Some questions, and an Audiologist nightmare yesterday

Hello folks, first time posting.
Firstly, this comes on the heels of trying two brand new RIC’s that did not work for me, the Phonak Audeo V90 312, and a Starkey 110Z. Both had horrid feedback issues that supposedly could not be rectified by the vending audiologist, and the Starkey was actually the worse of the two, regardless of the claim that it had better feedback management.

Anyhow, what I currently wear is two older Phonak Perseo ITC Aids, they are about 10 years old, and have been repaired-remanufactured a few times over their lifespan, and IMO were superior to the newer aids mentioned about for my personal use.

I had decided to send both aids out, one at a time for total re-casing, and although had a minor hiccup with one not fitting right, all was basically well until I walked into a local audiologist’s office yesterday, and this was the one business who originally sold me my left Perseo HA. They had all settings saved on software in house.

Anyway, I was extremely worried about “going backward” with my aids, since this was another audiologist, not the same from before. So I asked that if in a worse case scenario, we can then hopefully go back, and undo any new settings-tweaks? My goals were to possibly enhance performance with perhaps additions of slight gain, and as well some slight tweaks to frequency response.

It should be noted, that after both were re-cased-refurbed within this past month’s time, both fit very well, look beautiful, I was having absolutely no issues with feedback, even going up as high as +10db on my remote Phonak Palm Pilot. No Vents needed to be plugged either which was a plus.

So, after advising her about the worry of running another feedback management sweep on both aids, and then she went to adjust gain, and frequency, I’m noting that there was only a Bass, and Treble adjustment on the software, and I asked “is that it”? I thought these had 20 channels, and she explained there is no invididual adjustment of any of the frequency bands that are shown on the Graph, just Bass, and Treble. Hmmm, is this actually true?

She then made some tweaks to both the treble-bass, supposedly raised gain at 6db per both aids, and at that point, I accidently moved my arm, hit the cable going to the right aid, yanked the cable and the aid to the floor, and she then had a hell of a time getting the cable to work on the aid. After a good 10-15 minutes, she finally succeeded, and supposedly finished her work.

What I had then discovered after trying to reinstall the batteries, and close the battery doors, that I had just broken the battery door on the right aid! Dammit! I just about almost broke down and started crying, I’m not kidding.

I knew it then meant again, shipping this aid out, a replacement of the faceplate, and would have to make a phone call. The repair center who did the work ultimately said there would be no charge for the repair, just send it back, and they’d fix it. Well, that was about a $250 relief! Ughhh.

Anyway, before I sent the aid out yesterday, I was able to use a little cellophane tape to tape the battery door, to see how the performance was? Both aids now actually sound more closed in, muffled, lower in overall gain, and now the left aid that wasn’t broken now has intermittent feedback issues.

Thus, in retrospect, and how hindsight always has 20/20 vision, it appears I’ve made a grave mistake by going in for re-adjustment.

Since this audiologist is only there 1 day a week in this little one horse town that I live in, the soonest I’ll be able to get back in for further re-adjustment is July 8th. Hopefully by then, the repaired right aid will be back in my possession for these further adjustments. Pathetic here, that in the meantime, I’ll be living with this one aid, which often is now squealing like a stuck pig, very annoying it is.

I’m hoping she can undo what she has done yesterday, and at least get my aids back to the way they were before she messed with them.

I was basically very happy with them before, and when the audiologist first hooked them up yesterday, did remark that the settings prior to the re-casing were exactly the same as they had been for years, no deviation from the previous settings.

I’m really worried, but sadly, I cannot turn back the hands of time of what has happened, and hopefully, I’m praying that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel.
Mark

You don’t provide your loss info and should. That said the new aids you trialed should not feedback. What domes were used? You may need molds if you loss is profound or your ear canals don’t accept the domes well.

I think I’d stop right here on send those old aids off. It looks like the one is an old analog that too outdated to repair. You might consider a trip to Juarez or Albuquerque after calling that costco for an appointment. This will give you phone numbers. They have reasonably priced aids and typically high quality audiologist.

