Wearing Well-fitted HAs Immediately After Wearing Poorly-fitted Devices for 10+ Hours: Impressions

I had to go to the ER last night. I had only put my More1s into the charger 1/2 hour before leaving, so the charge was 54%. I decided to wear my spare set (2015 Unitron North Moxi Fit 800 - abominably fitted) to the hospital.

The Unitrons allow me to hear everything, but comprehend virtually nothing. Fortunately, I had my HoH stickers and buttons on, and my ER team were patient and accommodating.

However, such was my frustration with the Unitron North Moxi Fit 800s, I put them away and snatched my wonderful Oticons (More1s) out of their compact charger as soon as I got home. What a difference, but

… it sounded to me as though my cochlea had just come out of a loud jazz club, with the 1kHz-5kHz part of the spectrum seeming “tired/stressed” from bombardment by sounds the Mores do not deliver at great volume.

This observation is entirely anecdotal, subjective, and unscientific, but it leaves me with the impression that my previous audiologist simply jacked up the gain in these frequency bands each time I complained to her about poor speech comprehension, resulting in too much raw gain for my hearing loss. (After this morning, I understand better those who say they “hear worse after wearing HAs”).

I’d be interested to hear some alternative explanations for my experience today.

1 Like

I understand I can see the difference just going back and wearing my OPNS1 aids instead of my More1 aids. I am sure you are seen a hack of a lot more difference

1 Like

@cvkemp: You’re right, Chuck. I could sense that my ears were actually tired out from being bombarded in certain frequency bands.

1 Like

@SpudGunner, also remember that you were very stressed (an ER visit is inherently stressful), you were wearing old, ill-fitted HAs that were too loud in some frequencies, so you were having to really expend a lot of effort in listening. Unfamiliar voices in one or more unfamiliar rooms. Clinicians probably wearing masks. No wonder your hearing was stressed and fatigued!

All, true, @ziploc, but what surprised me was how my ears behaved when I returned home and was able to revert to my Oticons … I never expected to be able to understand what was said at the hospital when wearing my Unitrons.

[Addendum (context): I was never able to understand speech with the Moxi Fit 800s in the 6 years I wore them!

My audiologist at that time had just retired from a 25-year career as a government pediatric fitter. She had no idea how to interact with me to resolve my issues.

I’m sure the Unitron make was not to blame for their abysmal service to me, either - in fact, my 2011 Unitron Moxi devices are a better backup set than my 2015 Unitron North Moxi Fit 800s. (The older pair was correctly fitted by an audiologist who has since moved away.)

The unfortunate pair of 2015 Unitron North Moxi Fit 800s was rendered useless to me by incompetent fitting. I should have fired that audiologist 6 or 9 months into it, after giving her a fair chance to get my hearing aids to work for me.]

[@Neville, @Um_bongo … any insights you might be willing to share. Please.]

BTW: My audiologist (whom I trust) seems reluctant to tweak my Unitron spares. He says that the HAs are older, and the new Unitron software may not work properly with them. I don’t like the fragrance of this statement, however.:speak_no_evil:

I suspect that part of his reticence is due to the fact that the devices were purchased at a competitor’s clinic. I suppose this is normal, even if it results in suboptimal performance of my spare pair.

Comments? Suggestions?

Pay him for his time in re-fitting them?

3 Likes

:crazy_face:Doh! That would work, wouldn’t it? Thanks for waking me up!

2 Likes

@ziploc: I keep coming back to your post, wondering whether I have misunderstood your point …

Are you saying that - because I was working so hard at hearing in the ER setting - the effort that I expended using my old Unitron HAs fatigued my hearing?

There’s no doubt that the 10+ hours wearing those *Unitron North Moxi Fit 800s fatigued my ears, but it felt to me more as if my ears had been physically bombarded (think a loud concert), as opposed to my brain becoming fatigued from work.

Not sure I understood correctly. Thanks for your input, anyway.

