Oticon OPN can't fully correct hearing any more

Had a hearing change on the left in the last month. Fairly large loss again. Back to Mayo. Did the steroids again. Hearing didn’t come back this time. So, the recommended getting the hearing aids tuned to fit the new hearing. Talked to the audiologist and she did adjustments using “Real Sound”(?) and it’s certainly better than it was.

But, she couldn’t bring the low frequencies up to where they needed to be. She told me the OPNs were pretty much at their limit and it MAY be time to consider new hearing aids.

I asked who OTHER than Oticon had something that would work fabulously? Her response was no one. She’s been moving clients from the OPNs to the Oticon MORE since they came out in February and the feedback is that speech is much better and noise mitigation (white noise, fans, noisy restaurants) is some better.

I was HOPING not to give Oticon any more money because of the cattle droppings way they handled the whole Z-Power thing - as in “Bummer, you’re screwed”, and if there’s somebody that’s at least as good as what Oticon can do I’d be glad to hear about it.

She also said that Z-Power didn’t just screw Oticon and their customers, they pretty much did it to the whole industry. And when the problem came out, Oticon and everybody else handled it equally poorly. So, if there IS an alternative, and there’s a problem, they’re not likely to be any better than Oticon.

So, hearing is better than it was 2 hours ago, but the idea of dumping another $7000 isn’t attractive. This is like digital cameras except it takes 3 years for the hearing aids to have ZERO trade-in value instead of 2 years like the cameras.

I am sorry you are disappointed in your hearing aids, but I have worn Oticon aids for the last 11 years and have come only prefer the Oticon sound to the point no other hearing aids work for me.

You should post your new audiogram up and also mention what size receivers you’re using with your OPN now.

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Are you on the strongest power receiver?

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You don’t have to pay $7000. You can buy a pair of the More 1 from Hearing Revolution for $4100 and they will set you up with a local audiologist for the fitting. The initial fitting and 1 year of service is included in the price as well as a 3 year warranty, covering repairs, loss, and damage. There is a 60 day trial period during which you can return them if you don’t like the results.

One advantage that the More has over your old Opn is that it has 24 fitting bands which will allow the audiologist to more precisely fine tune it to your hearing loss. Your old Opn’s have only 16 fitting bands. I think that the More’s 24 fitting bands are the most of any hearing aid of its type on the market.

By the way, I suspect that her reference to “Real Sound” was to Real Ear Measurement. If that’s what she meant, that’s a good thing because it means that she’s not just using the fitting recommended by the fitting software for your profile but checking to measure the sound that’s actually reaching your ear drum before finalizing the fitting.

Sharing your audiogram would help us help you.
We need details about what you have also. Like domes/earmolds and receiver size.

Maybe the aids you have can be set up better for your hearing loss.

Yes, it was “Real Ear Measurement”…

I’m not disappointed in the Oticon hearing aids, I’m disappointed in Oticon. They should have handled the Z-Power thing a LOT better.

I don’t know what a “receiver” is. Is that the little rubber thing that goes into the ear canal? If so, at the moment I’m using 6mm single vent domes. I can’t used the closed bass dome because I can feel it in my ear and it’s annoying, and it hurts when pulling it out.

I looked at the MORE online this morning and I’m going to have to understand a lot more about the difference between the 1, 2, and 3.

Like most of you I have a set of things I’d LIKE the hearing aids to do. Not in priority order:
Accurate sound stage - when I go to a play, or anywhere its important to know where sound is coming from, I want to know where the person speaking is with my eyes closed.
Audio fidelity - I may have to deal with hearing loss, but I’d like music to sound like music.
Really good ability to separate speech from background noise - noisy restaurant/sports bar.
Really good white noise/pink noise management. I’ve gotten really tired of not being able to pick out my wife’s voice in the car over the A/C or heater fan.
A directional program that REALLY works. For those high noise environments, to be able to pick up whoever I’m looking at much better than I currently can with the OPN.
Minimum 24 hours on the rechargeable with a WHOLE LOT longer life than the Z-Powers.
Best possible speech clarity.
NOT needing a Connectclip - I know, the MORE still uses this ^%$&* thing but HOPEFULLY it’ll make it a LOT more usable - less popping, much better handling of sharp noises, and overall sound quality.

