New to Hearing Aids, not sure it is helping

I have been struggling with my hearing for at least 20 years. My problem exhibits primarily with speech. I have a hard time understanding speech at low volumes (low to me at least), and soft spoken people. When people talk softly it sounds like Charlie Brown to me, and I have to concentrate hard to understand. Sometimes it is no use, and I still don’t get it. The only solution is to get closer to them, and during this pandemic, this is not a good idea. Not to mention masks make it worse too. Well I went to have my hearing evaluated and got diagnosed with Sensorineural hearing loss, mild. So, I have now been provided with a single hearing aid for my right ear. I was given an Oticon More 2 for my right ear, which I have been wearing for just over 3 days now. I don’t know if my expectations were too high, if I am not wearing it correctly, or if there is something wrong with the Hearing Aid itself. I know it is on, and when it streams sounds (from my phone), I can hear them. However just general sounds around me do not seem to be amplified in any way. I hear a slight background hiss, and the Audiologist told me the default volume is set fairly high. Should I expect to have sounds like voices and other sounds amplified through this, or is it something else. Thanks!

Someone with a mild loss, you’ll only be getting around 5 dB worth of gain, give or take a few DB either way.

That might be why you don’t feel it’s amplifying much.

With a SN loss, you get a 1/3 worth of gain needed, so it won’t bring you back to normal hearing.

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I have to tell you, I’d kill for that audiogram

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@linkrs you are in a tough situation. I believe that word recognition Can be a slightly different issue. I know that it can decrease with greater hearing loss, however, hearing loss does not mean word recognition drop.

In my case my hearing test shows 100% in right ear and 80% in left. The problem is though that I have terrible word recognition in practical conversation on my left. Far worse than the 80% seems to imply (which should be better with aids). I don’t have a solution other than I understand what you are going through.

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Well you haven’t mentioned how long you’ve had the aids only that you have a loss for 20 years. There is an adjustment period any time you get aids, even replacement aids. The mask situation can be a nightmare for hearing impaired because you focus on a person’s lips when they talk, whether you realize it or not. I’ve had people with normal hearing say other people wearing talking while wearing masks can make speech interpretation a struggle at times. Hearing aids are made to help not fix. You add all these other things to the mix and it’s definitely makes matters worse. Also new aids especially new aids need to be adjusted. They’re rarely good to go right out of the box.

Hi Linkrs,
I remember thinking the first time I got HAs that I didn’t notice much difference. It wasn’t true. You need time to adjust. Also, the mask thing is a nightmare and with my HA I can only understand about 50%. The masks won’t be forever though.

Is your HA from the health service? Here in Spain, HAs on the health service is not an option. I have had lots of adjustments since the first fitting. You need to talk to your audiologist and tell them what you are experiencing. They should be able to make it better I think, but it will take time.
Chin up and good luck!

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You really need 2 aids not just one and your hearing loss will be very hard to fit with aids. The amount of gain you need is low and most run the low frequencies. Also it will take time for you to adjust to wearing aids. My reasoning for 2 is that they communicate with each other and that benefits you in understanding speech.

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Hi @hass5744, my apologies, but I received it on 18 Nov. So as of today, I have had almost 4 full days and one half day of wearing them. Thanks!

Hi @dawn, thank you for the kind words. I received it using my medical insurance. They will pay up to $2500 USD every 5 years. My first (and next for that matter) adjustment is set for 8 Dec, as since I am new to this, I thought it was prudent to see the Audiologist again soon. Initially he wanted to see me in a year.

My biggest conundrum is that I got to try out a hearing aid for a little while on the 12 of Nov (1 week before getting mine), and wow! I heard things in the room I didn’t even know were there. Most astonishingly I heard a baby crying in the next room. Plus, I noticed a slight echo when I spoke, just a tiny bit of delay, which I assumed was due to having only one hearing aid on. When I received mine, I have not experienced either of those two things. Admittedly, occasionally since wearing them outside, it seems that world sounds seem "wider,’ not sure how else to describe it? This isn’t consistent, however. Again, thank you.

4 days. Give it time. Like 2 weeks at least. Make notes about where you can or can’t hear. Go back to your audiologist. A place like Costco gives you a six month trial period and for good reason. Your brain is going to need at least 2 weeks of you wearing your aids to adjust to all the new input it is receiving. I hate when this isn’t explained to new hearing aid wearers. Give it time. Be patient. Don’t be surprised if you need more than one adjustment in the future.

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Me too…and i am not nearly as bad as you. (hearing, that is)…

That’s insanity. Especially for a new user. Are you able to return these and find a new provider? You should be getting monthly appointments at least, until everything’s good.

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At my initial fitting, I asked my audiologist about next appointments. She said we don’t make any, need help, I’m always here. I asked her about a tinnitus program and she did it and some other changes remotely. Very friendly, great ideas. And really assuring that she is there if I need her.

If your HCP isn’t that willing to either meet as needed or set up appts to get you squared away, I think you ought to see if you can cut and run from this one. Find someone who loves to help you.

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@linkrs: This is really good advice, and I’d listen to it, if I were you.

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Do you know which hearing aid it is you have?
This could be crucial. If it is a cheaper one it may not have many channels to program.
Are you aware that all hearing aid shops will give you a free trial of usually a month? No deposit necessary or any kind of trick. I trialled different brands of HAs from different shops for a full year, one after the other, until I ended up with the KS10 from Costco.

As mentioned above, tell the audi what your previous experience was compared to now and don’t settle for half measures.

Well my audi is happy to see me for the first time after 2 years!

Mask or no mask, you will find that best result is when the person is facing you directly. I had a hearing test with a different audiologist for my spare pair. Every time he turned his head away to address the computer it was like an on/off switch. If someone is engaging with me, as opposed to simply chatting generally, if they turn away I do not even pretend to try and understand them. I ask them to look at me and repeat what they said.

Finally is it working? Try this. Stop up your good ear. Listen to something through your hearing aid. Then remove the aid and check, replace and check. You should notice some difference.

Hi BlueCrab,

I’m not sure? I know that I have a 45-day tryout via Oticon, and I see the Audiologist on Friday. I am compiling a list of questions. Thanks!

Hi dawn,

I have the Oticon More 2… My health insurance paid for it, so I have no out-of-pocket expense. I am considering filing with Veterans Affairs (VA), as I think the damage occurred while I was in the military. If I understand the process correctly, if they approve the claim, they will cover the cost of HA’s and visits. Won’t have to use my medical insurance. Thanks!

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How do you prove where the damage occurred after the fact. Just curious

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With the military, there are certain fields where it is presumed that if you have a loss, the military service more than likely caused it. Infantry troops, Tankers, combat arms, jet engine mechanics or other career fields with loud noise exposure. Also there are certain audiograms that indicate noise induced hearing loss?