Time for new HAs and questions

I was a member of this forum a few years ago and now have re-registered to learn about the new HA technologies. I have severe/profound hearing loss in both ears and have been wearing HAs for over 15 years. Below is a chart my audi took just a few days ago:

250-60, 500-60, 750-60, 1000-70, 1500-85, 2000-90
250-55, 500-60, 750 -60, 1000-75, 1500-75, 2000-90

Speech recognition is low, as you can imagine and primary problems are related to noise, tv and movies, phone conversations and personal conversations over 10 feet. I’ve read many threads here and my situation is similar to a recent poster named Minie (I believe that was her name).

For several years I have used Siemans Infinity S2+ power BTE. These are programmable but it is older technology and I asked the audi about the new Centras. He said the additional bands would help a little but most of the channels would be turned off for me anyway. The audi went to a website or perhaps a program he had on his computer and punched in my numbers. He showed me what Siemans recommends for me as to adjustments and settings for the Centra. Looking at this, he does not believe the “wow, what a difference” factor would be there. And what very small improvement I “might” notice would come at a considerable cost. He deals almost exclusively with Siemans and said that, for the time being, I’m as well off with the Infinity I have as I would be with anything else.

A couple years ago I wanted a back-up pair of HAs and purchased AH Freedom high power BTE. I enjoyed the self adjustment part but they are bulky and my ears are very close to my head to begin with. Nonetheless, they do okay as a backup and I was thinking of an upgrade to their ADRO chip that many people are talking about.

In any event, I know nothing about the high power aids out there today that might work for me and make a difference I can really notice. I don’t care about the money but my audi really feels he does not need to sell me any of this new technology at the moment. To me, that sounds like an honest response since I told him I would try anything. I also do not mind going to another person who deals with other HA manufacturers IF they have a device that would work better for me.

I know everything is dependent on the sound I hear and no one can ascertain what HA will be best; I must try them myself. However, what do you all find, as a general rule, works well for folks with my kind of loss? And does anyone know anything about this ADRO chip that AHs uses?

Unfortunatley with a profound hearing loss, particularly in the high pitches, if you already are encountering low speech discrimination, your audi may be right in saying that there really may not be hearing aids out there that can provide significant benefit, particularly in noisy environments.

You may want to, instead, look at FM solutions, such as the Phonak Smart Link or similar devices, which can work with the BTE’s you already have, assuming they have telecoil capabilities, which they should have (the T mode on the switch). If they do, you can use an FM microphone with a neck loop and keep your aids on the T mode and receive the signals wirelessly, which should give you a much better response in noise than ANY high tech hearing aid on the market today and save you a bunch of $$$.

Thanks, I will have to look into FM solutions as I am no all that well familiar with this. Is it primarily a device for better hearing in noise? I would think so as it would not be pratctical for every day use. Also, I thought perhaps the Sumo DMs might be worth a try as they are suppose to be very powerful. Like my audi said however, power alone is really not what will help me. Anyone have experience with that ADRO chip used by AHs?

Well, I just spent the last 15 minutes or so reading about Smart Link at the Phonak site and I find my Siemens Infinity HAs have to be sent back for modification if I go this route. Also, I see the transmitters and receivers and loops and all that but I still am not sure how this works. Does one aim a transmitter at the voice source? I know there are devices that you can place near a speaker in a large auditorium to hear him better but I take it this Smart Link is something different. I mean, if I am in a restaurant am I suppose to put the transmitter in the middle of the table or something in order to hear everyone better? If so, this may be an only solution but it is not a practical one.

With the Smartlink, you either place the smartlink on a table, for example, or you can even hang it around your neck under your clothes (body baffle effect) and it will wirelessly transmit the sound.

The ideal use is to point it towards the person you are trying to hear, as the directional pickup is very good and can give you a signal to noise ratio that is much better than any hearing aid can provide.

The Oticon’s (Sumo DM) are great hearing aids for profound losses, with tons of power and yet able to clean up constant background noises fairly well.

For some, though, the Smartlink is a necessity and worth the hassle.