What should I expect for HA recommendations?

I’ve finally decided it’s time to purchase a hearing aid. I have an appointment with an audiologist (recommended by my ENT).



Multiple cholesteatoma surgeries on left ear, single cholesteatoma surgery on right ear. Both ears are stable for the last ten years. Tinnitus in both ears, I’ve learned to live with it. My hearing slowly decreasing in left ear every few years. I am diagnosed with Meniere’s in my right (“good”) ear.

I don’t currently have a functional hearing aid. I’ve learned to get by without one (reading lips, paying attention, captioning on TV, etc.).

The Meniere’s episodes don’t happen too often (maybe once every two months). But, when they do occur I loose my hearing in my right ear and I’m cut off from the world.

What should I be expecting? I’m pretty sure my left ear is only good for holding on my glasses. Would my right ear be a good candidate for a behind the ear model? I assume I’d need something with multiple programs so when I’m in the middle of a Meniere’s episode I could adjust it for my decreased hearing ability.

I’ve also been reading about the receiver-in-the-ear models; would my right ear benefit from this type?

Just trying to gather as much information as I can to make an informed decision. Thanks in advance for any opinions or comments.

have yuou consider a cochlear implant?

No, I’ve not considered a cochlear implant. Is that what you’d recommend?

I had my appointment with the Audi today and my hearing test was pretty close to my last one. Except the low tones in my right ear have gotten a bit worse.

I found out they sell Unitron, Phonak, GN Resound, Oticon, and Siemens.

My left ear is hopeless. For my right ear, she recommended (on the low end) the Unitron Element 8 BTE or the Phonak Extra (both $1,400).

When I asked about the next step up she recommended the Unitron Element 16 BTE ($1,600).

Beyond that, the price jumped over $2,200.

Also, I asked about bi-cros and she said it was available for just about any unit these days (including the ones she quoted).

Anyone have an opinion on the Unitron Element 16? It’s about what I can afford right now and the literature (from the Unitron website) seems to fit my requirements.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I recommend you also consider Starkey / Audibel. You don’t have to buy a foreign import. America makes some incredible hearing aids!

I think you should get the best BTE you can afford for your right ear. The whole BI CROS idea is all well and good, but frankly I’ve not seen many amazing success stories with it, and it’s going to push the price up more.

So for now at least, I would just get the best American hearing aid you can afford for the right ear.

top makers in order
Siemens, Oticon, Phonak , GN…
So I would pick one of the 4… If you are looking for value

Unitron belongs to Phonak (sonova) so you get similar products…
GN sells very inexpensive aids… I like-> Pixel or Plus 5

Phonak also has well price instruments - Una or Extra

Oitcon Go pro and Tego are great instruments…

Please be careful when stating ‘facts.’

When you say ‘top makers’ what do you really mean by that? GM makes a lot of cars, making them a ‘top maker’ but does that mean their product is automatically best value? Not according to Consumer Reports who this month slammed most of their product, in their annual auto edition.

In this case you have listed four foreign brands, which are only likely to increase in expense as the dollar continues to weaken. You listed Siemens as number one, but in my dispensing experience (since 1994), they really are only what I’d call good, hardly excellent. You also listed Phonak above Widex? Really? In terms of innovation and quality?

Sorry, but sales volume, or claimed market share does not necessarily translate to value or quality. And I would put a Starkey toe to toe with Phonak or Siemens any day of the week.

I have had good success with the Starkey Destiny line, and Rexton is another company to consider. They are in the same parent company as Siemens, but are less expensive (check Targa Pro/Plus).

I agree with ZCT, bicros is sort of a hit or miss thing. I would probably skip it for now, but make sure you get directional mics on whatever aid you do get, because with unilateral hearing you need all the help you can get in noise.