. She just looked at me like I wasn’t making sense about the riding out and occlusion and clarity.

Thanks,

PS. Forgot to add that I made another appointment to see Audi Thursday.


#2

an earmold would be better for a small canal (you might better off with a BTE version if you’re somewhere like mine too)


#3

I had custom molds made twice. They could never get them small enough to fit into my ears so decided I would have to wear dimes but I can’t get over how bad they move and cause occlusion and not only that; when they constantly move it isn’t as much of occlusion as just I can’t hear wear: like everything is distorted and lower because they are down in my ears enough. Seems like this has really just gotten bad in the last year or so and I’ve been wearing these aids for almost 5 years.

Just wish I could figure out what to tell AUDI to help me


#4

If I’m understanding correctly, you had the custom ear molds made for a RIC receiver. Minimum size is going to be limited by the size of the receiver. If you went with a BTE, mold size would only be limited by size of tube (lot smaller than receiver)


#5

My most recent molds were made for my widex 440s. After trying to get domes to work I told them I wanted molds made so they made them. Way too big so they remade them and said they were as small as they could get them so what can I do? They are way too big and won’t even go into my ears and now, my aids are almost 5 years old so What do I do?

Also my widex ate BTEs


#6

BTEs as in the molds are on the ends of tubes instead of covering up a receiver? Designations are confusing as RICs are also behind the ear, but typically are not called BTEs… Audiogram and clear designation of what kind of hearing aid you have is helpful.


#7

My advice, I hate “clogged” feels too.

I got custom molds RIC without vent, I feels pressure inside my ears. Since I am HA experiences user, I instantly understood this is due to “no vent or something clogged in the vent if had one”.

My old HA always have vent, no matter what. I bought new one, they fitted me with custom molds RIC without vent and I noticed it right out of the bat. I ask them to make vent for me.

Problem solved, sound quality overall feels a bit “lighter clearer” instead of “heavy punch”. I liked the former than latter.

You should ask them to make vents. Don’t worry, vent can be “filled back” if you don’t like it. I try them both “no vent vs vent” for couple days, I just liked vent better.


#8

Ok I’ll check to be sure but I do know the molds I had made went on the end of the tubes that went in my ears with the other part going behind my ears.


#9

Sorry to be picky, but are the molds on the ends of tubes or wires?


#10

I am uploading (hopefully, I am trying) a picture of my aids with the domes I am currently wearing on them. The custom molds fit up over the receiver on end of wire, if that makes sense. There is a hole in middle of molds and receiver fits into it but like I said I have never been able to wear them because they are too big even after being remade.
I like my domes but my right ear just feels plugged (occluded?), sore and irritated. I just want to take that aid out all the time because it is so uncomfortable. I do take it out when I get home because by that time my ear is so sore it hurts to keep pushing it back it so I can hear out of it.
Thank you for your help and hopefully you can see the picture.

Another thing I tried to explain to her was how much trouble I have hearing in noisy environment like a restaurant and she basically said there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done for that but it’s a real problem for me so she did another program for me to try and it is awful. All I can really tell it did was make everything kind of muted sounding.


#11

OK. Those are RICs (receiver in canal) The custom mold has to fit over a receiver. With BTEs, the custom mold would just be fitting on the end of a tube so conceivably could be made smaller. If I’ve understood correctly, you prefer a deeper fit which helps you avoid occlusion. I think a custom mold would give you the best opportunity to accomplish this and using a BTE would allow for smaller molds. It sounds like you need to find somebody who appreciates a bit of a challenge


#12

There is no way I can afford new HAs right now or even in the foreseeable future so does this mean I will just have to get used to the plugged up feeling until I can purchase new aids? I am really hoping to get another couple years out of these. They were really expensive $5000 for the pair but I do have an extended warranty which lasts through next year then they won’t even let me purchase any more warranty on them because they will be 5 years old. This averages out to about a $1000 a year.
I just want to be able to hear without the plugged up feeling and without feedback. Do you have any suggestions on what adjustments might help with this? I mean, would a different kind of dome be better or a different size? I did try a double dome I already had and it made occlusion worse so I fiddled with it and cut part of the bottom dome off and it did feel some better but they still back out all the time when I move my mouth at all: talking, chewing, smiling,etc.
And of course, my ear stays sore all the time.

