New member looking for advice

Hello, I am a new member. Have had issues with my hearing for past several years and was diagnosed with hearing loss. Finally got around to ordering new aids from Costco - am getting the Jabra Enhance 20. Have my fitting this Saturday. Both excited and apprehensive. I had some questions
At the test - the fitter gave a pair of Jabra HA to wear which he said was setup with the base program. It had closed domes and the MRIE. I found everything to be much louder - the full store was buzzing with hubbub. I spoke with the specialist and his intern they were clearer and also louder. I also found the sound somewhat disconcerting coming from within the ear as opposed to outside.
Is this expected and something the brain gets used to?
I am thinking of asking for open domes and less amplification. One my main issues is not understanding words. Unfortunately both the fitter and his intern spoke clearly even without HA so was not able to judge how it helps. I am hoping that the HA do not simply amplify everything but do make speech clearer.
Also any advise on what I should be looking for during my fitting? Thanks in advance for all help

1 Like

No surprise that things are louder. It will take some time to adjust to the increased volume. My Costco audiologist likes to set a new pair of hearing aids at 90% of the prescription’s volume with a program that gradually increases it to 100% over a period of a couple of 6-8 weeks.

2 Likes

I don’t see a need for closed domes with that hearing loss unless it has sometime to do with the MRIE receivers.

You are having problems with consonants and high pitched women and children probably.

You should expect things to be loud at first, especially the higher frequencies you are not hearing well now. Thankfully Costco has a 180 day return period to give you plenty of time to really check out the aids. If things are crazy loud turn them down a notch or two until you acclimate.

Welcome to the forum.

2 Likes

So the loudness is something I should get used to. And you are correct it is some speech that is the problem for me. Maybe I start with open domes and less amplification and take it from there. Thank you both.

Yes, your ears will adapt. In order to get used to things, usually the settings are changed over the first couple of weeks. It is important to understand how these new thingies work; they do not amplify everything they capture (anymore). They amplify sound depending on the ambient level of noise (three levels thresholds in case of my Phonaks). So when things become very loud around you they basically do nothing at all (thankfully). Under quieter circumstances they then will amplify by frequency, guided by your (mild) hearing loss. When properly set, you never need to touch the volume switch on your hearing aids. You can use this information to look over the shoulder of your audiologist when they program your HAs or, even better, do this yourself.

2 Likes

The things that were suddenly shockingly loud when I first got hearing aids was vast. Foot steps. Bathroom sounds like faucets etc. After a week it was much better. At a month that loud sense was mostly gone.

Your hearing probably got poorer gradually and has always been normal to you. Loud things weren’t as loud and you became accustomed to that. It will take a while to become reacquainted with normal again. This will be important to recovering hearing because if you have the volumes turned down you are leaving yourself in the quiet ( but comfortable) place where you still can’t hear well and blame it on the HAs “which don’t work.” Rehabilitation of your hearing may not be easy but it is worth it. Hearing aid therapy is not like putting glasses on when you are nearsighted. It takes time and effort. I probably asked my wife “what is that sound I hear now?” thousands of times for ordinary things like the refrigerator or heating etc.

Hope this helps

WH

4 Likes

Thanks for providing the context - will keep this in mind. Glad I asked before getting the HAs.
On another note, out of curiosity, is there an objective way to measure what the HA is outputting?

Are you referring to a Real Ear Measurement? There are many videos describing this test. One video is Introduction to “Real Ear Measurements and why they are important

Aah yes. That’s exactly what I was curious about. Thanks

The overwhelming sense of the new volume when getting used to HAs can be off-putting for many. Try to keep your HAs in as much as possible - put them in when you wake and remove them when you go to bed. If they seem like too much, you can lower the volume for a break. It takes our brains months to get used to the new stimulation. Normal hearing is no longer on the table for most of us here, so we move to the next best remedy! Good luck. Lots of really knowledgeable people on the forum.

6 Likes

you might want to try open domes to experience the difference. My audiogram is somewhat like yours and I get along very well with open domes. I tried the closed domes and like you said the sounds seemed to be inside my ear instead of feeling natural. You can always switch back to closed domes if you want.

1 Like

…and it’s debatable about how important it really is.

Anything is “debatable”. REM has been preferred professional practice for decades.

2 Likes

I got some Jabra 20’s from Costco a month ago. They came with power domes on both aids. On my second visit I asked for some different domes. They’re ‘free’…so try them and see what works the best for you. I got a pack of open domes as well as some “tulip” domes. I find with the aid that I use in my ear that has most hearing loss using the open or tulip resulted in feedback. I use the “power dome” in that ear. In my other ear, which has better hearing I found the tulip dome to work the best. I also use Audinell Skincare Gel for Ears which I bought from Costco. This is a great product that is preventing itching and eases insertion of the domes. Use very very little; about the size of a pin head and rub between your fingers before applying the dome. Don’t get it on the ‘speaker hole’. If you are careful and keep the ‘speaker hole’ clear it helps a lot with the ‘stuff ear’ feeling on the power dome. I love the control you have using the app. If sounds are too ‘sharp’ you can turn the mid range and high frequencies down. The HA’s are great and you eventually get used to all the sounds you have been missing. :-). I hope this helps. Enjoy your new hearing!

One of the hardest adjustments I had to learn to make when I first got hearing aids (and again every time I got new hearing aids or a significant adjustment to my existing ones)… was realizing and understanding that I am not the expert on what things sound like - or even what those things should sound like.

That’s why I am wearing hearing aids in the first place.

Most (maybe all?) hearing aids have a “bunny slopes” mode for new wearers. Each brand has their own name for it, but essentially you start out with less volume increase (“gain”) than your hearing test would call for. You use them that way for a couple of weeks and then the audiologist bumps you up to the next level & everything seems louder again. Rinse and repeat over a couple of sessions and you eventually get to the recommended settings.

I’ve been wearing aids for almost 25 years now, and just got a new pair about a month ago. They are a different brand than I have worn in the past, and as soon as I put them in I said “Whoa! My own voice sounds really “boomy” and “bass-heavy” to me. I don’t think I like that”. The audiologist made an adjustment to some of the lower frequencies - which made my voice sound better to me.

Two weeks later, at my first follow up, I told her that I felt that if the audiogram said that I needed a boost in that range, then it seemed dumb of me to force my opinion into the conversation. I asked her to put it back, and within a day or two my voice sounded “completely normal” to me, and I realized that I was hearing other sounds that had been missing in my environment as well.

So, trust the process - at least at first.

Final point is that adjusting to so many new sounds is EXHAUSTING! Wear the new aids as much as you can stand at first. Try to schedule some quiet time (I call mine “deaf time”) to take them out for a little while and rest your brain. But try to not let yourself get so overwhelmed that you give up and don’t wear them. Not only do you need to be able to hear, I promise you that your people need you to be able to hear.

4 Likes

Good to hear. I get my Costco EP 20s next Sunday.