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View Full Version : Audiogram results-should I get hearing aids?



southerngirl
02-08-2012, 02:29 PM
I am a 33 year old female. Had audiogram recently because I noticed that I don't hear as well or as easily as others seem to. Also, there have been times that I don't hear people when they are talking to me, especially if they are beside or behind me and I don't know they are there. Anyways, I was told that I could benefit from hearing aids, but they are so costly. I was wondering if my hearing would change so much, that I would be thankful that I got the hearing aids, or if my hearing would improve only minimally. I just wanted some opinions from someone more experienced than I. My results are......

.....250....500......1k......2k......3k.......4k.. ....8k
L.....20......15......15......45......60......60.. ....55
R.....15......15......15......25......40......45.. ....55

iceman0486
02-08-2012, 02:45 PM
Based on your results I would suggest some RIC aids. You should notice an easier time listening to others in crowded environments and in background noise.

Try out Costco or Sam's Club.* They have 90 day trials and %100 money back if you return them. If your life is improved by them, keep them.


* I work for Sam's Club, so my opinion is biased.

southerngirl
02-08-2012, 03:20 PM
Thank you, iceman. What kind of price would I be expected to spend at Sam's Club for a set of RIC hearing aids? The Beltone facility that I went to for the free hearing exam recommended the Beltone True, wireless miniBTE, 6 channel, which was going to cost me about $4,200 for a set. Also, is my hearing bad enough to warrant spending that much money on hearing aids? I can continue coping like I have been doing. I know my hearing isn't nearly as bad as some of the people that I've read after on this forum.

seb
02-08-2012, 03:21 PM
You would definitely see a difference in your hearing with HA. You would still miss what someone asked you on occasion but it would be a lot better than what you experience now. In noisy situations it will also be better, but even people with good hearing have trouble if it's really noisy. As Iceman said give Costco or Sam's Club a try since they have the best return and trial policies and you really have nothing to lose. Good luck!

ZCT
02-08-2012, 06:15 PM
Thank you, iceman. What kind of price would I be expected to spend at Sam's Club for a set of RIC hearing aids? The Beltone facility that I went to for the free hearing exam recommended the Beltone True, wireless miniBTE, 6 channel, which was going to cost me about $4,200 for a set. Also, is my hearing bad enough to warrant spending that much money on hearing aids? I can continue coping like I have been doing. I know my hearing isn't nearly as bad as some of the people that I've read after on this forum.

You have the benefit of fairly reasonable bass hearing that doesn't need a great deal of help. RIC is a good approach, there are plenty of good quality RICs out there in the $2000 range that will do a great job. One example is the Starkey Ignite product.

While I normally preach that you get what you pay for with hearing aids, if you have a decent RIC I think it will add back that sharpness you are missing, without the need to get all fancy with expensive devices. For example the ones you are looking at have all kinds of streaming and Bluetooth stuff that seems OTT for your kind of loss frankly.

Also normally a mini BTE means that the sound is generated in the behind the ear hearing aid, and blown through a tube into your ear. I prefer RIC technology for your loss as that places the loudspeaker in your ear pointing towards the ear drum. This can give better lift in the high tone areas.

southerngirl
02-08-2012, 07:09 PM
Thank you so much SEB and ZCT. I really value your opinions. ZCT, thank you for explaining the RIC to me. I will do more research on the HA you recommended. You both are so helpful. This is all very confusing and a little disconcerting. I just want to make the right decision.

Mick Shu
02-08-2012, 07:17 PM
Costco or Wally can set you up for around or well under $2500. You can try different brands and see which sounds the best to you. They all sound different to different folks. Some swear by one brand and some another. 90 day trials and no restocking fees and no pressure from the clinic owner cause the BMW payment is due.

stream2525
02-09-2012, 01:29 AM
Are you going to pay for hearing aids from your pocket or insurance will cover it?

