Picked up my Opns today Feedback/encouragement are welcome

Picked up my Opns today. And just like when I started CPAP for sleep apnea several years ago, I need a place to record my thoughts about what’s going on. It helps when I’m dealing with follow-up appointments and so forth.

I can tell a positive difference in that I can hear all the background noises that I was missing. And it is easier to hear what my mumbling husband says. (Hubby’s mumbling is commented on by multiple people, but my hearing loss made things even worse.)

But normal conversation in quiet rooms seems way too loud. Yes, I told the audiologist this since it was apparent as soon as she put the aids on me. She turned the overall gain down and wants to increase it gradually. OK, I guess. But I don’t really want ordinary conversation to sound like people are on the verge of yelling at me. And that’s what it sounded like in the office when she was talking to me. The audiologist also said that if I want to take the hearing aids out when conversational noise is getting too loud for me, to do that. She said it’s ok to go slow and start slowly. I’m not sure whether this will be a huge issue for me or just a small one. At least not with the current level of gain.

Pluses so far in no particular order:

  • The aids are more comfortable than I was expecting. I don't really notice the feel of the one in my left ear at all, the one on the right is noticeable, but not uncomfortable.
  • I appreciate hearing the background noises that I have not been reliably hearing in the past couple of years. I was happy to hear the click-click-click of the audiologist's mouse from across the office for example. Hearing upstairs bathroom fan was on from downstairs was a nice positive change as well.
  • Pairing with my new iPhone 5S went smoothly. It's strange to hear the phone conversation in both ears.
  • It is easier to hear birds outside.
  • Tinnitus is much reduced when I've got the aids in my ears.
  • Music and the radio sound correct without me having to fiddle with the equalizer to excessively boost the treble and simultaneously suppress the like I have been doing without the hearing aids. In other words, I can now set the equalizer to something that is normal and the music sounds right to me.

Some negatives again in no particular order:

  • There's sometimes crinkling when I scratch my head or when my husband is rubbing the back of my neck. This was excessively loud when the audiologist first put my aids on me. She did some kind of testing and adjustment and that cut it down from "constant" to rather intermittent.
  • There's an echoing quality to my own voice. My voice is louder than I would expect it to be, but at least it doesn't seem to be quite so over amplified as other people's voices. Audiologist says I'll get used to it, and at least it's not unpleasant. Still, I wish it wasn't there. If this gets worse when I start teaching and have to use my "teacher's voice", that will be something that I'll have to talk to the audiologist about.
  • Quiet conversation seems over amplified. Please understand that I usually don't have any problem understanding someone talking one-on-one, even in a noisy environment. But the conversation I had with the audiologist in her office was almost, but not quite uncomfortably loud. I've also had to ask hubby to lower his voice several times when he was not talking particularly loud to begin with, but the amplification pushed the loudness up close to the level it is at when he's mad at me. I don't want feel like hubby is constantly on the verge of yelling at me.
  • Cellophane crinkling is intensely uncomfortable. Paper rustling is louder than I would expect, but not uncomfortable. Cellophane crinkling is actually uncomfortable. I suspect that it may be related to my tinnitus----even before the hearing loss was diagnosed certain pitches have always seemed "extra loud" to me, and after the tinnitus testing was done, I was able to figure out that several of those pitches are right around where the pitch of my tinnitus. Cellophane crinkling seems to be at one of those pitches.
  • I am not looking forward to having to add the daily "hearing aid cleaning" to my nightly "tasks to do before bed".
  • These things make me feel really, really old. I know that objectively I'm in pretty good shape for a 58 year old. But outside of my MIL (who is 95) I don't know a single person who has hearing aids. And my MIL didn't get hers until she was in her late 70s.

