Greetings. I am a new member to the forum and I am looking forward to chatting with all of you who are experienced in the world of hearing loss and hearing aids. I’m 48 and married to a wonderful wife for almost 25 years and also have four children and one grandchild. I am a high school Spanish teacher and ESL instructor. Most importantly, I am a musician - a keyboardist, vocalist, and flutist. I play primarily in church, but I also taught music in the school system for 11 years before switching to Spanish/ESL. Needless to say, my hearing is very important in my line of work.
Back in 2014 I was diagnosed with minor to moderate hearing loss due to Meniers Disease which I had probably close to 23 years ago. I have continued to experience all the typical symptoms of hearing loss to the point that I recently visited my local audiologist to once again have a hearing test. The test confirmed the same results as 3 years ago and I actually experienced an increase in hearing loss in my upper range since 2014. The tinitus has also become more profound in the past 6 months. After the test, the audiologist immediately recommended hearing aids (which I had suspected since they were also recommended back in 2014).
My audiologist plans to use Starkey brand BTE aids. In 2014 I was strongly recommended NOT to buy Starkey because that particular audiologist had customers who constantly complained about mechanical issues and how they would break after a year’s use. I was told that Phonak was one of the best brands to use. I recently went online and did a search for customer reviews and found a sight with almost 30 complaints from users of Starkey. As a result of my original advice and also the online posts which I read, I am very concerned that I may end up with bad hearing aids. Fortunately the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation here in PA will pay for my hearing aids, but I am still very concerned.
So here is my question: Can anyone give me some direction as to which brand of hearing aid is better? My audiologist says that Starkey is one of the leading brands and works best for musicians. She said nothing about complaints of them breaking or malfunctioning. She’s used them for many years and still recommends them. I don’t want to tell her what to do as she is surely more experienced than I am. But at the same time I don’t want to be coming back in 6-12 months later with mechanical issues. It just appears that Starkey has mixed reviews. I have my doubts based on what I’ve read online and what I was originally told 3 years ago.
Thank you for any advice/direction/input that you might offer.
PS. I apologize if this topic has already been covered in the forum. I did a quick search and did not find anything, but if there is something, kindly direct me to it and I’ll read it.