Salty
02-09-2012, 06:15 AM
I prefer RIC technology for your loss as that places the loudspeaker in your ear pointing towards the ear drum. This can give better lift in the high tone areas.

It's a minimal difference and it has essentially the same HF gain as a BTE product with a similar matrix. It is mostly marketing hype that receiver in the canal products produce a better sound quality than BTE products.

If you want discretion then a Receiver in the canal product is the best, if you want reliability then a BTE product with a discreet narrow tube is recommended.

In Regards to your hearing loss, did you get a full diagnostic hearing test or just a screening test. The Full diagnostic test will tell you whether the loss is Sensorineural or Conductive or a mix of the two. I highly recommend geting a full diagnostic test done prior to fitting a hearing instrument.

southerngirl
02-09-2012, 11:48 AM
My insurance pays 80% of cost but only up to 1,000 per ear per device. I have to meet my 3,000 deductible first.

stream2525
02-09-2012, 11:51 AM
My insurance pays 80% of cost but only up to 1,000 per ear per device. I have to meet my 3,000 deductible first.

If the shape of the aids doesn't matter to you , you can get good aids from Costco.
If you want high end aids ,then you might go for Oticon or Phonak. You do not need most improved aids . Your loss is not that bad.

Salty
02-10-2012, 03:55 AM
If you want high end aids ,then you might go for Oticon or Phonak. You do not need most improved aids . Your loss is not that bad.

Or Widex, Siemens, Resound, Unitron etc

The above statement is incorrect. The degree of hearing loss does not dictate the technology level you require. The technology level is dependant upon the environments you wish to hear within. i.e the ability to hear well and comfortably in a large meeting or restaurant would require a mid to High end hearing aid.

ZCT
02-10-2012, 12:34 PM
It's a minimal difference and it has essentially the same HF gain as a BTE product with a similar matrix. It is mostly marketing hype that receiver in the canal products produce a better sound quality than BTE products.

If you want discretion then a Receiver in the canal product is the best, if you want reliability then a BTE product with a discreet narrow tube is recommended.

In Regards to your hearing loss, did you get a full diagnostic hearing test or just a screening test. The Full diagnostic test will tell you whether the loss is Sensorineural or Conductive or a mix of the two. I highly recommend geting a full diagnostic test done prior to fitting a hearing instrument.

Sorry, I don't agree with you at all.

A BTE is almost always larger than a RIC, and the narrow tube is just about the same diameter of a typical RIC tube.

While a BTE may have a slight edge in reliability, if it does go wrong, it needs to be sent off to the factory for repair, whereas a typical RIC can have a new receiver fitted (often for free) right in the clinic.

Thanks to the popularity of RICs many manufacturers are putting more R&D in that area right now so many RICs can do things a BTE cannot.

Regardless of what you said, it is a simple fact of physics that if you push sound through a tiny narrow bendy tube that's a couple of inches long it will reduce the sound quality versus placing the receiver a few mm from the TM.

Finally, any state compliant test would have bone conduction scores which would show the type of hearing loss (conductive, mixed or SNHL). This would be a requirement before dispensing a hearing aid.

In any case, just looking at the air conduction scores, it seems like a 99% bet that this is a SNHL. After all what mixed or conductive loss would present this audiogram pattern?

ZCT
02-10-2012, 12:42 PM
Or Widex, Siemens, Resound, Unitron etc

The above statement is incorrect. The degree of hearing loss does not dictate the technology level you require. The technology level is dependant upon the environments you wish to hear within. i.e the ability to hear well and comfortably in a large meeting or restaurant would require a mid to High end hearing aid.

I think I can partially agree with this.

Since we are throwing brands out there, Starkey is the largest American company that makes hearing aids, and their aids should not be overlooked. Most other brands mentioned are Danish, Swiss or German in origin, although where any aids are made these days is becoming more up in the air as the global economy changes.

The degree of loss does not indeed dictate the need for quality or sophistication. And having a more sophisticated system can 'future proof' it a little more, as it can and will be more adaptable if the hearing gets worse. This poster is quite young, so you want something that works now, works well if her hearing changes, or can be modified somehow if it gets any worse.

