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Thread: Hearing Aids for Profound Hearing Loss

  1. Default Hearing Aids for Profound Hearing Loss

    I am so happy that I found this forum. I am posting on behalf on father who is 85 and has profound hearing loss. He has suffered from hearing loss since childhood and had his first hearing aids in his 20s.
    I don't have his audiogram at this time, but will get it. I am wondering though if people might help with some ideas, as I understand that choices are fairly limited at the profound end of the spectrum. (I may be wrong on this, of course.)

    To be clear, he will not be using Phonak which seems like the most popular choice. He got Phonak Naidas (sorry I don't know the exact model, but can clarify) about 20 months ago and had ongoing issues with them, having to send them back into the manufacturers multiple times, leaving him with loaners, etc. I don't know the full range of problems, but I know they would do things like switch to phone mode or reboot on their own. I am forgetting all the things he explained...I know, however, that people often have to go back for several adjustments, so want to be clear that this was not the issue. A couple of months ago, the company agreed to issue him a new pair of hearing aids and they too began to malfunction, so my dad is asking for a full refund.

    He is very down about the whole thing. He said that when the Naidas were working, they were fantastic. He does not even want to discuss buying new hearing aids or anything. I think he just wants to see if he is going to get a full refund. Either way, he needs a new set of hearing aids. I think it's been a huge emotional toll to not have his aid to the hearing world - he's not been able to use the phone, etc. And, the whole thing has required so many trips back and forth to the clinic, etc.

    I want to start researching his options so we are ready to go as soon as he gets word from Phonak. I am hopeful that they will provide a full refund. So, can anyone recommend models to begin to look at? I am a little concerned about Unitron since they're owned by Phonak, but I think that's more of an emotional reaction at this point. Of course, I know too that Phonaks are considered to be the best or one of the best, we just have to go another route. The other options seem to be Siemens and Widex. Should we consider other brands? Any advice on brands and models would be so greatly appreciated. It would give me a sense of reassurance. As I said, I will certainly be able to provide his audiogram too - likely, in the coming week.

  2. Default

    Another option is to have the Phonak aids rebuild by replacing the microphone and receiver. Costs about a few hundred dollars and the rebuild aids good for another five years or so. Why spend thousands of dollars on new aids because of his age?

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terost View Post
    Another option is to have the Phonak aids rebuild by replacing the microphone and receiver. Costs about a few hundred dollars and the rebuild aids good for another five years or so. Why spend thousands of dollars on new aids because of his age?
    Well, Phonak hasn't provided reliable service for us, so we're just done with the company. I don't understand your comment about his age...I am not sure how that's relevant to what you're saying.

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    I have used Rextons for 6 years and been very happy. I am now waiting to hear on the arrival of my new Rexton Quintras at Costco. Unlike your father, I am staying with Rextons (Siemens) because I have been happy with them. I am also very happy with Costco. They have a hearing aid called the Kirkland 5, which is made by Resound and has gotten very good reviews on this forum. I don't know if they would be suitable for your father's hearing loss but they are only $1,899 with great Costco support. Good luck and I hope you get other replies for your father.
    Mirko

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  5. Default

    You might want to read about Costco and the Kirkland aids. See link:
    http://www.alldeaf.com/hearing-aids-...ound-loss.html


    Quote Originally Posted by mirkee View Post
    I have used Rextons for 6 years and been very happy. I am now waiting to hear on the arrival of my new Rexton Quintras at Costco. Unlike your father, I am staying with Rextons (Siemens) because I have been happy with them. I am also very happy with Costco. They have a hearing aid called the Kirkland 5, which is made by Resound and has gotten very good reviews on this forum. I don't know if they would be suitable for your father's hearing loss but they are only $1,899 with great Costco support. Good luck and I hope you get other replies for your father.

  6. Default

    I have always been extremely happy with Costco support of their hearing aids. I believe they would have given you more support than you got from your current situation. Hey, why not try both? Costco gives you free trial period of 90 days, money back guaranteed with no re-stocking fee or any other fees. With your father's situation that may be one way to go. Try what seems to work best for him and if they don't work for him just bring them back. I'm not affiliated with Costco in any way. Thinking of buying their stock, however, since I recommend them so much
    Mirko

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCostello View Post
    I am so happy that I found this forum. I am posting on behalf on father who is 85 and has profound hearing loss. He has suffered from hearing loss since childhood and had his first hearing aids in his 20s.
    I don't have his audiogram at this time, but will get it. I am wondering though if people might help with some ideas, as I understand that choices are fairly limited at the profound end of the spectrum. (I may be wrong on this, of course.)

