No problem at all. That’s what these forums are for.
Again, my hearing is a lot like yours. We are both what audiologists call “hard to fit patients”. We have profound loss aka deafness in the mid-to-high pitches (2000 Hz and up), and no hearing aid on the market can change that. With patients with profound hearing loss, the plan is to try to block up the ear canal with a tightly-fitting mold (as opposed to an open-fit mold), which traps in all the sound and allows for higher gain. The problem with this for patients like us is that hearing is simply too far gone in the mid-to-highs to get much benefit from massive amplification in these pitches, and the processing of the sound results in distortion, like piping everything through a loudspeaker. The reality is that I’ve never worn a pair of hearing aids that I truly liked, although the pair that I have on trial is alright.
I’m currently on trial with a pair of Naida S CRT V’s with an extra large vent in the molds, per my request. I trialed the Naida S CRT IX’s (some of the most advanced hearing aids on the market), but I found I wasn’t getting anything extra from the bells and whistles on those ones. The Naidas have great feedback control mechanisms, which is the only reason I could get away with the large vent. With the large vent, the low pitches reach my ear without any processing, resulting in more natural sound. The hearing aids amplify the mids and highs without touching the lows, which is the way I want them to work. Also, the occlusion (which I hate) is greatly reduced. The only problem is that I don’t really know how much benefit I am getting from them. The Naidas provide a good amount of gain, but as I said above, there is simply no amount of amplification that will allow me to process sound at 2000 Hz where my loss is 110 dB+. Effectively, these aids attempt to target the pitches between 500-1500 Hz where I have hearing loss, but not nerve-cell death. If they provide improvement, it is marginal. I need to make a decision in the next 2 weeks on whether I want to keep them.
Going forward, you and I are in a tough position. Sharp ski-slope hearing losses aren’t getting any easier to treat, and our hearing bottoms out in the profound category. Middle-ear-implants show some promise because they can provide more gain and more “natural” sound than hearing aids, but ultimately we have to come to grips with the fact that with 100+ dB of loss at 2000-4000 Hz, these are cochlear “dead zones” and no hearing aid or middle-ear-implant will result in us comprehending speech in those pitches. Recently, my audiologist said that looking at my audiogram and history, I was trending towards getting a cochlear implant sometime within the next decade. In the past, I had rejected that idea, but I can see myself going down that path if my hearing continues to deteriorate. My audi said that bimodal patients (with a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other) can regularly achieve word recognition and speech discrimination scores well above what I’m getting now with hearing aids. Another thing to look at is short electrode cochlear implants, which attempt to use “soft surgery” methods and a shorter electrode in order to preserve low-pitch hearing in cochlear implantees. The problem with any cochlear implant is amount of rehab required, retraining your brain to associate electrical impulses with various sounds. It is a very difficult process and it’ll never sound truly “natural”.
I would recommend that you find a really good audiologist in your area who works with all kinds of patients, from hearing aid patients to cochlear implant recipients and even middle-ear-implantees if possible. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, there is no “fix” for our kind of hearing loss, but you should give some of the better hearing aids a trial in order to find your best fit. In terms of middle-ear-implants, there is also a product out there called the Ototronix Maxum, which is similar to the Esteem but cheaper. It’s worth a look, although it is tough to find a whole lot of information about it.
Let me know if you have any more questions.