Other Things:

  • I wish there was a way for my MacBook Pro to stream directly to the headphones. There are a number of things that I listen to on-line, but the idea of trying to get to websites via the cell phone is not pleasant. I'm a ten fingered typist and I don't like web browsing on the iPhone since typing on it is just not easy.
  • While the tinnitus is much less when the hearing aids are in my ears, it comes back immediately as soon as I take them out. This does not bode well for getting to sleep at night. And sleep is a huge issue for me---I've been fighting sleep problems for a long time and I and my sleep doctor are just about out of ideas on what can be done to allow me to get enough high quality sleep to not feel sleep deprived all the time.
  • When I take one aid out (to scratch my ears for example), that ear immediately feels "stuffed up", but when I put the aid back in, the "stuffed up" feeling disappears. I think it's because I can tell I'm not hearing as many things without the aids.
  • I'm terrified of losing these very expensive gadgets. I like to bike and hike in the summer. I like to ski in the winter. It's not clear to me what I should/should not be able to do without worrying about the aids falling out of my ears.

My first follow-up is in two weeks (Aug 15). Audiologist says to call/email her if anything comes up before then.

The audiologist also spent some time answering my questions about my fear of the hearing aids creating additional noise induced hearing loss due to the amplified sound. She didn’t really give me a good suggestion, however, on what to do when I’m walking outside and there’s really loud noise like a motorcycle in the road. Without hearing aids, I just stick my fingers in my ears anytime the noise level gets a bit uncomfortable until the noise goes away. Her suggestion for the time being was to just not wear the aids on my nightly walks so that I can keep doing what I do now. But I miss the background noises (birds, crickets, cicadas, etc) on my walks and if the aids will let me hear them, I’d rather not just take the aids out for the walk.

I clean my hearing aids maybe once a week (at most), and I’ve never had a problem with them. Do people really clean them more often? (Seriously)

There are so many comments I could make, but I can’t do it now; will try to do so tomorrow. Ok, one note: yes, the stuffed up feeling is because you’re missing so much sound in that ear. When I take my HA’s out, it’s like someone put earplugs in, or my ears popped. Ok, one more: the HA’s shouldn’t be loose or popping out of your ears - if they are, try a different size (or style) of dome. With the right domes, there’s simply nothing to worry about. The only way you’ll lose them is if you take them out and aren’t very good about putting them in a case, or in some other safe-ish place.

I don’t know about the OPN hearing aids but I think some aids have a temporary mute feature that could be used for when a loud motorcycle is approaching.

But you really dont want aids that require lots of manual adjustments. IMO, they should be relatively infrequent.

Thanks to those who have replied so far.

chatterbox wrote:

“Ok, one note: yes, the stuffed up feeling is because you’re missing so much sound in that ear. When I take my HA’s out, it’s like someone put earplugs in, or my ears popped.”

Yep. That’s exactly what it feels like and that’s pretty much what I concluded: The ears feel weird when I first take the HAs out because I’m already missing the richer aural environment provided by the HAs.

It’s funny because the audiologist warned me that HAs are not like getting glasses. She along the lines that when you first get glasses, your vision is (usually) corrected so close to “normal” that it’s trivial to get used to wearing glasses, but that learning how to hear with HAs takes time and that the improvement is not so dramatic. But quite honestly except for the loudness of one-on-one conversations in quiet environments and the echo in my own voice, putting these Opns in my ears really is a lot like putting on a good pair of glasses. Yes things are noisier. (Of course they are----I wasn’t hearing all the normal background noise.) But the sound is also crisper and more in focus. I’m writing this note at a busy McDonald’s during lunch time. I don’t have a companion, so I’m not trying to have a conversation with anybody in particular. But I’m amazed that I can pick out conversation at nearby tables if I want to. And still understand the songs playing on the audio system in spite of the din of noise going on around me. Rather than finding all the background noise irritating or annoying, I find it “normal”—as in I know at a visceral level—that this is what I used to hear like a 2-3 years ago. And I’ve missed all that background sound as the hearing loss became greater.

That said, I’m still not sure if I can tolerate a lot more gain because the background noise is pushing the limits of my comfort zone in the sense of “migraine trigger” rather than physical pain. We’ll see what the audiologist says in a couple more weeks.

