New User and Member - Seeking Advice/Help

Hi everyone,

I’m a new member and I am hoping to pick the brains of other users and members.

I’ve known I’ve been suffering hearing loss for a while as it has been getting much harder to hear people - particularly in my open plan office and in social settings. I went to an audiologist and he told me that I apparently have moderately severe loss in both ears. I used to work in construction with loud machinery, jackhammers, etc after I left school for around 2-3 years (this was about 35 years ago). Back in those days we knew nothing about hearing protection and never wore it.

The audi said my audiogram (I’ve uploaded it) does show noise induced hearing loss. Is anyone able to help interpret it for me please? Just how bad is my hearing loss? Is it in the frequencies typical of speech? Is my speech recognition poor?

I know people do have their own opinions about visible vs invisible hearing aids, and I asked him what was available that was as small or invisible as possible. I wasn’t worried about connectivity or streaming, so he recommended I try the Lyric 4. He fitted them and for a few days I did feel pressure while they settled. Sleeping was an issue as I could really feel them; however when out at a noisy restaurant with family, I noticed I could hear a glass clink 20 tables away but could not hear anyone talking to me from 10 feet away. I went back and he made some adjustments but to no avail. I also ended up with bleeding and severe pain in my right ear so got them removed a few days later. It was disappointing as I was really hoping they would work for me.

At the next visit we talked about the Signia Silk 7X and he explained the advantage of being able to have them fitted there and then and walk out, as well as being near invisible. He fitted and programmed them and took a photo of my ears, and guess what? They were almost invisible! I was really happy! At the first follow up visit earlier this week I told him I am still struggling with hearing people. He made some adjustments to the higher frequencies, boosted the volume to 90% and also added a couple of additional programs as well as the tinnitus program, and sent me on my way. The next day I had lunch with 3 colleagues at a restaurant. It wasn’t too busy and we sat at a small table - we would only have been 3-4 ft apart at the most. We got to talking, and I could barely hear a single word of anyone. Again, I could hear background noises but not voice and the adjustments he made had actually made it worse. It was so bad that I picked up my phone and pretended to be responding to emails so that no one could see the blank stare on my face when they were talking.

I’ve now decided that invisibility isn’t as important now as it was before - if it means opening up more options. Connectivity is a bit more important though, as I’ve been removing the Silk X so I can put in my earbuds for calls on my computer. He mentioned the Starkey Evolv CIC could be a really good option as it is still quite small but it is wireless as well.

Has anyone got experience with this model as well as the Silk X? Could it be an ideal option for my loss? Could the Silk be adjusted properly to cater for me? Pros and cons of each model? I have so many questions but I don’t even know how to ask them all! I totally understand that every person’s hearing is different, and that it usually takes multiple trips to the audi to fine tune everything; but I’m hoping for some advice/help/reassurance.

Thanks so much,
Richard

You have a mild loss in the low frequencies and a moderate loss in the high frequencies.

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Ha ha, I might remember this one next time myself!

I don’t use the silk but the Signia Pure Xperience and AX are in my opinion very good HAs, I’ve used both, the thing is a lot of people aren’t as happy with the CIC and ITE types ( invisibles ) for a lot of different reasons, it does seem more people are happy with RIC type HAs, just a lot more open type of fitting, as @Zebras has pointed out mild to moderate is a pretty easy fit for just about any HA, remember brand hardly matters, I’m thinking you should at least try a RIC type HA from Oticon, Signia or Phonak and Starkey (not necessarily in that order) and make your own judgement as to which works best for you, one will definitely have the “oh wow” factor, but you’ll never know unless you try.

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I don’t know if your audiologist carries Phonak, but I’ve been very happy with the M90s I’ve had and the way they “focus” in on the person speaking. I just updated be the newer Paradise models, but was happy with the way the technology in the M90s worked.

DO NOT wear them when you are sleeping. Take them out and if battery powered open the battery door.

