Not sure I trust my audiologist!

Hi All

First post, been lurking for a few days.

Found out about a week ago that I have approximately 50% bilateral hearing loss at high frequencies, and the audiologist recommended I get hearing aids. I also have mild tinnitus. They’re in the process of verifying insurance coverage. I’ve been doing some reading on the internet, which is how I ran across this forum, and have some questions. Obviously!:slight_smile: I have all of the expected “technical” questions, but I have two other questions that are really bothering me. 1) The audiologist didn’t give me a copy of the audiogram. Should he have given me a copy without my having to ask? At the time, I didn’t even know what an audiogram was. :o 2) He suggested I get 2 Oticon Delta 6000 BTE instruments. What bothers me here, is that he never asked me anything about my work, life style, interests, financial situation, etc, to try to determine my specific needs. He didn’t even mention any other brands or models of aids. I specifically asked about other brands, and he basically sidestepped the question and gave me a Phonak Audeo brochure. Yeah, that will save me some money! :wink: The only brand visible in his office is Oticon. This all leads me to question his partiality and interest in finding the right solution for me, as opposed to the right $olution for him. He’s been in business at the same location for 25 years, and has a clean listing with the Better Business Bureau. <confused> I need a sanity check, what do you all think? Thanks!


If you have a trust issue, you probably need to shop another audiologist or two to find one to your liking. That having been said, I’m sure audies probably have a preference for certain brands, and I wouldn’t consider buying an aid from an audie who’s not completely comfortable and familiar with its operation.

With my most recent purchase, I returned to the audiologist who sold me Widex Diva in-the-canal aids 5 years ago. I was very interested in open fit BTEs this time around, and she was fully up to speed on the GN Resound Pulse. I tried that and the GN Resound Azure, and went with the Pulse. She works with a variety of makes, but I was and still am pleased with what I got.

My experience and sentiments are the same as Dag’s…I’ve yet to obtain HA’s because of the initial encounter and I’m STILL trying to make an informed decision only be endlessly frustrated by my experiences. I wish to preface by stating I am aware there are AuD’s and HAS’s on this forum and I in no way mean to offend, I am frustrated and encountering, in public and on-line, an inherent lack of standardization within the Audiology community.

Within my local community alone (FL) I find sole source dispensers only, who jump right to a make/model without my input. I’ve been given brochure upon brochure outlining specs and features that, to be honest are meaningless to me and I am left to “pick one”. Additionally, once I’ve selected one based either on style or cost I’m told that “may” not be of benefit to me for XYZ reason and I’m advised to purchase more “full featured” instruments at significantly greater cost. I’m not sure whether I need one HA or two, I’ve gotten conflicting opinions.

I’ve read replies here and other forums to find an AuD or HAS “you’re comfortable with”. When I’ve visited 4 or 5 and each time it’s the same, I’m left to wonder. This particular segment of health care seems to be hit or miss.

Exactly HOW does one go about finding a Hearing Aid professional (AuD or HAS) that sells, fits, and works with multi-brands?

dear Dag:
it is not unsual for some dispenser to work with one brand, generally as a dispenser you get some benefits the more you sell a specific brand. For example, Oticon has a loyalti program which give you equipment if you buy a certain number of equipment a yera. Other manuf, gave price discounts based on number of aids sold…

Yes, I would agree that each client is a dif case and the recomendation should come based not only on the audiogram but also on the other constrains, budget, liofestrily and etc… Oticon is a good company and Delta is a great instrument but yes there are good alternatives, GN pulse is nice, Phonak audeo also and Unitro has some good feturars. If your budget is contrain i would suggest a Oticon Tego with corda … Or even a delta 4000 which is as good as the 6000

By the way… Be aware that the batery life on a delta is short as it is a 10 batery…

Make sure you discuss about REM and realistic expectations

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Hi All

Thanks for the input. It sounds like I’m not the only one with these kinds of issues, and my experience so far isn’t necessarily unusual. I’ll see what the audi says, then decide what to do next. If I can get a decent instrument, at a decent price, maybe that’s all that really matters. I guess this just says that I need to take responsibility for my own treatement, and do my own homework. I’m not interested in buying on-line, even though I could save some money. Maybe after I have a little more experience, but not now. I’ve heard Costco has some great prices. I may look there, if I can get qualified support. Thanks.