Muting the HAs to minimize the loud motorcycle noise is not quite what I meant. The problem is that I can hear loud motorcycles without HAs and when I have no HAs in my ears, I stick my fingers in my ears to block as much of that noise as I can. With the HAs in, I can’t block the noise by putting my fingers in my ears. So even if I were to mute the HAs, I’d still hear most of that noise because I’ve got open domes. Or at least that’s my impression of what happens.

In other words, I’ve long used my pinky fingers as “emergency earplugs” when the noise is painfully loud and loud enough to do potential damage to my hearing. I haven’t figured out a way to block really loud, suddent noises with the hearing aids in. Sticking my fingers in my ears doesn’t work anymore.

I have open domes and while I can’t put my fingers in my ears I can put my thumbs over the ear canals and that does almost the same thing.

Ok,

Today’s question picks up with something chatermail said to me:

I think I’m going to need to talk to the audiologist about this. Either I’m not inserting the receivers correctly into my ears or there’s something that’s not quite right. Because the receivers are definitely working there way back out of my ears over time—as in 1-2 hours, if I’m doing a lot of talking or eating or 3-4 hours if I’m sitting on the couch watching tv or web browsing. Yawning also seems to make the receivers work their way out of my ear canals more quickly. (I have several interrelated sleep problems which are under medical treatment, but my sleep doc and I are still struggling to figure out a way to get me to sleep well on a consistent basis. So I’m sleep deprived much of the time and I do yawn a lot in the day.)

Last night after coming home from an outdoor play I was sitting on the couch for a couple of hours getting some work done on my laptop. When I started to get up to go to bed, I noticed the receiver in the left ear had wormed its way all the way out of the canal. The aid was still sitting on my ear, but it certainly was not secured in that position by anything other than the fact that my glasses were also on my face.

So a question: Is the dome more likely to be too big or too small? In eyeballing it, it looks like the audi put the smallest or second smallest dome available on the aids. She didn’t tell me what size and I was too stunned by how loud her voice was to be thinking clearly after she put the aids in my ears to ask.

Also, the audi swapped the wire out for a shorter wire during the fitting appointment. Could the length of the wire be a factor?

Here’s what I can tell you about what happens when I put the aids in: I have some real problems in getting the wire to lie flat along the front of my ear—it wants to bow outwards and then bend into the ear canal rather than lie flat against the front of my ear and bend naturally into the canal. If I do some real fiddling, I can usually get the wire to lie flat the way the instructions show it should, but then often there is some pain deep in the ear canal. Am I aiming the receiver in the wrong direction? Am I pushing the receiver too far into the canal? Am I not pushing it far enough into the canal?

You need to go over placement with your audiologist (or some audiologist); it should lay flat if 1) the length is right, 2) you’re placing it properly, 3) the dome is the right size, though I’m sure there are some odd anatomical differences that might matter. Are you using the “ear grips” that should come with the HA’s? They help hold the aids in place. Here’s a link: http://www.tvahearingproducts.com/oticon-ear-grips-for-minifit-slim-tubes/

Hell of a list for the same day you picked them up…

It’s been 6 days since I picked up the OPNs. Here’s what’s good, bad, and otherwise at this point:

The Good:

  1. The sound is crisper when I have the HAs in. I’m pretty much wearing them all the time—as in they go in my ears when I get out of bed and except for a few special circumstances they stay in my ears until I go to bed. I like the crispness of the sound with the HAs in.

  2. It is easier to understand my soft-spoken husband and other people.

  3. I’m enjoying hearing background noises for the most part. Even most traditionally “irritating” noises are not bothering me and I rather like being able to hear them again. I particularly like hearing crickets on my evening walks again.