@LouisInTexas, richard.silver said he’d been fitted with Lyric hearing aids. These hearing aids are installed by the audiologist, placed quite deep in the hearing canal, and worn for several months at a time, after which you go back to the audiologist and have them swapped out. They can’t be taken out and put back in like traditional aids, and there is no need to.

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@richard.silver it sounds like you are way past trying Lyric, which is fine. I will say it seems your audiologist mis-fitted you and did not follow up. I had almost zero sensation after 1 day. As I sit and write this I am totally unaware of their existence aside from the improvement to my hearing.

It’s a shame that this happened, as you might have found them very useful for your tinnitus. The experience in a restaurant … I think that is something that takes time to get used to, especially when first fitted. To me, EVERYTHING was annoyingly loud except normal conversational speech. Using a scoop to get ice caused me audible confusion. I have parrots. When they scream it was PAINFUL, whereas before it was “Eh”. That part is still painful but far less audibly confusing.

I hope you find a solution that works well for you!

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Thank you for this @Zebras !

Thanks - I managed to get in to see the audi tomorrow morning so will discuss my options.

@kevin6 thanks! I’ve managed to get in to see my audi tomorrow morning and told him about the hearing any sort of speech issue with the Silk’s. He will take an impression of my ears for a trial of the Starkey Evolv CIC, and he asked if I would like to try the Lyric 4 again while we wait a couple of weeks for the Starkey’s. He said he has fitted a ton of the Lyric in the month since I had them removed so he is a lot more confident in tuning and fitting them. Hopefully they will work this time around and he can tune them to increase speech levels so that I can actually hear what people are saying. Another thing I liked about them is that I could still wear earbuds with them and that it didn’t cause any issues.

I read your Lyric 4 post when I was researching them before I got fitted, and your post did inspire me to try them - so thank you for that! It was a great review!

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Glad it was helpful!

I think your low frequency hearing is similar to mine. If you’re audi agrees, suggest going a size or two smaller. That will (a) reduce the pressure, and (b) create some additional venting which will lessen any occlusion you might experience.

When you have them fitted you are going to feel them, for days even, but they should not be uncomfortable. I was forgetting them in hours.

Wearing ear buds is a perk of you have a set you like … and from what I read, the Bluetooth support of current models is still problematic.

But don’t get them based on appearance. Get them because they sound great, help with your tinnitus, etc … nobody but you is going to care about the appearance.

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It was definitely helpful! Thanks for the tip re going a size or two down - will definitely talk to him tomorrow about it and report back.

Comparing our audiograms it seems we are similar up to 500Hz, but then mine takes a bit of a dive - that’s if I’m reading it properly.

Re the ear buds I used to have Airpods Pro but they hurt my ears as they were too hard, so I bought a pair or Beats Pro and they are fantastic; but I haven’t been able to use them much since I got the Silks so I just plug in the standard wired earphones into my iPhone.

Do you - or anyone else here - know if the Starkey Evolv CIC can pair to more than one BT device? From looking at the Phonak P90 CIC spec sheet it will pair to multiple devices, but I can’t seem to find anything for the Starkey’s.

Cheers,
Richard

I’m not an expert on anything hearing aid related, but I have to agree with Kevin’s post about everything being hard/loud/painful at first use of aids. It took me a few weeks/month to get to the point of my brain being able to make sense to all the sounds that I had been missing. Things were noticeably annoyingly loud or even painful (clinking glasses…NO!) at first.

I have not tried Lyrics but intend to once I am able to visit an audiologist more frequently. I have similar loss to yours and Kevin’s (high freq) and really think the convenience and invisibility of the Lyric would be a winning combination for me.

I suggest giving them another try and going for a longer period before writing them off. Good luck!

There is no way to know for sure! They don’t mention multiple bluetooth pairing at all. One could guess that since all other companies are more than proud about that ability, these don’t offer it. But that’s pure conjecture.

I will say that the CIC line of any hearing aid company is always limited when compared to RIC or BTE simply because the size of the device doesn’t allow as many features to be packed in.