Oticon dome becomes lodged in ear canal

#16

Thanks everyone for your help, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I’m very irritated that this should happen 4 times in a little over a year.

Bob

0 Likes

#17

Took a quick look at eBay after reading your original post. There were hundreds of curved hemostats for under $10 delivered to your door.

Just saying.

0 Likes

#18

Hi Bobby,
Sorry that you’ve had this issue. While it can happen (I’ve had it happen myself), the number of instances that you’ve had is far from normal in my experience working with patients wearing Oticon devices. If helpful, one thing that you may want to review is your process for removing your hearing aids. Some folks grab the device off the top of the ear and then pull it which stretches the receiver wire and creates a lot of stress on its connection to the dome in your ear. We counsel patients to try the opposite approach by first pulling the dome out by (grabbing with their fingers as close as possible to the receiver tip and dome in your ear).

Another option is to have your provider add retention straps onto your receivers (which sit in the bowl of your outer ear and can be used to help remove the receiver and dome safely).

Don’t know if this will helpful, but I’d rather help with technique than have you, your wife or another medical professional with tweezers in your ear again!

Chris

0 Likes

#19

Thanks again for the suggestions.

Chris, I’ll try to grab the wire nearer the dome but it won’t be that close. I have a very long ear canal (so I’ve been told). Still it’s worth a try.

I saw the audiologist’s assistant today who can’t find anything wrong, so she fitted me with a smaller dome in the left ear. It doesn’t fit tight so it has another piece of plastic to keep it from falling out of my ear. A compromise, yes, but IMHO not a good one.

I really don’t feel comfortable with my wife taking the dome out. It’s close to the eardrum, and I have a big bend in the canal. As careful as she is, she isn’t trained for that type of a job. If it comes out easy for her OK, but after a few dozen tries, it’s emergency room for me, and that’s a waste.

I still think for a $6,000 pair of hearing aids, for the dome to stay in the ear once is cheap, defective, design and manufacturing. The company should fix the problem, recall all the hearing aids, and fix them at no charge to a more advanced technology.

Every business is in the customer service business.

Rant #2 Battery life

The audiolgist’s assistant told me the batteries have never been good for over 12 hours, especially when using bluetooth.

She said they last for 6 months at full capacity and cost $30 each.

So that’s $120/year for rechargeable batteries PLUS I forget how much the charger cost me but I know it was over $100.

I bought it to save the environment, but if I don’t get a chance to put the batteries in the charger for a half hour per day, I end up putting a disposable in anyway.

The disposables last about 4 days each in these hearing aids. That makes 91.25 batteries per ear per year, times 2 hearing aids is 182.5

I can get batteries at about $0.24 each, so that times 182.5 is $43.80 per year as opposed to $120 for the rechargeable.

I’m beginning to believe Oticon’s “People First” slogan refers to the bank accounts of the people who own the company.

I guess I’m stuck with these Oticons for another 5 years or so, I just can’t afford the price tag, but next time I will not be buying the same brand.

Any better ones out there?

Every business is in the customer service business. If your customer has a problem, the company has an opportunity to either lose a customer for life, or gain a customer for life. It depends on the outcome.

If someone in my business has a problem, I solve the problem and then give the customer something extra for free to make the customer feel glad that he or she had a problem. I keep customers for life that way.

Oticon is losing a customer for life.

Bob

1 Like

#20

Someone on the forum recently mentioned getting batteries at Costco for $.17 each.

0 Likes

#21

Thanks, Jim

Unfortunately, we don’t have a Costco around here (the price of living in almost paradise).

I did find them here for slightly less than $0.21/each here-> Amazon

That makes it $38 per year vs $120 for the rechargeables if I want them to last almost all day

I’ve compared Zenipower in my old H-Aids with Duracell and Ray-o-vac and they last just as long.

I bought the rechargeable batteries to keep from trashing the environment. But at the cost of the rechargeable cells with a life span of 6 months to hold a full charge, it’s just not affordable for me.

My rechargeable AA and AAA cells for flashlights and other items can take many more recharging than these.

When new, the Otican cells lasted about 12-14 hours (I’m awake at least 16), now it’s closer to 10 unless I recharge them for an hour mid-day.

So breaking the seal and putting in a disposable cell for the last couple of hours is not doing the environment much good either.

I understand Oticon is fixing that problem with their newest hearing aids, but not fixing their old products. That is not good customer service. Especially since they knew the old was defective from the start (so says my audiologist who says they had problems with them from day one).

So what brand is better for next time?

I am not eager to get another pair of Oticons.

Bob

0 Likes

#22

A rechargeable battery looks cleaner than a disposable one at your end. However, if you compare them battery’s life cycle, the benefits of rechargeables are not that clear.

Please, read:

Which battery is better: Rechargeable or disposable?