Your audi should have your previous programming sessions saved in her database. It should be easy to load an older session that took place before the latest changes and restore it to your hearing aids. The Perseo has 6 adjustable bands. You have to go to the Gain/50 tab and then click the small icon to make the handles visible.

The Phonak Perseo was at one time their top of the line Aid. In truth, they were once the Claro Model, but once having trouble with one while under Phonak Warrantee, and for a supposed lack of the Claro Parts-Chipset, they were both upgraded by Phonak themselves in Warrenville to the Perseo Model. They are both Digital Programmable Aids,

Yes, the brand spankin new Audeo V-90 312’s were fitted with a Clear Hard Ear Mold, and we also tried Double Universal Domes of various sizes with that model. They were horrible. And the Starkey with Universal Double Domes was even worse. Another major dislike with the RICs I noted, a crackling like somebody crushing newspaper everytime I moved. This was supposedly caused by my hair near my ears. Joke of it is, I wear my hair as short as Gomer Pyle in Full Metal Jacket. The audiologist told me “It’s common and people get used to it”. That was very annoying “noise” that I should never want to have to get “used to” I told her.

I sure do hope so. Because at least before, they worked fairly reasonable, and was basically happy. The performance as I say was more a better personal fit to myself, and these IMO outperformed two supposed state of the art RICs from Phonak and Starkey. But trust that I do know well not to necessarily place the blame on the new RICs, but rather the lack of an experienced audiologist to program and tweak them. That can often be the deal breaker with any aid.

As I understood it, the Phonak Claro-Perseo was a 20 channel aid. Are you saying that yes, you are aware of this, but there are only 6 bands? In truth, that’s what I was seeing in the graph, lines at different frequency bands, 250 500, 1000, etc etc. Do you mean each of these bands are tweakable-adjustable?

If so, then this audiologist in truth doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground I’m afraid to say.

Oh, and as far as Juarez Mexico, and all that "Fast-Furious malarkey, I wouldn’t ever go there again if the aids were for free.
A literal death trap there. Albu-turkey is a 500 mile round trip. Not feasible. Damn shame this turd of a town just won’t come out of the stone age, and that businesses here have a backwards model, you are there for them, which should be the other way around. Not happening here ever.

Folks, I am very deeply appreciative, and thankful for your help, and advice. It was the very reason I came here, and joined, so you more experienced folks could help and educate me.

I didn’t like other things about these newfangled RIC’s, versus an ITC aid, being that I now not only have something stuffed in my ear canal, but now also have something hanging off the back of my ear, no matter how small. Issues with sunglasses-glasses, crackling, discreetness, etc. The ITC will be a future possibility again should I seek another, newer HA.

My hearing loss is severe, typical ski-slope loss, working for Amtrak-Chicago for 30 full years. Pretty much over 6K-8K there’s nothing left. That was my sacrifice working in that dump all those years.

The Phonak Audeos, $6500 clams, and I was willing to pay that, had they performed as I had initially hoped. Luckily, the vendor refunded all my money without a re-stocking fee.

worked 30 years in a dump, evidently not a fan of the one horse town you live and you think your AuD doesnt know her ass from a hole in the… sounds like you have made a career out of making bad choices. im still looking for the question.

Seems you have read between the lines, and picked out what you already seem to not like about me, and showcase. Sorry for the negativity in my posts, but I’ve always tried being a truthful man, no matter that it seems harsh, and is not some candy coated version.

I’m here to hopefully seek some guidance, in between those rants, wondering about the adjustability of these said models of aids that I wear. I was believing that the audiologist either doesn’t know the associated software to these models, or was looking to save herself time-money in her own personal interest.

Live here long enough, and you would probably share similar views as I do. This area is commonly NOT like other parts of the country I’ve found. There’s a totally different business mindset here, which I’m sad to say is usually not very favorable for the consumer. It is, what it is. Here’s my sig, look and weep. Both ears close to the same.

once you cant trust your AuD its time to move on…

i agree it does look like you live about as close to no where as possible might need to do a 100 mile road trip to el paso.

