I’m 49 and have worn ITE aids since the mid 80s after a water skiing fall broke an eardrum and caused an infection. I’ve had moderate tinnitus since then too. In 2002, I had a traumatic exposure to noise and my tinnitus has been through the roof ever since. By through the roof, I mean it’s just about always the loudest thing in I ever hear. It’s a high-frequency beehive of ringing, mostly in the left ear, but on really bad days (3-4 days a week) both ears go to town, and it’s downright debilitating—dizziness, falling, unsafe to drive, etc.
I’ve been a patient at the House Ear Clinic and participated in their Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), wearing Siemens’s Serenity ITE (half shell) masking hearing aids bilaterally since ‘02. The TRT didn’t work, but the aids were fine after I had them turn off the noise reduction program. In my case at least, I need noise to help mask the tinnitus. When the noise reduction program kicked in, all it did was make the ringing even more pronounced. The right HA broke the other day. Soooooooo, I’m taking it to House for them to send to Siemens to see if they can fix it. In the meantime, I got an approval from my insurance co (Blue Cross HMO) for a new set at 80/20.
Unfortunately my new insurance won’t let me go to House anymore. They made me go to a company I won’t name here. They did a hearing test and the audio graph is below. I couldn’t just post numbers because my left ear’s numbers are goofy—for me at lest.
I’ve only worn Siemens ITE half shell aids (007 and Serenity) and have been very happy with them. I had my insurance-assigned audi price the Intuis and they were $3590 for a pair. No way was I going to buy a product with only a one-year warranty (or a bottom of the line unit) so I had her price the Cielo2. SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS! I about fell out of my chair.
Anyways, I asked her if she had a preference and she really liked the Phonak Savia Art at $7190/pair.
Like others here, I have kids in college (ugh!) and can’t be throwing money around. Do these prices seem in line? What would be your preference in hearing aids given my audiogram, have horrible tinnitus, prefer ITE, and have had bad experiences with noise attenuation?
Edit: I’ve been looking at those mini BTE (more like on top of the ear) units. I could be talked into those.