New User Questions - Avada BluLink In-The-Ear Devices

Greetings! Ihave been searching for weeks for a forum like this. Any input you can give mewill be [FONT=Verdana]greatlyappreciated.

I am a youthful and athletic 62, and have been putting this off for many years.My hearing is good or especially good from 250 to 2k, but is particularly badat frequencies of 3k and higher which yields what my audiologist calls the"ski slope" profile. I understand this profile often reflects noisetrauma, something I certainly triggered during 27 months on the flight deck ofan aircraft carrier in the mid-70s. The challenge for this type of loss is thatI can hear low frequencies and speech from men very well, but thehigh-frequency stuff and speech from women and children is poor, nonexistent,or confusing. I cannot count the number of times I have answered a questionposed by my wife that she did not ask.

Three weeks ago I took delivery of a pair of Avada devices. The initialprogramming was way off: the background noise in restaurants and public placesjust wore me out! Out of desperation I asked Avada to adjust the programming togo as low as possible for the background stuff. This adjustment has helped, butI was told it is all they can do; there is no more adjustment to be had.

I love how the devices are invisible, and they really do help me hearconversations and other things munch better, some for the first time in years.However, I am having a few challenges:

  1. The sound of my own voice is can be annoying. It sounds like it is comingfrom the middle of my head. Will I get accustomed to this?
  2. The level of background noise while driving is irritating. The sound of mytires (and other traffic as well) has a metallic quality to it that makes methink that a nearby machine is grinding off the top level of pavement on theroad I am on. Can this be programmed out, will I get used to it?
  3. After about 6 hours it feels like the level of background noise gets muchlouder, and the sound of my own voice becomes much more noticeable. I suspectthis is something that will diminish over time, but if it will stay as it is Imay need to compensate by using the devices for only a portion of the day. Whatdo you think?
  4. Often, because of the way my voice sounds in the middle of my head, I feellike I am speaking louder than I need to. It is difficult to know what is loudenough vs. what may be too loud. This is especially true when I am in arestaurant. Is this another “get used to it” aspect of the devices?
  5. I understand the Bluetooth capability of the devices requires use of a smallbox worn around your neck. This puts me in mind of one of those “I havefallen and I can’t get up” things which I am definitely not going to makemuch use of. This strikes me as incredibly low tech. Surely an app for my phonecould do the same thing. If I must wear the little box, do you know of adifferent make of the same kind of device (totally in the ear) that does use aphone app?

Thank you for reading. I will be most grateful for any input you can give me.[/FONT]

I’m not that much farther along than you in this. Hearing yourself is something that takes time that also includes sounds that are normal in the house/environment that have muted over time and now seem annoying. That you get use to.

I didn’t know about Avada and googled it. Looks like a possible franchise operation with private label. I think you will want to try some of the name brand alternatives that address things like road noise or a loud restaurant situation. More recent models from name brands do a good job of eliminating/minimizing those situations.

If you’ve a Costco in your area or a good audiologist that you trust, try them before you commit yourself. Costco has reasonable prices and a good reputation coupled to 90 free trials. Local audiologist may do something somewhat similar. Shop and compare.

As a veteran, you should be eligible for free hearing aids and accessories. Contact the VA. It’s the next step you should take.

Your voice sounding loud and annoying sounds like occlusion which leads me to believe you do not have the correct vent for your hearing loss. If your hearing is near normal for the 250-500 Hz range you will have occlusion unless you have an open fit. Do you have in-the-ear hearing aids or behind-the-ear? It is hard for people with near normal low frequency hearing to wear ITC or CIC hearing aids because of the occlusion. Is Avada the hearing aid brand or the store or practice name?

As for 5. there is some developing technology that will use BLE to transmit directly to your hearing aids from an iPhone but you still have to use the iPhone for the microphone. For truly hands free bluetooth phone calls you need the device. I wear mine on a lanyard under my shirt but it also can clip to a pocket or collar. Many (maybe all) of the big 6 hearing aid manufacturers have a device and also have phone apps that work with the device to make changes (select program and volume).

I know you feel a “stigma” around all this but honestly, nobody really looks at what is in or on your ear, and with all the ear buds and bluetooth headsets in use now, nobody really thinks twice about it. I wear the RIC style (behind the ear with a wire going in the ear) and I’ve had people question whether I was actually wearing them that day. Hearing loss is MUCH more noticeable.


Acting on your suggestion today I went to my local VA hospital. While “technically” I can get them to give me some devices, the practical side is that it’s a long and slow process, and they will give me what they want to give me, not what I want. Even though I stand to save some money, if I do not get what I want I am most unlikely to use what they give me. The upshot is that I will not improve my position in spite of putting myself through the aggravation of a prolonged VA process. I am hell-bent on getting the best new technology which I doubt the VA will pony up for. But thank you for the idea!

The VA dispenses the same premium-level hearing aids that you can purchase from a private audiologist.

As long as you’ve gone to this effort, why not give it a go. You can always “upgrade” to what you feel would be better for you. If you like the audi with the VA, you would then, at least, have a free second opinion and support vehicle.