The OPNs do a reasonable job on some of these, a good job on a few and a really poor job on some.

The receiver is the “speaker” that sits inside your ear canal covered by the “rubber” thing which is the dome. The OPN has 65, 85, 100, and 105 dB receivers. If you take out the dome from the receiver, you should be able to look more closely to see what size number it has on it, 65, 85, 100 or 105. Since you’re wearing domes, I’m guessing it’s 85 or 100, but it’d be nice to know which one it is to really see if you already hit the limit for the OPN like your audi said.

Also, without seeing your new audiogram, we have no way to know if the receiver you’re being fitted with matches with your new hearing loss or if you’d need to upgrade to a bigger size and whether there’s a bigger size to upgrade to.

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re $7,000 … I notice someone referenced a place where you can get them at $4100, hearing revolution I think. I similarly used an outfit called ziphearing.com for about the same price for Oticon Opn S1s, and a referral to an audiologist who happened to be the one I was going to use anyway as my old fellow had retired.

It’s an 85. I don’t know if I’m supposed to put the audiogram in here or not, but presuming it uploads, here it is.
20210608 audiogram mayo 2617455 (1).pdf (5.7 MB)

With the adjustments it’s better. I have better hearing in the left ear. It’s still very “bright”, but that may be 'cause they can’t get the bass to where it’s supposed to be.

They also said they moved the ConnectClip one step AWAY from “Bright”, but it still pops like crazy and any staccato noise is loud and harsh.

As for price on the MORE, I"ll have to do a lot more research to find the differences between the 1, 2, and 3, and which I think is the best for my list of wants/needs. And I don’t see me buying anything from some online site considering the number of times I’ve had to have these things adjusted in the last several years. Unless they’re going to make some arrangement so the local audiologist can make adjustments at no charge…

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I think that’s what the online outfits do, they refer you to a local audi who’s affiliated with them near where you live. You then get the full service from that local audi, but you pay the online outfit for the hearing aids, and the audi gets paid by the online outfit to provide you with the full service.

Your new hearing loss may be outside of the 85 dB receiver range (on the high frequency ends), but the OPN still has 100 and 105 dB receiver sizes that should be able to meet your new hearing loss OK. Heck, even with the current 85 dB receivers, if you enable Speech Rescue (the frequency lowering feature), you may even be able to get by with them OK.

It looks like you have worse low frequency loss on the left ear compared to the right. But now you’re saying that with the adjustments, you can hear better on the left ear now (compared to the right ear)? But before, you said that your audi said that they can’t amplify anymore on the lows (of the left hear) for you. So does that mean the audi has now been able to amplify enough of the lows (of the left ear) for you, even though before she said she couldn’t?

Thanks for sharing your audiogram.

As mentioned you could get by with the 100 dB receivers. You also need custom earmolds.

Your word recognition is 75% in both ears. What that tells you is you are at a teetering point in your life about hearing and speech understanding. You really need to get serious about trying to improve your hearing with proper acoustics and receivers to hear the best you can. The aids you have now should work for you.

Also as mentioned Speech Rescue with your current aids could help you a bunch.

Good luck.

It’s difficult to ascertain from a few posts exactly how deep is your understanding of the audiological principles that will help you to hear and understand speech.

If you’re not 100% up to speed, finding a good fitter is probably a better use of your time and energy than trying to decide on a make/model of hearing device on your own.

Good luck.

I probably said it wrong - after the adjustments, the left ear is better than IT was, but it’s definitely not better than the right ear. But, I was going from the left being WAY (in my perception) down from the right, to being not as “down”…

The audiologist I went to isn’t near me, but they have better tools and far more knowledge than my local audiologist. When I got the hearing aids I was told it was important to get them locally because of the need to do adjustments, so I did. For significant changes like this one, I got to a different place with better skills - about a 60 mile round trip.

I"m not an expert on “audiological principles”, but unlike the people that did the audio testing and the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, it sounds in here like I’m at the point of not being able to understand speech.

As far as I know - and I’m not sure how I’d tell - Speech Rescue is turn on. Is there any reason it wouldn’t always have been turned on? Or at least be turned on at this set of adjustments?

Can you elaborate on the “proper acoustics and receivers”. I presume you’re talking the 100 receivers? I presume the audiologist could replace these receivers with the 100 ones, at some cost? What are the “acoustics”? Is that custom ear molds?

I am not an expert about this at all but do have experience.
Acoustics are the domes or earmolds needed to maintain the sound inside your ear canal based on your hearing loss. Yes, receivers are the speaker on the end of the wire that goes into your ear.

This is not necessarily absolute. My point was for you to get earmolds, the correct receivers and properly tuned hearing aids for your hearing loss so the aids you have can get the correct sound to your ears drums. Then your brain just might relearn sounds you have not been hearing and then your speech understanding just might improve. Worth trying.

Anyway, good luck with this.

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I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth.

  1. IF you’re talking about getting enough gain to hear in quiet situations, your Oticons are surely adequate.
  2. To get enough gain, you will likely need a more occlusive fitting. In other words, a custom mold with a fairly small vent.
  3. If you can’t tolerate a more occlusive fitting, I don’t think there will be any benefit to moving to more powerful receivers.
    4)Speech rescue lowers higher frequency sounds to lower frequencies so they can be heard. Some people hate it. Others it can help quite a bit. Many audiologists don’t want to mess with it. It is not just turn it on and be done with it. It needs adjusting.
  4. IF you want to switch hearing aids (again, I think yours have the ability to help you hear better) AND want more help focussing on speech in front of you, I’d lean towards Phonak.
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@GracieAllen: @MDB gas just touched on a few of the “audiological principles” to which I was alluding. @Raudrive has touched on others.

I don’t come to this conclusion at all, after rereading Forum posts. I do come away with the impression that perhaps adjusting your HAs for speech is beyond the ken of your local fitters.

You posted earlier:

'I was told it was important to get them locally because of the need to do adjustments, so I did. For significant changes like this one, I got to a different place with better skills - about a 60 mile round trip.`

60 miles round trip seems a reasonable investment if it allows you to understand speech.

[FWIW, I’d develop a working relationship with one, and only one fitter.]

Quiet situations aren’t a problem. My situations are LOUD situations. Situations where people on both sides of a stage are talking, and situations in restaurants that are completely hard surfaces and play music and have hordes of people ALL trying to be heard while I’m sitting at a long table with a dozen people I’m trying to hear, and situations with a quiet wife that mumbles and talks to the window in a car with a loud blower fan (same wife that’s in the restaurant), and situations where that same person is on the other side of a 20 foot room talking quietly while the TV plays. I presume NOTHING can work perfectly in these kind of situations, but I had the hearing aids adjusted so they will hopefully work as well as possible.

I don’t know why the expert audiologist didn’t immediately say “Time to switch to the 100 receivers. And lets set up speech rescue. And lets consider custom ear molds.” Do they even have custom ear molds for BTE hearing aids? I’ve left a message with those questions. I may hear from her at some point.

A 60 mile round trip wouldn’t be dreadful, though we’re reaching the age where it stops being fun. And I understand my “fitter” may not be up to the standards in here, or that I’d like, but unless I want to do at least 80-100 miles I’m not going to find one that may. And even then it would be crap shoot.

My local person, where the aids were bought, is fine for minor adjustments and (previously) getting replacement Z-Power batteries every few months. But for things like I had Tuesday, I’ve been going to the place that specializes in Oticon and claims to have a very high level of expertise - and has equipment like the “Real Ear?” and so on. But, at a minimum $175 every time I see them, I’d prefer to minimize visits.

If I hear back, I"ll put the response in here.

Dealing with speech in noise is another game. It’s possible that the OPN’s technology for dealing with noise is not adequate for your ability to hear in noise, even if you have adequate gain. The gold standard for understanding speech in noise is a remote microphone. Many people are happy with Phonak Paradise and a Roger microphone or microphones. I have no way of knowing how much help you need with speech in noise. It’s possible the Oticon More (you’d likely want the “1” if you’re getting it for it’s ability in noise) might do the trick. I think a Phonak Paradise and Roger microphone (s) would be able to provide the most help.

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Welcome to hearing loss.
Seems everything is a compromise. Us hard of hearing people learn to live with it. Try to get your % speech understanding up.
Good luck

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