Teacher With Newly Diagnosed Loss Very Frustrated in the Classroom

Hi Dawn,

I have hearing similar to yours in my left ear - “ski slope” and moderate/severe loss in my right ear. Masks are impossible for me…period. I am being evaluated for a cochlear implant in my left ear in a few weeks. The audiologists in my area were not up to speed on the new criteria for CI and discouraged them. After doing my own research and talking to an AuD who is trained in CI evaluation, I am excited about the potential for improvement. Research is encouraging them sooner than later because they see better adaptation and results. In many cases, any “good” residual hearing can be retained in the implanted ear to maximize hearing. . The more I have read the more I hope I qualify. I do on paper. I will have a CI in my left and hearing aid in my right. I feel for you and all hearing impaired - this has been a tough situation to navigate professionally.

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I’m no expert at reading audiograms, but it sounds like you might be a good candidate for a CI before long. Meanwhile, I take it you do not wearing hearing aids? I have worn them for over 20 years and more or less gave them up when the pandemic started, in favor of the Bose Hearphones, a very visible collar and corded ear-buds device, then available. Sadly, they are now off-market in favor of a less useful (in my view) “hearing aid” which now Bose sells. One can still find Hearphones (NOT HEADphones) to buy on Ebay and such places, for about $400 or less. I am a huge fan of the Hearphones and find them a fantastic solution. Among other things, they go IN the ear, like an earpod, w/ nothing behind the ear to interfere w/ masks. They are also visible, so no hiding. People assume I am listening to music on a Bluetooth device (which actually they are, of course). Some teachers found them VERY helpful. I would think that a solution for you might be one of the new devices becoming available as the hearing market develops, such as the Jabra Enhance Plus. https://youtu.be/yADJmCGgrNk
This to be available late October. They are to be available only through hearing professionals (audiologists and HIS). Apparently, Costco will carry them, among others. Very moderately priced, compared to “fiddly” traditional hearing aids!
Jabra’s New Hearing Aid: What Does the Future Hold?

I find I still read lips. So masks are a barrier.

Question: is this an indication that I still have to have some setup done on my Phonak Paradise P90’s? My audi has done a lot already.

I wish I knew how to set them up myself.

Thank you! I sought a second opinion and am going to be trialling some aids in mid march! Hopefully they help!

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Hello! I do have a word recognition score.
It is like this:
Right: SRT 35 dB / WDS 96% at 65 dB
Left: SRT 30 dB/ WDS 100% at 65 dB

All I can gather from that is that I must be pretty good at recognizing words in a completely silent box? Too bad my classroom is not inside of a sound booth :frowning:

Thanks for the app recommendation!

Thank you! I did, ordered myself some purple hearing aids (because I teach elementary so why not have some fun) and am getting them in a couple of weeks

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Thanks! I did ask my colleagues, and they, especially the teachers who teach specifically my class sciences and gym, seemed really surprised to find out that I thought my class was full of mumblers… The only other teacher who agreed she was having difficulties more than just occasionally, was the 70 year old grade 2 teacher who likely hears worse than I do given her age, and just does not want to admit

I ended up getting a second opinion and ordered some hearing aids. The pair I trialled lead me to believe that I am missing out on a lot of things, other than just the speech of my students. For example, I had to phone a plumber because it turns out that my kitchen sink drips and that the drip can be heard any time one is in the kitchen. Also, I thought my cat only rarely purred and only when your head was laying directly on her, but it turns out that she purrs pretty much whenever she is petted. Also, did you know that refrigerators make noise intermittently? And snow is “squeaky” when you walk on it? And paper is loud? And pop makes a noise in your glass? And car breaks squeak when they are cold? And you can hear the watch hand move, not just feel it? And desktop computer fans run whenever they are on?

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Thank you speedy! I sought the second opinion and ordered myself some aids after the demo and short free take home trial. They come in a couple weeks!

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Thank you! That is what the second audiologist that I saw told me.

Thanks. I ended up seeing another audiologist. I also could not hear my cat purr, and my ears look much better than yours. Only I did not know that I could not hear her purr until I trialled some hearing aids and learned that she purrs audibly pretty much whenever she is pet :slight_smile:

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Haha thanks! I did swing by the (only) Costco, where I was told that I have excellent high frequency hearing and probably would not need a hearing aid for another 30 or so years… not very helpful! I sought a second opinion with another audiologist who was surprised by both previous experience and I ordered myself some hearing aids set come in a couple of weeks :slight_smile:

Fascinating! In an elementary context, one cannot really sit to teach anyways, so I am always moving around. But you also do not really lecture the kids in this age group, but on the rare occasions where I do, developmentally, they can’t really hold their questions unless the “lecture” is shorter than maybe 4 or 5 minutes. Maybe I need to start considering a move up to an older age group :slight_smile:

Fingers crossed indeed! Having a kid write on the board is not a bad idea :slight_smile:

I did end up seeing another audiologist and ordered some aids :slight_smile:

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Good for you! My first set of HAs were purple. Loved the color! The last two sets have been boring natural colors.

I too was surprised at sounds after I got my first HAs. I never knew the wall clock in my work office ticked! And I realized I was a very loud typist.

Good luck!

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I’m a bit shocked that an audiologist would say that your fairly substantial hearing loss wouldn’t be helped by hearing aids. At an average conversational level, you’re only getting about 50% of speech sounds with that unaided loss. Glad that you got a second opinion. Sounds like you picked up some hearing aids from the pediatric line, which is a good choice for teachers since they are optimized for the classroom.

I wonder if you should let the first guy know.

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WOW! That is life-altering!!! I think where HAs excel is in those quiet moments when - without any other audible distraction - we’re able to appreciate the cat’s purring, clock ticking, squeaky snow and all!

You will find that aids DO amplify all sounds together, so be forthright, persistent and articulate how you want your world to sound. You can turn down the noise management, boost frequencies (lower ones in your case), lower the higher frequencies if they are too harsh, set up programs for the telephone, get a TV Connector to hear the TV, etc.,

This is the beginning of your journey … and I’ve always maintained that you need that relationship (like a marriage!) with the audiologist. Looks like you found a good one who’s competent and understands your needs. BEST of luck with the aids when they come in!

It could also be that masks will be dropped soon enough, and that will be a blessing for speech comprehension. My own experience with trying to comprehend the speech of children is that they are not DISTINCT - they speak very fast with lots of dynamic range and running words together. Younger children are also fidgety and talk with their head turned away from you. Even with a LOUD voice, it’s all just mashed together.

I found out that the dishwasher makes beeping sound when you push the buttons. I’m glad the trial period helped you.

I did pick from the paediatric line for exactly that reason. I was told that they were made for classrooms, and was highly encouraged to pick from the Phonak line up, because our school board already had Phonak FM systems, all I would need would be some receivers if I felt I was still missing out :slight_smile: So soon, I will have some purple Phonak Sky M50-Ms :slight_smile:

Haha, I fully intend to let the first guy know - I let him stay copied on all of the paperwork since he did the first test :slight_smile:

PS. How did you come to that I would get 50%? I feel like I was getting more than that, just not really enough to prevent misunderstandings, and it required 3-4 repetitions sometimes from the kids

Ooooo I did not notice that. I will have to find out if mine does when my permanent aids come :slight_smile:

@annaivanovacanada

Pleased for you. I also have the Phonak Sky (altho an older model) and love them. I also use the Phonak Roger System as well.

:slight_smile: