Situational Use of Hearing Aids in Crowds

Newbie here. I’m just getting ready for retirement at 59 and thought I would get an audiology test at Costco in case I need to leverage my companies health benefits. Went to Costco and was surprised that I have moderate to severe hearing loss in the high frequencies.

Somewhat in denial but decided to get the Kirkland HS10 to test if the HA’s make any difference. I don’t have any problems in normal conversations but do struggle in crowded settings which is not very often. My fitting is in a couple of weeks but thought I would post here for feedback.

From what I’ve read, HA’s should be worn constantly as if you use them for situational, your brain has to relearn the audio. Based on the results of my test, if I use the HA’s for crowded settings, does that make sense as lower frequencies are fine?

I guess I’ll find out the difference in a couple of weeks when I go for my fitting. Does it make sense to go for a second opinion or are these test usually pretty accurate.

WRS R-96% @ 55dB, L-96%*55dB Think this is good?

I usually ask for the TV volume to be turned down however do notice the radio volume in the car is a bit loud than my wife likes.

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I have been wear aids for over 18 years, it took me about a month to be able to wear them all day everyday, now I can’t go without them just as I can’t go without my glasses. If you are going to wear aids make the comment to wear them all day or they will end up in a drawer and never used.

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In before the crowd… Crowded settings may be where they will help you least. It’s very individual and you won’t know until you try them. Definitely try them. Unlikely that they get the audiogram wrong.

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I have profound high end loss. My KS9s enable me to understand 95 percent of speech. But not in crowds. I don’t know if any HAs will do that.

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I would kill… well, that’s kind of extreme… I would meet the devil at the crossroads at midnight for WRS that good.

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Me too. I’d crawl to the crossroads on hands and knees for WRS like that.

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You should definitely try them and see. They say high-frequency hearing is important in crowds because you get your directional information from the high frequencies. So being able to hear those frequencies makes it easier to focus on a particular sound source (e.g. person). But as others have said, speech in a crowded area is something of a holy grail for hearing aids, so don’t expect wonders. It’s a hard problem.

I have a somewhat similar hearing profile, and was surprised at how much sound I was missing when I got HAs. Crowds are always a problem, but probably better with them. And one situation where I was surprised how much they help was listening to podcasts (speech) in my car. The hearing aids really help separate the speech from the background noise.

Also, if you wait too long to get hearing aids, apparently your brain has a lot of trouble processing sounds that it hasn’t heard in eons, so you might miss your chance for them to help. Plus, there’s apparently a link between untreated hearing loss and later dementia. So all that helped motivate me to wear mine, even though I can get along OK without them.

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I’ve been immersed in doing research on a multitude of HA topics in the last week and have learnt a lot. I’m going to be giving the KS10’s a try by the end of the month and will report back on my experiences. With Costco’s return policy, should give me ample time to assess.

Thanks for all your comments. I’m feeling a little less nervous at this time.

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