Rate of hearing aid failure

I am 76 years old and have significant sensory hearing loss, most pronounced with the higher frequencies and worse in one ear. My biggest problem is hearing speech - the amount of loss overall is 50% or more, and varies with the speaker. Over the past 6 or so months I have tried two brands of internal aids (Starkey and Seimens) fitted by the same audiologist (at no small expense), and each having been adjusted at least six times. Although the level of sound with the aids is louder and I hear more noises, there is little or no overall improvement in deciphering speech. In fact, in some instances it is worse with the aids, notably in closed spaces like an elevator or a small office, and in noisy places like a crowded restaurant. Also, I have to remove an aid to use the telephone to prevent feedback. So the fact is that I am largely frustrated with my treatment results. I have talked to several others in my age group who have described similar hearing loss, and also similar frustrations with their hearing aids. My questions are a) Did I expect more from hearing aids with my type of defect than is available in this time of great technological advance? (Surely studies been published about failure rates.) b) If minimal improvement is the rule rather than the exception, why are we not notified by the professionals? Thanks.

What type of HAs (Hearing Aids) did you try? CIC(Completely in the Canal, ITC (In the Canal), or ITE (In the Ear)? I have similar hearing loss and the best ones for me have been the BTE (behind the Ear). I have the Oticon Epoqs which are a great hearing aid, but there are plenty of other BTEs that might help your problem. Especially if you don’t need the bluetooth capability that the Epoqs and other high end HAs have.

As far as the Epoqs go, I can tell you that I have virtually non-existent feedback and I hear the phone extremely well holding it to my ear and no feedback when I hold it really close. However there are many other brands that users on this forum rank very highly, and I would recommend that you look through the topics and check it out. The one thing I like about this forum is that the people here are more concerned with finding the right HA for you, rather than pushing any one brand on you. Since the Epoqs are the only HAs I tried out and am very happy with, I can only tell you about them, but you’ll find a lot of positive info about may other brands here as well.

Another problem you might be having is your Audi (Audiologist), who simply might not be proficient at fitting and programming the HAs you have purchased from them. That could be a significant factor in what is plaguing your hearing improvement.

failure return meaning return for credit, I believe i read it was 18 or so percent (people return the aids, but they did not walk away they did try another brand and bought something) and I believe 13 or so they got
their money back and bought nothing… I might be wrong but I believe i
heard this fig. not long ago

I also have a high frequency hearing loss in one ear. I tried over the last 16 years 2 ITE HA’s. I went for numerous adjustments because I felt like I heard worse with them. Voices were tinny sounding, chewing food made it impossible to hear conversations etc. Needless to say I quit wearing them after a few months. I just got today, the Oticon Epoq XW, WHICH ARE BEHIND THE EAR and open fit. What a difference already !! My voice is totally natural sounding. I can eat and understand conversations. These do not block the low pitch sounds that I hear good in. Very comfortable to wear. I think with this type of hearing loss, the BTE’s are the best.

I’m glad you like them so well, and I wish so badly that I could have had the open fit. but they just weren’t powerful enough for me.

I know that there has been great improvement in all types of hearing aids. I’m sure the ITE and CIC’s have improved since I had them. The technology just gets better and better. My hearing loss in my left ear goes from mild all the way to severe in the high frequencies. Finding the right hearing aid can be frustrating and a process. Hopefully you have a good audiologist that will work with you to find a good fit for you. I wish you the best.