Typical Newbie question


#1

Do I really need hearing aids based on my Audiogram… See here:


This is not to say I don’t trust my audiologist, I would just like the opinion from experienced users.

In addition to my Audiogram, I have a raging case of tinnitus that I have been able to cope with up until now, but I LOVE the tinnitus masker on my tester aids.

I have noticed an improvement in my hearing so far, but not a jaw slacking improvement. I go in for the final adjustment on my testers this Wednesday and then I have another week of my trial to decide if I want to move ahead.

Some Questions for you

  1. If your advice is to get hearing aids, would you suggest going premium or budget?
  2. Is it downright foolish to wait until my hearing gets worse before getting hearing aids?
  3. Is it wise two get two hearing aids instead of just one for my bad ear?

Thanks for your time in advance.

Cheers,
Krispin


#2

You can easily go with one hearing aid if you feel you are missing conversations. If you do, the single budget should do everything. You need two aids to get the premium features. If you get two, hearing in noise should be better but the second ear won’t likely benefit.

The thing to watch is the word recognition. When you lose that it hard to impossible to get back. If you decide not to do anything, make sure you get an annual test.

One of the audiologist here might point out other things to watch/consider.


#4

Thanks for your response KenP

If I am sitting at home I am usually ok, I will miss what my wife and kids say on occasion, which at times is a pain. Where I really cant hear is in the classroom and if I am out in a pub or a mall or any social gathering. The background noise drives me nuts and I have to expend enormous amounts of effort to hear anyone.

Currently my word recognition sits at 90 for right ear and 80 for my left.


#5

I would say yes in your left ear and possibly in your right ear. If you have tinnitus in both ears and you are getting aids with a masker than yes in both ears. You might also consider trying the LACE program to see if you can improve your word recognition if the HA’s with masking don’t improve it a lot.


#6

Thanks for the lead on the LACE program, I will have to talk to my audiologist about that.


#7

, I will miss what my wife and kids say on occasion, which at times is a pain

I consider this a blessing


#8

Depends on what is being said :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#9

Yes, sometimes, lol :slight_smile:


#10

You asked if you needed hearing aids based on your audiogram, but I think that was the wrong question. I was leaning toward a probably not answer until I read your second quote above. Now I am leaning toward a probably answer. It’s all about user experience.

I appreciate a sense of humor and all, but on a serious (if somewhat sappy) note, I have to say that hearing what my wife is trying to say to me has been the most delightful aspect of my hearing aids.

Second to that is the effect my aids have had in the workplace. I have become more engaged in my job, have been able to take on additional responsibilities that I would not have been able to do before, and I think there has been a marked improvement in how my peers and my managers view me.

Here is my suggestion to you. Try a set of aids for as long a trial period as you can get. Then ask others around you if they notice any difference. At one point I was having doubts as to how much my aids were helping, so I asked my wife if they were helping her. Her answer was a resounding yes, absolutely! Sometimes the people around us are more aware of our hearing issues than we are.


#11

Thanks very much for this, BlueCrab. Especially for the “somewhat sappy” part.

And, the classroom is really tough. As a teacher, I haven’t found it so bad, since I can move around the room and have the authority to make people repeat themselves.

But as a student. Yikes. I just got a class moved to an entirely different room, because the acoustics in the original venue were so atrocious.


#12

Krispin, I teach, too and have a mild to moderate loss according to my audi. I wasn’t even aware of my loss because I had adapted to the classroom by walking around more. I was given some demos that were pretty old technology and they helped enough to make the classroom situation better. And I had begun to avoid noisy social settings and wanted only to meet with one or two other people socially. I wasn’t aware of why.

Yesterday I trialed Costco Cala8 hearing aids and they were a joy. These are top of the line HAs. I could hear very distinctly a lot of things I was missing with the old aids but didn’t know it. Can you trial some different hearing aids at Costco? (I see you are in Canada) They may cost less there, but they will let you trial in-store to see how they function. As I said, way better than the Resound demos I was given. The demos helped me in a lot of ways, but I can see the new ones I have on order will be light-years better.

Also, I just posted an article about the brain and how your brain adapts to hearing loss, even when it is mild. Here’s a link: http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?20611-Why-getting-hearing-aids-early-and-using-them-daily-is-important-for-your-brain I’m a newbie to all this, too, but knowing about the brain aspect makes me want to make sure I have them and use them. I can function well without them in many situations, but that doesn’t mean I’m hearing what I should be. Given this, hearing aids are a priority and I was willing to spend what I needed to get ones that worked optimally for me.