1 Like

#23

Good one, @BobbyBoomer! Funny, but probably true!

0 Likes

#24

On the discussion of rechargeable, I think the OP may have the rechargeable batteries that are replaceable by the user. Mine are not user-serviceable. I wear the units about 14-15 hours a day without any battery issues. I was told by the audiologist that the lifespan is about 3 years, but to bring the units in before the warranty expires, send them off and get replacement batteries stuck in by the factory.

I chose this type because I had an incident where I landed in Poland for work on a Saturday morning, could not find batteries in my gear and found you could only buy the at audiologists offices. I was frantically messaging colleagues who were traveling in to try to find some 312 batteries at an airport drug store or grab them on the way to the airport. I finally found two batteries buried somewhere in one of my travel bags and managed to survive. I don’t want to be in that position again. On the flip side, I have now retired and aren’t traveling as much … but I tend to like to learn lessons from prior experience. Now, if I could just remember to pack the charger! At least you can use a travel battery to put juice to the hearing aids with a cable with a USB on one end and a mini plug on the other if you’re somewhere without power (safari, incompatible power plugs, no adapter, etc.)

0 Likes

#25

How about $100 for custom “molds”?

0 Likes

#26

I recharge batteries until they become a problem. Our electricity is generated by a nuke plant, so at least we aren’t emitting greenhouse gasses. When they no longer hold a charge, there is a place in town to recycle.

The Oticon batteries were a problem from the start. The capacity wasn’t enough to use them for 16 hours, even though the sales pitch was ‘wear them all day, charge them all night’.

Now, a little more than a year later, they have degraded to about 10 hours if I do not use the Bluetooth, less if I do.

Poor engineering, poor design, and they knew it.

Now they have ‘fixed’ the problem, but are not offering the solution to existing customers. Abysmal customer support.

They don’t answer all their e-mails, and when they do, give indirect non-answers to your concerns.

The hearing aids cost over $6K, I deserve better than this for that price. I doubt they cost more than $100 to manufacture.

Bob

0 Likes

#27

I had OPN1 rechargeables for over a year and the batteries never lasted for an entire day. It got to where I just started using regular batteries. About 2 months ago my audi got Oticon to give me a free replacement pair of the new OPN S1 rechargeables. The new HAs are excellent. Oticon has changed the battery and the charger. They recognize there was a problem with the old system. Have your Audi talk with an Oticon rep and see if they will replace them.

2 Likes

#28

Thanks. I have an appointment next week, so I’ll ask her about it.

Bob

0 Likes

#29

The video one (or digital optic as you put it) can also be used to monitor your ears for wax. One of the audiologists I’ve seen with my Mom said the ones they have in their office cost about $400 but she has a cheap one at home to use with her kids.

I too have had a dome come off in my ear when I was experimenting with another manufacturer’s dome. My wife managed to get it out without difficulty using tweezers.

0 Likes

#30

Back to domes. One thing I was told not to do is removing the dome regularly for cleaning. They loosen up and then can come off easy. Everyone probably knows this but I think I have read where some do this with their domes.

0 Likes

#31

Yes, IMHO lackluster engineering - profits first instead of people first.

I had ReSounds for years and never lost anything in my ear. And they were only $4,000

Bob

0 Likes

#32

I’ve worn Oticon aids for almost five years, and I never had an issue with my domes until a few months ago. I had changed my domes in the morning and later that day was having pain in my left ear. Pulled it out to find no dome. Because I’d had them off that morning, I assumed that I’d forgotten to put one on. So I put on a dome and kept going. Off and on for the next four weeks or so I had ear pain, and I had issues with water trapped in my ear after swimming. In the end I was having hearing issues in that ear and was convinced I had an ear infection, so I decided to go to my ENT. She pulled out a dome that had been in my ear for over a month.

I’m not sure what happened with this dome, but it’s the first time I ever had an issue. I have my domes off frequently to clean and I change them fairly infrequently. YMMV.

0 Likes

#33

Interesting post. Almost funny. Thanks for sharing.

It goes to show there is no reason to get freaked out about getting the dome out if it should come off. A person can take their time getting it out.

0 Likes

#34

The dome was completely encapsulated in ear wax. I am sure if I had not been putting an aid in my ear every day and smashing it against my ear drum it would have quickly been moved out of the canal.

About 25 years ago, long before I was wearing aids, I had similar symptoms for about a week and couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Finally I was able to get ahold of what I thought was a chunk of wax with my fingernail and pull it out of my ear — to find that it was actually a lady bug completely encased in wax. It must’ve climbed into my ear at night and become stuck. My ear had done a marvelous job of isolating it and ultimately moving it out.

2 Likes

#35

Except that if the dome is a closed dome type, you are essentially deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other.

I still think Oticon should have thought of this when they designed their hearing aids.

0 Likes