I remember you were saying that you got the More 3 from the VAC. I also remember that you paid a little extra with your wife’s insurance to upgrade to the More 1, but I assumed that you did all this through the VAC and continue to get service from the VAC. But maybe this is where my assumption was wrong. So your current audi who’s servicing the More 1 for you is in private practice and not with the VAC?

1 Like

In Canada, Veterans’ Affairs has no clinics of their own, as in the USA. All patients are referred to private clinics, which are paid according to VAC’s Standing Offer agreement.

Oticon offers the least generous rates to audiologists, compared to the other HA makers.

So … VAC only offered More3s gratis to me. My wife’s group plan paid 80% of the $1,500 surcharge for upgrading to More1s, which requires VAC approval.

I’m a little bit miffed that - subsequent to ponying up a large amount to upgrade - my audiologist won’t tune up my spares.

I’ve learned, however, from a trusted and reliable source in the profession that margins on VAS patients are low, so I’m inclined to cut my audi some slack and pay for the adjustments.

@SpudGunner, maybe I’m the one who didn’t understand. Yes I was pretty much suggesting that maybe ten hours of straining to hear largely unintelligible speech from unfamiliar people in a stressful situation caused fatigue in your hearing.
But maybe what I should have included was how much louder the sound of the Unitrons was. Maybe going from much less listening effort at lower perceived volume with the Oticons to straining to hear louder, but still unintelligible, sounds with the Unitrons was what caused the fatigue. I’m just speculating. Hopefully your hearing is back its pre-ER normal by now.

My Audiologist was more than happy to adjust my old Phonaks (purchased years ago from another clinic and serviced for years by a third clinic) as close as possible to my new aids.

Jim

1 Like

@ziploc: My hearing came back to normal quickly after I got home, thanks.

I was not straining with my Oticons - you’re projecting something onto what I felt that is not accurate.

My ears felt like I had been listening to very loud music in a bar. I’m a musician. I know that feeling well. It’s not a brain phenomenon. It’s physical.

I’m a musician too. I know that feeling well. I’m glad you’re back to normal. That’s the main thing. And now you have HAs that are actually helping you. I probably shouldn’t even have commented.

No, no … I value all helpful comments. I just wanted to address the idea that what I was experiencing was cognitive fatigue. It was physical battery that I experienced, and not fatigue.

Thanks for trying to help me to understand what was going on. I’m still pretty convinced that if my audiologist did REM on my old Unitrons, the gain levels in the 1k-5k Hz range would be too high.

That’s what it felt like when I got home and donned my Oticons … my ears felt physically incapable of responding normally from listening to loud sounds for hours.

:chair::chair::chair::chair:

I wore a pair of poorly fitted Oticon 1 hearing aids for 4+ years. So, I got them refitted and at the same time trialed a pair of the new More 1. I couldn’t tell the difference between the refitted Opn 1 and the properly fitted More 1, so I’m sticking with my old HAs as long as they last.

Proper fitting can make all the difference.

4 Likes

Yes it can, unfortunately my OPN1 aids were never able to be full adjusted to fit my needs. The OPNS1 were an important and I never really noticed the issues I was having with them until I got the More1 aids, boy what a difference. It all depends on the individual wearing the aids and that individual’s hearing loss. And I have finally come to understand that there is sound amplification then there is tuning to a person’s real hearing needs. The OPN1 did greatly improve on my hearing but never fully allowed me to understand speech. The OPNS1 gave me better feedback of my sound environment, and did improve on speech over the OPN1, but the More1 aids have given me the feeling that I almost have normal hearing. I feel fully in tune with my environment, music sound so much better to the point I finally can hear individual instruments. At the end of the day I am no longer tired and want to crawl in a hole and hide. I can enjoy my church service and socializing with my friends and family. I am amazed that I can hear conversations from individuals behind me.
I all most feel normal again

2 Likes

You’re tempting me to try the More 1 again. Don’t do that; I can’t afford it. :rofl:

2 Likes

Like I have always said hearing aids are very personally, it is all about what works for you as an individual. And you have to understand my situation is different from so many on here. My hearing loss is due to my military service, and the Veterans Administration has been taking care of my hearing needs since 2006.

1 Like