Some of the more basic aids can struggle a bit in noisy social situations, and the more sophisticated ones can do a much better job in those same situations. This is less important with this type of loss, but becomes more important should the loss worsen.

Going cheap right now could save some money, although insurance is a factor since it is generally becoming less generous with hearing aid coverage as time goes on. But if the patient needs to buy a whole other set in five years, it was a false economy.

DocAudio
02-10-2012, 01:08 PM
I would like to state that a RIC will sound different than a standard BTE. The few times I've taken a patient out of a RIC and moved them to a standard BTE they nearly always preferred the sound quality over the standard BTE. Now, usually I was taking them out of a RIC for sound-quality issues so that could be part of it...BUT they all say that they (if nothing else) sound different than the RIC.

The Better/Worse argument is a qualitative issue that only the end-user can determine, IMHO.

ZCT
02-10-2012, 01:19 PM
I would like to state that a RIC will sound different than a standard BTE. The few times I've taken a patient out of a RIC and moved them to a standard BTE they nearly always preferred the sound quality over the standard BTE. Now, usually I was taking them out of a RIC for sound-quality issues so that could be part of it...BUT they all say that they (if nothing else) sound different than the RIC.

The Better/Worse argument is a qualitative issue that only the end-user can determine, IMHO.

Okay I'll give you that.

I'd say it also varies by brand, specific model, quality of the programming, specific loss of the patient, the presence of a conductive element (and reason for that), size of receiver, and a few other factors too.

But I do stand by the statement that the hot trend right now is the RIC and many manufacturers are scrambling to have the best, prettiest, fanciest, and most capable RIC aid, while the lowly old BTE has taken a bit of a back seat.

To use the Starkey example, their last Expo in Vegas was all about wireless, extending the range, clever new things their RIC can do etc etc. They added two new RIC styles last year. Their BTE basically got a power upgrade for profound users, and that's about it.

It's hard to imagine many manufacturers spending an insane amount of money or time on their tried and tested BTE family of products when the RICs are selling so well.

DocAudio
02-10-2012, 01:31 PM
Okay I'll give you that.

I'd say it also varies by brand, specific model, quality of the programming, specific loss of the patient, the presence of a conductive element (and reason for that), size of receiver, and a few other factors too.

But I do stand by the statement that the hot trend right now is the RIC and many manufacturers are scrambling to have the best, prettiest, fanciest, and most capable RIC aid, while the lowly old BTE has taken a bit of a back seat.

To use the Starkey example, their last Expo in Vegas was all about wireless, extending the range, clever new things their RIC can do etc etc. They added two new RIC styles last year. Their BTE basically got a power upgrade for profound users, and that's about it.

It's hard to imagine many manufacturers spending an insane amount of money or time on their tried and tested BTE family of products when the RICs are selling so well.

Absolutely. After all, I'm putting nearly all my patients in RIC's and only moving them to something else if A)they don't want a RIC, or B) the RIC didn't work out for them for whatever reason. It's also funny how many of the people who fall into category A end up in a RIC anyway...lol.

Salty
02-10-2012, 11:15 PM
Sorry, I don't agree with you at all.

A BTE is almost always larger than a RIC, and the narrow tube is just about the same diameter of a typical RIC tube.

Yes and I said that RIC is always better for discretion....the above statement agrees with it.


While a BTE may have a slight edge in reliability, if it does go wrong, it needs to be sent off to the factory for repair, whereas a typical RIC can have a new receiver fitted (often for free) right in the clinic.

most repairs to hearing instruments are due to Wax or moisture and the receiver being in the ear canal with RIC products means that you will have far more failures in a lifetime than with BTE products as their receiver is in a relatively safe location behind the ear. Also the fact that a receiver will be free will depend on the country as most manufacturers do not replace receivers for wax or moisture damage and then there is a bill. RIC failure rates due to wax or moisture will vary enormously on how well they can be maintained by the patient. The overall trend in manufacturer statistics is that BTE's are more reliable and robust.


