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Thread: Where to start? (buy hearing aid)

  1. #1

    Default Where to start? (buy hearing aid)

    Hello forum!

    I'm about to purchase a hearing aid and wonder what I should be considering. There are many types and I don't have an appreciation for the pros and cons of each.

    One part of me says just as at a hearing center. OTOH, I may just end up with the preference of the person I speak with.

    My sense is to get one that sits in the ear canal but allows natural sounds to enter as well. (At least I think there's one like that.

    My hearing loss is about -20db in the low freq's and -40 or so in the higher freq's.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Well Sir,
    There are a lot of variations in the styles and sizes and visibility and comfort and price of hearing aids. I order to get some specific recommendations from the pros here you're going to need to install the information from your hearing test into your signature as you see in mine. That will invite some recommendations from the pros. Now, as for the opinion of a user for about 16 years here goes:

    I have work In The Ear (ITE) aids since 1995 and I find them:
    Comfortable, and providing a good sound result. They are top of the line so they have feedback suppression to prevent squealing so I can use a telephone handset without a problem. They also have bluetooth and a streamer which allows my cellular and desk phones (modified) to link directly to my aids.

    I tried behind the ear but found that I produced enough sweat to get it into the aids and kill the air breathing batteries. I've never let vanity get in my way in hearing's regard so now I have the full shell aids which take size 13 batteries which will run about nine days. The smaller size 312 batteries ran for about 5 days. running the bluetooth connection or hardwire audio increases the load on the batteries.

    The brand I am wearing is Phonak Ambra and I obtained them through the VA. I would recommend the brand to anyone. The type of physical attributes is a matter for the pros to advise you.

    Good Luck,
    TerryB
    Freq Right Left
    250 10 10
    500 15 5
    750 15 20
    1000 15 40
    1500 30 55
    2000 45 65
    3000 55 70
    4000 60 75
    6000 50 60
    8000 50 65

  3. #3

    Default Good advice

    You will want to consult a dispensing clinic that will allow you to make an informed decision. What does this mean ? They will show you a few different styles of devices suitable for your hearing loss and give you the pros and cons for each unit. Hopefully they will also explain the different levels of technology and what to expect for performance as the cost level rises. If this is done properly you can make an informed decision and pick what you feel is best for your lifestyle, hearing loss and budget. If you are told "This is what I recommend" and not given an opportunity to have an explanation as to why then go somewhere else.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central Alabama
    Posts
    1,974

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    I agree, post your entire hearing test results. But, just going on 20-40 Db loss, you will have lots of choices in that range and you may not need a top-of-the-line hearing aid, but I'll leave that to the experts.

    I am trialing a type of behind the ear hearing aid that has the receiver (speaker) in the ear canal (called a RIC or RITE). The other kind of behind the ear has the receiver on the main unit and feeds sound down a small tube and into the ear.

    Both work fine. I'll probably stay with the RIC (Receiver In the Canal) because the main unit can be tiny this way and the whole thing is pretty stealthy.

    If you really want to have something that is hidden you could look at the Starkey Soundlens or the Siemens iMini. Both are supposed to be invisible in the canal (IIC) and they fit your loss range. Your professional would have to determine if your canal shape would work for either of those.

    If you have a Costco nearby they usually have a display case in the hearing aid center where you can look at them and even wear one around the store to try it out. I'm sure they would require a hearing test or for you to take the results of your other test with you and probably some kind of deposit until they get to know you.

    This is a great place to ask questions so fire away.