That’s the right attitude in my opinion.

I am an audiologist and I completely agree that there are wide variations in the qualifications and expertise of practitioners. Certainly the best way to know is to do research- what are their qualifications, where have they worked, what do other patients say, what are their policies (Free trail period?, Financing?, etc.)

With respect to “brand loyalty” certainly a lot of audiologists, myself included, have brand tendancies. While I have accounts with a number of different companies, I tend to use primarily 2 or 3 manufacturers. My preferences for those manufacturers is more based on my customer service experiences than anything else. Manufacturers can argue over who has more bands and whose feedback reduction works better, but in the end, among the top tier of manufacturers, there are not gross differences in real world performance. What concerns me more than bands and ancillary features is how that company will work with me and my patient when the aid is 1 week out of warranty or we are have a fit problem or how quickly they will respond to a request. To me, customer service is the most important aspect of manufacturer selection.

I rarely discuss the brand name of the hearing aid with my patients, unless they are interested. I explain differences in technology and let the patient choose a technology more than a brand and model. Certainly, the audiologist should be willing and able to explain to you why he or she recommends brand X or brand Y intelligently, but I don’t think it is wrong for them to recommend a particular company more than others.

I agree, there is also a matter of knowing all the bells and whisltles of the fitting program. Im quite proficient @ using 3 dif manufturing fitting program, so my fitting process is surely more expedite. In addition, some manufactures have some specific fitting rationales, examples out of the top of my head Audiogram plus by GN otometrics or perhaps Voice align compresion by Oticon
I believe it is important to know how the rationales work to choose what is best for our clients.
That said, I would agree the difference among brands are fading. Other than the premium high end instruments (mid price + entry level) most instruments are quite similar if not same

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Hi docg and xbulder

Thanks for the comments. As professionals, I’m especially interested in your feedback.

I ended up talking to his office manager about my concerns, and then with a second audiologist in the office. I liked her alot, and she answered most of my questions. The business owner (the original audioloist that tested me) called me at home that evening and strongly apologized for what happened. I think it was just one of those things, so I’ve decided to stay with him.

I have no problem with him staying with a few specific manufacturers, after all, you can’t be knowledgeable in every brand on the market. I’m an electronics engineer, so I want ALL of the details, so I can make an informed decision. Right now, I’m scheduled to be fitted for a pair of Phonak microEleva open fit aids on Monday. Cost is $1895 per ear. Will let you know how it works out. Thanks again. :slight_smile:


My audiogram:

Freq R/L
250 30/30
500 25/25
1000 30/35
1500 30/40
2000 45/45
2500 45/45
4000 50/55
6000 60/55
8000 55/50

SRT 40/45

Word 92%/88%

Dont get caught up on all the engeneering and technical details, as much as audiology is a sciencie is still and art.

I would say in general you have a very easy hesaring loss to fit and you would be very satisfy with almost every good mid price to high end hearing aid.

Certainly, phonak is a good instrument. The price seems reasonable to me - i dont really sell phonak but for the most part it seems right…

My only advice, that you should be adamant about is that before the end of the trial or last fitting session you want a REM test in order to verify
that what you are actually getting is what you need to get…

keep us posted to ur progress


Hi xbulder

Thanks for the advise, I will indeed ask for a REM test. I’ve read enough on these forums to know that I should trust my ears when evaluating an aid. If it sounds good, that’s the real bottom line. :slight_smile:

The technical details give me a way to group “equivalent” instruments, to help judge price vs features.

I’m fortunate not to have a more severe loss, so I’m sure the Eleva will be a good choice. However, in case I do have problems, I will be very careful about not letting the trial period expire before I return them. I also have some other choices lined up: Unitron Element 16 Moxi, Rexton Revo and Revera, and maybe even an Oticon Delta 6000, but I fully expect the Eleva to be great.

Thanks again!


This is an interesting thread. I’m on my third set of aids. The first, almost 6 years ago, were Widex Divas, and they were great. But they were my first, and I just went with what the audie recommended. Then I did some research, and about 3 years ago bought aids from America Hears - great aids, great company. But the second time I got caught up in technical details.