Thanks to the popularity of RICs many manufacturers are putting more R&D in that area right now so many RICs can do things a BTE cannot.

Completely inaccurate, What can a RIC do that a BTE cannot? The bulk of R&D is done on the platform and features which can be applied to any hearing aid. I see that you identified Starkey as launching a RIC product which can do more than their BTE products can achieve, this is purely up to the manufacturer as to which products they implement their changes into and you will find that companies such as Phonak or Siemens launch very similar technology across the product styles.


Regardless of what you said, it is a simple fact of physics that if you push sound through a tiny narrow bendy tube that's a couple of inches long it will reduce the sound quality versus placing the receiver a few mm from the TM.

I do not agree with this, how is the sound quality affected by physics? the only simple change to the physics is that certain frequencies will be attenuated more than others by the time they exit the tube, Its very easy for manufacturers to measure this change and adjust the output of the receiver to correct this for first fit, just as they do when you select a certain vent size or tubing diameter. I have seen Real Ear Measurements for hundreds of BTE and RIC products and the smoothness of the response is comparable. I would say that it can sound different but by no means superior.


Finally, any state compliant test would have bone conduction scores which would show the type of hearing loss (conductive, mixed or SNHL). This would be a requirement before dispensing a hearing aid.

In any case, just looking at the air conduction scores, it seems like a 99% bet that this is a SNHL. After all what mixed or conductive loss would present this audiogram pattern?

You assume that I am from the USA and that I would know about state requirements. In any case I agree that the configuration looks like a SNHL but its always better to ask than to just assume that someone doesn't have any conductive element.

southerngirl
02-11-2012, 09:01 AM
.....250....500......1k......2k......3k.......4k.. ....6k ....8k
L.....20......15......15......45......60......60.. ....55....55
R.....15......15......15......25......40......45.. ....50 ....55
BCL...........15......10......40......50
BCR...........10......10......25......40


Thank you so much for the discussion. You are all helping me so much. I am learning a lot. I noticed that there was some discussion of my bone conduction loss. I have posted those numbers off of my audiogram, also. The man performing the hearing test, didn't do a complete test with all the other percentages and speech tests because I wasn't sure that I was ready to purchase hearing aids.

ZCT
02-11-2012, 09:35 AM
Yes and I said that RIC is always better for discretion....the above statement agrees with it.

Okay, well your use of the word discretion in that manner is a little obscure, and I did not infer from that exactly what you were trying to say. It would be more common to use the word discrete.


most repairs to hearing instruments are due to Wax or moisture and the receiver being in the ear canal with RIC products means that you will have far more failures in a lifetime than with BTE products as their receiver is in a relatively safe location behind the ear. Also the fact that a receiver will be free will depend on the country as most manufacturers do not replace receivers for wax or moisture damage and then there is a bill. RIC failure rates due to wax or moisture will vary enormously on how well they can be maintained by the patient. The overall trend in manufacturer statistics is that BTE's are more reliable and robust.

Well that is partially true, I think it may be exaggerated. I've seen many custom aids lasting years without needing a new receiver. And modern RICs have nanocoating to protect from both moisture and oils, along with a replaceable wax guard.

You are making the assumption that people are always looking for the most reliable device. If that were true no one would ever buy a car brand that wasn't rated #1 by J D Power. But people do.

The fact that a BTE may be statistically the most reliable, doesn't mean everything else is simply going to fall apart. Some people favor aesthetics, sound quality, features, and other factors above reliability. Who are you to assume that other people will share your values in this area?


Completely inaccurate, What can a RIC do that a BTE cannot? The bulk of R&D is done on the platform and features which can be applied to any hearing aid. I see that you identified Starkey as launching a RIC product which can do more than their BTE products can achieve, this is purely up to the manufacturer as to which products they implement their changes into and you will find that companies such as Phonak or Siemens launch very similar technology across the product styles.

