Understanding speech in a crowded restaurant?

Hi, new to the forum and was hoping someone could suggest an appropriate aid for me.

I’ve got Meniere’s disease in my left ear with tinnitus and moderately severe loss. My right ear is fine. My biggest problem is understanding speech that’s off to my left in noisy situations.

Is there an aid that will filter out the background noise but will help me understand nearby speech?

Thanks for the help

I’ve newly acquired a pair of Starkey Destiny 1200 aids, and although I am basically satisfied with them, I’m sure they’ll sound even better with some additional tweaking. But the best feature so far is how they work in a noisy restaurant. Whereas before these new aids hearing my wife and friends in most restaurants was a real task, now I hear them clearly, with background noise held to a real minimum. How these aids will work for you, who knows, but I think they may be worth a try.

I too, use Destiny 1200s. Restaurants, nightclubs, etc. are a real joy now. I hear better that my friends with normal hearing in these situations.

Over the last 7 + years I’ve worn a variety of aids, from Widex Diva in the ear aids to America Hears in the ear or open fit BTE aids, and GN ReSound Pulse aids that I’m currently wearing, and all did/do a good job in noisy situations allowing me to hear speech.

…nightclubs, etc. are a real joy now. I hear better that my friends with normal hearing in these situations.

Nightclubing with HI? How its going? :slight_smile:

Are that Bte or cic’s?

I wear BTEs and all noisy environments are now manageable. Yeah, the occasional night at the club is still doable, even at my age, 53.

Didnt ask because your age :wink:
Glad to se you are enjoying with your D1200…

Are there any particular settings or features with the Destiny 1200s that especially help with the restaurant noise?

I don’t know if the Destinys have anything special about their “Speech in Noise” program, but it works extremely well.

One thing I notice is that the directional front-only microphone in the noise program is very narrowly focused. I think that helps a lot in that it doesn’t pick up stray sounds as readily.

First of all most modern hearing aids with directional microphones will be able to reduce background noise in restaurants while focussing on the speech in front of you.

The problem in your case is that you are likley to have quite poor masked speech discrimination in your left ear, which is often a hallmark of Meniere’s Disease. This makes amplification quite difficult at times because if the left ear’s poor speech discimination is so poor that it affects your ability to understand speech from the right, when speech is amplified on the left. When this happens a hearing aid could actually make speech understanding in difficult situations worse. The only way to have an idea wheter this might occur is to have your binaural speech discrimination measured if it has not been done already.

Meniere’s also often causes loudness tollerance issues when an affected ear receives amplification, so you will need an experienced clinician to set the aids appropriately for you. Also chose an aid with a good comfort in noise setting and a sudden loud noise reduction feature. And example would be the Phonak Exelia Art or Audeo YES IX.

However all is not lost. Often poor speech discrimination can improve with daily amplification (all day if possible) in the affected ear for at least 2 to 3 months. As such even if things don’t start off well, they might actually improve for as much as 18 months after fitting. You should howeve start to see an improvement in your aided speech scores within two months. Thus you will need an Audi willing to extend your hearing aid trial to at least 60 or even if possible 90 days to measure if such an improvement occurs for you.

Good luck and remember the easiest way to see if it works for you is to trial it.

Wow, thank you very much for the advice!

The settings are automatic in the Starkey Destiny 1200 mini BTE’s that I wear. Even if they are adjustable, I have no inclination at all to do so since they work so well in noisy places.

I am presently trying out a pair of Starkey Destiny 1200 BTE’s and find the noise surpression as well as the T-Coil work well. The standard Destiny BTE case is very slightly larger than my Tego Pro BTE’s. The Starkey BTE case seems to be quite rugged as does the case of the larger Destiny 1200 Power Plus which I am considering over the standard BTE because it is so much cheaper.

The Destiny 1200 Power Plus is cheaper ? Why is that ?

I checked with Starkey (in Canada) and they told me that it was due to “ease of manufacturing as well a marketing to compete with similar products made by others”. They also said that the Power Plus has extactly the same features as the standard BTE only the receiver is larger and I might notice more amp noise in the Plus model. I actually asked confirmation and got it from the Starkey Tech Support people. I was also told that vendors selling hearing aids set their own pricing. I am presently struggling with the idea of wearing such a large BTE for my moderate loss.

The price I was quoted for the Destiny 1200 Power Plus was 25% less than for the Destiny 1200 standard BTE; all else the same contract wise.

Very interesting. I think I would rather pay the 25% more for the smaller form factor.

I understand that, however we are not talking about a $10.00 savings here. The whole industry is heading to smaller and smaller HA’s. Vanity is very expensive I think. Also I am retired so have nothing to prove…or disprove.

I agree with hearnow on this. I only wish to add one thing; digital hearing aids are programmable not only for general times but also for specific situations such as the noisy restaurant (how great technology has become) and bte tend to be stronger than more concealable aids. Best of luck finding a good hearing aid. :slight_smile:

Dunshaw Hearing