  4. Locating sounds seems easier.

  5. My tinnitus is much reduced, but not eliminated when I’m wearing the aids.

The Bad:

  1. The receivers for the HAs continue to work their way out of my canals multiple times a day. Indeed, it’s more like multiple times an hour when I’m eating or talking or walking around. I have a semi-emergency appointment with different audi in the same office tomorrow to double check the fit and whether I’m inserting the aids correctly. (My audi is not available on Monday). My audi has suggested that I may need to go to custom domes to fix this problem. (I’m under the impression that the custom domes will be covered under what I’ve already paid for these things.) I have a follow-up scheduled with my regular audi to talk about that on Aug13, if I recall

  2. The insides of both of my ear canals are very, very sore. Putting the aids in hurts. A lot. The pain usually subsides after I get the receivers where I want them, but actually inserting them causes some real pain. But today, the right ear is definitely not feeling normal and is very sensitive (i.e. is painful) to touch in some spots. Is this normal? Or am I doing something wrong? Will my ears toughen up so that inserting the aids becomes less painful over time?

  3. One on one conversations in quiet environments are still problematic: It frequently seems as though the other person is shouting at me even when they are talking in a normal tone of voice. This is triggering a lot of stress for me.

  4. My voice. There’s still a pronounced echo in my own voice when I’m speaking, particularly in a quiet environment. It also seems as though I am speaking excessively loudly, but my husband assures me that my voice is at a reasonable level.

  5. Echoes. In addition to the echo I frequently hear in my own voice, there’s also an echo in other people’s voices in quiet environments. The echoing makes both sides of the conversation sound very unnatural and annoying.

  6. Migraines. The frequency and severity of my noise-triggered migraines has sky rocketed this week. While really noisy environments are no more uncomfortable for me (in terms of triggering migraines) than before, moderately noisy environments are now often on the edge of my discomfort zone. In other words, environments that my husband tells me are only moderately noisy and that did not tend to trigger migraines before getting the HAs now sound extremely noisy to me and they are just as uncomfortable as really noisy environments are. I’ve had migraines the last three days in a row, and noise from a moderately noisy environment (according to hubby) has been a significant trigger in two of those migraines and a secondary trigger in the third one. This is fast becoming a nasty feedback loop: The more noise-induced migraines I have in moderately noisy environments that would not have been problematic before HAs, the harder it is for me to accept that the amplification level provided by the HAs is not too much, and the more I worry about how much amplification the HAs are doing, the more likely the noise combined with stress is to trigger yet another migraine. And this happening at what my audi describes as “very minor amplification” and she’s stated more than once she wants to increase the gain over the next few weeks. I’m not at all sure that I’ll be able to tolerate that if moderately noisy environments continue to trigger migraines. If I had a better idea of how much amplification the HAs are providing in moderately noisy environments, it would help break that feedback loop.

Neither good nor bad, but more observations:

  1. Went to a movie last night and could not stand the noise with the HAs in, so I took them out. With the HAs out, I was able to put my pinkies in my ears when the noise level was uncomfortable during the action scenes. (I’ve been doing this for years.) Didn’t have any problems following the dialog during the quiet parts of the movie without the HAs, but I could tell the sound was muddier without the HAs. I did put the HAs in for the final credits. The music was crisper and had more treble, but it was uncomfortable to listen to (loudness) and I would have taken the HAs back out if I wasn’t getting ready to leave the theatre. Same thing happened at an open-air play performance the day after I got the hearing aids, only at Shakespeare in Delaware Park I actually had to put ear plugs into my ears in order to be comfortable.

  2. I’m not brave enough to try to bike with the HAs because the receivers won’t stay in my ears. I missed the crispness of the normal background noises (crickets, birds, etc) when I took a long bike ride and left the HAs at home two days ago . I’d really like to be able to wear the HAs when I’m doing physically active things. Hopefully the audi will be able to figure out why the receivers keep working their way out of my ears.