#13

Um Bongo recently remarked on the poor acoustics present in most classrooms. When we had good hearing, we didn’t get perfect understanding all the time. Their rarity allowed us to ignore those times. As hearing deteriorates we tend to fixate on the problem which then adds mental confusion/stress. Your fortunate in recognizing the problem early on. The average person typically avoids the issue for 7 years.

The poor acoustics and the student voices you encounter make for a challenging environment for many who have no auditory deterioration. It looks like you now need help and hearing aids can provide that assistance. I’d try two hearing aids in a test where you can return the aids. Ideally, this will exceed 30 day because getting use to them can easily take that long. When you have the two, you can test situation with just the one aid to determine if the one does as well. The longer the trial the easier the choice.

Try to approach it with ease. Immediate results aren’t always near final results/success. If you have a Christmas holiday of modest duration, I would suggest getting the aids just before it. That will give you a period where you can start to adjust before the classroom pressures is added back.


#14

Thank you all for your thoughtful and helpful answers.

After 20 days into my trial, I have come to the conclusion that I will go ahead and get the hearing aids.
Two things ultimately helped me make the decision.

  1. I LIKE wearing them. I find not having to look at and concentrate on the person who is talking, is an immense relief. I had no idea how much effort it was taking to keep track of what was being said.

  2. The tinnitus maskers are such a nice respite from the constant ringing in my ears. It is so nice to not have to listen to that high pitched sound 24/7.

@Dash – Unfortunately, Costco doesn’t sell hearing aids in Canada and from what I can determine, there are not many clearing house type wholesalers around to get discounted prices from. I realize that when you are paying a premium price for hearing aids you should also be getting premium service from your audiologist and that I am getting. Fortunately, I have a good extended health plan so I won’t be out of pocket all that much. Also, thanks for the article.

@BlueCrab – Yes, it is nice to be able to hear my wife and kids and not have to constantly say “Pardon… what did you say?!” Less exasperating for everyone, although my wife hates that I need hearing aids. Not sure if it is the old stigma thing, or the an affirmation that we are getting old.

@KenP – Thanks again for contributing. The way my audiologist has increased the Gain on the aids over a space of just under 3 weeks, has allowed me to ease into wearing them quite nicely. I have been on my final setting for 3 days now and they seem to be working great.

Thanks again all!

Cheers,
krispin


#15

Oh my goodness. Yes they do. I don’t know what the pricing will be like for the KS7, because it’s not landed here yet, but the Canadian prices are actually less than the U.S. ones (figuring in the conversion).


#16

Well I’ll be damned, they do have them. They just don’t show up as a searchable item on the Costco Canada website.

As much as I hate the Costco mayhem, I guess I will have to go in and take a look.


#17

I’m getting some from them as soon as they get the KS7. I’ve finally decided to leave the self-programming wilderness.

The hearing test I had a couple of weeks ago at Costco was the most lengthy, thorough one I’ve ever had (including the one before, at a highly-regarded medical NGO that works with deaf people). The HAD spent well over an hour with me, never once trying to sell me a hearing aid. All the equipment looked new and impressive.

I hope this bodes well, because my experience is that it mostly comes down to the HAD/Audiologist.

But really, it’s the price that’s swayed me, as well as the insurance and service.


#18

The K7 would have to have a tinnitus masker, apparently the K6 didn’t have it. Tinnitus is 1/2 the reason I was seeking out help in the first place. :thinking:


#19

I don’t think any aids at Costco have tinnitus masking. They have it disabled.


#20

You’re welcome. That’s why we’re here. Glad to see you’re getting some positive results from the forum!

Yes, it is nice to be able to hear my wife and kids and not have to constantly say “Pardon… what did you say?!” Less exasperating for everyone, although my wife hates that I need hearing aids. Not sure if it is the old stigma thing, or the an affirmation that we are getting old.

Kind of a mixed feeling, isn’t it. I hate that I need them, but since I need them I love that I have them!

Funny, I was just telling my wife the other day how our culture views getting old all wrong. Old age used to mean experience and wisdom, not broken down and useless. We need to make getting old cool again. One of my all time favorite songs is Afternoons & Coffeespoons by the Crash Test Dummies. Check it out when you get a chance! :cool:


#21

I spend a lot of time around younger people. IMO they are way nicer to old people than we were, far more appreciative, curious, accepting.

Hearing aids are also way less of a stigma. Haha because they know they’ll all be wearing them but anyway.