I am new to HA - fitted with Unitron E8 Nov 07. My initial experience on the loudness of environmental noise is somewhat the same as yours - rustling leaves, keyboard strokes : they are all too loud. The worst has to be the crunching of plastic bags - at the retail counter, in the kitchen, on the street, in the bus… everywhere! My solution : mine has volume control - so I just lower it down when I don’t expect active conversation. It bought me some time to adjust to a new ‘normal’ and before I knew it, in 2 weeks I was setting the optimal volume up from the initial level.
Sometimes, I felt like I was going through a ‘hearing rehab’ :o , sometimes like I was an experiment subject, sometimes I was elated to be able to hear in previously challenging environments. Two things helped me with the adjustment. One was keeping in mind that I must take an active role towards my hearing loss solution and another was to have positive spirit. I kept my audi informed of what I experienced (I got a notebook to record the experiences in different scenario and what I thought would make a difference). I was going to pay good money and so the audi and the HA better work for me, but I also had to let him know what’s working, what’s not - I am the ultimate judge on the effectiveness of the HA fitting solution.
As for sound quality, I was fitted with thin tube open dome initially. But I found the feedback to be annoying at higher volume levels and the sound rather thinny. So the audi switched to using custom micro mold and it results in negligible feedback, richer sound and also increased comfort of wear. Yes, my own voice sounds better too, the micro mold has quite a big vent and so doesn’t occlude.
Another was hearing in noisy environment. On the first fitting, I almost cannot hear my wife across the small table in a restaurant when using the ‘Group/Noisy’ setting. Turns out that the noise reduction is too aggressive. Had noise reduction moderated down and higher frequency a boost and I am hearing much better.
Am I hearing much better with HA now - Yes . Is it perfect now? No. I don’t expect it to be so. In general, when the conversation I intend to hear somewhat stands up from the sounding background (reasonable Signal to Noise ratio), I get better result. When I am drowned out by competitive noise (like people at the next table speaking much louder than mine or loud background music) in group discussions, I just simply give a smile and point to my HA. Generally, people are understanding and obliged by repeating what they say.
All in all, I visited the audi 6 times over two and half months to get to where I am. And it will not be the last.
Make yourself part of the solution by being an active partner, demand result and do all these before the trial expires.
All the best.