  3. Various odd ball noises. Squeaky doors are way, way too loud—as in I wince in pain. Crinkling paper sounds artificial and a bit too loud, but is not irritating. Crinkly cellophane sounds artificial and can be so loud that it’s painful. Every time I scratch my head or touch my eyeglasses there’s a moderately loud, artificial crinkling noise. It’s not loud enough to trigger migraines, but it can be loud enough to drown out what my soft-spoken husband is saying if we’re talking in a loud environment. This noise is something that I think I’ll be able to live with long term since it’s easy to identify the trigger and it’s no where near loud enough to trigger a migraine. Brushing my teeth also results in a highly artificial noise. The sound of my own chewing is way, way too loud. When I’m eating something crunchy (potato chips, popcorn, crisp cookies, crackers, etc), the crunches are overwhelmingly loud. As in I can’t follow what’s being said at the table during the time I’m chewing. Without my HAs, I can follow what’s being said and the sound of my chewing is there, but not overwhelming.

  4. Separating white noise (that I can now hear) from my tinnitus is easier than I expected. And I am hearing more white noise in the background that I used to hear. I can pick the noise of fans, ACs, refrigerators out in quiet environments and (usually) identify exactly which thing it is. Ignoring these noises when I want to concentrate on what I’m doing is easy since while they’re now clearly audible, they don’t seem to be overly loud.

  5. Had to replace the batteries for the first time on Friday. I was in the middle of doing something and the repeated “low battery jingles” were more than a bit annoying. I wish they’d do the jingle once or twice and then stay quiet for at least 15-20 minutes so you can finish what you’re currently doing before stopping to replace the batteries. This is going to be pretty irritating if the “low battery jingles” start when I’m lecturing in a class and really can’t stop what I’m doing for 50-75 minutes. Just how long will HAs continue to work after that first “low battery jingle” is sounded?

Pain in the canal is not normal. That makes what was fitted more suspect. What domes did they give you? They should also check wire length. If your getting along well with the automatic program, you might have it duplicated on the 2nd program with reduced volume. Then when your in a noisy spot, a quick click on the program button gets instant relief.

As to the discomfort level in the test, that isn’t that low. I had tinnitus that could get loud. It was moderate when I got the aids. KOW, it pretty much vanished. The longer people wear aids the better the mind handles it. If your is a single tone rather than varying. The audiologist may be able to notch that tone to minimize it – some aids can do that and some find it helpful.

If you’re teaching and you get a battery signal, you can just lay them on the desk. Others know how many days they get and plan accordingly. The ideal is 8 days of use where you change them out the same day each week.

Receivers working their way out - not normal; should be fixed by correct tube length, dome size, etc. Unless (sorry to repeat what I said earlier) you have unusual anatomy (very unlikely), in which case something custom might be required.

The receivers should NOT ever hurt your ears; again, something is wrong. If your audi can’t fix these two issues, find another audi.

Third, it sounds like your fitting isn’t good, though I agree with others who have stated that it takes some time to get used to certain “crisp” sounds.

As far as battery goes, you could always be proactive and simply switch them after N days (i.e. before they would normally need replacing). Realistically, batteries are in the $50/year range; it’s not a big deal to spend slightly more.

It’s good to know I’m not crazy thinking that something’s wrong with the fit. That will help me be more proactive when it comes to insisting that something really is off with the current fit.

What domes did they give you? They should also check wire length.
The domes are 6mm open domes. The wire length is a “2” (don’t know what that means). At the first fitting, the audi had “3” wires on the aids at the start, but then swapped them out for the shorter "2"s. Does that make sense?

Is it more likely that things are too big or too small? I ask this question because there are several CPAP mask related things (cushions, headgear, etc) where newbies will often think the problem is that something is too big when in reality the problem is that the CPAP cushions or headgear is actually too small.

If your getting along well with the automatic program, you might have it duplicated on the 2nd program with reduced volume. Then when your in a noisy spot, a quick click on the program button gets instant relief.
I’ll keep this in mind. I wish I had an objective measure of how noisy the medium noisy environments actually are as well as some understanding of just how much amplification is being added in those environments.