    Freq . Left . Right . . . Word Recognition Details and Equipment
    250 . 25 . 20
    500 . 20 . 25 . . . . . . SRT L/R = 60/55 , WRS @ 105 L/R = 80/84%
    1000 . 30 . 40 . . . . . Resound Future from Costco (April 2011)
    1500 . 50 . 55 . . . . . Phone Clip+ (May 2013).
    2000 . 50 . 65
    3000 . 70 . 85
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    6000 . 90 . 95
    8000 . 75 . 85

  5. #5

    Default

    Terry - thank you for the reply. It gives me some insight into what to expect. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I do have a nearby Costco and have a hearing test from them. However they did not have all types of hearing aids. One that has the whole enchilada in the ear canal was not one of their options.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HIP_Matt View Post
    You will want to consult a dispensing clinic that will allow you to make an informed decision. What does this mean ? They will show you a few different styles of devices suitable for your hearing loss and give you the pros and cons for each unit. Hopefully they will also explain the different levels of technology and what to expect for performance as the cost level rises. If this is done properly you can make an informed decision and pick what you feel is best for your lifestyle, hearing loss and budget. If you are told "This is what I recommend" and not given an opportunity to have an explanation as to why then go somewhere else.
    Thanks for the advice Matt. I'll be off to a hearing center soon. I stopped by four of them today, looking to see which ones I wanted to do business with. I wrote off two of them and have to decide between the other two.

    I think I'll hold off posting my entire hearing chart until I have some need for specific advice. It might be best to get that level of advice from the audiologist, but I'm new to this and may learn otherwise over time.

    Right now I'm at the "Where do I start" phase.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Highlands, Scotland.
    Posts
    399

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speak Up View Post
    Thanks for the advice Matt. I'll be off to a hearing center soon. I stopped by four of them today, looking to see which ones I wanted to do business with. I wrote off two of them and have to decide between the other two.

    I think I'll hold off posting my entire hearing chart until I have some need for specific advice. It might be best to get that level of advice from the audiologist, but I'm new to this and may learn otherwise over time.

    Right now I'm at the "Where do I start" phase.

    Jim
    There are many excellent Audiologist from all over the world on this site Speak Up! Most of whom will give you good free advice or pointers to which HA's you should perhaps be considering................ If you post up your Audiogram

    Cheers Kev.
    My Audiogram.

    Hz250..500.1000.1500.2000.3000.4000.6000. 8000
    L.70 70..90..90..9090..90..120.NR.. =92 average db loss
    R.50 60..60..60..7085..80..80.90.. =70 average db loss



    Phonak Ambra's SP with MyPilot.

    Target 2.0 & iCube + iCom & TVLink + Click N' Talk.

    Phonak Naida V UP's as Backups

    FM Sennheiser Mikroport-System 2015Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    2,677

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Speak Up View Post
    Hello forum!

    I'm about to purchase a hearing aid and wonder what I should be considering. There are many types and I don't have an appreciation for the pros and cons of each.

    One part of me says just as at a hearing center. OTOH, I may just end up with the preference of the person I speak with.

    My sense is to get one that sits in the ear canal but allows natural sounds to enter as well. (At least I think there's one like that.

    My hearing loss is about -20db in the low freq's and -40 or so in the higher freq's.
    20-40dB loss. Try an Amp.

    IMHO unless there are other factors, spending a hatload of cash is not going to give you a lot more sound.
    Link to my entry in the Hidden Content section.
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Um bongo View Post
    20-40dB loss. Try an Amp.

    IMHO unless there are other factors, spending a hatload of cash is not going to give you a lot more sound.
    I believe Um bongo is talking about this Starkey/Micro Tech/Audibel/NuEar aid. They use the same model name for all brands.
    http://www.starkeypro.com/public/pro...g-aids/amp.jsp
    .....250....500......1k......2k.......3k......4k.. ....8k
    L.....20......20......40......40......60......55.. ....80
    R.....25......25......40......50......55......60.. ....60

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prodigyplace View Post
    I believe Um bongo is talking about this Starkey/Micro Tech/Audibel/NuEar aid. They use the same model name for all brands.
    Thanks for clearing that up I thought he meant 'amplifier', which made little sense. People buying a hearing aid for the first time don't know all the buzzwords.

    The link showed the type I thought would be a good choice, but so far I'm not aware of the different models.

    I wonder if having this in your ear canal would be irritating.

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