Thanks,


#13

Custom molds with the receiver in them won’t be that expensive relative to the aids. I have small canals…just get regular BTE aids on the next go around. The molds are even cheaper…and can be smaller.


#14

Please excuse my ignorance but are you saying I can get the custom molds with the receiver in them with the aids I have or I will need to wait till I can get different aids?
If it’s just that I would have to pay extra for them if it’s not outrageous then I would do that if it would help me.


#15

Since you have small ear canals, an custom earmold is the best way to go. You need to have a BTE model and request a heavy duty power receiver along with a slim tube fitting.


#16

Might be better to try to make a mould around a medium power receiver if there isn’t the space for a power one in the canal.

FWIW, I’ve often wondered why there’s not more experimentation with shallower depth receivers (possibly mounted vertically) and short/offset canal moulds or or lengths of tubing. Which would make cleaning/servicing very easy as well as implementing a Y-vent with a variable occlusion.


#17

The picture looks like off the shelf domes, not custom molds. You can have vented domes and they come in different sizes. Vented would reduce/eliminate the stopped up feeling.

But, you may be much happier with custom molds. They can also be vented. For custom molds they take an impression of your ear by squirting the “play-doh” in your ear and letting it set up for a couple minutes, then remove it.

The custom molds fit inside your ear canal and will probably not be visible from the outside.

Yes, you can have them made for your current aids.


#18

I think you need to work with your provider to come up with a solution. Terms on the forum are used rather loosely and it is often difficult to figure out what is really wanted.


#19

I also have very small and very sensitive canals that make a 90 degree turn. I wear power receivers. My right ear is much smaller than the left. The receiver has to make that turn and fit deep or the sounds are muffled. Custom molds cannot be made small enough for me. Not everyone can wear molds. I understand your issues.
From my experience:
If the “wire” on the receiver is too short it will pull up (and out) and is very painful. An easy suggestion, try a different size “wire” /receiver. My Audi also has to slightly bend the “wire” and manipulate it out of the super curved shape I notice in your picture. Your Audi should know how to do this without damaging the wire so you have a comfortable fit. I go thru this every time I get a new receiver. Ask for different domes and sizes to experiment. The left and right can be different. A very important part - the Audi has to program according to the type of dome, so don’t wear an open dome if aid is programed for closed.
Keeping the domes clean will also help with them slipping / backing out. Old domes get soft, which also makes for a looser fit and they move. Work with the receivers and domes, until you get a comfortable fit that will allow the Audi to program correctly.
Be prepared for your Audi appt. Write down your problems - describe in as few words as possible. Keep notes. Be specific what sounds are too loud - such as dogs barking, ice in a glass, paper bag crumbling, water running, beep on stove, etc. Also note what you are NOT hearing easily. Pay attention to the specifics. It is hard because you can’t hear them! For me, I use the dishwasher buttons, I know they make a soft beep, and that is my ‘go to’ when I have adjustments.
Above all, be nice, but firm. You need the best fit possible without screaming feedback or occlusion. Ask to make an appt for 1 week follow - up. I am assuming these visits are included in your warranty.
Um_bongo —I wonder why they don’t work to help those of us with very small short canals. I am always asking what about Kids and Pediatric sizes for adults. I can only guess that it is a matter of catering to the masses. The small canal issue is not understood very well.


#20

Yes, they are off the shelf domes but I have custom molds made for these aids and remade but could never get them small enough to fit in my ears so I’m stuck wearing the domes which are fine if I can just keep them down in my ear far enough to avoid occlusion and not cause feedback.

I’ll try to upload a picture of them if I can