As to the discomfort level in the test, that isn’t that low. I had tinnitus that could get loud. It was moderate when I got the aids. KOW, it pretty much vanished. The longer people wear aids the better the mind handles it. If your is a single tone rather than varying. The audiologist may be able to notch that tone to minimize it – some aids can do that and some find it helpful.
Most of the time my tinnitus is a buzzy tone at about 750 Hz. I’m also extra sensitive to tones in that range. The two closest keys on a piano to 750 Hz are F#5 and G5. (That’s the F# and G that are approximately 1.5 octaves above middle C.) For many decades those particular notes have always sounded excessively loud to me, and they can be very painful for me when a singer or a solo musical instrument hits one of those notes for a long period of time.

I’m fortunate in that I’d describe my tinnitus as “slightly irritating” rather than a serious problem. Still, it was a change in the duration and sound of the tinnitus that resulted in my PCP recommending that I have my hearing checked.

Right now I’m happy enough with the reduction in the level of tinnitus. Yeah, it’s not been eliminated, but it’s no longer there 24/7 either. It is there when I wake up every morning, and disappears (or mostly disappears) as soon as I put the HAs on. It comes back immediately when I take them off at night.

If you’re teaching and you get a battery signal, you can just lay them on the desk.
Thanks! That’s exactly the kind of practical tips that I’m looking for from this forum. Why I ouldn’t think of such an obvious thing myself, I don’t know.

I’ll definitely keep these things in mind. My regular audi has already suggested that I may need a custom mold for the receiver end of things. She’s not explained why she thinks that, however.

I have noticed that the Opn’s user guide says that open domes are available in 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm sizes. Is it possible the audi is thinking that the domes are too big and that even the 5mm domes might be too big?

Third, it sounds like your fitting isn’t good, though I agree with others who have stated that it takes some time to get used to certain “crisp” sounds.
For the most part, I like the crispness of the sounds I’m hearing. Seems like most sound is in far better focus and much less muddy when I have the HAs in as compared to when I don’t.

I’ve also read a lot about how a lot of people find music “distorted” when they start wearing hearing aids. What I’m finding is that when I’m listening to recorded music, I’ve had to change the equalizer settings to rebalance the bass and treble substantially to get music to sound “right”: Before HAs, I’d crank up the treble and decrease the bass to make the music “sound right” to my ears. Now I’m finding I can use the default equalizer settings and the music sounds right when I have the HAs in. Live music sounds better with the HAs than without, but only if the overall loudness is something I can tolerate without running the risk of a migraine. (But when I am in a situation where I’m listening to really loud music, I’ve needed to use ear plugs for several years just to be comfortable with the overall noise level.) I am beginning to suspect that I’ve been using the equalizer settings on my stereo and in iTunes for the past couple of years to compensate for the distortion caused by hearing loss as it’s grown worse.

Judging from what I’ve read here and from what my audi has told me about the adjustment process, many of the sounds that I am finding irritating are things that I should get used to in time. For example, the crinkling when I’m scratching my head is clearly not any kind of a deal breaker: Yeah, I notice it a lot now, particularly when I’m scratching my head in a quiet environment. But it’s not like that noise is so obnoxious that I can’t learn to live with it. The chewing, on the other hand, is something that I want to talk to the audi about because it is pretty obnoxious and it interferes with my ability to hear what others at the dinner table are saying.

The audi I saw today about the fact that the HAs were working their way out of my ear canals put on a set of hearing aid locks. So far, so good in terms of keeping the receivers much more securely in the canals. One of the locks seems a bit pokey right now. But that’s an improvement.

First follow up with the main audi is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

More notes so I don’t forget them when I see the audi on Friday afternoon. If you’re bored with my stream of consciousness ramblings about what’s going on in my early adjustment period to HAs, find another thread to read.

The locks seem to be helping. Didn’t have to do the constant readjusting all day yesterday and the ear canals are much, much less sore today.

