Testing hearing aids but not happy with results


#1

One morning in 2012 I woke up with very little sound in one ear. I have been through hearing tests, MRI and CT scans. I was informed that it was due to a blockage on my inner ear and nothing can be done about it. I went through the process of getting an NHS hearing aid, but it made it worse. I, therefore, lived with it until this year. On having a hearing test they confirm I had 80% hearing loss in left ear and some high pitched frequencies loss on right. I am now in the process of trialing the Unitron Maxi Plus. The right ear is perfect, but the left ear I am having to keep going back for adjustments to be made without success. Sounds in the left ear are very distorted especially music, it is difficult to make out speech if someone is talking on my left side and in the car I’m getting a white noise. It sounds like I have a very cheap speaker in my ear. Even when turning it on the beeps are distorted and not clear. I’m wondering if the hearing aid is either not up to the job or my hearing problems can’t be fixed by an aid. Any help would be useful I’ve got 2 weeks left before the end of the trial.

I’ve now attached a copy of my audiogram as suggested.


#2

Distortion is not uncommon with severe hearing loss. I have no idea what causes yours, of course, but when I first got mine, and heard hi pitched sounds that I had not been hearing, it sounded tinny and anything louder than a normal conversation, and anything very high pitched, sounded distorted.

I thought that was just how hearing aids are. After about 6 months of wearing them all day, every day I noticed that fewer and fewer things were distorted, and music, which sounded terrible at first, was then quite nice.

Yours may have a different cause but for me, if I give my ears those sounds the brain eventually learns to deal with it.

Wearing all day, every day is key to the brain adjusting to the sound.


#3

Thanks Don,

I seem to have the opposite at the moment. They make changes and to start with it sounds not too bad, but the last few days has been awful. The radio was on this morning and I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I have been wearing them all day every day. I will see what they say tomorrow on my next appointment.


#4

Just a couple of questions what sort of domes/molds do you have on the HA’s? Especially on the left ear? As this could make all the difference.
I’ve just been on the Unitron website and can’t see a Moxi plus HA’s. I’m not sure if it’s a RIC or BTE. But IMO your left ear your loss is quiet severe, (not quiet profound though) and could benefit from a BTE perhaps. Looking at the loss in your left ear maybe it’s not powerful enough for your loss. My advise too you is be guided by your Left ear. If the aid your trialling doesn’t help that ear please try another brand. Especially as that’s your worst ear. One of the providers or more experienced people should be along shortly, who hopefully will chip in also.


#5

If they can’t dial these in for you request a different brand.


#6

If it were me making a recommendation, I would say you would be better off to have a “CROS” system.The CROS system takes the sounds that come at the listener from the bad side, and transmit it to the better side. IT does nothing to help the worse ear, but does allow the listener to pick up sound coming from the side the bad ear is on.

Sudden hearing loss is not uncommon, and it is almost always accompanied by a total or near total loss in discrimination. If you apply enough gain to reach that ear, it often times causes a negative effect, or a contamination of the binaural hearing system as a whole, and actually makes understanding worse than with the better ear by itself. Ask your tech about a CROS system and try it.

Good luck.


#7

I have significant hearing loss in my left ear, and am just two weeks into first time use of HA’s. In the beginning I noticed some of the same effects as you in my left ear, but probably not to the same degree. I was initially concerned the left HA was defective, but now I am thinking it is OK, but my ear is not so good. In my case the distortion effects have pretty much gone away. However, I’m sure every case is probably different. You have much more low frequency loss than I do.


#8

Thank for the reply. I have 2 different domes the left is the large size enclosed and right is I believe medium open. I don’t think this is the problem as I can hear the white noise if I put the left aid to my right ear.

The description on my invoice is Unitron North Maxi Fit Pro and is a behind the ear. I have been wondering about it not being powerful enough.

I’ve just been for another appointment and they have turned down the higher frequencies, which seems to have improved things a bit, but only time will tell.


#9

Thanks for your response.

I had originally been told that a CROS system would be best, but went for a second opinion and was told that the Unitron aids would do the job. I’ve got another 2 weeks trial and an appointment next week, so will see if there is any improvement. I’ve just driven and had to remove my left hearing aid to understand what my son was saying, so I don’t think the adjustments has helped, but will stick with it for another week.

I expect this is what I have got, but my audiologist doesn’t seem to understand. She is going to contact Unitron to see if they can shed any light.


#10

@angelaboxwell the reason I asked about domes/molds IMO you could be better with a mold in the left ear. Domes let a fair bit of volume escape bit molds don’t.


#11

A mold wasn’t even discussed, so might be worth asking next time I’m in, although this will not stop the white noise.


#12

Take this with a grain of salt, as I am new to this HA stuff, but I do play around with the software used to fit them. Has anyone discussed the potential need for a different power HA for each ear? Your left ear needs lots of correction, which the right not much at all. The left may do the best with a high power (HP) receiver and a mold. See how your loss sits in the fitting range.

And here is your right ear, with a lowest power receiver and open fit.

This said, the fitting software only looks at what power is needed for the hearing loss. That does not mean that you will actually hear good sound. And the higher power the receiver, the more noise is likely to be associated with it.