Speaking for myself… any time I try something new and radical it generally takes me a while to actually decide if I like it or hate it. For instance… when I had cataract surgery a while back on one of my eyes. I opted to try mono-vision (one eye would have perfect 20/20… the other eye crappy nearsightedness. ) They told me it would take 2-3 weeks to adapt… It actually took 5 MONTHS but now I love it. Knowing how I am slow accept change I have waited a full 2 months after getting my Phonak Audeo Yes Hearing Aids to write this report.
First of all a basic background… I’m 54 . My hearing is pretty much total crap after A. 25 years working 12 hour shifts in a printing plant with heavy machinery WITHOUT ear plugs. B. 30 years riding motorcycles WITHOUT ear plugs. C. 20 years attending rock concerts WITHOUT ear plugs. D. 2 years as a roadie for a rock band WITHOUT ear plugs. The perfect storm of stupidity.
I didn’t realize how bad my hearing really was until my family (including both my current and an ex wife) loved me enough to have an intervention with me… They sat me down and insisted I needed to do something about the problem as I was missing most of what they were saying. In reality, I knew my hearing was bad as I’m constantly saying… “huh”… or “could you repeat that” but I didn’t realize my inability to hear was affecting others. I miss about 50-60% of the dialog in movies …it’s frustrating talking on the phone … and have to read lips when I’m in face-to-face conversations. I also use headphones any time I watch TV… I also knew that for the cost of hearing aids I could travel to Europe or dive the Caribbean for a week or 2 or 3 so what to do?
When I realized how seriously frustrated my wife had become and I knew our long term happiness was in jeopardy, I sucked it up and sold my track bike and purchased (2) Phonak Audeo Yes Hearing Aids, but not before a lot of anal research and conversations with many people who wear them. Total cost was about $4600, I think and that included a $500 optional remote control which I could try for 2 weeks. If I didn’t like or need it… They would refund $500.Fair enough.The remote would allow me to change programs for phone conversations, parties (to filter out back ground noise), and concert halls. The little exorbitantly priced gadget would also allow me to change the volume on the left or right side, mute, etc etc… I thought for sure I’d use the hell out of it.
My audiologist actually suggested the Audeo Yes before I had even mentioned that’s what I had decided on. A good sign. I reluctantly paid 1/2 down and she ordered them. I admit… in my mind this was pretty much a waste of money and I’d have rather spent the money on track days or vacation, but … I love my wife. …A week later they arrived, the audiologist programmed them with my hearing loss stats and put them in.
In a word… the difference (for me) was night and day. KInda like walking around with foam earplugs in my ears and then suddenly removing them after 35 years. Having lost the hi-end of the spectrum years ago it was almost an assault on my senses hearing the seat belt bell in my car, the microwave beeper, the timer on the washing machine, the sound of walking on leaves in the yard… or peeing which seemed LOUD. My first test when I got home was conversing with my wife. For the first few weeks I was constantly asking her NOT to talk so loud. She had grown so accustomed to practically yelling at me that it was a major change for her, too. Even after 2 months I’m still asking her to tone down the volume. It’s kinda a running joke with us now. My second test was to go to a couple of movies. As I said previously, I’d miss out on 1/2 the dialog in any film. With the Phonak Audeo Yes in place … I am now catching abut 90% of the dialog. Wonderful.
Another plus… I have been diagnosed with M�ni�re’s Disease… that constant ringing… When wearing the hearing aids I was almost totally unaware of the ringing. If you have this ringing… you know how big a deal this is.
My hearing aids were not quite comfortable at first as the thin stem that goes from the unit to my ear canal was one size too small but once we changed that out for a size larger, (took all of 5 minutes) I hardly noticed that I was wearing them… even with a ball cap. I also wear sunglasses 100% of the time if I’m out doors and the hearing aids were not even a problem then. As a matter of fact… they are so unobtrusive when I’m wearing them that twice I have gotten in the shower forgetting that they are in. Yikes!! I do remove them when I’m wearing a helmet or toboggan-type cap as both make the hearing aids hurt my ears due to the pressure.
Getting back to the $500 remote… I used it quite a bit for a week, but then quickly realized that it was unnecessary. It has a “gee-wizz” factor for about a week and then you put it in a drawer and forget about it. On the standard program setting I could hear everything just fine … Didn’t need to change to a different channel or use the volume control. The MUTE button was nice but not worth $500 so I returned the unit after the 2 week trail and haven’t missed it for a single minute.
I will add that during my initial trail period, a newer version Phonak Audeo Yes came out and my audiologist offered them at the same price. She ordered a pair and let me try them for 2 weeks. According to the literature, the stats were the same with the ONLY physical difference being a button on each unit so you could both mute them by pressing the button or with a double click… turn them off. I tried them and HATED them. The buttons worked perfectly but the new version produced a constant popping/abrasive noise that was both noticeable and annoying to me or to anyone within ear shot. Even my wife asked me to get rid of them. Both my audiologist and I agreed it was a design flaw so I returned them and got my others back. Could I have gotten a bad pair or was it indeed a design issue? No idea.
Are hearing aids worth the $4000+dollars? IMHO… Absolutely…What price can you put on a long term loving relationship? My wife is now happy. I can actually hear our parrots talking to me. I can watch TV without head phones. Is my hearing as good as it was when I was young? Hardly… While the Phonak Audeo Yes did restore a lot of the lost frequencies, my hearing has been so damaged due to the self imposed abuse that I still have problems with word recognition and that will never improve… at least with todays technology. For now I can easily say my hearing is 70% better than pre-hearing aids. I hope this review helps someone out there decide to make the move. I’m 100% glad I did.
If anyone has further questions … please feel free to email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org