The audi I saw yesterday also said to keep notes about what kinds of noises/situations are troubling and how they’re troubling. She did turn down something to do with “High” volume noises so they’re not amplified as much after I told her I’d had serious noise-induced migraines three days in a row.

My biggest concern right now: I can’t reliably seem to judge how noisy a moderately noisy to really noisy environment is. When we were visiting our daughter in MI over the weekend, we did a lot of eating out. The first restaurant seemed exceptionally noisy to me (noisy enough to trigger a migraine), although I had no serious problems making out the conversation at the table. Later that evening when I was talking to hubby about how extremely loud the restaurant had been and how I had a migraine, hubby told me it was only moderately noisy in that restaurant and he compared it to some favorite places of ours here in Buffalo that I know are only moderately noisy and that are usually well below the threshold for triggering my migraines. The next day we went to another place that again seemed awfully noisy to me, but this time hubby also agreed that the place was pretty loud. In other words, both the restaurants seemed equally noisy were equally uncomfortable to me in terms of the volume of the background noise. At both places I didn’t have any more problems hearing the conversation than my dinner companions did, but understanding speech in noise was not a big complaint of mine before the hearing loss was diagnosed. What’s troubling to me is the fact that the moderately noisy place sounded just as loud and echo-y as the place that was genuinely loud did. And the noise at the moderately loud place was loud enough to trigger a migraine since I was wearing the HAs.

The adjustments to the “High volume of noise” settings that the audi made yesterday seem to have helped a bit, but I haven’t had a real test yet to see if I can tell a difference.

I still feel like people are yelling at me when I’m engaged in a one-on-one conversation in a quiet environment. This is causing stress since it makes me feel like my husband is angry with me when he’s not. And at the audiologist’s office yesterday, her voice was almost painfully loud (as in migraine-trigger loud) when the HAs were in my ears, but it was fine when the HAs were not in my ears.

Gee I wish I had a better idea of just how these dang things are programmed. I don’t like being treated like a small child and just being told, “the programming takes care of everything so don’t worry about it.” I really want (need) to know just what my aids are actually doing when the loudness of the sounds is already plenty loud.

Another comment about this stuff before I forget it: In MI I had to take the HAs out when we were in a movie theater. The volume was just too loud during the loud and middle loud parts of the movie. Without the HAs in, the sound was muddier and not as crisp. I really prefer the crisp sound provided by the HAs, but I couldn’t handle the extra volume—I already had a migraine from the restaurant we went to before the movie. I took the aids out at a really loud part shortly after the movie began and I’m pretty sure the volume did not go down, but the quality of the sound did change. I tried inserting the aids later on during a quieter part of the movie, and unfortunately, that made the quieter part of the movie too loud so I had to take the aids out again. After that, I just left them out. The upshot is that I am pretty sure that there is some decibel setting after which the HAs don’t amplify or don’t amplify very much, but I wish that decibel level was lower than it seems to be set right now.

Final comment for today: The tinnitus in my right ear seems to be back today. I’m in a very quiet environment—my own living room right now. The only real noises are the sound of my typing and the AC and ceiling fan in the next room. The AC seems to be about as noisy with or without HAs. (I took the HAs out for a few minutes just to check that last statement.) Without HAs, I definitely cannot hear the ceiling fan. With the HAs, I’m not sure that I’m hearing it, but there’s some additional low level white background noise with the HAs in, and I would guess that’s the ceiling fan.

Well I need to go pick up hubby in a moderately noisy coffee shop that can get very noisy when they’re running the coffee grinder or the blender for frappes. We’ll see how I do in that environment today.

Should not be painful. Receiver wire too long or too short, domes too big?

Custom molds would be a good way to go. I had some retention problems with the tulip domes and got custom molds made. They were fit very deep and cannot be seen from the outside, and, they stay in and are super comfortable.

Yes, get custom molds and you will never look back. No volume control?