    To be clear, he will not be using Phonak which seems like the most popular choice. He got Phonak Naidas (sorry I don't know the exact model, but can clarify) about 20 months ago and had ongoing issues with them, having to send them back into the manufacturers multiple times, leaving him with loaners, etc. I don't know the full range of problems, but I know they would do things like switch to phone mode or reboot on their own. I am forgetting all the things he explained...I know, however, that people often have to go back for several adjustments, so want to be clear that this was not the issue. A couple of months ago, the company agreed to issue him a new pair of hearing aids and they too began to malfunction, so my dad is asking for a full refund.

    He is very down about the whole thing. He said that when the Naidas were working, they were fantastic. He does not even want to discuss buying new hearing aids or anything. I think he just wants to see if he is going to get a full refund. Either way, he needs a new set of hearing aids. I think it's been a huge emotional toll to not have his aid to the hearing world - he's not been able to use the phone, etc. And, the whole thing has required so many trips back and forth to the clinic, etc.

    I want to start researching his options so we are ready to go as soon as he gets word from Phonak. I am hopeful that they will provide a full refund. So, can anyone recommend models to begin to look at? I am a little concerned about Unitron since they're owned by Phonak, but I think that's more of an emotional reaction at this point. Of course, I know too that Phonaks are considered to be the best or one of the best, we just have to go another route. The other options seem to be Siemens and Widex. Should we consider other brands? Any advice on brands and models would be so greatly appreciated. It would give me a sense of reassurance. As I said, I will certainly be able to provide his audiogram too - likely, in the coming week.

    I'd be pushing for a full refund in this case.

    Unitron aren't 'owned' by Phonak, but both companies belong to the Sonova group: there's no reason that a set of Unitron aids will fail in a similar manner.

    Has the actual failure cause been identified ? It sounds a bit like a battery interface issue. In answer to the other questions: Widex power aids look poor by comparison in the ear. I don't fit the Siemens aids.

    The other posts on this thread refer to Costco, while they appear to offer good value for certain products, in this case I'm not sure that they will either offer a powerful enough product or the appropriate type of care for your father.

    Best of luck with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCostello View Post
    I want to start researching his options so we are ready to go as soon as he gets word from Phonak. I am hopeful that they will provide a full refund.
    Even if Phonak agrees to refund the cost of the hearing aids to your clinic, will the clinic refund their professional fees for fitting and dispensing? Those fees are going to be a lot more than the cost of the hearing aids. Are you willing to take the loss and go to another provider? You might be stuck with the clinic and whatever brand(s) they sell.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Um bongo View Post
    The other posts on this thread refer to Costco, while they appear to offer good value for certain products, in this case I'm not sure that they will either offer a powerful enough product or the appropriate type of care for your father.

    Best of luck with it.
    I think Costco offers the 75Db receiver on the Siemens/Rexton products. On Resound I think there is a UP receiver. Mine is the "Power" and it is the 65Db, and I'm not sure what the UP would be, but probably 75Db? Not sure about Bernafon. I have found that Resound seems to be conservative in their power rankings. I got along fine for quite a while on the normal receiver and we never seemed to run out of power. Just for pure power they still have the Rexton Bridge that goes up to 80 Db.

    Um bongo can explain this much better, but these numbers are not about hearing loss, so if you have 75 DB hearing loss that doesn't mean you need a 75 Db hearing aid. What I have heard them say is that you need about half the gain of your hearing loss, so an 80 Db hearing loss would need about 40 Db gain.



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  10. Default

    I never meant to imply that you shold not go to a full-blown audiologist, and MD type of person that also knows HA's. I visit my ENT periodically although they always find that I have classic '60s hearing loss from too much Led Zepellin, Who and especially seeing the Byrds do "Eight Miles High" from the front row of a small club. Lots of Abbey Road weaing headphones too...very loud. In any event, you would be wise to do both. Costco did tell me that one of the good features of their new hearing aids, both Kirkland and other brands, is that they can upgrade the receiver as hearing loss worsens without upgrading the whole unit. They made it sound like there is lots of room for adjustment. How much are you likely to pay for HA's at this point? I have pretty good insurance so I'm in the dark. I get less of that "used car salesman" at Costco.
    Mirko

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