What I am saying is that because of the popularity of RIC aids, manufacturers are throwing a lot of money at them. It is not uncommon for new features to hit the RIC first and then later get put in other aids. Starkey as an example have not yet implemented wireless technology into BTEs, in fact they elected to put that technology in custom aids as small as the CIC before they considered putting it in a traditional BTE. Now given that there's more space in a BTE than a CIC, it seems odd that they would do this for technical reasons. It in fact seems far more likely that their research led them to believe that there was more market for custom and RIC wireless devices than BTEs.

In any case I stand by my assertion that RICs are getting a lot of special treatment right now, and a patient would be remiss to disregard that and head for an aid that might be marginally more reliable, but larger, more noticeable, and perhaps less effective.


I do not agree with this, how is the sound quality affected by physics? the only simple change to the physics is that certain frequencies will be attenuated more than others by the time they exit the tube, Its very easy for manufacturers to measure this change and adjust the output of the receiver to correct this for first fit, just as they do when you select a certain vent size or tubing diameter. I have seen Real Ear Measurements for hundreds of BTE and RIC products and the smoothness of the response is comparable. I would say that it can sound different but by no means superior.

When sound does anything, that IS physics!

Physics is by definition, "The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics."

My argument, whether you choose to accept it or not, is that there are limitations when you force a sound to travel through a thin bendy tube, and that it is not always possible to reproduce the same sound in that manner. Specifically I believe that you are often likely to sacrifice high frequency sounds, as they don't travel as well as lower frequency sounds. That's why whales or elephants send sounds to each other, they use very low frequency sound that travels further.


You assume that I am from the USA and that I would know about state requirements. In any case I agree that the configuration looks like a SNHL but its always better to ask than to just assume that someone doesn't have any conductive element.

I'm sorry for assuming that. I have never lived or worked anywhere where bone conduction testing was not mandatory before prescribing a hearing aid.

In any case, this is clearly a SNHL, and I'd be happy to proceed without B/C scores. You just don't get a conductive or mixed loss that looks like that. Even if this specific loss were mixed, a shade more power and the problem would be solved.

southerngirl
02-11-2012, 03:35 PM
Below is the bone conduction results that were listed on my audiogram. I should have listed them with my initial post. Do you still think it is SNHL?










.....250....500......1k......2k......3k.......4k.. ....6k ....8k
BCL...........15......10......40......50
BCR...........10......10......25......40

EnglishDispenser
02-11-2012, 03:48 PM
A single aid on the worst ear to fill-in the HF loss might suffice as a starting point.

PGDip Audiology
02-11-2012, 04:33 PM
Yes, you have a sensorineural hearing loss because the bone conduction results do not differ from the air conduction results by a significant amount. Bone conduction sends the sound directly to the cochlea whereas air conduction plays the sound through the outer and middle ear before it gets to the cochlea. If you had a middle ear problem or some kind of blockage preventing sound getting through to the cochlea then your bone conduction results would be better than your air conduction results. No matter which route the sound is played through, your thresholds are reduced because your hair cells in your cochlea are not working as well as they should.

ZCT
02-12-2012, 01:52 PM
Below is the bone conduction results that were listed on my audiogram. I should have listed them with my initial post. Do you still think it is SNHL?










.....250....500......1k......2k......3k.......4k.. ....6k ....8k
BCL...........15......10......40......50
BCR...........10......10......25......40

Absolutely. It is definitely SNHL. With that A/C shape it couldn't really be much else.

rossport
02-15-2012, 11:43 AM
My insurance pays 80% of cost but only up to 1,000 per ear per device. I have to meet my 3,000 deductible first.
SouthernGirl,

You do have more affordable options, especially for someone unsure of whether they need hearing aids like yourself. Embrace Hearing offers hearing aids starting at $300 and have a 45-day return policy which makes it totally worth a try. It is not for everyone, but give it a look.