New to HA - Buying HA for Severe Loss - Help

A cold 60 days ago caused me to get a viral infection; as a result I have permenant Rt. ear hearing damage. I cannot believe this is happening. I am a 56 year old leaukemia survivor (ALL) and I suppose all the chemo and radiation my body has endured has made my system susseptable to these kinds of changes. Lately I have been thinking, “I am one bad cold away from being deaf”. BUT, with God’s mercy I am still alive.

I am trying to convinced my ENT that this is a result of Sudden Single Sided Sensorineal hearing loss, and at the very least treat me with predinsone in hope of response. It might be to late, but gosh it is worth a try.

This website has really helped me understand my hearing problem. Unbiased advice is the best advice and I am getting it here. I thank all who have posted.

I am trying to figure out what is the best HA for me. My Audi report is:

Audiogram;
…R…L.
250…30…25
500…45…25
1000…45…15
2000…85…20
4000…80…60
8000…90…45

Discrimination: Right:8% with 60db Masking - Left:84%

I have spoke with five Audies and they all seem to be saying something different. These are their recomendations:

Audi 1.Oticon Syncro $5800/set or GN Resound Pixel $4200/set
Audi 2.Beltone Linq $4800/set
Audi 3.Siemens Intuis $2400/set (is this an old model?)
Audi 5.Phonak Savia $5200/set
Audi 4.Semiens Centra $3000/set with remote. This Audi insisted that I need manuel volume control becase in some situations I would need it.

I went into this with a $3000 budget, but I do not think I can keep it.

I am looking forward to your opinions and advice. PLEASE GIVE IT. Thanks Jerry

Thank you for posting.

The right side, with 8% discrimination would be the ear that will get the least benefit from any hearing aid. Yet, if the binaural speech discrimination shows improvement with the use of both ears, then binuaral amplification may be a good idea.

Although correcting the 3 and 4,000 hz area would require lots of power, whether that area of the inner ear is usuable is debatable.

For the left ear, an open fit device would be great.

I would personally recommend, out of your list, the Phonak Savia, due to it’s extreme flexibility. Also, you can get it in the Receiver in the Ear design with a small BTE hearing aid, with full remote capability and telecoil.

If budget is an issue, certain dispensers and audiologists have access to the Micro Extra, which is usually priced around $3,500 a pair and can be used as both an open fit hearing aid and also a conventional BTE.

Jerry,

Sorry about your unfortunate sudden hearing loss.

In my experience unusual hearing losses like this can be challenging to fit. Your hearing is unlikely to respond in the same way as someone who developed this loss over several years. It may be easier or harder to aid, it just depends on the individual.

My comments are that you should certainly find out what Starkey and Audibel offer in your area. Starkey is one of the largest hearing aid companies in the world (they own Audibel), and they are not foreign like the brands you have mentioned. Also don’t be afraid to consult a Hearing Instrument Specialist either, it doesn’t have to be an Audiologist.

Personally I think that remote controls are old fashioned. They were big in the late 90s, but most companies have dumped them. Modern aids can still have manual volume controls and multi memories without the need for a remote.

I also think that your budget may be a little low for a set of good aids. A good set is likely to cost $5000+.

I think above all the most important thing I would want to see in your position is a demonstration of real hearing aids. Using a disposable ear piece a good hearing professional should be able to program a real set of digital hearing aids for you to listen to, before you ever commit to purchasing anything.

Those discrimination percentages you quoted are almost meaningless. The bottom line is how do you personally respond to a set of real hearing aids in your ear. Do they sound nice? Can you hear clearly? Do you enjoy the sound quality? Things like that are more important, especially in an unusual sudden loss as you have.

So personally unless I met with a professional who let me listen to real hearing aids, I would not consider buying. In the same way that I wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive.

I think that the biggest issue is going to be getting enough high frequency into the right ear without distortion or feedback issues. So whatever aid you get needs to have a state of the art feedback suppression system.

Personally I would like to fit you with Starkey Destiny 1200s. They are powerful enough to handle that kind of loss well with no feedback issues. If you live anywhere near Tennessee I have a demonstration set in my office that you can listen to any time.

Admin. and ZCT: Thank you for your advice. It is going to be very valuable; it is nice to get unbiased advice like this. Your posts will certainly guide me in my search for the right HA.

Unfortunately, ZCT, I live in Indianapolis or I would take you up on your offer. I will certainly check out the Starkey Destiny 1200. I will put the feedback suppression system at the top of my specification list.

The post I made above mentioned the article I found in this forum about Sudden Single Sided Hearing Loss. Because of this article I have gotten a second opinion - I am not done fighting to regain some of my hearing. The new Ent agrees and he put me on a protocal for treatment of Sudden Single Sided Hearing Loss. Please read the thread I posted on that article.

I know I will be buying HAs soon but first I want to exhaust all possibilities to regain some hearing. I know it is a long shot, but if I do not try during this window of oppurtunity I will regret it the rest of my life.

I sure am tired of listening to the constant sound in my right ear! I know they call it tinnitus. It reminds me of childhood campouts with the crickets chirping! I enjoyed the sound of those crickets, but to much of a good thing is not a good thing!