I recently got my third set of aids. I’m very fortunate in that my company’s health insurance paid 100 % 5 years ago, and 90 % now for aids (every 5 years they’ll pay). The latest aids are GN Resound Pulse aids, and I resisted the temptation to get wrapped up in the details. I love these open fit aids. I tried the GN Azure, and found that for various non-technical reasons, I prefer the Pulse aids.

Bottom line, I agree with xbulder that the engineering and technical details are less important than a good audiologist, reputable brand, and good test drive. :smiley:

I will say, though, that I as extremely pleased with America Hears, and will consider them again for my next purchase. Out of the box, the fit and programming was right on the money!

Hi jay_man2

Consider yourself fortunate to have insurance that covers hearing aids. I have what I thought was good insurance (CIGNA PPO), but found out that there is no direct coverage for HAs. I have a “benefit” through HearPO that gives me a discounted price if I select from a list they provide. It’s not a bad deal, as it includes a pretty good selection of aids from Phonak, Seimens, Rexton, Sonic Innov, Unitron and Vivatone. I would probably have gone with an Oticon Delta 6000 ($1995 per ear), because they look SO cool :cool: but HearPO doesn’t cover Oticon, and apparently my audi can’t sell me Deltas without violating his contract with HearPO. :frowning: While the Eleva isn’t quite a cool looking as the Delta, I’m sure it will function just as well, and that’s what’s really important. I find all the technical details interesting, but I’ve seen the advise here that I should trust my ears.

These forums have been a fantastic help to me, as I had never thought I’d need hearing aids. It’s tough to get past that initial negative mind set regarding wearing an aid, but now I’m actually looking forward to getting fitted. I will also keep my expectations in check, but my loss isn’t severe, and my word recognition scores are pretty good, so I’m looking forward some good improvement, but not completely “normal” hearing. Sorry, I’ve rambled enough. Will let you know how it goes Monday. Thanks again.


Hey Dag I feel you with the Audiologist frustration. Your audiogram is very similar to mine,but my tinnitus is on the moderate to severe side.

I have been fitted with the oticon epoqs (third Hearing aids this year!) They have excellent options but my problem now is that my audiologist(young,fresh graduate and first experience in fitting epoqs) really doesnt know how to tweak them right. For example I tell her i cant hear voices but i can hear just about every other noise in the room (scratching,footsteps, useless noises) She just messes around with the Program and tells me try this configuration and see you in two weeks. I come back tell her nothing has changed its just louder and more annoying. She mess around more and sends me off. It is really frustrating and I will be seeing her again tomorrow and this time i am not going to leave until she tweaks them right.(i seriously doubt she will get it right haha_ I see no reason to pay that kind of money and not get results.

anyways i guess i went off a bit on her.hahah will let u know what happens though. In the mean time if there are any audiologist reading this that have experience in fitting Epoqs please let me know. I need your advice and experience to pass on to my audiologist.

thank you

by the way, Oticon has a remote support function
where your audi can conect On line and get hands on support from someone

from headquarters. So my advice is have her get remote assitnace
so you can get adequate fitting

Lovely Wendie

Thats great! I will definitely bring that up tomorrow. Thanks again:)

by the way, i have seen such function on the starkey software…
so i think it is a pretty standart thing in the industry…

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Hi Hambon

That sounds really frustrating. You might ask her to explain exactly what changes she made and why. Sounds like an opportunity for both of you to learn. Hang in there. From all I read, some folks take a little more tweaking than others. Any chance there is another Audi in the office with more experience making adjustments? Maybe a “consult” is in order. Just a thought.

Yeah, tinnitus is a PITA! Mine comes and goes. The first day I was fitted, I had absolutely no tinnitus at all. I thought YES! Then the next day it was back. :frowning: I seem to be one of those where HAs don’t effect it. Oh well. <sigh>

I was fitted with a pair Phonak BTE microElevas (open fit) on Monday, and so far they seem to be working pretty well. Speech comprehension is definitely improved, but transient noise can be kind of loud. Flushing the toilet at work is almost painful. :eek: Interesting amplification artifacts, like hearing keys clink in my pocket, and hearing the tumblers in the door click when I insert my house key. Physically, most of the time I can’t even feel they’re there. I really don’t have any major complaints so far. I go back next Friday for a follow up. He said I don’t have all of the high frequency boost dialed in yet, so I guess he’ll add some more then.

Thanks and have a great day!