Which HA. Need advice

Hello. This is my first post and in need of advice. I have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. I am looking for advice on which ha may help. I do want as discreet an aid as possible.I have tried a few in the past (cics) Natura ,Widex, Canta. The audi. couldnt get them adjusted I guess, they were always just too loud. These were all tried a few years ago,and I get very frustrated. Going to try again,since I see there is a lot of new ones out.
My tests:

R Freq. L.
70 250 70
60 500 60
60 1000 75
35 1500 30
20 2000 20
45 3000 60
75 4000 75
100 8000 70

word recognition 24%

As you can see, its what Im told is an unusual audiogram, and hard to fit.
I am looking for as discreet an aid as possible. I know it probably cant cover all the loss but if I could understand a little better would help.Looking for any advice on which aid and type of aid to look for. It seems some audis push one brand above others,so I`d like to gain some knowledge here first.

Thanks

Yeah, by all mean avoid Audi/HIS that are in bed with certain manufacturers.
I got lucky with my Audi.

I’m going to disagree here just a little.

It’s like the old expression, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” As complicated as hearing aids are these days, the more different brands you fit, the less knowledge you are likely to have about the nuance of every single model available from each manufacturer. So as a result you may not quite get the best service from someone who carries too many brands. Of course you may, it just depends how good they are.

After all, when you are buying a car, you don’t tell people, “Well just you make sure they stock at least three or four brands at the dealership.”

I’d rather shop around four specialists who carry one brand each, than one specialist who carries four.

Consider also that most companies offer a volume discount, so if a company sells 400 hearing aids from four different manufacturers in a year, they are likely to be paying more than a specialist who sells 400 of the same brand in the space of a year.

Yes your loss is unusual, in that it is a bit of a hump pattern.

I would encourage you to get a hearing aid that has at least eight channels. This will allow the hearing professional to more closely match it to the pattern of your loss.

I’m the resident Starkey fan here on this board, so I am going to recommend you take a look at the Starkey Destiny 1200 or 1600, in the CIC format. They have circuits capable of matching your loss.

http://www.starkeypro.com/public/products_solutions/hearing_aid_devices/destiny_series/index.jsp

Other good brands would include ReSound, Widex, Oticon and Siemens. Avoid Miracle Ear, and personally, I’d also avoid Beltone.

Thanks ZCT, As a matter of fact it is the Starkey Dastiny aid that was kinda pushed or more strongly suggested by the audi that I really wanted to go to.
My problem with that is that a relative with a similar audiogram had just tried them with no success, Ive heard they are hard to program or adjust.. I guess that doesnt mean they wont work for me.. But if they dont it will cost me as the audi wants 250 per aid for the return. I did want something as small as possible though , and even as everyone says the open fit will not work for my loss ,I did speak with one audi that seeemed to think that the Ion would help,even though it didnt cover my whole range of loss,does that make any sense to you? Also with all this said I do know what you mean by "jack of all trades,master of none" Im just looking for the best fit.
On the old cic`s Ive tried, the volumn was just way too loud on everything. When it was tried to calm it down a bit ,it was like a plug in my ear then. Would the Destiny be able to be adjusted for that?
Also I have tinnitus,which I failed to mention. Would that have any bearing on which aid to choose?

You know I don’t think the Destiny is all that difficult to program. Some of the earlier Starkey aids were a bear to program, but I really think with Inspire OS 3.0, it is pretty simple. Provided you understand the fundamentals.

As for your relative, which model did he try? Because the lower models have fewer bands and channels, and would probably be less effective for your kind of loss.

Regarding the volume, that should certainly not be an issue based on the information you provided.

Tinnitus should not be an issue, although I’d probably fit a larger vent than the text book might suggest. Hearing aids will often lessen the symptoms of tinnitus, but it is pot luck if it does or not. Tinnitus is pretty unique to the individual and some experience improvement and some don’t. Although I’d be more likely to bet it would help, than not.

I think the Zōn would be worth a try with that loss. There is no reason at all why it shouldn’t work. Your low frequencies are a bit on the low side, but I still think it would have a good chance of working.