Doc Jake,
While I was certainly never no expert on the ins and outs of the Phonak Software for the programming, it has been a good number of years sine I’ve had any adjustments made, and what little familiarity I once had is sadly pretty much forgotten. I only remember just a few things.

It seemed after she ran another Feedback Management Sweep-Program, nothing seemed to change, but so often how I’ve noted when in an audiologist’s office, they’re making changes, and there never seems to fail there’s dead silence in the room, nobody’s talking, there’s nothing to then judge any differences.

Only until you then get back out into the real world, and under a number of real world listening enviornments, does one then begin to notice what audible changes have taken place.

One goal I was hoping to attain, was perhaps a little more open sound, less compressed. And of course better clarity, and better speech comprehension as well.

I have to stay and remain patient, for when the next time I go back in to again perhaps start from scratch, or at least we can go back to what the previous settings were, and again go from there.

I can live with the way they were before this recent visit. I know nothing will ever be perfect for the severe degree of my hearing loss.

But what I cannot deal with, and is something that will drive me absolutely stark raving mad, is the almost constant squeal of feedback I’m now experiencing with the left aid now.

In the interim, I may be able to fit a small, proper plug I have in possession to plug the vent, this may lessen the feedback squeal until I get back into her office for further adjustments?

Again, the wonderment, of how many bands on this aid is actually adjustable, and according to Rasmus the Moderator here, is stating 6. So, I will write down and copy this information provided, and hopefully this will aid me at my next visit which will supposedly be July 8th.

There’s quite a good number of more questions that I would one day soon like to ask many of you folks, but I’ll leave that to another time, and another thread. Thank you again folks very much for your help, comments, and input. Again, it is very much appreciated! I’ll try to again give an update on this matter when the time comes.

I’m sure so many of you know the great importance, and the grief of not having such to rely upon when they are gone, or broken.
Mark

I’m sorry that I also forgot mentioning, that with the new pair of Phonak Audeo V90-312 RIC Models I tried, that yes, they had made custom molds beforehand, then sent to Phonak-Warrenville, and that the Recievers were the Power Reciever, I believe called the SP. I recall 3 Recievers for this model, this was the Reciever in the middle, not the Ultra Power Reciever.

Output volume, or should I say overall gain was initially very low after programming, that it was like I was trying to hear with Pillows over my ears. As the gain was then increased to pleasing levels comparable to my Phonak Perseo ITC’s, that’s when the feedback squeal reared its ugly head, and was loud enough that the audiologist could hear it from the other side of her desk a good 6’ away. It was that bad, and according to her, uncurable by any further adjustments.

can you please update your audiogram? it’s really bad. no idea if you are deaf in one ear or you are just too lazy to write out the measurements for both ears.

Ok, here is some info to help maybe. Perseo was a series of devices. The Perseo 111 was a 6 channel, Perseo 211 was 12 channel, and Perseo 311 was 20 channel. Based on the description of the struggles you’re facing, it sounds like an issue of brain plasticity. You mention that you had been wearing your devices for years with no/few adjustments. So basically, your brain had become VERY accustomed to hearing “that way”. Unfortunately, as good as Phonak Perseos were 10+ years ago, they do not properly address high frequency sound (above 4khz). Essentially, they ignore the fact that sounds that high are important for speech understanding, so they don’t amplify them adequately.

This is why you were hoping for a little more clarity and a little more open feeling to the newer devices. High frequency amplification is a major factor in both of those improvements. But if you are accustomed to NOT hearing those frequencies fully then your first taste of them in the Audeos will sound very unnatural and will initially reduce your speech understanding.

However, research has shown that ON AVERAGE, if you stick with the newer technology for at least 6 weeks, your speech understanding will start to improve remarkably, and you will achieve the goals you were looking for. MRI scans of peoples’ auditory cortices after an average of 6 weeks of increased amplification in the high frequencies (based on proper hearing device programming) actually show the “rewired” functionality of the brain.

For an Aud to tell you that you will “get used to it” is actually true, but it is an over simplification. You will not always hear that unnatural sound. Your PERCEPTION of sound will actually change and remold so that it begins to sound natural and correct, and your brain’s ability to USE that sensory information will improve.

