Speech recognition

I have been a hearing aid user for about 10 years. I have owned Miracle Ear; Starkey; and currently Freedom 162’s from Hear America. I have tried numerous others and am currently trialing Bernafon Veras 9’s. My unaddressed complaint is the same everywhere and with every aid: SPEECH RECOGNITION.
Every company makes the same claim: improved speech in noisy situations-shoot, I’d be happy with speech in quiet situations when the speaker is more than two feet away! It seems rediculous to me that for the high prices and acclaimed teknowledgy I can not understand my wife unless she is looking directly at me from less than four feet away and I cannot understand my grandchildren at all. I have been the most satisfied with Hear America both from a price standpoint and the fact than I can adjust them myself with out trying to explain to a audi. or hearing aid rep what I am (not) hearing. Thanks for letting me vent. If any one can help with suggestions I will appreciate it.

250 500 1k 2k 3k 4k 6k Discrimination: 48 -60% depending on who
50 45 55 60 60 65 70 L does the test.
50 55 60 60 60 60 75 R

Is it any better with you adjusting it yourself compared to when you used an audi/HIS? I know the hardest thing for me on my first go round was to try to explain to the audi about what I was/wasn’t hearing when I didn’t understand the technology of it and programming…I gave up and was toying with the idea of self programming…now I have a guy I am very comfortable with, he is patient and listens when I try to explain…that is a difficult thing…then he sets compression, gain and other stuff…maybe you need to find someone who is patient and will listen to what you are saying…for myself and my loss, I didn’t think self programming was the way to go for me because I wasn’t experienced…I am sure this post didn’t give you any answers but good luck because it is frustrating…search an article that was posted by Neil Bauman for beginning to use hearing aids (even though you are not a beginner)…it referred to the ongoing complaint of speech in noise…rosie

Rosie, It sure isn’t any worse. It is better in this way- I don’t have to make another 20 mile trip when I realize the adjustment didn’t really help, which happens when I leave the sound conditioned audi’s office and go out in the real world. I am certainly not an expert but this is not brain surgery.

My mom fights the speech recognition war also. At best in an audie’s office her speech recognition is 65%. She currently uses America Hears ADRO based ITE aids. I do the programming. We have compared her aids with many models programmed in an Audie’s office. She does as good or better with the America Hears aids. Personally I don’t think her speech recognition with aids will improve until microphone technology improves. Most use Knowles microphones which are suppose to be the best. She has even considered implanted aids which run 30K each. But they can’t guarantee her any improvement. Self-programming is probably the best option if you are willing to go up the learning curve and experiment. You can then experiment with settings until you find the best setting in the real world and not just the audie’s office enviroment.

According to Dr.Amy in this thread http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?t=6649&page=6 audiologists have remote programming capability for some major brands.

My own feeling about programming for speech recognition in the audi’s office is they are to booked up to worry about what you can or can’t hear after their current stab at altering the programming of your HA.
They will have you go out into the real world and see what you can and can’t hear and then make a new appointment so you can come back so they can take a new stab at getting it right and they will do it over and over again. This has happened with my wife time and again and she still has problems. I know they must have computer programs that can test for speech recognition in the office but they always seem pressed for time to do any testing. My HA adjustments went pretty smooth, after 2 adjustments everything was pretty good but my loss is HF and my wife’s loss is across the board.

Thanks to everyone for the response (sympathy?) I am becoming more & more convinced that my present course with Hear America self-programing is my best option. JHP49’s remark about the learning curve hit home - as usual my search for quick fixes doesn’t work out.

“keep on keeping on”

One of the most useful devices you can buy for self-programming is a sound meter. You can buy them on line or at Radio Shack for about $50. You can then make sure the loudness of your recordings you are using to program your aids are in the correct range. In other words you can calibrate your sound sources so they are about 50-60 db, the volume of normal speech.

Thank you! I will check them out

You might try searching for a " Online Sound Meter " . There is a free download of Orban Loudness Meter 1.0 The software accepts two-channel stereo inputs and displays instantaneous peaks, VU, PPM, CBS Technology Center loudness, and ITU BS.1770 loudness. All meters include peak-hold functionality that makes the peak indications of the meters easy to see. The VU and PPM meters are split to indicate the left and right channels. The PPM and VU meters also displays the instantaneous peak values of the L and R digital samples

If you have an iphone here is a $0.99 SPL Meter. As they say “there’s an app for that”.

The problem with speech understanding may not be in the aids. Many HOH have deteriated hair cells that have lost there tuneing sharpness.

Another problem is that over compression and or over limiting cause a marked decrease in vital speech cues.

Still more bad news is dead hair cells cause little or no response at vital frequencies, or cause buzzey distorted sound,

Some professionals over drive weak cochlea area’s causing masking of the good area’s. Ed

No doubt my hair cells are dead or dying (and not only in my ears), so what am I do do?
If HA’s can’t help speech understanding, whats the point? The most crucial thing about hearing loss is the inability to understand speech. If HA companies can’t help with that why are they claiming they can? I sure would like a little honesty from them.

Maybe you guys need to look into HA with sound recover that can move the sound you can’t hear over to where you can hear.

For that money, she could get stem cells and possibly improve both ears. This will give her better hearing with and without HAs and she may even find she no longer needs HAs! I have a blog on stem cells and am going that route soon.

With your 60db loss, you would not understand any speech without your HAs. You need at least 40db gain across to place your aided thresholds at the 20db level which means being at the top of the speech banana. It sounds(pun intended) like you are being underamplified and thus, normal speech is too quiet. I was able to understand more speech when I got new HAs which made everything louder. I really wish I had only a 60db loss, my speech remains poor but at least I’m great at lipreading.

Do you have any verified information on this? It seems quite a claim for a previously irreversible condition which is subject to atrophy.

I suspect he is a bot, linking to a blog posting from 2009 predicting a solution in 2010. See my poll thread at http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?t=10879

Removing HTML from forum signatures would inconvenience users like you, but could help neutralize the spambots.

I Can’t help but chuckle when I read this…I always picture an entire robot made of a can of spam…lol

I’m fairly certain that stem-cell treatment of human hair cell damage that would result in a normally functioning cochlea is years away.

Several others besides Chloe were successful. I will be blogging about another guy who got a 20db improvement. Of course the anti stem cell crowd won’t believe any of this till they see one of their formerly anti stem cell friends able to hear him without his HAs.

Today’s stem cells averages a 20db improvement. I plan to get stem cells in 2-4 years then repeat the process for additional improvement. A partial improvement is possible today, a full improvement will become possible in several years, yes.

I did a little on-line digging and the information I could find said that the only hair-cells that have been grown are in a petri dish, a small quatity, and from a mouse. Many researchers agree that it could easily be a decade or more before this could apply to humans. The one story I found about a little girl that it helped, the link was broken.

I would love to read more on this and you are correct, I won’t believe it until I have some consistent, repeatable scientific proof.

I also have all sorts of questions like what happens when it’s progressive SNHL? Do you get the procedure over and over again? What’s the cost? Would insurance pay for it? What’s the success/failure rate?
These are things anyone seriously considering a procedure such as this would need to know before proceeding.