As for that restock fee, make them waive it. Tell them you won’t buy unless they waive it. Most of the time they will. Fact is if I fit a patient with a Starkey aid, and send it back within 45 days, I don’t even have to pay for it. I’d just be charged shipping, which is less than $20. Dispensers use the restock fee to weed out time wasters and to make a bit of money if the patient cancels. But most dispensers will negotiate this. I’d rather have a shot at a sale, than lose a deal over some unnecessary restock fee.

I must agree with the other post above- typically, most Audiologists specialize and/or contract with 3-4 hearing aid companies. One company really is not “better” than another- it is the programming of the device that is imperative to the success of a fitting. And it is much more difficult to master 10 manufacturer’s software vs. 3-4. You could pay for the most “top of the line” hearing aid, but if it is not programmed correctly it will be as useless as an entry level hearing aid. Therefore, I would highly recommend the following:

  1. Find a clinician who is a licensed Audiologist.
  2. Ask if the clinician uses “real ear verification”. This is something that a lot of clinicians do not use, but I feel it is essential for a fitting, especially for someone with an unusual audiogram, such as yourself. This actually measures the response of the hearing aid in your ear, and is objective measures of how much amplification the hearing aid is actually providing, instead of just relying on the manufacturer’s software (which research has shown tends to underestimate how much amplification the hearing aid is actually providing, especially in the high frequencies). This would also help verify that the hearing aid is not programmed too loud.

I hope this helps you and I hope that you are successful in finding a hearing aid that works well for you.

when it comes to entry level and mid price instruments are almost the same,
but when it comes to high end digitals, there are instruments that are superior to others, it is clear that wireless is the future…

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and information. This is a great forum. I wanted to get as much information as I could on how different brand aids might be able to help in my situation. Thanks ZCT for the info on Starkey.
As several had said ,its all in how well they are programmed. I was under the impression that one brand of aid might handle my situation better than another, and also the reason I originally thought that the more brands they dispensed the better chance I had of getting the right one, but it looks like its boiling down to how knowledable they are in a particular brand also. Very hard to choose.

perhaps one way to do so, it so check this forums what models have they been favorably reviewed, this could give an indication or direction of what to get… There are good choices out there…

if you are looking for value, most of the mid price instrument perform real well

Yes I do agree. I`ve been reading so many good posts here on this forum,trying to get a good evaluation of which aids have been working best for most. I do have an unusual loss though.

As I mentioned earlier, I think it is better to see four hearing professionals who each carry just one brand, as opposed to one professional who stocks four.

Shopping around will give you a feel for who seems like they know what they are talking about. Who is rushing the test? Who is most thorough? What are their prices? How well are questions answered? If they only stock one brand, why? If they stock three, which do they recommend and why? Who offers to program demonstration aids to match the loss and who doesn’t?

As for needing an audiologist, I don’t really see a compelling argument that this is an essential for achieving positive results. Your two key points were to find a licensed Audiologist who does ‘real ear verification.’ I think there are more important criteria than that. Test aids being one of them. There is no reason at all why a loss like this could not be competently treated by an HIS.

Also, let’s be real. People are motivated by money. Even doctors will push a certain pill because they like the drug rep, and maybe if he pushes Crestor versus another similar pill he could get a nice plasma TV for his waiting room.

Hearing aids are the same way. From time to time a company will run a special. Pre-order eight units and get some kind of bonus. Maybe some advertising dollars, or a special discount. If a hearing professional has just ordered eight units and you walk in to door, he may push this over a superior other brand. Just because a hearing professional carries multiple brands, doesn’t mean that their motivation for recommending a specific make and model is pure.

Absolutely. In this day and age being good with computers is essential for a hearing professional.

I think some brands are better than others, or more specifically there are some brands to avoid in my opinion. I don’t think there is a hearing professional on this board who pushes Miracle Ear, but that would be bottom of my list.

Do shop around. Tests should be free at most places, and you will really get a feel after 2-3 tests who knows their stuff, which is probably the most important thing.

Also, any good professional will demonstrate real hearing aids to you so you can experience at least some of the improvement they are claiming they can give you.