I would suggest upgrading as the Perseos are truly obsolete and by continuing to use them you ARE holding yourself back. The feedback problem suggests that your venting is too large. Based on the severity of your loss, your venting should be .8mm or smaller. Plug it up! Yes it will sound and feel funny at first, but as your perception of things changes over 6-8 weeks, it will become the new normal and you will see improvements. If that does not make the feedback go away, then consider switching to a half shell size silicone ear mold. The softer material will fill the contours of your ear better resulting in reduced feedback (usually).

MarkD51, you can only hear up to 3 KHz.

Nightmare, Part Deux.
This afternoon, I just got back the right ITC aid from the repair center who replaced the broken Battery Door, and I assume the entire Faceplate. The company’s name is Direct Hearing Aid Services in Garden Grove California.

And I’m noticing that one, the Battery Door which has two tiny holes in it, these are the holes that pass sound through to the 2 Mics, that one is totally blocked. Just great, but my Audiologist might be able to poke through with a small tool, a needle or such.

But what looks worse, is that under the Battery Door, on the interior of the faceplate where the Battery resides, the two holes there for the two Mics look totally blocked! About all I can say, and forgive my French, but this isn’t the first time they returned an aid looking like this, and I have to wonder what the hell kind of clown technicians do these people have working for them?

These two Perseo Aids have both been recently recased, the left one had to go back as soon as I got it back two weeks ago, because the goddamn thing was like a wine work sticking out of my ear, and had to be sent back with the original impression mold.
These dickheads are starting to cost me lots of money with repeated fubars, and send backs.

The left aid still is having problems, in that they did not make the aid’s tip protrude far enough into the canal, and I’m getting feeback issues when I bend my head down. And now this fuba. rDamn these stupid turds!
And while this just recent repair of the right aid with the broken battery door was a free repair, they did have the gall to charge me the return shipping, sure, they have my charge card on file, and made this charge without any contact or advisement.

I was scheduled for a July 8th appointment at the local audiologist for some hopeful rectification of the left aid feedback issues, but now may have to cancel, and return the aid.

And with the ridiculous businesses here, an audiologist there only one day a week, and backed up with patients cause businesses are so stone age and crap here in the state of new mexico, and a re-schedule of a local appointment, I’ll be lucky if I’m back in by mid-august!

These hearing aids are now truly putting me through a nightmare, and it seems if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.
Sorry for the rant folks, but it does appear that it will be inevitable that I will have to “throw in the towel” on these aids, and consider a new pair again.

I’m very reluctant now of again trying a RIC, I did not like the feel or fit of either the Phonak Audeo V312 nor the Starkey 110Z.

I again prefer an ITC Aid. I may consider the Phonak Virto, but again, I’m not probably to like the price. I’m guessing again probably $6500-$6800/pr, and that to me is just insane.

Maybe an online vendor network, who can then send me to a local vendor-audi in the area for a savings in cost? How about somebody like Connect Hearing? There is an local audi office for them in Las Cruces, 70 miles from me here.

life’s a bitch…

return everything, stand down on screwing with the old aids and take a drive 100 miles south.

I think I’ll be wise to wait to see my local audiologist before I do anything, the appointment is just 4 days away. Let her take a look at them first. They have one of those professional vacuum type aid cleaners, and proper tools, and I’ll let her have a go at it first.

Surprisingly, the aid works OK, sounds OK, but haven’t yet toggled through the various programs with my Palm Pilot yet. That’s the reason why there’s two Mics I reckon.

My original plan was to just have these two recased, and checked, and keep them as back-ups, in the event some new aids would possibly faulter at some future point. If one can afford having-keeping spares, I think it’s a good idea.

Like anything electronic, they of course have a limited lifespan.

At least right now I’m hearing again, and can get by until I do some more research, and hopefully make a correct decision on new aids.

I can’t say I’m hooked with Phonak’s quality and performance, because I’ve never really lived with other aids like Oticon, Siemens, Widex, etc, but in any event, I do believe I would like again going with a custom ITC-ITE using the 312 battery, and it will of course have to have ample overall gain for my loss.

The Phonak Virto seems like the logical choice, and although I understand the Virto is still on the older Quest platform, perhaps they will be good enough, and should be better in some respects to my outdated Perseo/Claro Models.

Perhaps at a future point, the Virto will become some new model, possibly on the venture platform, but not sure going to such would be that important-necessary?

Gobs of features, bells and whistles are not so much important to me, with Bluetooth, streaming, etc, but from some reading here and elsewhere, things like Sound Recover, and some other features might prove beneficial to my personal needs to better hearing and enjoyment? Possible that even a less expensive model may be better for my needs?

To drive to Las Cruces is not that difficult, I may find better service there than here. I would not mind 2-3 trips to acquire new aids, get them dialed in, and then at some point be happy-content, that for some good time I won’t have to have any aids constantly toyed with-adjusted, returned, etc.

Nightmare, Part 3…LOL
Hello again folks, Today I was in again at my local, regular audi for further adjustment to my old, and re-cased pair of Phonak Perseo Aids. We returned to the last program of adjustment on the software, thus hopefully returning back to a time where the HAs were both useable, with hopefully I wouldn’t be experiencing the intermittent feedback squeal from the left aid.

Better, but it appears still no cigar. That after a period of wearing them, and in certain positions, like bending over, or making some other odd contorted faces which I probably do, being the character I am, still getting this annoying feedback from time to time.

Never had this problem with this Left Aid since it was made, so the conclusion is, it is still an improper fit of the Case-Mold itself, not any sort of programming-software issues.

So, I called the repair company up in California again, spoke with Tim. Now before I say any sort of thing bad about these folks, I’ll have to say quite the contrary, that I think they are a great repair service.

What I note though, is still a physical size mismatch between the two aids, that this left problematic aid is shorter in length, that the very tip of the Aid where it resides deep inside the ear canal is too short. Faceplate area, and size-diameter, fit and comfort appears fine. it might be that after a period of wear, ear moisture, and movement, that the aid is slightly dislodging, and thus feedback begins to occur.

This will be the 3rd time being sent back for re-casing. I have no idea what they’ll do, make another case, or modify-lengthen the existing case? Reckon it doesn’t really matter, as long as it looks OK, and most importantly works OK.

They’ve been great towork with, very patient, and accommodating people, so, I’m trying hard, and still hoping for the best possible, satisfying outcome.

I’ve sat, and I’ve thought, and pondered for countless hours over the years about such, and have realized that fit, with any custom made mold, whether type of HA, is the most difficult, and “crapshoot” part of the purchase of a HA. If this repair facility was local, or any Hearing Aid Factory, then such would be probably a lot more simple, and predictable of getting a proper exacting fit.

But here’s where I believe lies a major shortcoming with the hearing aid industry.

Your local audi takes an impression. They first insert a piece of Cottom or a small cube of Sponge, with a Cord. Then combine a 2-part Caulk of probably some Silicone mix into the Ear Canal, bwwwwwift, wait a few minutes to cure, harden, then yank.

When it comes out, it looks like a little miniaturized piece of dog turd of “Silly Putty” that you played with as a kid. Now, it goes out to a facility for the Mold-Case to be made, and without an actual user’s ear on hand, they supposed to “guess” where the mold supposed to be cut-trimmed at both ends?

Don’t matter at their end, that they’re using state of the art laser 3D technology to copy that impression, with no human being on hand, the process IMO is for naught. A roll of the dice. You might get lucky, and then again, tough luck buddy, you’re screwed in all actuality.

This IMO, is one major lack of advancement, to what I call a band-aid to addressing many folk’s desires of happiness with the use and satisfaction of a HA.

Maybe in another 40 years, some new advancements, or should I say “evolutionary progress” will be made. We all hope for “revolutionary” progress!

How is that any different from a dental lab making a cap or a bridge based on an impression the dentist takes?

go to your nearest bowling alley and get a jar of pro-grip.